Merryl Lynch, who was bought by Bank of America after the financial meltdown of 2008, is to pay $315M in a settlement related to the poor mortgage loans handed out during the real estate boom of the mid 2000s. This is one of many moves that investors have taken to recuparate some of their losses resulting from the real estate and finance meltdown of 2008. For more information read here Merryl Lynch to Pay $315M in Mortage-Loans Lawsuit Settlement.
It's simple economics, if you are a foreign investor now is a great time to buy into the depressed housing market using the old investing motto, buy low, sell high. Whether you plan to buy small residential units or mansions in high end neighborhoods, there are many favorable factors working for you. Last year alone, foreign investors spent $82 billion on residential real estate in the U.S., up 24% from the year prior, and this year that number could remain up there.
Taking advantage of favorable exchange rates i.e. a weak dollar, investors from countries like China, Japan, and Switzerland amongst others, who feel their currency is overvalued against the dollar, can buy real estate, hold on to it until the dollar to strengthens, and cash in after a few years once the dollar has regained its value.
If you are worried about the possibility of a traditional carry trade in the foreign exchange market, in which the relative rate of return is exploited by selling or borrowing low interest currencies and buying the higher interest paying currencies, you need not worry, this effect is negated if both currencies in use have the same interest rate such as in the case of the Japanese yen and the US dollar in which the interest rates neutralize each other. The risk factors associated with increasing interest rates and inflationary pressure, is further negated by matching monetary policies, as in the case of the yen and dollar. With both the FED and the Bank of Japan likely to keep interest rates low and inflation low to encourage consumer confidence and hence spending, the foreign exchange rate is likely to remain favorable and as a result not eat up your return of investment.
Do you want to improve the value of your house? Whether you have $100 or $10,000 we can help you find ways to improve the value of your property. As professional real estate agents we are knowledgeable about what buyers are looking for!
A simple home makeover can add curb appeal, market value, and improve your lifestyle, even if you are not intending to sell in the near future, all in just a few short steps. Here are some basic tips that will help you get started…
1. A Fresh Coat of Paint – A fresh coat of paint is a wonderful way to breathe new life into a room. Whether you are painting a room simply white or adding a dab of color, a fresh coat of paint will make a room feel like new again. If you don’t feel like repainting your entire house or even an entire room, you could simply paint dirty or chipped walls. Once you are done, note the marked improvement! A gallon of paint can vary in cost from $30-$60 and sometimes even higher.
2. Spotless Clean – Having a clean house not only makes your home more attractive, but also improves your lifestyle. Once a year hire a professional cleaning service to clean your house from top to bottom, or as often as you need it. Make sure they scrub your sinks, dust, clean your bathrooms well and if you can afford it wash and clean your windows. The cost of a professional cleaner varies. For a two story home with 9 bedrooms (3 beds, 2-3 baths, kitchen, family room, living room) expect to pay $300-$450. Some cleaning services charge by the hour.
3. Declutter – Easier said than done, but decluttering your home is the best way to make your house seem larger and more spacious. Letting go of stuff can be emotionally difficult but you will be opening yourself up for new things. To get rid of things you don’t want you could put it on the curb with a “FREE” sign OR you can list it on craigslist for what you think it’s worth or even listed as free. You could also donate it to your favorite thrift shop e.g. Amvets, Salvation Army or Goodwill.
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The credit crunch and housing crisis hit California, Nevada and Florida harder than anywhere else in the country. Downsizing from debt as well as employment have created a quagmire of negative-equity loans for a third of California's homes. There were 2,500,000 borrowers or owners after 2001 who were caught in it. For they and those in the market it's become a plague. To many people it doesn't make
Simplifying your Federal Housing Authority Mortgage
The FHA has been simplifying the refinance process for mortgages for thirty years. This streamline consists of the underwriting and documentation that needs to be completed by the mortgagor. This makes the process quicker but doesn't completely avoid several costs in the transaction. The obligations for a streamlined refinances are as follows:
FHA insurance must be present for the refinanced mortgage
The mortgage cannot be in arrears or in anyway delinquent
The refinanced mortgage must result in a lower principal and a lower interest payment
The mortgage cannot be leveraged for cash, if refinanced this way.
Mortgagers will provide this service in a few ways. Some offer refinances with no out-of-pocket expenses to those holding the mortgage, by increasing the interest rate on the new loan that they're providing. Often this is more than if the borrower paid these costs in cash. These refinances make the lending company provide all of the closing costs for the refinance.
Lenders sometimes include the closing costs into the new mortgage as a result of this simplified refinance. Often the property will be reappraised to assure that there is sufficient equity to warrant the refinance. They can sometimes be done without appraisals, but the refinanced loan cannot be more than the original for the property. Rental property and other income generating asset property may only be refinanced without an appraisal.
Want to know how much your house is worth in today’s market? Why don’t you get a comparative market analysis from a real estate professional!
Many homeowners are curious about how much they can get for their home or simply want to know whether they can get their asking price or not, with a comparative market analysis you can satisfy your curiosity!
The truth is, that without hard data to backup a seller’s asking price interest from buyer’s may be less than desirable. Many buyer’s know what the average square foot is worth within a neighborhood, so they may be aware when the asking price is way outside the norm for that neighborhood. So pricing a home is very important to get more buyers in to see your property.
Using currently Active, pending and sold homes a real estate agent at Bay Realty will generate a report for you with a suggested sells price for your property. Contact us for more information.
Clinton Era Changes Banking Scene
On October 22nd 1999 an all night negotiation was reached between the Clinton Administration and the house republicans. These negotiations set the stage for one of the most sweeping reforms in banking deregulation in all of American History. They lifted almost every protection and restraint of the financial-services machine that has created a strangling monopoly on how banks spent money.
Starting on June 1st, 2011, British Airways will offer a non-stop service from San Diego to London. This will greatly reduce the travel time and inconvenience of having to make a stop on the East Coast. Now, downtown dwellers can take a short cab ride to the airport for the 8.05pm flight and be in London by 2.25pm (local time) the next day.
This is the third attempt at trying to get the service off the ground and it is hoped its third-time lucky. A great deal of optimism is being shown by Airline and Tourist Officials about the resurrected route. They believe the diversified San Diego economy will tempt business passengers and Europeans who love California will be drawn to San Diego’s abundant beaches, restaurants and bars. A new profit-sharing agreement between British Airways, American Airways and Iberia helps make the route more feasible due to a new spirit of “Cooperation, not competition”.
San Diego’s Regional Airport Authority and the Convention and Visitors Bureau have invested heavily in marketing both here and overseas. The City’s Tourism Marketing District has contributed $200,000 to promote San Diego as a fashionable tourist destination and to try and steer traffic away from San Francisco and Los Angeles, both of which have direct connections with London. The Airport Authority has also pledged $750,000 in marketing contributions over the next two years. They are also waiving $133,312 in landing fees for the first year and giving a 50% discount for the second year.
After years of talk to remodel San Diego's waterfront at the North Embarcadero on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 the California Coastal Commission approved the first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan (NEVP).
The plan will revitalize the area by adding approximately five acres of landscaped gardens filled with kiosks, and walking paths to bring in more tourists and locals alike. The area is already a popular spot for everyone, locals included. With this new development, which is set to be finished in a little over two years (if all goes as planned and funding is not lost), the condominium complexes between B st and Broadway, where construction will occur west of Pacific Highway, will see their values rise.
In a recent survey performed by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), San Diego was ranked tenth in a list of real estate markets to watch. “The emerging trends” report is in its 32nd year and is compiled from 275 personal interviews with industry experts. The Washington based organization believes San Diego as a costal market will perform better than many areas across the U.S.
The assembled experts at the ULI warned that no particular sector or market was performing well. “We’ve been living large in a time of more” commented Jonathan Miller, the author of the report which evaluated 51 U.S Markets and a number in Canada and Latin America. “In the end it all resulted in a lot of losses and some major flops. As predicted last year, 2010 would be the bottom for the commercial real estate market. In fact, we think that’s happened. Next year is, after a period of more-more-more, we are entering a period of less…the era of less.”
On a scale of 1 to 9 with 1 representing “abysmal” and 9 representing “excellent, San Diego rated 5.63. This is a slight increase from the 5.04 it scored in the previous year’s report.
The highest placed market was Washington, but it’s score of 7.01 is still some way short of “excellent”.
ULI ranks the top ten markets for 2011 as:
1. Washington, 7.01
2. New York, 6.56
3. San Francisco, 6.34
4. Austin, 6.29
5. Boston, 6.20
6. Seattle, 6.09
7. San Jose, 6.08
8. Houston, 6.02
9. Los Angeles, 5.84
10. SAN DIEGO, 5.63
(The scores are calculated on the forecast for commercial and multifamily real estate investment)
The San Diego assessment is as follows. Traditionally, San Diego's local economy creates startup jobs, however it does not retain headquarters. For global and domestic business this means looking toward Los Angeles, which has a major port and is home to a major airport hub, LAX. Unfortunately, San Diego does not boast these same features, which makes traveling to it troublesome.
Although downtown condos are badly oversupplies. There is demand in housing in better neighborhoods and cash buyers floating out there. Today public company homebuilders buy fairly cheap residential land in preparation for an eventual upturn in the economy. After all, what is not to like about the sunny San Diego's most envy-inducing climate?