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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    FILE PHOTO: Historian Billy Mitchell poses outside the Apollo Theater in the Harlem section of New York June 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City real estate companies' attempts to rename a Harlem neighborhood "SoHa" have enraged long-time residents of the historically black enclave, who say the move erases the community's rich cultural history.

    The neighborhood served as home and inspiration to generations of leading African Americans, including activists W.E.B. Du Bois and Malcolm X, who dubbed it "Seventh Heaven," and artists such as poet Langston Hughes, and singers Harry Belafonte and Ella Fitzgerald.

    The appearance in real estate ads of the "SoHa" nickname, echoing the high-priced, largely white Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo in lower Manhattan, angered Harlem's U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat, who vowed to introduce a House resolution to protect Harlem from being renamed.

    "#WeRHarlem! And we refuse to be called by any other name! #NY13 #HarlemStrong," @RepEspaillat wrote on Twitter on Monday.

    The tweet accompanied a photograph of the famed Apollo Theater, where Fitzgerald made her singing debut at age 17 on Amateur Night in 1934.

    Espaillat said the congressional resolution he plans to introduce this week "supports imposing limitations on the ability to change the name of a neighborhood based on economic gain."

    "I along with leaders and constituents of this community stand united to vigorously oppose the renaming Harlem in yet another sanctioned gentrification," he said in an email. "This is an incredibly insulting attempt to disown Harlem's longtime residents, legacy, and culture."

    Harlem is not the only historically black U.S. neighborhood to have its image challenged by eager real estate agents. Further north, parts of the South Bronx have been christened the "Piano District," a reference to its former instrument manufacturing base.

    In Washington, D.C., real estate firms have recast the Shaw neighborhood around historically black Howard University as North End of Shaw.

    Both sparked outrage among long-time residents, particularly after developers who pushed the Piano District name change threw a "Bronx is Burning" themed Halloween party in 2015 that focused on the neighborhood's 1970s decay, complete with a bullet-riddled car sculpture.

    The "SoHa" name has begun appearing in real estate listings for apartments located between 110th Street and 125th Street and Realtor Keller Williams boasts a "SoHa Team" of agents on its website.

    Neither Keller Williams nor the Real Estate Board of New York, an industry association, immediately responded to requests for comment.

     

    (Additional reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Dan Grebler)

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    china real estate model

    China’s massive international real estate buying spree just got another hurdle. Anbang Insurance Group, the Chinese behemoth that’s been buying landmarks across the globe, has lost its Chairman to an anti-graft campaign. While he’s not being accused of criminal activity, an investigation being led by the Communist government’s corruption watchdog will put a temporary halt on their real estate buying. This was likely a warning to other companies to consider lowering their leverage, and quit sending capital out of the country.

    WTF Is An Anbang?

    No, it’s not that thing you did that time in college. Anbang is a private Chinese insurance company based in Beijing. It was started 12 years ago with significant equity injections from major state owned enterprises. The complete ownership is more than a little murky, although US Congress just flat-out calls them a “state-owned foreign financial entity.” They employ over 30,000 people, and hold more than US$289 billion in assets. To give that number some context, Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google) had US$172.76 billion in assets as of March 2017. So, Anbang is kind of a big deal.

    Anbang is officially an insurance company, but not even close to a traditional one. They sell high yield investments, and use the cash to make high profile acquisitions tied to inflation sensitive assets in foreign countries (mostly real estate). They first got on Western radars when they bought the Waldorf Hotel in New York City for US$1.95 billion, which they’re going to turn into condos. They also made headlines when they attempted to do business with White House advisor (and President Trump’s son-in-law) Jared Kushner, but the deal supposedly fell through because it would be a liability for the Trump administration. This was right around when s**t starts going cray-cray.

    Possibly China’s Largest Property Buyer

    Over the past two years Chinese real estate investment surged, with Anbang behind a lot of the deals. It’s estimated that Chinese investors made US$54.7 billion in investments from 2015 – 2016. Anbang’s investments total US$16 billion during that time. This means almost a third of all Chinese global real estate investment could have come from this one firm.

    Chairman Wu Gets Detained

    Anbang’s rapid expansion was largely due to their ambitious Chairman Wu Xiaohui. On April 28, rumors began floating on Chinese social media that he had been detained for “illegal loans” he used to “transfer assets overseas.” Two days later, Chinese financial news site Caixin poured through registries, attempting to demystify shareholder structure. While doing so, they determined that there may be cross investments pledged by subsidiaries. They questioned whether these cross investments led to capital reserves being counted more than once. Shortly after Chairman Wu made an appearance to deny the allegations, but that apparently never made it to Mainland Chinese press.

    One of Chinas Largest Real Estate Buyers Has A Lot of ‘splainin To Do Caixin

    Source: Caixin.

    On June 2, Financial Times (FT) reported that Chairman Wu was barred from leaving China. A financial executive told FT, the government “wants to stop financial institutions from doing crazy things” that might provoke a financial crisis. On June 15, Bloomberg reported he isn’t accused of criminal activity, but is being questioned on “economic crimes.” That same day Anbang sent out a press release saying Chairman Wu will “temporarily [be] unable to fulfil his role for personal reasons.” Maybe he took some time off to have a movie marathon featuring Will Ferrell’s Get Hard? You know… because there’s some great life lessons in that movie.

    Future Of Chinese Real Estate Buyers

    If Chairman Wu is on the sidelines, does this mean Anbang’s shopping spree will come to an abrupt end? In my opinion, this was a warning shot to Chinese companies to lower leverage, and more important – stop capital outflows. China has laid down aggressive rules to further crackdown on capital from leaving the country. The government has been blocking deals of all kinds – from TV studios, to regular people looking to acquire personal real estate. It would be surprising for a firm even close to the size of Anbang to continue their buying spree. Chinese buyers will be back, but not until the yuan goes convertible. Don’t expect that to happen anytime soon, since China is refusing the ability for yuan to USD convertibility.

    Global real estate markets that have exhausted domestic capital growth and were depending on foreign capital are probably going to have to look elsewhere. Maybe Russia? Or you know…quit chasing artificial growth.

    SEE ALSO: Here's why China's supposed influence over North Korea is a bluff

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Navy SEAL explains what to do if you're attacked by a dog


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    Million dollar homes are all the rage now, according to the latest report from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. Nearly 38 percent more homes priced over $1 million sold this May compared to May 2016.

    So even though it’s way out my price range, let’s take a look at what $1,050,000 gets you in Denver and three other markets.

    1. Denver 

    There’s no pool filled with money or other such trappings of obvious wealth, but this is still a pretty good looking home. And if you love the modern aesthetic, this home has it in spades, from its angular exterior, to the rectangular cabinets of kitchen.

    denv1

    Denver 2 1

    denv3

    denv4

    2. Boulder 

    Boulder 1

    Boulder 2

    Boulder 3

    Boulder 4

    3. Atlanta 

    Atlanta 1

    Atlanta 3

    Atlanta 2

    Atlanta 4

    4. Seattle 

    This is exactly what I imagine when I think of expensive Seattle real estate: lots of windows, recessed lighting, verdant plant life out the windows. The staging is a touch sterile, but I’m getting light Ex Machina vibes, so purchase if your life plan includes becoming a tech billionaire.

    Seattle 1

    Seattle 2

    Seattle 3

    Seattle 4

     

    SEE ALSO: A Colorado county might walk away from $1.7 million because they're scared of a 'war on suburbs'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: JIM ROGERS: The worst crash in our lifetime is coming


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    Grey Gardens

    Grey Gardens has gone corporate. The home — perhaps one of the most infamous in the Hamptons — will be rented all summer by American Express, which plans to use it for special events, according to the New York Post.

    The Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park is said to be involved in the deal, but details, including the monthly rental price, are scarce.

    It's still up for sale with a discounted price of $18 million — $2 million less than the owners of the home originally asked for when it listed in February. The Corcoran Group has the listing.

    Anyone who saw the "Grey Gardens" documentary or Broadway play would most likely balk at living in the home it was inspired by — it was in incredibly poor shape during the filming of the documentary, and it's even rumored to be haunted.

    However, the East Hampton mansion now looks nothing like it did in the 1975 documentary, which showcased the lives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis' former socialite relatives.

    The journalist and author Sally Quinn purchased the mansion with her husband, the Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, for $220,000 in 1979. They rehabilitated it to its current splendor, according to The New York Times.

    SEE ALSO: New York City's 'Billionaire's Row' is dead — and a record-breaking foreclosure could be the 'nail in the coffin'

    The home has the slate exterior typical of Hamptons homes.



    Walk past the sizable porch ...



    ... and enter a home of stately beauty.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Flintstone house

    In May, after several years on the market, a unique house situated in the affluent town of Hillsborough, California, finally found a buyer.

    We now know, thanks to Curbed SF, exactly how much the new owner ended up paying for it: $2.8 million.

    Known by Bay Area locals as the "Flintstones House" for its kooky attributes, the house was originally listed for $4.2 million in 2015. It underwent several price chops and was most recently listed for $3.19 million.

    Many neighbors call the home an eyesore, especially after it was painted orange and purple, according to Business Insider. But others in this wealthy suburb of San Francisco consider it a landmark that's beloved for its quirkiness. 

    Take a look around the home that has divided a community. Judy Meuschke of Alain Pinel Realtors had the listing.

    SEE ALSO: Nobody wants to buy the most infamous house in the Hamptons, but American Express is renting it for the summer

    Even from far away, it's easy to see that the Flintstones House isn't a normal property.



    It's made from concrete that's been painted orange and purple, though it was first finished in an off-white color when it was built in 1976.



    The odd shape of the house was created by applying shotcrete to both a steel rebar structure and a series of mesh frames held up by inflated balloons typically used for aeronautical research.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    one57 from the sky

    The man behind what could be the largest foreclosure in New York City real estate history may have just been revealed.

    A full-floor penthouse in the landmark One57 condo building is headed to the auction block after it was seized under foreclosure, and according to the New York Post, Nigerian energy tycoon Kolawole "Kola" Aluko was the buyer of the unit in question. 

    The 79th-floor apartment, which was the eighth-priciest sold in the building, will go to auction on July 19. It was purchased for $50.9 million with a $35.3 million mortgage loan from Banque Havilland in 2014. 

    Aluko reportedly hasn't made his payments, and Banque Havilland has repossessed the home.

    Aluko's yacht, the Galactica Star, was listed as collateral on the loan, but neither he nor the yacht has been seen in some time. This has fueled speculation that he is hiding out on the yacht, according to the Post. Aluko is reportedly on the run from Nigerian authorities seeking to question him on allegations of money laundering. Authorities have attempted to freeze Aluko's assets, but the tycoon claims residency in Switzerland and owns properties all over the world.

    Aluko and the Galactica Star were last seen in the Bahamas during Ja Rule's failed Fyre Festival in April. 

    Editor's Note: After this story was published, we heard from several readers who claim to have seen the Galactica Star docked at a marina in Playa Mujeres, Mexico.

    Galatcia Star

    SEE ALSO: New York City's 'Billionaire's Row' is dead — and a record-breaking foreclosure could be the 'nail in the coffin'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This $35 million NYC penthouse is located inside a clock tower


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    One57

    In hindsight, the unpaid common charges were a red flag.

    In December, the condo board at One57, the ultra-luxury skyscraper on Billionaires' Row, slapped the owner of a $50.9 million unit with a $64,331 bill for unpaid building fees. Six months later, the owner, Nigerian oil magnate Kola Aluko, was under investigation for alleged money laundering. In a rare move for a Manhattan condo, his lender moved to foreclose on the property.

    Coupled with a series of unprofitable resales, the impending foreclosure— the second at One57 in as many months — has cast a shadow over the onetime poster child of the luxury residential boom. And it raises further questions about the health of Billionaires' Row at a time when the tower's developer, Gary Barnett, is planning an even more ambitious undertaking.

    "It's an isolated incident, but symptomatic of a bigger story," said Leonard Steinberg, president of Compass. "Foreclosures used to be the domain of people who were barely scraping by. This shows it can apply as equally to the very wealthy."

    And there could be aftershocks.

    "On the very high end of the market, where pricing has been knocked up again and again to the extreme, certain people will break," Steinberg said.

    This is particularly bad news for developers hawking new luxury product. That group includes Barnett, whose Extell Development is finalizing funding for Central Park Tower, a $4 billion condo project that seeks to eclipse even One57 in terms of ostentation and price tag. The 179-unit project at 217 West 57th Street, which recently received approval to launch sales, is the priciest in the city’s history.

    "You have a nearby development from the same developer with a similar price point that's got twice the number of units," said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. "The first building has a lot of units to sell and Billionaires' Row is very quiet right now. Maybe that will change. But the scale of this and the fact that it took so long to shore up financing, it’s confusing to me what the lenders are thinking. It makes no sense."

    A spokesperson for Extell said "these foreclosures are related to specific buyers' personal financial circumstances and are atypical for this sector of the market."

    "One57 set the bar for luxury on 57th Street," the spokesperson continued. "Central Park Tower is expected to launch sales before the end of the year – and we are confident in the strength of the luxury market, especially along 57th Street where records continue to be broken."

    Hard times on the 79th floor

    one57 from the skyIn many ways, One57 epitomizes the narrative of the current cycle. When it launched sales in 2011, it set a new threshold for what buyers were willing to pay for a Manhattan apartment. The building still holds the record for the priciest closed sale in the city, at $100.5 million, or about $9,200 per square foot. Barnett once referred to the view of Central Park from the upper floors of the tower as "the money shot."

    But as the market began to soften, One57 became one of its most glaring casualties. Some buyers looking for a quick profit instead took a beating. One investor paid $32 million, or north of $7,000 a foot, for a 32nd-floor pad, and right after closing on the unit relisted it for nearly $10 million more. After numerous price cuts and over a year on the market, it finally sold for $21.4 million, or less than $5,000 a foot.

    Both Aluko and the owner of the other unit facing foreclosure, Sheri Izadpanah, had heavily leveraged their purchases. Izadpanah financed nearly 90 percent of the cost of her unit through a loan from a Canadian entity linked to Maurice Benisti’s Point Zero Capital. Aluko secured a $35.34 million mortgage from Banque Havilland, a Luxembourg-based institution, for his $50.9 million purchase in 2014.

    "Usually those loans aren't written today," said Warburg Realty's Jason Haber. "[As a lender], I want the buyer to have sizeable skin in the game."

    The negative optics of two foreclosures and unprofitable resales could take a toll on sales at One57, where Extell has only sold four units this year, brokers said. And after the developer listed 38 rental units for sale, prices are trending down.

    “As a buyer, I know I have leverage,” said Platinum Properties’ Khashy Eyn, who had the listing for Izadpanah’s apartment.

    “It’s like getting an awful stain on a gorgeous wedding dress,” Tyler Whitman, an agent at Triplemint, said of the situation with Aluko’s apartment. “Foreclosures happen — people fall on hard times and things go south. But for it to happen in a building like this is surprising. It’s become abundantly clear than One57 did not turn out to be the investment everyone wanted it to be.”

    The foreclosures also serve as a referendum on “know your customer” policies. Developers risk the reputations of their buildings when they ink deals with questionable buyers. Examined under this light, the rigorous financial vetting by co-op boards at tony buildings such as 740 Park Avenue doesn’t seem so archaic, sources said.

    “These co-ops are often much more diligent and efficient when it comes to vetting buyers,” said Douglas Elliman’s Frances Katzen. “They’re protecting the reputation of the building.”

    Just how much demand exists for ultra-luxury condos has flummoxed developers and brokers over the past two years.  The short answer: Not enough.

    On 57th Street alone, World Wide Group and Rose Associates have cut prices and dangled broker incentives in an attempt to attract buyers at 252 East 57th Street, while JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group postponed sales at 111 West 57th Street last year.

    “If the market were red-hot, people would be buying off plans, throwing checks down, and it’d be great,” PMG’s Kevin Maloney told Bloomberg at the time.

    Ofer Yardeni, CEO of multifamily investment firm Stonehenge Partners, put it this way: “If real estate was a publicly traded company and I could short its stock, I would very happily short 57th Street,” he said in 2014. “The market there has stopped,” he said. “It hasn’t just declined 5 percent or 10 percent. It’s just stopped.”

    Leap of faith

    The one with the most to lose could be Barnett himself.

    After more than 18 months of searching in a capital-arid environment, he’s finalizing a $900 million construction loan for Central Park Tower, a planned 1,550-foot tower just west of One57 at 217 West 57th Street, as The Real Deal first reported last week. While Barnett described the construction loan he was seeking for the project as being “very conservative,” penciling out to $1,800 a foot, it would still be one of the largest loans ever recorded for a residential project in New York.

    But the troubles at One57 have some observers puzzled that Barnett and his peers would think of moving forward on new projects at this time.

    One57’s foreclosures, said Town Residential CEO Andrew Heiberger, “are terrible news for all supertall towers looking to sell for more than $5,000 a foot.”

    “We’re all surprised that there’s so much construction going on when the market has changed,” said Douglas Elliman’s Richard Steinberg.“It’s not a reflection on the developer, but it doesn’t bode well for the Billionaires’ Row marketplace to have foreclosures,” Katzen said. “It freaks people out and sends a message that there’s a bit less liquidity out there than everyone imagines.”

    There are certainly projects out there that have managed to buck this trend. At Vornado Realty Trust’s 220 Central Park South, hedge funder Ken Griffin is reportedly in contract to pay over $200 million for a giant spread, while a Qatari buyer was said to be in talks in 2015 to pay an even greater sum for a multiple-unit spread at the building. And at 432 Park Avenue, even though Macklowe Properties and CIM Group have had to offer discounts on some pads, total closed sales are approaching $1.8 billion, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal. Though even those numbers come with a catch: For the priciest sale at 432 Park, for example, CIM provided the buyer, Saudi retail magnate Fawaz Al Hokair, with a $56 million money mortgage, which means that the developer only received a portion of the sales price at closing.

    And Barnett has a history of doubling down when others are fleeing from the market.

    In the depth of the recession, he convinced two Abu Dhabi–based government investment funds to put up a majority of the equity he needed to build One57. By the time the tower was ready, Barnett and his partners became among the first to benefit from the rip-roaring market in 2012 and 2013.

    Some said Central Park Tower could follow the same arc, particularly if the market rebounds by the time Extell brings the condos to market.

    "It's probably five years out," said Warburg Realty’s Frederick Peters. "Maybe we're in a different market at that point. Usually the people who are brave enough when things look bad are the people who cash in when the market turns around."

    SEE ALSO: The foreclosed $50.9 million penthouse on Billionaire's Row is reportedly owned by a Nigerian tycoon who could be hiding on his yacht

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Billionaire investor Ray Dalio says 'you can know' market returns will be just 3% to 4%. Here's why he's so sure


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    mansion pool luxury home

    If you call one of the most expensive US ZIP codes home, there's one thing you can't live without: a high salary.

    Well, either that or lots and lots of cash.

    With median home prices starting at just over $2 million, these ZIP codes are the definition of exclusive. Real estate listings site Property Shark used data from 2016 home sales to determine which ZIP codes in the US were most expensive for buyers. Only ZIP codes containing more than five sold properties were considered.

    California and New York dominated the list. Just two of the 25 ZIP codes are located in other states.

    So what does it take to buy a home in one of these communities?

    For starters, unless you're paying with cash, you have to be prepared to prove your income and fork over a down payment of at least 20%. If you qualify for a mortgage, it won't be your average, run-of-the-mill loan. At this price point, banks issue a "jumbo mortgage." It's basically the same thing ... but bigger.

    To get approved for a jumbo mortgage, your monthly payment must be 38% or less of your pre-tax income. Not that you should stretch your budget that far. Many, many people own or rent homes that aren't technically "affordable." Among American homeowners, 10%, or 7.6 million, spend more than half their household income on their mortgage. But in an ideal world, your housing costs would be much lower.

    The standard measure for "affordable" housing, regardless of the price of the home, is that total monthly expenses should not exceed 30% of your pre-tax income.

    But a mortgage is just the beginning of your housing costs. With one of these homes, your property taxes — not to mention your air-conditioning bills — are going to be steep. It's not cheap to maintain the pool and the lawn and other ongoing repair costs. Oh, and don't forget about homeowner's insurance. 

    Given all of the extra expenses of homeownership, we broke the 30% measure of housing affordability down into 5% for expenses and 25% for your monthly mortgage payment. Then, we did the math so you don't have to: If you're earning the below salaries, your mortgage will take only about 25% of your monthly income, leaving another 5% for extra housing costs — and putting you safely at 30%.

    Keep reading to see how much you need to earn annually to afford a median-priced home in each of the 25 most expensive ZIP codes in the US. 

    SEE ALSO: Harvard researchers say one-third of Americans overpay for housing

    DON'T MISS: 32 cities around the world where the most rich people live

    25. 95030: Los Gatos, California

    Salary required: $399,654

    Monthly mortgage payment: $8,326

    Median sale price: $2,180,000
    Down payment: $436,000
    Mortgage amount: $1,744,000



    24. 94123: San Francisco, California

    Salary required: $405,154

    Monthly mortgage payment: $8,441

    Median sale price: $2,210,000
    Down payment: $442,000
    Mortgage amount: $1,768,000



    23. 94306: Palo Alto, California

    Salary required: $408,362

    Monthly mortgage payment: $8,508

    Median sale price: $2,227,500
    Down payment: $445,500
    Mortgage amount: $1,782,000



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    retired couple watching relaxing

    Our clients want to be assured they will be able to achieve their retirement goals.

    One important part of that process is knowing what not to do. I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 mistakes people have made as they approach retirement.

    To start, we’ll look at the top five.

    1. Not accounting for inflation in your income and expense projections

    It is very difficult without the expertise of a certified financial planner (CFP) or true financial planning software (not a glorified Excel spreadsheet) to illustrate the impact inflation will have on your retirement.

    I have found that most people who are going at it alone, and even some who are working with an adviser, do not account for inflation, which is a big mistake.

    Please keep this in mind: With only a 3% inflation rate, you lose about a third of your purchasing power in just 10 years. So the longer your retirement, the bigger the impact it will have.

    2. Not considering longevity risk in your overall retirement plan

    Unless you have extenuating circumstances or certain medical conditions (e.g. terminally ill) it is extremely risky to assume you will only live to a certain age when the mortality tables indicate otherwise.

    It has been said that the good news is people are living longer and the bad news is people are living longer. If you consider someone who is retiring in their early 60s, they may be looking at a 30- or  40-year retirement horizon.

    This means they may be in retirement as long as they were working. In fact, this year most of the major life insurance companies have adopted the most recent mortality tables into their offerings to reflect this fact. (For related reading, see: Retirement in an Age of Longevity.)

    3. Taking too much market risk with your investments

    This is always an interesting one, as I have noticed investors want to be aggressive when the market is going up and they want to be conservative when it is going down.

    Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball (including myself), so trying to time the market is a very bad idea. I would contend you should only take the amount of risk you are comfortable taking, no more, but in some cases, maybe less.

    Risk tolerance has to do with how you feel, so there is no right or wrong. I find most people are unaware of how much risk (downside exposure) they even have. If you asked people who retired just before the last financial crisis (October 15, 2007–March 2, 2009), I am sure they would agree. Make sure your investment portfolio always matches your risk comfort level at all times.

    4. Not properly accounting for the impact taxes may have in your retirement years

    I know we can’t predict the future, however, I think most people would agree with the statement that taxes will most likely continue to increase, especially considering our huge national debt. People are told their tax rates will be lower in retirement than they were in their working years. I was even taught this when I first started in the business.

    I can tell you this isn’t necessarily true. Many people who are retired will tell you that since their house is paid off and they don’t have dependent children living at home anymore, they don’t have the deductions they used to have, which can affect their taxable income rate. We believe tax planning is more important now more than ever. (For related reading, see: 5 Tax(ing) Retirement Mistakes.)

    5. Not consolidating your financial and investment accounts

    There is something to be said for keeping things simple, especially when you are retired. It can be a full-time job to manage where and what you have if you have accounts with multiple institutions, which is why it is important to consolidate when you can.

    You can’t combine your IRA with your spouse's, but if you have a few IRAs, maybe a 401(k), etc. you can usually combine those into one single IRA (please see a qualified CPA/tax professional before doing so). This is especially true when you reach the age of 70.5 and need to start taking their required minimum distributions (RMDs).

    One of the many benefits of working with a financial planner is they can simplify your life by keeping things simple, so you can enjoy your retirement years doing the things you enjoy. It makes your surviving spouse's and your children’s lives easier when that time comes as well.

    (For related reading, see: Managing Income During Retirement.)

    Silverman + Associates Wealth Management, LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make and offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities product, service or investment strategy. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified adviser, tax professional or attorney before implementing any strategy or recommendation discussed herein.

    Mark Silverman, CFP® is a wealth manager at Silverman + Associates.  He focuses on providing wealth management solutions to both affluent retirees as well as professionals who are within 10 years of retirement.

    SEE ALSO: My wife and I purchased 8 homes — here's our best advice for buying a house

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A financial planner explains why buying a home is one of the best investments you can make


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    ori robotic furniture system 4

    A startup based out of Boston wants to make micro-living a little more luxurious.

    Ori— named for the Japanese art of origami — makes a furniture system that transforms small spaces for sleeping, entertaining, and working. The high-tech armoir holds a full- or queen-sized bed, closet, desk, media center, and additional storage, and slides on mechanized rails to reveal different parts of the system. Apartment-dwellers can make their bedroom appear with the push of a button, or push the whole system to the wall to create space for guests.

    In May, the company partnered with 13 real-estate developers in 10 cities, including Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Vancouver, to bring the Ori system to select studio apartments as part of a pilot program. It expects to install 1,200 units across North America through 2018.

    Ori founder and CEO Hasier Larrea told Business Insider the shape-shifting furniture system aims to provide the experience of luxury when people don't have the luxury of size.

    ori robotic furniture system 3

    During a demo in a San Francisco studio apartment, Larrea called to an Amazon Echo device and asked it to get his bedroom ready. The system glided five feet out from the wall, exposing a full-sized bed underneath. With a tap on the unit's touch interface, the bed slid into storage and created the illusion of a walk-in closet between the wall and the unit.

    It uses about one-tenth the electricity of a hair blow dryer, according to Larrea. And if the power goes out, the system can be moved manually (though it might be a two-person job).

    The unit is clunky, but versatile. The shelving is made from plywood, rather than the cheap foam board you find in IKEA products. It has simple, modern finishes — an indication of Ori's partnership with industrial design firm Fuseproject, which helped create the look.

    ori robotic furniture system 5

    Larrea hopes to someday license the technology to architects so they can make the system their own. He envisions Ori products in dormitories, offices, and hospitals.

    "The systems and robotics that we're building prove that a 300-square-foot apartment could have the functionality of an apartment twice the size," Larrea said.

    Check out the Ori furniture system in action in the video below.

    SEE ALSO: I bought a bed from the Target-backed 'Warby Parker of mattresses' and I'll never buy one in stores again

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Remarkable photos show crazy micro apartments around the world


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    madison square park tower penthouse looking north

    A $48 million penthouse in a new Manhattan skyscraper has a rather generous bonus included with purchase.

    In addition to the 7,028-square-foot duplex penthouse at the Madison Square Park Tower — located at 45 East 22nd Street — buyers will also get two in-building parking spots and two studio apartments, which the listing notes could be "for staff or guests." The studio apartments are also located within the same tower.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, those parking spots usually cost $500,000 each.

    Penthouse A itself is being marketed as a "white box" that the buyer can customize as they see fit, going up to five bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms. 

    Let's take a look around the duplex and the building. It was developed by Bruce Eichner and is being listed by Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. 

    SEE ALSO: We got a peek inside a $20 million apartment in the latest skyscraper to dramatically alter Manhattan's skyline

    The unfurnished penthouse has 23-foot ceilings, which are emphasized by dramatic glass walls in parts of the apartment.



    Those windows offer some pretty dramatic views, both to the north ...



    ... and to the south.



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    Shotgun House

    Homeowners who appeared on the TV show "Fixer Upper" are cashing in on the success of the HGTV program.

    "Shotgun House," which appeared on a season-three episode of "Fixer Upper" in March 2016, was bought for $28,000 and renovated by co-hosts Joanna and Chip Gaines, according to Curbed. The one-bedroom property in Waco, Texas, has now been put on the market for $950,000 by its owners. It has 1,050 square feet of space and is listed with Briggs Freeman.

    The Gaines have been fixing up dilapidated homes in Waco since November 2015 and now have a cult following. In fact, the show has become such a hit that it's transformed the town of Waco into a full-fledged tourist destination.

    This has meant that many of the "Fixer Upper" homeowners are renting their houses out on Airbnb and taking advantage of its popularity.

    Take a look around the incredible and miniature "Shotgun House."

    SEE ALSO: I traveled to Waco, Texas, to see the town that has been transformed by HGTV's hit show 'Fixer Upper' — here's what it's like

    This compact, one-bedroom home, known as "Shotgun House," appeared on season three of the TV show.



    The house was originally bought for $28,000 by couple Cameron and Jessie Bell. It's now being listed with realtor Briggs Freeman for $950,000.

    The house had been abandoned when they first found it. It was also located on a plot of land that had been sold. It was then moved to another location



    The couple currently lists the house on Airbnb for $325 per night, excluding tax and service fees.

    Source: Airbnb



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    Charleston, SC

    When you think of the most beautiful beaches in the United States, you probably think of Southern California, Hawaii, and Florida. However, there are tons of gorgeous beach towns all over the country — and not all of them are on the ocean.

    WalletHub, a personal finance website, just released a ranking of the best beach towns to live in, and many of them are in locations you wouldn't expect. The site gathered experts from a wide range of fields, including economics, urban planning, and environmental studies, to develop a methodology for the ranking. The experts came up with a system based on affordability, weather, safety, economy, education, health, and quality of life.  

    Several popular coastal cities appeared on the list, but many of the winners are nowhere near the ocean.  In fact, California only earned one spot on the list.

    Keep scrolling to see where you should move to. 

    15. Stillwater, Minnesota



    14. Jupiter, Florida



    13. Kihei, Hawaii



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    Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman

    Online real estate brokerage Redfin has put the "for sale" sign on its own shares, filing the paperwork for an IPO late on Friday. 

    Redfin is backed by some of Silicon Valley's biggest names, and plans to begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol "RDFN," it said in the S-1 filing with the SEC.

    Redfin pegged the size of the offering at $100 million, though that number is likely just a placeholder that will be updated with the real, larger number as it moves closer to IPO day.

    Seattle-based Redfin was founded in 2005 and had its share of founder controversies over the years and is currently run by CEO Glenn Kelman, formerly the co-founder of Plumtree Software, acquired back in 2005 by BEA Systems.

    It has become famous as an online real estate brokerage that doesn't just list properties like other real estate sites such as Zillow and Trulia. Redfin actually employs agents to sell properties and it charges a lower-than-industry-standard 1.5% listing fee.

    The company says it has helped customers buy 75,000 homes, worth than $40 billion in total, through 2016. 

    It has raised a boatload of venture investment over the years, nearly $168 million, according to Crunchbase. One early backer is Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Vulcan still owns 10% of the company.

    Still, the IPO market has been fickle this year, with an assortment of hits and misses. For investors looking for growth, Refin seems to have that:

    • Revenue has been rising: 2016 revenue was $267 million, up from $187 million in 2015.
    • Losses have been narrowing: 2016 net loss was $22.5 million, down from $30.2 million in 2015.
    • Monthly average visitors to its website are rising: 16,215 in 2016, compared to 11,705  in 2015.
    • And its total number of real estate transactions are on the rise: 35,350 in 2016, compared to 27,492 in 2015.

    SEE ALSO: By desperately trying to save his nearly bankrupt startup, this guy accidentally found a $10 million idea

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here are all the major changes coming to your iPhone


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    You want a rental in the best location, with the most amenities, and the maximum square footage. Who doesn't? But just how much apartment can you reasonably expect for under a grand? To help uncover the answer, the experts at Trulia compared apartments under $1,000 in 10 big cities across the country.

    The result? No surprises here: A prime city location equals a higher rent. But communities make up for it through amplified amenities — think resort-style pools, huge walk-in closets, and, in one instance, the invitation to choose the unit's design style. Take a look at what $1,000 gets you in some of the country's biggest rental markets.

    Keep reading to see how much apartment you can afford for your hard-earned cash in 10 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas.

    SEE ALSO: Here's how much you need to earn to comfortably afford a home in the 25 most expensive ZIP codes in America

    DON'T MISS: Harvard researchers say one-third of Americans overpay for housing — and renters have it the worst

    1. $1,035/month — Paradise Palms in Phoenix, AZ

    Paradise Palms' desirable location in Biltmore, one of Phoenix's more upscale neighborhoods, makes it a prime locale for tenants. The rental community is central to many of the neighborhood's best attractions, including Biltmore Fashion Centre (one mile away), the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club (three miles away), and Camelback Colonnade (one-half mile away). Downtown Phoenix is just over four miles to the south, but if you'd rather stay at home, you can enjoy the creature comforts of your one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. Yours for $1,035 per month, the 1,000-square-foot pad features an open floor plan with a gourmet kitchen, energy-efficient appliances, large walk-in closets, and a private patio or balcony. Steeped in mid-century-modern style, the community delivers amenities such as two outdoor pools, a bark park, extra storage, and grilling stations.



    2. $975/month — Embassy Apartments in Philadelphia, PA

    With studios starting at $975 per month, Embassy Apartments is an affordable choice for those looking to live in Philadelphia's tony Fitler Square neighborhood. Replete with quiet residential streets and brimming with charm, the neighborhood is close to two of Philly's favorite outdoor attractions: the new Schuylkill River Trail and the (much older) Rittenhouse Square Park. That's in addition to being near countless restaurants, coffee shops, cultural institutions, and boutiques. Keeping with the neighborhood's historic vibe, the sun-drenched studios at Embassy Apartments feature original architectural details, like crown molding and hardwood floors.



    3. $991/month — Carlyle at Bartram Park in Jacksonville, FL

    Complete with spouting fountains and an expansive sundeck with grills, the outdoor pool at Carlyle at Bartram Park is in line with what you'd expect from a luxury resort. In fact, curating a vacation vibe is the M.O. of this apartment community in Jacksonville, about 16 miles south of downtown. Palm trees and lush foliage decorate the landscape, and there's even a lake in the middle of the property that's encircled by a paved walking trail. Apartments promote R&R through spa-like soaking tubs, spacious master suites, in-unit washer-dryers, and screened-in balconies or patios. You can call dibs on all of the above for $991 per month, the starting price for a 781-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment here. Approximate driving time to the beach: about 20 minutes.



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    google

    There are parts of Silicon Valley where commercial real estate is still hanging on, and there are parts where it has let go.

    In Santa Clara, it has let go. Overall availability of office space in Santa Clara was nearly 19% in the first quarter, according to Savills Studley, up from 14% a year ago. Only two other areas in Silicon Valley – Milpitas and North San Jose – show greater availability at respectively 23% and a harrowing 30%.

    The availability problem becomes very real along the Great America Parkway, between Highway 237 and Highway 101. It’s near Levi’s Stadium. Nearby, Yahoo owned 49 acres of land that it acquired in 2006 and on which it had planned to build its new headquarters. It tore down the buildings on it and got the project approved for 3 million square feet of office space. It scuttled these plans in 2014 and turned the land into a parking lot for Levi’s Stadium. In April 2016, Yahoo sold the property for $250 million to LeEco, a Chinese company that had surged out of nowhere.

    LeEco was going to get into nearly everything, including electric cars in the US. It was going to build its global headquarters on it and hire 12,000 people. Then came reality. Earlier this year, LeEco in turn scuttled those plans and pulled back from the US, claiming that it had run into a cash crunch. It has since been trying to sell the property. There will be a buyer eventually, as always, but maybe not at $250 million.

    Turns out, that corridor along the Great America Parkway is drowning in office space that is for lease.

    “A growing Commercial Real Estate disaster” – that’s what Michael, who has been to this area on a regular basis since 2010, calls it.

    “This should be a thriving area given it is directly in the path to Levi stadium,” he said. “I have been seeing an incredible amount of construction here and everywhere over the last few years. However in the past year, I am seeing a considerable amount of for-lease signs with new construction projects unabated.”

    Here is the stretch of the Great America Parkway between Highway 237 and Highway 101:

    Santa clara map

    And here are the for-lease signs Michael photographed in front of office buildings along the Parkway.

    Santa Clara 1

    Santa Clara 2

    The building below used to sport a Dell logo. The logo disappeared, and now the whole building appears to be under renovation.

    Santa Clara 3

    The building across the street now has the Dell logo:

    Santa Clara 4 Dell

    And more space for lease.

    Santa Clara 5

    “Santa Clara and Sunnyvale had some of the most pleasant industrial commercial buildings that blended well with curved roads and lots of trees,” Michael says.

    Santa Clara 6

    Santa Clara 7

    “Now most of these are being leveled for these glass multi story monsters.”

    Santa Clara 8

    Santa Clara 9

    Santa Clara 10

    “There are at least a million square feet of unoccupied commercial real estate on a single street.”

    Santa Clara 11

    “Irrational construction?”

    Santa Clara 12

    But it’s not just Santa Clara. According to Savills Studley’s report on the Silicon Valley office sector in Q1, overall availability in Silicon Valley rose to 16% and availability of Class A office buildings jumped nearly four points year-over-year to 20% in Q1.

    In some areas, availability is low. But in others, such as in Santa Clara and San Jose, the opposite is the case. These two cities account for nearly two-thirds of the available space for lease in Silicon Valley. And there is a lot of construction, but only about half of it has been pre-leased.

    Availability in some key places:

    • Palo Alto:  6%
    • Menlo Park:  12%
    • Mountain View/Los Altos:  12%
    • Downtown San Jose:  17%
    • Santa Clara:  19%
    • Milpitas:  23%
    • North San Jose:  30%

    Yet, overall asking rents rose 6% year-over-year. Class B and C asking rents were about flat, but class A asking rents spiked nearly 15%. Even in Santa Clara – despite the vacant offices cluttering up the landscape – overall asking rents rose 5% year-over-year.

    But these are asking rents, not actual deals, where tenants negotiated big concessions and lower rents. And these deals have slowed to a crawl…

    Leasing activity peaked in mid-2015 at 12 million square feet on a trailing four-quarters basis. Leasing activity has since plunged 50% to just 5.8 msf for the trailing four-quarters, even as new supply keeps piling on the market.

    “It is open to debate, though, whether the region is gearing up for more growth or if the rally is winding down,” the report mused.

    And nationally, the Commercial Real Estate boom-and-bust cycle has turned.

    SEE ALSO: These are the trending ideas among tech’s biggest influencers

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We drove a brand-new Tesla Model X from San Francisco to New York — here's what happened


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    crestview lane hamptons

    Buying a vacation home may be as close as you can get to buying peace of mind.

    That is, unless you spend too much money and cause yourself endless headaches as a result.

    Vacation homes, which accounted for 12% of all home sales in 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), tend to be located 200 miles from the buyer's primary residence. Being near a beach (36%), at the lake (21%), or in the country (20%) were the most popular destinations.

    To avoid vacation-home stress, the standard measure for "affordable" housing still applies. All in — between your primary residence and your getaway home — total monthly housing expenses should not exceed 30% of your pre-tax income.

    Many vacation-home buyers keep their monthly carrying costs low by paying more upfront. About one in four (28%) buyers paid cash for the purchase, and among those who used a mortgage, nearly half put down 30% or more, according to the NAR.

    The median vacation home buyer in 2016 earned $89,900 and paid $200,000 to purchase the property.

    But that price is only a fraction of the cost to buy a home in the most expensive vacation towns in the US, based on data from real estate listing website Trulia. Trulia compiled the most expensive vacation markets in the US based on median listing prices. To be included in the ranking, each zip code had to have at least 3,000 homes with 5% vacant for seasonal or occasional use.

    Keep reading to see how much it costs to buy a home in the 15 most expensive vacation towns in America.

    SEE ALSO: Harvard researchers say one-third of Americans overpay for housing

    DON'T MISS: Here's how much you need to earn to afford a home in the 25 most expensive ZIP codes in America

    15. Sanibel, Florida

    Median Listing Price: $759,000



    14. Islamorada, Florida

    Median Listing Price: $775,000



    13. Harvey Cedars, New Jersey

    Median Listing Price: $798,500



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    Meadow lane property

    Owning a big apartment in New York City is great, but having a mansion in the Hamptons is a privilege only the 1% of the 1% can enjoy.

    And there may be no more exclusive place to own an East End home than Southampton's Meadow Lane, which Forbes once dubbed "Billionaire Lane."

    Take a look at some of the most exclusive properties and their billionaire owners, below:

    Megan Willett contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.

    SEE ALSO: The future of the Hamptons is uncertain as prices plummet and luxury buyers head north

    DON'T MISS: 27 photos that show why New Yorkers are ditching the Hamptons for a hot destination to the north

    Meadow Lane is one of the most expensive addresses in the country, and no wonder — it runs along a coveted beachfront strip in one of the most exclusive towns in the Hamptons. The millionaires and billionaires who live there all reside within throwing distance on the same stretch of road.

    Source: Forbes

     



    They also live within easy access of the Southampton Heliport, useful to anyone who travels from Manhattan to the Hamptons by helicopter.

    Source: Forbes



    In mid-2014, the Hamptons home where Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson holed up in "Something's Gotta Give" sold for $41 million to hotel mogul Jimmy Tisch of Loews Corp. The 8,000-square-foot mansion has 11 bedrooms.

    Source: New York Daily News



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    It's common practice for high-end condo buildings to tout all kinds of amenities to attract buyers. But 443 Greenwich, a luxury building in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York, claims to have an entirely different perk: it's apparently "paparazzi-proof." 

    While the building's management can't comment on the identity of its residents, it has been reported that the building's "paparazzi-proof" architectural features — such as its lower-level parking and interior courtyard garden — have proved attractive to clients who value their privacy.

    Recently, actor Jake Gyllenhaal is said to have purchased a $8.63 million three-bedroom unit in the building, joining rumored neighbors like actress Rebel Wilson, singer Harry Styles, and Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel. Other big names like Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds, and Blake Lively have reportedly also bought property there. Earlier this year, actor Mike Myers purchased a $14.65 million loft in the building, but just a week later, he put it back on the market. It later sold for $14 million.

    As for the eight penthouses, one is still available for $55 million. Prices for the available lofts range from $3.9 million to $14.5 million.

    Ahead, take a look inside one of the building's gorgeous four-bedroom condos.  

    SEE ALSO: Stunning vintage photos show how Americans in every state spend their downtime

    Built in 1882, the 443 Greenwich building was originally a book bindery. Today, it's a landmarked building with 53 residential condominiums, including eight penthouses.



    Calling itself "paparazzi-proof," the building's privacy has been a big draw for celebrity buyers. Actress Rebel Wilson is said to have recently purchased a two-bedroom unit for $2.95 million.

    Source: WWD



    One of the building's major privacy-geared benefits is its lower-level lobby and parking space, guarded by wrought-iron gates. The building has on-site valet parking.



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    1 Merrywood

    AOL cofounder Steve Case and his wife, Jean, have put their McLean, Virginia, home up for sale for $49.5 million.

    According to the Washington Post, the Cases are not the first notable figures to have owned the estate, which dates back to 1919. Dubbed Merrywood, it was also the childhood home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. 

    In addition to sweeping views of the Potomac River, Merrywood has nine bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and some 23,000 square feet of space. 

    Case is also the CEO of the VC firm Revolution.

    Let's take a look around. 

    SEE ALSO: Meet the rich and powerful people who live on 'Billionaire Lane' in the Hamptons

    Merrywood is set on a seven-acre lot in McLean, Virginia.



    It offers sweeping views of the Potomac River.



    The home has four floors of living space, which can be accessed via this staircase or by elevator.



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