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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    homeowners new house

    Sorry, New England: You won’t find the happiest homeowners in your neck of the woods, according to the results from HomeAdvisor’s nationwide study, released Monday.

    The nation’s happiest homeowners live in states like California, Oregon and Washington, the home services site found.

    HomeAdvisor surveyed nearly 18,000 homeowners representing 39 states and 36 designated marketing areas from March 14 through April 22. According to HomeAdvisor’s site, “a regional grade was assigned for the remaining 11 states (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, Maine, Vermont, South Dakota, Nebraska and North Dakota) because they did not present a sample size large enough to report on.”

    The survey was sent to more than 1 million homeowners via email, and respondents submitted responses online, through Trifecta Research Group. Using a proprietary calculation, HomeAdvisor’s team of researchers crunched each state’s individual Happy Home Score.

    Having access to local attractions and services, a sense of safety and diversity, and an affordable, functional home are keys to a homeowner’s happiness, the survey found. After all, nothing feels better than being able to make ends meet while enjoying your home. (Remember, a good credit score can also help you secure an affordable mortgage. You can see where you stand by viewing two of your credit scores, updated each month, for free on

    Keep reading to see which states have the happiest homeowners.

    SEE ALSO: 7 mistakes you'll probably make in your first apartment

    10. Idaho

    Happy Home Score: B-

    Average Home Price (U.S. Census): $172,500

    “The Cost of Living Is Reasonable”: 15%

    “I Feel That My Community Is Racially Diverse”: 43%

    Average Travel Time to Work: 40 minutes

    9. Hawaii

    Happy Home Score: B-

    Average Home Price (U.S. Census): $499,000

    “The Cost of Living Is Reasonable”: 15%

    “I Feel That My Community Is Racially Diverse”: 43%

    Average Travel Time to Work: 40 minutes

    8. Alaska

    Happy Home Score: B-

    Average Home Price (U.S. Census): $155,000

    “The Cost of Living Is Reasonable”: 15%

    “I Feel That My Community Is Racially Diverse”: 43%

    Average Travel Time to Work: 40 minutes

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen are in an empire state of mind.

    The power couple joins a slew of celebrities, including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper, who all have residences in Manhattan's chic Tribeca neighborhood.

    Page Six reports that the New England Patriots QB and his supermodel wife are in the process of purchasing a $20 million apartment overlooking the Hudson River. The couple is reportedly in contract to buy a 5,000-square-foot apartment inside 70 Vestry, a luxurious new building designed by Robert A.M. Stern.

    According to Page Six, the apartment includes five bedrooms and a spacious terrace, and its high elevation offers fantastic views of the city. And while the couple currently resides at an apartment in One Madison in the Flatiron District, they will likely move out in 2018, when 70 Vestry is completed. 

    A spokesperson for 70 Vestry declined to comment.

    SEE ALSO: Look inside the beautiful townhouse Urban Outfitters' former CEO is selling for $17 million

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

    Odds are Tom and Gisele were attracted to this very private entry. The cobblestone driveway is a rare find in the city, and there's no better way to make a grand entrance.

    Inside the 14-story building, the couple can make use of the 82-foot lap pool and cycling, yoga, and pilates studios. There's also a squash court, sauna, and steam room.

    70 Vestry will feature 47 units, although it's not clear which one the couple has selected. Sources told Page Six the apartment is on a high floor.

    Source: Page Six

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    House on stilts

    A new analysis from Zillow has estimated that if sea levels rise as much as climate scientists predict they will by 2100, nearly 2 million coastal US homes would be lost.

    New research published in Nature found that sea levels could rise 6 feet by 2100 — nearly twice as high as previous expectations, according to Zillow.

    If this happens, nearly 300 US cities would lose at least half their homes, and 36 US cities would be wiped out completely.

    "As we move through this century, homeowners will have to consider another factor when it comes to their homes — whether rising sea levels have any impact on them," said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. "It's easy to think about how the ocean levels can affect the coasts in an abstract sense, but this analysis shows the real impact it will have on nearly 2 million homeowners — and most likely more by the time we reach 2100 — who could lose their homes."

    Using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Zillow identified which homes would be affected by a 6-foot ocean rise. The endangered homes represent almost 2% of the national housing stock, the Zillow analysis found, and are worth a combined $882 billion.

    Below are the 11 states that have the largest number of homes that could be underwater by 2100:

    11. Texas

    Number of homes at risk: 46,804

    Percentage of homes at risk: 0.6%

    Total value of homes at risk: $12 billion

    Median value of at-risk home: $195,029

    Data from Zillow

    10. Louisiana

    Number of homes at risk: 80,080

    Percentage of homes at risk: 5.9%

    Total value of homes at risk: $13.2 billion

    Median value of at-risk home: $139,042

    Data from Zillow

    9. Virginia

    Number of homes at risk: 46,287

    Percentage of homes at risk: 1.8%

    Total value of homes at risk: $14.4 billion

    Median value of at-risk home: $252,985

    Data from Zillow

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Grant Cardone is an American entrepreneur and a New York Times best-selling author, speaker and motivator. His books, audio packages, and seminars provide people of all professional backgrounds with the practical tools necessary to build their own economies toward the path to true freedom.

    Grant stopped by Business Insider's office to talk about several topics, including finance, real estate, and the mindset of becoming a millionaire. In this video, he gets real about why you should not buy a house.

    Learn more about Grant at

    Follow BI Video:On Twitter

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    touring first home

    Buying your first home can be hard.

    You have to take out a loan, find a quiet neighborhood, and get a home near good schools and shopping. The list goes on for what seems like forever.

    But no matter how long your list is, living space is probably close to the top.

    After all, 43% of Americans told they would like a larger home. So if that's true for you, where should you move to in order to get the best value for your money?

    Things apparently are bigger in Texas, so start there. But if the Lone Star state isn't for you, then try one of the other 18 metro areas with the biggest starter homes in America.

    Read on to find out which areas made the list.

    No. 19 Riverside, CA

    Median Starter Home: 1237 sq ft

    Median Premium Home: 2372 sq ft

    Average home: 1744 sq ft

    Data provided by Trulia

    No. 18 San Jose, CA

    Median Starter Home: 1238 sq ft

    Median Premium Home: 2088 sq ft

    Average home: 1638 sq ft

    Data provided by Trulia

    No. 17 Oxnard, CA

    Median Starter Home: 1238 sq ft

    Median Premium Home: 2535 sq ft

    Average home: 1827 sq ft

    Data provided by Trulia

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    san francisco house for sale

    One of my friends is 28 and she’s looking to buy a house in San Francisco pretty soon.

    Now, as you know, I’m not a big fan of real estate for investment reasons, but because I’m not an expert, I’ve been researching it more and more (see my links here). So when she mentioned wanting to buy a house, I asked one question: “Why?”

    This is where things fell apart.

    Her responses included things like:

    “I don’t want to waste money paying rent.” I’m convinced this awful phrase was invented by Realtors BECAUSE IT’S SIMPLY NOT TRUE FOR EVERYONE. YOU ARE NOT WASTING RENT IF YOU LIVE IN AN EXPENSIVE AREA. Here’s a good article with more details.

    I asked what she thought about the real-estate market right now, considering many of the ARM resets are still coming. One response: “The market is already bad, so there’s upside potential when I sell? what do you think of that logic? Prices are supposedly lower right now as a result.” I don’t think logic is enough to justify the biggest purchase of your life.

    I also pasted a couple of the best articles on real estate: This one (Yahoo Finance) and this one (New York Times).

    The result was interesting. She hadn’t seen these, so she asked me what I would do with my money. At this point, I was at a coffee shop and one of them lived near me, so she came over to talk about this in-person. I looked over her finances and realized she had tens of thousands of dollars just sitting around, earning hardly any interest. Even putting it in a Capital One 360 (formerly ING) savings account would have gotten her hundreds of dollars a month.

    The first thing I did was suggest three books to her on investing (more books I recommend). We talked for a while, and I suggested some things she could do to improve her finances and start earning more. After about 20 minutes of back-and-forth, I asked her what she was going to do for her next steps. “I’m going to be honest,” she said. “I’m not going to read those books.”

    I thought this was really fascinating. Here’s someone who has tens of thousands of dollars earning 0.5% interest and she’s so resistant to the idea of reading investment books that she almost bought a million-dollar house instead. Five years ago, she had a significant amount of money. What if she had invested it in the stock market?

    Screen Shot 2016 08 04 at 12.46.19 PM

    And five years from now, wouldn’t she be happy that she spent 5-10 hours reading a few books to get her finances in order?

    SEE ALSO: In our pursuit of passive income, too many of us overlook an opportunity for wealth

    Why young people still think of real-estate as an investment

    One of the best things to happen from the real-estate bust that we’re undergoing is to make peoplethink twice about real estate as an investment. That’s right — to actually consciously think about why they’re making the biggest purchase of their lives, rather than just buying a house because “it’s the next thing to do.”

    And yet, I’m still stunned when I hear about my friends “investing” in real estate, especially in the Bay Area. (Yes, real estate can be profitable and great, but in some areas of the country there are far better investments).

    I thought about it over the weekend, and I think there are a few reasons why real estate still seems to appealing to my friends:

    1. They have some money lying around and know they should be doing something
    2. They don’t know anything about investing, and the barriers to knowledge seem high
    3. Real estate represents something tangible — and something their parents probably keep reminding them about
    4. Society still explicitly and implicitly rewards homeowners (just think about a young friend who owns a home — are others impressed?)
    6. It’s easier to do new things than to look back at old things, like reading books or handpicked articles about real-estate (Seriously, how many people will click and read through those links?)

    Research for gargantuan purchases = good

    Here’s the point: Buying a house is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. When you do it, you need to understand exactly why. That means an extensive amount of research. When I bought a car, for example, I spent months learning about every trick under the sun. I had 17 dealers negotiating with each other to get my business. And that was to save a few thousand dollars!

    Now, I’m Indian and I’m weird, but I did that for buying a car. When I buy a house, I expect to enlist the help of several third-world researchers for months of research and, when I walk into the final negotiation, I will be accompanied by a large hairy man, a metal baton, and a chimp. IT’S THE BIGGEST PURCHASE OF YOUR LIFE. WHY WOULDN’T YOU SPEND TIME UNDERSTANDING THE PROS AND CONS OF IT?

    You know, on one hand, much of this site is about getting started and not spending too much time doing endless research. But there’s a balance, as I describe in my article on conscious spending— you need to know the basics, and you need to know much more for real estate, which you can’t just sell the next day if you decide you don’t like it. When I pointed out sites like to my friend, she had never heard of them.

    As usual, there are lots of ads and media influences to buy, but ultimately we make the decision on how much to research our real-estate purchases. I’m not saying it’s a bad decision — although my real-estate colors are clearly showing — but when I read a real-estate blog like SocketSite, I realize I’m not nearly as knowledgeable about real estate as others.

    The 3-book solution

    For many, what seems like an intimidating amount of research can be broken down by buying 3 books and reading them. Instead of coming in with a blank slate, you go to Amazon, find the highest-rated books in your area, and read them in a couple of weeks. I’ve done this with books on marketing, venture capital, and psychology. I keep a notepad and write down my questions. After 3 books, you’ll have very targeted and specific questions to ask someone. (Instead of “what should I do???” you might say, “Should I choose a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k)?”)

    In July, I wrote about how asking targeted questions can get you targeted answers. To get the right answers about investing, pick up a few books — whether these ones or other ones — and get started by asking the right questions.

    Here are the three best books to get started investing:

    • "The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing," by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, Michael LeBoeuf, and John C. Bogle

    • "Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investment," by David F. Swensen

    • "The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke," by Suze Orman

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    property brothers

    According to Jonathan and Drew Scott, stars of the HGTV show "Property Brothers," it doesn't take a lot to increase the sale value of your home.

    In fact, there are two inexpensive, quick tricks you can use to potentially convince buyers to pay you more: Keep it clean and fix anything that needs it.

    "Buyers associate dirt, clutter, disorganization and poor maintenance with serious problems they might not be able to see," they write in their book, "Dream Home: The Property Brothers' Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House."

    "You can get an additional $20,000 or more for a house that's neat and clean," they write. "Why would you leave money on the table when it costs next to nothing to clean and declutter?"

    Here are some suggestions from the Property Brothers to prepare your home for sale:

    Keep it clean

    The brothers suggest packing up all personal items and keeping only what is necessary to start your cleaning. This not only shows off the features of your home, but "removing a lot of personal items helps buyers picture their family in the home instead of yours," they write.

    Beyond personal items and a cluttered space, general poor maintenance can make buyers write off your property.

    "We call it the Ick Factor: The more times a buyer says 'ew' in your home, the more likely they'll just write off your property," they say.

    A quick vacuum is only a start. The Property Brothers suggest that you:

    • Do a smell check to eliminate musty-smelling areas of your home. If you have become too accustomed to your house smells, bring a friend to your house for an honest second opinion.

    • Scrub around doorknobs, which tend to get dirty easily.

    • Sweep, weed, and wash paved walkways, patios, and sidewalks.

    • Clean out the refrigerator — potential buyers are going to look.

    • Tidy up the medicine cabinets and closets. Again, buyers will be looking.

    Fix what needs fixing

    The next step to getting more for your home is zeroing in on what might need to be fixed. The brothers suggest creating a list of what needs to be repaired, replaced, or updated.

    If you don't know what should be on the list, you can hire an inspector for about $300 to $500, depending on where you live and the size of your property.

    "It's money well spent if you can correct issues that may become points of contention for the buyer," they write.

    But fixing doesn't have to cost much, if anything. The Property Brothers also suggest making a checklist of small items you might need to attend to, such as:

    • Check all faucets for leaks, and make sure drains and toilets are working properly.

    • Replace any broken or ripped screens in windows, doors, and porches.

    • Check the baseboards for scuff marks you might want to repaint or go over with a Magic Eraser.

    "Your house is only as strong as its weakest link," they write. "Even the smallest of issues can become a huge concern for buyers."

    SEE ALSO: The best time to buy anything for your home, according to HGTV's 'Property Brothers'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The secret to selling your house for more money

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    John Murray, managing director and co-head of U.S. commercial real estate, explains why prices could fall 5% over the coming year amid changing capital market dynamics.


    SEE ALSO: Housing markets are starting to look like they did before the 2008 crisis

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This Excel trick will save you time and impress your boss

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    400 S Mashta Dr

    A tropically-styled mansion with a copper roof is on the market for a whopping $39 million. You'll find it in one of the most exclusive hamlets of the Miami area, Key Biscayne.

    The home is more than just a mansion set on a perfect piece of land, however.

    Given the parcel's unique location, the owners frequently receive requests from film crews to shoot there. They turn most offers down, but they did rent out the mansion for the filming of the 2006 movie "Miami Vice." Most of the furniture was moved out, and the owners lived in a hotel for a week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    Jorge Uribe of One Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing for this movie-famous home.

    SEE ALSO: No one wants to buy this bizarre house in a wealthy San Francisco suburb

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

    Key Biscayne is one of the most luxurious and exclusive neighborhoods in the Miami area.

    An island accessible only by boat and a small bridge, it remains relatively secluded with around 10,000 residents.

    A home on the island just listed for $39 million.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Hong Kong

    A new report from Savills has found the most expensive cities for companies to rent and occupy office space and housing for their employees around the world.

    The Savills Live-Work Index, which was released on August 4, compares how much it would cost for businesses to set up a team of employees per capita in major cities around the world. Figures are based on Savills research for the average total cost per employee.

    The index found that London, which has been the most expensive for the last 2.5 years, is no longer the priciest city for companies. The total cost for the British capital has dropped by 11% since the Brexit vote, the report notes.

    Meanwhile, the cost of living and working in Tokyo has seen a 22% rise due to increasing rent prices, according to Savills.

    Here are the 19 most expensive cities to set up a business in the world, along with the annual cost per employee in each:

    19. Johannesburg, South Africa — $20,905.43 (£15,889.81)

    18. Mumbai, India — $28,592.46 (£21,732.57)

    17. Berlin, Germany — $29,933.07 (£22,751.55)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tiny houses

    You've heard of tiny houses, the small homes, sometimes on wheels, whose occupants have to creatively build to live comfortably.

    Most first-time homebuyers aren't looking for a tiny home when they first set out, but buyers in the following cities may end up with one anyway. gathered a list of the cities with the smallest starter homes. These cities are spread across the US, and even though size isn't everything, it is nice to have a bit of elbow room.

    13. Denver

    Median Starter Home Size: 1,056 sq ft

    Median Premium Home Size: 2,318 sq ft

    Average Home Size: 1,941 sq ft

    Data provided by Trulia

    12. Minneapolis

    Median Starter Home Size: 1,053 sq ft

    Median Premium Home Size: 1,920 sq ft

    Average Home Size: 1,588 sq ft

    Data provided by Trulia

    11. Salt Lake City

    Median Starter Home Size: 1,052 sq ft

    Median Premium Home Size: 1,962 sq ft

    Average Home Size: 1,663 sq ft

    Data provided by Trulia

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    millennium tower

    San Francisco’s condo market doesn’t need this sort of debacle at the moment. Condo prices are already under pressure. Sales volume has been down all year. The luxury end is in trouble. And South of Market, where this debacle is located – the epicenter of the building boom and until recently one of the hottest spots in San Francisco – is going cold. According to Paragon Real Estate, SoMa’s median condo price year-to-date fell 1.3% from the same period in 2015.

    And now SoMa has the Leaning Tower of San Francisco. Someday it might make a fabulous tourist attraction, much like its famous sister in Pisa, Italy, but for now it’s just an ultra-luxury debacle called Millennium Tower, the most luxurious condo tower in San Francisco and perhaps in California.

    The San Francisco Chronicle described the 58-story “symbol of San Francisco’s new high-rise and high-end living” this way:

    Rated by Worth magazine as one of the top 10 residential buildings in the world, the Millennium at 301 Mission St. is home to such A-listers as Joe Montana and Hunter Pence. Until his recent death, it’s where venture capitalist Tom Perkins owned a penthouse. Condos sell for anywhere from $1.6 million to north of $10 million.

    But it’s sinking. And it’s not only sinking at an alarming rate – 16 inches since its completion in 2008 – it’s also sinking unevenly and has begun to lean.

    The tilt that began in 2009 has reached 2 inches to the northwest, toward the sidewalk on Mission Street, but it’s still not enough to where you can see it. We assume the tilt of the Tower of Pisa started out small too, and no one noticed at first.

    But folks are worried. The Chronicle:

    “That’s significant … and of concern,” said Professor Greg Deierlein, director of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford University, who has been called in to evaluate the designs of a couple of San Francisco’s newer downtown high-rises.

    Deierlein noted that the 88-story Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia — which were the world’s tallest buildings when they opened in 1998 – have sunk less than 3 inches. Their tilt, or “differential settlement,” is less than half an inch.

    It’s not a safety issue at the moment, everyone says. It’s not going to fall on top of you as you walk by. And according to P.J. Johnston, spokesman for builder Millennium Partners, who cited a structural safety review, it “has not significantly affected the seismic performance of the building.”

    And the condo owners?

    “I would be concerned for my investment,” Deierlein explained.

    As the building shifts, sinks, and leans, walls can crack, elevators might malfunction, and so on. Cracks in the underground parking garage have been reported, and according to Johnston, “minor repairs” had to be done “to sidewalks and connections at the ground level.”

    We’d think, as uninformed as we are about these things, that a 58-story ultra-luxury tower would sit on bedrock. But no.

    It’s a concrete building, and therefore heavier than steel-framed buildings, and therefore more prone to sinking, and it sits on a massive concrete slab that sits on big concrete columns that go down about 80 feet through mud-fill and sand near San Francisco’s shoreline before it was filled in.

    “To cut costs, Millennium did not drill piles to bedrock” at a depth of 200 feet, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority told The Chronicle in a statement. Had it done so, “the tower would not be tilting today.”

    There’s no obligation to disclose to potential condo buyers that the super-luxury tower is not sitting on bedrock but sand.

    Other towers in SoMa are also concrete buildings and “have their foundations at the same subterranean level,” Johnston retorted. “In any case, this was not a cost-saving decision, but the preferred design,” he said.

    Not exactly comforting words for owners of condos in these other towers.

    And what does the Transbay Joint Powers Authority have to do with it? Ah, this is where the Leaning Tower of San Francisco is going to turn into an epic legal battle – and potentially a taxpayer-funded bailout of the owners.

    San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center, a rail and bus terminal with signs of the yellow-and-blue high-speed trains to Los Angeles that may never happen…

    san francisco transbay transit center

    … is being built next door to the Millennium. It’s a huge construction site, snarling traffic in the entire area.

    The Chronicle (emphasis added):

    The problem first came to light in 2010 when the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the public agency constructing the transit center, hired the consulting firm Arup to gauge how the excavation could affect the tower.

    According to the consultant’s initial report, by the time excavation began – two years after the $350 million Millennium was completed – the tower had already settled 10 inches. That was 4 inches more than its builders had predicted for the life of the high-rise.

    In other words, without the Transbay Transit Center construction project, no one would have even known about the problem. Condo owners would still be happy. Maybe a few would wonder about the uneven water in toilet bowls, but what the heck.

    The Chronicle also reported that “the Transbay Joint Powers Authority pumped more than $58 million into an underground buttressing system to shore up the Millennium before beginning excavation in 2010” – after it had already sunk the first 10 inches and before it would sink another 6 inches.

    However this will turn out, IF there are any solutions, they’re going to be expensive. And since the Transbay Joint Powers Authority – which is being blamed by the owners of the Millennium – is a public entity, taxpayers are potentially on the hook.

    This debacle is hitting the condo market in SoMA and more generally in San Francisco just when the hot air is already hissing out of it. The thing is: nobody knew that the tower was sinking at this rate until they studied it due to the big dig next door. The other concrete towers built on mud-fill and sand haven’t been studied, and no one knows if they’re sinking and leaning, and now doubts are likely to begin swirling.

    The San Francisco condo market is facing a new nightmare. Manhattan and Miami are already getting mauled. Now it’s expanding to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Southern California! Read…  US Government Mucks up Money-Laundering in Real Estate, Puts Luxury Housing Bubbles at Risk

    SEE ALSO: A huge yacht was just delivered to the Omani Royal Family

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This Excel trick will save you time and impress your boss

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    san francisco mansion

    Luxury home prices inched up 0.8 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to last year, to an average of $1.66 million, according to a new analysis from Redfin. The quarterly analysis tracks luxury sales in more than 1,000 cities across the country and defines a home as luxury if it is among the top 5 percent most expensive homes sold in each city.

    After market volatility sent luxury prices tumbling 1.1 percent in the first quarter, they found a footing in the second quarter as the global markets stabilized. While price growth in the high-end has been sluggish, home prices in the bottom 95 percent of the market have gained steadily around 5 percent each quarter for the past two years.

    Inventory of homes priced above $1 million fell 0.5 percent from a year prior and sales for homes priced above $1 million increased 10.7 percent.

    graph 1

    graph 2

    Bracing for Brexit

    Redfin agents and analysts expect new economic uncertainties will impact the luxury market moving forward. In the wake of the Brexit vote, Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson anticipates foreign buyers to consider U.S. real estate investments as they pull money out of the U.K.

    The stock market ended the second quarter rebounding in a big way after seeing the largest one-day drop in equities in U.S. history in the aftermath of Brexit.  

    “For the most part, the housing market can stomach large swings in the stock market,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “But there are markets, like Silicon Valley, that become queasy when the equity market is this volatile. In these areas, homebuyers’ wealth and downpayments are more closely tied to stocks. In addition, foreign buyers who normally flock to these cities are also highly sensitive to global volatility. I expect a bit of motion sickness as high-end buyers decide whether parking their money in real estate is a safe place in a rocky global economy.”

    Last week, the Treasury Department expanded its investigation into money laundering in luxury real estate. Amid concerns that buyers were using anonymous LLC shell companies to launder money in all-cash real estate purchases, the government is now requiring disclosures of the names of individuals behind these LLCs.

    Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network enacted the disclosure requirements in March for Miami and Manhattan and is now expanding the rules to include luxury purchases in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio, all of New York City and additional counties outside of Miami. It remains to be seen whether the disclosures will dampen luxury sales in any of these markets.

    Biggest Winners

    In many of the luxury market’s bellwether cities like Miami Beach, Boston and San Diego, prices made significant quarterly swings.

    Miami Beach saw prices jump 22 percent in the second quarter after a rough first quarter saw prices dip 14 percent. Luxury prices in Boston and San Diego also dipped in Q1 only to rise in Q2.

    When looking at the biggest luxury winners of the quarter, 10 of the 15 were cities with luxury price points under $1.5 million. Luxury homebuyers in cities like Longmont, Colorado and Alpharetta, Georgia are most likely full-time residents, rather than foreign investor types. With rates hovering near all-time lows, buyers with the means are taking advantage and moving up into higher-priced homes.

    graph 3

    Biggest Losers

    San Francisco has made Redfin’s luxury losers list for two straight quarters, with prices for the most expensive homes in the city falling 11 percent compared to a year ago. The market in San Francisco is shifting. Redfin data on June home sales indicate slowing price growth in the city after four years of double-digit inflation.

    The luxury markets in Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Virginia have also been soft for several quarters. This luxury slump follows an overall price slowdown in the Washington, D.C., metro area, but may also reflect political concerns. Redfin agents report some buyers may be sitting on the real estate sidelines until after November.

    Dan Galloway, a Redfin real estate agent in Washington, D.C. said, “With the upcoming election comes uncertainty, as people here are bracing to see how the government will take shape. For buyers and sellers here, it’s less about politics and more about the logistics of the potential turnover in jobs and people moving in and out of the area. Therefore it may make sense to wait until November when we know what the future will bring for jobs and housing in D.C.”

    graph 4

    Curious about the most expensive homes sold last quarter? Click here to take a peek at the mega-mansions and luxury condos that recently found new owners.  

    Click here to download the data for your city and visit the Redfin Data Center to find more housing market data for metro areas around the country.


    Redfin tracks the most expensive 5 percent of homes sold in more than 1,000 U.S. cities and compares price changes to the bottom 95 percent of homes in those cities. Analysis is based on multiple-listing and county recorder sales data in markets served by Redfin. To determine luxury market winners and losers, we looked at cities with at least 30 luxury sales in the quarter and an average luxury sale price of at least $1 million.

    SEE ALSO: Vancouver might have just burst its own housing bubble

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    Screen Shot 2016 04 13 at 8.26.06 AM

    It turns out homebuyers are really into barn doors.  

    When Zillow looked at design features that sell homes at the best price and with the shortest listing time, that feature topped the list. 

    Anything craftsman-style, like rectangular farmhouse sinks, also got homes off the market at a premium. 

    Zillow Digs screened over 2 million listings for homes sold between January 2014 and March 2016 and looked for the keywords that had the best effect on how much more than the expected price and how much faster they sold.  

    Here are the top 15 design features:

    Outdoor kitchen

    Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 3.7%

    How many days faster than expected the home sells: 19

    Most common metro: Tampa, Florida

    Tankless water heater

    Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4%

    How many days faster than expected the home sells: 43

    Most common metro: Los Angeles, California


    Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%

    How many days faster than expected the home sells: 46

    Most common metro: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Oaklawn, 71 Albert Rd South

    £1 million is a lot of money.

    But when it comes to spending that amount on a home, where you buy can make a huge difference to how much you get for your money.

    That's why we asked a number of estate agents for properties on the market for £1 million in various parts of the UK.

    From a 7-bedroom Victorian house in the countryside to a one-bedroom flat in a big city, here are nine properties you can buy for £1 million around the country, ranked by their size and quality:

    Note: Some estate agents could not disclose certain properties for client confidentiality reasons.

    9. A one-bedroom flat in Bayswater, west London, is all you'll get for £1 million. At least the apartment is housed inside this impressive Grade II-listed, stucco-fronted building.

    The 865-square-foot flat has a modern, simple decor that's technologically enhanced with an AV system that's wirelessly hooked up to the living room and bedroom tucked away in a hallway cabinet. The flat also has a small private (though concrete) garden.

    See the full listing here.

    8. In southwest London, £1 million will get you a one-bedroom flat at Chelsea Island, a new residential development by the Thames and a short distance from Chelsea's King's Road.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    When it comes to mega-mansions, this 33-bedroom Florida compound on a private barrier island is pretty hard to beat. Sitting just south of Palm Beach in Manalapan, it's listed for $195 million, making it the most expensive home for sale in the United States right now.

    The 16-acre estate, named Gemini, is the property of the billionaire family of deceased publisher William B. Ziff, Jr. Ziff passed away in 2006. He had developed a successful empire of tech-focused magazines, including titles like Car and Driver and PC Magazine. The family sold the publishing arm of Ziff-Davis for $1.4 billion in 1994.

    The massive property is decked out with all of the perks that you'd expect for the astronomical price tag. It's bordered on both sides by private beaches and its own pier. On top of that, there's a golf course, pool, tennis court, and basketball court. 

    Gemini is listed with Carmen D'Angelo, Jr., Joseph Liguori, and Gerard Liguori of Premier Estate Properties. Let's take a look around.

    Raisa Bruner wrote an earlier version of this post. 

    SEE ALSO: The 32 most expensive homes for sale in the US right now

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    Gemini spans the width of a barrier island in Manalapan, just south of Palm Beach. That means it has private waterfront access on both the ocean and river sides — not to mention plenty of green space.

    The property includes a 12-bedroom main home, as well as a seven-bedroom guest house, two "ocean cottages," a manager's house and office, and a tree house. It makes for a grand total of 84,988 square feet of interior space.

    A PGA-standard golf practice area means you never have to leave the private island to work on your drive. You'll also find a freshwater pond, bird sanctuary, and "sports complex" with tennis, basketball, mini golf, and playground setups. To top it off, there's a butterfly garden complete with model train, and a fully-furnished underground tunnel connecting different parts of the compound.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Twitter office

    As Twitter's fortunes on the public markets continue to sag, the social network is looking to sublease out 183,642 square feet of office space from its San Francisco headquarters, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

    Per that report, the Twitter office space up for grabs can accomodate 1,416 employees, making it the biggest office sublease available in the city. With San Francisco real estate such a hot commodity, it probably won't stay on the market for long.

    Twitter first moved into its current headquarters circa 2012, taking over the Mid-Market neighborhood's iconic San Francisco Furniture Mart building. Just a couple of months after Twitter held layoffs in October 2015, the company actually subleased an entire floor of their headquarters out to startups and other companies.

    Still, despite their shrinking office space, Twitter insists that they're not going anywhere: "We’re always looking at ways to use our office spaces more efficiently and effectively. We remain committed to our home in San Francisco’s mid-Market area," says a Twitter spokesperson. 

    Twitter isn't the only tech company turning their real estate investments into a revenue source, either: Last November, it was revealed that Dropbox was looking to sublease 40% of their office space, ahead of the introduction of their own brand-new headquarters.

    Read the full San Francisco Business Times report here>>

    SEE ALSO: Twitter Flies The Nest And Moves Into Its New 1355 Market Street Headquarters

    SEE ALSO: Dropbox wants to sublease 40% of the office space at its headquarters

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    Small spaces are the next big thing in real estate, and with good reason. 

    Real estate is constantly getting more expensive, and we're facing overpopulation and environmental damage. Tiny homes can help solve these issues, but many also prefer them to traditional housing because they're the perfect hybrid of comfort and convenience, since they are often mobile.

    On roofs, wheels, and in backyard, here are 23 of the smallest homes we could find around the world.

    Melissa Stanger contributed to an earlier version of this story.

    A Colorado couple built this 124 square-foot home that has a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping loft.

    Size: 124 sq. ft.

    Location: Colorado

    Colorado couple Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller began building their home back in 2011 and documented the journey in a new movie called "TINY: A Story About Living Small."

    The house has a small galley kitchen, a bathroom, and a sleeping loft nestled between the floor and the 11-foot-high ceilings. For storage, the couple makes use of a small closet and two built-in bookshelves, and works from a built-in desk a reclaimed hardwood table.

    KODA Walking Concrete made the World Architecture Festival's shortlist of the best "Small Projects" in 2016.

    Size: 250 sq. ft

    Location: Tallinn, Estonia 

    This cubic concrete home is completely mobile and has technology that allows it to learn and adjust to its surroundings. The company that developed it,  Kodasema, designed the two-tiered home so that it can be assembled in as little as four hours.

    The simple design allows it to function as whatever space is needed, be it a beach house, mountain hut, café, or office. 


    This 196 square-foot home cost its architect less than $12,000 to build.

    Size: 196 sq. ft.

    Location: Boise, Idaho

    Boise architect Macy Miller decided to downgrade from a full-size home to a tiny one, which she designed and built herself. She lives there with her partner and dog.

    The home, which sits on top of a flatbed trailer, cost about $11,500 all in. The most expensive component is the composting toilet — about $2,000 — which uses barely any water.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    house front yard 2Our start in real estate began from very humble beginnings.

    My husband and I bought our first property at the ages of 23 and 25, on October 25, 2011 after our 3rd move in 18 months. I had just graduated from grad school and was unemployed and without a job.

    We bought a home based on one income and used my husband’s VA loan. Fast forward four years to today; we own seven houses, with two more expected to close by Christmas. We have a net worth of over $400,000 and make almost $2,000/month on our REI rentals.

    All of this was courtesy of investing in rental property and thinking outside of the box using the little resources we had. Of those four years, I only worked in a professional capacity for less three of those years, due to relocation for my husband’s job (military pilot).

    I share this as inspiration; not as a brag. You can do anything you set your mind to in real estate. In real estate, no beginning is too small, no investment is too large.

    Real estate is an awesome investment. It is adaptable to your goals, and your pool of resources. The benefits of owning rental properties are as vast as your goals and desires. Don’t let analysis paralysis or the fear of failure stop you from getting started!

    You will make tons of mistakes. Trust me — I did!! Still, I am so thankful for our real estate investments. Most importantly, I’m glad I started.

    Real estate comes in many forms — multi-family, shopping centers, storage units, industrial office buildings, residential housing — all of which come with different sizes and price tags.

    There are lots of financing and management strategies. This unique melting pot of options means that anyone can gets started with a little bit of wisdom and a lot of out of the box thinking no matter their financial planning.

    For this guide we are going to focus on residential single family homes and how to buy rental property in this category.

    While we’re focusing on single family homes, with some minor adjustments, this plan could work for many other types of rental property.

    The key is to have a model that works, and to use that model to guide your plan. A great plan allows you to get to your goal with minimal mistakes.

    Here are 10 things to evaluate before you buy your first income property:

    SEE ALSO: An HGTV star says one equation can tell you if your rental property is worth it

    What type of property do you want to get started?

    While there are tons of property types; we are going to focus on single family. Even within this niche you can get started with a personal property meaning you live in it first and rent it out when you move or you can buy a rental property. This means that it is a rental property from day one.

    Do you want to be a local investor or are you willing to buy long distance in the best real estate markets?

    Being a local investor allows you to be able to check on your properties easily if there is ever an emergency. It also makes it easier to self-manage or supervise a property manager.

    Long distance allows you to invest where the market make the most sense for cashflow; not just your local market (i.e. Kentucky versus New York City). You can live and work in California and invest in the Midwest where your money goes a lot further with higher returns.

    Do you want cash flow or cash flow and appreciation?

    Some markets such as California, DC, or New York City, see large amounts of appreciation that a landlord can anticipate. Other areas such as small town Texas, Wisconsin or upstate New York are cheaper and return large cash returns but the house will never go up in value. When you sell the house it will be worth the same amount you paid for it.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Home for saleWhether you’re selling your home to purchase a larger home, or downsizing, one of the biggest questions is, how long will it take to sell? There are several factors that will determine that. While real estate agents don’t have a crystal ball to predict the exact date and time your home will sell, there are measures your real estate agent can use to predict how quickly your home might sell.


    I’m sure you’ve heard the first rule of selling real estate is location, location and location. If your home is located in a highly sought after area, whether it’s because of a great school district, proximity to public transportation or is an up and coming revitalized area, the location of your home plays a major role in how long your home stays on the market. However, it’s not the only factor.


    It will sell, if The Price is Right! Homes that are priced properly typically have a shorter market time. According to the National Association of Realtors, homes priced at market value will bring in 60 percent of potential home buyers who are looking at that price point. However, pricing your home 10 percent under market value will capture 75 percent of available buyers. Homes that are overpriced for the market will have longer market time and will often result in low offers or no offers. Pricing your home slightly under market could result in a multiple offer situation for the homeowner, and may lead to a sale over list price.

    Comparable Homes

    You have to look at the past to predict the future. Looking at recent home sales in your area is one matrix real estate agents use to help determine market time. Typically, Realtors search the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for homes with a similar makeup as yours, same style, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, etc. to see how long they were on the market prior to closing.


    The condition of your home will also contribute to the length of time your home stays on the market. Homes that are updated, well kept and have great curb appeal, will have a better chance of being sold quickly. Walk through your home as though you are buying it. Are you noticing the walls could use a coat of paint? What about the kitchen and bathrooms, are they stuck somewhere between “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”? It may be time to give your home a good facelift. Homes that show very well have a better chance of selling quickly.

    Keep in mind, once you are ready to put your home on the market, you must be prepared to live a little like a houseguest in your own home. Buyers will want to have access to your home at varying times of the day. As the homeowner, you should be prepared to have your home shown to a prospective buyer within an hour or two’s notice. The more available your home is for showings, the more buyers will view your home, and the more likely you are to get that right buyer in your home.

    Lastly, professional photos of your home are essential. Beautiful photos of your home that are well lit and show its full potential are more likely to grab prospective buyers’ attention.

    According to The National Association of Realtors, 88 percent of homebuyers start their search online. Listing your home with a real estate agent who can ensure your home is on the MLS, and who has access to multiple online home search websites, further exposes your home to potential buyers.

    SEE ALSO: Investing solely in your home country is like juggling live dynamite

    Join the conversation about this story »

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