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- 02/22/18--09:52: _Billionaire Michael...
- 02/23/18--06:37: _Jim Chanos explains...
- 02/24/18--09:30: _America's richest p...
- 02/26/18--14:20: _Under Armour CEO Ke...
- 02/27/18--09:30: _Nobody wants to buy...
- 03/01/18--12:07: _Here's how far you ...
- 03/03/18--06:05: _Homeowners across A...
- 03/03/18--07:33: _How much it costs t...
- 03/06/18--12:58: _All the crazy thing...
- 03/08/18--13:27: _9 extravagant celeb...
- 03/13/18--15:00: _Canada is flashing ...
- 03/15/18--11:04: _Tiger Woods' ex-wif...
- 03/16/18--13:13: _A popular Instagram...
- 03/18/18--13:01: _Jared Kushner's com...
- 03/19/18--07:49: _American homes are ...
- 03/21/18--07:50: _Elon Musk plans to ...
- 03/21/18--10:19: _A massive commercia...
- 03/22/18--07:10: _New York City regul...
- 03/22/18--15:00: _Youtube's co-founde...
- 03/23/18--07:30: _30 places Google sa...
- Michael Dell was reportedly the buyer behind the most expensive home ever purchased in New York City — a penthouse that sold for over $100 million.
- The technology billionaire bought the Manhattan apartment in 2014, but the buyer's identity was unknown at the time.
- The glamorous penthouse represents New York's luxury real estate market as well as Dell's great fortune.
- 02/23/18--06:37: Jim Chanos explains the most important asset class in the world
- Luxury real estate "power markets" are the places where rich people spend the most money, says a new report from Coldwell Banker.
- Rich people flock to power markets for the best in luxury real estate, lifestyle, and culture.
- Power markets in the US are places where the top 5% of home sales by price is the highest.
- Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is selling his Washington, DC mansion for $29.5 million.
- It's the most expensive home for sale in the city, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Plank bought the mansion for $7.85 million in 2013 and is now selling it because he and his family don't spend as much time there as they thought they would.
- Warren Buffett listed his Laguna Beach, California, home for $11 million in early 2017.
- Buffett purchased the home for just $150,000 in 1971, which is less than $1 million in today's dollars.
- Over a year later, the home still doesn't have a buyer.
- Apartment site RentHop analyzed NYC apartments to find how far from the subway New Yorkers need to live to find cheap rent.
- In Brooklyn and Queens, rent can be up to 10% cheaper for apartments more than a half mile away from subway entrances.
- In Manhattan, apartments within ⅙ and ⅛ of a mile from the subway have the cheapest rent — but only by 2.9% compared to the borough median.
- Staten Island and the Bronx were omitted because of a lack of available data.
- The Hamptons is one of the most elite vacation destinations in America.
- Many rich celebrities, hedge fund managers, CEOs, socialites, and politicians own multi-million dollar summer homes in the Hamptons.
- The high volume of mansions in the Hamptons — and its waterfront locale — makes it one of the most expensive real estate markets in the US.
- 03/08/18--13:27: 9 extravagant celebrity mansions that will make you drool
- Canada's frothy real estate market has pushed the Bank of International Settlements to note several warning signs of a pending financial crisis.
- While it's hard to say when or even if that crisis could happen, high credit-to-GDP gaps, debt service ratios, and property gaps tend to be red flags.
- Tiger Woods and his ex-wife, former Swedish model Elin Nordegren, divorced in 2010 after six years of marriage.
- In 2011, Nordegren purchased property in North Palm Beach, Florida, and custom built a mansion.
- The 11-bedroom mansion is now listed for $49.5 million.
- Home decor is usually a matter of personal taste, but there are a few instances where "ugly" is undisputed.
- @pleasehatethesethings is an Instagram account that documents the most epic fails in design and home decor.
- Some of the worst offenses are a blood-red bathtub, carpeted walls and ceilings, and a shower head that sprays the toilet.
- White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's company faked paperwork about three apartment buildings it owned in order to make a huge profit.
- In the documents, obtained by the AP, the company said it didn't have any tenants living in rent-controlled units in the apartment, when in fact it had hundreds.
- The company pushed people out of the buildings in order to sell the properties at 50% more than it paid for them.
- People reported being forced out and harassed once the company took over the buildings.
- Buying a home in America is the most affordable it's been since 1980, according to new data from Trulia.
- Mortgage rates have dropped, which increases long-term affordability for homeowners.
- Only three of the 100 largest metros — Denver, Miami, and Portland, Oregon — have become less affordable since 1990.
- Rising mortgage rates and the new tax law, which reduced the mortgage-interest deduction cap, could threaten affordability.
- Chinese regulators have been buckling down on major real-estate investors, including Anbang Insurance and HNA group.
- In efforts to pay off debts, the two companies have been selling US commercial real-estate assets.
- The sell off could hurt sales and put upward pressure on cap rates, or the rate of return on investments, for American hotels.
- A New York City building regulator is investigating Kushner Companies for allegedly filing false paperwork when applying for construction permits.
- The false filings were made while Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and his senior adviser, was the head of the company, the regulator claims.
- The false documents allowed the Kushner Companies to escape extra scrutiny during construction at 34 of its buildings, according to the regulator,
- Steve Chen purchased a $4.85 million condo at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco in 2007.
- Between fixing the condo up and property taxes, Chen spent millions on the condo.
- Chen decided to sell the Ritz-Carlton property, losing a net of $4.53 million.
- 2015: $80,728
- 2016: $81,456
- 2017: $81,310.
- Acquisition: $4,950,000
- Build-out: $4,000,000
- Property taxes, 10.5 years: $794,000
- HOA fees, 10.5 years: $377,000
- Sales commissions: $357,000
- #202: 1 BR, 1.5 bath, $1.15 million, 29 days the market.
- #504: 2 BR, 2.5 bath, $1.75 million, 29 days on the market.
- #701: 1 BR, 1.5 bath, $1.395 million, 29 days on the market
- #505: 2 BR, 2.5 bath, $1.795 million, 29 days on the market
- And interestingly, #1702: 2 BR, 2.5 bath to be sold in a pre-foreclosure auction, at a foreclosure estimate of $1.2 million.
- Exotic locales from Canada to South America draw millions of tourists every year.
- But some vacationers are looking for more than a one-time visit — they want a home away from home.
- Based on Google searches originating in the US, these are the top 30 countries in North, South, and Central America where people are eyeing a vacation home.
Michael Dell — founder and CEO of Dell Technologies — owns the most expensive apartment ever sold in New York City, and it was a well-kept secret until now.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the tech billionaire was the buyer of the $100.5 million penthouse in One57, according to two people with knowledge of the 2014 sale. Dell's purchase in the 1,004-foot-tall tower is the first — and so far, only — New York apartment to surpass $100 million.
The 73-floor super-tall skyscraper in midtown Manhattan was crowned the most expensive building in New York City in 2015, according to a report by CityRealty. Dell's penthouse near Central Park has 10,923 square feet and includes six bedrooms and six bathrooms.
The glitzy One57 is proof of New York's soaring luxury real-estate market. The building's average price per square foot for 2015 was $6,010, while 2014's most expensive, 15 Central Park West, came in at only $5,726. Dell paid close to $9,000 per square foot for the penthouse.
One57's average price increased 18.5% in the year after Dell made his purchase, while 15 CPW's average decreased 10%.
Dell grew up in Texas, where he raised his four children in a 33,000 square foot home known as The Castle. Last year, Dell purchased another penthouse in a Boston luxury building where apartments were selling for $40 million.
At One57, Dell and the other residents 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.
One57 was designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc to look like a cascading waterfall. It rises 1,004 feet and 90 stories above 57th Street.
Of the units sold, only some of the buyers are known. They include billionaires Michael Dell, Lawrence S. Stroll, and Silas K. F. Chou, as well as the head of BDO Unicon Group, Andrey Dubinsky.
The Park Hyatt hotel occupies the first 39 floors of the building, and the 95 condos of One57 fill the rest of the space.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
In terms of markets, China has been quiet so far in early 2018, but it still plays host to the most important asset class in the world.
Business Insider Senior Finance Correspondent Linette Lopez spoke with famed short seller Jim Chanos at the Nasdaq Market Site about the significance of China's real estate market.
"It drives commodity markets. It drives China's GDP," Chanos said. "It certainly is the backbone of their banking system in terms of credit. So if you wanted to look at one asset class, you know, maybe the US Treasury market might be up there as well. But the Chinese real-estate market — residential real-estate market — is probably the most important market." Following is a transcript of the video.
Linette Lopez: You once said that the single most important market in the world is the Chinese property market. China has been incredibly quiet in 2018. We didn't see our normal China puking that we do every year at the beginning of the year. So what's going on there? And is it still the most important market in the world?
Jim Chanos: I do think it's the most important single asset class globally. Because residential real estate represents roughly half of China's investment and investment represents roughly half its GDP — give or take. And so that means that the Chinese residential real estate is probably a quarter — roughly — of the Chinese economy — or almost $3 trillion. $3 trillion is 4% of global GDP for one asset class that I think most would realize is simply being bought for speculative purposes. They don't need to build 20 million apartments a year, but they do. And in urban environments.
The amount of depreciation and net inflow to the cities, you know, means they've got to be building six or eight or nine million, not 20. So it really is the most important asset class. It drives commodity markets. It drives China's GDP. It certainly is the backbone of their banking system in terms of credit. So if you wanted to look at one asset class, you know, maybe the US Treasury market might be up there as well. But the Chinese real-estate market — residential real-estate market — is probably the most important market.
Location is paramount when money is no object, whether a home is steps from the beach, tucked in the mountains, or in the heart of a city.
The world's rich people spent $8 billion on luxury real estate in 2016, according to Wealth-X, and they flock to many of the same cities to buy property.
In a new report on luxury real estate by Coldwell Banker, these places are called "power markets," where the "wealthiest and most powerful players" tend to own homes.
"Typically, these areas are destinations in their own right, offering high-net-worth individuals a range of lifestyle opportunities, cultural experiences, and educational opportunities," the report says.
The report defines power markets in the US as places where the top 5% of single-family home sales by price is highest. In the top 17 markets, the median list price for the top 5% of sales is at least $3.5 million.
Below, check out which cities are most popular among wealthy homebuyers. For each place, we've included the median list price for the top 5% of homes currently on the market, the highest sold price from 2017, and the median price per square foot for that market.
All data figures are for single-family homes and were provided by Coldwell Banker and The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.
17. Sarasota, Florida
Median list price: $3.5 million
Highest sold price (2017): $9 million
Median price per square foot: $697
16. Orange County, California
Median list price: $3.76 million
Highest sold price (2017): $39.9 million
Median price per square foot: $867
15. Boston, Massachusetts
Median list price: $3.995 million
Highest sold price (2017): $13 million
Median price per square foot: $1,006
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank has put his 12,200-square-foot Georgetown mansion on the market for $29.5 million, a spokesperson for his investment company, Plank Industries, confirmed to Business Insider.
He had purchased it for $7.85 million in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal. The listing price, which makes the home the most expensive currently listed in Washington, DC, includes many of the pieces the mansion is furnished with.
The home is historic and was built around 200 years ago in the Federal style. It sits on a third of an acre of land and features some grassy areas. Plank extensively renovated the home during his five years of ownership and added modern amenities to the property.
There are seven bedrooms in the house, plus a lap pool, a separate building with gym equipment, and a gated parking area for multiple cars.
"While the property in DC was never meant to be the family’s primary residence, they wanted to use the home to host friends, family and guests. Following a major renovation, the Planks realized they weren't using it as often as they had hoped and have decided to sell the property," Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries, said in a statement to Business Insider.
Plank primarily lives outside of Baltimore, where Under Armour is headquartered. Nancy Taylor Bubes, Cailin Monahan, and Jamie Peva of Washington Fine Properties have the listing.
Plank's home is an example of classic brick in the Georgetown section of DC. Its historic good looks are immediately visible curbside.
Plank extensively renovated the home. One of the most notable additions is this 22,000-pound marble staircase.
Each bedroom is decorated in accordance with a famous American political figure. For example, the master bedroom is called The George Washington Suite and has a portrait of America's first president.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Warren Buffett could see a big return if his Laguna Beach, California, home sells for close to its $11 million asking price— but it seems to be lacking an interested buyer.
"It's now been on the market for about five months longer than the median listing time for similarly priced homes in the same ZIP code,"reports Bloomberg's Noah Buhayar, citing data from Redfin.
Buffett has owned the home since 1971, when he purchased it for $150,000. That's about $934,000 in today's dollars. He's since renovated the place, which has six bedrooms and more than 3,500 square feet of living space.
The billionaire investor had primarily used it as a beach retreat for his family, but they reportedly hadn't used it much since his first wife, Susan, died in 2004.
Let's take a tour of this billionaire's beach-town home.
Buffett's longtime vacation home is located in the affluent beachside community of Laguna Beach, in Orange County, California.
It's part of a gated community called Emerald Bay and is just a short walk from the beach.
The beaches here are stunning, with high cliffs.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Cheap rent in New York City is hard to find.
Finding an affordable NYC apartment close to a subway is even harder — ask any New Yorker and they'll tell you proximity to the subway entrance can make a huge difference on commuting time, comfort — and their cost of living.
And thanks to RentHop, we now know by how much: Moving 10 minutes away from the subway could save renters up to 10%.
RentHop's data scientists compared the median monthly rent in each borough to median rents of apartments with varying distances to subway entrances, and found that those closest to the train entrances are more expensive by about 6-8% compared to the borough median.
But living farther away from the train — by more than a quarter mile — can cost 8-10% less, on average.
The only borough that didn't reflect these findings is Manhattan, where 90% of apartments are about ¼ mile away from the subway, and apartments more than ⅓ mile away saw a spike in rent, likely because they are in buildings closer to the waterfront.
The cheapest Manhattan rent can be found within ⅙ and ⅛ of a mile from the subway — but it only drops about 2.9% from the borough median of $3,450 a month.
The median rent in Brooklyn is $2,768 a month, and in Queens it's $2,470, but apartments greater than 1/2 mile away from the subway can see those prices drop by 8% and 10% (respectively).
Rent in Brooklyn can fluctuate even more drastically in certain neighborhoods, like Crown Heights South, where median rent prices are 16.7% higher than the borough average when close to the subway, but 32.2% cheaper for apartments between ⅓ and ½ mile away.
You can see more detail about Brooklyn rents below:
New York City's other two boroughs, Staten Island and the Bronx, were omitted (as usual — although in this case, their sample sizes were too small to provide conclusive information).
So if you're not interested in moving out of New York to a place where your money might go further, an apartment farther away from the subway might be a good start.
Over the last year, an increasing number of real estate listings have begun accepting or requesting cryptocurrency for payment. Some sellers only accept bitcoin as payment.
According to Mashable, real estate site Trulia had about 80 listings that mentioned cryptocurrency last month, while Redfin said it's seen the number of listings accepting cryptocurrency rocket from 75 in December to 134 in January.
Typically, the buyer and seller agree on a fixed price in dollars and then decide on a fair exchange rate at closing. The bitcoins are then converted to cash by a third party, like BitPay, and the cash is then given to the seller. The buyers take on all the risk, Moretti said.
The opportunity has allowed newly-minted bitcoin millionaires to offload some of their cryptocurrency, which changes value constantly, for a more stable asset.
But skeptics warn that the bitcoin bubble is about to burst. Fears over tighter regulation led the price of bitcoin to fall to $5,947 in February, or about 225% below its record high in December. The currency is now trading over $10,000 per coin, though it remains extremely volatile.
Check out what bitcoin millionaires are buying.
According to the listing for this lake house on the edge of California's Joshua Tree National Park, it's a "money maker." The previous owner rented it out as a vacation home.
The four-bedroom, three-bath house has an in-ground pool, stunning lake and mountain views, and a gated entry. The asking price was $599,000 or the equivalent in bitcoin.
"It's just crazy what's going on," Michael McCrae, the seller, told Money magazine about his decision to accept bitcoin. The lake house sold for $570,000 (near asking price) in January.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The Hamptons is the preeminent summer vacation destination in the tri-state area.
The Hamptons encompasses more than two dozen villages and hamlets on Long Island. While people live there year-round, it's the months between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend each year when visitors infuse the Hamptons with energy — and money.
The Hamptons is hallmarked by its countless famous and flush residents, including hedge fund managers, celebrities, CEOs, and socialites. Bill and Hillary Clinton have long vacationed on Georgica Beach in East Hampton. And Southampton even has its very own "Billionaire Lane" reserved for the rich and powerful.
Such prestige doesn't come cheap. At least seven towns in the Hamptons have a median home listing price of around $1 million. That means half the houses for sale in those places are priced under seven figures, and half are priced above. What's more, at least 11 towns have median home prices between $2.2 million to $5.6 million.
That's according to StreetEasy, which recently launched a new Hamptons platform, Out East, for sale and rental listings in the Hamptons. Out East provided Business Insider with a ranking of most expensive towns in the Hamptons based on median list price.
Below, we've featured the 21 towns in the Hamptons where the median list price is highest as of February 22, ranked from least expensive to most. Towns with fewer than 20 homes for sale were excluded from the list.
Homes listed: 109
Median list price: $799,000
Cutchogue (Nassau Point)
Homes listed: 21
Median list price: $949,000
Homes listed: 26
Median list price: $997,000
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
People are leaving San Francisco in droves as the cost of living reaches a new high.
A recent report from real estate-site Redfin revealed that San Francisco lost more residents than any other city in the country in the last quarter of 2017. The great migration is far from over. Last month, 49% of Bay Area residents said they would consider leaving California because of the cost of living, according to a survey of 500 residents by public-relations firm Edelman.
Here are all the crazy things happening because of the Bay Area's insane housing prices:
This is how people outside the area imagine living in San Francisco.
And this is the reality.
The median-priced home in San Francisco sells for $1.5 million, according to Paragon. It's not uncommon for buyers to bid hundreds of thousands above asking and pay in all cash.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Whether you want to admit it or not, we’ve all dreamed of living in a mansion. And though some celebrities chose to live modestly, others live in homes anyone would envy.
And if you’re going to blow some money, investing in an insanely extravagant home looks like the way to go.
From a trampoline room with 20-foot ceilings to a personal vineyard, these are the most lavish and expensive not-so-humble celebrity abodes that are sure to make any resident feel like royalty.
Oprah's expansive California estate has its own tea house.
Although Oprah owns multiple estates across the US, her42-acre estate in Montecito, California, known as “The Promised Land,” takes the cake as the most lavish.
Purchased for $52 million in 2001, it is now worth over $100 million thanks to Oprah’s over-the-top renovations. The expansive mansion has six bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, 10 fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, two theatres (one inside and one outside), a wine cellar, a barn, ponds and orchards, a tennis court, a lake, an outdoor entertainment area, and a huge guesthouse with a pool. There is also a teahouse, because why not?
Beyoncè and Jay-Z recently dropped $88 million on a Los Angeles estate.
Legendary hip-hop artists Beyoncè and Jay-Z recently bought a home together in LA with a steep purchase price of $88 million, making itamong the most expensive real estate deals ever in L.A. County. The Bel-Air mansion has six structures with about 30,000 square feet of interior space along with expansive patios and terraces adding an additional 10,000 square feet of outdoor living space.
The home includes amenities such as a spa and wellness facility, a full-size basketball court, a media room, and four swimming pools. Doors and windows on the two-acre estate are bulletproof.
Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion was infamous for its parties.
Though Hugh Hefner bought the 22,000 square foot Playboy Mansion for $1.1 million in 1971, itwas sold in 2016 for a whopping $100 million to the co-owner of Hostess Brands, Daren Metropoulos. The mansion was purchased with the stipulation that Hefner could live in the property until he passed.
The iconic estate features a catering kitchen, pool, wine cellar, tennis court, and 29 rooms in addition to a four-bedroom guest house.
Since Hefner’s passing, it is unclear what renovations will be done to the famed mansion.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Canadian real estate prices have helped push Canada into a warning for a financial crisis. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) published their quarterly review of central banks. The review is an exhaustive assessment of banking indicators, looking for any signs that could lead to stress at domestic banks. Canada is now flashing a warning signal for all four categories, which would typically lead to a financial crisis.
The Bank of International Settle-what?
The BIS is known as the bank for central banks. The Swiss-based organization does research and advisory for the 60 central banks that fund and own it. The goal is to make sure that monetary policy is more “predictable” and “transparent.” It’s a club, where central bankers can meet, without the prying eyes of their local governments. You know, so they can get advice from each other, that may not be all that helpful for regular people.
The BIS is one of the few organizations that flagged the US for a banking crisis. Despite knowing what was coming in the mid-2000s, the Great Recession still hit in 2008. Knowing something doesn’t mean you can do something about it. Although some of the world’s largest fund managers appreciate the warnings.
Credit-to-GDP gaps, debt service ratios, and property gaps
The most useful thing the BIS produces is the Early Warning Indicators (EWI). The EWI are a set of binary indicators, that look for rapid changes that can cause stress to the banking system. Binary indicator means they either warn or don’t, there’s no estimate of how serious the crisis will be. The Credit-to-GDP gap, debt service ratio, and the property gaps are the big EWIs you’ll want to know.
These are elaborate calculations, but they’re pretty simple concepts. The Credit-to-GDP gap is the speed of credit changing, in contrast to GDP (we actually touched on a similar observation on Friday). The debt service ratio (DSR) is the level of debt servicing, which are the payments required to maintain credit in good standing. The property price gap is how quickly home prices jump. I know, your real estate agent says quick moving property prices are a good thing. The BIS thinks it leads to banking instability.
Canada is flashing three warning signs
The BIS quarterly, 196 page report notes that “Canada, China, and Hong Kong SAR stand out.” They can’t tell us when a financial crisis is going to happen. However, they do assign red or amber warning indicators. Either warning, has been indicative of a financial crisis, two-thirds of the time. Canada is the only country flashing warning indicators for all four categories.
The BIS notes special attention to credit-to-GDP warnings, when combined with a home price gap. Canada has the third highest credit-to-GDP gap, of countries that also have a home price gap. Only Hong Kong SAR, and Switzerland rank higher. Once again, a higher number doesn’t mean the correction will be more severe. It means the likelihood of the issue resolving itself is more slim.
Canadian real estate debt has been the primary driver of three of the four EWIs. This warning follows the US Federal Reserve calling Canadian real estate buyers “exuberant,” UBS ranking Toronto as the largest bubble in the world, and IMF expressing concerns to senate. It’s probably nothing.
Tiger Woods' ex-wife Elin Nordegren, who was married to the pro golfer for six years, has placed her 11-bedroom Florida mansion on the market for $49.5 million. Woods and 38-year-old Nordegren divorced in 2010.
The property was purchased by Nordegren in 2011 for $12.25 million, and the custom-built mansion was completed in 2014.
The 23,176 square-foot oceanfront home is in Seminole Landing — a private, gated community in North Palm Beach, Florida. The property comes with 11 bedrooms, 15 full baths, a guest house, and a four-car garage.
Other perks inside include a wine cellar, theater, fitness center, a catering kitchen, and a three-story Swarovski crystal chandelier. The home is inspired by British West Indies architectural design, and if the beach doesn't impress, there's also a swimming pool equipped with a waterslide and spa, lounge areas with fire pits, a half basketball court, and a putting green.
The listing is held by Cristina Condon and Todd Peter of Sotheby's International Realty.
Keep scrolling for a full tour of the mansion.
In total the mansion is 25,878 square feet.
The home sits on 1.4 acres of land.
The design was inspired by British West Indies architectural design.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Home decor is usually a matter of personal taste, but there are a few instances where "ugly" is undisputed.
The Instagram user @pleasehatethesethings is keeping tabs for the rest of us with an ongoing catalog of "Absurd, ill conceived & just plain stupid things in home decor."
Dina Holland is an interior designer based outside of Boston and her alternate social media account has taken off. Apparently people hate the same things she does — horrendous houses with humorous design flaws. Her account now has over 16,000 followers.
Holland's business account — @honeyandfritz— showcases work from Dina Holland Interiors. She said the origin of @pleasehatethesethings came from posting photos of designs she didn't like on her business account.
"Then people started messaging me the things they hate and I kept posting it to share," Holland told Business Insider. "It was going on for days and one of my followers was like, 'You need to make a whole other account for this.'"
Holland said the reaction has been mostly positive: "People think it's funny."
Holland previously told Architectural Digest these design disasters happen because "a lot of younger designers don't have the confidence to go in and say, 'No, that's not the right look.'"
From misplaced toilets to poor carpeting decisions, the design faux pas Holland highlights on her Instagram page all have one thing in common: They look terrible.
Below are some of the funniest design flaws featured on @pleasehatethesethings:
The color scheme may be harsh on the eyes, but at least there is knit carpeting for when you decide to walk on the ceiling.
Live. Laugh. Love. Garlic. All good wall-pasted quotes need a smelly clove.
No word if this room, complete with purple carpeted walls, belonged to a Prince superfan.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
NEW YORK (AP) — When the Kushner Cos. bought three apartment buildings in a gentrifying neighborhood of Queens in 2015, most of the tenants were protected by special rules that prevent developers from pushing them out, raising rents and turning a tidy profit.
But that's exactly what the company then run by Jared Kushner did, and with remarkable speed. Two years later, it sold all three buildings for $60 million, nearly 50 percent more than it paid.
Now a clue has emerged as to how President Donald Trump's son-in-law's firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.
While none of the documents during a three-year period when Kushner was CEO bore his personal signature, they provide a window into the ethics of the business empire he ran before he went on to become one of the most trusted advisers to the president of the United States.
"It's bare-faced greed," said Aaron Carr, founder of Housing Rights Initiative, a tenants' rights watchdog that compiled the work permit application documents and shared them with The Associated Press. "The fact that the company was falsifying all these applications with the government shows a sordid attempt to avert accountability and get a rapid return on its investment."
Kushner Cos. responded in a statement that it outsources the preparation of such documents to third parties that are reviewed by independent counsel, and "if mistakes or violations are identified, corrective action is taken immediately."
"Kushner would never deny any tenant their due-process rights," it said, adding that the company "has renovated thousands of apartments and developments with minimal complaints over the past 30 years."
Details of the company's fraud
For the three Queens buildings in the borough's Astoria neighborhood, the Kushner Cos. checked a box on construction permit applications in 2015 that indicated the buildings had zero rent-regulated tenants. Tax records filed a few months later showed the company inherited as many as 94 rent-regulated units from the previous owner.
In all, Housing Rights Initiative found the Kushner Cos. filed at least 80 false applications for construction permits in 34 buildings across New York City from 2013 to 2016, all of them indicating there were no rent-regulated tenants. Instead, tax documents show there were more than 300 rent-regulated units. Nearly all the permit applications were signed by a Kushner employee, including sometimes the chief operating officer.
Had the Kushner Cos. disclosed those rent-regulated tenants, it could have triggered stricter oversight of construction crews by the city, including possibly unscheduled "sweeps" on site by inspectors to keep the company from harassing tenants and getting them to leave.
Instead, current and former tenants of the Queens buildings told the AP that they were subjected to extensive construction, with banging, drilling, dust and leaking water that they believe were part of targeted harassment to get them to leave and clear the way for higher-paying renters.
"It was noisy, there were complaints, I got mice," said mailman Rudolph Romano, adding that the Kushner Cos. tried to increase his rent by 60 percent, an accusation the company denied. "They cleaned the place out. I watched the whole building leave."
Tax records show those rent-regulated units that numbered as many as 94 when Kushner took over fell to 25 by 2016.
The company broke the law and harassed tenants
In Kushner buildings across the city, records show frequent complaints about construction going on early in the morning or late at night against the rules, improper or illegal construction, and work without a permit.
At a six-story walk-up in Manhattan's East Village that was once home to the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, the Kushner Cos. filed an application to begin construction in late 2013 that, again, listed zero rent-regulated tenants. Tax records a few months later showed seven rent-regulated units.
"All of a sudden, there was drilling, drilling. ... You heard the drilling in the middle of night," said one of the rent-regulated tenants, Mary Ann Siwek, 67, who lives on Social Security payments and odd jobs. "There were rats coming in from the abandoned building next door. The hallways were always filled with lumber and sawdust and plaster."
A knock on the door came a few weeks later, and an offer of at least $10,000 if she agreed to leave the building.
"I know it's pretty horrible, but we can help you get out," Siwek recalls the man saying. "We can offer you money."
Siwek turned down the cash and sued instead. She said she won a year's worth of free rent and a new refrigerator.
New York City Council member Ritchie Torres, who plans to launch an investigation into permit applications, said: "The Kushners appear to be engaging in what I call the weaponization of construction."
Rent stabilization is a fixture of New York City that can bedevil developers seeking to make money off buildings. To free themselves of its restrictions, landlords usually have to wait until the rent rises above $2,733 a month, something that can take years given the small increases allowed each year.
A pattern of abuse by landlords
Submitting false documents to the city's Department of Buildings for construction permits is a misdemeanor, which can carry fines of up to $25,000. But real estate experts say it is often flouted with little to no consequences. Landlords who do so get off with no more than a demand from the city, sometimes a year or more later, to file an "amended" form with the correct numbers.
Housing Rights Initiative found the Kushner Cos. filed dozens of amended forms for the buildings mentioned in the documents, most of them a year to two later.
"There is a lack of tools to go after landlords who harass tenants, and there is a lack of enforcement," said Seth Miller, a real estate lawyer who used to work at a state housing agency overseeing rent regulations. Until officials inspect every construction site, "you're going to have this incentive for landlords to make life uncomfortable for tenants."
New York City's Department of Buildings declined to comment specifically on the false application documents but said it is ramping up its monitoring of construction, hiring 72 new inspectors and other staff under city laws recently passed to crack down on tenant harassment.
"We won't tolerate landlords who use construction to harass tenants — no matter who they are," said spokesman Joseph Soldevere. He added that two of the Queens buildings are under investigation by a tenant-harassment task force.
Exactly how much money the Kushner Cos. earned from the buildings mentioned in the documents is unclear. Of those 34 buildings, only the three in Queens and a fourth in Brooklyn appear to have been sold. The company also likely made money by reducing the number of rent-regulated tenants and bringing in those who would pay more.
Jared Kushner, who stepped down as CEO of the Kushner Cos. last year before taking on his advisory role at the White House, sold off part of his real estate holdings as required under government ethics rules.
But he retained stakes in many properties, including Westminster Management, the Kushner Cos. subsidiary that oversees its residential properties. A financial disclosure last year showed he still owns a stake in Westminster and earned $1.6 million from the holding.
Back in Queens, the mailman Romano was one of the few rent-regulated tenants who fought back.
He hired a lawyer who found out he was protected from the 60 percent rent hike by law, something Romano did not know at the time. And he said his rent, which was set to increase to $3,750, was restored to $2,350.
Romano is still in the building where he has lived for nine years, with his wife, four children and his guests from the construction days — the mice.
"I still haven't gotten rid of them."
The US housing market is favorable for sellers and tough for buyers right now. Prices are steep thanks to strong demand and low supply, particularly for starter homes.
But all things considered, buying a home is more affordable for millennials now than it was for their parents, according to new data from Trulia's housing-economics research team.
"Thanks to low mortgage rates, buying a home is actually more affordable now than in the past 40 years,"Alexandra Lee, a housing data analyst at Trulia, told Business Insider.
Mortgage interest rates hit 16.6% in 1981 in response to massive inflation in the US. In 2016, interest rates fell to about 3.5%, and they're about 4.5% right now.
But if interest rates continue rising as expected, homebuying affordability could soon be threatened.
Because of the Republican tax bill that President Donald Trump signed into law in December, new homeowners who deduct mortgage interest are limited to deducting the interest they pay on $750,000 worth of debt, down from $1 million.
The mortgage-interest deduction has been a huge incentive to homeownership, but the new limits could deter first-timers. Millennials are increasingly renting longer and are able to save up a bigger pot of money for a larger down payment, Zillow's CEO, Spencer Rascoff, said on an episode of Business Insider's podcast "Success! How I Did It." Ultimately, he said, millennials are skipping starter homes and going straight to the $1 million range.
Mortgage rates are crucial for affordability
Mortgage interest rates are a crucial variable for homebuyers. For a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate remains the same for the life of the loan. When interest rates are low at the time of purchase, monthly mortgage payments remain low. This increases long-term affordability for the homeowner, regardless of home price or interest-rate swings.
In its latest report, Trulia found the "maximum affordable price" for the median-earning household in 100 metros every year since 1980, assuming a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed mortgage at the annual average interest rate. The calculation included the cost of property taxes and insurance.
An affordability score for each metro was calculated by dividing the maximum affordable price by actual home prices, and multiplying by 100. Anything above 100 is considered affordable.
Trulia found that the typical household in 1980 could afford only about three-fourths of the median home price, compared with the median household in 2016, which could afford a home 1 1/2 times the median home price.
Twenty-two US metros crossed the threshold from unaffordable to affordable over the past four decades, according to the data. The markets that are too expensive for the average buyer now, including San Francisco, Seattle, and San Jose, California, were always too expensive.
"Of the largest 100 US metros, only Miami flipped from being affordable in 1990 to being unaffordable in 2016," Lee said.
Trulia ultimately found that Americans' homebuying power has strengthened in the past 40 years.
Take Salt Lake City, for example. From 1990 to 2016, home prices increased 53%, but the affordability index jumped to 131 from 122. That is because interest rates dropped to 3.4% from 10% during that time. Homeownership in Salt Lake City became even more affordable over the 26-year period — and the case appears the same for many of the largest US metros.
Only the Denver, Miami, and Portland, Oregon, metro areas dropped in affordability during that time, Lee said.
By the end of 2017, a monthly mortgage payment on the median home in the US required just 15.7% of the typical household income, according to a report by Trulia's parent company Zillow. Back in the late 1980s and 1990s, a mortgage payment took up 21% of the typical American's income.
Still, this doesn't make buying a home any easier, especially for first-time buyers, Lee said.
"Starter homes have become increasingly scarce and priced higher each year," she said. According to the National Association of Realtors, millennials represent the largest share of homebuyers at 36% — 65% of whom are becoming homeowners for the first time.
"To be a competitive buyer in today's market, we recommend working with an agent that knows the market, getting pre-approved for a loan, and having your down payment ready," Lee said.
Elon Musk is working on something out-of-this-world in Los Angeles.
Most recently, Musk said SpaceX hopes to begin short up-and-down launches of the BFR system's 157-foot-tall spaceship in early 2019. The testing will occur on the company's McGregor, Texas, campus.
Until now, however, SpaceX has been mum about where, exactly, it plans to build such enormous rockets.
On Monday, a member of the r/SpaceX community on Reddit noticed a curious move by the Board of Harbor Commissioners in Los Angeles. The organization recently and quietly approved a 788-page plan by SpaceX to lease an 18-acre site in the Port of Los Angeles, including a 200,000-square-foot facility to "to manufacture large commercial transportation vessels".
Eric Berger at Ars Technica has since anonymously confirmed that the facility "is, indeed, intended for the manufacture of the BFR."
A source close to the matter told Business Insider that SpaceX is likely just weeks away from being officially offered a lease to the site.
Here's what we know about the proposed plan, and what SpaceX's "state-of-the-art" Mars rocket factory may look like when finished.
Musk has dreams of colonizing Mars with reusable BFR spaceships that can carry up to 100 people or 140,000 lbs into space. Eventually, he'd like 1 million people to colonize the red planet over decades, as a backup plan for Earth.
Fully assembled, the BFR will be about 348 feet tall — some 40 feet bigger than the Statue of Liberty.
To transport the rocket's enormous spaceship and booster to a launch site, the company will need to use a boat. Because of that, SpaceX's campus in Hawthorne isn't a practical location to build and assemble the BFR since it's not on the water.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Two huge real-estate investors based in China are strapped for cash, and that could mean trouble for some commercial property valuations in the US.
Chinese regulators started buckling down on Anbang Insurance (AI) and HNA Group (HNA) last year, and now the companies are scrambling to pay off debts. They're getting rid of properties left and right, many in the US.
The selloff will likely hurt sales and put upward pressure on cap rates (the rate of return on an investment) for commercial real estate assets in certain American cities, according to Jonathan Woloshin, head of Americas Fundamental Research at UBS Wealth Management's Chief Executive Office.
"We agree that there could be some near-term disruption in certain asset classes as these two companies divest CRE assets," Woloshin wrote in a note to clients.
Last month, the Chinese government seized Anbang — which owns the Waldorf Astoria and has stakes in Hilton Hotels, LaQuinta Inns & Suites, Motel 6 and Wyndham Worldwide — for violating economic laws and regulations. It's likely they will quickly divest the company's assets, putting pressure on hotel values in key cities.
Over the past several months, HNA — which owns a piece of Park Hotels & Resorts and recently sold its stake in Hilton Grand Vacations — has divested approximately $3 billion of assets in the US commercial real-estate market. It plans to sell about $16 billion in assets by June, according to Bloomberg.
"Over the longer term, we do believe it is reasonable to conclude that the absence of some of these highly acquisitive Chinese companies could cap values for certain CRE assets in select geographies," Woloshin wrote.
However, strong demand in the commercial real-estate sector could slightly reduce negative impacts.
"The copious amount of global capital targeted towards CRE investment will likely help mitigate some of the downside pressure," Woloshin wrote.
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s buildings regulator launched investigations at more than a dozen Kushner Cos. properties Wednesday following an Associated Press report that the real estate developer routinely filed false paperwork claiming it had zero rent-regulated tenants in its buildings across the city.
The Department of Buildings is investigating possible “illegal activity” involving applications that sought permission to begin construction work at 13 of the developer’s buildings, according to public records maintained by the regulator. The AP reported Sunday that Kushner Cos. stated in more than 80 permit applications that it had zero rent-regulated tenants in its buildings when it, in fact, had hundreds.
The false filings were made while Kushner Cos. was run by Jared Kushner, now senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. The false filings were all signed by a Kushner employee, sometimes by its chief operating officer. None were signed by Jared Kushner himself.
The false documents allowed the Kushner Cos. to escape extra scrutiny during construction at 34 of its buildings, many which showed a sharp decline in rent-regulated units following the work. Housing Rights Initiative, a watchdog group that uncovered the false filings, says that made it easier for the Kushner Cos. to harass the low-paying, rent-regulated tenants so they would leave, freeing up apartments for higher-paying tenants.
The Kushner Cos. said Wednesday that it is the victim of “politically motivated attacks.” It said it values and respects its tenants and operates under “the highest legal and ethical standards.”
In earlier statements the company said it outsourced preparation of its permit applications to third parties, and described the wrong information as “mistakes or typographical errors.” It also said it corrected mistakes as soon as it spotted them.
The buildings department confirmed on Wednesday that its building marshal’s office had launched investigations into possible false paperwork.
“Our building marshal is a key part of our Tenant Harassment Task Force,” spokesman Joseph Soldevere said. “And when they inspect a building they look into everything from the roof to the cellar to find illegal construction, and that’s what they are doing.”
The agency has disciplined a contractor involved in false filings at two Kushner buildings, he said.
The Kushner Cos. filed more than one permit application at many of the buildings under investigation. At least 10 of the 29 applications under investigation were filed by prior owners.
On Monday, the city council launched a joint investigation with Housing Rights Initiative into the false filings.
The heads of the joint investigations, Councilman Ritchie Torres, a Democrat, and Housing Rights Initiative founder Aaron Carr, said in a statement that they were encouraged by the buildings department probe, but that more needed to be done.
“The predatory practices of Kushner Companies is symptomatic of a systemic failure in DOB enforcement,” it said.
A lot, as the co-founder of YouTube is finding out.
At a certain level of wealth, these things aren’t the end of the world. But they do add up.
Back in September 2007 – so 10.5 years ago – at absolute peak frenzy of the Housing Bubble in San Francisco, the co-founder of YouTube, Steve Chen, purchased a two-level 3,030 square foot condo, #2402, at the high-rise Ritz-Carlton Residences on 690 Market Street for $4.85 million. At the time, it was an unfinished empty shell.
He then built it out as “überswank bachelor pad,” as SocketSite called it, including a double-height and double-wide living area, with a build-out budget “estimated to have been nearly as much as the shell.”
So in terms of the build-out costs, let’s round that down to the nearest million: $4 million. OK, bear with me; if we’re off by a few hundred thousand bucks, no big deal because these are adding up to be really big numbers.
At this point, not counting Home Owner Association (HOA) fees, property taxes, insurance, mortgage interest, and other expenses, he has plowed $8.85 million in it.
But then, without ever having lived in his trophy condo, he got married, had kids, and moved down the Peninsula. “And according to a plugged-in source, Chen is finally giving up the penthouse,” SocketSite reported in October 2012, when the pristine, unlived-in unit came on the market for the first time. His asking price, to get out from under it: $8 million. But it didn’t sell, and he pulled it off the market.
A few days ago, according to Reator.com and Zillow, the still unlived-in condo came back on the market but at a big discount from what the aspirational price had been in 2012. Now the asking price has been cut to $5.95 million.
So let’s do the math of how much money Chen might have by now plowed into this condo over those 10.5 years without ever having lived in it.
Property taxes: According to Realtor.com, the property taxes were:
Property taxes in California can only increase by a maximum of 2% per year while under the same ownership, thanks to Proposition 13. When the property is sold, the next owner gets to pay property taxes based on the new assessed value, and that often means a large increase for the buyer.
Chen bought at the peak of the last Housing Bubble. Prices in San Francisco declined from late 2007 through 2011, bottomed out in January 2012 and then began to surge again.
So let’s assume Chen’s property tax bill started at $70,000 in 2007 and rose to $81,300 by 2017 in equal increments. This would amount to an average of $75,600 a year or $794,000 for the 10.5-year period.
Home Owner Association fees. Zillow lists monthly HOA fees of $3,640. Let’s assume that they started out lower, say at $3,200 a month and increased in equal increments, for an average of $3,420 a month. That’s $35,910 per year, and about $377,000 for the 10.5-year period.
Brokerage commission. The condo is listed by Sotheby’s. If the unit sells at asking price, and if the brokerage commission is 6%, it would amount to $357,000.
So the estimate costs, not counting insurance and mortgage interest:
Subtotal: $10.48 million.
So after a sale at asking price of $5.95 million, minus the $10.48 million in costs over the 10.5-year period, Chen would have lost $4.53 million on his bachelor-condo adventure, without ever having lived in it. This loss would be almost equal the original purchase price of $4.85 million. Let that sink in for a moment: to lose $4.53 million on real estate that had original been acquired for $4.85 million!
This assumes that he didn’t insure it and that he didn’t finance any part of it, and that he can sell it at the current asking price. In the unlikely scenario that he financed $8 million in purchase price and build out costs, it would add about $2.5 million to his total costs before taxes.
Perhaps he can sell the unit at the current asking price. But that’s not a certainty. After a historic construction boom, San Francisco is awash in high-end units. For example, there are five other units listed for sale on Zillow in the same building on 690 Market Street – and OK, I get it, they’re not “überswank bachelor pads,” but still, they’re on the market competing with each other in the same building:
This is in addition to the inventory on the market from brand-new condo towers in the area.
Now if Chen has to cut the price by another $1 million to unload the unit, and sell it for $4.95 million, and this takes another year of running expenses, his loss (including lower broker commission) will jump to around $6.1 million, not including interest and insurance, for a unit he’d originally acquired for $4.85 million.
So I wish Chen the best of luck in getting out from under his bachelor-condo adventure in a pain-minimizing manner.
If you've ever fantasized about turning your getaway dreams into reality, you've got company.
Approximately 14% of realtor respondents in the National Association of Realtors' Profile of International Activity in US Residential Real Estate said they had a US client seeking property abroad — 87% of those clients sought to use the property as a vacation home.
To compile this data, they ranked US users' Google searches from January 2017 to January 2018 using keywords regarding homes for sale abroad in countries located in the Americas. The countries were then ranked based on average monthly search volume.
Below, check out the top 30 countries Americans are dreaming of making their home away from home.
30. British Virgin Islands — The 60-island archipelago has specifically seen an uptick in demand for high-end properties, particularly in Tortola and Virgin Gorda, its two most populated islands.
Monthly Google searches: 1,990
Source:Global Property Buying Guide
29. Saint Martin — The French side of the island has no shortage of luxury villas and sea views, with homes for sale under $200,000.
Monthly Google searches: 2,160
28. Turks and Caicos Islands — It's easy to see the appeal of the last outpost of the Caribbean thanks to its 250 days of sunshine. With the promise of its first-ever cliffside residences come 2020, the islands might rank even higher on this list in a few years.
Monthly Google searches: 2,210
See the rest of the story at Business Insider