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.

ICSC Real Estate Conferences

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has a mission to guarantee that the retail real estate industry is recognized for the important and vibrant role it has in the civic, social, and economic life of communities throughout the globe in 100 different countries. This is a leading industry because, in 2016, statistics showed that annual sales of shopping centers in the United States alone yielded over $2 trillion.

ICSC has more than 70,000 members that join together to help drive the United States economy, create jobs, discuss business policies and trends, inspire innovation and collaboration, enrich their local social endeavors, and lead businesses into the exciting future. The organization is strengthened by working with the views of people with different cultures, backgrounds, and thinking styles.

Whether your goal is to bolster your company’s bottom line, learn how to increase your business, or kickstart development of your career, belonging to ICSC opens the door to helpful information on valuable research and industry insights, provides lucrative career-influencing gatherings of members, and leads to new connections with thousands of industry influencers. In addition, members receive discounts on approximately 200 yearly ICSC conferences and meetings.

Events

ICSC hosts hundreds of programs every year so that members can expand their industry expertise with educational and certification courses while they build relationships, do business, and network with other professionals.

An example of an upcoming regional event is:

The annual Florida Conference and Deal Making that will be held August 26 through 28, 2018, at the Orange County Convention Center, South Concourse, in Orlando, billed as “Fun, Sun, and Getting Deals Done.” Learning the latest news and developments about business opportunities and operations and attending education sessions regarding the retail real estate industry will be developers, owners, lenders, brokers, investors, retailers, property asset managers, service and product providers, title underwriters, attorneys, and others who are anxious to talk shop, trade ideas, network, and make deals.
The ICSC Foundation is the charitable arm of the Council and is dedicated to giving back to the communities. It plays a role in attracting, identifying, and developing the outstanding next generation of future employee talent with professional and academic education scholarships, mentoring, and presenting learning opportunities together with job assistance.

Common Mistakes Parents Make When Buying a Home

When purchasing a new home, parents tend to make a few mistakes that show up later in life. It is important to look at the past, present, and future when considering a new home. What can we learn from others’ past mistakes, what do we need for the present, and what does the future hold that we can prepare for now? When we consider these during a new home purchase, we can get a home that will meet our needs.

The Past

Learning from others’ mistakes is important when shopping for a home. Many parents purchase a home without checking out the local schooling options. Then when the children are old enough to go to school, they don’t like what is available. Decide if the schooling system near you will meet your child’s needs in the future.

Safety Issues

Learn from parents of the past concerning safety issues. Do the stairs have a handrail? Does the pool have a safety fence around it? Is the deck in good order or do boards need to be replaced?

The Present

Will the home meet the grandparents’ present needs? Is there a fenced yard for a dog? Is there plenty of storage for ball equipment or musical instruments? Is there plenty of space for doing laundry, and for folding?

Driving to Activities

Is the church nearby? Is there plenty of shopping close? What about the doctor’s office? Make sure the family can get where they need to go within a reasonable amount of time.

The Future

Look into the future for the family. Having more children means needing more bedrooms. It also means the family may need more bathrooms, especially if they are girls. We can’t know everything the future will bring, but we can anticipate some things and prepare for them.

Anticipation of Expectations

Think about what the family already loves to do, or is interested in doing in the future. Consider these options:

  • homesteading
  • home-based business
  • homeschooling
  • fishing and hunting
  • husbandry
  • horseback riding

Looking at the past, present, and future needs of the family, will help parents make a wise choice on such a big ticket item. They can know that they have thought through all the reasonable possibilities that this new home needs to provide. In doing so, the home will the refuge throughout the years.

Red Flags To Notice When Purchasing a Home

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you obviously won’t be too experienced with what to expect. Purchasing a home is s tricky, long and complicated process. You’ll probably need all the help and advice you can get. With that being said, when you’re looking to purchase a home, there are a variety of things that you should be looking out for that will act as warning signs. Here are a few of the most common red flags to pay attention to when going house hunting.

Insects/Pests

So you’ve just walked through your very first showing and you feel pretty confident about the house. It’s large enough to accommodate your growing family, it’s close to work and it simply feels right. However, you’d noticed several insects, from roaches to house centipedes. Who cares, it’s only a few insects, right? They’ll die out and you won’t have to worry about them, right? Wrong. Admittedly, it could have been a coincidence that there were a few pesky insects in the house, but you should certainly do your due diligence and follow up on the matter if you decide to go through with purchasing the house. What may seem like a few harmless bugs could lead to a serious infestation. These infestations are incredibly dangerous, as they can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs and, depending on the pests, health hazards.

Fresh Paint

So you’ve walked through another house and it seems perfect! You’d noticed that the current owners had buckets of paint in random rooms throughout the house, but it didn’t seem as they’d painted entire rooms, only small portions. No big deal, right? Wrong. While it may seem harmless at first, it very well could be a sign of a much larger problem. If you see buckets of paint lying about the house and only small portions of the house being painted, the owners could be trying to hide something. Make sure to address the situation.

Poor Neighborhood

When purchasing a home, you cannot solely focus on the home itself; you must also look at the surrounding neighborhood. If you decide to purchase the house, you will be a part of that neighborhood. Do your research on your neighbors and see who exactly is living around you. Don’t just look at who you’re living with, look at how they are living. If the neighborhood seems run down and dangerous, you may not want to move in at all. It could make things difficult to sell the house in the future.

Common Real Estate Lingo

Like any industry, real estate has its fair share of jargon. Some of these terms are fairly common enough for the average citizen, while others are not as known. If you’re a professional working in the industry, then you’re (hopefully) very familiar with these terms. However, if you’re a buyer or seller, and you’re not very experienced with the industry, then you’ll probably be in over your head. That’s precisely why I’ve compiled a list of some of the most commonly used real estate terms so that you’re better prepared to deal with professionals in the industry.

Appraisal

This is, admittedly, a more common term, however, I am simply making sure that I am covering all of my bases. An appraisal, in essence, is an evaluation of your property’s worth. The process is completed, unsurprisingly, by an appraiser who comes to a decision based on the sales prices of previous houses in the surrounding area. If you’re a first-time buyer or seller, you will certainly become familiar with appraisal.

Closing Costs

So you’ve decided on the house you want to buy, and you’re ready to make your payment and move in! But wait, before you can even close, you’ll have to pay the closing costs. Closing costs are, as the name implies, any expenses that you are required to pay at the time of closing a sale on a property. There are several different kinds of payments that can constitute as a closing cost, but some of the most common are appraisal costs, taxes and attorney fees.

REALTOR

This may come as a surprise to many, but REALTOR is not an appropriate term for all real estate agents. The term is used synonymously with real estate agent, but technically speaking, a REALTOR is only an agent who is a registered member of the National Association of REALTORS.

Equity

One of the best things about owning a home is that you stand to gain a great profit depending on your equity. In short, equity is whatever the value of the home is, after factoring in any charges against it. You will certainly want to become familiar with equity as you become a homeowner.

 

Real estate is an industry with a dizzying amount of terms. These are only a few of the most common that you will come across during your journey of purchasing or selling a home. Good luck!

Technology That Has Changed Real Estate

Real estate is one of the oldest industries in the world. People have always needed a place to live and call home. Although real estate as we know it has not actually been around since the dawn of man, it has been in existence for several decades, and because of this, it has had time to develop and change drastically. Due to the recent advancements in technology, real estate has a very bright future, but I wanted to take a moment to look back at some of the tech that has changed real estate over the years.

 

Internet

To be fair, the introduction of the Internet didn’t solely affect real estate; the entire world was given the ability to communicate instantaneously with one another and, naturally, this astounding technology greatly impacted various aspects of society. It’s not everyday that such a versatile and unique invention comes along, so when the Internet was created and then permeated throughout the public, it changed almost every major industry, real estate included.

 

Like most professional industries, real estate was impacted greatly by email. Before then, realtors could only communicate via telephone, physical mail or in person. With email, realtors and clients could communicate at all hours of the day, instantaneously. But the biggest advancement for real estate has to be the ability to utilize online real estate sites for listing and buying homes. The Internet allowed for sellers, buyers and realtors to truly take control of their listings. Sellers can upload photos of their listings to sites like Zillow or Homes and give potential buyers an idea of the home before they even visit for a showing; buyers can get great feedback on realtors from actual users in order to make informed decisions; the Internet truly allowed for major progressions in real estate that helped streamline the process of buying and selling a home.

 

Social Media
Without the Internet, we wouldn’t have social media, but I still feel as though social media has become its own separate entity. It may be hard to believe it, but social media in its most basic form, was invented in 1997 with the creation of a website called Six Degrees. Since then, we’ve had a complete digital and social revolution with sites and applications like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram taking over the majority of the world’s Internet users. Coincidentally, each of these social media profiles has allowed for new and exciting ways for realtors to reach out to potential buyers. With Facebook, realtors can host live viewings of their listings and showcase the house to hundreds of viewers in order to accommodate almost any schedule; with Twitter, realtors can give quick updates to listings in real-time; with Instagram, realtors can host a variety of videos and photos of their listings. And each of these platforms allows for realtors to communicate directly with their clients at all times.

 

There have been a bevy of technologies to release that have drastically impacted real estate, however, I feel as though these two technologies have done the industry a great deal of service. I may discuss these other technologies in a later blog.

Why Your Realtor Won’t Sell Your House

You’re ready for a change of scenery, either because of work or simply through your sheer power of will; you want to sell your house. So, you look for a realtor, and no matter how hard you try, not a single one seems interested in selling your home. This may seem odd since most people assume that all realtors are begging for houses to sell, but that is simply not the case. There are many factors and variables that can affect whether or not a realtor will even spend his or her time on your home. Here are a few reasons why a realtor wouldn’t want to work with you.

 

Asking for too much

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably spent years in your house; you’ve renovated the kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom, you’ve painted the outside of the house and you’ve spent a great deal of time growing a beautiful garden outback. To you, your house is almost invaluable. Unfortunately, not everyone will see it this way. There are a bevy of factors that go into what determines the actual value of a house, and if you believe that your house is worth more than what your realtor does, then the agent will more than likely not bother. If the agent does decide to take on the listing, it could spend months on the market, which hurts his or her reputation.

 

You aren’t willing to show it

The best way to really entice potential buyers is by letting them into your house. Much like any other purchase, humans typically enjoy seeing something before they buy, especially when making such a large investment. Because of this, you need to be willing to show off your house. If you’ve put the time and work into it, then don’t be afraid to put it on display. Many sellers are afraid of theft and they opt out of showings, or they are not flexible in their showing hours. This can all make a realtor very wary of your home.

 

Your house is messy

This is incredibly plain and simple: if your house is unkempt and dirty, it makes the sell much harder. And realtors know this. While they can suggest that you clean it up before they take the listing, if you are unwilling to make the appropriate adjustments, they will more than likely skip altogether.

 

At the end of the day, realtors need to make a profit from the house that they are selling. If your home presents too many challenges, and you are unwilling to be flexible and reasonable, they will likely refuse to list your house. Take some of these tips, get out there and sell your house!

4 Reasons Why You Should Add Commercial Real Estate to Your Portfolio

If you’ve followed the stock market recently, you’re no doubt familiar with the volatility the market has suffered in recent weeks. Indeed, February saw the largest one-day drop in the history of the Dow Jones. And while the markets are still strong, this turbulence — as well as future uncertainty with international trade relations — has made real estate investing a more enticing option for forward-thinking investors. In particular, more investors are turning to commercial real estate opportunities in the United States as a way to balance out their investment portfolios.

Investing in Real Estate to Combat Inflation

According to a recently released study by famed investment specialist, Martha Peyton, commercial real estate investments responded better to periods of inflation than corporate stocks, long-term government treasuries, and private bonds. The reason why commercial real estate is such an effective hedge against inflation is that during times of inflation, the price of real estate — particularly larger multi-tenant properties — also goes up.

Take Advantage of Tax Benefits

The Internal Revenue Code offers a wide range of benefits to individuals who own real estate owners. For instance, smart investors can transition large portions of their real estate earnings into things like depreciation deductions and mortgage interest as a way to shield their dividends. Before diving into this sort of high-level real estate investments, though, it’s wise to have a conversation with your tax accountant about how to derive the most benefit from this approach.

Commercial Real Estate Continues to Appreciate

A quick analysis of historic investment trends in commercial real estate indicates that commercial real estate appreciates faster than other investment types. One reason for this is that commercial real estate can appreciate in value because of things that exist outside of the market. For example, a landlord can make a commercial property more valuable by renovating or updating a building to make it more modern. These improvements make the commercial holding more valuable, even though the stock market is not involved in the process.

Commercial Real Estate Has Intrinsic Value

Another reason investors are beginning to turn to commercial real estate is because these properties actually have intrinsic value. While it can be difficult to pinpoint the actual value of a stock, a commercial real estate property is valuable because the land the property sits on has tangible value, as does the actual structure of the property itself. This intrinsic value means that commercial real estate holdings do not fluctuate in value as frequently as stocks do.