Which Neighborhoods Are The Most Expensive?

Exotic cars, yachts, and mansions are just a few of the luxuries that separate the ultra wealthy from the average person. Despite its label as the world’s celebrity capital, Los Angeles is nowhere to be found on the list of the ten most expensive neighborhoods in the US. If they are not in the Hollywood Hills, where exactly are the country’s most affluent neighborhoods located?

East Coast

Four of the nation’s most expensive neighborhoods can be found on the East Coast, of which three can be found nestled together in the northeast. Houses in Woods Hole, MA (02543) and Boston’s Beacon Hill (02108) cost on average $3.2 million. For a more urban feel, New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood (10013) has transformed from a dull warehouse district to one of the nation’s trendiest neighborhoods, with property owners demanding on average $5.2 million for an apartment. Those looking to spend a little more time on their yacht might be found on the southern tip of the East Coast, in Miami Beach’s Fisher Island (33109). Only accessible by boat or helicopter, the average price tag on one of these homes is around $3.7 million.

 

Inland

Not all of the country’s most expensive neighborhood have a coastline backyard. Wilson, WY (83014), home to one of the nation’s most exclusive ski slopes, demands an average $2.8 million from its home owners. Closer to Aspen’s famous slopes, a large ranch in Snowmass, CO (81654) goes for a cool $3 million. A little further west one can find the nation’s most expensive vacation homes. Tucked quaintly between Lake Tahoe and Reno, NV, homes in Glenbrook, NV (89413) have a price tag of roughly $3.2 million.

 

West Coast

Outside of Seattle, the world’s top two richest men have homes in Medina, WA (98039). Anyone wanting to become neighbors with them should expect to pay upwards of $4.9 million to do so. Finally, it seems that high home prices have followed the tech trend. The nation’s two most expensive neighborhoods are located in Silicon Valley’s Atherton (94027) and Los Altos (94022) respectively. These zip codes come with a price tag between $6.3 and $10.2 million.

Whether your on the East Coast, West Coast or any other coast, you’re sure to find a city which boasts an affluent neighborhood. This is only a small compilation of some of the country’s most expensive neighborhoods. If you take the time to do some more research, you’ll find that there are plenty of other neighborhoods out there that house the rich and successful.

How To Create Client Relationships That Can Build Your Business

Real estate agents have many tools at their disposal to help them find the perfect home for their clients or to sell a home for as much over list price as possible. The internet and other technology makes getting the word out about a particular home as easy as pressing a button on a keyboard.

But, as any successful real estate agent will tell you, all the technology in the world is not as important as building lasting and solid client relationships. Below are some ways to form lasting bonds with both home buyers and sellers:

1. Engage your community: This is an area where technology can be extremely helpful. Ensure that your web site offers clients and prospective clients an engaging experience with plenty of feedback.

2. Help your client to shine: Be intentional in helping your client to look their best in front of others. By helping them to appear to be the hero in the real estate transaction, you will not only advance your business relationship, but gaining a friend who can help you grow your business.

3. Kindness and respect matter: There’s a great deal of truth in the maxim “treat others as you would want to be treated.” Kindness, courtesy and respect are the hallmarks on which successful personal and business relationships are built. It is also important to be honest and admit where we’ve made a misstep.

4. Marry your personal relationships and technology: Technology exists to simplify your business, so use it to help you keep track of appointments; clients wish lists; and sales leads. These reminders mean you don’t have to remember anything but still have all the information you need to successfully close the deal at your fingertips.

5. Put your clients first: Successfully closing deals is the heart of the real estate business, but to do that an agent has to demonstrate that he sincerely cares about the needs and personal situation of every client.

6. Make a lasting impression: Whether you’ve just rented an apartment or sold a family their forever home, placing a gift that is unique to them in the residence is a way to show them you appreciate their business and care about them.

What Outdoor Features Can Set Your Home Apart?

Most homeowners are interested in increasing their home’s value to ensure that they can make more of a profit off of the property once it’s time to sell. When it comes to boosting your property value, adding outdoor features can prove to offer a high rate of return once you find a buyer. When you want to invest in features that will pay off, there are a few features that are worth purchasing.

Barbecue Stations

Barbecue stations and outdoor kitchens are in demand among buyers because it offers a place to entertain outdoors. Homes with barbecue stations have a 26 percent higher value than those that don’t include the feature because it provides the ability to spend more time outside.

Showers

Outdoor showers are increasing in popularity because they provide you with the chance to rinse off after taking a dip in the water. Many homes that are located near the beach or a lake can benefit from an outdoor shower because it will prevent you from tracking in sand or dirt.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are now considered to be a staple for outdoor spaces because they allow you to stay warm while inviting your guests over. The open flames make it easy to roast s’mores and can make it possible to spend time in cooler weather conditions while stargazing.

Patio

A patio makes it possible to lounge outdoors instead of having to sit on the grass in your backyard. Patios are a valuable addition that has an ROI value of over 100 percent. You can place patio furniture on the feature and spend time dining outdoors while taking in the view of the surrounding environment. Finishing or repairing an existing patio can also have a high return of 500 percent. Add outdoor light and a few pillows to make it a comfortable space.

Pools

Although some pools don’t have an effect on the value of the home, they can increase what the property is worth if there’s enough space available around the feature to ensure that the backyard can still be used for other purposes. Install a pool with spillways, a diving board, or rock formations to create an appealing feature that will increase the visual appeal and the functionality of your backyard.

An Overview of a $30 Million Mansion

What kind of real estate does $29.5 million buy? That’s a question that few will ever have the opportunity to explore–at least seriously. This Manhattan townhouse, though, allows a heady peek into the lifestyles of the upper echelon. Read on for a sampling of the delights of this Chelsea gem.
It comes with its own Bentley
Yes, it’s true: Whoever buys this house won’t have to worry about finding a place to park in Manhattan, as the pad comes fully equipped with a hot rod–itself worth half a million dollars. Check out the pictures here.
It offers two-plus bathrooms for each bedroom
While the mansion itself has a relatively modest five bedrooms, there are 11 baths, including a steam room and a sauna. This means that even if two people were to occupy each room, no one would have to take turns in the shower. Talk about how the other half lives.
There’s a yoga room and a lap pool
No need to join a gym–the tenants will have plenty of opportunities for exercise right in their own home. That ought to make the price tag sting just a little bit less.
The living room is the best spot in the house
Alyssa Soto Brody, the Realtor handling the property, is most enamored of the 26-by-23 foot living room. In addition to the 13-foot ceiling and wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, the space also boasts LED lighting that casts different colors on the enormous gas-powered fireplace.
A kitchen to die for
With its marble surfaces, cabinets covered in Swarovski crystals and vegan crocodile leather, and sleek chrome appliances, this area almost looks too pretty to cook in–although that’s not likely to bother the residents..
A room with its own floor
The fourth floor is taken up entirely by the master suite, which includes a gorgeous hand-cut mosaic Italian soaking tub.
The Realtor refers to the property as the “Bentley Batcave”
At 11,000 square feet, the space is clearly no cave; however, die-hard Bruce Wayne fans are likely to appreciate the comparison. While the price tag may be steep, bear in mind that in this corner of the Big Apple, parking spots alone have been known to fetch over $1 million.

New Virtual Lab for Developers, Builders, and Clients

The real estate industry is a perfect one to make excellent use of the amazing game-changing Computer Aided Virtual Environment (CAVE) technology. Suffolk Construction, a national building contractor, announced having opened a Smart Lab in its Miami office in March, joining other labs in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Tampa, and San Francisco, all having opened during the past year.

Using CAVE enables an individual wearing an HTC Vive headset or a group exploring a virtual space via WorldViz VR 3D glasses to “walk through” a photorealistic future project’s 3D model that was created from architectural drawings and blueprints. Imagine being able to go to a work site, make design decisions, spot potential problems, ride elevators, go into rooms to make sure dimensions are correct, change appliances or the wallpaper or any item, all with a handheld controller.

Joe Fernandez, Suffolk Construction’s vice president of operations, said that the basic concept is being able to build a structure in pixels before building it in brick and mortar and therefore being able to show a client and the builders exactly what it is going to look like, both inside and out. According to a recent Software Connect survey, currently just six percent of construction companies implement VR technology, but that is expected to grow to 15 percent by the year 2020.

Additional features of the Smart Lab include a Data Wall of nine smart-board touchscreens providing predictive analytics and information for ongoing and completed projects, live streaming feeds of job sites, comparisons of construction at various stages, and more. Also included is a Huddlewall, which is a giant display for planning meetings which allow plumbers, electricians, painters, and others to collaborate on the current project in real time.

Projects that have already incorporated virtual reality technology in the designing and building include:

The Sunny Isles Beach Jade Signature futuristic luxury condo tower that opened on March 16, 2018; the new Royal Caribbean Cruises terminal at Port Miami, which is looking at a completion date of October 2018. Royal Caribbean has even designed some of their ships entirely using virtual reality; and the 638-room Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino near Hollywood that is due to open in the summer of 2019.

Best Architectural Designs

Empire State Building

At 350 Fifth Avenue between West 33 and West 34 Streets, this Art Deco building has a steel frame plus granite, limestone, and mullions with aluminum. Dating back to 1930-1931, the skyscraper has 102 floors, is 1252 feet high, and has 6,500 windows with sandblasted spandrels that created the facade’s unique vertical striping.

This was the tallest building in New York City for over 40 years until 1972 when the North Tower of the World Trade Center was completed. Following the harrowing events of 9/11, the Empire State Building became NYC’s tallest building for the second time.

It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986, was ranked number one in 2007 by the AIA on the List of America’s Favorite Architecture, and was named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Modern World’s Seven Wonders.

Chrysler Building

This is another skyscraper with Art Deco architecture and is located on Manhattan’s east side at Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street. Standing 1,048 feet high, having 77 floors, and dated 1928-1930 at a cost then of $20,000,000, it was the tallest building in the world before the completion of the Empire State Building in 1931. Steel gargoyles which depict American eagles stare out over the city, and there are sculptures of Chrysler automobile radiator caps and car wheel ornaments.

The entrance lobby is three stories in height, was refurbished in 1978, is shaped like a triangle with entrances coming in on all three sides, and is lavishly decorated with Moroccan red marble walls and Art Deco items of blue marble, onyx, and steel.

It is still the world’s tallest BRICK building, it has 3,826,000 bricks, is an outstanding example of Art Deco, and is mentioned by a multitude of architects to be one of NYC’s finest buildings.

Grand Central Terminal

At Midtown Manhattan’s 42nd Street and Third Avenue, and often inaccurately referred to as Grand Central Station, it dates back to 1903-1913 and has a Beaux-Arts stone facade style. Built in the heyday when long-distance passenger trains were so popular, it is still the world’s largest train station with below-ground 44 platforms with 67 tracks on two levels with upper-level 41 tracks and lower-level 16 tracks.

Real Estate Myths Debunked

Whether you’re trying to sell your home or looking for a home to buy, there is a great deal of misinformation out there. It’s important to learn the truth, because believing in one of these myths could force you to commit a costly mistake.
Sell Your Home for More Than it’s Worth
This is a common myth and it could actually hurt the sale of your home. Some people believe that setting an asking price above the home’s market value can help you sell your home for the price you really want. While it’s true that buyers try to negotiate the final price, trying to sell for too much can chase away potential buyers.
Buyers Do Better Without an Agent
The idea behind this myth is that the real estate agent’s fee will be spared. This is a false assumption. Real estate agents working for the buyer and seller share a percentage of the sale. In a case where the buyer isn’t working with an agent, the seller’s agent gets the full share.
Sellers Don’t Need a Real Estate Agent
While technically true, trying to sell your home won’t save you much money. The buyer will expect a discount from a seller working without an agent, so the money you save on the agent’s commission will be lost to the buyer. Additionally, you’ll have to be able to do everything an agent can do from listing the property online to handling the closing.
Sellers Should Remodel Their Kitchen and Bath
This is frequently recommended, but it may actually be bad advice. Buyers may have their own plans for the kitchen and bath, so putting in the work ahead of time could negatively impact a sale. Especially if they don’t share your tastes, they may prefer to look for a home that hasn’t been updated recently.
Sellers Can Expect to Earn Back What They Spend on Renovations
While it will be noticed, if the roof is in bad shape or the air conditioning doesn’t work, fixing these big ticket items won’t help you raise the value of your home. Buyers may feel it’s your responsibility to repair these things before putting the home on the market, so they usually won’t be willing to pay more for an updated home. However, if you don’t fix these things, you may actually lose value in your home.
There are more myths flourishing in the real estate industry, so always check to be sure something is true. If you don’t do enough research, you may find that it cost you money instead of helping you save. Always direct questions to a qualified and experienced real estate agent to avoid making devastating mistakes.

Renting Vs. Owning: What’s The Difference?

Many people are torn between the prospect of owning a home versus the carefree lifestyle of simply renting. The pros and cons of both renting and owning have been laid out below in a simple and concise manner.
Upfront Costs

When calculating the upfront cost of renting a home or an apartment, the figures are relatively affordable. Renting only requires a light contract with first and last months rent along with a security deposit in order to successfully obtain said property. Alternatively, homeownership tends to be very heavy in regards to upfront costs. When going through the process of purchasing a home, a person is usually required to pay a certain percentage of the mortgage immediately including any and all closing costs.
Fluctuating Monthly Expenses

One advantage of owning a home is that the monthly mortgage payment is set by the bank who issued the mortgage. Depending on the type of interest rate that was negotiated, the monthly mortgage payment can remain steady for many months depending on how housing costs rise and fall. Alternatively, when paying rent to a landlord, the rent can be increased at the whim of a landlord but only if they follow proper legal regulations regarding rent increases. If someone is renting without a contract, the renter is at the complete mercy of the landlord in regards to the monthly rental rate.
Repairs and Renovations

A homeowner is financially and physically responsible for all repairs to the home. The bright side to this is that they also have the freedom to redesign, redecorate, or renovate the home as much as they desire. A person who rents isn’t usually afforded the same privilege. Landlords may impose strict rules in the rental contract regarding changes to the home or apartment, preventing the renter from painting, remodeling, or redecorating. On the other hand, renters aren’t responsible for any repairs and can usually apply for replacement appliances and fixtures if covered by the rental agreement.
Relocating

When renting a home or an apartment, deciding to pick up and move to a different city or state is relatively simple. A person can sublet the remainder of their lease to a third party and skip town before their rental contract has expired. On the other hand, a homeowner doesn’t have that same luxury. A homeowner must first prepare their home to be sold and ensure it has enough equity to be marketable. This could take months or years to accomplish.
Choosing whether to become a homeowner versus remaining a renter really depends on the type of lifestyle you live and whether you prefer security or freedom.

How Tech May Impact the Real Estate Market Over the Next Year

Technology’s impact on the real estate industry is gradually starting to take hold. To stay competitive, many real estate professionals and companies are changing their business models or the way they do business. With technology rapidly changing consumer behavior, real estate professionals must adapt to the digital innovations that are beginning to define the sector. Here are some tech trends real estate professionals can expect to happen this year and beyond.

Machine Learning/AI
Real estate pros are constantly looking for ways to streamline their processes, and many in the industry are counting on machine learning and AI to improve efficiency. Many agents and brokers now use artificial intelligence to match properties to a homebuyer’s specific requests. Additionally, many companies are finding ways to use machine learning and AI to spot trends in housing markets. The goal would be to use data backed by facts instead of relying on a hunch to make home buying and selling decisions.

Chatbots
Artificial intelligence is what programmers and computer scientists use to process natural language in the form of chatbots. This technology is one of the fastest growing trends in the customer service industry, and the real estate market is certainly no exception. Companies are looking for ways to use AI and chatbots to automate engagement between agents and brokers. They also hope to use chatbots to transform lead generation in an effort to streamline their marketing efforts. Chatbots are proving themselves as an invaluable tool in answering customers’ simple queries about home availability and pricing.

Blockchain Technology
By now, many people are familiar with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but they may be unfamiliar with the technology that fuels cryptocurrencies. Known as blockchain, this technology is far more than a cryptocurrency payment gateway. Instead, it is a powerful decentralized database that could hold important records on virtually any property in the world. If real estate professionals implement the technology, it could provide a fraud-proof way to access far more data on homeowners and properties.

The real estate industry could see some dramatic changes in the way companies conduct business over the next several years due to the rapid rise of technology. However, many real estate experts agree that the industry is overdue for a tech shakeup. Although the future of real estate and technology is uncertain, companies will have to adapt as AI and machine learning continues to evolve.

Housing Markets Set To Explode!

According to a recent article, there are a number of states throughout the country that have a very high chance of experiencing continued rises in housing prices over the next year.

While some housing markets have cooled off due to a combination of state policies, slow or negative job growth and stagnant local economies, a few states are reaping the lion’s share of the increasing demand for national housing. In fact, the last few years have marked the first time since 2006 that the average housing prices across the country as a whole have set records. But these gains have been distributed unequally, and that trend is likely to continue. Here are three states where housing prices are likely to continue experiencing strong gains.

Nevada

Nevada isn’t just the gambling capital of the world; It’s also one of the states with the lowest overall tax rates and the most favorable laws towards business. These facts have continued to attract new residents in droves, driving the housing prices of the state up by a factor of nearly 3 since 2012. While buying a home or piece of commercial real estate is always a bit of a gamble, doing so in Nevada has been a bet that has paid off handsomely.

Texas

The Lone Star State has one of the fastest-growing economies not just in the United States but in the world. Cities like Houston and Austin have experienced growth in their respective populations that place them among the fastest-growing cities in the country. And the characteristic intrastate migrants that Texas has been receiving tend to be high-earning and highly educated. With some of the lowest taxes and one of the most pro-business environments of any U.S. state, Texas has seen a massive influx of tax refugees from states like Illinois, Connecticut and California.

Florida

At one time, Florida may have had the reputation of being the poor man’s California. Today, Florida is one of the most popular destinations for those fleeing the Golden State. With zero personal income tax, idyllic year-round weather and, perhaps, the easiest access to beachfront and water-based recreation of any state in the country, Florida continues to be a prime destination for retirees, business owners and just about anyone else who seeks fun and sun without the stifling taxes, regulation and congestion of California.