Posts Tagged ‘property’

The Reason Why Refinance Is A Great Idea.

February 2nd, 2017 Comments off

The recommendation of many experts is for homeowners, unable to cope with the country’s economic see-saw trends, to refinance their mortgage which is constantly at risk from the unpredictable adjustable interest rates. Of course, not many see why refinance is the most recommended option, and it takes them a while to appreciate its features, mainly because they need to understand it more.

Residents can opt for refinance for different reasons. Initially, they might want to do this to bring down their monthly payments. A second reason would be the chance to change their terms from an adjustable interest rate to a fixed rate. It is also possible that the third reason would be to allow them access to any accumulated equity they may have on their house, and finally, the fourth reason would be to cancel the burdensome mortgage insurance fee. If you are from the United States, a refinance is an option that will always be available to you. You can get a Philadelphia refinance, a Nashville refinance, or a refinance for any other place in the United States.

How exactly does refinancing work for a homeowner with a 30 year loan? If you got approved for your loan before the sub-prime mortgage crisis, then you were probably given an interest rate of over 7%. If you look at the current rate today, you will find out that it is now pegged at about 4 to 5% which is at least a 2 percentage point off the old rates. Thus, if you refinance your loan, you can lower your monthly payments, and end up saving in the long run.

Of course, there are other factors you need to be aware of that will dictate how much lower your monthly payments will go.

If you compute how much you will be charged for the refinance, and forecast how long it would take you to pay it off, then you will be able to know at what point you broke even as far as the refinance fees are concerned. If your computation brings you to a period on or before 20 months for break even, then you should seriously consider the refinance since you would have paid off the additional expense early and still have quite a number of years to go for your loan to be completely paid.

You should also consider the kind of rate you are getting. An adjustable interest rate may give you the benefit of low monthly payments, but you are vulnerable to rate adjustments which can happen on a regular basis. Your other option would be to shift to a fixed rate, or a combination of both.

An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) could be your first rate when you start your new refinance agreement, then after several years, you could shift to a fixed rate. If you plan to move out within 5 years time, then this plan will work best for you.

On the other hand, if your plans are for a lengthy stay, it might be better to get a fixed rate throughout the term. At least, this way you know exactly what you are paying every month. If you want, you could pay the closing fees ahead to lower your monthly dues. Making customized arrangements on your refinance plan with your broker is very easy to do. Just make sure that the lines of communications are always open and clear so you get to discuss different creative ideas and that you have sufficient time to plan everything properly.

There is one other option you should consider which is your home equity because if you have accumulated at least 20%, you can request for the mortgage insurance fees to stop, or you could use your equity to fund some other expense if you cash in on it. There are more ways to work out your mortgage through finance, and you can learn by logging on to

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Property Investment Tips For A Bad Economy

December 8th, 2016 Comments off

Property investment is defined as the outlay of money in properties like lands, or buildings in order to get some profit or income out of it. Properties that are usually targets for investment include high-rise residences, and also commercial properties like shops. One must not be afraid of risks when it comes to investing in a property, but always ready to take up positions that sometimes do not even reflect the general market outlook. Smart investors can buy a property during a market crisis and turn it into an overflowing source of income during the boom time.

The most important factor to consider when investing on a property is to be aware of the location of it. To get a capital appreciation, young and new investors must pick good choices of properties that belong to good lands or locations. Good lands or locations promise for future growth that is needed when pursuing for the property of interest. Locations that are in close distance to an array of amenities such as shops, schools, main roads and highways are the ones to focus on. The main reason is that the price for which the property is available has not been appreciated yet. Getting oneself familiar with investment, it is important not to venture into alien markets to make sure that one gets a thorough comprehension on how to go about the investment. Factors like good feng shui and friendly neighborhood should be inserted into the investment equation too.

High-rise apartments that have a strong market for expatriates are obviously a profitable investment, as the rental income can provide a high cash flow. Good bargains on property investment that sells for prices 20% lower that the market price must be checked and looked into during property bust cycle that promotes such bargains.

Loans that are being taken up for property investment must be of the highest quantum and tenure so that one can spread up the use of the capital resources to purchase other properties as well. To make sure that investors are not tangled up in a financial mess, properties to look for must be easily funded and relocated. To be successful at property investment, one should also think of long term plans that involve children education, retirement, and a steady life.

To be an even more successful at property investment, a personal strategic property investment plan must be looked into. Develop a 20-year property investment strategy plan that takes into account of ones age, current financial status, the present stage of the property cycle, possible economic state of affairs, practical investment strategies, and also personal goals. However easily it is to get carried away when one is seeing money from every investment, take a step back and pause so that one does not become financially over-committed.

Economic crisis puts a pressure on the success of an investment and patience must be practiced so that one knows that quick returns are not as easy as when the economy is much more stable. Investors must learn to wait until the right time to reap the profits. Eventually, the hands-on experiences and learning from the success and failures of investments pave the road to become an expert at property investment.

Know that a profitable property investment is a continuing process. With time, the well thought out efforts and effective strategic methods are going to pay off. One then naturally knows the appropriate time to go on a buy or sell mode depending on the powerful influence that one has one a property market cycle that mirrors the economic situation.

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The Best Property Letting Tips

November 11th, 2016 Comments off

Property letting can get quite trivial if you dont know how to go about it effectively. As a property landlord you have to take care of a lot of things related to your property. These things are detrimental to ensuring you succeed and prosper in your property letting business.

Being organized helps a lot. Make a file for each tenant you have. The file should include fire safety documents, tenancy agreements and other legally required documents for each tenant. This can be a lifesaver especially when changing tenants as it gives an accurate house history as well as keeps relavent documents available at your fingertips.

Take future rent in advance. It is important to have a deposit and/or collection of rent in advance from the tenant. Usually rent is taken six months in advance to prevent loss of revenue should the tenant default on future payments. This helps prevent loss of your money.

Maintain property in the correct manner. It is vital to repair your property as and when the need arises. Putting off the repairs can lead to loss of property value and risk the tenant moving away. Poorly maintained property makes it very hard to get new tenants. It is also vital to have a lawyer in touch with you at all times. This helps in cases of non-payment by the tenants as well as formulation of specific property letting documensts like lease agreements.

Treat tenants like customers. Build a rapport with your tenants the same way you would with your customers. Treat them nicely and resolve disputes between oe tenant and another. Try and make living in your property a more enjoyable experience for them. A good rapport will go along way to ensuring you tenants stay for longer periods.

Join your local landlords association. this helps you meet other landlords in your locality and builds contacts. It also acts as a united front to amend legislation for property owners interests. It also helps to learn from the experiences of other landlords and keep up to date with property letting laws.

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How to pick up an affordable fixer-upper in Italy

March 17th, 2016 Comments off

Real estate purchasers’ spending power may have been restricted by the increased difficulty in obtaining home loans, however the draw of buying a home in a country such as Italy is still vibrant.

It explains why growing numbers of foreign buyers in Italy are choosing to renovate   or even start from new instead of buying resale property.

The primary reason is obvious – cost. Ignore any hopes of being offered fixer-uppers for Euro 1, a PR ploy rolled out a few years ago by the Mayor of Salemi, Sicily. Nonetheless in sections of southern Italy such as Molise, Abruzzo and Sicily a countryside ruin can be picked up for a trifling Euro Euro 9,500. Throw in a bill for restoration that can begin from roundabout Euro 750 per sq m and is it possible to convert a an old wreck into a 90sq m idyllic holiday retreat for around Euro 95,000 – a small fraction of the cost otherwise. In addition, beyond the initial purchase price, restoration expenses may then be divided over the length of the building project, which can be as long as the you find convenient.

Stef Russo, founder of Italian property search experts The Property Organiser, reveals: “The credit crunch has seen greater numbers of investors following the renovation path. Restoration costs in places such as Abruzzo are about Euro 900 per sq metre – around half what it would be in the north of Italy. And instead of   having to produce funds at the start, it permits them to spread costs over months or even years.

“In addition, buyers get the opportunity to stamp their personalised imprint on their homes, which is easier to do if they renovate than if they buy a resale and then attempt to overhaul it.”

The country’s history means it is awash with buildings from as far back as the 18th century, needing only a bit of TLC to turn them into fantastic modern dwellings. There is also a plentiful supply of farmhouses – always popular with foreign buyers – in the main because of the mass migration of millions of people who, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, deserted villages for towns and cities or even a new life outside Italy. By the way, if you fancy trying something a little less orthodox, the answer may lie in the approxmiately 5,500 religious buildings available to be turned into homes.

Having picked a property, the next stage is to hire the right professionals to bring your dreams into reality. Some buyers are happy to do most of this themselves, the most advisable route is to pay a reputable geometra/surveyor (your realtor ought to be able to put you in touch with one). They will be able to find reliable builders for you as well as deal with local government departments for the necessary building permission. Remember that many ancient rustic homes are built in stone and therefore fixing up such homes calls for constructors experienced working with stone.

One constant danger with projects like this is that your outlay can rise out of control, often by up to 30%. Common pitfalls include pools (allow up to 20,000); improving access roads (up to Euro 2,000 for a 50-metre section); and upgrading lawns. But your surveyor can insist on a contract with your construction workers outlining a budget as well as a deadline, with penalties applicable if they are not stuck to. Although surveyors|geometre|geometras} design homes to a certain level, their knowhow only goes so far and it is a good idea also take on an architect to take charge of design. It is essential before a brick is laid that you are crystal clear what you hope to achieve and that you convey this to the architect. Going back to Square One during the course of work wastes time and a pain in the rear for the rest of your team.

Be realistic about the probable timescales involved. The purchasing process can take between one and three months and obtaining building permission a further 12-36 weeks depending on the Commune overseeing affairs.

One last thing, unless you intend being on-site most of the time, your team should also include an independent project manager to oversee everything and help keep things ticking over. Your architect or geometra can also step into this role. One project manager explains: “By visiting as often as is needed, more often than not with no prior warning, we keep the client clued in on the speed of work through fulsome notes and digital photos. Therefore any problems can be sorted out quickly. We keep everything on track and, even more importantly, ensure the client isn’t ambushed by ugly shocks.”

The author is an expert in Calabria property for sale at Homes and Villas Abroad. She also writes on Tuscany farmhouses for sale and real estate on the Amalfi coast.

Go shopping for a vacation villa on Italy’s Riviera

March 11th, 2016 Comments off

Around 100 years ago Sanremo was a Mecca for European aristos and the likes of Russian composer Tchaikovsky, who wrote his Fourth Symphony here in 1878 and the chemist Alfred Nobel, who died here in 1896.

A couple of generations later it was to Portofino, some 185km, to which the likes of Frank Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot and Liz Taylor came. Now the faces are those of Denzel Washington, George Clooney and Tom Cruise.

In other words, the coast of Liguria in Italy has for generations exuded the level of star quality that to this day attracts more than five million people annually, making it one of the country’s most visited areas and a favourite among investors on the lookout for attractive vacation homes. For good reason. For a start, this corner of Italy boasts a majestic 280km of coastline renowned as the Italian (or Ligurian) Riviera, spanning the French border at its western end to the picture-postcard villages that form the well-known Cinque Terre, now designated a UN World Heritage Site.

Stef Russo, founder of Italy real estate firm The Property Organiser, reveals:  It is pipped only by perhaps Tuscany when it comes to areas of the country most in demand among our househunters. In addition to the Cinque Terre, its beaches and lovely landscapes, the French Riviera is just a leisurely drive away, there are ski resorts in Piedmont, just 40 minutes away, and it is served by two airports in Genoa and Nice.”

The priciest locations on the seafront for Liguria property are probably the Cinque Terre, Bordighera and Alassio. Prices also rise if you insist on overlooking the sea. The real estate market is kept bullish by demand from well-heeled French, Swiss and Italians. On average you will be asked for in the region of Euro 395,000 for a two-bedroom property within strolling distance of the beach and up to two and a half times that for a villa with sea-view in a similar position.

As usual, canny buyers can pick up bargains by looking around. In Alassio, 90sq m flats overlooking the coast can be discovered from Euro 225,000. And in Bordighera, Euro 345,000 can pay for a two-bedroom apartment again with sea view, although you will have to be content with being somewhat farther out from the coast.

However, within easy reach of the coastal resorts is the mountainous countryside chock-a-block with lovely villages and hamlets. But if you are happy to forgo a sea view, troop just less than half an hour inland, to hamlets such as Apricale, Perinaldo and Isolabona, which is what swathes of American and British bargain-hunters have done in recent times. Here, budget for a one-bedroom apartment to cost around Euro 135,000. Don’t mind getting to grips with a rustic to restore? Then you may get away with Euro 100,000, possibly with up to 2,000sq m of garden thrown in. Given Liguria’s enduring popularity, rental potential is buoyant, in particular if you have bought near the coast. Expect a two-bedroom flat can be let for Euro 1,400 a week in summer and a high-end house with pool up to Euro 3,000.

Among the most attractive resorts on the coast are Alassio, Sanremo and Portofino. Alassio has two miles of sandy beaches and has been a favourite of tourists for over a century while celebrities such as American writer Ernest Hemingway started coming here in the 1930s. Sanremo reeks of timeless glamour and is today best known for its pop event. Meanwhile one of Portofino’s most striking features is multi-coloured rows of fishermen’s houses along its harbour. In high season its swanky fashion outlets packed designer names and the sleek boats moored in its waters say it all about the type of moneyed visitor that holidays here.

However, for rich, natural beauty little tops the five clifftop hamlets that form the Cinque Terre. Some things in life are priceless.

The author specialises in Sicily real estate at Homes and Villas Abroad. She also focuses on luxury property in Abruzzo and houses in Tuscany for sale.