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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    Woodstock, Connecticut Chrismark castle

    A man in the small town of Woodstock, Connecticut caused a stir in 2003 when he started building a mysterious Gothic castle.

    Known as Chrismark Castle, it was the brainchild of Christopher Mark who is the great-grandson of Chicago steel tycoon Clayton Mark Senior. Mark bought 354 acres of land and started building his giant 20-room mansion 12 years ago, according to Connecticut Magazine

    The house, which looks like a castle out of a fairytale, took 7 years and $4.1 million to build. People from the town would often stop by just to get a glimpse of the home and curiosity swelled as it neared completion.

    Chrismark Castle has also seen a fair amount of drama. Mark reportedly lived there with his now ex-wife and their two children until she filed for divorce in 2010. He later moved his then-pregnant girlfriend into the castle with her older daughter, but that relationship also ended and she took Mark to court in New York City to pay additional child support, according to The New York Post

    Mark was rumored to have tried to start multiple businesses on the property, including a modeling business, a bed and breakfast, and a private zoo.

    The home went on sale for $45 million last year, and so far, it's still on the market. Keep scrolling to see what it would be like to live in this modern castle.

    This is Chrismark Castle in Woodstock, Connecticut. The brainchild of owner Christopher Mark, it took seven years to build.



    The construction of the home cost $4.1 million. It has stone walls, towers, and even a moat.



    The property was built on a 354-acre parcel of land. It is being sold with 75 of those acres as well as a lake called Lake Porter.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Real Haunted House 12 Pennsylvnia

    Forget about those hokey attractions at amusement parks. There are real haunted houses spread across America.

    We're talking about the true-blue, creepy-as-can-be haunted houses.

    The houses where local residents claim they hear voices and where serial killers dumped their victims. The places that carry legends of entire families vanishing into thin air and serve as a backdrop for murders and suicides.

    Photographer Seph Lawless braved these collapsing and dilapidated buildings for his new photo book, "13: Hauntingly Beautiful," to show us how creepy these places are.

    SEE ALSO: The 14 most cliché Halloween costumes of 2015

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    Under a pseudonym, photographer Seph Lawless is known for his dark and foreboding pictures of abandoned buildings.



    The images he captures have an eerie, surreal quality.



    In support of his new photo book, "13: Hauntingly Beautiful," Lawless has provided us with photos of 13 real haunted houses across America.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jeremy Renner Dimitrios Kambouris Getty

    Today Jeremy Renner is one of Hollywood's most sought-after actors, starring in big action franchises like “The Avengers” and “Mission: Impossible.” But like many actors, he started his career broke.

    And he found an unusual way to keep a roof over his head while trying to launch his career.

    Renner and his family friend, Kristoffer Winters, began renovating houses in Los Angeles in 2002 and would live in them. At the time, Renner had a few TV guest spots under his belt, but wasn’t earning enough to get a swanky house in the Hollywood Hills.

    “We pulled our money together and bought a house and fixed it up a little bit,” Renner told Business Insider at an event held by Rémy Martin Cognac to promote its ad campaign with the actor.

    Renner said the initial intention wasn’t to sell the house, just to make it livable for the two of them, like adding another bathroom so they didn’t have to fight over the one.

    “Then someone offered us almost twice what we paid for it, so we took the money and bought another house and kept doing it and doing it,” Renner said.

    In a 2012 Esquire story, Renner said he and his friend bought a mid-century house for $659,000 and sold it for $900,000.

    The two have worked on 16 houses since then. Renner said their focus is updating houses around LA, many of which haven’t been touched since the 1920s, and give them a modern feel. “Open a few walls, widen doorways, and still keeping the integrity of the house."

    Renner and Winters have gotten so good at flipping houses that they’ve made some impressive bank doing it. Their latest flip in 2013, an Art Deco mansion that they bought in 2007 for $7 million, sold for a reported $24 million.

    Winters now has a design firm

    Here’s a look at their handy work:

    But Renner said their success has only arrived in the last few years. Before that, he and Winters were living in bare conditions inside the houses. It got rough.

    “We would live in these structures that we were renovating, but there would be no electricity or plumbing. We'd be lighting a fire pit to stay warm,” Renner said. “When ‘The Hurt Locker’ was coming out and I was going to the Academy Awards for it, I would be at Starbucks brushing my teeth and washing up because we didn’t have any running water.”

    Renner doesn’t regret doing any of it. At the time, he didn’t have a child and could live a bohemian life.

    “I enjoyed the process of doing it,” he explained. “I thought, ‘What the hell, I still have a roof over my head that I invested in.' But I don’t recommend people doing it. It’s very trying.”

    That passion for house renovation is now highlighted in his first commercial for Rémy Martin, which you can watch below.

     

    SEE ALSO: Jeremy Renner says it's 'not my job' to help female co-stars negotiate higher salaries

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here are all the movies Disney will release in the next two years


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    Granot Loma

    A hunter's paradise just came on the market in Michigan.

    It's called the Granot Loma, and according to the listing, it may be the largest log-cabin lodge in America.

    With a private marina and 5,000 acres of surrounding woodlands, the 26,000-square-foot house is listed for a staggering $40 million.

    Bob Sullivan of Northern Michigan Land Brokers has the listing.

    Keep scrolling for a tour of its taxidermy-filled interiors.

    SEE ALSO: Michael Jordan is trying really hard to sell his outrageous Chicago mansion

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    Called Granot Loma, this gigantic log cabin sits on the shores of Lake Superior, north of Marquette, Michigan.



    It was built and named in 1923 by its original owner, financier Louis G. Kaufman.



    Kaufman played a pivotal role in the founding of General Motors, where he was on the board for 20 years.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    house home renovation flipping gutting

    Flipping homes is on the rise, according to real-estate data-tracking firm RealtyTrac.

    This practice of buying a house, fixing it up, and then quickly selling it is a popular way to book a quick profit.

    “After curtailing flipping activity last year due to slowing home price appreciation and shrinking inventory of flip-worthy homes, real estate investors have started to jump back on the flipping bandwagon in 2015,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

    According to a RealtyTrac study, 43,197 homes were flipped during the third quarter, which accounted for 5% of all home sales in the US. 

    Additionally, flippers are seeing profits rise on the houses. Flippers averaged $62,122 in profits for the third quarter, which is up slightly from an average profit of $61,781 during the same quarter last year.

    We took RealtyTrac's data and compiled a list of the top 13 counties in the US where flippers made more than 65% return on investment during the third quarter. The list is ranked from lowest return to highest and includes the average gross profit, purchase price for flippers, and selling price.

    Check them out below.

    13. Middlesex, Connecticut

    Average Gross Return on Investment:
    64.8%

    Average Gross Profit:
    $88,890

    Average Purchase Price:
    $137,130

    Average Flipped Price:
    $226,020

     

    Source: RealtyTrac

     



    12. Camden, New Jersey

    Average Gross Return on Investment:
    67.5%

    Average Gross Profit:
    $91,054

    Average Purchase Price:
    $134,853

    Average Flipped Price:
    $225,907

     

    Source: RealtyTrac



    11. Cook, Illinois

    Average Gross Return on Investment:
    68.0%

    Average Gross Profit:
    $94,598

    Average Purchase Price:
    $139,035

    Average Flipped Price:
    $233,633

     

    Source: RealtyTrac



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ritz Carlton Baltimore Penthouse

    Late author Tom Clancy's 12,000-square-foot penthouse in Baltimore's Ritz-Carlton Residences just hit the market for $12 million. 

    Shawn Breck, of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, told the Wall Street Journal that the home is Baltimore's priciest listing. But the asking price of the four-unit penthouse is actually less than the spy novelist paid for his initial three units six years ago. 

    Clancy, who died in 2013, moved into the Ritz in 2009, when he bought three units for $12.6 million. A year later, he and his wife, Alexandra, bought three more units for a reported $4 million. While two of the six units are being rented out and are not part of the sale, the four units that make up the penthouse are asking a lower price than Clancy paid for the initial three six years ago. 

    Keep scrolling for a tour of the sprawling penthouse in the late author's hometown. 

    SEE ALSO: Michael Jordan is trying really hard to sell his outrageous Chicago mansion

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    The combined four-unit penthouse overlooks Baltimore's beautiful Inner Harbor.



    Here's what that $12 million view looks like.



    Many of the walls have been knocked away, resulting in an open, dreamlike floor plan.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    If you miss visiting Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies, you can go back. England's Royal Connaught Park stood in for the wizarding school in the movies. The buildings played The Great Hall, and Dumbledore's office.

    Now, after five years of renovations, they're apartments. The rent will set you back a few galleons — units cost between $500,000 to over $3 million.

    Story by Jacob Shamsian, editing by Stephen Parkhurst

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    apartment for rent

    Over the last few years, rents have been soaring in major cities across the country. In fact, rising rents have even outpaced home price growth in some markets, making homeownership a much cheaper deal than renting. That said, we realize that not everyone is ready to settle down and buy a house even if the math theoretically makes sense.

    The trouble is, renting in some cities is prohibitively expensive. For instance, in the city of San Francisco, 78.1% of 1-bedroom homes are going for at least $2,500 a month. Meanwhile, 66.8% of 1-bedroom rentals in Boston were listed for $2,000 a month or more.

    Now for renters who are no longer lone wolves and in the market for a 2-bedroom apartment, the odds of finding an affordable rental aren’t any better if you want to stay in the city center.

    For example, nearly half of all the 2-bedroom homes in Manhattan were listed for more than $4,000 a month. But if renters are willing to venture out to one of the other boroughs, the savings can be significant.

    In nearby Brooklyn, only 11% of 2-bedroom rentals are going for $4,000 a month or more as there are more rentals hovering near the $2,000 to $3,000 range.

    Fortunately for renters, not every neighborhood in a city is prohibitively expensive. So, to help house hunters in the country’s priciest rental markets, we’ve mapped out where most of the 1-bedroom rental are likely to be priced at more than $3,000 month or more than $2,000 a month.

    This is based on all the homes listed for rent on Trulia between Jan. 1, 2015 and Oct. 20, 2015, which includes single-family homes, apartments, condos, and townhouses. Only neighborhoods with a sizable sample size of rentals were included.

    Rents are sky-high in San Francisco for one bedrooms.

    Believe it or not, San Francisco is home to one of America’s most expensive rental markets. The median rent for a 1-bedroom rental in SF is currently at a whopping $3,200. The highest concentration of 1-bedroom rentals priced over $3,000 is in Fisherman’s Wharf (82.8%), followed by the Mission (78.8%), and Pacific Heights (73.8%).



    In New York City, one bedrooms are pretty pricey.

    The median rent for a 1-bedroom rental in Manhattan, currently at $3,250, is equally as high as in San Francisco. And, as can be expected, rents vary dramatically across the five boroughs. Manhattan is the priciest, with the highest concentration of pricey 1-bedroom rentals in Battery Park City (90.9%) and the Flatiron District (90.8%). You’ll find more affordable rentals in the other four boroughs, except in Vinegar Hill in Brooklyn where 94.7% of the 1-bedroom are going for at least $3,000 a month.



    Same in Brooklyn.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jack Nash Hamptons

    A Hamptons home that belonged to the same family for more than 30 years has finally sold after more than a year on the market, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Dating back to 1904, this Water Mill mansion previously belonged to Jack Nash, the co-founder of the hedge fund Odyssey Partners.

    Nash died in 2008, and his wife, Helen, had put the house on the market with Corcoran and Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty.

    Though realtors had originally hoped to get $38.5 million for the home, it finally sold for $27 million — a 30% reduction.

    The home sits on Mecox Bay and includes panoramic ocean views and even a livable water tower.

    Alyson Penn wrote an earlier version of this story. 

    SEE ALSO: Priced at $40 million, Michigan's most expensive home for sale is like a giant cabinet of curiosities

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    This expansive, waterfront Hamptons property belonged to the Nash family for 30 years.



    The compound sits on six acres and has 500 feet of land fronting Mecox Bay.



    The property is said to have stunning Linden maple and dogwood trees.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    one57 rendering at night

    Move over 15 Central Park West — there's a new most expensive building in town.

    One57, the 90-floor supertall skyscraper in midtown Manhattan, has been crowned the new most expensive building in Manhattan as of 2015, according to a report by CityRealty.

    The building's average price per square foot for the year was $6,010, while last year's most expensive, 15 Central Park West, came in at only $5,726.

    It's no surprise the skinny skyscraper is breaking records. It's located on a stretch of 57th Street known as "Billionaire's Row," and for most of its existence, it's been a magnet for foreign millionaires and billionaires trying to get in on the New York real estate boom.

    Though the identities of most of the buyers of units in the buildings are shielded by limited-liability corporations, the New York Times was able to sniff out two billionaire buyers: Canadian Lawrence S. Stroll and Silas K. F. Chou of Hong Kong.

    A buyer named Doijang Li, who is likely a Chinese national, picked up a $30 million condo this year, according to the Real Deal, and a Chinese airline exec Guoqing Chen paid $47.4 million for another space in the supertall. Another Chinese national, Tao Liu, paid $3.56 million for an apartment in 2012, but tried to flip it in 2014 for a profit.

    one57 rendering

    Hedge fund star Bill Ackman was also identified as the buyer of a $90 million slice by The Wall Street Journal — one of the most expensive apartment sales in New York ever. New York's most expensive sale in history was also in One57, where a mystery buyer dropped $100.47 million on a top-floor duplex earlier this year.

    One57 Model Residence Master Bedroom

    SEE ALSO: Priced at $40 million, Michigan's most expensive home for sale is like a giant cabinet of curiosities

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This insane new high-rise is going to be one of the most gorgeous buildings in New York City


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    one57 from the sky

    New York's real-estate market is soaring — and there's no better proof than the glitzy One57.

    The 73-floor supertall skyscraper in midtown Manhattan has been crowned the new most expensive building in New York City as of 2015, according to a report by CityRealty.

    The building's average price per square foot for the year was $6,010, while last year's most expensive, 15 Central Park West, came in at only $5,726.

    One57's average price increased 18.5% from last year, while 15 CPW's average decreased 10%.

    One of the penthouses in the 1,004-foot-tall residence closed this year for $100.5 million, making it the most expensive apartment ever sold in NYC, as well as the first to surpass $100 million.

    Residents will have access to the amenities in the Park Hyatt hotel, which takes up the first 39 floors of the building. But if they don't want to mix with hotel guests, One57 owners can also use their own 20,000-square-foot amenities floor, complete with a pool, gym, library, and theater.

    Megan Willett wrote an earlier version of this post.

    SEE ALSO: There's a new most expensive condo building in New York City

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    One57 was designed by starchitect Christian de Portzamparc to look like a cascading waterfall. It rises 1,004 feet and 90 stories above 57th Street.



    Of the units sold so far, only some of the buyers are known. They include billionaires Lawrence S. Stroll and Silas K. F. Chou, as well as the head of BDO Unicon Group, Andrey Dubinsky.



    The Park Hyatt hotel will occupy the first 39 floors of the building, and the 95 condos of One57 will fill the rest of the space.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Neighborhood Homes Rolling Hills

    Owning a home doesn't have to be a far-off dream, even if you're still in your 20s.

    In a recent report, Credit Karma determined the 10 most affordable US cities for millennials (ages 18 to 34) to buy a home. The report estimated the average number of months it would take to pay off a mortgage by analyzing the median income of young people and the average size of open mortgages in the 100 largest US cities, among other factors.

    (Read the full methodology.)

    Buffalo, New York secured the top spot, where it will take young people about 107 months (nine years) to pay off their mortgage. Compare that to Los Angeles, where it could take as many as 534.2 months, or 44.5 years.

    Read on to see the full list, plus median home values from the Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey:

    SEE ALSO: The 13 best big US cities to live in if you want to get rich

    10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Median home value in Milwaukee: $111,900

    Average millennial salary: $35,463

    Average size of open mortgages: $119,116

    Average months to pay off mortgage: 153.6 (12.8 years)



    9. Memphis, Tennessee

    Median home value in Memphis: $91,800

    Average millennial salary: $31,113

    Average size of open mortgages: $103,349

    Average months to pay off mortgage: 152.7 (12.7 years)



    8. Indianapolis, Indiana

    Median home value in Indianapolis: $117,000

    Average millennial salary: $35,174

    Average size of open mortgages: $116,503

    Average months to pay off mortgage: 149.4 (12.5 years)



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    scarfacethumb

    The mansion prominently featured in the 1983 film "Scarface" is not actually in Miami but in Montecito, California, 90 miles west of Los Angeles.

    For a year, the mansion sat unsold at a sky-high asking price of $35 million. Its price was then cut in half, to $17.8 million, in May of this year.

    Finally, the Mediterranean mansion has found a buyer in Pradeep Yohanne Gupta, CEO of private Houston-based investment bank IQ Holdings.

    He paid only $12.26 million for the estate and hopes to use the house as his West Coast residence, according to the Wall Stret Journal.

    Listing agent Robert Riskin told the Journal that the original ask was "overpriced," and that the actual sales price accurately "reflects [the mansion's] value." The home was previously owned by Russian billionaire Sergey Grishin. 

    The 10,000-square-foot mansion is just as beautiful as you remember from the "Scarface" movie. It was recently renovated and includes four bedrooms and nine bathrooms surrounded by Persian gardens and a wild number of fountains.

    SEE ALSO: Michael Jordan is trying really hard to sell his outrageous Chicago mansion

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    Surprise! The mansion used as a set for Tony Montana's abode isn't actually in Miami.



    Instead, it's a sprawling, 10-acre edifice in Montecito, California, about 90 miles west of Los Angeles.



    The mansion, named El Fureidis, was built in 1906.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    goatsDear Real Estate Adviser,
    The owner of a house next door is deceased, and the property has been vacant for years. The taxes are now being paid by a mortgage company that has bad reviews for fraud. We want to buy the property but are scared to deal with this company. Now our neighbor is trying to claim the property by putting goats on it. Can he take over the property just by putting livestock there?
    -- Bonnie B.

    Dear Bonnie,

    Bah! The neighbor is no doubt trying to take advantage of "squatter's rights" -- or adverse possession -- laws that in some cases enable people to gain control of land that's not their own by openly using and maintaining it. Hypothetically, this occupancy must be executed for a set number of consecutive years, varying widely from state to state. (It's 5 years in California, 10 in New York and 20 in Illinois, for example).

    No- no- notorious

    To prove actual possession, an individual must show unopposed and continual ("open and notorious") physical possession of the entire area of the property that he or she is trying to claim. As for the goats: While "pasturing," as the courts call it, is one way of showing open use, the entity paying taxes on the land and holding the title almost always prevails in court. In this instance, that would be the mortgage firm you mention, which I will call Prince of Darkness Mortgage, or PODM.

    Given this mortgage company's background, which includes taking over the servicing of mortgages and then routinely claiming payments are never received, I strongly offer this advice to the goatherd, and at least tacitly to you: Take the route of Sir Robin in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and beat a brave retreat. Or in the case of the neighbor's goats, bleat a brave retreat.

    Happy entrails

    It's likely that PODM, which has pages and pages of consumer-fraud complaints out on the Web, also employs nimble, go-for-the-jugular lawyers who may not only find a way to have your squatting neighbor arrested, but also may seize his goats, possibly for use in some kind of ritualistic sacrifice.

    goat racing

    Semi-kidding aside, courts have become very skeptical of squatter scams and are charging many adverse possessors with criminal trespass. So I hope those goats have a good lawyer!

    Get a meaner lawyer

    OK, if you still really, really, really want to acquire this parcel, which means dealing with this chronically unresponsive and scurrilous mortgage firm, bring an experienced attorney to the table.

    PODM will probably be glad to get rid of the place, though not without ignoring your calls first or at least making you feel roundly uncomfortable. If you do want to go forward this way, buy the property outright. You don't want these folks holding the paper because they have a tendency to wrongfully damage consumer credit ratings.

    In the meantime, if the goats are troublesome and the neighbor is not cleaning up after them, check city ordinances to determine if they're actually legal inside your town and if not, make a complaint.

    Municode.com is a good site for checking ordinances, or you can just call the city. For the neighbor, this may literally "get his goat," but it may spare his animals from a worse fate.

    Good luck!

    SEE ALSO: 13 US housing markets where speculators are making a killing flipping homes

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This mesmerizing video will show you why the French are good at soccer


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    Nashville, TN

    Silicon Valley has long been hailed as the tech epicenter of the world. But in the past few years, other metropolitan areas such as New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco have begun to give the area a run for its money with its impressive and flourishing tech talent pool.

    As the demand for tech talent increases in these cities, however, so does the cost of office space. In San Francisco, the high-tech industry accounted for 95% of the 3 million square feet of office occupancy gains since 2013, while rents in the city have more than doubled since 2010. And it's not just big cities that have been feeling the tech surge. Smaller markets, such as the south and midwest, have seen a significant boost as well. 

    According to a study by CBRE, a leader in commercial real estate services, Nashville and Oklahoma City both grew their tech talent pools by 39% between 2010 and 2013. This growth, in turn, contributed to increased wages, employment, and office rents. And though commercial real estate costs are slowly rising in these markets, it's nowhere near the skyrocketing costs of Silicon Valley. 

    “Tech talent growth rates are the best indicator of labor pool momentum and it’s easily quantifiable to identify the markets where demand for tech workers has surged,” says Colin Yasukochi, director of research and analysis for CBRE. “Tech talent growth, primarily within the high-tech industry, has recently been the top driver of office leasing activity in the US.”

    For companies seeking affordable commercial office space without the need to sacrifice on talent, the following eight cities on this list are worth considering as an alternative to Silicon Valley. 


    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    1. Oklahoma City, OK

    Percentage increase in tech talent: 38.9%

    Total number of tech talent employed: 17,520

    Median annual wage: $67,190

    2014 annual office asking rent: $15.70 psf

    While Oklahoma City is best known for its large mining and livestock market, its technology sector is fairly close behind. Between 2010-2013, Oklahoma City led the pack as one of the fastest growing small tech markets in the country, with affordable office rent to boot. "It’s not surprising to see Oklahoma City on this list," notes Brent Conway, CBRE vice president. "With 17 institutions of higher learning in the greater metro area, we have a large, very talented labor pool coming into the workforce each year." 

     

    Nashville, TN

    2. Nashville, TN 

    Percentage increase in tech talent: 38.5%

    Total number of tech talent employed: 22,720

    Median annual wage: $70,448

    2014 annual office asking rent$19.74 psf

    The nation's country music capital saw a major boost in demand for technology talent over a three-year span amounting to a 38.5% increase. Between January 2014 - February 2015, computer systems analyst, computer user support specialist, and software developer topped the list as the most in-demand positions in Nashville.

     

    Charlotte, NC

    3. Charlotte, NC

    Percentage increase in tech talent: 27.9%

    Total number of tech talent employed: 37,360

    Median annual wage: $86,702

    2014 annual office asking rent:$20.59 psf

    Banking has long dominated Charlotte's economy, but the city's technology sector has steadily been on the rise. Energy companies like Duke Energy have beefed up their tech recruiting, and the city also boasts some of the highest median tech wages within the market.  

     

    Indianapolis, IN

    4. Indianapolis, IN

    Percentage increase in tech talent: 23.7%

    Total number of tech talent employed: 30,340

    Median annual wage: $74,552

    2014 annual office asking rent: $17.35 psf

    Despite being a smaller metropolitan area that is not widely associated with high tech, Indianapolis has a thriving tech scene. Companies such as Allison Transmissions and Bell Industries are providing jobs to people in the city, as well as drawing prospective employees from larger metropolitan cities looking for a change of pace. The growth is expected to continue into the next decade.

     

    Tampa, FL

    5. Tampa, FL

    Percentage increase in tech talent: 20.0%

    Total number of tech talent employed: 38,490

    Median annual wage: $74,858

    2014 annual office asking rent: $20.30 psf

    This city is of course best known for its beaches, but it's actually headquarters to several large companies in the tech sector, including TECO Energy and Tech Data. It's also an outpost for companies like Verizon, which employs 14,000 people from the area.  

    Oakland

    6. Oakland, CA

    Percentage increase in tech talent: 18.0%

    Total number of tech talent employed: 48,610

    Median annual wage: $97,104

    2014 annual office asking rent:$28.60 psf

    Given Oakland's close proximity to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, it's no wonder the city boasts the largest number of employed tech talent, the highest median wages, and the most expensive real estate on the list. Oakland also touts the most diverse tech pool on the list with females making up 25% of the tech workforce. 

    San Antonio

    7. San Antonio, TX

    Percentage increase in tech talent: 15.7%

    Total number of tech talent employed: 26,100

    Median annual wage: $75,337

    2014 annual office asking rent: $20.34 psf

    While Austin has long been dubbed Texas' main tech hub, in recent years, San Antonio has been making strides to take the crown. Collaborative co-working spaces such as Geekdom — created by Rackspace CEO Graham Weston and software entrepreneur Nick Longo — are bringing the best and brightest tech talent together to spark tech innovation. The co-working space has birthed startups like Parlevel Systems and TrueAbility. 

    Salt Lake City

    8. Salt Lake City, UT

    Percentage increase in tech talent: 13.0%

    Total number of tech talent employed: 24,940

    Median annual wage: $74,868

    2014 annual office asking rent: $20.40 psf  

    Silicon Valley-based companies such as Adobe and Twitter have expanded their businesses to Salt Lake City for its growing tech workforce and affordable real estate. The city has seen a 31% boost in tech employment in the past decade with no signs of slowing down. 

    Click here to learn about CBRE's commercial real estate offerings in these cities. 

     

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    Podcaster and author James Altucher recently stopped by Business Insider to talk about his provocative blog post about whether or not owning a home is a smart investment. 

    Altucher is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, angel investor and former hedge fund manager. His podcast and blog teach the lessons he's learned about money, health and happiness after having it all, losing it, and getting it back again.

    Produced by Graham Flanagan

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    brian chesky

    Although Airbnb just defeated an anti-Airbnb ballot initiative in San Francisco, the battle apparently left its mark.

    CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky on Wednesday posted a blog announcing a couple of policy changes at the company.

    The post is somewhat vaguely worded, so it's unclear exactly what Airbnb plans to do or how. Airbnb offered a few more details with its"Community Compact" policy.

    But the essence is this: he hinted that Airbnb will openly share with cities more data about Airbnb use and is taking steps to improve its image.

    It's a change in attitude for the seven-year-old startup which has a $25 billion valuation. In the past, some cities, like New York sued to get Airbnb to hand over data.

    Airbnb isn't promising to share the level of detailed data that New York sued for, which included specific names of people using Airbnb to list multiple properties — what the state attorney general called "illegal" hotels. It says it will share aggregate data, like the amount of income earned by a typical Airbnb host. 

    But Chesky's comments suggest the company is trying to mend the relationship with cities. He hinted that in cities where there was a housing shortage, Airbnb would somehow ban people from renting out their investment properties (like a condo). Everyone would be limited to using the home-rental site only for their own permanent residences.

    We asked Airbnb in which cities would this policy would apply and Airbnb declined to comment, telling us only that Airbnb was looking at it on a city-by-city basis.

    Certainly, San Francisco and New York are likely candidates. New York already has laws on the books that severely restrict short-term rentals. And last summer, San Francisco passed a law that allows landlords to use Airbnb for only 90 days per calendar year.

    Proposition F sought to restrict short-term rentals much more. And it became an ugly battle which divided the city. Many people love using Airbnb to find short-term rentals. Many landlords love renting their properties through it. But others believe Airbnb is hurting an already ridiculously tight and expensive rental market.

    Airbnb didn't do itself any favors with a billboard campaign that touted and joked about the $12 million in hotel taxes generated by Airbnb users. The ads infuriated some San Francisco residents and Airbnb pulled the ads down and tweeted an apology.

    Proposition F was defeated last week, but not by a landslide: 55% against to 44%. 

    So with that as background, Chesky is changing Airbnb's policy to try and work with cities and homeowners so it's no longer seen as a rental market villain.

    Here's the relevant snippet of Chesky full blog post (emphasis ours):

    Today, we’re taking the next step to turn these principles into concrete actions by releasing the Airbnb Community Compact. There are three commitments that are part of this Compact:

    We are committed to treating every city personally and helping ensure our community pays its fair share of hotel and tourist taxes.

    We are committed to being transparent with our data and information and we will help cities understand the home sharing activity in their community while simultaneously honoring our commitment to protect our hosts’ and guests’ privacy.

    In cities where there is a shortage of long-term housing, we are committed to working with our community to prevent short-term rentals from impacting the availability of long term housing by ensuring hosts agree to a policy of listing only permanent homes on a short-term basis.

    SEE ALSO: Salesforce billionaire Marc Benioff talks about the best way for investors to get rich

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    NOW WATCH: A lake resort that spent 25 years underwater reemerged as a spooky ghost town


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    Kelly ChrisEdwardsStateFair

    When brothers Kelly and Chris Edwards bought their first house in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2002, they didn't know much about real estate investing.

    The twins, who were in their late 20s at the time, had both been working in commercial banking and noticed a trend among the tax returns they analyzed: The people with the highest net worth owned real estate.

    Looking at one portfolio in particular, Chris remembers seeing that the client owned a handful of single family properties. "There was a house for sale two doors down from the one he owned," Chris remembers. "We were like, 'We might not be the smartest guys in the world, but we can figure it out.'"

    After getting the client's opinion on the sale, the brothers bought the house for $88,000 and started renovating it, doing much of the work themselves. In the next two years, they bought another four or five properties, getting to know contractors and developing a system along the way.

    Today, The Edwards Companies owns nearly $8 million in assets, and works with private investors through its investing arm, Edwards Capital Partners.

    "I remember one night, at probably 1 a.m., our buddy came by the house after leaving the bars," Chris says of their early days. "Kelly and I were painting. He was in banking, and we were the guys people were scratching their heads about and thinking we looked like the dumbest guys in the room. Now, we look like the smartest guys in the room. It's amazing what 10 years of good hard work will do."

    Here, over a decade later, they've shared nine of their best tips for people who want to get into real estate investing.

    SEE ALSO: A 24-year-old college dropout explains how he went from $10,000 in savings to $4 million in real estate

    Recognize that your investments are a business, and plan for it.

    "If you're going to get into real estate, whether you like or not, it's going to be a business," Kelly explains. "If you buy even one property, it will take up part of your life, so you have to take it seriously and plan for the future."

    In 2001, before buying their first place, the brothers decided that despite the fact that they didn't know much about the industry, they'd make a plan of action for the next few years, Kelly says. "We sat down with a spreadsheet and planned out the number of properties we wanted to buy in the timeframe. It was funny: Five or six years later, Chris found a printout of the spreadsheet in a real estate book in his office he'd been reading, and we were almost on the exact number of the properties we had planned to buy."



    Find someone who knows more than you do.

    When the brothers first started investing, they went to a local meeting in Raleigh to meet, and hopefully speak to, a local residential real estate investor who now owns over 2,000 units in the area. They invited him to dinner, and he accepted.

    "Ultimately we went to work for him for two years and saw everything there is to know for what our area of real estate, from fires to new construction to tear downs," Chris says. "One of our favorite books is 'Rich Dad Poor Dad,' and he's that guy to us: the rich dad, if you will. If there's a problem, we still call him. That definitely has been the most important thing contributing to our success."



    Invest for cash flow.

    Before anything else, the Edwardses make sure the numbers work out.

    "No matter what you read on the internet, our mentor told us one thing: Buy where the numbers work," Kelly explains. "You buy property for cash flow, not speculating 'This will appreciate 6% over the next 10 years.'"

    When the market tanked in 2008, the brothers' friends from banking would come by, asking if they were OK. "We told them as long as our cash flow is working, we could care less what the market is doing," Kelly says. "Over the long, long term we'll see that appreciation. If you're flipping homes, that's great, but to be a property manager you have to buy where the numbers work."



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    one_bedroom

    If you're planning to live alone and rent a one-bedroom in Manhattan, you’ll have to earn roughly $130,800 a year.

    That’s 40 times the amount of September’s median monthly asking rent, which was a record $3,271, according to real estate search engine Streeteasy. Many landlords require tenants earn 40 times the rent in order to sign a lease.

    Those looking in Brooklyn have to be high earners, too: median asking rents for one-bedrooms were $2,200 a month, meaning someone would have to earn $88,000 a year to pay that.

    Lynn, a 35-year-old graphic designer, moved to the city 13 years ago, first to Bushwick, then to Boerum Hill, Park Slope, and Carroll Gardens, always living with friends or boyfriends.

    After a recent break-up, she decided to pursue her dream to live alone for the first time, preferably in a one-bedroom for under $1,500 a month.

    “I’ve been seeing all the crappy places New York has to offer,” said Lynn, who requested DNAinfo use only her middle name. Two studios she looked at in her price range around the Clinton Hill/Bedford-Stuyvesant border both had two-burner hot plates above a beer fridge.

    “I’m 35,” she said. “I don’t think I could honestly live with a hot plate and feel like I’m doing OK.”

    apt2

    More than half of the city’s population are single New Yorkers, according to Census data; 32 percent of the city’s households are made up of New Yorkers who live alone, Census figures show. And while many developers are focusing the micro-suite model on millennials, single households skew older.

    Only 19 percent of single-person households are under 35 years old, 20 percent are 35 to 55 years old, and just over 50 percent are older than 55, according to a report from the Citizens Housing Planning Council. Yet there are few housing options for single person households, especially older people, the report added.

    Developers are well aware that single-unit prices are prohibitively expensive for many single New Yorkers, and since they can’t do much about the high costs of land and construction here, they’re hoping to squeeze more tenants into buildings by creating smaller units.

    common

    Many are catering to single people with “micro-suites, where tenants, each with their own small room, share a kitchen and bathroom, often with amenities appealing to the post-college crowd, such as cleaning services, high-speed Wi-Fi, and rooftop gardens like at a newly launched Crown Heights building that costs $1,800 a month for rooms.

    They’re also hoping to build more micro-units — defined as apartments smaller than 400 square feet — especially as the city is floating new zoning codes that would allow for developers to build units of this size, reversing a ban implemented in the 1980s.

    “[It] shows that the city is thinking about this and would like to make this type of apartment buildable,” said Tobias Oriwol of Monadnock Development.

    SEE ALSO: How much you should save to retire in New York City, San Francisco, and 8 other expensive US cities

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    NOW WATCH: Amy Schumer may be a big deal — but she still lives in a walk-up


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    Amy Schumer

    It turns out Amy Schumer's "tiny" one-bedroom Upper West Side Manhattan co-op isn't actually so tiny.

    Though the comedian joked not too long ago about how, despite her fame, she still lives in a one-bedroom walk-up apartment, she neglected to mention that it was also a penthouse.

    It's located on the top floor of beautiful brownstone building, steps from the Museum of Natural History and a block away from Central Park.

    It looks like Schumer will be trading up in real estate after she landed a book deal worth between $8 million and $10 million this year. Schumer is quietly listing the apartment for $2.075 million, as was first reported by the New York Post.

    Compass Real Estate will reportedly carry the listing.

    SEE ALSO: Michael Jordan is trying really hard to sell his outrageous Chicago mansion

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    The apartment is no typical New York shoe box — it's actually a penthouse on the top floor of an Upper West Side brownstone.



    A gorgeous stone entryway with a wooden door allows entrance into the five-unit co-op building.



    Schumer wasn't kidding about the walk-up, however. The apartment is on the fifth floor, and there's no elevator. At least the hallways are nice.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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