As daily commutes go, I have nothing to complain about when I point my car toward Sovereign HQ each morning. The traffic congestion on Interstate 95, South Florida’s main artery, is horrendous. So I take the scenic route, the coastal beach road known as A1A.
The views of the Atlantic Ocean are nice. But more recently, I enjoy the drive for a different reason. It’s a ringside seat to the extravagance of the now-deflating luxury housing bubble I warned about three months ago. Recent data point more ominously to a serious problem in this sector.
Each day, my drive on A1A takes me past what is the single most expensive new home for sale in the United States: Le Palais Royal, under construction for the last five years.
Situated on 4.4 acres of beachfront, the “spec mansion” features the Atlantic Ocean as its backyard. The front yard is a nearly 500-foot deep-water expanse of the Intracoastal Waterway – perfect for even the largest private super yacht.
The mansion’s soaring front gates, accented in 22-karat gold leaf, make it sort of hard to miss as you drive by. Just beyond the gates is a 60,000 square foot home with 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, an 18-seat IMAX home theater (with its 50-foot-wide screen), and a 30-car subterranean garage. The building plans call for a second phase on the vacant beachfront lot next door. That’s where the ice-skating rink, go-cart track, bowling alley and private nightclub are supposed to go.
And it can all be yours for just $159 million.
But the tide of money fueling the purchase of luxury homes, big or small, is receding as we speak.
Luxury Homes: The Next Real Estate Collapse?
Largely ignored in the holiday rush was the news that luxury home prices fell 2.2% during the third quarter – the first such decline in nearly four years.
According to the Redfin real estate brokerage, wealthy clients are stepping back out of fear from stock market volatility, and are worrying about tying up too much of their wealth in non-liquid assets, especially if another real estate collapse appears.
The decline is even more notable because luxury homes serve as something of a bellwether for the rest of the “non-lux” real estate market (which still rose just under 4% for the same period).
The original housing-bubble stocks of a decade ago might offer a clue on the timing. Shares of Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL), the nation’s largest builder of luxury homes, peaked in July of 2005 before starting their precipitous decline. But the stock prices of builders focused on the low- and mid-priced ends of the market stayed strong – at least at first. For instance, the shares of Lennar Brothers (NYSE: LEN), one of the biggest homebuilders in the country, didn’t crack until April of 2006.
Interestingly, Toll Brothers’ shares today are down nearly 25% from their post-recovery highs (to the lowest price in 13 months), while Lennar shares are just starting to break down.
Chinese buyers have been key players in the run-up of America’s luxury home prices. And their influence is felt most strongly in California and the San Francisco Bay area, the hottest of America’s real estate markets this go-round.
Not coincidentally, it appears Chinese buyers may now be pulling back there as well, possibly ushering in the next real estate collapse. Home sales in California fell 20.5% in November – more than twice the monthly average (it’s traditionally a weak month prior to the end of year holidays). October’s home sales also fell a little over 5%, while dropping 1.5% in September.
For now, the real estate community appears to be dismissing the collapse of sales as the result of changes in new loan disclosure rules by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and what is usually a softer seasonal period for home sales anyway.
I don’t blame them. As a media consultant once told me back in my reporting days, “Never let too many facts get in the way of a good story.”
But the “Chinese buyers” real estate gravy train is grinding to a halt fast. Last summer’s 40% decline in the Shanghai Composite Index should have been the first clue. The second was the relentlessly positive “it’s just temporary” narrative spun by so many brokers and property developers who don’t want the ride to end. The third clue may be upon us here at the start of 2016 as the Shanghai index lurches lower yet again.
So what’s it all mean to you?
As Jeff Opdyke has warned, don’t get comfortable with the Federal Reserve’s spin on things. As Chinese buyers retreat from American real estate, it kicks out yet another leg of support for the U.S. economy.
People generally get confused with the term real state and real estate Business. Real estate itself is not related to business as it represents a property of land and building that too, including the natural sources, such as flora, fauna, crops, parks, pools etc. that are immovable and lies in the property’s premises. Whereas real estate business is the profession of selling, buying or renting these properties.
Real Estate Agents
It’s a tough task to match the needs of buyer and property sellers, as buyer may not get his dream property and at the same time the seller also may not get the price of his wish. To establish a good connection between buyer and seller and to find the right buyer for a seller and vice versa, Real Estate Agents can be hired that are easily available in the market. Real estate brokers or agents are the ones, who acts as an intermediate between property buyer and seller and tries his level best to match their demands. Buyers for buying and property owner for renting or selling their property get in contact with the agent. The agent listens to their demands and try hard to fulfill them, for a property sold or rented in his supervision, the agent charges some percent of the price of that property from both the parties, i.e. the owner and the buyer. Agents use websites to promote the sale of properties, often work at nights and weekends busy in showing properties to buyers.
Things you should know about Real Estate Agents
Although agents are such a bliss to those who are struggling to get a property or a price of their interest, but we have to be wise when it comes to choosing an agent. Agents are not bound to show you best properties or tell you all the things they know, they might get greedy sometime and show you properties that are going to profit them more than you. On the other hand, for property owners they might end up, leaving you with paying guest that can trouble you in future, in fact, as the general goal of an agent is to sell the property as soon as possible, they may excite you and ask you to sell your property at comparatively lower prices than that you expected, and would be getting after some days. It’s better recommended to choose your agent and the other party to buy or sell wisely, after taking your time, and not to get excited on every other offer you get.
New Real Estate Business Mediums in market
Now-a-days many online sites and applications have been developed to remove the work of agents. Both the parties contact with each other directly and choose the deals of their interest. Though, this move has increased the transparency between both the parties, but because of being fully online, may result in misleading each other. That’s why it is highly recommended to see the property in person before booking it. As the thing that seems to be good and satisfying online can be completely opposite from that what you will be getting in real.
Want to invest in real estate with no financial risk and no money or credit? Wholesaling houses is a popular choice. I personally think wholesaling can be a challenging way to get started, but the fact that you can get started in real estate investing without any barrier of entry makes wholesaling an attractive option. If you can get good at this side of the business, you will be success with anything you want to do. The reason I say that is finding deals is what makes a wholesaler successful. If you can get good at finding deals, you have unlimited potential.
Once you find a deal, you need to understand how to sell it to make your profit. Here are four ways you can structure your wholesale properties.
Contract Assignment: This is the easiest, but comes with some risks if not done correctly. It is also somewhat restrictive as bank owned properties will prevent this. This works well when you negotiate your deals directly with the seller. The way this works is you will get a house under contract and then you will assign your rights in the contract to another buyer for a fee. That new buyer will take on the rights and responsibilities in the contract and will close in your place. It is best to get your fee paid up front, but it is very common to get your fee when your buyer buys the house. Here are a few things to keep in mind when assigning contracts.
Be sure that you always disclose to your seller that you are or may assign the agreement to another buyer for a fee. I suggest you actually put this in the contract. Sellers should be OK with this if you are transparent that you are an investor who buys houses for a profit before you start to negotiate.
I would get money from your money that is at least enough to cover any earnest money you put up with your seller. That way if your buyer defaults on the agreement you at least cover your costs. Always try to get the entire fee paid when you assign the contract.
I like this way the best because it is easy to do on your end, it is easy for the buyer and the buyer’s lender, and it is the cheapest way to go.
Double Close: This just means that you actually buy the house and then resell it. There are several ways to do this, but the most common is to buy and sell in the same day or within a day. Typically, you will need to bring in financing to get your closing done with the seller, which is why this is my least preferred method to wholesale. Also, because you have two closings you will have two sets of closing costs, so it is the most expensive way too. With that said, some wholesalers prefer this method because they do not have to disclose to the seller their intent to resell and they can both keep their deal with the seller and their deal with their buyer private. It is believed by some that this is a good way to protect your profits. The information will all become public record at some point, but that is well after the closing.
This is the method you will use by default if you do not do your contract on the front end correctly, so we do see double closing frequently.
Flip the Entity: This has become the most common way to wholesale in my market. Most, if not all, the successful wholesalers will use this strategy. Especially when wholesaling foreclosures where contract assignments are forbidden.
The way this works is the wholesaler will set up a separate entity, like an LLC or a Trust, and put that entity as the buyer of the house to be wholesaled. They will then sell the entity itself for a fee. The benefit with using this strategy is that actual contract on the house does not change. Since the buyer of the house is the entity, there are no issues with any regulation or assignment restrictions. The downside is it could be more work because of the extra step to set up the entity, and there could be additional fees to register the entity with the state. The risk for the buyer is whenever you buy a company you are buying all of it. So, if the entity was used in another transaction and owes money to anyone, the new buyer could be on the hook. Knowing this, the best way to do this transaction is with a brand-new entity used for this one purpose.
Relationship Close: I don’t know if there is an actual name for this method. In fact, it is rarely seen. What I mean by relationship close is that you have such a strong relationship with a buyer that you write offers in the buyer’s name. For this to work, you should be a licensed agent and preview houses for your buyer. You would need to understand their criteria and only offer on houses they will want to buy. I have a client that works this way. He has an agent write his offers and the agent/wholesaler gets paid a commission with each successful closing. They do 2 to 3 deals a month with this strategy. My client just signs contracts without looking at them at this point and trusts what the wholesaler is putting together solid offers. There is always an inspection clause protecting the buyer and the agent, but more than 9 out of 10 houses that go under contract close. That is because the agent/wholesaler knows the business and knows what this buyer will buy.
Make your fortune in real estate. It is not that hard once you get the hang of it. Real estate flipping can be an extremely high paying career, but I see way too many people give up on it. The turnover in this industry is exceptionally high. I noticed the high turnover early on and have watched to learn why some people kill it while others disappear. This has been important to monitor to help myself and my clients last in this amazing business.
I have been in the real estate field for the last 16 years and my hard money lending company finances around 150 deals a year. Here is what that experience has taught me about being a successful fix and flipper.
Mindset: This is where it all starts. For the last 3 years, I have felt myself fall into a little lull and have realized that this occurred because of my mindset. Your mindset could be a lot of things, but the basic concept is that what you believe will happen… does. Sometimes just convincing your mind that you will hit a goal takes work. Not to mention the work that it takes to actually hit that goal.
Focusing your mind on positivity is a great start, but you really need to believe you deserve the success you desire. Meditation and affirmations are fantastic ways to accomplish this.
Hustle: Nothing is going to be given to you. When I was going through my struggles to hit some financial goals, I had to keep reminding myself of this. Times can get hard and things can feel unfair, but the reality is, no matter how much you don’t want to believe it, you are the only one responsible for your success. I would tell myself this over and over. “If I want it, I need to earn it” I had to get up in the morning. I had to deal with the problem on my plate. I had to stay up late or work on the weekend. I had to put in the work to get the results. Because I decided to be successful, I decided to work hard.
Network: As we have learned. It is not what you know, it is who you know. I constantly try to team up with people smarter than me, that can both help me learn and help me get results. This has resulted in millions in profits. I also feel very lucky to have a network that can solve just about any problem I run into. If I am rehabbing a house and run into a problem, I have a list of people I can call for help. If they don’t know how to help they will know someone who does. I lean on my attorneys, my CPA, partners, wholesalers, and other professionals on a regular basis.
Education: To make my top five list you know I believe this is important in your success. Constant improvement is essential and the exciting thing about this, especially early in your career, is that growth is exponential. As you learn and implement ideas into your business, your business grows at a faster and faster pace. Obviously, for this to work you will need to learn AND implement. Many people learn all about investing and never invest. That comes down to the investor mindset. That’s why, I believe, you need all five of these essential keys to be a great fix and flipper. The good thing is this is possible for everyone, including you.
Access to Money: So, this one might be self-servicing because I am a lender, and this could fall within the Network category but let’s face it, if you don’t have money you don’t do deals. Money can come from many sources including cash you have in the bank, money you borrower from institutions, partners, private and hard money loans. Many times, you will need a combination of these sources to get a deal done or to maximize profits. This can all be learned as part of your education or you can choose to work with a professional that can advise you on the best way to navigate this complicated subject.
China responded firmly to the US tariffs, releasing its own list of retaliation tariffs, also worth approximately USD 50 billion. President Trump responded to China’s retaliation by threatening to impose tariffs on a further USD 200 billion of Chinese imports. China in turn threatened to retaliate “forcefully” with “strong countermeasures”. Real estate Investors’ hopes that the US administration’s threats were part of a negotiating strategy that would eventually lead to a deal are now fading, and the risks are rising that the current tit-for-tat game between the US and China might spiral into a full-blown trade war.
This development has its risk. Higher and rising tariffs often mean higher import prices, leading to higher consumer prices. This reduces domestic demand by slowing consumption growth and demand for foreign goods, in turn, depressing the real estate markets. Lower demand implies a deceleration in corporate earnings growth, resulting in a reevaluating of the real estate prices. Furthermore, firms start to adjust and may stop future investment projects. The probability that this may materialize has increased significantly over recent weeks.
With rising uncertainty about the future economic outlook, and hence future corporate earnings, we are reducing our allocation to real estate investments, as the world economy remains able to cope with the current impact of these tariffs on global trade and global economic growth.
As a ballpark estimate, every USD 100 billion of imports affected equates to approximately 0.5% of global trade and accounts for 0.1% of global GDP. With USD 230 billion of US and Chinese imports currently affected, global trade may fall about 1 percentage point short and reduce global GDP growth by around 0.25 percentage points. In addition, a negotiated settlement between the US and China is still on the table and cannot be ruled out. However, trade tensions may have to get worse before they get better: ending the “war” might require evidence that trade actions and rhetoric have costs, i.e. evidence of pain in the markets and the economy, before the two sides are incentivized to change tactics. It therefore appears wise and prudent to reduce risks.
Some of the drags are likely to be temporary, such as the payback from unusually fast growth in the second half of 2017, when the economy in the US economy rose by more than 3%. The adverse weather impacts across the US have taken their temporary toll on economic momentum, but should spur economic growth in the second quarter due to strong pent-up demand.
While the positive effects of the US tax reform should ramp up over the course of this year, clouded business sentiment should prevail due to trade tensions which may prove hard to resolve as well as some tightening in financial conditions.
We have started to see the effects of this trade “War”. The U.S. apartment market’s performance stumbled during the first quarter of 2018. Occupancy backtracked to 94.5 percent in March, down from 95 percent a year earlier, according to real estate technology and analytics firm RealPage, Inc. Annual rent growth cooled to 2.3 percent, the slowest pace of increase since the third quarter of 2010.
“While some loss of apartment market performance momentum is normal when cold weather in much of the country discourages household mobility, the occupancy downturn in early 2018 is pronounced,” said RealPage chief economist Greg Willett. “With so much new supply coming on stream, even a short period of sluggish demand can do some real damage. It’s difficult to maintain pricing power in such a competitive leasing environment.”
Many of us, consider, whether purchasing a multi – family, rental property, is a good fit, in terms of being, a component of one’s investment strategy, and process. Like anything else, a wise consumer researches, and becomes familiar with the possible, pluses, and minuses, and whether it, is for them. It is important to understand, and evaluate, the best, buying – opportunities, whether it should be sold, or if renting, is the best strategy. Should one purchase a new property, or an existing one? With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, examine, and review, when, and, if, someone should buy, and whether it is the best time to sell, and/ or, if renting, might be the best strategy and approach.
1. Before you buy: There are many considerations, before you should purchase, a multi – family, rental property. Are you going to live in one of the units, or rent the entire property? If you live there, your mortgage interest rate, will be lower, because it will be considered, an owner – occupied property, but, you also, will receive less revenue from rentals. Those doing so, often, look at this, as a way, to use rental revenues, to significantly, reduce one’s own, housing costs. If you are looking at this, as an investment, then, your mortgage interest rate, will be slightly higher, your down – payment, a little more, and you might have to justify the viability of the purchase, based on rentals. A formula, I suggest, is receiving a 6% return, and a positive cash flow. This means, if the property costs $500,000, you must have a rent – roll of a net of $30,000 per year, after deducting real estate taxes, and owner/ landlord paid utilities, and basic maintenance. Therefore, if taxes were $10,000 and anticipated utilities and basic maintenance were an additional $5,000, then you must collect, at least $45,000 per year, in rents. Do this calculation, based on 10 months rents, in order to prepare for potential vacancies, etc. In addition, calculate the rents, and compare them, to your expenses, and proceed, only if this is a positive cash flow, and the 6% return, is achieved.
2. Selling: Is owning the best idea, for you? Are you prepared for the unanticipated expenses, and will you commit to putting aside, a reserve fund, for maintenance, repairs, and renovations? Is the real estate market, the right one, now, to get the best results, from a sale? Consider competition, the local market, mortgage interest rates, and how much, you feel, you need, from any transaction.
3. Renting: Ensure you do, a quality, legal, enforceable, screening process, and seek the finest tenants. There is no guarantee, but pricing correctly, to ensure, you are not the most expensive, often, creates the best opportunities. You must also, either, have the abilities, to do, lots of the repairs, etc, or have qualified service technicians, to prepare for the possibilities, and obstacles.