The end of the year is rapidly approaching, and with it, the desire to look ahead to 2015 and think about how to improve your financial outlook in the coming year. Choosing the right investments can have a huge impact on your future, and on your ability to retire. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of two very different investment options: mutual funds, and real estate.
For investors who have a low tolerance for risk, mutual funds can be an attractive investment option. They are more stable than the stock market and tend to yield a consistent return. Of course, investing in such a low-risk option does have its downside.
The arguments for investing money in mutual funds are:
- Mutual funds are a low-risk investment option. It’s important for every investor to assess her ability
… Read the rest
The real estate market will continue to rebound through 2015. This is good news for those investing in commercial real estate in particular.
Every year an Emerging Trends report is issued by PriceWaterhouse Coopers and the Urban land Institute. They poll over 1,000 industry leaders in the real estate market across the country. The results indicate the best cities for investment, development, and home building in the coming year.
Houston, Texas looks to be the best real estate market in 2015. It came out first in both development and investment opportunities. Austin, TX finished first in the homebuilding ranking, but was 2nd in investment and 4th in development, giving it second place overall.
In fact, Texas is a good place for real estate. Houston, Austin, and Dallas/Fort Worth all finished in the top in all three categories and in are … Read the rest
Individuals who are looking for a nice home in a nice neighborhood are very familiar with the change in the landscape of American real estate. Developers are now investing massive quantities of money into properties that are high-end, luxury homes. If you’re a middle-class individual looking for a new home in a good part of town, then you’ll likely end up walking through several homes that are parts of a development. And if your price tag is in the upper six to seven figures, then you’ll find that the most incredible developments are ready to handle your needs. In this article, take a look at the most expensive real estate developments in the country.
Luxury Penthouses in New York City
Ads in the New York Times Magazine continuously boast about the most expensive real estate developments in Manhattan. It’s now … Read the rest
If you’re like most Americans, chances are you are well-educated with the in’s and out’s of home mortgages, but have you ever heard of a reverse mortgage? These are becoming quite a popular option for the over 65, senior citizen crowd. Is a reverse mortgage a good option for you? Or is it more risk than you are willing to take on in such a critical stage of your life? Read on for a look at everything you need to know about reverse mortgages and see if it is right for you.
What is a Reverse Mortgage?
A reverse mortgage is a feasible option to citizens age 62 and older who own their homes. A reverse mortgage can be used to finance a home repair and allows you to convert your home equity into monthly income. While a standard mortgage … Read the rest
There is a difference between being a good real estate agent or broker and being able to pass a test. Tests for real estate licenses are not unlike tests for other certifications or licenses. The objective is not to assess how good you are at your job, just that you have the basic understanding necessary to be successful. Chances are that, at entry level, you will have other brokers or mentors to help you hone your skills and learn the fine points of the job once you have one.
You will spend years gaining knowledge and building expertise. Your focus right now should be on figuring out what questions you are likely to be asked and knowing their answers. It may seem a simplistic way of looking at it, but even a road test doesn’t prove you are a good … Read the rest
Choosing a place to live is arguably the most important decision you will ever make. In addition to being convenient for your lifestyle, you have to make sure the neighborhood is safe and relatively free of drug activity. While there is no such thing as a safe bet for avoiding a drug infested neighborhood, there are lots of signs and cues to look for when choosing at home.
Location, Location, Location
Generally speaking, neighborhoods located near emergency services and affluent areas have relatively few problems with drug related crime. Neighborhoods that have strong community watch programs are also less prone to drug crime.
Another clue that you have found a safe neighborhood is that it is filled with clean, orderly, and well-maintained homes. This is usually an indicator of homeowners to take pride in their neighborhood and their home – … Read the rest
In today’s downtrodden economy, too many people have lost their homes. That is why it comes with a sense of relief when you review data from 2013 that show that foreclosures actually fell in 2013. While the economy still isn’t at the point it was prior to the 2008 “Great Recession” it has certainly made significant strides in improvement. Read on for a look at how the U.S. housing market stayed on top last year, and how significantly foreclosures fell in 2013.
Foreclosures Dropped to Pre-Housing Bust Levels
According to an article published by CNN, foreclosures in the United States fell to pre-housing bust levels. This is huge news since the country has struggled and fought to earn back stable ground. The record high for foreclosures occurred in September of 2010, when over 100,000 homes were foreclosed upon. In June … Read the rest
Winter is almost here and for many that can mean long, cold months stuck indoors. Instead of counting down the days until the snow melts and warmer weather returns you can make the most of this time by completing some winter home renovation projects. Just about any interior project can be completed during the winter but here are some ideas to get you started.
Freshen up any room in your house quickly and easily with a new coat of paint. Darker colors are ideal for large rooms as they will make your room warmer and cozier. Smaller rooms appear larger with lighter colors. Crown molding, trim work, or an accent wall is a great way to give your room a more finished and dramatic affect.
Focus on renovating one room, like the kitchen or bathroom. You can update and personalize … Read the rest
There haven’t been many positive aspects of the recent recession—unemployment reaching record highs, many struggling to make ends meet, limited job prospects—and one of the hardest hit industries has been real estate. But there have been some unintended blessings. For those interested in flipping houses, now is the ideal time to get started since house prices are still low but the market is beginning to pick up.
The key to flipping houses is, of course, making a profit. Being able to purchase a property, renovate it, and then resell it and end up on the plus side is what makes it all worthwhile. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple to accomplish.
The amount to time, money and effort that goes into flipping a house depends largely on each individual house. With so many houses in foreclosure or short sale there … Read the rest
New York has taken steps to stop 35 online lenders from making loans to its residents. The Financial Services office directed lenders to stop offering loans and called on over 110 banks to help “choke off” access by those lenders to the automated clearing house system that processes loan payments.
The order failed to differentiate between a regular lender and a tribal lending entity. By including the latter in the order, New York banking officials are interfering with the legal activities of Native American tribes. These tribes have several hundred years of tribal sovereignty that makes them immune to the enforcement actions of individual states.
Following receipt of the order, the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) issued a cease and desist order to the New York Superintendent of Financial Services. In the letter NAFSA Executive Director Barry Brandon called … Read the rest