03May

Topeka Multi-family property – 1st year of operation (2011)

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I acquired this property just in December 2010 with sellers financing. I was so happy to get it, for just $13,000 a multi-family property with 5 units, fully rented in that time! If you haven’t read that article – you can learn more about how I got the property here. Right after I bought the property I have made a deal with Travis from Rental Management Solutions in Topeka (RMS) http://www.rmstopeka.com/ to be my property manager. RMS is probably the biggest property management company in Topeka, managing hundreds of properties. I had made my mind before against these big companies, but since Travis was recommended to me, I decided to make an exception.  He was very helpful in the beginning, he went to the property and inspected it for me (I was back in Europe during the closing), he gave me various opinions and gave me a good price for the management itself (only $40 for each occupied unit).  Read the rest of this entry »

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22Apr

Las Vegas condo – 2nd year operation (2011)

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In Las Vegas 2011 didn’t start very well. I had a tenant through my already second property management company (this time RPM Las Vegas, run by Tod Wever) and it was going quite well. Until April, when I found out (when checking some HOA issue with Tod) that my property is vacant! I wasn’t even notified. And then the problems started. RPM quite couldn’t for some reason submit a payment to the HOA, even when I called probably 3 times. I needed to get the place repaired and rented, and it was merely impossible. I needed a move-out inspection report, so I could see what repairs are needed. I was trying to communicate with RPM every way possible, but couldn’t get anywhere. And at this point, I decided that I will have to get rid of them. There were more issue, for example they haven’t sent me a check with the rental income etc. In the end it got to such a point, that I filed official complaint at the Real Estate Division Nevada, because simply I didn’t think that the property management business shall be done this way and figured if more people will do similar thing it might change something. Read the rest of this entry »

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17Apr

Phoenix condo – 2nd year operation (2011)

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In Phoenix the story went this way – in the summer 2011 I was notified that my tenant (family) got a few fines from the HOA and that the HOA found out that there is more than allowed number of occupants in the unit. The rules of the HOA strictly allowed only 4 people living in the 2 bedroom units. I tried to make an appeal for an exception, but it didn’t go through. Therefore I had to notified the tenants and they had to move out in September. Unfortunately they left the unit quite trashed – with some punched drywalls, moldy food in the fridge and very stained carpets. It was too bad to lose them, because they were otherwise “on-time” paying tenants for over a year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Categories: #2 - Condo in Phoenix
08Apr

I am back!

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It has been a long while since I really wrote an article about my properties, and it has been just busy year I guess, but still there are people who read this blog and are interested to know how everything is going. And in the end last week my very good friend here in Kansas motivated me to write more. He told me how he printed out all my blog posts 2 years ago, and that it helped him to buy his own income rental properties in the US as a foreigner. I was his motivation back then and now he was mine to write more. Read the rest of this entry »

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30Jul

Why Home Prices Are Rising Again (According to Case-Shiller)

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The Wall Street Journal June 26

As usual, I am following major Real Estate news and here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal from the end of June. It wasn’t hard to see this coming: Home prices rose in April after a spring that brought more buyers chasing fewer homes. Home prices typically show a seasonal gain in April, and Tuesday’s report from the S&P/Case-Shiller index was no different. Home prices were up 1.3% from March for the 20-city index. After adjusting for seasonal factors (more homes generally sell in April), prices were up by 0.7%.

This year was clearly better than April 2011, when monthly prices rose by 0.7%, and when adjusting for seasonality, they fell by 0.1%. Read the rest of this entry »

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25Jul

Foreign Purchases of the American Real Estate Rise Strongly

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Wall Street Journal | REAL ESTATE | June 11

A survey released last month showed that the six-year slide in U.S. housing prices, coupled with the rising value of some foreign currencies and continued instability in Europe, is fueling a property-buying binge in the U.S. by wealthy foreigners. This is a good news for the American Real estate market as well, since the foreign capital can further stabilize and rise the house prices. For those of you who already invested in the US, we can just wait and see what growth will the future bring, and for those who haven’t invested yet, it’s definitely a good time to consider the options, before the prices will reach their original levels from couple years ago.

Nationwide, international buyers spent $82.5 billion on residential real estate in the 12-month period that ended in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. That was up by 24% from the $66.4 billion spent in the same period that ended March 2011 and accounted for nearly 8.9% of the $928 billion spent on residential real estate during that span.

The survey showed that around 55% of all buyers came from five countries: Canada, China, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom. Canadians accounted for nearly one quarter of all foreign sales. Around half of foreign buyers are recent immigrants or temporary visa holders, while the remainder have permanent residences outside of the U.S. and spend fewer than six months each year in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

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12Jul

FHFA: House Price Index Shows First Yearly Gain Since 2007

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FHFA Report published in May 23, 2012

For the ones who don’t know, FHFA is the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency and it regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $5.7 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions. Click on the image on the left to enlarge the chart.

U.S. house prices rose modestly in the first quarter of 2012 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI). The FHFA HPI was up 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis since the fourth quarter of 2011. The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. … FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 1.8 percent from February. Read the rest of this entry »

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04Jul

Realtor guru: 10% home-price jump possible

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The Orange County Register June 26th

Here is another interesting and positive article about the real estate market in the US. We all hope that these predictions will fulfill. National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said he “would not be surprised” if U.S. home prices jumped 10% by June of next year. If true, that would be significant after three or four years of falling home prices.

“The market is healing,” Yun said recently at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Denver.

Several factors triggered Yun’s enthusiasm: Strong demand among buyers, higher sales, lower number of homes for sale, and a level of foreclosures that – while high – has steadily decreased over the past two years.

Distressed sales – foreclosed and underwater homes – account for a fourth of the market this year, compared to a third last year, he said. By next year, they’re expected to account for 15%. Read the rest of this entry »

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27Jun

Housing Inventory declines 20.07% year-over-year!

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Realtor.com: May 2012 Real Estate Data
Released – June 16, 2012

Some more good news about the current Real Estate market. See below what was written in the last month Real Estate Data issue at Realtor.com, and definitely check out the full chart with all the cities and markets and their statistics, since they differ vastly. For example, check the Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona market, there are is some incredible development in the numbers: the median prices went up 33% since May 2011 and the inventory fell 45% in the same period! This is a great news for me, since one of the first 2 investment properties (condos) I bought 3 years ago is in Phoenix and I am starting to consider selling it this year, so I would be able to push more money in my multifamily property in Kansas, or possibly purchase another property in a market which has better performance in the long term holding strategy (higher positive cash flow).

On the national level, inventory of for-sale single family homes, condominiums, townhouses and co-ops declined by -20.07% in May 2012 compared to a year ago, and declined in all but two of the 146 markets covered by REALTOR.com.

The median age of the inventory fell -9.78% on a year-over-year basis last month, and the median national list price increased 3.17% last month compared to May 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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Categories: buy house in usa, NEWS
27Mar

Warren Buffet on the USA Housing Market

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Berkshire Hathaway
February 25, 2012 | Warren E. Buffett

Warren Buffett makes several key USA housing points in the annual Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder meeting, which are quite interesting for all foreign investors who are considering buying house in usa:
Housing completions have been at record lows.
1 ) There are currently more households being formed than new housing units completed, and this is decreasing the excess supply.
2 ) The excess supply will be “sopped up” at different rates across the country.
3 ) Housing is a key reason for the sluggish economy (not the only reason).

Housing will come back – you can be sure of that. Over time, the number of housing units necessarily matches the number of households (after allowing for a normal level of vacancies). For a period of years prior to 2008, however, America added more housing units than households. Inevitably, we ended up with far too many units and the bubble popped with a violence that shook the entire economy. That created still another problem for housing: Early in a recession, household formations slow, and in 2009 the decrease was dramatic.

That devastating supply/demand equation is now reversed: Read the rest of this entry »

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Categories: buy house in usa, NEWS
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