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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    buying home

    Homebuyer demand is surging in many markets across the US, sending home prices skyward.

    Even though the number of home sales are slightly down this summer, the national median home price rose 6.5% year-over-year to an all-time high of $263,800 in June, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

    "The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

    "Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly," he said, "but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines."

    In a new report, GOBankingRates examined home prices for the 100 most populous markets using Zillow data, comparing prices in each market for June 2016 and June 2017.

    Overall, 19 cities saw a median home price increase of more than 14% in the last year, and an average increase of nearly 30% over the last two years. With this data, we checked out whether these markets are still affordable for homebuyers in spite of surging prices.

    To calculate affordability, we applied the standard measure of housing affordability— 30% or less of pre-tax income — to the median home price. We used Sperling's Best Places data for median household income for each city and assumed a 20% down payment and 4% fixed rate 30-year mortgage.

    With the notable exceptions of New York City and Seattle, 17 of these cities remain affordable markets. That's a win-win for buyers and sellers.

    Read on for the full list, which is dominated by markets in the South and the Midwest.

    SEE ALSO: The salary you need to earn to buy a home right now in 23 of the most expensive US housing markets

    DON'T MISS: 20 of the best US housing markets for investing in real estate

    17. Garland, Texas

    Median list price (June 2017): $203,950

    Year-over-year increase: 14.58%

    16. Kansas City, Missouri

    Median list price (June 2017): $195,000

    Year-over-year increase: 14.77%

    15. Las Vegas, Nevada

    Median list price (June 2017): $269,900

    Year-over-year increase: 14.90%

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Pregnant woman couple

    • The cost of living in expensive cities causes some young adults to consider moving to the suburbs.
    • Although I work with clients weighing this decision in New York, the advice applies to urbanites anywhere.
    • Before trading your apartment for a home, carefully evaluate the costs associated with each option.

    Just because the city is expensive doesn't mean it's cheaper to live in the suburbs.

    As a financial planner in New York City, the debate over whether to move out of the city is common during client meetings — especially with clients who are newly married 30-somethings planning to start a family.

    Perhaps you've had a similar conversation with your significant other, or discussed it with friends over brunch. The costs associated with living in the city can be stifling: Rents are high, drinks are overpriced, and groceries seem just as expensive as delivery food.

    It's easy to focus on the high expenses, but living in the city also helps your finances in other areas: There are jobs nearby, transportation is easy and cheap, and lawn care is a non-issue. Depending on where you live, suburban property taxes can be a budget drain as well.

    Still, you may reach a point where you need more space — or want more peace and quiet. For some, moving out of the city is unavoidable — buying a home in Manhattan, for example, is out of reach for most people.

    But before making the decision to trade a tiny apartment for a two-story home, it's important to carefully weigh your options. Simply moving out of the city does not guarantee your expenses will drop. In some cases, you could end up spending even more, while commuting farther, and having more responsibility as a homeowner.

    Below are examples of expenses that will change when you move out of the city. Ask yourself the following questions, and compare your answers closely to your budget today.

    • Homeownership: How much can you put toward a down payment while maintaining an emergency fund as well? Can you afford the mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and homeowners association fees?
    • Transportation: Will you need to a buy a car (or two)? Will you have a car payment? How much will insurance and monthly gas cost? What about parking, tolls, and maintenance?
    • Taxes: What are the property taxes in the area? What about city and state income tax and local sales tax?
    • Childcare/Education: Do affordable childcare options exist in your area? Does the cost of sending your child(ren) to school change?
    • Furnishings: How much will you have to spend on furniture? Do you have enough cash in your bank account to cover the cost upfront?
    • Recreation/Entertainment: Will you have enough free or cheap activities to keep you and your family busy? Are there costs associated with local clubs you may want to join?
    • Income/Career: How will the move affect your commute? Is your job stable, and if not, will there be other opportunities closer to home once you move?

    You might be surprised at the answers. Sometimes one option is clearly better — whether it's the city or the suburbs. Occasionally, both options are more or less equal financially. At that point, the decision becomes about prioritizing what's most important to you, and the type of lifestyle you envision building for yourself and your family.

    Regardless of the option you choose, keeping housing costs low is one of the smartest ways to manage your expenses. Most Americans spend 37% of their budget on housing, but cutting back could be the difference between maxing out your retirement accounts— or not.

    Sometimes, choosing another part of the city could be cheaper than moving to the suburbs, especially if it means you can commute easily without buying a car. The map below shows how much people who work in Manhattan pay to live in the vicinity and commute via underground train. Moving to a cheaper neighborhood within the city could end up being the best way to reduce your expenses.

    How much it costs to live in New Jersey versus New York City

    Ultimately, as with most financial planning decisions, there are no right answers. But, moving out of the city because you assume the suburbs will be cheaper isn't as smart as moving out (or staying put) because you know it is cheaper. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with as much information as possible.

    SEE ALSO: New York vs New Jersey — we did the math on where it's cheapest for commuters to live

    DON'T MISS: 5 things to do now so you don't have to think about money

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Warren Buffett lives in a modest house that's worth .001% of his total wealth — here's what it looks like

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    home for sale

    Sharestates, an online real-estate investing platform, has released its fall report on the hottest housing markets in the US.

    The company allows anyone to invest as little as $1,000 in real-estate projects listed on the site, and processes roughly $36 million of investments each month.

    Now, it's putting the data from all that funding to work by ranking the areas of the country that are seeing the most attention from real-estate investors.

    Not surprisingly, many of the hotspots are in major metropolitan areas like New York City or Philadelphia, but there are some outliers, too, Sharestates founder and CEO Allen Shayanfekr told Business Insider.

    "I was surprised to see Kissimmee, Florida to be included in the top 10," he said in an email. "I expected to see almost all of the investment potential in markets in the upper east coast, based on the rapid growth that area continues to see year over year."

    Places on the list are ranked by three metrics:

    Return on Investment (ROI): The rate of return to Sharestates loan investors.

    ARV: The ratio of the total loan amount, including acquisition and rehab financing, compared with the After Repair Value.

    Increase in demand from 2016 to 2017: Percent of 2017 Sharestates loans in the listed areas compared with 2016.

    "Each of these cities is seeing increased interest from investors," Shayanfekr said. "The majority of the properties in these 10 markets are considered to be reasonably priced and relatively affordable, providing investors with the potential to make a sizeable return. But what these cities all have in common, in addition to great people, is a competitive and demand-based real estate market that helps drive investment and monetary returns."

    Scroll to check out the hottest real-estate markets in America right now, based on Sharestates' data:

    SEE ALSO: Sharestates wants to be the E-Trade of real estate

    8. Jersey City, New Jersey

    ROI: 10%

    ARV: 57%

    Increase in demand: 50%

    7. Huntsville, Alabama

    ROI: 10%

    ARV: 54%

    Increase in demand: 100%

    6. Atlanta

    ROI: 12%

    ARV: 61%

    Increase in demand: 100%

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    couple walking on boardwalk harbor

    Some factors that influence your financial success are beyond your control.

    But the decisions you make about three key areas in your life can have an outsize impact on whether you're able to build financial stability.

    SEE ALSO: After 10 years as a financial planner, I've realized almost everyone gets the same thing wrong about money

    DON'T MISS: Why it seems like everyone else can afford the things you can't

    How much education you get

    People with more education tend to earn more money and accumulate more wealth. The gap between the most-educated Americans and everyone else has widened considerably in recent years.

    Median annual incomes for families headed by people 40 and older — when most have completed their educations — generally declined from 1989 to 2013, according to a study by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The exception was for people with graduate or professional degrees, whose median income in that time grew 4% to $116,265. These numbers were adjusted for inflation.

    Changes in wealth were even more dramatic in that 24-year period. By 2013, median net worth:

    • Soared 45% to $689,100 for those with graduate or professional degrees

    • Rose 3% to $273,488 for those with two- or four-year degrees

    • Dropped 36% to $95,072 for those with high school diplomas

    • Fell 44% to $37,766 for those who didn't finish high school

    Not every degree pays off in higher earnings, and some well-paid jobs don't require advanced degrees. If you're considering getting more education, the U.S. Department of Labor has helpful information, including which master's degrees pay off best, certificate programs that lead to good jobs and data on the fastest-growing occupations.

    Whether you marry (and stay married)

    People who marry and don't divorce have about double the net worth of their peers who never wed, according to Jay Zagorsky, an economist and research scientist at Ohio State University, who studied the financial patterns of thousands of adults born from 1957 to 1964. That means married couples typically have roughly four times the wealth of households headed by single people. Single people's wealth typically rises slowly over time, while that of couples usually spikes after marriage.

    Zagorsky says being married "is a wonderful way to increase your net worth," but warns against getting hitched with the sole idea of getting rich.

    "If you decide you've made a mistake, divorce is going to destroy your wealth," he says.

    The net worth of people who divorce starts to plunge four years before the split, Zagorsky's research published in 2005 found. Ten years later, divorced men and women are still worse off financially than the never-marrieds. (See "How to Untangle Your Finances in a Divorce.")

    Whether you own a home

    The decision that can have the biggest impact on your wealth is whether you buy a home — and hang on to it.

    The wealth gap between homeowners and renters is enormous. The median net worth of the nation's homeowners in 2013 was $195,400, compared with $5,400 for those who don't own, according to a Federal Reserve Board survey. Rising home values can build wealth, of course, but so does the forced savings aspect of owning a home.

    Accumulating down payments and paying down mortgages will increase homeowners' equity — and thus their wealth. Renters could build similar wealth, or even more, if they invested in the stock market the equivalent of a down payment plus any savings from renting instead of owning. Few do so.

    The relationship between homeownership and wealth held true even in the years surrounding the mortgage crisis, which wiped out trillions of dollars in home equity and caused over 4 million Americans to lose their homes, researchers for Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies found. Homeownership resulted in somewhat less wealth for minority and lower-income families, but the "gains are on average still positive and substantial," they wrote.

    Unlike marriage, homeownership typically doesn't leave people worse off if it can't be sustained, the researchers found. Those who return to renting — because, say, they lost the home to foreclosure — are generally left with about the same amount of wealth they had before buying the house.

    Of course, anything that's true on average doesn't necessarily mean it will be true for you. Even if you're a divorced renter without a degree, you can build wealth if you monitor spending, save regularly and invest for the future. The odds may be against you, but you can beat them.

    This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    europa city paris bjarke ingels group

    The world is rapidly urbanizing. The United Nations predicts that the number of people living in cities could double by 2050 — to 6.5 billion.

    To accommodate growing populations, cities like Paris, New York, and Tokyo are building more housing and public resources, including parks, schools, and subways, as part of large redevelopment plans.

    These cities will likely look very different (and in some neighborhoods, gentrified) in the coming decades. Take a look at some of the biggest urban projects under construction below.

    SEE ALSO: 7 megaprojects that will transform Chinese cities by 2050

    Shanghai, China — Todtown

    Set to be complete by 2020, Todtown is a new mixed-use development in Shanghai's Minhang District.

    The development will feature 1,000 apartment units, a 1.3 million-square-foot shopping mall, an additional 580,000 square feet of retail, 1.5 million square feet of office space, and a 53,000-square-foot cultural center, according to InHabitat. Todtown will also incorporate lots of greenery, from green roofs to mini parks scattered throughout.

    The master plan was created by Chicago-based architecture firm Goettsch Partners and Hong Kong-based studio Lead 8. 

    Construction on the $1.5 billion project began in 2014.

    Cairo, Egypt — New Cairo Capital

    East of downtown Cairo, New Cairo Capital will be a 270-square-mile hub with 21 new residential districts — enough housing for five million people. 

    The development is being financed largely by Chinese developers. (The China Fortune Land Development Company, for instance, put down $20 billion for the project in late 2016, according to CNN.)

    New Cairo Capital will also feature 1,250 mosques and churches, a 5,000-seat conference center, nearly 2,000 schools and colleges, over 600 medical facilities, and what is projected to be the world's largest park.

    Egypt Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly told the BBC that the project would cost $45 billion and be complete by 2022. Construction began in 2015.

    Paris, France — Europa City

    In 2016, Paris began building an 8.6-million-square-foot mixed-use development, called Europa City, north of downtown.

    Designed by Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (the company behind Google's California headquarters), Europa City promises housing, shops, and restaurants, though the exact numbers of each are not confirmed yet. The development is also slated to include plazas, an artificial ski slope, open walkways, a golf system, and a new transit system.

    Triangle de Gonesse, the suburb where it will be located, is still largely rural. But according to Europa City's developers, the goal of the $3.4 billion project is to connect the area with urban Paris and reduce congestion downtown.

    Construction started in 2016 and is expected to wrap up by 2024.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    There's a new most expensive home for sale in the Hamptons, and it has a connection to the Ford family.

    Once part of a larger property called "Fordune," the 42-acre estate has hit the market for $175 million. It was originally built for Henry Ford but has reportedly been owned by portfolio manager Brenda Earl since 2002.

    Cody and Zach Vichinsky of Bespoke Real Estate have the listing, which is now referring to the home as "Jule Pond."

    If it sells at its current price, Jule Pond would be the most expensive home to ever change hands in the US. The current record is held by hedge funder Barry Rosenstein, who bought an East Hampton property for $147 million in 2014. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    getting a mortgage

    • 51% of millennials plan to purchase a home in the next year.

    • But the US housing supply is falling behind demand, making it harder for first-time buyers to enter the market.

    • The process will be easier if find a good agent, save for unexpected costs, and get your credit in order ahead of time.

    If you're selling your home this year, it's more likely than ever that you'll hand over the keys to a millennial.

    According to a report from Ellie Mae released in April, millennials represent 45 percent of all purchase loans, making them the largest age group in home purchasing for the first time.

    This is a noticeable shift for a generation previously known to prefer renting to homeownership. That said, there are a few roadblocks members of this generation will need to overcome before making the jump into a new home.

    TD Bank's recent Mortgage Service Index indicates that 90 percent of millennial respondents feel now is a good time to buy a home, and 51 percent said they intend to purchase a home within the coming year. This consumer confidence is likely a result of the current low interest rates.

    But there's a catch: Supply isn't meeting demand. Respondents in the Mortgage Service Index cited inventory as the most common issue that homebuyers faced during their purchase decision (28 percent). On top of that, almost all millennials in the real estate market are first-time homebuyers, meaning that their unfamiliarity with the homebuying process risks making these issues even more difficult to tackle.

    Still, there's no need to be pessimistic. With a proper preparation and awareness of the right resources, homebuyers should feel ready to enter the housing market, regardless of age.

    1. A good team makes for good results

    Despite the short supply, there isn't a shortage of satisfaction. Seventy-five percent of Mortgage Service Index respondents said that their most recent homebuying experience was very good or excellent.

    However, satisfaction with a new home is just as much about managing expectations as it is meeting them. Homebuyers should enlist the help of both a mortgage loan officer and a real estate agent. A loan officer can help set realistic expectations and identify the right products for an individual, so that they don't enter the buying process with an unrealistic vision of where their credit can take them.

    Meanwhile, agents can help millennial buyers separate their needs – like being in a decent school district– from their wants – like granite countertops and hardwood floors.

    Developing a good relationship with both of these sources before the homebuying process begins is an important step toward avoiding disappointment down the road.

    2. Plan and save for the unexpected

    The down payment is never the end-all, be-all. The Mortgage Service Index found that one-third of homeowners incurred between $2,000 and $5,000 in unexpected costs throughout the homebuying process, while an additional 10 percent incurred over $5,000.

    Replacing appliances, paying for inspections and appraisals and other miscellaneous costs can add up very quickly. Buyers must do their research and develop a clear picture of how to get to the closing table, and what to expect when they arrive.

    3. Leave nothing to the 11th hour

    In a competitive market, the ability to act fast when one finds the home of their dreams is crucial. Before embarking on the homebuying process, buyers should be sure to consult with their lender and real estate agent to line up the necessary paperwork for mortgage preapproval.

    Should there be interest in the home from more than one party, the most prepared will always have an edge. Those who have applied for a mortgage and are preapproved will have a more legitimate chance of having their offer accepted.

    Buyers with past credit issues may sometimes wish to avoid difficult conversations about their credit score. But this is one area where ignorance is not bliss. Going into the homebuying process without this knowledge is a recipe for disaster.

    Buyers should check their credit score through one of the three major bureaus and ensure they're in good standing before embarking on their homebuying journey. Avoiding large credit purchases that might raise an issue during the approval process is also a smart call.

    Finally, first-time homebuyers may not be used to considering their spouse's finances alongside their own. Couples moving in together shouldn't let the old stigma of talking about money cause a rude awakening when they're negotiating a purchase.

    Millennials are currently blessed with a relatively favorable market as they become homebuyers, a far cry from the dismal economic projections that their generation once feared. As long as they take the proper steps to stay informed and prepared, their first homes will surely be happy ones.

    Ray Rodriguez is regional mortgage sales manager for Metro New York at TD Bank. He is responsible for training and developing the mortgage sales team and growing the market share within his region. Ray has over 21 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry.

    SEE ALSO: New York vs New Jersey — we did the math on where it's cheapest for commuters to live

    DON'T MISS: 17 American cities where home prices are skyrocketing — but houses are still affordable

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Golf legend Greg Norman reveals the truth behind President Bill Clinton's late-night 1997 injury

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    obama martha's vineyard

    Rumors that the Obamas are looking to Martha's Vineyard for a new vacation home aren't true, a family spokesman said. 

    The Boston Globe earlier reported that "word around the island" is that the former president and his family have been house-hunting in the rural communities of Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury, off the coast of Massachusetts. 

    The paper specifically noted the Obamas' interest in a set of two parcels owned by Caroline Kennedy and her husband, Edwin Schlossberg. The two parcels were once one 377-acre estate, called Red Gate Farm, that was owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. 

    Kennedy and Schlossberg divided the expansive plot into two several years ago, and they're both currently on the market — one for $15 million, and the other for $12 million. 

    However, Obama spokesperson Kevin Lewis has denied that the family is looking for a home in Martha's Vineyard.

    Sotheby's International Realty, whose agent George Ballantyne is listing the Kennedy properties with Hancock Real Estate's Deborah Hancock, did not immediately return a request for comment.

    Here's the property that Sotheby's has listed:

    SEE ALSO: Malia Obama just moved into her dorm room at Harvard — here's a look back at her life

    The two parcels are idyllic, with plenty of untouched land.

    There isn't currently a home on the property, which leaves it open to the new buyers to build a structure of their own design.

    There are roughly 1,000 feet of direct oceanfront land.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Canadian real estate prices have soared, and so did borrowing against that value. Our analysis of domestic bank filings from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) shows that loans secured against property has reached an all-time high. More surprising is the unprecedented rate of growth experienced this year.

    Screen Shot 2017 08 31 at 10.29.52 AM

    Canadians Borrowed Against Over $313 Billion In Real Estate

    Loans secured against residential real estate shattered a few records in June. Over $313.66 billion in real estate was used to secure loans, up 3.43% from the month before. The rise puts annual gains 11.16% higher than the same month last year, an increase of $31.51 billion. The monthly increase is the largest increase since March 2012. The annual gain is unprecedented according to an aggregate of domestic bank filings.

    Screen Shot 2017 08 31 at 10.29.59 AM

    Over $266 Billion Was For Non-Business Related Reasons

    Not all borrowing against residential property is all bad, sometimes it’s a calculated risk. For example, someone may need to secure a business loan, and use the loan for operating risks. It doesn’t mean the property is safe, but it’s a risk that could potentially boost the economy.

    Screen Shot 2017 08 31 at 10.30.11 AM

    This is opposed to non-business loans, which is used as short-term financing. This type of financing is often used for things like renovations, and putting a fancy car in the driveway. Experts have observed that more homeowners are using these to prevent bankruptcy. Bottom line, it’s not typically healthy looking debt. So let’s remove loans obtained for business reasons, and take a peek at higher risk debt.

    The majority of these loans are non-business related according to bank filings. The current total is over $266 billion as of June 2017, a 1.01% increase from the month before. This is a 4.9% increase from the same month last year, which works out to $12.49 billion more. Fun fact, that’s around $23,763 per minute. The number is astronomical.

    Are Canadians Borrowing Time?

    Debt experts have expressed concern with the rate homeowners are borrowing against their homes. Hoyes-Michalos, one of Ontario’s largest debt consultancies, recently said more Canadians have been borrowing against their home to avoid filing for bankruptcy. This is a temporary fix that will become much more complicated in the very near future. As interest rates rise to normal levels, the ability to keep making payments becomes harder. Hoyes-Michalos estimates a mild rise in rates could push bankruptcies above 2009 levels.

    Increasing equity extraction remains a sleeper threat for Canadian real estate markets. Borrowing against homes increases the chance that a mild shock could impact real estate. This shock could be a correction, recession, or even just higher interest rates. Normal market mechanics have become a threat to the economy, which is pretty disturbing. Bottom line, try not to buy more home than you can afford.

    SEE ALSO: Canada's housing market is bananas

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A top financial adviser says the notion of retirement is gone — here's what he thinks people will do instead

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    Squirrel overlooking Montreal

    A Hong Kong marketing firm is sharing a post that Canadian real estate is dangerous, and that’s why you should opt for a condo. Overseas Estates Limited, a firm specializing in Toronto and Vancouver condo pre-sales, shared some pretty hilarious info on the benefits of buying a condo. Sure, there are some benefits of living in a condo, but most of the ones claimed here are questionable at best.

    Hong Kong-based marketing firm, advertising Canadian condos

    Overseas Estates Limited is a small marketing firm in Hong Kong that has been operating for the past six-months according to corporate registries. From their Facebook page, they’re advertising a few Canadian condo developments. Marketing Canadian condos in Hong Kong is nothing new, it’s been happening for decades in Vancouver. Heck, some projects are even promoted on the side of Hong Kong mini-buses, alongside ads for US$1 lunches, and the latest soft drinks. That’s not what caught our interest, the marketing prowess is what did.

    Mosquitos, raccoons, and bears – oh my!

    Chinese Warn The Dangers of Buying Canadian Real Estate… Like Raccoons and Bears Facebook Screenshot minIn a Facebook post shared by the company, explaining the 5 reasons you should buy a condo instead of a house in Canada, they explain some things you’re probably unfamiliar with. Such as Canadian homes have basements frequently filled with mosquitos. Canadian homes are also prone to crows and raccoons stealing food, and some are even threatened by black bears. All problems residents of Vancouver and Toronto probably have very limited experience dealing with.

    If you’re a foreign buyer worried about that, never fear – the 24/7 security of a condo will save you from that. In fact, the protection of the condo doesn’t stop there. The ad also boasts that the brightness experienced in condos may help defend against cancer. Our translator assures us the ad-copy sounds “much better in Chinese than English.” Before he ads, “Chinese people will know it’s bulls**t, but it’s well-written copy.”

    Apparently Canadian condos can help defend against cancer, prevent crows and raccoons from stealing your food, and protect you from bears. That already sounds like a great deal, why even bother advertising frills like guaranteed cap rates to foreign buyers?

    Editor’s note: Chinese state media has made legitimate points regarding Canadian real estate, they just don’t help sell condos. 

    SEE ALSO: China's canadian real estate shopping spree is officially dead

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: NASA released rare footage of the SR-71 — the fastest plane to ever exist

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    open house california

    With home prices on the rise across the US — and incomes lagging far behind— the decision to become a homeowner is nothing short of a serious financial commitment.

    While you'll need to have money saved for a down payment, typically 20% of the purchase price, the biggest cost is recurring monthly payments. That is, your mortgage payment (principal and interest), plus taxes and homeowner's insurance, all together known as PITI.

    While some of these numbers can vary depending on the exact location of a home, mortgage resource put together a list of the monthly costs of homeownership in the biggest metros in the US to give buyers an idea of the estimated costs across different markets.

    To find the monthly cost of homeownership in these cities, gathered data on:

    • Median home prices from the National Association of Realtors' second-quarter report to determine the monthly mortgage payment. The site assumed a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed mortgage at an interest rate of 4.11%.
    • Average property taxes from the Census Bureau's 2015 American Community Survey.
    • Statewide average homeowner insurance premium costs from the Insurance Information Institute. added these numbers together for each metro to arrive at the final monthly cost. It's important to note that while these figures are a good starting point to gauge affordability of a home, it's important to factor in easily forgotten and hidden costs as well, like maintenance, closing costs, utilities, and homeowner's association fees.

    Below, check out the cost of owning a home in the 15 largest US metros — ranked from least to most expensive — plus the annual salary you need to earn to qualify for a mortgage.

    SEE ALSO: The hidden costs of owning a home in the 16 biggest cities in America

    DON'T MISS: The salary you need to earn to buy a home right now in 23 of the most expensive US housing markets

    15. Detroit

    Total monthly cost (PITI): $983

    Median home price: $179,529

    Salary needed to buy: $42,110

    14. Atlanta

    Total monthly cost (PITI): $1,024

    Median home price: $204,900

    Salary needed to buy: $43,893

    13. Phoenix

    Total monthly cost (PITI): $1,135

    Median home price: $247,300

    Salary needed to buy: $48,655

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Los Angeles expensive_3

    Los Angeles is one of the priciest housing markets in the country.

    With a current median listing price of $748,000, homes in the sunny Southern California metropolis are more than double the national asking price.

    And then there are the over-the-top mansions and hilltop estates, like Beyoncé and Jay-Z's new $88 million Bel Air pad, where expensive takes on an entirely new meaning.

    Below, check out the 10 priciest Los Angeles real estate listings, gathered by Curbed.

    SEE ALSO: Beyoncé and Jay-Z bought an $88 million house — here's why their $52 million mortgage might be a smart business decision

    DON'T MISS: The salary you need to earn to buy a home right now in 23 of the most expensive US housing markets

    10. 33218 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

    Price: $60 million

    Size: 5,254 square feet

    Features: Ocean views, floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, wraparound deck with a fire pit.

    9. 143 S. Mapleton Drive, Holmbly Hills

    Price: $66.65 million

    Size: 10,907 square feet

    Features: Swimming pool, tennis court, wood-paneled den.

    8. 10697 Somma Way, Bel Air

    Price: $75 million

    Size: 40,000 square feet

    Features: Two swimming pools, recording studio, wine cellar and tasting room, giant outdoor video screen, wellness spa and fitness center, movie theater.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Stockholm Sweden

    If you bought an apartment in Stockholm 10 years ago, you’ve made at least 1000 crowns every day ($120) since then  by just living.

    Since 2006, living costs have roughly doubled in the Swedish capital, and the current average square meter price of 95 000 crowns for an apartment in the central districts ($11,800) surpasses European megacities such as Paris.

    “What’s different with Stockholm is that real estate prices didn’t plummet after the Lehman crisis. There was just a temporary blip, before the upward trend resumed again,” said Per-Arne Sandegren, chief analyst at Svensk Mäklarstatistik, a company that collects data on the Swedish housing market, to SvD Näringsliv

    In Berlin, another booming city, the average price is less than half: 45 000 crowns, or the price point of Stockholm a decade ago. An apartment in Copenhagen, Denmark is roughly half as expensive as one in Stockholm.

    So if you were lucky enough to buy a 100 square meter flat in Stockholm in 2006, you will have made some 1200 crowns on your purchase, or some 8400 crowns per week ($1,040), concludes SvD.

    SEE ALSO: Rent is so high in Stockholm that it's cheaper to live in a hotel

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    steve cohen apartment

    Once again, billionaire hedge funder Steven A. Cohen is seeking a buyer for his Manhattan duplex penthouse.

    The mansion in the sky is now up for grabs for $57.5 million — down $10 million from its last listing price at the end of 2016. He first put it on the market in 2013, when it was offered for $115 million. He later listed it for $98 million, then again for $82 million, then for $79 million, and then for $72 million.

    Cohen, who runs Point72 Asset Management — formerly SAC Capital — picked up the apartment for $24 million in 2005. He hired the late architect Charles Gwathmey to redesign the 9,000-square-foot space, which has five bedrooms and six baths. Cohen is an avid art collector, and the home has a dedicated gallery to put his pieces on display.

    Located at One Beacon Court — part of the Bloomberg Tower complex — it's in a prime location on the southeast corner of Central Park.

    The penthouse has been listed with several different agents over the years, but is now being handled by Tal and Oren Alexander of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. 

    Raisa Bruner contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

    SEE ALSO: Inside the New York City offices of $45 billion hedge-fund firm Two Sigma

    The modern, two-story penthouse is filled with light. It's part of the Bloomberg Tower complex, which means that restaurants like Le Cirque are just steps from the base of the building.

    The kitchen has stainless-steel appliances and contemporary fittings.

    At night, the Empire State Building's lights are visible from the breakfast table.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    palm residence living room

    If you didn't already know that Gary Friedman serves as CEO of Restoration Hardware, a walk into his recently sold Napa Valley home would give it away. 

    Friedman bought the home for $5.9 million in 2013. Clad in neutral colors with precise lines and visual geometry, the house is no cookie-cutter renovation. According to Curbed SF, the house has just sold for $7.55 million — significantly less than the $10.5 million Friedman had asked for it when he originally listed the house in August 2016.

    The massive mansion, known as Eight Palms, was fully renovated by the Restoration Hardware design team. The result is what looks like a living, breathing RH catalog.

    Ginger Martin of Sotheby's International Realty had the listing.

    Brittany Kriegstein contributed reporting to a previous version of this article.

    SEE ALSO: A retail CEO is selling his enormous Beverly Hills 'palace' for $80 million — take a look inside

    The mansion is situated on a property in St. Helena, in California's famous Napa Valley. Natural elements are showcased throughout the grounds, taking advantage of the environment.

    These eight-foot black gates are complete with brass hardware, and they make for a dramatic entrance to the estate.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Friedman paid $5.9 million for the house in 2013. He initially planned on turning it into a private getaway for himself, but then decided to remodel and resell it. The whole process took two years to complete, and the results — like this entry courtyard —speak for themselves.

    Source: WSJ

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Stockholm is booming. Kjell Nordström, a famous Swedish economist, recently predicted the city will almost triple in population by 2045, to 4,5 million people

    In terms of both housing and population growth, Stockholm is now the fastest-growing capital in Europe, at least according to the city's chamber of commerce band key politicians. The explosive growth (est. 11% population growth 2015-2020) means surrounding areas and municipalities are becoming key in the city's outward expansion.

    With this in mind, Swedish Minister of Housing and Construction, Peter Eriksson, last week presented a new government report that looked at 40 different municipalities with potential to become new "Sustainable Cities". Nine final candidates were selected, and unsurprisingly, a vast majority of them are just outside Stockholm.

    Granted, some places on the shortlist, like Uppsala and Gävle, are already cities in their own right; the government intiative would just accelerate development of new cities within them (such as Segersäng and Hemfosa). 

    Some of these projects — centered on infrastructure development, new housing and employment &mdash could stand ready in the “next seven to ten years”, whereas other could take up to 20 to 25 years, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

    Here’s a list of the proposed 9 new “Sustainable cities” in Sweden (all except Härryda are located around Stockholm):

    • Nynäshamn municipality

    Segersäng could get up to 10 000 new apartments by 2035.

    • Haninge municipality

    Hemfosa: 12,000 new apartments within a radius of one kilometer.

    • Knivsta municipality

    New apartments over the next 20 years, mainly in Nydala and Alsike — up to 20,000 in the latter.

    • Uppsala municipality

    In total, 33,000 new apartments and 10,000-20,000 jobs, mainly in Bergsbrunna and "Södra Staden". 

    • Both Uppsala och Knivsta

    In the longer term, a new junction city of "Nysala" could emerge by the border of the two municipalities, resulting in tens of thousands of more apartments.  

    • Gävle municipality

    This area could get 4,000-6,000 apartments.

     Härryda municipality

    Located close to Gothenburg’s main airport Landvetter, this municipality could inhabit 2,500 people and 10,000 apartments.

    SEE ALSO: If you own an apartment in Stockholm, you’re earning $1,000 a week just by living

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    mar a lago

    President Donald Trump has more reasons than one to keep a careful eye on Florida.

    The president has a handful of real-estate holdings along the state's coast. This weekend, Trump hotels and clubs could be battered by Hurricane Irma, already one of the most powerful storms on record.

    The link between climate change and this year's catastrophic hurricane activity is uncertain, but scientists say the rising temperature of ocean water makes storms stronger. Climate change is also responsible for sea-level rise, which could cause powerful storm surges and flooding that one day devastates some of Trump's real-estate holdings in the US.

    In January, areport from theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency hinted at the possibility of an "extreme" sea-level rise scenario that would put some American landmarks, towns, and cities underwater within the century. That scenario is considered unlikely, but possible.

    Research group Climate Central took the projections laid out in NOAA's report and created a plug-in for Google Earth that shows how catastrophic the damage would be if the flooding happened today. You can install it (directions here) and see anywhere in the US.

    Here's what nine hotels and clubs owned by Trump might look like in the year 2100.

    SEE ALSO: 7 major US cities could be underwater within 80 years — here are the disturbing 'after' images

    President Trump has often said that climate change isn't real. He's wrong.

    16 irrefutable signs that climate change is real »

    In a worst case scenario, flooding caused by polar melting and ice-sheet collapses could cause a sea level rise of 10 to 12 feet by 2100, NOAA reported in January.

    Trump built the Taj Mahal casino for $1.2 billion in 1990. It overlooks the beaches of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and has been described by Trump as the "eighth wonder of the world."

    In 2017, Trump sold the hotel for 4 cents on the dollar.

    Source: Los Angeles Times

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mr 1500 biking

    If I could sum up what went wrong in one sentence, it would be this:

    We forgot to enjoy life.

    I should have sat back and smelled the roses instead of the sawdust every once in a while. It would have taken a little longer, but what fun is life if you’re not living?

    My journey to financial independence hit rock-bottom in 2008:

    • My wife was busy taking care of our 1-year-old baby.
    • I was busy with a job that consumed more than 40 hours per week.
    • We were flipping a home and I was doing much of the work myself. I spent at least 40 hours per week swinging a hammer, hanging doors, installing cabinets, fixing plumbing, installing trim and setting tile.

    I was always tired. I wasn’t spending time with the baby. I argued with my wife frequently. And then it got worse, much worse.

    We had hired carpenters to frame out a second story on the home and they were careless. After removing the existing roof, they put tarps up to keep the house dry, but had not properly secured them. One evening, the wind blew all of the tarps off the house. A couple of hours later, bucketloads of rain started coming down. I tried to get the tarps back on, but it was futile. The rain started infiltrating the house any and every way it could: mostly by way of light fixtures and ceiling fans. I ran around the house, strategically placing buckets and salad bowls to catch the water. When we ran out of those, we used mops and towels to soak up the deluge before it damaged the hardwood floors. Only the baby slept that night.


    But the wet house was really just a symptom of other problems and bad decisions. While I’m financially independent today, I didn’t go about it the right way. My journey was more of a death march. I’m telling you my story so you can learn from my mistakes.

    Flip #1: $100,000 profit!

    Flipping homes consumed our lives from the year 2000 until late 2016. And it all started by accident. I had called a plumber to fix a leaky faucet in my home. I was angry when he didn’t show up, so I figured out how to do it myself.

    This gave me confidence. If fixing a faucet wasn’t hard, I knew that I could teach myself other skills. Soon, I was tiling, hanging cabinets and fixing electrical issues. I learned these skills while rehabbing my first home. And then something amazing happened when we sold it: $100,000 profit!

    The fire was lit. My wife and I never planned to become home flippers, but after making big money, we were determined to find another ugly duckling and put our hammers back to work.

    Flipping our way to $$$ (and forgetting to live)

    The home we chose next was a perfect candidate for a flip; cosmetically ugly, but solid otherwise. However, it wasn’t close to our jobs. We’d leave home at 6am and wouldn’t get back until 6pm. We’d then work on the home until 10 or 11pm. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    It wasn’t fun, but not terrible either. We made money when we sold, but looking back, we were incredibly busy (and again, tired) for 2 years. This didn’t stop us from trying it again. Profits are seductive!


    Our biggest flip was a lake home in Wisconsin that we purchased when the wife was pregnant with our first child. It took 5 years to fully complete and thousands of hours of my time. This is the one where it rained inside.

    The project consumed our lives when we should have been enjoying our baby. Almost every weekend that we owned the home, we were working on it. We had taken on way too much.


    And we made mistakes with our current home too. We bought it in June of 2013 and it needed loads of work. At the time, our kids were 6 and 3. We bought with the intention of leaving it mostly as-is and then renting it when we found something better. However, we soon discovered that we really liked the area, so we chose to stay. Since we’d be living there, our plans for the home grew.

    We decided to add a small second story on to the home. We paid carpenters to frame it out and then I’d complete the inside. Without kids, I could have completed the work in under a year. With kids, it took almost 4. It got even crazier when my wife, who had been been a stay at home mother, started a job in the middle of the rehab.


    A major home remodel with working parents and two children is a recipe for exhaustion and stress. I didn’t want to miss out on any more time with the kids, so on weekends, I’d wake up at 5:00am. This allowed me to get work done before the rest of the family woke up. Often, I’d start working again after they went to sleep.

    This home worked out well financially. We bought it for about $175,000, put $100,000 into it and could sell it now for $500,000. That’s a hefty profit, but there is more to life than money.

    More than money

    I think often about how I’d do it all differently now:

    We should have slowed it down. For much of this time, I was exhausted. Working 80 hours per week for years on end is insane. Looking back, I’m surprised that I never got burned out.

    We should have thought twice before taking on major projects with kids. I missed out on parts of my kids’ childhoods because I was so busy working. This makes me sad.

    We should have timed it differently. Life would have been much easier if I fixed up our current place after I retired. The home wasn’t nice, but we could have tolerated it for a couple years.

    I should have assessed the contractor landscape, especially in the last home. Finding good help is difficult, especially in Colorado where there is a shortage of labor. My backup plan was always to hire a contractor, but finding anyone decent was impossible.

    If I could sum up what went wrong in one sentence, it would be this:

    We forgot to enjoy life.

    I should have sat back and smelled the roses instead of the sawdust every once in a while. It would have taken a little longer, but what fun is life if you’re not living?

    Financial independence is a worthy goal

    I’m in a wonderful place now. At 43, my net worth is over $1,800,000. I left my full-time job to work at my passion a short time ago. Because I have enough money to last the rest of my life, I can live on my own terms from here on out. Without that hard work, I wouldn’t have the big nest (freedom?) egg.

    And please don’t take my tales of woe the wrong way. I told you my story today not to discourage you, but to remind you not to forget about the journey. Financial independence is a wonderful goal and I can’t recommend it enough. Live frugal, invest smart and before long, you’ll be living life on your own terms.

    Carl retired from his 9-5 at the tender age of 43 to pursue a life of freedom. Find him at 1500 Days where he writes about his adventures in financial independence.

    SEE ALSO: I retired a millionaire at 43 — here's why I should have quit my job even sooner

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Warren Buffett lives in a modest house that's worth .001% of his total wealth — here's what it looks like

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    excelsior sf neighborhood 8012

    Excelsior is a small, often overlooked neighborhood in San Francisco. It's named for the Latin translation of "ever upward"— appropriate given Excelsior's sunny new outlook in the housing market.

    In 2017, real-estate site Redfinnamed Excelsior the second hottest neighborhood in San Francisco, based the ranking on increases in internet traffic to listings there. Excelsior homes typically sell in 19 days at 111% of the listing price. The median sales price was $890,000.

    I visited Excelsior to see why the under-the-radar neighborhood is making a splash.

    SEE ALSO: Tour the obscure California city that's suddenly the hottest housing market in America

    Located in the city's southern end, Excelsior has been called the "Siberia of San Francisco."

    Source: San Francisco Chronicle


    The mostly residential neighborhood isn't on the way to anything. You won't find startup offices or trendy restaurants in Excelsior. It's one of the last areas without a Starbucks.

    But with the median home sales price topping $1.5 million in San Francisco, prospective homebuyers are giving Excelsior — an enclave for the working class — a second glance.

    Source: San Francisco Business Times

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    For new investors, getting into the business of buying, selling, and renting homes may seem pretty ambitious.

    But like any other area of personal finance expertise, real estate investing boils down to some simple basics. With the right strategies, patience, and a willingness to learn, it’s a discipline that can help you make strides on the path to financial independence.

    Strategies for real estate investing

    Today’s infographic comes to us from Offer Climb and it dives into four timeless real estate investing strategies worth knowing.

    Whether you aim to do a quick “lipstick” flip or you’d prefer to generate passive income over time, here are the details and resources needed to execute on each strategy.

    Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

    Although buying and holding is the most common and traditional strategy used for real estate investing, there is actually a variety of different strategies used. Some of these are simple and can be executed in just days, while others can be used on an ongoing basis to create long-term value.

    How does each strategy work?

    The appropriateness of each strategy below depends on your goals, risk tolerance, and local housing market. For the average investor, it is obvious that some of these strategies would also not likely be suited for booming markets like San Francisco, New York City, Vancouver, or Toronto, where multi-million dollar prices are the norm, and bubble risk is higher.

    1. The “Lipstick” Flip
    The first impression of a house is incredibly important. The “Lipstick” flip involves buying a house that can be easily improved, and then making minimal cosmetic improvements and repairs to sell for a better price.

    For the right property, taking the time to fix small issues with flooring, walls, landscaping, and paint can pay off almost immediately.

    2. Buy and Hold
    This is one of the oldest strategies in the book, and it’s designed for long-term passive income.

    By purchasing a property and leasing it to tenants, it creates a stream of monthly cash flows, and even offers potential tax benefits for the owner.

    3. Wholesale
    This has similarities to flipping, but involves finding a buyer for a seller and taking a percentage off the sale. If done right, this can be done quickly and with minimal risk.

    4. Buy, Renovate, Rent, Refinance, and Repeat
    Likely the most complex strategy in real estate investing for beginners to follow, this can ultimately be used to provide benefits in both the short and long term.

    It involves four steps: buying a property, renovating it, renting the property out to tenants, and then refinancing the mortgage later on. Then the process repeats itself.

    Of course, this strategy works best in places where property values are rising fast.

    SEE ALSO: Millennials are making a big mistake with their savings

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We went inside the Charlottesville winery Trump bragged about during the press conference

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