April 25, 2009
Oliver McMillan, one of America’s premier developers, is unveiling new models at it’s urban residential community, Aloft, in San Diego. The stylish building, located high atop Cortez Hill with views of the city and Balboa Park, is centered in San Diego’s most desirable urban neighborhood. The new models are located on the top floor, showcasing both city and bay views in concert with cutting edge floor plans and amenities. “Homebuyers are very excited about Aloft. Our new models are a ‘must see’ on the downtown scene. The combination of location, floor plans, amenities and sales price make Aloft an irresistible choice for our customers” said Debbie McGhee, sales representative, adding “Aloft also represents the focal point of 30 years of experience from Oliver McMillan, a San Diego based developer of ‘trophy’ urban projects throughout the United States”.
Featuring a location, price, urban sophistication and design not easily found, Aloft has been and continues to be the right choice with pricing starting in the high $200,000’s, and some of the lowest HOA Fees for a newly constructed building in downtown San Diego starting in the mid $200’s per month. Homebuyers are finding that at Aloft they can own their home, live in a vibrant urban environment and experience all of the financial benefits of owning instead of renting.
Aloft offers five distinct floor plans with beautifully furnished models, and an innovative lobby. Within the community there are one and two-story condominiums ranging from 575 to 1,175 square feet, including Aloft’s unique signature platform loft. Additionally there are one- and two-bedroom homes, some with private patios or view orientated balconies. The center of the Aloft community is highlighted by a resort-style lounge pool and spa with a cascading concrete water wall, lounging patio, private cabanas, beach area with outdoor fire pit and a fitness center with top-of-the-line equipment.
Interior amenities, such as state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and laminate wood flooring complement the stylish open architecture. For comfort and convenience, there is central air conditioning, stackable washer and dryer and CAT-5 wiring. Homeowners will also appreciate the secure parking in Aloft on Cortez Hill’s gated underground parking facility. With floor-to-ceiling windows, Aloft takes advantage of the building’s elevated location in one of San Diego’s most revered neighborhoods overlooking Downtown and Balboa Park. In keeping with the fabric and scale of the neighborhood, the building is a low-rise, five-story design that fits nicely into the neighborhood.
To learn more about Aloft on Cortez Hill, visit www.aloftoncortezhill.com or call (619) 239-2039, or visit the Aloft Sales Studio open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. located on 8th Avenue between Date and Cedar Streets.
January 20, 2009
if you may have heard, Century 21 Real Estate has decided to end all massively expensive television advertising efforts in a move to put many more dollars into online advertising. Online advertising consists of everything from banner advertising on strategic real estate related websites to search-engine marketing (SEM), search-engine optimization (SEO), and partnerships with real estate listing sites such as Trulia.com, Googlebase, and frontdoor.com.
Coming from a online advertisng perspective here at NewCondosOnline.com, this is going to be a great benefit for Century 21 brokers, agents and clients. 80 percent of all new homebuyers and investors use the internet to purchase new housing up to six months before they contact an agent, thus Online Media is a very powerful platform for anyone in the real estate industry.
December 30, 2008
Last year in January of 2008, New Condos Online forged a unique type of online branding partnership with Mexico Alive, based in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Initially, Mexico Alive came online to generate an awareness about their new projects in Puerto Vallarta. The goal was to create a presence online and drive interested parties to their website and promote their Discovery Weekends where the sales and information team spends 4 days showing the buyer around Puerto Vallarta; between the coastline cruise, the historic downtown tour, the new developments and hospitality from the staff, the experience is really something that created a big impression. I flew down to Mexico to learn more about the team and the operation that Mexico Alive is running and was happy to learn that even though the U.S real estate market is showing some age, the development process for Mexico Alive is in full swing and that can be attributed to how tight the Mexico Alive family is over there.
After visiting the team and learning about their mission statement, New Condos Online took the initiative and created a custom advertising campaign to suit the needs of their high expectations. Mexico Alive used every resource that we had to offer and used it to their full potnetial, monthly e-blasts helped generate a consistent interest to new potnetial clients and visitors for their Discovery Weekend. After a solid 8 month campaign, Mexico Alive has decided to move forward with taking things to the next step and utilizing our online capability even more. With the introduction of several new projects in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, 2009 will hold many new opportunities for Mexico Alive.
A few reasons why Mexico Alive has grown to offer new opportunities:
1) Experience: Comprised of some of the most experienced and talented people in the real estate business, Mexico Alive provides its partners and clients with the benefit s of this knowledge. This ensures that transactions are handled smoothly, the processes are clearly explained and that any questions can be answered quickly and correctly.
2) Quality: Mexico Alive is committed to working with development partners that offer an unparalleled commitment to quality in their projects. By only selecting properties developed by established and successful developers, Mexico Alive can assure its clients that they will receive a beautiful, first class home in a professional and timely manner. There is no need to worry about fly-by-night developers and sub par products when you work with Mexico Alive.
3) Distinction: Mexico Alive represents some of the most unique and prestigious properties available in Mexico. Available in a variety of price ranges to meet any budget and designed to meet the needs of a variety of lifestyles, by working with diverse developers, Mexico Alive is sure to have a property that is perfect for you.
4) Discovery Weekend: Mexico Alive’s Discovery Weekend the best fly-and-buy program available in Mexico. The Discovery Weekend seminars are led by top names in Mexico real estate, lending and health care, offering only the most accurate and clear information on the topics that are important to you. Mexico Alive presenters have been through the property buying procedures in Mexico and have firsthand knowledge in all aspects of home ownership.
September 24, 2008
If you’re somewhat cognizant of current events, you would know that some banks – rather large banks – have gone under and some more are on the verge of going under on Wall Street as well. And you may know that Washington may help bailout Wall Street with $700B. You’ve got to wonder how we have all this money? Where is it coming from to bailout Wall Street? I mean, we’re in the middle of this small little blunder in Iraq, Afganistan, and soon to be Iran which only costs us upwards of $9B/month. You know – a relatively small budget for us hardworking Americans. Now, because we’re already in the red and taxpayers are already paying for the government’s decision to invade parts of the Middle East, we’re going to be paying more out of our monthly paycheck because US real estate has taken the Buddy Holly plane. I don’t think taxpayers realize that this $700B will do nothing in the long-run to help out real estate prices. Condos, townhomes will still be going down for a while. Now I ask you, is it fair that the majority of Americans pay for the greed of Wall Street executives and hungry mortgage and real estate brokers? What kind of democracy do we live in? These banks were giving the thumbs up to loans to borrowers with no jobs and no credit. Did these banks think that there was no chance of default? Did these banks not learn anything from the stock bubble that burst recently? New condos have decreased in value all across the country and soon the world (the U.K. is soon to be feeling the pinches of a housing crisis). Americans will have to bear the brunt of this $700B over time and taxes will sure go up. If anyone tells you they can lower taxes, you better wake up. People who believe this are in for a treat when they are slapped with 45 – 50% of their monthly paycheck going to Uncle Sam. Just something to think about…
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!
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.
March 10, 2008
We still can’t be sure who will win the upcoming election not to mention what will happen with Obama and Clinton. At the end of the day, who will be the real winner? We hope to say that the US Dollar will come out on top!
Many economists are predicting a positive upward bounce for the dollar (post-election) which will be great for the United States and our global economy. It also means that real estate investments and condo investments may have a short-lived window of opportunity…for the buyer. The Fed will be lowering rates AGAIN and the real estate bargains and distressed real estate opportunities may not last at the low current low prices. I personally think there will be great condo investments throughout the rest of 2008 and that we are not quite at the “bottom” yet.
From the perspective of international condo buyers and investors, the idea of buying up distressed real estate and foreclosed homes and condos might seem a bit harsh. On the other hand, it is safe to say that throughout this year, foreign investors will not find better deals on condos and homes for years to come, if ever again. The combination of the housing recession and the weak dollar give foreign buyers and condo investors the perfect opportunity to strike. It is important for foreign investors to keep a close watch on the US housing market trends and communicate regularly with local agents to find the best deals.
It is not unusual to find investment condos all over the country for $100,000 to $300,000 off the market price. Builders still need to move this inventory and are willing to work with buyers to get these condos and homes sold.
The Mississippi Coast and Gulf Coast of Alabama are areas quickly becoming known around the world for having some of the best investment opportunities. Now designated as the post-Katrina Gulf Opportunity Zone or GO-Zone for short – there are literally hundreds of investment condos and homes being aggressively marketed to investors and buyers. The Go Zone offers great tax incentives to buyers and investors which only adds to the benefits already given by lower home prices and rates.
We are all frustrated by the current market conditions and hopefully we are all planning for the near-term and long-term future in order to come out of this in a positive light. The fact remains that even real estate developers are getting into the distressed real estate game and buying investment condos. Major builders have even started multi-billion dollar funds to buy condos and real estate in bulk…some of it being their own product no doubt. As odd as this seems, any opportunist will take advantage when the opportunity arises. I feel we are just entering this new land of opportunity and that we will see more ways to make money in this market for months to come.
March 2, 2008
I know we are all tired of the doom and gloom news about the market, house values, foreclosures, etc. Those of us in the real estate industry keep a close eye on the cyclical nature of the market, or at least we should. As much as we would all like to turn away from the pending doom, it is more realistic and responsible to face the news and really dig into the economic factors.
Foreclosures are at record highs and it is not getting any better any time soon. The Fed can only do so much and people tend to over value the positive result that rates cuts will have on the home and condo markets. Homes and condos will still sell throughout this year and current owners will still try to sell but not at the rate that they once could. When we talk “recession” we need to look at all factors facing the housing industry; and consumer spending overall has an affect. Also, all the talk about the baby boomer generation is just as relevant now as it was in the condo boom. Many sellers who have homes they want to downsize from are in no rush to unload their homes at the current values and will want to ride this out before moving. This will have an effect on the sale of new condos and homes.
Over the next year, baby boomers across the country will be retiring. And since about half of this generation’s wealth is in their home values, they will want to be unloading this inventory onto the market to liquidate their assets. This will affect the already saturated home and condo surplus.
February 28, 2008
Almost everyone knows by now that you have to be online to generate the most exposure for any business. It is of course no different for real estate. When builders, agents, or investors, are marketing their condos and homes to the masses, the most cost effective way to this is online. OK…so we have established this as pretty much fact. Now we have to dig into the true realities of online marketing for condos and homes.
The “internet” buyer or “Internet” lead MUST be treated differently that someone who walks into the sales office. Many people know this, but many still refuse to grasp this reality. NAR studies show over 80% of buyers use the Internet as their primary initial tool in searching for homes and condos, vacation condos, rentals, etc. And yes, this is now regardless of age or demographic…everyone is online. People spend months sometimes looking online.
Here is where agents fall short much of the time (I hope no one takes offense to this because this message is meant purely as an educational tool)…the “Internet” lead may not be ready to buy for months. That is OK! This is where the relationship must begin. If you are an agent and you receive an email from a possible buyer inquiring about your product, that is a good sign. Yes, there are a lot of “lookers” out there but most of those “lookers” eventually turn into buyers. The question is…are they going to buy a condo or home from you, or are you going to let them slip through your fingers and buy from someone else because you didn’t feel like taking the time to build the relationship?
So many agents out there consider an Internet lead “poor” or “unqualified” because they don’t purchase within a couple months. Who came up with this term “unqualified” anyway? It has no real meaning. People simply do not fill out their information online if they are not at least somewhat interested in buying. Experienced agents will take that “looker” and turn them into a willing and ready buyer…but I warn you, it might take some work. We are no longer in the days of buyers taking 2 days to decide. There are many other factors and market conditions weighing on their decisions. But when they do make a decision to buy new condos or homes, will you as the agent be there? Will you be the first person they call? That is solely up to the agent and a direct correlation with how much effort they put into making the sale
Now let’s get out there and make some sales!
February 14, 2008
More articles keep coming out from economists about how “the worst is yet to come”. The vets of the industry are usually more inclined to agree with the economists and the younger real estate professionals who have not weathered a long and severe real estate bust, are generally more inclined to try to stay positive. There is pessimistic, and then there is just plain realistic.
The last time we saw a big condo bust like this was in the late 70′s. People keep talking about when the market will correct and how long it will be at the bottom. The economists say the worst has yet to come and that things will stay bad through 2009. Well, maybe that is the case…the questions is…what do we do until that time. You don’t have to have 40 years in the business and gone through bankruptcy a few times to see when it is time to diversify and take precautions. Of course, all that experience helps but if we learn from historic trends and apply them to our business models now, much pain and financial loss can be avoided.
After the big bust in the 70′s new condos really just were not build for a long time. Of course there were a few condos and new developments across the country but no major wave of construction hit again until our latest condo boom from 2001 to 2005. I believe however that our city’s demographics have changed, home buyer’s needs have changed, and more vertical and high density living will remains a necessity. That is one difference and positive point to make about the activity we will see as the market recovers. I do think that we will not see many condo conversion developments for a long time. Communities that are rentals will stay rentals. Even investors purchasing condos and condo conversion communities want to see rent rolls and make sure those properties are generating an income. We are well beyond a simply buy and hold or “flip” scenario.
During real estate cycles we also see the development of cyclical business models. During the boom of pre-construction condos investing, we saw new companies trying to capitalize in the “flip” model and many made good money doing it. In turn, they also contributed too many of the problems we are now facing. Now, with the down turn, we are seeing vulture funds and investment clubs come out of the wood work to make fast money of the aftermath of the bust. More cyclical business models that will make money but not last. Does this mean they should not be done, or that these models are in some way evil? Not necessarily. The bottom line is that people are going to do it anyway. It will be interesting to see how these vulture funds and investment clubs perform as they soak up units and distressed condos all over the country. There is a right way and wrong way to do this of course and the problems come when the industry becomes flooded with money hungry people who have no clue what they are doing or how it will affect the long term market. Most don’t care. We’ll see what happens.