Newlyweds: Here Are 5 Factors to Consider when Buying Your New Home

By Susanne Dwyer

Now that the wedding is over, you and your spouse are ready for the next exciting milestone: homeownership. There are so many factors you need to keep in mind and you want it to be a pleasant house-hunting experience. The following are just a few things you should take into account when you’re in the market for a new home.

Neighborhood
Marriage is a big transition and it may come with some adjustments to your lifestyle. Have a talk with your spouse and discuss your long-term goals, such as whether you want to start a family or move to a different location for job possibilities. You also should take into account the safety of the neighborhood, the school district in which you live and the amount of families that reside in the area. If you’re thinking about having kids in the near future, having great public schools nearby is important.

Required Space
Discuss what your expectations are for square footage and the general space you want within your home. Keep in mind the space you need for day-to-day activities, family gatherings and your future children. Create a list that helps you prioritize what kind of space is important to you as individuals and as a couple. For example, if you host a lot of parties, you may want to prioritize a large kitchen and living room. If one of you works from home or needs office space, put that on the top of your list.

Keep in mind that compromise is often necessary. Identify which spatial features are and aren’t deal-breakers. House Simple compares some of the things you may want to compromise on, such as the amount of space versus the location, and the fixable faults, like ugly hardware or kitchen countertops.

Bed and Bath Layout
The number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your home is another important factor you should discuss. Talk about whether or not you want your home to be able to lodge many bodies or if you would prefer to not have visitors. Just make sure you don’t go over your budget, because the number of rooms and bathrooms has a major influence on the asking price of the house. Decide if you really need that extra guest bedroom if it means sacrificing a large kitchen or the perfect location.

If you intend to add on an extra bedroom or bathroom in the future, check the county’s code and permit requirements and the potential cost of the addition. HomeAdvisor puts the cost of a total bathroom remodel at an average of $9,348. If this is less than what it would cost to buy a house with an extra bathroom, then it may be worth it to wait and build a bathroom that is to your exact specifications.

Hidden Expenses
When you determine your budget for your home, make sure you include any ongoing expenses the home has. Utilities are a major cost that vary based on the sustainability and efficiency of your house. Consider the cost it may take to upgrade your heating and cooling system, major appliances, and windows and doors. It may cost more upfront but save you a lot of money in the future, so it’s important to figure out what you can afford in the short and long term. You also should be aware of costs like homeowners association dues, structural update costs, property taxes, insurance and any other regional fees.

Home Security
Look for a home that you can keep safe and sound with solid security features. Search for houses that have trees and tall shrubbery around the lot’s perimeter so they can block the street view of your home. This natural barrier is pleasant to look at and helps prevent burglars from scoping out or monitoring your home.

You also should protect your new valuable asset with a security camera system. Take note of houses you are looking at that have existing CAT5e or BNC security camera cabling. This can save you time and money on security camera installation. Even if your dream house doesn’t have these wires already doesn’t mean that you can’t have this safety feature, though. Installing a full security camera system is not as complex as it once was and doesn’t necessarily require professional installation. Once you know what you’re looking for, you should choose a security camera system that has the security features you need to feel safe and protected night and day, such as HD resolution, long-range night vision, audio capabilities, or ultra-wide angle lenses.

Shopping for your first home as a newlywed couple should be a fun and memorable experience. Be sure to discuss your needs ahead of time, stick to your budget and enjoy the process.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

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From: Remax Real Estate Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

The Greatest Football-Inspired Real Estate Memes on the Internet!

By Susanne Dwyer

FootballYouKnow_1

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner, and regardless of who you’ll be rooting for in the big game, we know you’ll be rooting for your next closing to go according to plan.

In honor of one of the biggest games of the year, we decided to create a football/real estate mash-up of epic proportions to pay homage to your jobs in the field, not on the field.

FootballShagCarpet_3

FootballOfferAccepted_4

Check out the rest of Housecall’s football-inspired real estate memes here.

Nick Caruso is RISMedia’s senior editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at nick@rismedia.com.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post The Greatest Football-Inspired Real Estate Memes on the Internet! appeared first on RISMedia.

From: Consumer News and Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

10 Easy Ways to Safeguard Your Home and Prepare for an Emergency

By Susanne Dwyer

When disasters strike, they come without warning. This is why you need to prepare for emergencies ahead of time. These 10 tips will help safeguard your home and family, and save you time, money, and stress should an emergency occur.

Protect your home from break-ins. A home invasion occurs every thirteen seconds in the U.S. This alarmingly high rate means it’s essential to safeguard your home from burglars by investing in a home security system.

Know potential threats and emergencies relevant to your location. If you live in the Midwest, tornados are a bigger threat than floods. If you live in California, earthquakes are a real danger. Teach your family about the natural threats common to your location and what to do should one occur. Having a plan and instinctively knowing what to do can save your life in the event of a disaster.

Inspect your outdoor lighting. Make sure to check your outdoor lights to see if any need to be added or replaced. Well-lit homes help deter burglars and prevent accidents.

Perform regular home safety checks. Every month, inspect your home for signs of broken or damaged items. Make sure your roof, basement, attic, pipes, and foundation are in good condition. Check your door locks, garage door, and windows for any broken parts. Regularly fixing up your home will help maintain its value and keep it in great condition.

Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. An average of $12 billion in personal property is lost in fires each year. Protect your home and personal items by routinely testing your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Not only will this protect your home and property, but it can also save your life.

Inspect your fire extinguisher. Check the pressure gauge to see if the needle is in the green, and replace or service it if it isn’t. Also examine the hose and nozzle for cracks—you’ll need to replace your fire extinguisher if the handle is missing the locking pin or broken. Should a home fire occur, you will be prepared to handle the situation because your fire extinguisher will be in great working condition.

Create an emergency communication plan. Discuss what everyone in your home will do in case of a disaster. Talk with each family member about their responsibilities, where you will meet, and how to communicate with one another. If communication lines are down, it’s important to have a central meeting location established so everyone can meet and regroup. Discuss different disaster scenarios and come up with a communication and action plan that everyone knows and can enact if necessary.

List relevant contact information and make it easily accessible to everyone. Keep contact information on hand in case of an emergency. While you may keep numbers in your cellphone, it’s smart to keep a hard copy of key contacts in your home. This list can include your primary care physician, poison control, and a trusted neighbor.

Keep 72-hour emergency kits in your home and car. The CDC recommends putting together an emergency kit that includes the following.

  • One gallon of water per person, per day
  • Non-perishable food that is easy to prep
  • A can opener
  • Important medication
  • A radio
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Toilet paper

Compile and regularly update your home inventory. If you need to file an insurance claim after a blizzard or burglary, it’ll help to have an itemized inventory for your valuable home goods. Store instruction manuals, serial numbers, and important receipts in files that you can access easily when needed.

Incorporate these 10 safety hacks into your to-do list and you’ll be able to safeguard your home, property, and family should a disaster or emergency occur.

Sage Singleton is a home and community safety expert for SafeWise. Singleton has written for a variety of audiences ranging from government sites to lifestyle magazines. In her free time, she enjoys wedding planning, traveling and learning French.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

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From: Home Spun Wisdom

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Get Smart: 5 Ways to Turn Your Home into a Smart Home

By Susanne Dwyer

Smart homes are rapidly gaining popularity. Being able to control numerous features of your home even while you are away is not only convenient, but it can increase security. There are all kinds of ways to turn your home into a smart home. Some are a little more expensive than others. The following five home automation steps can help you get started.

  1. Control your appliances from your smartphone.

You can invest in new appliances that have this feature, or you can replace electrical devices, such as sockets or plugs, with a smart version. A smart power strip is another option. It is as simple as plugging it in and connecting your devices or appliances. Each plug in the power strip works independently. Android and Apple are supported by the power strip and you can control these devices from anywhere. You can turn any appliance on or off, get notifications when a television, computer, or other device is turned on, monitor carbon monoxide levels, and more.

  1. Know how to control the security system.

Although most people have security systems in place, it is very beneficial to be able to control them from anywhere. When automated access is used, you can limit access to certain areas of the home, such as your office. In addition, your phone can notify you in the event of a problem even when you are not home. Cameras can be used so that you can see every room in your home from your smartphone. Outdoor cameras will allow you to see who has been on your property when you are at work or elsewhere.

  1. Save energy by adding your heating and cooling to an automation system.

If you are gone all day and want to keep heating or cooling costs down, you simply lower or raise the temperature setting. Then you can put it on a comfortable level a half hour or so before you will arrive home. This gives the home time to warm up or cool down before you get home, so you are not heating or cooling an empty house. You can also control blinds with this system, allowing sunlight in for your plants and helping to warm the home during the winter.

  1. Learn how to communicate with your home.

You can control your home using technology similar to what is used when you talk to your smartphone to tell it to dial numbers or look up information. Microphones and a software program which is put on your computer is the simplest way to set up your home to respond to voice commands. The system is set up to recognize words or a phrase to perform virtually anything from turning on or dimming lights to opening drapes, turning on music, enabling or disabling alarms, and more. If you want to know what the weather is like before going out, simply ask. The systems can be set up to answer questions, as well. There are many systems to choose from and with advances in technology, they are doing more and becoming less expensive.

  1. Install a home theater system.

An automated home theater system will provide you with the feel of a movie theater in your home. Movies, videos, music, and more can be streamed throughout your home and even in outdoor areas used for entertaining. An app for your smartphone is simple to use to control all of this and more. Control the lighting for optimal viewing of movies. The sound can be adjusted, providing you with surround sound that is more like what is experienced in movie theaters.

These are just a few of the ways of making your home smart. Not only does an automated system in your home provide convenience and comfort, but it will also give you peace of mind.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Get Smart: 5 Ways to Turn Your Home into a Smart Home appeared first on RISMedia.

From: Home Spun Wisdom

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Urban Land Institute Predicts Positive Economic Changes for New Year

By Susanne Dwyer

A new presidential term always brings change, especially when it comes to the economy. Despite the doom and gloom of the media, the overall economic outlook for the country and real estate market seems relatively positive, according to a recent Urban Land Institute webinar. During the hour-long webinar, Institute experts shared their views on what real estate professionals should expect as a result of new leadership in the White House and the federal executive departments, as well as new lawmakers in both houses of the U.S. Congress.

Featured speakers were Kenneth Rosen, chairman, Rosen Consulting Group and Fisher Center for Real Estate, UC Berkeley, as well as Roy March, chief executive officer, Eastdil Secured. The webinar was moderated by Sheridan Schechner, co-head of the Americas, Real Estate Banking at Barclays.

“Where are we today?” asked Rosen. “We go into this new regime with a very strong economy. We think that this sugar high being created by new fiscal stimulus will create more jobs. The unemployment rate is presently 4.7, but we think it will go down to the lower fours with this new stimulus.”

An uptick in jobs might simultaneously bring an uptick in housing, as financial stability will lure sideliners into the housing market.

“When you look at where we ultimately are, we’re in a really good place on a comparison basis,” said March.

The biggest change that will come? According to Rosen, it’s inflation. “Our best guess is inflation will be in the threes and probably going over 4 percent. That is a big change.”

What does this mean for interest rates? According to Rosen, they will rise. “We’ve seen the low point of the cycle last year and we’re about to see further increases.”

Despite this, the overall outlook seems to be pretty positive for the real estate market, especially in terms of supply and demand. “We’re still in pretty good supply/demand balance, with the exception of luxury condos and apartments,” said Rosen. “Development will continue to exhilarate in this environment.”

March echoes an optimistic outlook: “The good news is the debt origination market is very, very healthy, with 515 billion dollars estimated for 2016, which is above the all-time high of 2007.”

Stay tuned for details on economic impact as the year rolls out.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Urban Land Institute Predicts Positive Economic Changes for New Year appeared first on RISMedia.

From: Consumer News and Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Bath and Kitchen Remodels: Breaking Tradition Two Ways

By Susanne Dwyer

Homeowners are parting ways with traditional bathrooms and kitchens, taking a walk on the side of contemporary and transitional, according to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Their preference is as clear as black and white (er, gray and white), with subtle shades of gray and white the new neutrals in a mix of modern and conventional styles.

Ten percent of homeowners completed a bathroom or kitchen remodeling project in 2016, according to the NKBA, totaling $85 billion. Twenty-one percent of homeowners spent $7,500 (or more) to remodel the master bathroom, while 48 percent spent $15,000 (or more) to remodel the kitchen.

How do those numbers sound? Bathrooms and kitchens are the hubs of a household—even minor upgrades can have ripple effects. (Love It or List It, anyone?) The value, though, is subjective at resale—in fact, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange bathroom remodel ranks among the least valuable home improvements with a 65 percent return on investment, while a midrange minor kitchen remodel ranks among the most valuable at 80 percent.

The NKBA report shows aging-in-place and technology-enabled features have become necessary elements in bathroom and kitchen design due to demand not only from an aging population, but also from multigenerational households. (Sixty-one percent of homeowners recently surveyed by HomeAdvisor plan to stay in their homes “indefinitely.”) The primary motivators for both are comfort and safety—intangibles that have perceived benefits unique to the homeowner.

All of these factors raise the question: Whether the bathroom or kitchen, is resale value still a reliable measure of the “worthiness” of a remodel? The answer, based on the NKBA’s report, could be another break with tradition.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Bath and Kitchen Remodels: Breaking Tradition Two Ways appeared first on RISMedia.

From: Consumer News and Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

3 Tips for Investing in Residential Real Estate in 2017

By Susanne Dwyer

A great deal of the wealth of the top 1 percent of Americans is built in real estate.

Aside from owning your home, it used to be that only the wealthy and well-connected were investing in real estate. Unless you knew the right people and were willing to put up a big chunk of money, there were relatively few methods for the average person to invest in real estate, aside from just buying properties and renting them out for income.

Real estate investment has, however, changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. Today, individual investors have access to many different real estate-related investments. Moreover, new platforms for investing in residential real estate (that don’t involve the headache of being a landlord) have also proliferated in the last few years.

Here are three ways for individual investors to make profits in real estate today.

Invest in REITS
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are an increasingly popular option for real estate investing. You can purchase shares in a public REIT just like you buy mutual funds or stocks. The business model of a REIT is owning and/or developing income-producing assets in a particular segment of the real estate market. For example, you can invest in a REIT focusing on commercial real estate, maybe malls or office buildings, or a REIT specializing in residential real estate, like apartments or condos.

Many investment advisers suggest using REITs in your portfolio to balance out stock and bond funds and mitigate portfolio risk, as this asset class often does well when other investments are performing poorly.

Before investing in a REIT, make sure to understand how the trust is designed and how value is derived from its holdings. Keep in mind that the performance of a REIT is based on cash flow and profits from selling properties, and may not be impacted much by factors that typically drive the performance of stock and bond funds.

While most investment advisors today suggest considering real estate as an alternative investment, the majority suggest it should represent no more than 10-20 percent of your portfolio.

Take a Closer Look at Real Estate Investment Partnerships
Another way to invest in real estate is real estate investment partnerships. Current laws allow investment partnerships to be structured in a number of ways, including tenant in common projects, general partnerships, or limited liability partnerships (LLP) or limited liability corporations (LLC). These structures each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so always do your due diligence on your partners and potential liabilities before investing in a partnership.

Take a close look at how decisions will be made, and how managing partner/partners will be selected (and how they can be removed). Always insist on a written real estate partnership agreement, which should be reviewed by an attorney with experience in real estate transactions.

Limited liability partnerships are frequently established having an experienced property manager or real estate developer as the general partner. Investors are used to provide financing for the projects, and they are typically brought on as limited partners.

Diversify Your Portfolio with Peer-Based Residential Real Estate Platforms
You can also invest in residential real estate through peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms. Just a few years ago, almost all P2P lending platforms making real estate loans focused on commercial properties.

Fundrise (equity crowdfunding) was one of the first firms to offer residential real estate loan products, launching in mid-2014. SoFi has also recently begun mortgage underwriting. With SoFi, however, nearly all of their P2P home loans are for larger amounts to borrowers with excellent credit.

Other broader peer-based lending platforms based on residential real estate and mortgages that have launched recently include Elevate (UK), LendInvest (UK) and Income& (U.S.).

Academics argue the real estate investment sector has matured enough to become a new asset class along with stocks, bonds and cash. That’s why it’s not surprising that most investment advisors suggest real estate should be a substantial part of all larger portfolios today.

Brad Walker is CEO and co-founder of Income&, a pioneer in the peer-to-peer real estate investing market.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post 3 Tips for Investing in Residential Real Estate in 2017 appeared first on RISMedia.

From: Consumer News and Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Making the Jump: Transitioning from a Tenant to a Homeowner

By Susanne Dwyer

Becoming a homeowner for the first time is an exciting and stressful process. However, once the papers are signed and the keys are in your pocket, your work really begins. Homeownership can be fraught with financial and emotional perils, especially if you’ve been renting from a landlord up until now. Landlords are on the hook for not only minor repairs, but also major upgrades, yard work, taxes and fees associated with building ownership, as well as normal upkeep such as painting and cleaning carpets.

Before You Buy
The best way to make a smooth transition to your new home starts before you buy. A proper inspection can alert you to problems that already exist with the property. New homes shouldn’t have many issues, but it’s always wise to get an inspection anyway to ensure that everything has been installed properly. After inspection, you want to work on your budget. You should build home maintenance and upkeep into your monthly budget.

A basic rule of thumb for your maintenance budget is to put aside 1 percent of your home’s purchase price per year. This means if your home costs $300,000, then you should put aside about $250 a month for major home repairs. Of course, new homes shouldn’t need immediate major repairs, but by saving this money from the get-go, you’ll never have nasty surprises when an appliance breaks down, or when you need a new roof in 10 years.

Tips to Maintain Your Home
Once you’re in your home you’ll want to stay on top of maintenance. This doesn’t just mean yard work, gardening, snow removal and window cleaning, although all those things are important. You’ll want to do an annual survey of your major appliances. This should include things you don’t usually see or think of, such as your water heater, furnace or boiler, and air conditioner.

You should know what these things look like when they’re performing properly, and you should have the name of a trusted HVAC professional, plumber and electrician just in case you should ever need them. You should also keep a close eye on your roof and any plumbing pipes that are visible, as these can often be some of the most expensive repairs. Catching a problem early is always ideal.

Financial Changes
Another difference between renting and owning is your financial state. The first year you own a home your taxes will be much different, so even if you do file your taxes yourself, this year might be the year to turn to a tax professional.

You’ll also have to have money to spend to fill up your new home! Chances are you have a lot more square footage to work with now, and you may need additional furniture or even appliances if your new home didn’t come with them. Start reading reviews and comparison-shopping early on for things like washers, dryers and lawn mowers if you can. Buying a lawn mower in May is far more expensive than buying one in January. While it might seem silly, the last year models are usually very similar when it comes to appliances, so figure out when the new versions are released. Floor models (appliances that have been out for people to look at) are also a great choice, as they haven’t actually been used.

The best part of owning your own home is that it is all yours. You can paint, arrange and decorate to your heart’s content. However, the worst part of owning your own home is that it’s all yours, and if there’s three feet of snow to be shoveled, water pouring out of the toilet or a dryer that just won’t dry, these are all problems you’ll have to figure out how to fix—with a little help from the pros, of course.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. You can connect with her on Facebook here and Twitter here.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Making the Jump: Transitioning from a Tenant to a Homeowner appeared first on RISMedia.

From: Consumer News and Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Top 5 Places to Buy Real Estate Overseas in 2017

By Susanne Dwyer

Looking to invest overseas? Live and Invest Overseas recently released their ranking of the top places to buy real estate overseas in 2017.

The top four places hail from Portugal and Colombia. Other locales on the list include the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil and Cape Verde in Africa.

1. Algarve, Portugal

Property along this coast is one of Europe’s greatest bargains, and prices are discounted further right now for buyers with U.S. dollars to spend. Values have moved steadily up since our initial recommendation of this market two years ago. Still, rental yields are strong.

Long-term, property in the Algarve will hold its value thanks to restrictions on coastal construction. Leverage is possible for foreigner buyers.

Average cost per square meter in the Algarve is 1,287 euros. At today’s current exchange rate, that computes to $1,346 per square meter, a 25 percent currency discount from 2014 prices in U.S. dollar terms.

2. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon has a lot to offer the visitor, but hasn’t historically been a major tourist destination compared with other European capitals. This is changing. In 2015, Lisbon saw more than 3 million tourists.

Compared with other West European capitals, including Paris, London, Madrid, Dublin and Rome, Lisbon offers generally better weather, better property prices and a lower cost of living.

The opportunities for real estate investment in central Lisbon right now are many, varied and compelling. This is a big area made up of many distinct neighborhoods, each with its own look, feel and character, but all interesting as locations for a short-term tourist rental or a long-term rental for the local market.

Budget can help fine tune your search. Per-square-meter prices in Lisbon range from a low of 2,000 euros ($2,080) to as much as 7,000 euros ($7,280). This means a 50-square-meter apartment in one of the lowest-cost neighborhoods can sell for 75,000 euros ($78,000), whereas the same size apartment in Chiado, for example, would cost more than four times as much.

Like Algarve, given the current strength of the U.S. dollar against the euro, dollar holders can capitalize on as much as a 25 percent currency discount from 2014 prices.

Some areas of Lisbon have seen appreciation of as much as 20 percent in the last year. For great value, focus on areas outside the “best” neighborhoods.

3. Cali, Colombia

Cali is Medellín 10 years ago. Property values are an absolute global bargain. The rental demand is expanding (this is one of the fastest-growing tourist markets in Colombia), as is the city’s middle class.

The U.S. dollar is at a record high against the Colombian peso, making this undervalued market irresistible.

In the prime areas of Cali (strata 5 to 6), depending on the age of the unit, the price-per-square meter will range from 1.5 million to 5 million Colombian pesos ($502 to $1,670). For older units, between 10 and 20 years old, investors can expect to spend between 1.5 million to 2.5 million Colombian pesos ($502 to $836)

Price per square meter for newer units (less than 10 years old) range from 2.5 million pesos to 3.5 million pesos ($836 to $1,170). For new upscale luxury projects, the price will range from 3.5 million to 5 million pesos ($1,170 to $1,673).

4. Bogotá, Colombia

We remain bullish on Medellín, but in 2017, we’re targeting two other Colombian markets—Cali (above), and Bogotá.

This is a hub for Latin American business, meaning a strong business traveler rental market. At the same time, this is Colombia’s most popular tourism destination and international travel to Bogota is increasing. All this adds up to a growing tourist rental market.

Neighborhoods are being gentrified and the local middle class is expanding quickly, meaning this city offers a capital appreciation play, as well. In the best areas of Bogotá (strata 5 to 6), depending on the age of the unit, the price per square meter will range from 5 million to 12 million Colombian pesos ($1,670 to $4,000).

Newer construction units in the most exclusive areas go from 9 million to 12 million pesos ($3,000 to $4,000) per square meter, while older units range from 5 million to 9 million pesos (1,670 to $3,000).

5. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

We like the Dominican Republic for many reasons in 2017, including the cost of its Caribbean real estate. It’s a bargain compared with the rest of the region.

Las Terrenas is more accessible than ever and numbers of both international and domestic tourists are growing, meaning expanding rental demand. And foreigners can finance.

Depending on proximity to the water, prices range from as little as $1,000 per square meter to a high of $2,500 (right on the beach). This translates to as little as $100,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

View more top places to invest in real estate overseas this year here.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Top 5 Places to Buy Real Estate Overseas in 2017 appeared first on RISMedia.

From: Consumer News and Advice

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893

Fresh Home Start: Beginning 2017 on a Clean Note

By Susanne Dwyer

Keeping your home clean can be quite a challenge after a busy holiday season. Here are a few helpful suggestions to ensure that you begin 2017 with a clean house.

Plan for Trash
It might not seem like a wonderful concept to have small garbage cans in your living room or family room, but putting small trashcans in busy areas will help you better manage the trash in your home.

Purchase the Right Furniture
Consider purchasing dual-purpose furniture for various spaces in your home. This could be as simple as buying a new ottoman. This cuts down on the visual clutter and gives you a soft place to kick up your feet and relax.

Clean Your Carpets
Consider hiring a local carpet cleaning business. A professional clean will remove dirt and debris and eliminate allergens, pet dander and other irritants that embed themselves deep in the fibers of your carpets throughout the year.

Consult with an Organizer
Professional organizers will offer tips on how to improve the way in which you go about your everyday life. These individuals make a living helping people not only declutter their homes, but also better organize their belongings. Ask an organizer for help if you don’t know where to start. Here are popular areas to begin:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Bedrooms
  • Toy Rooms
  • Garages
  • Family Rooms

Hire a Cleaning Service
Consider hiring a weekly maid service to clean your home. A professional cleaning service will knock out seemingly overwhelming projects in one to three hours, depending on the size of your home. These projects include:

  • Vacuuming
  • Cleaning Countertops
  • Wiping Down Hard Surfaces
  • Cleaning Windows
  • Washing Sinks/Tubs
  • Cleaning Toilets

The New Year is the perfect time to start life off on a clean note. You can begin 2017 with a cleaner home with a little inspiration and direction from professionals.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Fresh Home Start: Beginning 2017 on a Clean Note appeared first on RISMedia.

From: Home Spun Wisdom

    

Remember I am just a phone call away to help with all of your real estate needs!

Nancy Wey
281-455-2893