Florence’s first wave has potential to cause $5 billion in property damage

An estimated 250,000 homes in North Carolina will likely be affected, with the bulk of the damage in that state. Across both states, Florence could cause $ 3 billion to $ 5 billion in insured property losses from wind and storm surge, according to CoreLogic.
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5 Ways to Invest in Real Estate Without Ever Buying Property

When it comes to wealth building, there’s probably no more trusted bet than to invest in real estate. According to Forbes, 10% of the top fortunes in America have been built in real estate.

In fact, not investing in real estate is the main cause behind the “American wealth gap.” Which basically means that by 2053, the median black value will drop to $ 0. (Meanwhile, white household wealth is projected to climb to $ 137,000 by 2053.) Granted, major deals require large degrees of startup capital; others lots of know-how. Contrary to popular belief, you can still start accumulating wealth in real estate—even without ever buying or managing a property yourself. Here are five ways to do it.

5 Ways to Invest in Real Estate Without a Property Purchase 


REITs (short for Real Estate Investment Trusts) are publicly traded companies that own, operate, and develop real estate. By buying REITs, you get direct access to institutional-level real estate.

One of the more popular examples is Empire Realty Trust, which owns the Empire State Building. Trading at $ 17.26, you can actually own a piece of their portfolio.

They’re not the only one, though. A number of New York REITs own a number of Manhattan high rises–here’s another example.

In addition, REITs are liquid securities, meaning you can sell in and out any given day—something you couldn’t do if you were to own the property outright.

Popular REITs:

  • SL Green [SLG]
  • Vornado [VNO]
  • Empire Realty Trust [ESRT]

Real Estate Crowdfunding

Real estate crowdfunding is a relatively new way to invest in real estate. Back in 2014, Washington, D.C.-based firm Fundrise made headlines with their pitch for private investors to own a piece of the World Trade Center for $ 5,000 through crowdfunding.

Since then, crowdfunding has become an avenue for investors to gain ownership. The Tulsa Real Estate Fund recently became the first black-owned real estate crowdfund, raising nearly $ 10 million in one week.

The benefits of crowdfunding are similar to REITs—you buy a piece of a larger portfolio and as it grows, so does your share.

Popular crowdfunding sites:

  • Fundrise.com
  • Realtymogul.com
  • Realtyshares.com

Tax Liens

Investing in tax liens isn’t exactly the most popular method, but it’s another avenue for investors to pocket high yields. According to CNBC, around $ 14 billion in property taxes go unpaid each year. About a third of this is then sold off to private investors.

For an investor, it basically works like this: When a property has unpaid taxes, a lien is issued. From there, a tax lien certificate is created by the municipality that reflects the amount owed, plus interest and penalties.

These certificates are then auctioned off. The investor who is willing to accept the lowest rate of interest or pay the highest premium will be awarded the lien. (Auctions vary from state to state. Here’s some info on how it goes down in New York.)

Real Estate Mutual Funds

Mutual funds, like REITs, are publicly traded companies. And they both give you similar access to the asset. The difference between them, however, is the way they function.

REITs own properties and sell a share of the portfolio. All well and good. Mutual funds own shares of multiple stocks, offering access to a pool of different REITs. (Check out the anatomy of a mutual fund here.)

Sounds confusing? It’s not, really. By owning a piece of one REIT, you own a piece of one portfolio that owns multiple properties. By owning a piece of a mutual fund, you now own a piece of multiple REITs.


ETFs—exchange-traded funds—are similar to mutual funds in the sense that both vehicles bundle stocks and bonds together in a nice package.

The idea here, like the mutual funds, is to create diversified portfolios for investors to park their money. How does this relate to real estate? Simple. There are ETFs that track the REITs, which gives you similar exposure as the mutual funds.

A REIT ETF invests in several property-owning real estate companies at once, and of course, this diversification further mitigates an investor’s exposure (whereas the individual buying a property is betting on just that one property).

There are a few differences between mutual funds and ETFs, however—mostly tax-related. (Which I won’t get into now, but you can read about here.)

Popular real estate ETFs:

  • iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF [IYR]
  • Schwab U.S. REIT ETF [SCHH]
  • Vanguard Real Estate ETF [VNQ]



The post 5 Ways to Invest in Real Estate Without Ever Buying Property appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise


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A focus on ‘affordable quality’ has helped amid housing market slowdown, says property company CEO

Mark Steinert, CEO of Australian property company Stockland, says the company has been largely insulated from the slowing down of the housing market in Australia.
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NM Property Owner Describes Compound as ‘a Mess’

Associated Press


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Using Your Rental Property to Host on Airbnb

Airbnb rentals are the latest trend in the accommodation market, offering a homier experience for a more competitive price than hotels. Many people also enjoy the authentic immersion into a city’s culture by residing among locals rather than with other tourists in a 5-star hotel or resort.

With Airbnb’s rise in popularity, many people have turned to hosting on Airbnb (renting out their residences) for extra income. If you’re a tenant and you’re thinking about becoming an Airbnb host, take a moment to consider some of the logistic and legal implications before diving in and listing your rental.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to get your landlord’s approval to list your property as well as some legal and contractual requirements relating to Airbnb rentals.

How to Get Your Landlord to Approve an Airbnb in Your Rental

According to Airbnb, many of their rentals are properties that are being leased by the hosts, so the rental agreement is similar to a typical subletting arrangement. In these cases, the host is the tenant on the lease and the guest booking the Airbnb is the subtenant.

Just like with a typical sublet arrangement, it’s a good idea for tenants to get permission from their landlord before listing their property as a potential Airbnb rental.

Hosting an Airbnb, similar to many other short-term rental agreements, can be risky for a landlord because they’ll be renting to someone they haven’t personally vetted. And with a higher turnover of renters moving in and out of an Airbnb, there can be a higher risk of property damage. Airbnb is not immune to troublesome renters causing disturbances and damage.

With those potential pain-points in mind, you can understand why some landlords are a little apprehensive when it comes to allowing their tenants to turn their property into an Airbnb. If you have your heart set on using your rental as an Airbnb, the best course of action is to have a thoughtful discussion with your landlord. But keep in mind, the final call is up to the person who owns the property.

If your landlord says no to you listing your rental on Airbnb, it’s not recommended that you do it behind your landlord’s back. If you’re required to get permission before subleasing and your landlord catches you doing it without their go-ahead, you could face eviction for violating your Lease Agreement.

A Legal Implication for Hosting an Airbnb Rental

Something you should keep in mind is that many municipalities have strict regulations on short-term rentals, and in some cities, short-term rentals altogether are illegal.

For instance, the city of San Francisco has imposed some of the strictest regulations to discourage people from hosting on Airbnb because of the decrease in vacancies and skyrocketing rent prices. In San Francisco, only full-time residents can host an Airbnb; a full-time resident, in this case, refers to someone who is renting out the home they also live in. The duration of the rental is also capped at 90 days, and all hosts must register with the city.

Before using your property as an Airbnb, you should check the regulations on short-term rentals in your municipality. The last thing you want is to get caught by authorities and fined.

Can Hosts Make Guests Sign a Rental Contract?

According to the Airbnb FAQ, hosts can require that guests sign a rental contract before allowing them to stay in the property. However, the hosts are required to inform guests prior to booking that they will have to sign a contract. The hosts are expected to disclose the terms of their agreement directly in their listing on the Airbnb website.

Airbnb also notes that they can’t help enforce any of the terms in your contract as the terms will only be binding on the hosts(s) and the guest(s).

If you are considering using a contract to set up some terms for your property, you might want to look at a Sublease Agreement to get an idea of the typical terms in a short-term rental.

Sublet terms usually address:

  • The sublease period (start and end date)
  • Which part of the premises is being sublet (a room, an apartment, one floor of a house, a whole house, etc.)
  • The cost of the rental

Things like renters’ insurance and move-in/move-out inspections are also addressed in sublease agreements, but they are not common in an Airbnb rental. Hosts have the option to add security deposits, but it should be noted that security deposits and damage claims are matters dealt with by Airbnb rather than between guests and hosts.

Preparing to Host on Airbnb

Being an Airbnb host requires some thought and planning; it’s not a situation where you should just hit the ground running.

Discuss how subletting or short-term rentals work with your landlord, do some research into your city’s regulations on short-term rentals, and (if all goes well) think about using a sublease contract with the guests you host in your rental.

The post Using Your Rental Property to Host on Airbnb appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

LawDepot Blog


Central London property is attracting new buyers from Asia: Northacre

Asian demand for high-end central London property is coming from second-tier cities in China and countries such as Thailand too, says Niccolo Barattieri di San Pietro of Northacre.
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Gurney’s Resorts buys another property in Montauk

Gurney’s Resorts has expanded its footprint in the Hamptons, with the purchase on Wednesday of the Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina, making Gurney’s the biggest hotelier on the East End, with three properties in Montauk. George Filopoulos of Metrovest Equities and Lloyd Goldman of BLDG Management, owners of Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa,…
Business | New York Post


America’s Lowest Property Taxes Are in These 12 States

How much are you paying in property taxes? Depending on where you live, your property taxes may be modest, or they may actually be higher than your mortgage payment. If you’re feeling the property tax pinch, maybe it’s time to seek a little tax relief by moving to a less costly region. Check out some cheaper options by browsing our list of the 12 states with the lowest effective property tax rate.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert


3 Types of Digital Property You Can Sell

Selling unwanted items can be a great way to gain some extra income. Generally, when we think of things to sell we focus on physical items, but what about our digital property? Digital assets can either be something that you create like a photograph, ebook, or a digital artpiece (like a drawing or painting), or they can be things you have purchased like cryptocurrency (such as bitcoin) or video games.

These days, more and more of our assets are digital, and the content we store on our computers or phones can take up valuable virtual space that we may need to use later. Rather than simply deleting your digital goods, you might be able to sell them to someone else to enjoy.

This post will walk you through some of the digital property that you can sell and offers tips and best practices so you can sell with confidence.

1. Selling Digital Video Games, Characters, and Items

Generally, if you purchase a video game digitally by downloading it on your video game console or computer using a digital storefront (also known as a digital marketplace) such as Steam, the PlayStation Store, or Nintendo e-shop, it is tied to your account on that platform and can’t be sold.

There are some exceptions, but the companies that offer these digital marketplace services sell their products with the idea that you are paying for a digital license to play the content rather than owning the product directly.

However, there are still some ways to make money with your games.

For instance, you can sell various in-game items for cash, and some people have found success selling their old characters from games like World of Warcraft through third-party marketplaces (although this practice is generally frowned upon, as stated in the game’s terms of service).

A better practice is to sell in-game items for more of the game’s currency (such as at an in-game auction house or trading area) or even for currency on the game’s digital marketplace.

As an example, items from the game “Counterstrike: Global Offensive” can be sold on Steam for Steam Wallet credits (a virtual wallet with real-world currency used to purchase games).

2. Selling Photographs, Music, or ebooks

It’s much easier to sell digital copies of your own work, as opposed to assets that have been created by someone else (like a video game), since you own complete rights to the product.

You can choose to use a digital marketplace like Amazon or eBay, which come with the advantage of a large customer base and the convenience of having them do the heavy lifting for the transaction (like taking payment and handling refunds) without you needing to worry about it. Of course, these sites generally charge fees or take a portion of any profits as payment for using their services.

Alternatively, you can choose to make your own digital storefront website or keep track of transactions using forms like a Bill of Sale or Invoice Form so you can keep 100% of your earnings.

3. Selling Your Cryptocurrency

Perhaps the digital property with the highest return potential is cryptocurrency, also known as digital currency or virtual currency. Acquiring this currency can be relatively straightforward using software to mine it on your computer or phone, or by purchasing it directly, like from a Bitcoin ATM.

You can use virtual currency to purchase goods and services from anywhere that accepts it, online or otherwise. Virtual currency is advantageous because it isn’t regulated by a bank, so you don’t encounter things like exchange rates or taxes if you’re using it to purchase items worldwide.

You can also sell virtual currency to others, similar to how you would sell stocks or shares. This can be done in a variety of ways, including directly to another person or organization using a blockchain, or by using a digital marketplace like Coinbase or Bitstamp.

Also similar to stocks, the value of digital currency can fluctuate, so it does require a time investment to keep track of trends and to sell when the value is high.

Selling Virtual Property

Selling virtual property can be a lucrative way to make some extra cash on the side. With our increasing move from physical to digital content and entertainment, selling virtual property has become easier than ever before.

Would you try selling your virtual property? Let us know in the comments!



The post 3 Types of Digital Property You Can Sell appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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Who Pays for Repairs in a Rental Property?


Making repairs in a house or apartment can be expensive.

After calling the repair person to look at the issue, we’re sometimes left holding our breath until they’ve finished assessing the damage, hoping they don’t find another issue that makes the cost of the repair rise unexpectedly.

When you own the home, you have no choice but to pay the repair person for their time, even if the amount at the bottom of the service receipt is bigger than expected.

In a rental situation, however, it’s not always clear who pays for the repair of damages. At times, it could be the landlord’s responsibility, and other times, it could be the tenant’s.

In this post, find out who pays for repairs in a rental property, if a security deposit can be used to pay for damages, and how to make repair requests if you need to.

Do Renters Have to Pay for Repairs?

Determining who pays for repairs in a rental property (or if the repair even needs to be made) is not always easy. It can sometimes come down to what is damaged and how the damage occurred.

In most states, the landlord has an obligation to the tenant to ensure the unit is habitable by meeting minimum building and safety standards.

To meet these minimum standards, landlords have to take extra care to ensure there are no problems with:

  • Plumbing (e.g. a broken toilet or water leak)
  • Heating systems (e.g. a busted radiator)
  • Pests (e.g. bed bugs or cockroaches)
  • Electrical systems (e.g. a faulty or crossed electrical wire)
  • And more

So, if the item that needs repair affects the habitability of the unit, the landlord is required to fix it out of their pocket.

Moreover, if the item that requires repair (such as an appliance like a washing machine) is included in your Residential Lease Agreement as part of the unit, typically the landlord must fix it. The reason behind this is that you pay rent to live in the unit described in your agreement, which includes the use of certain appliances.

On the other hand, if the damage is cosmetic or otherwise doesn’t affect your ability to live on the premises, your landlord may not be required to fix it and might also not be required to pay for it. This could include minor drips from the sink, a notable stain on the carpet, or a small hole in the wall.

As the tenant, whether you pay for the repair really depends on if the damage was caused by you, other occupants, or any of your guests. If so, you may be responsible for the cost of repair.

Keep in mind, you have to advise your landlord of any damages that occur so they can make repairs before the situation worsens.

For example, if your washer leaves large puddles on the floor, you need to tell your landlord before the damage becomes severe.

Can My Security Deposit Be Used to Pay for Repairs?

If you’re the tenant, and the damage was made by you or your guests and is not considered ordinary wear and tear, then yes, your security deposit may be used to cover repair costs.

To clarify, a security deposit, sometimes called a damage deposit, is a sum of money (usually collected by your landlord at the start of your tenancy) that is used to cover the cost of any damages made by you or any of your visitors during your tenancy.

These damages are usually cosmetic and are assessed when you complete a Rental Inspection Report with your landlord when you move out.

In an inspection report, you and your landlord compare the state of the property when you moved in to when you move out, and you’re responsible for the cost to repair the damages found during inspection—except when it qualifies as ordinary wear and tear.

Ordinary wear and tear, sometimes called normal wear and tear, is damage made by normal activity that impacts the value of a unit.

For example, the paint on your apartment wall may fade during your tenancy, but because this is generally caused by sunlight exposure, it is likely considered ordinary wear and tear. This means, if the wall needs to be repainted for the next tenant, your landlord is responsible for the costs associated with the repair.

How to Make a Repair Request

If you have repairs that need to be made, the first step is to inform your landlord (or the property manager) in writing using a Repair Notice, which is a document you can use to notify them that something on the premises requires maintenance.

By law, after providing this notice, your landlord must respond to your request within a reasonable timeframe. For most states, this is 14 to 30 days after the notice was provided.

An exception is if the situation is an emergency, like major flooding, as it should be handled as soon as possible, hopefully before severe damage occurs.

In non-emergency situations, if your landlord doesn’t fix the issue after a reasonable amount of time, you may need to contact your local housing agency or file a claim for breach of contract.

It’s not recommended that you stop paying rent or deduct the repair costs from your payments as then you’ve also breached your Lease Agreement and could be evicted, regardless of your reason for withholding rent.

Handling Repair Issues in a Rental Property

It can be hard to know what a landlord can or cannot charge you for when it comes to damage. But, by reviewing your rights as a tenant when it comes to repair costs, deposits, repair requests, and other issues, you can minimize your chances of getting stuck in a bad rental situation.

What has been your experience with getting repairs handled in a rental unit? Let us know in the comments.

The post Who Pays for Repairs in a Rental Property? appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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Foreign investors are missing out on bargains in US property, real estate expert says

Foreign investors in U.S. property are missing out on the "real bargains" by overlooking second and third tier cities, says Dan Flanigan, a partner at Polsinelli.
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Fixer Upper? Beyoncé and Jay-Z Drop Nearly $1 Million to Renovate Their $88 Million Bel-Air Property

Beyonce and Jay-Z dropped $ 88 million on a beautiful Bel-Air estate over the summer — but $ 88 million isn’t enough to get The Carters exactly what they want.

So, like most people who aren’t happy with the state of their home, they’re reportedly undertaking a bit of a renovation project.

via TMZ:

The Carters have taken out 2 permits in the past month for work on their recently purchased Bel-Air property — one to install a backup generator and make a $ 30k alteration to the pad, and another to add a living area under the pools for around $ 750k.

Bey and Jay closed escrow on the mansion in August for $ 88 MILLION — a dream come truefor one new neighbor. But apparently $ 88 mil only gets you so much.

As we reported … the couple also went bicoastal last month by gobbling up a baller house in the Hamptons for a cool $ 26 million.

If you can’t buy what you want, then you make it what you want.

The post Fixer Upper? Beyoncé and Jay-Z Drop Nearly $ 1 Million to Renovate Their $ 88 Million Bel-Air Property appeared first on B. Scott | lovebscott.com.

B. Scott | lovebscott.com


Property Brothers Star Drew Scott Revealed as First Official Dancing With the Stars Celebrity Contestant for Season 25

Drew Scott, Dancing With the StarsAnd we have our first official ballroom competitor.
Property Brothers star Drew Scott was revealed as one of Dancing With the Stars’ celebrity contestants for the upcoming 25th season…

E! Online (US) – TV News


Lauren Conrad Selling L.A. Home for $4.5 Million While Retaining Laguna Beach Property

Lauren Conrad, Home, Real EstateIt looks like Lauren Conrad has had enough of L.A.
Conrad and her husband William Tell’s 4,300-square-foot, six-bedroom and five-bathroom home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of…

E! Online (US) – Top Stories


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Jonathan Scott Of ‘Property Brothers’ Opens Up About His First Marriage

“Property Brothers” star Jonathan Scott is opening up about his first marriage.

In People magazine’s April cover story (featuring his twin Drew as well, whom he stars on several HGTV shows with), the 38-year-old dished on his first marriage to an airline crew scheduler named Kelsey. The marriage, which took place in 2007, ended two years later because the two were young and rushed things, according to Scott.

“She wanted to get married on 07/07/07,” Scott said. “So it wasn’t something that naturally happened. 

Though the marriage ended, the “Property Brothers” star said he gained lot from the experience.

“I think that one of the biggest things I learned is that you can have two good people who are just not good for each other,” he said. “I’m glad that we found that out early. You know, we didn’t have kids or anything. And it really helped me understand what I wanted in a relationship.” 

These days, Scott told People he’s dating 28-year-old Jacinta Kuznetsov, a producer for his company Scott Brothers’ Entertainment.

Perfect, unexpected night on Miami Beach #peaceofmind

A post shared by Jonathan Scott (@mrsilverscott) on

Jonathan’s twin Drew is also off the market. The “Property Brothers” star proposed to his fiancee, Linda Phan, in December 2016 after more than five years of dating

Watch the video above to learn more from the Scotts’ People interview: 

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