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10 Quick Facts About Property Investment

1. Leverage enables you to borrow other peoples money;
2. Compounding will let you maximise the benefits of borrowing other peoples money;
3. Historically the longer you hold onto a property the greater the capital appreciation, which is what makes you wealthy in the long-term;
4. Roughly around 10% of Australians own an investment property which is negatively geared;
5. New properties tend to have higher rates of depreciation compared to old properties;
6. Capital city areas continue to have growing populations and increased property demand;
7. Properties have grown by over 14 times since the 1970’s in Australia;
8. The interest component of mortgages on investment properties is tax deductible, which is why many people feel interest only loans are the best option for property investors;
9. Units and Houses have performed very closely over the last years in Australia;
10. Property near public transport tends to be in more demand compared to property far away.

10 Top Real Estate Tips for 2015

The recovery has yet to arrive in many states, reinforcing the notion that real estate growth is regional. No one can accurately predict when this real estate uptick will end or how hard, or soft, a landing it will make. In the meantime, let proven fundamentals, applied with a few modern wrinkles, rule the day. Here are 10 tips for 2015 to help the real estate process.

1. Do sweat the small (cheap) stuff, sellers

Little touches go a long way in the buyer’s eye, starting logically with the entry. Trim bushes, wash walkways and change out trampled welcome mats. Inside, de-stink with candles and counter sprays, de-jam closets and de-clutter rooms, focusing keenly on kitchen counters. Hide scrub brushes and other fantasy-killing labor tools. Dust, wax, scrub toilets, wash windows, test and clean lights, put out fresh towels, winnow family mementos, harness or hide that avalanche of toys, remove prescription drugs from medicine cabinets and police the yard for “pet bombs.” It’s time well-spent.

2. Take note(s), buyers

In a whirlwind house-hunting tour of several properties, buyers benefit by keeping a pro-and-con checklist of each home they visit. Otherwise, the features of several homes tend to blend together in a tired brain by day’s end. Creating a rating scale of 1 to 10 also helps, as does carrying a checklist of specific features that you seek in an ideal home.

3. Sell by season

Though spring is optimal, home selling is a year-round sport. Use seasonal accents to make buyers linger longer.

Winter: Unfurl throw rugs and spotlight functional fireplaces. Near holidays, add touches like wreaths and pine-cone centerpieces. Display photos of your home a season ahead, particularly in winter, so buyers can see the house ensconced by greenery.

Spring: Fresh-cut flowers and candles bring spring scents indoors. For that new-start look, do extra spring cleaning and use brightly colored linens, spreads and pillows. Add little pops of color to the entry and landscape.

Summer: Highlight patios and other outdoor areas. Swap out dark towels and curtains for light colors. Put out a seasonal fruit basket or add hanging flowers. Keep the house cool but not cold.

Fall: Display pumpkins by the door and vases of fall foliage or tricolored corn inside. Use seasonal scents such as baked apple. Keep those leaves at bay.

4. Drill deeply

Buyers are regularly advised to scope out the block at varying hours, but why not drill down further to see if your potential new neighborhood is fading or flourishing?

  • Bad signs: A major local employer is struggling or moving away; adjacent neighborhoods are progressively turning into rentals; and a few too many for-sale homes are lingering on the market. Nearby commercial spaces remain persistently vacant.
  • Good signs: Schools are in high demand and well-rated. Young families and artsy types are moving in. Older couples are “aging in place” and nearby commercial properties are getting redeveloped and quickly leased. For-sale homes are generating multiple offers.

5. ‘Big data’ is everywhere, so tap in

While local knowledge and old-school networking will always be valuable, the latest technology lets agents offer much more. Some agencies offer “livability” ratings by ranking and contrasting neighborhoods by air quality, traffic choke points and specific data on a home’s energy efficiency. In 2013, the National Association of Realtors introduced its Predictive Analytics group. Banks already use “big data” to gauge the worth of foreclosures and short sales, and mobile apps now offer it for consumer and agent use. Ask agents if they offer this and other edgy technology such as high-definition aerial footage shot by drones. Should your grandiose home merit that, go big!

6. Transparency equals trust

Buyers will certainly enlist inspectors to twice-over your home, Mr. Seller. So instead of inviting disappointment, delay and distrust, go transparent with your own presale inspection. It’s far better to know now about issues with the plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), foundation, electrical systems and roof. Provide the buyer a copy of the inspection along with repair receipts, and explain if or how you’ve adjusted your price accordingly. Buyers appreciate candor.

7. Math versus ego

Too often, buyers get caught up in win-at-all-costs negotiation. They’ll stubbornly let as little as a few grand lock them out of the right house. At an interest rate of 4.5 percent, the difference between paying $200,000 and $195,000 — assuming 1.25 percent property tax and 15 percent down — is only about $25 per month on a 30-year mortgage, or about the cost of lunch for two at a fast-casual eatery, before the tip. Don’t let that ruin your chances at your dream home.

8. Retain mineral rights

With so many giant natural-gas fields (shales) in play across the U.S. and new ones pending, homeowners should exercise “seller’s market” clout to retain mineral rights. While that intent needn’t even be mentioned in the sales contract in some states, it’s always safest to note it, provided the buyer doesn’t protest. Avoid that scenario by conveying those rights to a trustworthy relative or to an energy company buying them before putting the house on the block. “Mineral rights? Oh, so sorry, I no longer own them.”

9. Buying? Then cool it for a while

Refrain from making big capital purchases like a new car, opening new credit cards or amassing big chunks of other new debt before buying a home. These raise your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders examine to determine the mortgage amount you can afford. Also avoid moving large sums of money around, changing banks, changing jobs and becoming self-employed before buying a home.

10. The price is right

Trite, you say? Perhaps. But accurate home pricing from the outset never goes out of style because it sells homes. Some agents advise sellers to overprice because inventory is low. Others say go below market to spur a bidding war. Don’t get caught up in pricing games.

Activity in the first month of a listing is always the best, so don’t risk wasting it. Price too high, and scare off many buyers and agents. Price too low, and risk leaving dollars on the table. Hiring the right agent based on recommendations, response time, in-person interviews, track record and data support will yield that pricing expert you need.

Is Real Estate Really the Best Investment?

Last decade’s housing bubble is becoming a distant memory. Mortgage rates are near historic lows, interest-only loans are back and everyone loves real estate as an investment again.

More than 1 in 4 Americans (27 percent) said real estate was the best investment for money they would not need for at least a decade, according to a new survey of 1,000 investors. Cash came in second with 23 percent of investors, only 17 percent said the stock market is their preferred place for long-term money and just 5 percent said they would put their long-term money in bonds.

It is the first time real estate has taken the top spot in the three years Bankrate has been conducting the survey. Cash was investors’ favorite in 2013 and 2014. “It begs the questions if more Americans are once again viewing real estate as a golden ticket,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.

Credit is harder to come by than a decade ago and lenders face more regulations, but financial advisors say many clients are catching the real estate bug again.

“Justlast week,a high-tech corporate boomer client with no experience in renovating and selling real estate told us he wanted to go into flipping a property with his friend, who does this for a living,” said Jon Ulin, certified financial planner and managing principal of Ulin & Co. Wealth Management in Boca Raton, Florida. His client wanted to liquidate 25 percent of his IRA to invest in the project and told Ulin it would “diversify” his portfolio.

“I advised him that putting a quarter or more of his life savings into flipping and renovating one property with the hopes of making a possible 14 percent profit is not a good idea and a gamble,” Ulin said.

Real estate has curb appeal that other financial assets can’t match.

“For many investors, the tangible nature of real estate simply offers much more peace of mind than the intangible nature of stock and bonds,” said Stephen Doucette, a certified financial planner and vice president of Proctor Financial in Sherborn, Massachusetts. “Real estate pricing also adds peace of mind to investors as pricing seems more stable because it is not updated daily by the media.”

Investors should weigh the long-term return potential of real estate investing compared with other assets.

The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, which measures the value of residential real estate in 20 major metropolitan areas, has generated a hearty annualized 9.2 percent return over the past three years through June 30, but produced an annualized 0.4 percent loss over the past decade. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index, a broad measure of the U.S. stock market, grew an annualized 14.8 percent over the past three years and 5.87 percent over the past 10 years.

But investors with good credit can borrow to buy real estate, which can enhance returns—or magnify losses, depending on the market. “The singular and best reason to own real estate as an investment is to use leverage,” said Stephen Lovell, a certified financial planner in Walnut Creek, California. “Without it, your return on investment tends to be about 2 percent to 3 percent.”

Real estate also comes with different risks than other financial assets. You cannot sell it as quickly as stocks and bonds. You have to pay for insurance, maintenance and property taxes that can eat into your profits.

“You can’t sell real estate short so you cannot hedge against a down market and the market for real estate is too local,” warns Wes Shannon, a certified financial planner with SJK Financial Planning in Hurst, Texas. “You may live in a state or city going through an economic boom, but if the other houses on your street start to decline or convert to rentals you can see a depreciation of your [home] value … even one bad neighbor can ruin an investment in real estate.”

4 Things to Know About Investing in International Real Estate

Real estate is a tricky game – you must become very knowledgeable about your target markets and your competitors in order to become successful. That’s true in North America, as well as anywhere else in the world.

But when you start to branch outside of the U.S. real estate market, that’s when things can really start to get complicated. The rules are different, and mistakes can be costly.

Here are a few things you need to know if you’re considering investing in international real estate.

You Need To Know What Stage Your Market Is In

There are roughly five stages to every emerging market. If you don’t know what stage that market is in, you could get taken to the cleaners. The first stage is usually reserved for locals only. This means that locals are using the land for their own purpose, like agriculture and business.

An outside party can bring that land to the second stage, which means that large swatches of land are bought for the purpose of developing them at a later date (or hanging onto them indefinitely).

These large swatches are eventually broken up into smaller parcels, becoming further developed and moving into stage three of the real estate market stages. These parcels can become small enough that homebuyers can actually come in and purchase, as well as speculators.

The land switches to a mainstream homebuyer market in stage four when restaurants, hotels, and other consumer-driven developments arrive. This then becomes a full-fledged city at stage five, with all the infrastructure and civil services that come with it.

Each stage has its own advantages and challenges. For the risk-averse, the early stages are the most risky – but do provide the highest beta. This means that with a higher risk, comes a higher reward.

You Must Have A Plan

Without a plan, you’ll never have a clear vision of what to do with your new investment. Knowing if you are planning on renting the house, living in it, or just holding onto the property until property values rise are important questions to ask yourself before diving into real estate.

You Won’t Get Rich Quick

Real estate investing is a long-term investment. There’s no way around that – while people in distinct markets may have sped up this timeline, the fact of the matter is that real estate is hard work, and may not pay off in the end if you don’t do your research beforehand.

You Must Study Up

Becoming a successful international real estate investor means knowing everything you possibly can about the situation you are putting yourself in: the local market, the neighborhood, and even the property itself. If you don’t know what your cash flows will be, like how long it usually takes to rent a property in your market, you may have too much overhead to cover each month. Know before you buy!

Final Tips

As a final word of wisdom, becoming a real estate tycoon is hard work, and isn’t for everyone. If you take on something that is a little too far over your head, you run the risk of damaging your livelihood, your family, and your future. Know yourself before buying any property, and understand the risks and time commitment involved.

8 Tips Selling a Luxury Home

Selling a home is not the easiest of tasks but it also doesn’t have to be as hard as figuring out the rubrics cube!  The level of difficulty does increase though when selling a luxury home.  With the increasing level of difficulty comes an increased level of expertise that is required to sell a luxury home.

Many real estate agents don’t have a clue when it comes to selling luxury homes.  The same can be said for the owners of a luxury home.  It is important that the proper steps are taken to ensure the home is sold in a timely fashion and for a fair, market value price!

Here are several tips for selling luxury homes that are helpful for any real estate agent or homeowner.

Is The Price Right?
Pricing a home correctly, from the beginning, is extremely important whether selling a $100,000 home or a 1.5 million dollar luxury home!  A common real estate pricing mistake that is made is hiring the real estate agent who suggests the highest price and in the luxury home market, this can be a huge mistake.  It’s extremely important that a luxury home is priced competitively or aggressively from the beginning to attract buyers from the beginning.  It is more common for a luxury home to sit on the market for longer than a lower priced home, however, a luxury home does not have to sit on the market if priced properly from the beginning!

To ensure the price is right, an in-depth comparative market analysis, must be completed on a luxury home in order to determine a competitive or aggressive price.  A real estate agent should spend several hours massaging the data, touring other comparable luxury homes currently for sale, and calling other real estate brokers who have recently sold comparable properties to the subject home.  Often times there are homes that are extremely similar to others in certain neighborhoods.  It is rare to find a luxury home that is identical to another, so knowing every amenity a luxury home has is crucial when determining the price!

How Will The Luxury Home Be Marketed?
The price a home enters the market at does a fair amount of the marketing in itself, however, there are other marketing tools that should be used when selling a luxury home.

Print advertising and direct mailing should still be apart of any real estate agents marketing plan/system.  The internet, however, has significantly changed how consumers shop.  This is no different in the real estate industry!  It is extremely important that a real estate agent who is selling a luxury home, is utilizing the internet.  It’s important that a real estate agent has their own website and/or blog and that it is mobile responsive as well.  Many home buyers are shopping on their tablets and mobile devices.

When selling a luxury home, it’s important that a real estate agent uses social media.  Social media is an extremely important marketing tool for real estate agents that can help give their clients maximum exposure!  It is a marketing tool that most real estate agents don’t utilize and/or understand.  Ask yourself, what percentage of people in the market to buy or sell a home have a Facebook Page, Twitter Handle, or Pinterest Account?  95%+?  By not marketing a luxury home for sale on social media, a real estate agent is doing their client a huge disservice!

When selecting a real estate agent to sell a luxury home, it’s critical to know where the luxury home will be marketed, how it will be marketed, and how frequently it will be marketed.  When selling a luxury home, a real estate agent must have a comprehensive marketing plan/system and cannot list a luxury home, wait and hope it sells.  These type of real estate agents are also known as a “post and pray Realtor.”

High Quality Photos and Videos are Important When Selling a Luxury Home

What Will The Quality Of The Photographs/Videos/Virtual Tours Be?
Most have heard the saying, “quality over quantity.”  This relates perfectly to the quality of photographs and videos of a luxury home for sale.  With over 90% of buyers beginning their home search online, it’s critical the photographs and videos of a luxury home are outstanding and nothing but the best!

Every real estate agent will offer to take photos of a home, but it shouldn’t be as easy as just leisurely taking photos.  When selling a luxury home, if the real estate agent is not having a professional photographer take photos of the home, they better have some great equipment.  Top real estate agents who choose to take their own photographs of their luxury home listings must have experience and also high end equipment such as a wide angle lens.  When taking photos of a luxury home a few things that need to be considered are, is the lighting right for the photos, are the amenities being photographed, and is the exquisite location being highlighted.

A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, how much is a video or virtual tour worth?  A billion?  When selling a luxury home, a professionally created video or virtual tour can be the difference of whether or not the luxury home sells.  Most local MLS’s have a limit to the number of photos that can be placed on-line, but allow a location where a video tour or “virtual tour” can be placed.  Many luxury homes are much larger than 25 photos can showcase and also much more glamorous than 25 photos can showcase, so video is a great way to allow potential buyers the ability to “walk-through” the luxury home in the comfort of their present home.

Is It The Right Time To Sell?
When selling a luxury home, timing plays a larger role than when selling non-luxury home.  For instance, if a waterfront luxury home is being sold in Rochester, NY, it’s important to select the correct time of year to sell.  Selling a home in the middle of the cold, blustery winter would not be a good time to showcase the waterfront!  The same can be said for a luxury waterfront home in Jupiter, FL, selling a home during hurricane season may not be the best time to list a luxury home for sale.

Will There Be Any Open Houses?
A very popular question many home owners have for real estate agents is, are you going to have an open house?  There is much debate whether public open houses help sell homes or not.  When it comes to luxury homes, public open houses do not help sell homes.  When it comes to selling a luxury home, public open houses often bring in people just interested in seeing how the “rich and famous” live.  There is absolutely no way to determine whether the people coming through the open house are qualified to purchase the luxury home or not!

While public open houses do not help sell luxury homes, broker open houses can be helpful.  A broker open, which is an open house for local real estate professionals, allows real estate agents who have buyer prospects looking for luxury homes to view possible matches.  A broker open is much more successful if the real estate agents who sell luxury homes locally are able to attend, as they have the greatest probability of having a client for the home!

Are The Location & Lifestyle Being Portrayed Correctly?
Luxury homes are often luxurious because of their location and lifestyle.  If a luxury home is part of a development which includes a clubhouse or yacht club privileges, it is important they are being showcased in the listing information.  This is another reason why utilizing video or virtual tour when selling a luxury home is a great marketing tool as it is a very good way to present a homes location as well as the lifestyle.

When buying a luxury home, the prospective purchasers will often want to know who else is living in the general vicinity of the home.  It’s important to know or find out who else lives in the area and ensure this information is available to real estate agents who are showing the home.

Staging with a Purpose Helps Sell Luxury Homes

Will Any Staging Be Done?
Staging does not sell homes but it certainly can help!  There are many sellers who believe that by hiring a real estate agent who has a staging designation, their home will sell because their home has been staged.  This is wrong.  Obtaining a designation for staging doesn’t necessarily mean they are a great real estate agent.

When selling a luxury home, staging will help maximize price and minimize time on the market.  When staging a luxury home, it is important that the amenities which make the home luxurious are being showcased.  If there is an outdoor BBQ, is it staged so that potential buyers can envision their summertime gatherings?  A luxury home with an over-sized formal dining room should have elegant place settings with fine china at each place setting to help a buyer envision what their fine dining parties may look like.

Can You Be Patient?
One of the biggest things that a seller needs to consider when selling a luxury home, patience is a must!  Selling a luxury home will normally take longer than a non-luxury home.

One major reason that luxury homes take longer to sell than non-luxury homes is the number of possible buyers available to purchase the home.  Face it, there are many buyers who can afford a $150,000 home entering the market on a daily basis.  There aren’t many buyers who can afford a 1.5 million dollar home entering the market on a daily basis.  For this reason alone, it’s important to be patient and understand that if the above tips are being practiced, a buyer will surface!

For example, in Monroe County, New York, there have been a total of 58 sold properties in the +/- of $500,000 price range in the past 12 months versus 891 sold properties in the +/- of $100,000 price range in the past 12 months.  The average days on the market for the $500,000 homes was 73 and the average days on the market for the $100,000 homes was 39.  As the statistics prove, in the Rochester, NY luxury home market there are less buyers in the marketplace than there are in the Rochester, NY non-luxury home market.

The 5 Best College Towns for Real Estate Investors

Real estate investors are always seeking out new and lucrative ways to get the best return on their investments and one of the more popular trends for purchasing property can be found in and around college campuses across the United States. The reasons why are pretty easy to understand; college towns have a way of avoiding the typical housing market fluctuations that other parts of the country experience since there is always a need for affordable rentals in these locales. Many college towns are also fully populated year round as students, faculty, and administration staff choose to live in these towns despite class being out of session. They don’t even have to be physically in a classroom setting either as many students elect to take online alternatives, such as WSU’s emba online, which means they’ll be spending more time at home pursuing their diploma.

Many of the college towns on our list are also major U.S. cities that are going to be attractive no matter what time of year it is and while campus life in and around these schools is among some of the most popular, these areas will provide real estate owners an abundance of revenue from possible renters who are looking for a place to live. This can also have a positive effect on resale values as many of these towns are desirable neighborhoods where most people are going to want to live.

With a constant potential renter pool, year round desirability, prices are likely to stay consistent in terms of rental and resale prices throughout the year, making real estate in college towns a smart choice for putting your money to work for you. When you’re ready to dive into this segment of the market, here are five college towns you’ll want to check out first based on studies conducted by the American Institute for Economic Research for 2015.

  1. Chicago, IL

One of the most popular metropolitan cities in the Midwest is also home to two major schools, the University of Chicago and DePaul University (not to mention Northwestern just outside the city). The student concentration around these campuses is 74.2% and with an average rent of $979 for a two-bedroom the area is well-affordable for students and professionals alike.

  1. Philadelphia, PA

Another major city that has two large schools University of Pennsylvania and Temple University, both of which count a combined student concentration of 76.5%. The average rental price of a two-bedroom unit will run you about $1,135 which is more than Chicago but far cheaper than Manhattan just a couple hours up I-95. The unemployment rate in Philly is 7.8%.

  1. Los Angeles, CA

Southern California offers three big schools, UCLA, USC, and Loyola Marymount University. But it’s not going to be too tough trying to sell anyone on living out by the ocean, and with a student concentration of around 88.7% near these campuses there’s no shortage of potential renters available. The average rent for a two-bedroom is $1,390 a month so the location can command a solid price for your investment in a property near any of the three schools.

  1. Baltimore, MD

This smaller city is home to Towson University and the prestigious Johns Hopkins University, one of the best medical schools in the United States. Student concentration is around 84.9% making it an ideal place to rent during the semester and with an average rent of $1,252 for a two-bedroom, you have nothing but upside in terms of bringing passive income.

  1. Boston, MA

This New England town has four schools in the vicinity including Harvard, Boston College, Northeastern, and Boston University making it perhaps the most advantageous of the college towns to buy and rent property for a steady stream of revenue. Student concentration is up to 94.5% near these campuses and with an unemployment rate of 6.4% you can rent all year long in an area that is bustling and affordable too, with two-bedrooms commanding around $1,454 a month in rent.

Real Estate Speculation in College Towns

If you are a tried and true real estate professional, you know that the speculation process is often the most important process. If you have investors, or if you are planning a larger development – either commercial or private – you need to make sure you cover all your bases. Indeed, knowing these bases is half the battle, especially in a college town. College towns are different than other real estate hot spots, because they don’t fluctuate along the same market valuation lines. Demand, opportunity, and other factors are all different. Here are some factors to consider when real estate speculating in a college town.

Decide on What Type of Real Estate to Invest in

Before you start to put any money down, or source financing, you need to know what you are going to invest in. Will you be developing from scratch based on a parcel of land? Will it be a commercial strip or rental properties? You want to have a good idea as to what you are offering to a college community before you invest. If you don’t know what you will be offering, college real estate investing and speculation will be a big challenge, and it will be hard to raise money.

Gauge the Opportunities and the Demand

Once you know what you want to build, you can hold it up against the demand in the community. If there is no true main street – with a core group of shops – you probably want to go the commercial real estate route. If there is a lack of student housing, you probably want to go in that direction. The truth of the matter is that if you don’t know the demand, your investment won’t be as prosperous. However, if you know exactly what a community wants, you will be much more successful.

Measure All the Risks

Of course, when you are gauging the demand of a property, you also want to measure the risks. The big benefit of investing in a real estate in a college town is that there are minimal risks. However, whether you are building near University of Akron or Vermont Law Online, there will be risks – you just need to find out what they are so that you can minimize them. Minimization of risk should happen before the financing phase.

Create a Grid

Once you have your groundwork laid out, you can start to create a grid. A grid will help you know if you want to build closer to the campus or further away. You may find that there is a gap in the real estate market closer to campus. This may allow students to live within blocks from school. In other cases, you may find something a little more off the beaten path.

Research the Tax Laws and Breaks

On top of everything, you want to research some of the tax laws and breaks you can get from investing in real estate in a college town. You may be able to get even more breaks if you offer housing to low income students.

Should You Buy a Condo for Your College Student?

Buy or rent? Sublet or sublease? Terms that are all far from foreign to experienced homeowners and house hunters today. Ask the average student, on the other hand, about their knowledge and know-how when it comes to these common real estate communications, and it’s likely you’ll fail to hear a reply. At least this used to be the case back in the days when college took four years, five thousand dollars, and a 3.0 GPA.

Not anymore.

Nowadays, a college degree requires more time, higher grades, and a lot more cash. In fact, the average cost for attending a private university today has tripled since the 1979s, amounting to a staggering $30,000 per year – for tuition alone. Add room and board to the picture and you’re looking an extra $40,000 if you complete your degree in four years.

There has to be another way. There must be other options. Surely not all students are nearly selling their souls for a diploma and a degree, are they?

With today’s students as smart as they are, fewer and fewer are falling victim to the outrageous expenses associated with the traditional college experience. While it might be nice (or would it) to live on campus in those quaint and cozy dorm rooms for the entirety of one’s education, money-minded pupils from Clark College to USC Online are opting for more affordable college housing options, such as investing in homes and condominiums.

Interested in learning and potentially saving more? Then first ask yourself these questions to see if buying a condo for your college student is right for you.

Do you have the available investment funds to make the initial purchase?

Buying a house or condo in addition to paying for tuition, books, and the expenses associated with living all cost money. Quite a lot of money, in fact. Prior to considering buying a condo for your student, you must first take a long and hard look at whether or not you can afford it. Experts advise spending no more than $200,000 on a home or condo for college, so if that kind of cost is way outbid your budget, you might have to reconsider.

Are You Willing to Do the Research and Endure the Risk?

There’s a reason so many students still opt for on-campus housing despite the hefty price tag. Find a condo takes work. It involves a lot of researching, a lot of comparison, a lot of calculations, and hence, a lot of time and patience. If you and your son or daughter can commit to the hours of legwork necessary to make a sound and smart investment, then condominium ownership could work for you.

However, like all investments, buying and selling properties in real estate inherently involves risks. The housing market inevitably changes and fluctuates, so while it’s not as risky as say betting your life savings in Vegas, there is an element of chance no matter how much research you do. You may lose money, you may gain money, or you may – like most – merely break even, which in and of itself beats paying more than $10,000 per year in student housing. As long as you can handle a little bit of unknown, you’re still a prime candidate for condo ownership.

Is Your Student Responsible?

Assessing the maturity of your son or daughter might not be a common consideration when approaching the idea of whether or not to buy him or tee a condo for school, but it certainty is a relevant one. Your student will have to juggle the responsibility of school and homeownership, which in addition to upkeep and maintenance, often involves acting as landlord to the other occupants of the property. That’s on top of the other obligations inherent with university life – a job, an internship, a social calendar. If your child is responsible, ready, and willing to take on the extra role associated with owning property, then by all means look into buying a condo.

Saving money while in school is a challenge pertinent to all of today’s students. It’s this fact that has encouraged creative individuals to find unconventional answers to the problem of rising college costs. Investing in a condo is one such solution, and by asking yourself these simple questions, you can see if it’s a smart solution for you.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Neighborhood  

Finding your dream house is one thing, finding the perfect neighborhood is quite another. If you are looking to build new off the plan and are now at the stage of looking for the right community for you, below are some tips to help you along the path.

Adjust Your Budget

Many soon-to-be home buyers make the mistake of simply using their current utility and expenses budget. And while your requirements are likely to remain the same, their amounts can vary. If you own a vehicle, speak with your insurance company and find out which areas will see an increase or decrease in your monthly premiums. This suggestion continues to your utility bills, whereas the cost to supply certain properties with water, electricity and telephony services is likely to change.

Does It Fit Your Lifestyle?

Make a list of your personal activities and ensure they are either easy to travel to, or there are comparable services in any new area you consider.

If you enjoy maintaining your style at one of Houston’s many tanning salons, be sure there are reputable services nearby which can provide the same level of service. Similarly, if you enjoy Sunday morning coffee and breakfast at a trendy hot spot, it’s important that your future neighborhood can facilitate these outings.

Is Your Work Accessible?

While nobody likes to consider their job when deciding where to live, given that you are likely to commute to your work twice per day, it’s important to at least consider it. Speak with your local traffic authority to request travel time data and historical congestion information to build a better understanding of how convenient your commute is likely to be. If you prefer to take public transport, look to social media for information on disruptions which often occur and any contingency plans you would need to have.

Plan for the Future

If you want to start a family, then it is essential for your children’s growth that they stay in the one house as they grow. For this reason, choosing a neighborhood close to a reputable school is crucial to ensuring ease of access each day and a quality education. Additionally, homes located close to high-achieving schools usually have a high resale value, so as your children leave the nest your property could provide an enhanced return on investment.

In addition to these tips, speak with your family and friends or, if possible, with people currently living in the neighborhood on how and why they chose to live in their neighborhoods. Once you have all of this information, remember that this decision is an important one, and only you can make it, so be sure that you feel comfortable with the move and that you can see yourself enjoying the area long term.

Simple Ways To Find Great Home Auctions

If you want to be a homebuyer that is successful or a real estate investor that manages to make very good choices, a big part of the process is realizing where the very best properties are found. One of the really interesting options that are available is offered by home auctions. In most cases they feature foreclosed properties but it is possible for any interested property owner to list their home on the auction system.

The problem with the home auctions is that it is sometimes hard to find the auctions. If you are faced with such a problem, here are the research methods you want to use.

Online Research

Online searches give you access to many different auctions. That is due to the fact that both governments and home owners started to use the internet in order to promote the deals that they have available. We now have access to various websites that give access to a huge foreclosure database. In fact, you might even find some that feature so much data that you will spend some days just going through all the homes that are available for sale right now.

The only problem with the online research is that not all the websites stand out as a great opportunity for you. Some will only feature a limited number of auctions while others will not have great properties for your current needs. Some patience will be necessary even if you do manage to find properties faster than with other research methods.

Public Notice Boards

In the past home auctions were only available in local newspapers and in public notice boards. This eventually changed but it does not actually mean that there are no opportunities that are still promoted through the old channels. You can take advantage of this and find many local properties that may not be available on the internet.

Talking To Financial Institutions

Mortgage companies, banks and many other lenders now have a list of the homes that are foreclosed. It is possible to visit an in-house department of such an institution and check the home auction listings that are available. It is also possible to find such listings on websites that are maintained by the institutions.

Talking To Real Estate Agents

There are many real estate agents that are now specialized in home auctions. These professionals are definitely to be considered since they can actually do your research for you. At the same time, they may have access to different listings that you would not be able to find alone.

Advertising For Yourself

This is an option that many do not actually consider. Because of the fact that you can actually make a good profit as you invest in foreclosed properties, why not advertise the fact that you look for such properties? Look at the various different opportunities available for advertising and use them. You might actually learn about the auctions that are currently running and that you may be interested in. That is something that only some agents consider but the move can offer a great change to make good money.

Hypo Venture Capital – Funds Investing in Global Property Fell Quick

About eight funds were released in 2007 which has a prepare to invest abroad. Each and every one of them performed poorly considering that basis. The common provided returns only amounted to 0.1%. After they were opened, we talked about that these money aren’t worthy of it.

Here at Hypo Venture Capital Zurich, Switzerland we are committed to offering our clients access to the latest and broadest range of financial services and products on the market. We know that choosing the right strategy, the right investment and the right product is no easy task in this day and age! Whether its advice, investments or financial planning we are here to answer all your questions and facilitate all your financial needs.

Retail Indian traders who believe that investing in money that acquires foreign property will give larger returns would have lost their self confidence in this kind of money just after an exceptionally extended wait. A mere three to four funds among fifteen yielded double digit returns.

Only Sun Life Commodity Equities Fund-GPM (16.2%), Birla Sun Existence Commodity Equities Fund- GA (26.4%), Birla Sun Existence Commodity Equities Fund-GMC (eighteen.1%), and Mirae Asset World wide Commodity Stocks (eleven.6%) yielded double-digit returns and also the rest have provided single digit or unfavorable returns (even worse than a decent bank deposit).

On ordinary, the following eight money yielded returns as lower as 0.1%.These consist of Birla Sun Daily life Worldwide Equity Fund-Plan A (-0.7%); ICICI Prudential Indo Asia Equity Fund-Ret ( 2.6%); Kotak Worldwide Rising Market place Fund (0.4%); Birla Sun Lifestyle Worldwide Equity Fund-Plan B (-1.6%); Fidelity Worldwide Possibilities Fund (eight.7%); BNP Paribas China-India fund ( -3.4% ) and Tata Indo-Global Infrastructure Fund (-7.5%).

While in their start, MoneyLife had pointed out that people funds have been mere publicity stunts. We recommended steering obvious of individual’s money – and confident sufficient, nearly all of them have noted bad returns considering that creation.

A lot of problems have plagued the global markets while in the final 3 years – financial debt troubles of European countries, personal meltdown while in the US, Icelandic volcanoes, the rise and drop of commodity charges, and other folks. Apprehension above Greece’s credit card debt eclipsed the wobbling finances of Italy, Spain and Portugal. World-wide funds were not ready to deal with this sort of unpredictability.

Global mutual funds were initiated with all the investment on non-domestic securities markets worldwide in thoughts. The justification behind these funds is always that investing in global markets offer a more various portfolio and enables capitalization on a number of the most effective opportunities within the entire world.

Fund managers think that if investments are picked cautiously, world wide mutual money may well be financially rewarding when other markets are growing and some are declining. How genuine is this?

Money that make investments your money in other nations tend not to immediately provide you a more varied portfolio. The reality is, markets in nations throughout the globe move in sync. For the fiscal yr 2009-2010, the Sensex was up by 77% even though the MSCI Rising Markets Index was up 74%. In 2010-2011, the Sensex was up by 10%, whereas the MSCI index was up by 14%. Non-correlated sector movement is hard to obtain. Indeed, this thought is falsehood. It is because a vast pool of international capital is going worldwide attempting to find a slightly increased return. Also, funds are known to chase scorching tips, and a scorching market place can burn up their efficiency – in addition to your returns. You are exposed to a myriad of challenges distinct to each country and plagued with their very own set of difficulties.

In an article dated June three, 2010, MoneyLife indicated that “Global Money is just a craze. Once the commodity markets are rising, fund corporations will launch commodity-focused equity money. A China fund is going to be opened when the Chinese current market is sizzling. As an illustration, in December 2007 once the Asian markets have been sizzling assets among fund managers, Franklin Asian Equity Fund was released. Considering that its opening, the Fund has yielded a five.3% return. Whether or not from talent or luck, there will be several funds that do properly. However, there’s little cause in investing in foreign money.

Want to know more?
Hypo Venture Capital Zurich, Switzerland is an independent investment advisory firm which focuses on global equities and options markets. Our analytical tools, screening techniques, rigorous research methods and committed staff provide solid information to help our clients make the best possible investment decisions. All views, comments, statements and opinions are of the authors. For more information go to

Real estate rentals in Ada Oklahoma House, Apartment, & duplexes

If you’re thinking about investing in real estate to make money, you need to first determine your financial goals. Do you need to make money quickly, invest for your children’s college fund, or build wealth for your retirement? Once you determine your financial goals, you need to decide which type of investing strategy works for you.

If you’re low on cash, get started by finding a bargain house and selling the contract to another real estate investor. Join a real estate investing club to find investors willing to pay you for finding good deals.

If you want to increase your monthly income, look for income property that returns a positive net income from month to month. Start with single family house. Look for a bargain below market value. Fix up the house to generate top rental income. Find houses that will rent for more than your mortgage payment. You may need to go out from your home area to a location that supports this type of return on your money. You can’t pay $300,000 for a home with a mortgage of $1,500 that only rents for $1,000. You might start with a home for around $300,000 that rents for $1,750. You will need good credit to get a loan with good interest rates. In a few years, your rental income should go up. Many real estate investors enjoy thousands of dollars each month generated by income property.
However, some investors don’t like dealing with tenants and prefer to make money in other real estate ventures.

If you want to make money focusing on profits, investment property offers a different strategy. Instead of worrying about rental income, look for property that you can transform and sell or property that will appreciate significantly over time. Besides fixing a house up, you can transform a property by changing it. For instance, some investors buy apartment buildings and turn them into condominiums. Many investors speculate in land and make money by holding the land until new development in the area increases the value.

Examine your financial situation along with your long term goals. You can get started by flipping properties, move onto income properties, and then make larger profits with investment properties. You might end up using a combination of all three strategies to make money investing in real estate.

Port Royal Homes Offer Luxury Vacation Opportunities

Luxury real estate in Naples offers the kind of elusive charm desired by many but afforded only to the fortunate few. The privacy, security, and comfortable lifestyle that you’d get here are certainly nothing but top-notch, so finding a spot in this secluded tropical retreat can allow you to experience all that and more. Across the country, in the rolling hills of Santa Barbara, the Hope Ranch neighborhood has the same kind of exclusivity enjoyed by the ultra exclusive Naples neighborhood of Port Royal. It should be easy to figure these exclusive characteristics have earned the two communities the prestige which helps define these affluent sectors.
Port Royal Community
The Naples waterfront homes in this part of Collier County do not only have ample garage space for multiple cars; they also have a docking area for a yacht right by the property so homeowners can sail away whenever desired. This unmatched convenience is possible only because of the waterways surrounding the area. As a delightful poke at its erstwhile privateer-infested namesake in the Caribbean, Port Royal has street names like Buccaneer’s Roost, Gin Lane, Rum Row, and others. This man-made sanctuary, however, still carries out today the same ideals set forth by its developer in the 40s and 50s when potential home buyers were personally interviewed prior to their purchase. You have to abide by the restrictions and guidelines in the construction, building, and ownership of any of these homes. This way, you can be assured that its unique and exclusive nature wouldn’t be compromised and its prominence would be preserved for years to come.
The Port Royal Club
When you own such an impeccable property as a Naples luxury home, you need not go far to have fun or socialize. At 2900 Gordon Drive, you’ll find a hub of year-long social events, good food, and more. The Port Royal Club indulges its members with top-of-the-line fitness facilities, an Olympic swimming pool, tennis courts, spa treatments, among others. You can have a good continental breakfast, a la carte lunch, Sunday Brunches, and other weekend buffet specials at appointed times and on certain months. The club’s elegant dining facilities are also available for your private banquets.
Hope Ranch
Quite similar to the Naples home in Port Royal, the first homes in Santa Barbara, particularly in its affluent Hope Ranch area, were also subject to building guidelines and restrictions so its beauty will be maintained. The developer’s established standards in the early 1900s have also been followed to this day with the Zoning Regulations and the zeal of the Architectural Board of Review. Its maze of roads accommodates horse paths and biking trails, and as far as exclusivity is concerned, Hope Ranch is a classic. It has its own Hope Ranch Patrol as its law enforcement arm and a private beach for its residents. La Cumbre Country Club also serves its members here with its golf course, tennis courts, dining facilities and more. However, unlike Port Royal, boat owners in Hope Ranch do not have the added bonus of mooring their boats to their personal docks.

With the attractive lifestyles offered by both Port Royal and Hope Ranch, choosing your ideal home might just come down to which of them would fit your personality best.

12-Month Property Options Coaching Program Real Estate University

What is Property Options?
An Option is a legal instrument by which a choice is granted to acquire a given property.
Simply meaning, an Option is a document that gives me the choice to buy, on my conditions, or not to buy at all. If I choose to purchase, the Seller is absolutely committed at the original strike price.

Short Options
The greatest advantage you have with Short Options is the ability to create cash in a very Short window of time. Short Options are typically somewhere between the day of signing, through to 6 months. The remarkable thing about doing a Short Option is the fact that it no longer requires the process of doing a full Development Approval. It involves locating sites with development potential and on selling them to a developer.

The success of short options lies in identifying potential, but you will need to be very specific with information, research, comparables, building costs and all the other intricate parts of assembling deals. In fact, if you are able to identify intrinsic value, it allows you to be able to assemble a Short Option.

They are a lucrative part of Options and offer the kind of cash flow that most people seek in the shortest possible timeframe.
Long Options
As the name states, Long Options work on a longer time frame. They necessitate us engaging consultants and seeing the Developmental Approval process through to completion. We then on sell our Option to a developer or builder; we are giving them a turn-key solution – very attractive. Of course our greater effort is rewarded with greater profit. There lies the advantage of the Long Option.
Mark Rolton – Australia’s Number 1 expert has made millions of dollars using Property Options. To get the best real estate buying advice and to find out more about and how to make massive profits from Long and Short Options, join Mark in his 12-Month Property Options Coaching Program.
12-Month Property Options Coaching Program.
• The Complete Property Options A-Z System.
You get Mark’s complete system in home-study format so you can start immediately implementing all the property option strategies that will accelerate and fast-track you to financial freedom fast.

• The Critical Legally Binding Option Documentation.
Normally you would have to spend thousands of dollars to get this options contract; however as part of my course, I will give you the exact document I use to secure multi-million dollar deals.

• The Paint-By-Numbers Options Feasibility Software.
Figuring out if a deal is red-hot or not, you’ll get the exact software I use that tells me instantly how much I stand to make from the property I’m currently researching.

• 3-Day LIVE Advanced Property Options Bootcamp (This is 3 seminars in 1)
I’ll take you to the next level and show you all of the creative ways you can use options to either make a quick $100,000 or a multi-million dollar deal. This advanced bootcamp is broken up into 3 sections; Money Maker, Portfolio Builder and Property Options Peak-Performer.

• 2-Months Support and Coaching.
My hand-picked team will help you and guide you through your early steps of investing using my system. They will be available to you via phone and email.

• Special Bonus: Let me be your Joint-Venture partner.
If the deal is too big for you to fund, and you’ve followed my system – then I’m more than happy to put up 100% of the money that you require to get the deal over the line. You can literally make hundreds of thousands without outlaying much cash, using me as your joint-venture partner.

• EXTRA Special Bonus.
Pay in full today, and you can bring your spouse or partner to the 3-Day Advanced Property Options Bootcamp for free.
Mark Rolton is a brilliant real estate mind and visionary in the property industry. Mark has used his skills to make millions of dollars in real estate and would love to teach you these lucrative strategies at his Real Estate University 3 Day Live Events, in the hope that you will do the same. Join other passionate property investors in an atmosphere of fun and cutting edge learning that will blow your mind. No one else in Australia knows as much as Mark about creating cash flow using Real Estate.

Creating innovative solutions within your property development portfolio will reap profitable rewards securing your financial future within an achievable time frame.

Foreign Investment on the rise in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza

Due to a strong economy and upcoming sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games, investment is on the increase all over Brazil. An area seeing a massive rise in foreign investment is the North East, particularly Rio Grande do Norte and major cities such as Natal and Fortaleza.

Fortaleza is one of the largest cities in Brazil and for many years has been a major port on the north-east coast. The built-up area has a population of nearly three point five million and an area of 312 sq km (120 sq miles). That means the place has a very high population density, in fact the highest in the whole country.

The city has a long history, dating all the way back to the year 1500 when the site was discovered by the Spanish. However, the subsequent Treaty of Tordesillas transferred north eastern Brazil to the Portuguese who built a fort and the village of Nova Lisboa (‘New Lisbon’) on the site in the early 1600’s. They in turn lost the area temporarily to the Dutch before regaining it and renaming the settlement ‘Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Assuncao’.

In the year 1799 the surrounding area of Ceará was carved out of Pernambuco province to become its own province and Fortaleza was chosen as the new capital. For the next century, the nineteenth, Fortaleza became an increasingly important and rapidly-growing urban focus for the area, largely due to the prominent crop, cotton which was widely grown in the region. During the Brazilian civil war in the mid 1820’s Fortaleza was prominent. It featured in the struggle between the Federal government of Brazil and the breakaway provinces in the north east who tried to establish themselves as a new, independent country, the so-called ‘Confederation of the Equator’. The attempt failed and Brazil remained intact. In the middle years of the century Fortaleza expanded and improved both its physical infrastructure and the social position of its ordinary people. For instance, the province of Ceara (led by Fortaleza) freed all its black slaves in 1884, some years before the rest of the country did likewise.

Population growth in the city was fairly slow until the first couple of decades of the twentieth century. For instance, it wasn’t until 1922 that the city reached the hundred thousand mark, small by today’s standards of course but not bad at all for those times. The flow of people from the countryside to the city is a popular theme in histories of cities throughout the world and this is no less true of Fortaleza. Former country-dwellers flooded into the metropolis in search of opportunities, work and money. This flow greatly increased in the 1960’s when the new Industrial Zone encouraged many more firms and businesses to open up or expand in the city. In turn the area needed more workers, so more came and so the cycle continued to this very day. Altogether there are now many and varied opportunities nowadays for successful short term investment and of course long term investment too including agriculture, farmland, and more recently the very popular minha casa minha vida brazil (my house my life) social housing programme which is currently a major initiative in the city.

Around the turn of the recent century, Fortaleza improved its general layout and facilities greatly, with new and better major roads and social facilities such as hospitals and cultural centres. Tourism has also become much more important and the city and its surroundings are now among the leading destinations for that in Brazil. The city will be one of the host cities for the 2014 FIFA world cup championships which of course are being held in Brazil that year.

Visit Retail Solutions Advisors for your retail space needs in Miami

Ahhh – Miami. Sun, surf, sand and beautiful people. It’s hard to ask for anything else – except when you have to find a place to locate your business, that is. Then you might be in trouble. The commercial real estate landscape in Miami is filled with opportunities, but narrowing down where you want to be (and why you want to be just there) could be a little bit of a challenge – especially if it is not your native town.

It is really best to find a partner in your search for the perfect spot because the retail space for rent Miami can offer up could cost you. It could cost you more than you anticipated, for sure, because property prices and rental prices in Miami are at a premium. So having someone in your corner is a great thing – not only can they help you find the right spot, they can help you negotiate the lease, as well.

Throughout Florida and actually the whole Southeastern U.S., the number one name in commercial real estate is Retail Solutions Advisors. Combining experts that cover the whole gamut of commercial property services into one dynamic team was genius, and it works for you every day. Finding the right Retail Space for Lease In Miami Fl? No problem. The professionals at Retail Solutions Advisors are plugged into the community in a way that will help you find what you’re looking for.

And speaking of what you’re looking for – do you know the optimal median income level of your potential customers? Do you know how to set your price points? Do you know what is shaking in the neighborhoods where you’re looking? Retail Solutions Advisors knows all of this and more. Vehicular traffic volume, probability of foot traffic, hooks to surrounding businesses, what your competition looks like in the nearby areas, and so on. You get this level of expertise working for your retail space location project.

And once you’ve located that special place? Retail Solutions Advisors will help you negotiate with the landlord. Most landlord’s have teams of attorneys and real estate advisors who do this for them – you can have the equivalent on your side of the table and never sit alone across from the sharks again. Making sure you get the deal that works for you is their main concern at Retail Solutions Advisors when they put their tenant representation hat on. Making sure the space has all the features you need to be successful. Making sure that your customers aren’t going to be languishing around waiting for an internet connection because the broadband offered at the building isn’t enough.

All of this expertise is yours when you decide to work with Retail Solutions Advisors. They really know how to find you the right piece of property or space for rent, how to get you comfortably into that space, and how to take care of you from there to make your retail experience brilliant and profitable for all concerned.

If you have a need for Retail Space for Lease In Miami Fl, schedule an appointment with Retail Solutions Advisors. Call or click today to learn more.

Berrscott, Elliott & Associates: A choice Investment Approach

At Berrscott, Elliott & Associates we are dedicated to give our clients access to the latest variety of financial services and products available on the market. Berrscott, Elliott & Associates knows the right strategy, the right investment and the right product. Whether its advice, investments or financial planning Berrscott, Elliott & Associates are here to answer all your questions and assist your financial needs.

A choice Investment Approach For Offshore Investments – Offshore investing can take many forms. Alternative investment vehicles often include a component of offshore investments, such as offshore real estate, or offshore farm land and agricultural production, or even offshore gold and silver storage.

Berrscott, Elliott & Associates: Advantages of Offshore Investments as Alternative Investment Vehicles. Almost anyone now can move funds into the more exciting and profitable world of offshore investments. Knowledge of how to enjoy the advantages of offshore investing is much more expensive and rare than with standard home country investing however.

Moving funds out of your country of origin has largely been a winning trade for the past decade when calculated with currency fluctuations. China, Brazil, and India have all offered higher returns during bulls markets then the U.S. stock indexes over the past decade for instance. While these markets can be played with ETF’s, there are several key shares that must be purchased using offshore investing houses.

Key advantages of offshore investing within an alternative investment framework includes: Higher potential returns than the domestic market, much broader range of stocks to choose from, often better pricing than domestic ETF’s, early availability of smaller capitalized issues, protection against single market dependence in real estate, stocks, weather effects, political effects, and currency devaluations.

Offshore money management can steer towards main line investing in big projects or companies, or more towards alternatives to the main companies, much like domestic investing. While the risk can be greater with alternative investments, the rewards can be significantly higher and come much faster with a systematic approach to evaluating alternative investing ideas within an offshore portfolio.

Six ideas for moving funds offshore and potentially enjoying high alternative investment returns: offshore direct company investment, offshore private placements, offshore currency investment (FOREX), offshore fund investment, offshore gold and silver storage, offshore investment account denominated in a local currency, such as USA Dollar, Australian Dollar, Singapore Dollar, or GBP Pound.

Instead of only being dependent on major stock indexes, the above investments offer security against single market dynamics. Not only is there potential for higher returns, but potential for avoiding massive loses if all of your investments are based on one market and are susceptible to political, economic or natural disasters.
About Berrscott, Elliott & Associates – Berrscott, Elliott & Associates is an Investment Management Firm focused on small and mid cap value equities. We manage $1 billion and specialize in valued stocks-since the firm’s founding in 1995.
Our Investment Team adds value through our own detailed fundamental research, discounted cash flow-based valuation analysis and Portfolio Management tailored to balance risk and return.

The Key to Success Behind International Removals

Ordinary house removals can be stressful enough, international removals can therefore cause ten times the amount of stress and worry by dint of having to plan things remotely. Although hiring a good moving company for your shipping needs is one way of mitigating the anxiety of moving overseas, there are other ways of ensuring smooth sailing for your international removal. In the following article we will look at several ways in which you can stem the tide of tension that would otherwise arise from a task of such magnitude.

Plan, Plan, Plan The first thing to remember when it comes to international removals is that there is far more paperwork and a lot more planning involved than in an ordinary house removal. Depending on the country to which you are moving, you will quickly realize that there are plenty of hoops through which you must jump before you have all of the necessary documents that will allow you to live and work legally in that country. Furthermore, it if you are planning on shipping your vehicle there or if you have pets to take with you, then you will have even more red-tape to clear. The only way in which you will be able to get all of these things done on time and efficiently is by planning your removal well in advance.

Be a List Maker! Making a list will help you to keep track of all of details that you must oversee during an overseas removal. International removals require that you take care of so many things that it might be easy to overlook or forget something unless you are meticulously organised. By writing everything that you must do down, you will be able to check off each item in turn as it gets done while adding new things to the list as you learn about them or as they come to light.
The Right Moving Company When it comes to choosing a moving company for your international removal, you might find that you have no idea on what to base your decision. After all, there are thousands of shipping companies, how can you know if the company you choose will provide the service you expect? There are several ways of ensuring that you engage the services of the right moving company for your shipping needs. First, price is always a factor. While you do not necessarily want to choose the transportation provider with the highest quote, the lowest quote provider might not be the best choice either. Finding a happy middle ground is always good. Ask others about their moving experiences and which companies they dealt with. Check each company’s references and above all make sure that the company has experience delivering goods to the country in question.

In the end, international removals are just a more complicated version of a domestic removal. By planning your removal in advance, staying one-step ahead of the game by making out lists and by hiring a competent and reliable moving company, you will be able to avoid the stress that can often accompany a big move.

Real Estate Property Agent Singapore

With more than 5 years of experience in the real estate industry, Bernie serves both a local and an international client base.
Hardworking and astute to the changes in the real estate market, he is able to advise his clients accurately and profitably, be it timing the market to sell or to make price readjustments.

Other than assisting his clients in buying and selling properties in Singapore, Bernie is also experienced in providing housing solutions for professional expats and assisting them ease into the Singaporean culture and way of life. Having backpack-travelled around the world for 3 years, Bernie is very able to empathize with and understand the needs of clients who are relocating to Singapore for the first time.
Bernie also speaks the Japanese language.
He is a powerful negotiator, being able to do his best for his clients, usually surpassing their expectations of him. He goes beyond the duty of real estate agents by researching the market on behalf of his clients, and once even hired a van (and drove)!!! to personally help a client move-house simply because he promised to assist. Little did that client expect Bernie’s promise of ‘assistance’ to be in such an involved way. Needless to say, such from-the-heart service has won him rave reviews and made many such clients into good friends who continually refer business to him years after their initial encounter, or simply call him up for dinner.

Bernie believes that in business, as in life, we should give our 100% or nothing at all. Above all, he believes that we should have integrity in all business transactions, treating our clients as we would like to be treated.
Bernie is currently with ERA Realty Network, the only real estate company in Singapore that operates from its own buildings as well as being listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) under its parent company, Hersing Corporation.

Within 1 year of initially being with ERA Realty Network, Bernie was already inducted as a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Club for being a producer in the industry.

Bernie is a specialist on all types of residential as well as commercial properties in districts:
* 1 (City, Marina area, CDB),
* 4 (Sentosa Island),
* 9 (Orchard Road and surrounding),
* 10 (Balmoral, River Valley, Holland Road),
* 11 (Newton, Novena, Bukit Timah),
* 15 (East Coast, Katong)

That said, he also welcomes all enquiries and offering assistance on properties in other districts of Singapore as he heads a team of dedicated real estate agents who handles properties in all other areas of Singapore.
Together, Bernie and team handles:
* New Project Launches
* Condominiums
* Landed properties (Terrace houses, Semi-Detached, Bungalows)
* Land for rebuilding
* Commercial properties
* Industrial space
* Worker housing

Feel free to get in touch with Bernie at his mobile during business hours.
Below are 3 testimonials for Bernie:
Rick Aston:
Actually for several months, I have been coming to Singapore on business trips…with various agents looking for properties. We were under a time constraint to find a place… I was starting to get frustrated with the other agents. They weren’t really listening to what we were looking for as a family. He found this place that no other agent was even aware of nor prepared to show us. He got us a great place… we’ve been very happy here and it (the home) suited the whole family. So he definitely delivered.

When we finally found it (the property), we actually went through quite a process of negotiation which Bernie helped out very much with.
After we signed the contract and moved in, Bernie helped with the repairs and/or general upkeep.
And then we just stayed in touch actually, just to discuss the general property market.
We’d recommend him and we have recommended him to friends. So definitely (happy). (Bernie is) Very good. (A) very good agent!
Susan Lau:
I asked for the electricity and water to be cut off (utilities). If I leave it on and sometimes when they go viewing (the property) and if they forget to switch it off, the bill might go sky-high. So I was afraid of that. But then he (Bernie) assured me to just leave it for 2 weeks, because someone might want to see (the property) at night, so I might miss the chance of (selling the property). Because of that, I gave him 2 weeks to see what were the results.
He was able to produce results in less than two weeks! I feel very relieved and very happy that I can have the entire episode closed up, because it has been dragging (for 4 months before Bernie assisted in the marketing of the property) and I became so tired of it (the selling process).

In fact, they (the buyers) gave me a certain amount (price to purchase) but Bernie said he will try to get some more (better price). He (successfully) did that.
Bernie is a very effective agent, has the human touch, and (is) humourous.
I am very very satisfied (with Bernie and his services).
Doreen Tan:
(Once) I told him (Bernie) that I have tried (for) quite some time to acquire my neighbour’s land… but it wasn’t successful. So, he put in effort to locate the owner(s) to approach the owner(s) a few times (to eventually convince them to sell the property), and to negotiate a very reasonable price for me and also for the owners(s). So we’re very happy.

He really goes the extra mile to do research and to understand more of what his clients want.
I am very happy (with Bernie) because he is not a pushy person (agent). When he sees the house and feels that this is not what I want, he will not ask me to spend time to go and have a look. That is what I appreciate (of him). He knows very well what his clients want. And he knows what I want.
And he will follow up and ask ‘How are you’. (Regarding) His service, I should say is EXCELLENT.
He will do (continous) research for the whole market (property), Asian and also the whole world’s market (in general). He will give his ideas (views) to keep us updated (clients) on what is happening in the property market. I don’t think there are many property agents (who are) willing to do extra work, extra research for his or her clients.

I did recommend someone to Bernie, and that is my partner, Dora.
I am very, very satisfied with his (Bernie’s) service.
Now I am building my dream house. ‘Thank you’ to Bernie!

How to Select a Real Estate Agent

There is much perplexity and myth with respect to real estate agents. Realize who they are, their specialty and reality behind the agent. Know when, if and why you ought to utilize the administrations of a real estate agent. Real estate exchanges are normally the biggest exchanges the normal individual makes in a lifetime. Real estate can be exceptionally beneficial or it can be to a great degree exorbitant. The more you know the more secure and more definitive you can be. For most purchasers and merchants the possibility of managing a real estate agent delivers obscure apprehensions. While a few agents are certifiable and respectable and consider their customers best enthusiasm as their top need, there is no shortage of corrupt people either who are simply attempting to make a fast buck at another person’s cost. As a purchaser or dealers of a property, it is your obligation to pick a real estate agent wisely. In this way, here is a gander at what you ought to think about real estate agents before you approach one.


An agent that takes a legal advisor like methodology of enthusiastic support for one side in a real estate exchange cause the other side to leave the arrangement. An agent ought to listen to your necessities, think of them as, and after that utilization that data to guide you to the area and home that is ideal for you. It is shrewd to request references, on both sides of the exchange. Get some information about issues that happened amid the procedure, and how they were taken care of. Conversing with both purchasers and merchants about their involvement in managing a specific agent can give understanding in respect to how you can expect your real estate experience to develop.

Geographical Area of Expertise

For example, property exchange charges differ by area, as do the gathering in charge of paying them. In a few areas, there might be different traditions for the division of city and district property exchange charges. You need to make certain that you are managing an agent recognizable in neighborhood custom in order to abstain from paying superfluous charges. One thought is to solicit the areas in which you are considering purchasing. If you see loads of yard signs for a specific agent in those areas, it is a decent wager that the agent is a nearby master.

How to Select a Real Estate Agent

Verbal exchange is typically the best and most dependable wellspring of data with respect to a specific real estate agent. An agent that is secure in his or her nature of administration and notoriety will have no delay to give you the names of contending agents for you to consider. An agent that gives this data to you is likely an agent with whom you would need to work together. Different components to consider are regardless of whether real estate is the agent’s full time vocation, the quantity of years of experience the Roatan Real Estate Agent has, and any real estate assignments controlled by the agent.

4 Benefits of Choosing Condo Rentals for your Next Holidays in Hawaii

Hawaii is a place that can simply be called a Paradise on the earth. Whether you are planning a trip with your friends or you are a group of families going together to have some great time together, Hawaii is one of the best places to head for. The place offers some of the best natural scenery. However, if you are vesting the place along with your friends and families, it is the best time to redefine the pleasure with the company of your near and dear ones in the lap of Mother Nature.

So if you visit Hawaii you must make sure that you are there not just for enjoying the tranquil waters of beaches and Azure sky but also to gather the precious moments spent with your near and dear ones. Accommodation plays an important role here. So it is very important to choose the right kind of accommodation while visiting Hawaii

Especially if you are a big group of friends or a big family then you can consider hawaii condo rentals to take the maximum pleasure of the stay. Here are a few benefits of Hawaiian Condos:


We can have some concerns about regarding Condos as economical stay options if we are travelling alone. But if we are travelling in a group Condos are the best options available to us. If you stay at hotel you will need to book multiple rooms for so many people. But staying in Condo would be much more economical. Besides, the kind of cozy environment offered by Condos is simply unmatchable. It will make you feel like your home.


Here we old not like to say that the hotels don’t provide you any amenities but they are limited and each amenity can be used in a particular way as per the rules of hotels. But if living in Condos you can use any amenity in any way you like. Besides, the luxury of separate kitchen, washing machine and even a separate laundry area is not something you can get in the hotels.

Fun unlimited

Most of the times when we take children to such touristic places they get the license to exercise their fun skills at the best. But do you think that any hotel will allow us to stay if there is a large group of children and all are really “noisy”. Even the parents are embarrassed and are forced to keep their children quiet. But if living in condos you don’t have to restrain your children but in fact you can also join their merry making activities.

Cozy moments

And if you are with your beloved then the condos provide you the required privacy to show your love and spend some pleasure moments together. You can feel the love in the air, literally. And guess what you don’t have to be careful about the ogling set of eyes or objectionable staring of strangers.

Considering the above benefits offered by the Condos, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the again hawaii condo rentals < a href= ““> are the best choices to enhance your holiday experience, save some precious dollars and also get the maximum pleasure of your Hawaiian trip.

Dealing with Flood Damage Repair

One of the most unexpected things for any resident or property owner is to experience flooding. Floods may be as a result of natural disaster or poor drainage that if left not handled may cause accidents (for example injury from slipping) and even be a health hazard (can cause toxic mold) which may lead to loss of lives or destruction of property. If you are a victim to this, you need to follow certain procedures to help you deal with some of the damages caused by the flood. In case of such here is a list of things you need to consider:

Flooded Room in San Diego

Flooded Room in San Diego

  • Safety
  • Documentation
  • Cleaning


Water damage could become very dangerous, if not remedied in time. In the event that you disregard a running faucet for an extended time period or your house is flooded, this could lead to several problems. Whenever this happens, it is advisable to take immediate action to repair any kind of water damage.

In case of flooding the first precaution to take is to ensure that the residence is safe. Check on their conditions or take expert guidance to know what you have to do in such situations. If the plumbing system is the reason then try to seal the pipes to avoid raising of water levels. Ensure that the main electric supply is switched off and all electric appliances are unplugged. You may contact the service providers to evaluate the extent of damage your residence has incurred.


Ensure that through every step of restoration you take a photograph for documentation. The photographs will also help in making claims. However, if you call the certified water damage company to restore your property they will document each and every step of work they do with an insurance company. And that’s why it is important to get this doneby a certified company for they will handle everything.


Once the documentation is completed, the process of cleaning the flooded area begins. The importance of cleaning is to remove secondary water damage like development of mold and mildews which may lead to serious health problems and larger remediation works. For that reason pump out the stagnant water completely and set up driers.

It does not matter the cause of flooding, what you must make sure you do is get professional help immediately, whether it is caused by rain, or if your pipes have been damaged. Commercial cleaning services will have the equipment needed to both suction off the remaining water from your floor or carpet and begin the process of drying out your flooring. Commercial cleaning services that specialize in water damage will also have anti-mold and mildew products that can be used on your flooring and furniture to prevent them from becoming yet another loss caused by flooding. It is imperative that you get at least some immediate assistance from professional cleaners especially if you have carpets because without assistance you will end up facing the type of mold and mildew that can leave you and your family perpetually sick.

More about San Diego Flood Damage Services

Enjoy The Exclusivity Of Living In A Golf Course Home

For those who have been fantasizing waling in the morning straight to the view of a golf course, there could be nothing more rewarding than a golf community home. Like the game of golf itself, buying a property in a golf course is also a complicated process. From the selection of location to choosing the type of residence, too much thinking goes into picking a golf course home.

Below mentioned are some of the common facilities that you must look for in an ideal golf course community home:

Your social circle must be of an affluent community

California golf communities have homes that belong to the who’s who of the city. It is in fact this upscale neighbourhood that makes living a pleasant experience. As a prospective buyer, you might want to ensure that your immediate neighbours are those with whom you can spend some quality time with.

Diverse range of social activities

Not just playing golf, but your golf community home must provide you with access to a wide range of social activity. Ensure there are club houses, fitness clubs, swimming pools, jogging pavilions, tennis courts and other entertainment facilities that will complete your living experience.

Adequate number of golf carts

Although not a necessity for comfortable living, you definitely need golf carts to make you game of golf easy and relaxed. These little cute things will keep your pacing from one point to the other easy and comfortable. However, be prepared to put up with slight humming of the motor all day long, even when you are in your living room.

Resident’s association

Almost every community living setup in the country has a residential association. The purpose of such an association is to ensure that all the concerns of the residents are voiced and taken into consideration for immediate resolution.

Other facilities to look for in California golf communities:

  • Diverse home styles
  • Prompt repair and maintenance services
  • Guest lobbies
  • Tight security provisions
  • Proper drainage and sanitation arrangements.

A golf course home choice that is taken after due consideration will reward you with a splendid experience. You will thank yourself for the great experience all year long. Also, the company of successful individuals who share the game of golf with you will also lift your spirits. In short, life will take a blissful turn when you begin living in a golf course home.

Is Rental Property a Good Investment?

Rental properties can be a profitable investment.

Rental property can provide investors with various sources of income. However as with any investment, rental property investments do have risk, and investors can lose money. To determine whether owning rental property is a good investment, investors should understand the key points needed for a successful rental property and decide for themselves.

Rental Prices

  • Buyers should consider the cost of the rental property in relation to the expected amount of rental income that the property will generate. Buyers should compare prices of rental properties against the expected rental income for each building to determine which properties are selling at the best price. One way to compare rental properties is to look at how long it would take the rental income to pay off the building. For example, it would take 10 years for a building that costs $300,000 and produces $30,000 a year in rental income to pay for itself (not including financing costs).

Rental Market

  • Sellers of rental property should be willing to provide buyers with information on current and past rental income. However, this does not indicate that the future rental incomes will be the same. Buyers must consider the area and local economy. Areas dependent on one large employer are less stable than those with multiple employers. New building in the area will also work to depress the rental market as newer spaces come onto the market and compete with the older buildings for tenants. Rental property owners must carefully consider the property’s future prospects.


  • Owners must consider financing costs before buying a rental property. Interest rates and fees for loans for rental property are often higher than rates and fees for loans to purchase a primary residence. The costs of maintaining a rental property can also create a significant expense. Owners must keep properties in good repair at all times to maintain income from rentals and assure compliance with regulatory codes. While insurance covers many significant expenses, owners must maintain access to money to cover deductibles and uncovered expenses.


  • The management of a rental property is an area that can produce both significant costs as well as hassles for the rental property owner. Management of the property includes screening and selecting tenants, dealing with tenants (while following all applicable laws and regulations), and caring for maintenance issues. Owners can choose to use a property management company, but owners should consult with these service providers before purchase to determine the costs that they will charge.

How to Borrow Money for an Investment in Real Estate

Investing in real estate often requires you to borrow money to make a purchase, but the process of borrowing money for investment property differs from that of traditional mortgage lending. If you plan on getting involved in this type of investment, you may have to look for some alternative means of investment if you want to overcome the hurdles that come with financing an investment property. Besides finding the right property, this is one of the most important factors in the process.


  1. Apply for a mortgage with a traditional lender. When financing a rental property with a traditional mortgage, you may need to put up a larger down payment than normal. Some lenders require you to come up with at least 20 percent down for rental properties. You will also need to have a high credit score and a steady income to qualify for this type of loan.
  2. Work with a “hard money” lender to get access to the money you need. Hard money lenders regularly lend money to individuals who have low income or a bad credit score. When you use a hard money loan, you will pay a higher interest rate than what you would normally pay with a traditional mortgage.
  3. Use a home-equity loan to get money for the investment property. If you are a homeowner with a large amount of equity, you could potentially borrow against this equity and use the money to buy an investment property. To qualify for a home-equity loan, you will need a strong credit history and enough income to pay back the loan. Some lenders also require you to have a certain amount of assets on hand.
  4. Find investors to work with you on this investment project. Create an investment proposal and show it to your friends and family members. Some may be willing to give you money to purchase the property. This may be combined with a loan, in some cases. The investors could help you come up with the money you need for a down payment.

How to Pass the Real Estate PSI Exam

Close-up of pencil over multiple choice answer sheet

PSI, which designs and develops examinations for professional associations, government regulatory agencies and corporations, offers a real estate exam that’s recognized in many states. These states require brokers and agents to pass the PSI exam before they’re licensed and legally able to practice real estate. Some states, such as Tennessee and Colorado, require candidates to complete pre-licensing programs before applying to take the PSI.

Understand the Format

  • The PSI exam includes national and state portions, and requirements vary for salespersons and brokers. Those applying for a salesperson license must achieve a score of at least 70 percent on the national portion and 75 percent on the state portion, while brokers need to score at least 75 percent on the national component and 80 percent on the state. The exams are timed and typically taken on a computer.

Know the Material

  • Study candidate information bulletins, which are available on the PSI website, to prepare for the test. Each bulletin outlines the content covered on the test, identifies tips and provides sample questions. The topics covered in real estate PSI exams are generally the same, and include finance, property law and real estate fundamentals. Exams for sales agents may inquire about the terms of certain agreements, such as mortgage clauses, while those for brokers may require math calculations. For example, candidates may be given a value of a property and asked to calculate the monthly to earn 12 percent on total investment.

Hit the Books

  • When key concepts or ideas aren’t totally clear, discuss complex details with colleagues who may have more experience in these situations and take notes. Take practice exams through to get used to recalling details while being timed. The PSI Learning Academy offers full courses to prepare candidates for exams in some states, such as Florida, Georgia and Texas. It also provides pre-exam preparation courses in 14 states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania and Colorado, as of 2014.

Use the Tutorial

  • PSI doesn’t allow the use of notes during the test. Before the test begins, candidates are offered the opportunity to follow a tutorial of sample questions. Take advantage of the tutorial to get comfortable with the computer and the testing format. For example, instead of leaving questions blank during the test, you can select “mark” and the system will bring the question back later for review. Unanswered questions are marked incorrect.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Mexico

A work visa is required to become a real estate agent in Mexico.
Becoming a real estate agent is Mexico presents a few hurdles for people who aren’t citizens of the country, but it isn’t a task that’s close to impossible. The biggest obstacle is getting a job offer from a real estate company. To do that, you need at least a basic knowledge of the local real estate market. Only after receiving a written job offer can a work visa application be filed with the Mexican consulate.


  1. Choose a regional market to work in, then contact all the major real estate agencies in the area, inform them of your desire to work as a real estate agent in the region, and ask if they would be willing to have you work with them. Once you receive a positive response from at least one company, ask for a job offer letter from the owner, which is required when filing for a business visa.
  2. Contact the nearest Mexican consulate and obtain a Business Visa FM-3 request form and the associated paperwork. The form is required of non-Mexican nationals requesting to work in the country. A list of addresses and other contact information for all consulates in the United States and Canada is on the Mexico Online travel website (
  3. Submit a Business Visa FM-3 request, along with any other required documentation to the Mexican consulate general. Items that must be included as part of the request are the written job offer, completed visa request form and a valid U.S. passport and a letter outlining the reason for the request, and requested length of stay. Other items that could be requested by individual consulates are a second picture ID, resume or copy of the real estate company’s business license.
  4. Report to work in Mexico after the consulate general approves the visa application. Applications are generally approved within 10 working days of filing, but the time can vary. Unlike in the United States, no license is required to work as a real estate agent in Mexico; however, a trade organization, the Mexican Association of Realtors, or AMPI, helps real estate professionals in areas such as training.

How to Show Investments on a Balance Sheet

Investments on a balance sheet may be short-term or long-term.

The balance sheet is a financial statement that reflects a company’s assets, liabilities and equity for the financial year. Short and long-term investments are typically comprised of real estate, stocks, bonds, and investments made towards a company’s subsidiaries or affiliate companies. These balances are reflected in a specific section on the balance sheet. Here’s how to show these investments accurately on the balance sheet reporting schedule.


  1. Calculate both the at cost and market value of stocks purchased in the financial year. The lower of the two will be reported in the short-term investment section if the company plans to sell the stocks within the upcoming year and reported under the Current Assets section. If the company plans on holding onto the stock for more than a year, the stock value will be reported as a long-term investment under the Fixed Assets section in the left hand column of the balance sheet.
  2. Calculate both the at cost and market value of bonds purchased by the company. The lower of the two will be reported in the short-term investment section if the company plans to hold the bonds for less than a year, and in the long-term investment section if the company plans to hold the bonds for longer than a year. These will be reported under the Current Assets if they are short-term investments, and Fixed Assets section if they are long-term investments.
  3. Calculate both the at cost and market value of real estate purchased in the financial year. The lower of the two will typically be reported in the long-term investment section of the balance sheet. Real estate investments can be reported under the Current Assets if they are short-term investments, and Fixed Assets section if they are long-term investments.
  4. Determine the value of investments made towards the company’s affiliate accounts. These can be company affiliations or partnership agreements where the company has invested stock or cash into certain projects. These are typically short-term investments which are then reported under the Current Assets section.
  5. Determine the value of stock invested in subsidiary companies. These stock investments are typically long-term investments and are reported under the Fixed Assets section.

How to Become a Real Estate Assistant

The world of real estate is an inviting field. In order to get your foot in the door, why not become a Real Estate Professional Assistant? An administrative assistant with coursework behind them can easily get a clerical job in a real estate office. Once you are an employee in a real estate office or brokerage firm, you will benefit from the Real Estate Assistant (REPA) course. Taking this course for certification, on top of the administrative assistant degree, you will become invaluable to your agents.


  1. Get your certificate or associate’s degree as an administrative assistant. Courses taken through your local community college will give you this degree and pave the way for the REPA certification. All of the courses you take to obtain your administrative assistant degree will give you the foundation you need to become a real estate professional assistant.
  2. Learn in-depth knowledge of real estate licensing, transactions, listing types and contract regulations as you study the material. They will instruct you on how to become a licensed REPA. The course also gives you information on what is a “must have” in a listing agreement and fair housing laws. Testing will include all of the above topics.
  3. Take the Real Estate Professional Assistant certification course from the National Association of Realtors in a classroom setting or online. Learn everything you need to get started as a REPA in this well rounded two-day class. Take the virtual course from the International Real Estate Assistant Association as another option.
  4. Absorb the legal and day-to-day information you are gaining in class. You have already been exposed to much of it in your day-to-day duties if you are a real estate office worker. This knowledge will help to make you an invaluable part of the firm, particularly once you finish your REPA training.
  5. Use your customer service skills to their maximum potential. If you are the best at what you do in dealing with the public and your coworkers, the management in your division will notice that and help you to achieve your education. After all, it will benefit them as well.
  6. Get ready for change. Apply to all of the real estate firms within driving distance of you. You have the skills they are looking for and they don’t have to put in any time training you. Get all of the information you can on the real estate industry, and you may decide to get your license and become a full broker.

How Much Money Does the Realtor Selling Your Home Get?

Real estate agents help market and sell houses.

Real estate agents sell homes based on commission — generally about 5 or 6 percent of the sales price. Agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors are called realtors, but other than the trade association membership there is no difference between a realtor and a real estate agent.


  • A contract with a realtor is a voluntary agreement. Sales commissions of 6 percent are common, but you can negotiate a lower commission when selling your house. Interview several agents and ask each of them if they’re willing to accept a commission of less than 6 percent. Shaving just 2 percent off the standard 6 percent sales commission will save $6,000 in commission fees on a home selling for $300,000.

Luxury Listings

  • Leverage for a lower commission is even greater on luxury homes costing around $1 million. Realtors are so eager for luxury home listings that some will accept as little as 3 percent in sales commission, according to MSN Money. The agents realize that even with the smaller commission they may earn more on a luxury home than on lower-priced homes.

Buyer’s Agent

  • A realtor does not keep the entire commission. The buyer’s agent usually receives half. That means on a 6 percent commission, both agents receive 3 percent, and they will share some of that money with their respective real estate brokers.

Annual Wages

  • Only the top 10 percent of real estate agents earn more than $100,000 in a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for a real estate agent in 2008 was $40,150. Median wages for the top 10 percent were $101,860. The lowest 10 percent earned $21,120.


  • Some sellers avoid paying realtors by acting as their own agent. They list their homes as “for sale by owner,” and handle all marketing, inquiries and open house events. The strategy works for some sellers, especially in a strong economy when there is great demand for housing and homes are easy to sell. Other owners pay a flat fee of 1 or 2 percent to companies offering basic help with marketing and advertising.

How to List a Luxurious Rental Property

High-end properties need special approaches to attract prospective renters.

Listing your deluxe home or apartment means developing an approach to attract renters to a property that offers amenities above and beyond those of other market listings. High-end renters may not attend open houses or rental housing previews, so your listing plan must include visually appealing print and online marketing materials to entice prospects.


  1. Research the available and recently rented luxury units near your property. Note the time on the market and the features offered in units that rented quickly; such information can be found on a comparative market analysis, which you can get from a real estate agent familiar with the area.
  2. Compile a list of your rental property’s features that meet the demands of the luxury rental market as determined by your research. These might include multiple shower heads and saunas in bathrooms, scenic views or a gourmet kitchen.
  3. Stage the property with luxurious-looking furniture and decor — which you can lease — to enhance the interior. Rent enough furnishings to make the residence look comfortable, but still roomy. Take photos of the staged rooms to use in your marketing flier and online advertising.
  4. Create a flier. Use simple word processing software — which usually includes basic brochure layout features — or desktop publishing software. Incorporate a few of the most attractive images you have of the property. Include a detailed list of your unit’s high-end features to help potential renters compare it with other rentals on the market.
  5. Shoot a video of your property to create a virtual tour, which you can upload to social networking websites along with your property flier. Walk through the home and use your camera to show visitors each room’s luxury features. Also, capture footage of community pools, on-site amenities — such as concierge services — or conveniently located parking areas.
  6. Launch a website for the property or hire a web designer to create and launch one for you. Include plenty of photographs, video clips and write a detailed description to enhance the site. Include your contact information, or that of your real estate agent, on each page of the site so that viewers can contact you easily.
  7. Identify print and media outlets on which to publicize your rental property such as local magazines designed for high-income readers or websites that list luxury rentals. If your property is located in a specific area, such as an exclusive beach community, advertise it on websites and in magazines that promote the area.

Can I Claim the Sale of an Inherited Property as a Loss?

The day the owner dies sets the basis of the property.

When you buy real estate, your purchase price becomes what the Internal Revenue Service calls your basis. When you sell, your capital gain or loss is the difference between the basis and the sale price, plus some adjustments. The rules are different for selling inherited property, as you don’t have a purchase price. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a deductible loss from the sale.

Inherited Property Basis

  • Your basis in inherited property is the fair market value the day the previous owner died. For example, suppose your father bought his home for $150,000, but it was worth $250,000 on the day he died. The second figure is your basis: If you sell for $200,000, you have a $50,000 loss rather than a $50,000 gain. Normally you class gains and losses as short term or long term, depending how long you’ve held the property. With an inherited property, you always class the gain or loss as long term.

Use of Property

  • You can deduct losses on the sale of investment property but never on personal property. For example, if you inherit a business or rental property and then sell it, you may be able to deduct a capital loss. You can also deduct a loss on a residential property if you inherit it but never made personal use of it. If, after inheriting, you and your family moved into the home and lived there, you don’t get to write off any losses when you sell.

Deducting a Loss

  • You report capital gains and losses on IRS Schedule D. If you have a deductible loss on the sale of inherited property, you add it to your other long-term gains and losses for the year. You add that result to your total short-term gain or loss. If the final result on Schedule D is a loss, you can write off up to $3,000 of red ink against your non-capital gains income. For married couples filing jointly, the write-off is only $1,500.

Carrying Over Losses

  • Suppose you sell an inherited property at a $10,000 loss and have no other capital sales. After you deduct $3,000 against your regular income, you have to carry the rest of the loss forward to next year. You can deduct $3,000 over and over until the loss is used up. If you have capital losses in future years, you use them up first. For example, suppose you carry forward $7,000 and have a $1,000 capital loss next year. You can also write off $2,000 of the carried amount. The remaining $5,000 goes forward another year. IRS Publication 544 has the details on calculating carry overs.

How to Become a Real Estate Photographer

Becoming a real estate photographer involves developing your skills as a photographer and marketing your services to real estate agents. Listing agents recognize that providing images of property, including photos of every part of the home or business, creates a collection of pictures that give potential buyers useful information about the place for sale. Develop expertise in using a camera with a special lens that allows you to photograph the entire room. Learning how to take photos for real estate agents also involves developing your communication skills so you can sell your services effectively. The Real Estate Photographers of America and International Trade Association allows you to register so real estate agents can find you to obtain your services.


  1. Take photography courses at your local college, community center or school. Learn how to capture, shape, transmit, save and print digital photos. See how to use both digital and film cameras, lenses and film. Get experience developing film and setting different exposures. The website provides free access to online courses.
  2. Get a credential. The Professional Photographic Certification Commission allows you to take an exam and obtain the Certified Professional Photographer certification. The Photography website provides access to study questions, links to online resources and a glossary of terms. Use these resources to learn the basic operations of film and digital cameras, how to use the viewfinder, load the film or memory card and take the picture control exposure. Judges review 20 images you submit as representation of your work. They assess your skills, knowledge and ability to produce pleasing photographs. For architectural photos, judges look for good quality of light, color, density and appropriate contrast.
  3. Create a website to market your services. Using free website development tools, such as Wix, Weebly or Intuit, create a site to showcase your work and attract new clients. Advertise your business in real estate trade association publications for your area. Compare your site with websites produced by other real estate photographers to get inspiration. The American Society for Home Stagers and Redesigners provides tips to set up vacant homes so they look more attractive by finding focal points, scaling the space, managing traffic flow and using the best color schemes.
  4. Use the SCORE website to locate a mentor in your area. Observe a real estate photographer on the job to learn tips and techniques for taking attractive pictures of property. Real estate photographers also use multimedia, such as video, to show off properties. Producing comprehensive virtual tours and using advanced editing techniques allow real estate photographers to help agents sell more efficiently.

Why Is Per Capita Income Important?

If per capita income is high, people may spend more, stabilizing the economy.
Two or more regions can compare income just as two individuals can compare income to determine who is more financially stable. The way economists compare regional income is through per capita figures. Per capita divides all available income in a region by the area’s population. These comparisons are important for investment, economic stability and appeals for aid.

Stability and Wealth Measurement

  • In the broadest sense, per capita income matters because it serves as a measurement of the stability and wealth within an economy. Per capita income is a ratio of the amount of all a region’s income divided its population. Thus, if the ratio rises, it suggests that members of the population are more prosperous than they have been in the past. Conversely, a reduced per capita figure suggests that the standard of living in a region has decreased, assuming the price of goods has either stayed the same or increased with inflation.


  • Because per capita income is a measurement of prosperity for a region, it is useful for determining what regions are in need of financial assistance, assuming that the cost of living is the same in those regions. For instance, if the cost of rice is a dollar in country Y, but two dollars in country X, and country X’s per capita income is higher, members of country X may be just as prosperous as those in country Y. If country X has the same per capita income as county Y, then the higher cost of rice would be an issue. If per capita income is the same, agencies that provide aid or financial assistance to those in country X, because members of country X would be financially worse off.


  • A higher per capita income represents a higher purchasing power, as members of the community have more money to spend. This is useful in investment. For instance, in a new business, you would want to approach shareholders who actually afford to invest. Otherwise, you would waste resources trying to market your company to people who won’t back you financially. Additionally, investing in businesses in areas with higher per capita ratios may yield a higher return, as the income of the area suggests that people have the purchasing power to buy the business’ products or services.


  • Even though per capita income is important, it is only useful when there isa relatively low number of very high earners in the community. High earners raise the amount of income in a per capita ratio, so including the very wealthy in per capita figures may give a skewed representation of what people actually make. Additionally, because per capita figures don’t tell you how income is distributed, it can mask social issues, which cause the average income in those regions to rise or fall.

Careers in International Real Estate

You can pursue residential brokerage careers in the United States and overseas.

Real estate is a burgeoning career field both in the United States and overseas. It offers many opportunities to professionals from both a financial and career development and expansion perspective. A real estate professional can specialize in a certain area (i.e. residential, commercial), or go into a arm of real estate, such as appraisal or property management. Once the basic skills are acquired, they can be applied in any location throughout the world.

Real Estate Broker/Residential

  • Real estate agents represent both buyers and sellers in the real estate transaction process. Both the buying agent and selling agent will then receive a commission, in exchange for representation. In the United States, this commission is around 3 percent of the property’s selling price. This amount might vary based on the country you wish to work in.

    To become a residential realtor in another country, you should be able to speak the native language of that country with at least basic fluency. You also need to make sure that they are a member of International Consortium of Real Estate Associations, which will allow you to practice with your current real estate license.

Real Estate Broker/Commerical

  • Commercial realtors specialize in selling commercial properties such as hotels, office space, retail, industrial and restaurants. Commercial real estate agents must analyze regional market conditions and the overall business economy to give clients the best information possible in choosing real estate. As an international realtor, this means you must have a very solid foundation of knowledge about the economic conditions and trends of the area in which you are working.

    International commercial realtors need to acquire all the same documentation and certifications as a residential realtor would, plus additional certification due to the client base they work with. The rules and regulations vary on a country-by-country basis.

Property Management

  • Often an owner of a property will hire professional property managers to look after their real estate investments. Managers take care of customers, find renters, establish rental prices, and coordinate leases. It will most likely be fairly easy to become a property manager in another country as long as you have a basic work visa for that country. It will be mandatory to be able to speak the language at a high level and understand the culture of the area.

Why selling your house to a real estate agents in Central Valley is good?

If ever in life we wished to live in a place that has pleasant surroundings flooded with huge amount of flora and fauna, then Central valley could be one of the places to consider. Central Valley is an amazing place to live which will give you an experience of a lifetime. Along with green fields all over, it has huge mountains on one side and crystal clear water flowing on other side, which looks amazing.

Now, who does not desire to live at such a place that hardly have any flaws. To own a house at such place will give anybody an immense joy, as almost every person would want to own a home at such wonderful place. While there are many people who wish to own a house at Central Valley, there are many other who wishes to sell their houses. Sometimes, it is quite easy to sell a house in this valley by posting an ad to sell house in a newspaper or by the signs that are usually posted on the road corner saying ” We buy homes in Central valley”.

No doubt, these ways to sell a house are quite effective and people do buy homes looking at these postings, but they are not always a safe option. Some of them might not have some legal issue that will put you in trouble later on. The best and safe way to sell your house is through a property dealer, which is a better option to do so.

Selling a house can be a trouble sometimes because it is not always easy to get a buyer. In fact, there are chances that you have to sell your house at a very low price than it actually costs. Instead of getting into such a trouble, it is better to sell your property to a real estate agent who is near o your house. Now, you might be thinking that why sell it to the nearest available real estate agent? The reason behind selling it to the nearest available agent is that they know the best about the property. Chances are higher that they buy your property as soon as you want to sell it.
As selling house is not an easy task, especially when there are hardly any buyers, then it is best to consult a property purchaser to save your precious time. When you really have the urgency to sell a house, it becomes essential to choose the nearest available real estate agent and avoid searching for the best in the market. Wandering to search the best will cost a lot of time and money besides stressing you with a lot of paperwork that you might not want.

So, the next time you wish to sell your house, then you must  properly research agents, go to their office, and check yourself how they actually work. If you want to sell on an urgent basis, it is advisable to pick the nearest of the real estate agent to save time and money.

How to Start a Property Investment Company

Provide people with a place to call home while making money with a property investment company.
Many people purchase a home or property to serve their own needs, such as a place to live. While most know that purchasing a home is an investment since many homes sell for more than they were purchased for, few consider expanding on this single purchase by buying more properties and establishing a business. However, those with an interest in working for themselves and having their own business can do so by learning how to start a property investment company.


  1. Craft a business plan. Analyze the financial aspects of starting a property investment company by learning how much money is required to start the company as well as what potential for profit exists based on your location. Develop a plan for how you will market and staff your company while also expanding it and making it profitable. Include all of this information in a written business plan for your property investment company, which you can create using the business plan information available from the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  2. Apply for funding. Access your credit report from one of the three credit bureaus to learn what credit score you have as well as review your report for any mistakes prior to applying for a business or commercial loan. Speak to a loan officer to find out if you qualify for a loan based on your credit report as well as the business plan you’ve drafted for your property investment company. Consider taking on a partner who has the monetary resources or capital you need to start the business if you can’t qualify for loans on your own. Know thought that with a partnership, profits from your company will be split based on your agreement.
  3. Register your company. Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by calling 800-829-4933 or completing the form on the IRS website. Determine what sales tax laws are in effect in your region and whether they apply to your business by visiting with a representative from the department of revenue at your state and city level. Comply with any sales tax regulations that exist as well as licensing regulations such as a local business license from your city government.
  4. Buy property. Determine if your company specializes in residential or commercial property or a combination of the two. Hire a commercial real estate agent to assist you in finding your initial property to start your company as well as subsequent properties to grow your business. Know how to check property values with your local property assessment office to ensure you aren’t paying too much for a property. Consider getting your license as a real estate agent as this cuts down on your expenses since you don’t have to pay a realtor for each property sold and purchased by your company.
  5. Purchase insurance. Speak with local insurance agents in your community to get quotes for insurance on your property investment company. Obtain both liability and property insurance since this protects your business from lawsuits from tenants injured in or on your property while also protecting the physical structure from damage caused by fire and natural disaster. Add additional insurance to your business as your company grows and you acquire more property.
  6. Hire staff. Find an office assistant to help you manage and operate your property investment company especially if you are out of the office frequently inspecting current properties and looking for new ones. Retain a lawyer to assist you in developing leases and contracts for your company. Employ a maintenance person or crew to make repairs, renovate outdated properties and maintain the landscape of the properties you own. Consider hiring a property manager as your grow to take over the daily management of properties and free you up as the owner to focus on growing and expanding the company.

How to Get Real Estate Leads by Door Knocking

You can generate real estate leads through door knocking

Going door knocking is often a scary concept for real estate agents. The misconception is that your presence will be unwelcomed. On the contrary, this can be more effective than direct mailing or calling. There are a few rules to follow that will make even the people who don’t like solicitors enjoy your visits. All you really need to know is how to do it right.


  1. Visit an area where you or your office has a listing or just sold a home. Don’t just find a house and start knocking. Start with homes close to the listed home, then fan out.
  2. Create an address log containing a list of every house you intend to visit.Your log should have each address listed one after another. Leave a little space for notes, such as: “Never answers the door,” or, “Growing family may be ready to buy a another house in June.”
  3. Ring the door bell and then take a step or two back. People sometimes feel a little scared when there is a stranger standing too close to the door. This is especially true if you are male. Put a soft smile on your face and enjoy the uniqueness of their porch and yard instead of waiting anxiously for the home owner to answer.
  4. Ring the door bell and knock on the door, then wait 30 seconds.There may be an elderly or disabled person inside who can’t make it to the door in less than 30 seconds. If no one answers, knock again and wait another 30 seconds before moving on.
  5. Come bearing gifts. You can buy calendars, refrigerator magnates, pens, notepads and other convenient goodies for a nominal cost with your name, phone number and address on them. Something useful with your name on it is less likely than a business card to be thrown away.
  6. Introduce yourself. Let the homeowner know who you are and what you do, but don’t jump in and ask if she wants to sell her home or knows anyone who does. Instead, start by explaining that you just listed/sold a house down the street and want to get to know the area. Give the homeowner your card and the gift and let her know if she ever needs your services, or knows anyone who does, feel free to contact you anytime.
  7. Find out a little bit about the homeowner if she seems receptive and keep track of it in your log. Some people will be glad to tell you what neighbors might need your services, how happy they are living in the area or if there’s a certain house you might want to avoid.
  8. Continue visiting houses for three months. Then start back at the first house again. Bring your handy log and return bearing gifts. By then you’ll get an idea who is happy to see you and what leads are going nowhere. After they’ve seen you four times in the past year, some will know and trust you. So when they want to buy or sell a property, or know someone who does, they’re going to call you.

How to Become a Luxury Realtor

uxury Realtors are real estate agents who sell multimillion-dollar properties, as well as those who focus on the second home, or vacation property, market. While these types of Realtors must have the same licenses and certifications as other real estate agents, they often have different marketing strategies and work with more high-maintenance clients. If you already are in the real estate business and want to pursue the luxury market, there are many things you can do to break into the career and start earning high-dollar commissions.


  1. Obtain your state-issue real estate license if you don’t already have it. This process typically includes taking mandated coursework, as well as passing an examination if you’re trying to get a broker’s license.
  2. Research the luxury lifestyle. To impress future luxury buyers, you’ll need to know the differences between mainstream and luxury brands. For example, you need to know about top-of-the-line light fixture manufacturers, the best plumbing fixtures, the most expensive appliances and world-class building materials, such as slate flooring.
  3. Make connections with local interior designers, landscape company owners and builders that already cater to luxury clientele. They’ll want referrals from you, and you’ll need their connections to prove to your clients you have ties to the best in the business.
  4. Assess your own appearance. You’ll need to exude the luxury lifestyle if you want your clients to take you seriously. This means you need an expensive, high-quality wardrobe, the right jewelry, the right hairstyle and a luxury vehicle.
  5. Join elite clubs in your area, such as polo clubs or country clubs. This will allow you to mingle with future clients, as well as become a part of their social scene. If you can’t afford a membership, look for volunteer opportunities to get you in the door.
  6. Choose a luxury niche and target market. Research the past few years’ sales to assess the current market. Plan to target a specific area of town or ZIP code, as well as the type of dwelling. For example, you might focus on lakefront homes or target high-rise condos.
  7. Apply at an already-established luxury real estate agency in your chosen niche. This will help you enter the luxury-market scene and make a name for yourself. After you become successful and have loyal customers, you can branch out on your own.

Marketing Objectives of Real Estate Companies

The exterior of a property for sale with advertisement.

Real estate companies operate in a very competitive marketplace. To build business and increase revenue, they must take a positive attitude to marketing. Companies are embracing newer techniques, such as property video or social media to differentiate themselves, but they must continue to focus on building relationships of trust with buyers, sellers and business partners.

Create a Clear Market Position

  • Real estate companies can operate across the property spectrum, dealing with general residential and commercial clients, or they can offer a specialist service in niche markets. Companies may specialize in period properties, luxury homes, offices or agricultural properties, for example. By positioning themselves clearly in the market, companies can attract clients who are looking for a specific type of property. They can also fine-tune their marketing to focus on the right media and messages for their target market.

Build a Strong Property List

  • Property buyers and sellers are looking for real estate companies active in the market and with a good track record of successful transactions. Building a strong property list is essential. A good list offers buyers choice and helps to build trust in the company. By offering potential sellers the benefits of marketing campaigns, effective presentations through property videos and brochures, and high levels of personal service, real estate companies can persuade owners to place their properties on their lists.

Attract Buyers

  • Real estate companies must encourage prospective buyers to make their firm the first point of contact when they are looking for a property. By placing advertisements in local newspapers or specialist property publications, companies can attract potential buyers. Maintaining contact by phone or email with buyers helps to build relationships and increases the opportunity for a sale.

Build Professional Referrals

  • In addition to building a client base through their own marketing activities, real estate companies can win business by encouraging referrals from other professionals involved in the property business, such as mortgage companies, surveyors, banks and law firms. A mutually beneficial relationship is essential. Real estate companies can refer their clients to firms providing mortgage finance, conveyancing or professional property services. A referral program can make it easier to establish relationships with new prospects, because they trust the opinion of the referrer.

Develop All-Inclusive Services

  • Buying or selling property represents a major inconvenience for residential and business clients. Real estate companies can differentiate themselves by developing a portfolio of services that minimize inconvenience for clients. As well as providing the basic valuation, sales and marketing services, they can recommend other professionals, such as law firms and surveyors, arrange mortgages through third-party providers and source other essential services, such as storage or removal firms. Clients benefit from a single point of contact, saving time and reducing inconvenience

Choose the real estate agent who can help you in real

Buying and selling real estates and assets is not a new thing, but it is indeed one of the biggest monetary decision of your life, so you should make sure that you take the right decision for it. But if you are not knowing all the tit bits of the real estate industry then you better hire a real estate agent to get you the best property in town and you can get the information on homes for sale in Maryland and then you can think of investment in the real estate market. But the question arises that whom to hire then make sure to search properly.  Always choose a person who has a good reputation in the market, for no only selling best homes in Maryland but the person should be also equally good in handling the buyers and serve them well with their experiences and the person should not force you to buy a certain property as the person would leave the decision on the buyer as the investment is totally a personal decision. The person should be competent in meeting the deadlines and they should also be advocate on the financial decisions and help their clients to save money and also see the future profit chances.

The best factors

There are other factors that can affect your deal is the attitude of the real estate agents and one can really decide on the communication skills of the person which is very important as it can make or break a deal and that is why to buy homes for sale in Maryland you need a person who can deal in them and he or she has the skills to handle all the qualities where he or she can also let the clients to buy or sell best homes in Maryland that can help them to deal the best homes and they can get their desired homes. The real estate agent should also have the expertise in the geographical locations and can deal in the various locations which is the most important factor and one should get the real estate agent who can help them to get the desired home. The real estate agent can also tell you all the details regarding the locations and the people can depend on them while selecting the locations and they will have the knowledge on the area which will include the schools, hospitals and marketplace nearby where the people will need them in case of selecting a home one should see all the amenities that will lead them to buy one.

Real Estate Property Agent Singapore

With more than 5 years of experience in the real estate industry, Bernie serves both a local and an international client base.

Hardworking and astute to the changes in the real estate market, he is able to advise his clients accurately and profitably, be it timing the market to sell or to make price readjustments.

Other than assisting his clients in buying and selling properties in Singapore, Bernie is also experienced in providing housing solutions for professional expats and assisting them ease into the Singaporean culture and way of life. Having backpack-travelled around the world for 3 years, Bernie is very able to empathize with and understand the needs of clients who are relocating to Singapore for the first time.

Bernie also speaks the Japanese language.

He is a powerful negotiator, being able to do his best for his clients, usually surpassing their expectations of him. He goes beyond the duty of real estate agents by researching the market on behalf of his clients, and once even hired a van (and drove)!!! to personally help a client move-house simply because he promised to assist. Little did that client expect Bernie’s promise of ‘assistance’ to be in such an involved way. Needless to say, such from-the-heart service has won him rave reviews and made many such clients into good friends who continually refer business to him years after their initial encounter, or simply call him up for dinner.

Bernie believes that in business, as in life, we should give our 100% or nothing at all. Above all, he believes that we should have integrity in all business transactions, treating our clients as we would like to be treated.

Bernie is currently with ERA Realty Network, the only real estate company in Singapore that operates from its own buildings as well as being listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) under its parent company, Hersing Corporation.

Within 1 year of initially being with ERA Realty Network, Bernie was already inducted as a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Club for being a producer in the industry.

Bernie is a specialist on all types of residential as well as commercial properties in districts:

* 1 (City, Marina area, CDB),
* 4 (Sentosa Island),
* 9 (Orchard Road and surrounding),
* 10 (Balmoral, River Valley, Holland Road),
* 11 (Newton, Novena, Bukit Timah),
* 15 (East Coast, Katong)

That said, he also welcomes all enquiries and offering assistance on properties in other districts of Singapore as he heads a team of dedicated real estate agents who handles properties in all other areas of Singapore.

Together, Bernie and team handles:

* New Project Launches
* Condominiums
* Landed properties (Terrace houses, Semi-Detached, Bungalows)
* Land for rebuilding
* Commercial properties
* Industrial space
* Worker housing

Feel free to get in touch with Bernie at his mobile during business hours.

Below are 3 testimonials for Bernie:

Rick Aston:

Actually for several months, I have been coming to Singapore on business trips…with various agents looking for properties. We were under a time constraint to find a place… I was starting to get frustrated with the other agents. They weren’t really listening to what we were looking for as a family. He found this place that no other agent was even aware of nor prepared to show us. He got us a great place… we’ve been very happy here and it (the home) suited the whole family. So he definitely delivered.

When we finally found it (the property), we actually went through quite a process of negotiation which Bernie helped out very much with.

After we signed the contract and moved in, Bernie helped with the repairs and/or general upkeep.

And then we just stayed in touch actually, just to discuss the general property market.

We’d recommend him and we have recommended him to friends. So definitely (happy). (Bernie is) Very good. (A) very good agent!

Susan Lau:

I asked for the electricity and water to be cut off (utilities). If I leave it on and sometimes when they go viewing (the property) and if they forget to switch it off, the bill might go sky-high. So I was afraid of that. But then he (Bernie) assured me to just leave it for 2 weeks, because someone might want to see (the property) at night, so I might miss the chance of (selling the property). Because of that, I gave him 2 weeks to see what were the results.
He was able to produce results in less than two weeks! I feel very relieved and very happy that I can have the entire episode closed up, because it has been dragging (for 4 months before Bernie assisted in the marketing of the property) and I became so tired of it (the selling process).

In fact, they (the buyers) gave me a certain amount (price to purchase) but Bernie said he will try to get some more (better price). He (successfully) did that.

Bernie is a very effective agent, has the human touch, and (is) humourous.

I am very very satisfied (with Bernie and his services).

Doreen Tan:

(Once) I told him (Bernie) that I have tried (for) quite some time to acquire my neighbour’s land… but it wasn’t successful. So, he put in effort to locate the owner(s) to approach the owner(s) a few times (to eventually convince them to sell the property), and to negotiate a very reasonable price for me and also for the owners(s). So we’re very happy.

He really goes the extra mile to do research and to understand more of what his clients want.

I am very happy (with Bernie) because he is not a pushy person (agent). When he sees the house and feels that this is not what I want, he will not ask me to spend time to go and have a look. That is what I appreciate (of him). He knows very well what his clients want. And he knows what I want.

And he will follow up and ask ‘How are you’. (Regarding) His service, I should say is EXCELLENT.

He will do (continous) research for the whole market (property), Asian and also the whole world’s market (in general). He will give his ideas (views) to keep us updated (clients) on what is happening in the property market. I don’t think there are many property agents (who are) willing to do extra work, extra research for his or her clients.

I did recommend someone to Bernie, and that is my partner, Dora.

I am very, very satisfied with his (Bernie’s) service.

Now I am building my dream house. ‘Thank you’ to Bernie!


How to Become a Licensed Investment Broker

An investment broker is another name for stockbroker. To become a professional stockbroker, you must pass a licensing exam. Being a broker can be a lucrative career choice for people who like investing other people’s money in stocks, corporate and municipal bonds, mutual funds, options and treasuries, such as T-Bills. For making investment recommendations and financial analysis, the broker receives a commission based on the amount of money a person invests. The financial services industry is regulated and requires anyone involved with the buying and selling of securities to not only be licensed, but meet other requirements as well


  1. Visit the FINRA website (see link in References). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the first place to start when seeking a career as an investment broker. All stockbrokers are licensed by the FINRA which also administers the exam. The FINRA provides invaluable information on what is needed to be an investment or stock broker and offers detailed job descriptions.
  2. Register with the FINRA. All persons who wish to have careers as a broker must register with this agency. The registration form asks for personal information such as name, address, Social Security number, residences for the past few years, employment history and other relevant information asked for most careers. You must also supply fingerprints. You can get fingerprinted at a local police station for a small fee.
  3. Study for the licensing exam. Passing exams is also a part of the registration process. There is usually just one exam that you need to pass. The General Securities Registered Representative Examination is commonly known as the Series 7 Exam. This exam is required of all investment brokers. Some states, however, also require a person to pass the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination, which is known as the Series 63 Exam. Check with your state’s licensing board to see if the Series 63 exam in necessary to be a broker in your state. To study for these exams, you have several options. There are books, online courses, classroom work, CD and DVD courses. The FINRA also offers training for the exams.
  4. Schedule an appointment to take the exam. When you are ready to take the test, schedule an appointment at any of the authorized testing centers throughout the country. The test is available 7 days a week in most large cities. The test is computerized so you receive your score immediately upon completion.
  5. Pass the background check. Once you register with the FINRA, your information is sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a background check. Any criminal history will probably prevent you from becoming a broker even if you pass the exam. FINRA wants professionals who are knowledgeable about investments and also ethical.
  6. Once you have passed the exam(s) and the background check, you now have what you need to get a job as an investment broker. There are large brokerage houses that provide a small salary and training, while small firms let you sink or swim on your own. There are many places to get a job with a Series 7 license, such as full service brokerage houses and discount brokers.

How to Set Up a Lease with Option to Purchase Residential Property

Set Up a Lease with Option to Purchase Residential Property
Despite difficult economic times, there are still people looking to buy a home. On the other hand, because of difficult economic times, many people are finding it harder to qualify for a mortgage, or they just don’t have the money for the downpayment or closing costs on a house. They also might not be sure they want to buy a home, or they are unfamiliar with a new city or area, and want to try it out for a while. Likewise, because there is so much residential property on the market right now, owners in many areas are having a tough time finding qualified buyers for their homes. One option that may benefit both parties, is a “Lease with Option to Purchase Agreement.” This is NOT a “Lease Purchase Agreement.” Despite what some others may have said, these are two different animals. The Lease Purchase Agreement requires two documents and is basically a sale that will close sometime in the distant future, maybe a year or so down the line. It is a binding sales agreement once it is signed. The Lease with Option Agreement is not a sale of property. It is a lease with a non-binding option for both parties to enter into a purchase agreement sometime down the road. Please read this article for more of the details.


  1. The first step is to find a home with lease with option to purchase possibilities. Check with realtors in your area and even homeowners that have their homes for sale by owner. Even if a residential property is for sale, the owners may agree to a Lease/Option, just to have something in their hand. Also some of the online property search websites will have lease/options listed. You might also convert a rental property agreement to a lease/option.
  2. Now you have located the home you want, the next step is the agreement. Whether you are the Tenant/Optioner, or the Landlord/Optionee, it is important that everything be in writing. In contract law, if it isn’t in writing, it basically didn’t happen. Remember, this is a residential rental or lease agreement with an addendum. One document. You can get forms off the internet, through business supply stores, or places like What is important here is what is in the agreement. All states have landlord tenant laws and those apply here.
  3. The Lease Option addendum to your lease should, at a minimum, set out the following: length of option (a year is not uncommon); the provision that any breach of the lease will lead to termination of the option (that includes, of course, failure to pay rent on time; how the sales price will be computed if the option is exercise (e.g. fair market value as determined by an appraisal at the time the option is exercised); how soon before the option period ends does notice of exercise need to be made and how (e.g. 90 days before and in writing); that the property is sold “as is” at the time option is exercised; time line of closing after notice of exercise of option; and what is an isn’t refundable in case the option is not exercised and the lease ends (security deposit for lease if governed by landlord tenant law and must be refunded with certain exceptions but the option fee is negotiable.)
  4. More about the option fee or rental payment credit. Most parties to a residential property lease with option to purchase agreement reach an agreement on whether any of the rent will go toward a downpayment on the house. This is negotiable. What usually isn’t negotiable, is that the tenant put down an option fee in exchange for the landlord, or owner, of the property keeping the house off of the market for the length of the option. The amount is negotiable and is usually nonrefundable if the option is not exercised. It is often, however, creditable for when the option on the home is exercised.

How to Invest in Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate investing requires knowledge of finance, real estate investment and the law.

The term “commercial real property” includes parcels, with or without buildings, used for business or retail purposes. Investment in commercial real estate involves a significant cash commitment and investors typically work with partners or investment groups to purchase larger commercial properties. Investors also work with experienced commercial real estate agents and a title agent trained in commercial property work.


  1. Match your commercial real estate interests with various geographic regions matching your interests. Investing in commercial real estate involves extensive knowledge in a variety of commercial market classifications, including small and large retail, shopping centers, rental properties, office buildings and industrial structures. Matching your commercial real estate interests with targeted geographic regions ripe for investment requires years of following the real estate and investment markets. Once you feel comfortable with one or more commercial types of investment opportunities, research the geographic areas best suited to your interests. Conduct research by reading regional commercial real estate reports and meeting with other investors at conventions and professional seminars. The International Council of Shopping Centers, for instance, holds international, nation and regional conventions offering education seminars and training sessions.
  2. Network with other commercial investors and join finance partnerships. Investment partnerships provide cash reserves, but they also mean your fellow investors must share your investment strategies. Unless you have available funds for the commercial investment, adding partners offers the option to fund large commercial ventures. Meet potential partners at local commercial property training sessions and at professional conventions.
  3. Network with commercial property lenders. The National Real Estate Investor noted commercial lenders tightened lending practices with the economic decline beginning in late 2009, and slow markets mean a larger commitment of cash and collateral required for commercial investment plans. Work with several qualified lenders to develop a presentation package documenting your financial backing for use in presenting offers on commercial properties.
  4. Locate a licensed commercial real estate broker with specialty certifications in your interest areas and also an experienced title researcher. A licensed Realtor can provide current knowledge of the market, experience in negotiating sales prices and contract terms and the strategy know-how in pricing your offer. The real estate agent also offers exclusive access to a market of commercial properties. An experienced title agent also offers valuable knowledge for commercial property investors. Title agents research current property ownership, present and past loans and document comparable sales made in your targeted geographic region.
  5. Research specific properties and make offers on the real estate. Once your investment team decides on a property, consult with your commercial real estate agent to write a legal contract for the property. Ask your title agent to construct a preliminary title report to document the property history. This report assists in developing a price for the property and any necessary terms involving the physical condition, zoning and community restrictions, as well as any restrictions on future development or prohibitions on property modifications.

The Difference Between Warrant & Convertible Securities

Warrants and convertible securities offer low-risk investment opportunities.

Companies offer warrants and convertible securities to spur investments. Investors gain opportunities for low-risk investment as a result. Warrants and convertibles, though similar in objective, differ in several regards.
Time Frame
Warrants are a fixed price on company stock, for a predetermined period of time. For example, a stockholder could be offered a warrant of $2 per share for one year. Even if the stock rises to $5 per share, an investor can still purchase at the $2 rate, making an immediate profit. Convertible bonds do not have a fixed price term.
Convertible bonds mature and are able to be cashed in and treated as a regular bond would; however, they can also be converted into shares of company stock. Should the convertibles be issued as preferred stock, investors have the option of converting shares to common stock as well. Warrants deal with stock prices, and shares cannot be converted to other securities.
Further Investment
Convertible securities are one-time investments. Investors purchase more stock at a later date to maximize the profitability of a warrant.
Investment Period
Investors typically view convertible securities as long-term options. Warrants carry an expiration date and, therefore, are considered short-term in comparison.


How to Obtain a Real Estate License in Wisconsin

Purchasing a new home or parcel of real estate involves complex transactions and careful considerations. Real estate salespersons and brokers help make the process less complicated and easier to understand. In Wisconsin, real estate agents and brokers must be licensed through the Department or Regulation and Licensing. The process involves learning about the nuances and intricacies of real estate transactions, passing an examination and paying a licensing fee.


  1. Determine which type of real estate license you wish to pursue. Wisconsin offers licenses for brokers and salespersons. A broker may manage his or her own business. A salesperson must work with a licensed broker. Brokers must undergo additional training than that required of a salesperson.
  2. Meet the education requirements set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing (WDRL). Specifically, you must complete one of the following: a 72-hour salesperson course from an approved educational program, 10 semester hours from an accredited college or university in courses that specialize in real estate or real estate law, or belong to the Wisconsin State Bar.
  3. Complete the educational requirements necessary for a broker if you intend to be a broker. In addition to the basic education requirements, you must complete either a 36-hour broker course from an approved education program or an additional 10 semester hours from an accredited college or university in courses that specialize in real estate or real estate law. If you belong to the Wisconsin State Bar, you need not meet this additional requirement.
  4. Pass the Wisconsin real estate examination. Sales persons need only pass the examination designated for a real estate license in sales. Brokers must pass both the sales examination and the broker’s examination. Sign up for an examination by contacting PearsonVue.
  5. Fill out the “Application for New Salesperson or Broker License” form. Include the license fee ($75 as of 2010 for an initial license). Obtain the form from the WDRL website. Additionally, sales persons must also be employed by a licensed broker in order to become licensed. If the sales person fills out the application before becoming employed, the sales person must file a “Notice of Real Estate Employment Form” when he or she becomes employed by a broker.

How to Pass the Real Estate Broker’s Exam

Real estate brokers must gain experience as sales agents before taking the license exam.
Real estate brokers act somewhat behind the scenes in the field of real estate. The job of a broker is to locate sellers ready to sell property and buyers looking to purchase. Many real estate brokers are self-employed and own their own businesses. Individuals interested in a career as a real estate broker typically start in real estate sales and work their way up. All 50 states require brokers to be licensed — and to become licensed, you will need to pass an exam.


  1. Ensure that you meet the requirements before taking the test. All states require one to three years of experience in real estate sales before an individual may take the exam to earn a license. Some states also require evidence of a set number of hours of professional real estate coursework.
  2. Check which test you need to take before you begin studying. This depends on which state you wish to be licensed in. If you want to be licensed in multiple states, you may need to take more than one test.
  3. Study for the real estate broker’s exam. The best way to do this is to purchase a study book for the test. Familiarize yourself with all the information that will be on the exam, such as federal and state real estate laws and ethical conduct guidelines. Work on sample questions and take full-length practice tests. Grade yourself based on the rubrics of the actual exam and keep studying until you feel prepared to take the test.
  4. Register for and take the exam. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep followed by a healthy breakfast before sitting the exam. Try not to cram for the exam the night before, though some last-minute review may help in your preparations.

How to Recognize Property Investment Scams

Real estate has long been a solid way to make money, but that doesn’t mean every property investment is good idea or even legitimate. There are con artists at every turn who would like to scam you out of your money, leaving you poorer but wiser. Here’s how to recognize property investment scams.


  1. Know you’re vulnerable. Experts say the people most likely to be the victims of property investment scams are financially astute. Con artists know that they need to start with someone who is open to investing instead of being more conservative with money. Be careful not to be overconfident, since scammers can set up elaborate schemes that can fool even the best.
  2. Remember the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Be skeptical on promises of high, fast returns. Nothing of that nature comes without high risk, so consider what you can afford to lose. Be wary of email or infomercial offers, since they are favorite delivery methods for people who traffic in property investment scams.
  3. Check everything out. You can often recognize property investment scams just by doing your homework. Look into the company making the offer, and find out their history, record and background. Figure out who the directors are and look into their background. Let an accountant or financial advisor look over the paperwork, and then have a lawyer read everything before you sign.
  4. Understand how you will make your money. The more complicated the deal, the more important it is to look into the exact way your investment will create a return. Investigate any tax laws, especially in overseas countries, that backers are relying on to bring you money. Be sure the offshore investment is legal.
  5. Ignore pressure. One sign of a property investment scam is when backers are in a great hurry for you to sign. Hurrying only increases your risk of being a victim and losing a substantial amount of money.
  6. Watch for affinity fraud. That’s the name for how con artists use your religion or race and purport themselves to be “like you.” Once they have your trust, they can work their property investment scams.
  7. Keep up your vigilance. Even if you start seeing the promised return on your investment, don’t assume that all is well. Some con artists pull off property investment scams by paying out money for a time, then disappearing when they have a certain number of victims.

Rental Property Investment Strategies

There are many ways to invest in rental property.
Renting real estate can be a profitable venture for investors to consider. Rental properties provide a monthly cash flow, offer tax advantages including property depreciation and the property may increase in value depending on location and the local economy. Just as there are many ways to profit from rental real estate, there are many different investment strategies to gain exposure to the rental market. Investors should consider these different ways to enter the rental market to determine which best meet their individual needs.

Single Family Homes

  • Renting single family homes is the easiest way for new investors to buy real estate and enter the rental market. By choosing homes in good neighborhoods, investors should have little trouble renting their properties or selling them when needed. The primary downside of single family properties is selecting and dealing with tenants. Hiring a property management company to screen tenants, deal with the late night service calls and other problems can reduce the stress, but the costs will also reduce the profitability of the investment.

Multi-unit Buildings

  • Apartment buildings have the potential to provide a large stream of income that will produce significant profits. However, multi-unit buildings also hold the possibility of requiring substantial investments for maintenance or repairs. Investors may have to invest large sums of money into the building to make the property desirable to prospective renters. Multi-unit buildings are also more dependent on a strong local economy to produce the number of tenants needed to fill the building. These large buildings are more difficult to sell due to high costs and a limited amount of potential buyers.

Commercial Real Estate

  • Commercial real estate can vary from storage facilities to shopping malls. As with residential properties, the cost of these properties will have a wide range. Renting commercial properties often has less risk from destructive tenants, but the number of prospective tenants is much smaller. This can lead to properties being on the market much longer, both when renting and selling. Combination residential and commercial properties, most often with a street level commercial unit and apartments above, can present an opportunity for a compromise real estate investment.


  • Real Estate Investment Trusts, REIT, provide a way for investors to gain exposure to the rental real estate market without the significant investment of time and money required to purchase and hold real estate. A REIT is a trust that may hold various types of real estate properties, including residential and commercial rental real estate. A REIT’s management may choose to specialize in certain types of real estate or real estate in certain areas. REITs buys and sells on the stock market like any other stock which makes getting into and out of the investment quick and easy.