March 28, 2008
With the current slowdown of overall economic activity every penny counts. If you are a penny counter and on the market for a new home, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money on rising gas prices trucking around to check out a bunch of las vegas condos accross the city.
Well, one clever real estate agent in Las Vegas has come up with a solution for connecting penny pinchers with new homes. She bought a bus and gives tours of REO and forclosed condos, townhomes, and single family homes. Genius, Genius, Genius! Not only do the passengers who ride the bus get speed tours of forclosed properties selling for well below market value – they are also saving precious pennies they would have otherwise had to spend on gas to get to there on their.
The bus seats twenty four eager new homebuyers and shuttles them all over town — North Las Vegas, Hendersen, Green Valley, and Sun City Anthem to name a few. I bet that the current residents in these neighborhoods just LOVE watching the forclosure bus roll through their streets showcasing condos to investors for up to 50% less than what they may have paid for their own home only a year or two ago. Oh well, Buy low sell high.
So…the housing market isn’t the best it has been in a while. In fact, I would concede that it’s rather gloomy. However, not the entire market is suffering, but the majority is. Some owners of condos and single family homes are starting to fret that they may have to foreclose rather soon. This is not news. This has been plastered over every single media outlet in the States and world actually. Yes, this is a serious situation…but who is to blame for these conditions? Aren’t we, the consumers to blame? Didn’t we drive the prices up artificially based on speculation and expected future earnings? We, the people weren’t forced to buy a new condo for sale but we were lured into it because we thought it was a good and safe investment. As we’re learning now, for the majority of us, this wasn’t a safe investment. So, if this was our fault, why are we asking for the government to bail us out? It’s as if, this is a new phenomenon to us. But it’s not. We saw this in the late 90s with the stock market. The bubble burst and prices went down. So, why are we whining as asking the government to help us out with our mistakes. We must take responsibility for our actions and own up to our mistakes. We are a country filled with luxury and seldom do we expect that anything wrong can go wrong in our lives. And when it does, we cry to our government about how bad our situation is. You know what, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of hearing about your hardships. Life throws you many curveballs and it’s the people who have studied how to accurately hit that ball are the ones that will survive. So, if you’re thinking about borrowing a couple hundred thousand dollars from the bank, make sure you plan ahead and your swing is fluid and not even a curveball from The Rocket himself would phase you.
March 27, 2008
As the current state of the US markets continue to remain troubled, US and foreign investors and condo buyers are looking for sound opportunities, good asset protection, and positive ROI. Panama condos, high-rise luxury developments, and resort condo communities have been providing these great investment vehicles now for a few years.
The Panama market is strong and values continue to increase as does new construction. Panama resembles Miami of the late 90′s and early 2000′s. Does this mean a “bubble” will be created by over supply and unrealistic price increases? Probably not any time soon. Latin American markets are a bit more complicated to invest in and with more money required to put down by buyers, investors must think more long term. These regulations will keep th “flippers” out but still give savvy buyers and condo investors an opportunity for good returns over time.
New Panama condos for sale are still priced very well and give the buyer a good profit margin over time. Not to mention, Panama is increasingly becoming a better place to live as the government improves infrastructure, hosptials, schools, and overall safety.
March 26, 2008
The Blue Ridge Mountains are some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in not only North America but some say, the entire world. Many different cities are lucky enough to be adjacent or right in the middle of this beautiful and majestic area. Hendersonville, North Carolina is one of these lucky cities. Hendersonville is one of the most beautiful places in all of North Carolina. Attractions are abundant such as the Historic Downtown area which was named to the the National Registar of Historic places in 1988. With close proximity to DuPont State Forest and The Pisgah National Forest that consist of gorgeous and lush scenery, it’s no wonder that many come to this area from far and wide to live and relax. With this incredible community already here, it makes perfect sense for an incredible new condo development. Plaza in the Mountains is a Hendersonville new condo development that offers luxury and tranquil living in an urban environment. Offering 1-3 bedrooms ranging from 979 sf – 1951 sf, there is a floor plan that will definitely be condusive to your preference. With prices starting under $300K (and low rates right now) owning here makes perfect sense. You should note that only 28 units will be built and each has been already pre-determined so the hassle and stress of choosing what you would like/not like in your new condo has been lifted. If you’re serious about purchasing a Hendersonville condo for sale, I would act fast!
March 24, 2008
More doom and gloom press about the condo market hits the pages of newspapers and online publications every day. Homeowners continue to worry about their house or condo values going down, home buyers are continually wondering how low prices will go (referred to as “on the fence”) and basically waiting to see what happens to rates, and banks continue to worry about cleaning up the credit mess and rising rate of foreclosures.
Well, we are not in a wait and see market anymore! We are right in the middle of things and people are starting to take action. The Fed is supplying the necessary means to give some comfort to the damage industry, home and condo owners now understand they need to simple hang on and not think short term, and most importantly people are starting to buy again. Rates are going way down as are values which open the flood gates for buying opportunity from both homebuyers as well as investors who will hold the properties for a long time and rent them out. News came out today showing homes sales are actually up over 2%. We will still see some volatility though so let’s not get ahead of ourselves and think that we are out of this.
Thousands of new condos and homes will be hitting the sales path in major cities all over the country as new construction homes and condos in areas like Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, los Angeles and New York come to completion. Many are worries what a flood of new units will do to an already saturated market. Many also ask why condo developers would continue to build and finish projects when there is already so much inventory sitting idle.
For builders and developers of condos, it is all about the numbers. Yes, of course the dream and vision of provide new homes for people is always there but let’s put that aside for a moment and think about this from purely a business perspective. Most condo developers use their own money, at least initially, before diving into construction loans from banks and lending institutions. That is why the roller coaster game of real estate development is so exciting (and sometimes scary)! Once the developer burns through their initial funds set aside for the project and then start taking portions of their construction loans, they are committed. As the market takes the usual cyclical swings builders who start their project on the upswing (or in the middle of the downswing) usually will push forward slowly, control their burn rate, and hope that the market is healthy by the time they are ready to start selling units. Now of course, the builders are usually supposed to be pre-selling this whole time which is especially difficult in a market downturn. In addition, some just simply do not have the cash flow to keep the projects going or their lending partner will shut off the flow of money of sales are not met.
There are some short term alternatives for condos and homes that can help the builder wait things out.
When builders are near the end of a project and sales are simply not happening at a good rate, the builder will often finish the project, market the units as rentals so there is a revenue stream to cover holding costs, and then re-market the units as “for sale” later when the buyer return. When a condo development is in the very early stages it is often easy for a developer to “shelve” the plans for a year or two because they are not far enough along to produce any significant carrying costs. Many experience development companies will plan to build new construction condos at a size and price that would easily allow for the “back-up” plan of going to rentals should they not sell quickly enough. These developers would still experience a loss but the hit to their books is not as drastic because of certain financial measures taken throughout the process.
Regardless, as in any real estate cycle, some peoples’ struggles are other peoples’ opportunities. Buyers and investors are out their looking for condos. More and more “funds” are being put together to scoop up the over-supply at a good price.
March 21, 2008
Ono Professional Partners and New Condos Online come together to form a strategic partnership in offering a new Gulf Oppertunity Zone (GO ZONE) devlopment — The Shimmering Sands Sits in the stunning Gulf Coast area of Alabama. The GO ZONE was established to help rebuild the areas in which Hurricane Katrina harmed or effected. From GOZONEGUIDE.com:
“The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 (H.R. 4440 passed by Congress on Dec. 16, 2005, and signed by President Bush on Dec. 21, 2005) establishes tax incentives and bond provisions to rebuild the local and regional economies devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The act is commonly referred to as the “GO Zone Act.”
While the entire state of Louisiana is part of the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Area, the provisions of the GO Zone Act apply only to a limited number of Louisiana parishes, defined as the “Core Disaster Area” and referred to as the “GO Zone.” However, it is also important to note that the GO Zone reaches far beyond Plaquemines, Calcasieu, Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and the other parishes most devastated by Katrina and Rita.”
This act will benefit the landowners, developers and also help the new homeowner by offering specific tax incentives to those designated areas, Shimmering Sands in one such area where the coast was not badly scarred and was redeveloped as part of an extensive rebuilding process in the gulf coast. The local area offers a beautiful landscape on the gulf in a warm and friendly community. Shimmering Sands was developed in a strategic location to maximize the local amenities brought on by the beautiful gulf coast and the many 4 star resorts near by — Resort style living in a friendly, relaxing community. New Alabama condos and new gulf shores condos are being developed to take advantage these special government incentives but none really compare to what Shimmering Sands has to offer — with its proximity to the Gulf Shores, Arnold Palmer Golf Course and the Wharf resident attraction, these much to do to shake the stress away.
With real estate prices steadily rising, Shimmering Sands offers incredible values for homeowners who want an exciting coastal way of life.
March 20, 2008
New Condos Online’s finance and consulting division, NCO Capital, represented at the Distressed Real Estate Conference in Miami this week. The show was a great success for all in attendance. The best part about the conferences and the most valuable goal is the educational factor. Real estate professionals, condo developers, consultants, investors, and agents attended the show to learn more about the coming months and years and how to weather the volatile housing market.
As most of us know, distressed real estate concerns homes, condos, and development projects that are in financial disarray and/or having difficulty moving product. A market such as this sets a great foundation for condo investors to buy at a discount and utilize some creative exit strategies. The builders do not always win in this scenario but there are great opportunities for both the condo builders and buyer/investors to get what they need.
Over the next year there will be a multitude of condo investments on the market to buy in bulk or as single unit opportunities. This is why investment groups and developers alike are raising capital and starting their own funds to purchase distressed real estate while the price is right. In my opinion, there will continue be buying opportunities for savvy condo investors throughout the rest of the year and into next year.
Let us not forget however about all the great opportunities in the world of new construction condos. As the Fed continues to lower rates, buyers will have increasingly good financial options to lock into. Low rates couple with slightly lower prices creates a win-win for all buyers…and the agents representing them!
New Condos Online, in affiliation with Matzel and Mumford and Sherman advertising bring you the elegant residences titled Bayport On Lake’s Bay, consisting of 131 new luxury townhomes. Each three-story house will contain two bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a single-car garage. Taking advantage of the stunning waterfront views and situated just feet from the shore, the development has the master bedroom of each unit facing toward the bay. In addition to providing much-needed area housing, this project started out as a reclamation of the beautiful seaside where volunteers and the town of Atlantic City got together to clean up the site — it resulted in a fresh terraformation and set the stage for a clean working palette where Bayport On Lake’s Bay now sites.
Bayport on Lake’s Bay sits near the entrance to Atlantic City’s condos and offers a great blend of bayside living while having the convenience of a resort amenities at the press of a button, or a walk down the street. Atlantic City boasts a bustling and exciting nightlife, Being this close to Atlantic City offers an exciting lifestyle, with the beaches and boardwalks nearby the intertwining nightlife and relaxation benefits are a just one factor to this appealing development.
Matzel and Mumford are also offering another project in New York City dubbed “Crescent Court“. My next NCO blog will feature and indepth look into the details and design of this building. Tune in next time!
March 18, 2008
After reading and perusing many real estate websites – many condo related, I am wondering how many different adjectives and verbs one can use to define our current real estate market. Seriously – think about it. I’ve seen words and phrases in headlines for real estate articles such as: shortage looms, slows, sank, decline, tumbled, worsened, worried. You wonder if all these articles are the same. So, if you read one, why would you read the others? I mean, do authors use a generic word like, “bad” and use the thesaurus to find a word that will stick out pertaining to the real estate market? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go to any real estate news website and see how many articles discuss the current housing market. Most of them – like 95% – will explain how terrible our current housing market is. If you were an author and wanted your article to stick out, I would suggest stating something extremely positive to help your article stand out. For example, you entitle your article, “Housing market rises!” Do you know how many people will read that article? Or how about: “Condos for sale keep rising!” You get the point. So, if you’re an author, and you want to get your point across and don’t want to be lumped in with the rest of the articles, have your title stand out!
March 14, 2008
Exciting things are happening in Costa Rica and other Central American markets where real estate and condos are experiencing double digit appreciation much like we saw in California and Florida before the housing bust. This growth persists in countries such as Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. This reality coupled with low prices for homes and condos make these markets key targets for foreign investors, home buyers, US buyers and investors, and investment clubs.
According to many local experts we are just at the cusp of the growth. Better infrastructure, schools, hospitals, government stability, and safety are all providing a sound foundation for fast and healthy growth. The question is whether these markets will resemble the current US markets in 5 years with overvalued properties and an abundance of supply sitting on the market. I think this will all depend on how investors tackle this opportunity.
Prices are so low relative to US prices that even with rapid appreciation it would take a while for Costa Rica condos and Panama condos to be drastically overvalued. It is more difficult to buy property in Central America as an investor because most countries call for 30% down payments or more. This requirement will bring more qualified investors who seek long term holds and keep out the people who do not really have the liquid capital for proper investing.
That said, Panama condos and homes will continue to be purchased be “real” buyers, not flippers, and values will grow appropriately. Fast growth does not always mean a bubble will be created, but it can. As long as lending practices in Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize stay more traditional, things should remain healthy.
Some of the most exciting projects are new Panama city condos and high-rises. Some great new projects we represent on New Condos Online are The Orchid Residences, The Plaza Costa del Este, and of course Trump Ocean Club.