Reading Real Estate – Hudson Berkshire Experience Tue, 21 Jun 2022 15:24:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Reading Real Estate – Hudson Berkshire Experience 32 32 Existing home sales fell in May, more declines expected Tue, 21 Jun 2022 14:00:08 +0000

Existing home sales in May fell 3.4% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.41 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Sales were 8.6% lower than in May 2021. April sales were also revised down slightly.

This is the weakest reading since June 2020, which was during the first months of the Covid pandemic. Adjusted for this, it is the lowest since January 2020.

This reading is based on closings during the month, thus representing contracts likely signed in March and April. During this period, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose from about 4% to 5.5%. It is currently around 6%, according to Mortgage News Daily. Rising rates, along with rapidly appreciating home prices and persistently weak supply, have given affordability a triple boost.

“I expect home sales to decline further,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “The impact of rising mortgage rates is not yet fully reflected in the data.”

There were 1.16 million homes for sale at the end of May, up 12.6% month over month, but still down 4.1% from May 2021. At the current rate of sales, this represents a supply of 2.6 months.

Weak supply continued to drive up home prices. The median price for a home sold in May was $407,600, an increase of 14.8% from May 2021. This is the highest price on record since real estate agents began listing it. follow in the late 1980s.

Supply is weakest in the lower end of the market, which is likely why activity there continues to be weaker than in the upper end. Sales of homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000 are down 27% from a year ago. Sales of homes between $750,000 and $1 million increased by 26%. Sales of homes priced over $1 million jumped 22% year over year.

Homes are selling fast, however. Homes stayed on the market an average of just 16 days, the lowest on record for real estate agents. Cash sales were still high at 25% of all sales. Investors accounted for 16% of all transactions, down slightly from April and a year ago.

First-time buyers accounted for just 27% of all transactions, down from 31% a year ago. Affordability is clearly hitting them the hardest, as rents are also rising.

“The Fed’s short-term rate hike is helping drive a much-needed housing reset — a real estate refresh,” wrote Danielle Hale, chief economist at “While the rebalancing is necessary, it presents the challenge of navigating the housing market for both sellers and buyers, as expectations and conditions adjust quickly.” recently updated its forecast for home sales in 2022, now projecting less this year than last.

Alex Mashinsky, founder of Celsius feels the heat Fri, 17 Jun 2022 23:01:23 +0000

Alex Mashinsky, the founder of crypto lender Celsius, has built a cult following by exploiting public distrust of traditional financial institutions.

Launched five years ago, Celsius, which offers its customers high interest rates on crypto deposits, has attracted 1.7 million customers under the slogan “#unbank yourself”.

Now the company itself is facing a crisis of confidence after its decision on Monday to block customers from withdrawing funds, citing ‘extreme market conditions’ following a wave of outflows and losses on risky transactions.

Just three days earlier, during his weekly one-hour YouTube broadcast to clients, Mashinsky had been in typically pugnacious form, dismissing critics who warned of an impending liquidity crunch.

“All these naysayers and haters built nothing,” Mashinsky told his clients, whom he calls Celsians. “Celsius has billions in liquidity and we provide immediate access to anyone who needs it.”

His failure to deliver on that promise left Mashinsky fighting for the company’s survival and his customers fearing huge losses.

John, a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker who declined to give his last name, began withdrawing his money from Celsius last weekend but still has $150,000 trapped. “It’s definitely a disappointment,” he said. “I probably didn’t watch it as much as maybe I should have.”

Mashinsky tweeted on Wednesday that “it’s a tough time” and that his team is “working nonstop.”

Celsius Marketing has cast Mashinsky, known for his “Banks Are Not Your Friends” t-shirt, as the Robin Hood figure and self-help guru who will help customers achieve “financial freedom.” He has criticized rival crypto groups such as Coinbase for making more money to Wall Street investors than to their clients, and his personal website includes a tab on “failed companies”, offering the lesson he learned as a “maverick investor and entrepreneur”.

One regret is the fate some of his businesses suffered in 2008. “When the recession hit, Alex’s decision to leverage two of his debt-ridden businesses proved disastrous as his lenders refused to be patient. “, says its website.

As the leader of the company, he indulged in stunts. He shared a video in 2020 of himself in a hoodie and jeans trying to remove a Chase sign from the wall of a bank branch on Park Avenue in Manhattan. “This is how we take the banks apart,” he wrote. “One Chase branch at a time.”

Born in Soviet Ukraine and raised in Israel, Mashinsky, 56, lives in Manhattan with his wife and six children. His career has taken him through more than half a dozen tech start-ups, from telecommunications to carpooling. He holds 35 patents and has described himself as a co-inventor of Voice over Internet Protocol, the technology behind online telephony.

Since co-founding Celsius, Mashinsky, who dubbed himself ‘the machine’, has continued rapid growth, increasing his asset base to a peak of $25 billion last year – and attracting investment from the Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and WestCap, a fund led by Laurence Tosi, former executive of Blackstone and Airbnb.

“The name of the game for crypto retail lenders was user growth at all costs,” said Max Boonen, founder of crypto broker B2C2. He said the pressure to offer high interest rates has led companies to risky investments “often with unfortunate results”.

In the close-knit circle of crypto founders and CEOs, some were wary of Mashinsky. “They were very aggressive in the way they ran the business,” said an investor who considered putting money into Celsius but decided against it. “He was a guy who took high risks.”

Mashinsky declined to comment.

Several executives said they avoided investments or deals with Celsius because they lacked confidence in Mashinsky or would borrow from Celsius but not lend to it.

Another investor said Celsius has too often been found with money tied up in crypto explosions, such as Terra and Luna crash coins, or major hacks. But “Alex, like an Energizer bunny, keep going,” he said.

Privately, crypto executives have worried for at least a year that risky Celsius lending looks like “an impending accident.” Mashinsky has always rejected criticism.

“From a risk perspective, we’re probably one of the least risky companies regulators around the world have ever seen,” he told the FT last year, citing the company’s ability to face sales of more than 50% in 2020 and 2021. “There is no bank in England that can suffer a 53% withdrawal and not close its doors. That’s what’s really laughable here.

Brett DeLuca, an actor from Los Angeles, knows Mashinsky’s bold claims in his weekly webcasts. “I watched his promo every Friday. He seemed pretty knowledgeable,” said DeLuca, who started using Celsius early last year. He has $20,000 stuck with the company.

Mashinsky’s low profile this week is unnerving for DeLuca. “He likes to be in front of the camera. That’s who he is,” he said. “If he doesn’t come out here in a week or two, then I’m afraid I’ll lose my 20k.”

Philly is set to increase property tax relief and cut business taxes with a last-minute compromise Thu, 16 Jun 2022 03:05:04 +0000

Many Philadelphians will likely get property tax relief amid skyrocketing property assessments, along with wage and business tax cuts, thanks to a compromise between city council members and the administration of Mayor Jim Kenney that was approved in a key committee vote late Wednesday night.

Under the tax plan that culminated in last-minute city budget negotiations that begin July 1, the property tax rate of 1.3998% will remain the same, but the homestead exemption , which reduces the assessed value of owner-occupied homes, would increase from $45,000 to $80,000.

During the virtual committee meeting, lawmakers also amended Mayor Jim Kenney’s $5.6 billion budget proposal to include several substantial funding increases, including $15 million in rent assistance, 5.8 million more for the Public Defenders Office and another $5 million for the Judicial Police.

» READ MORE: How the pandemic, progressives and property assessments are fueling a Philadelphia tax debate

Approval by the full Committee, which includes all members, sets up a final vote on the budget at the June 23 Council meeting, the last before lawmakers adjourn for their summer recess.

This year’s focus on taxes was driven in part by the first citywide property reassessment in three years, which saw residential property values ​​increase by an average of 31% and much more in the rapidly gentrifying areas.

Kenney proposed in April to increase the homestead exemption to $65,000, and some lawmakers, including Council members Kenyatta Johnson and Brian O’Neill, have since pushed to increase it to its legal maximum of 90,000. $. But a majority ultimately backed the $80,000 compromise, primarily out of concern for the tax relief’s impact on the Philadelphia school district, which receives 55% of property tax revenue.

Johnson said the budget deal ‘represents investments in Philadelphia to move our city forward,’ applauding its investments in anti-violence spending and elements of its ‘Save Our Homes’ property tax relief plan. who made the final compromise. These measures, he said, “will help reduce the property tax burden for Philadelphia homeowners and make property taxation fairer and more transparent.”

The most surprising news from the final day of negotiations was the last-minute majority that emerged to cut corporate income tax and receipts on net profits from 6.2% to 5.99%, a result of a lobbying effort by the city’s chambers of commerce.

Council member Isaiah Thomas, who presented the cup, said he was motivated by one question: “How can we empower people to provide a quality life for themselves and their families? “

The compromise plan also included a small payroll tax cut, carried by council member Katherine Gilmore Richardson, lowering the rate from 3.8398% to 3.79% for city residents, and 3 .4481% to 3.44% for people who work in Philadelphia but live outside the city limits.

The talks came at the 11th hour: the Council needed to pull tax and spending legislation from the committee before its Thursday morning meeting in order to approve the budget before the current budget expires at the end of the month.

Members of the Kenney administration worked hand-in-hand with lawmakers to approve the budget in a process overseen by Council Chairman Darrell L. Clarke that involved an unusually low level of friction between the powers executive and legislative.

Philly is the only major US city with a municipal legislature that still meets remotely, and Council members conducted the negotiations in a chain of phone calls.

“I had to charge my phone about five times today,” Clarke said in an 11 p.m. speech, “but everything is fine.”

Almost all of the committee’s votes on Wednesday night were unanimous votes, but Council members Helen Gym, Kendra Brooks and Jamie Gauthier voted against the payroll and business tax cuts.

The budget deal represents a victory for the business community, which for several years has seen its influence at city hall wane amid the momentum of the city’s progressive movement.

“Tonight we saw bold leadership from the city council,” said Sue Jacobson, president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. “Their decision to cut taxes for job creators is a clear signal that Philadelphia is committed to restarting its economy post-COVID and increasing the number of people working in the city.”

The Council’s progressive trio of Gym, Brooks and Gauthier was largely left out of the latest round of tax negotiations. However, many of their spending priorities were included in the final budget, including rental assistance and quality of life issues like the removal of abandoned cars. Brooks’ “wealth tax” proposal never received a vote.

In a speech explaining his votes against the payroll and business tax cuts, Gym said, “We’ve spent far too long responding to powerful interests and the House, rather than the 100,000 families in the district. Philadelphia school.

Gauthier said she voted against the tax cuts because they benefit big business and do not target small businesses or minority-owned businesses, despite a lobbying campaign that emphasized their benefits for disadvantaged businesses.

“Tax cuts have always been presented to us as being about small business,” Gauthier said. “These are cuts that would also benefit much larger companies, and at a time when we are trying to bounce back.”

Meanwhile, several members who plan to run in next year’s mayoral race played central roles in the negotiations, including Majority Leader Cherelle Parker and three members who have long been advocates for reform of the professional tax: Derek Green, Allan Domb and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez.

“It was not an easy budget,” Parker said in a statement highlighting increased funding for policing and quality of life issues. “We are approving property tax relief measures to mitigate the effects of reassessments. We endorse payroll and business tax cuts – to provide much-needed relief to small neighborhood businesses.

The budget deal will receive a first reading at the next Council meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday before moving to second reading and final passage the following week.

4 Ways to Make Big Money as a Real Estate Investor Tue, 14 Jun 2022 13:00:00 +0000

Investing in real estate can be a super lucrative way to generate passive or active income while diversifying your portfolio. Thanks to the wide range of ways to make money from real estate, almost anyone can invest.

If real estate investing is new to you, here are four strategies to consider that can help you generate new sources of income, supplement your retirement, or simply earn you a ton of money as a real estate investor. .

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Buy rental properties

Buying and renting a property, which can include a residential property like a single family home or a commercial building like an office or apartment building, is one of the most common methods of making money. In the real estate.

It can generate passive income if the rental income is greater than the expenses of the property, including the cost of purchase, such as a mortgage. But it also offers additional advantages such as tax deductions and the possibility of benefiting from a real estate appreciation. Since real estate generally increases in value over time, the rental property could be worth much more in 10 to 30 years.

Rental real estate usually doesn’t generate a lot of money right away. A property’s cash flow may be only a few hundred dollars or less at first. But over time, that cash flow can increase through additional rent increases and paying off the mortgage with rental income.

2. Own a vacation rental

Short-term vacation rentals are a cash cow investment right now. The coronavirus pandemic has given the vacation rental business a huge boost as more people seek more privacy, amenities and space than hotels can offer.

Some investors have created entire businesses by buying and renting vacation homes in popular vacation destinations across the country or in their local markets. But you can dip your toes into this industry by buying a vacation property for yourself and renting it out when you’re not around, using a property manager. Just be sure to check local laws on short-term property rentals and investigate the supply and demand situation in the area before buying.

3. Buy a patch and return

HGTV shows like Flip or Flop and Property Brothers popularized and glamorized fix-and-flip real estate investing. However, this real estate investment strategy is more complex than it seems. When you repair and flip a property, you buy it at a discount, make repairs to improve the property and add value, and then hopefully sell it for more than you invested.

To do this well, you must have a thorough knowledge of the cost of repairs and what the property is likely to sell for when completed. Additionally, you need a strong team to help you complete the renovation on time and within budget. This active investing strategy requires knowledge, money, and management to be successful, but if done correctly, it can bring in a ton of money.

4. Invest in REITs

Of all these strategies, investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs) is by far the easiest and most accessible way for investors to start making money. REITs do not require large sums of money to invest, nor do they require the investor to purchase or manage the property themselves.

These particular types of stocks that invest in a wide range of commercial and residential assets are required to pay out 90% of their taxable income as dividends, creating a reliable income stream for investors. Plus, because many REITs are publicly traded, they offer liquidity that traditional real estate investments can’t, with the added benefit of being managed by professional teams.

Bob Saget’s Brentwood home hits the market for $7.75 million Sun, 12 Jun 2022 16:08:00 +0000

Bob SagetGetty

The Los Angeles home of the late comedian Bob Saget will soon be on the market for over $7.75 million.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the ‘Full House’ star’s six-bedroom, 6,600-square-foot Brentwood estate will be listed by her estate agent nephew Adam Saget of Compass.

The “America’s Funniest Home Videos” host bought the home in 2003 for $2.895 million and lived there with his three daughters and, a few years later, his second wife, Kelly Rizzo, according to the report.

He died in January at the age of 65 from a traumatic brain injury.

Built in the 1960s, the house was remodeled in the early 2000s before ‘The Aristocrats’ star bought it, Adam Saget told the publication. It features both stone and hardwood floors, a two-story living room with skylights, kitchen with dining area, and three fireplaces.

Sitting behind a gated security wall on approximately one-third of an acre, the grounds include a three-car garage, in-ground swimming pool, barbecue and entertaining area, and guest house.

A living room has glass doors opening to a shaded outdoor seating area, and the formal dining room includes one of the fireplaces.

After making his debut as a stand-up comedian, Bob Saget starred as Danny Tanner on “Full House” from 1989 to 1997, and reprized the role on “Fuller House” from 2016 to 2020. He has also hosted “America’s Funniest Home Videos”. from 1989 to 1997 before handing over hosting duties to John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes.

He also directed Norm MacDonald’s “Dirty Work” vehicle, and later starred as the unreliable narrator on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”

Saget died suddenly and unexpectedly while in Florida on his “I Don’t Do Negative Comedy” tour earlier this year.

He regularly performed on shows featuring fellow comedians, including “Louie”, “Ellen”, “The Jeff Foxworthy Show”, and “The Larry Sanders Show”. He also performed himself on “Entourage”.

[Wall Street Journal] — Vince DiMiceli

She combed through the converted industrial spaces of SoHo and NoHo. Who was the right person? Thu, 09 Jun 2022 09:00:02 +0000

Last year, Natalie Zamani and some of her friends from California visited New York for a few months while working remotely. “We had so much fun,” said Ms. Zamani, 30, a senior software engineer who lives and works in San Francisco.

So much that she wanted to stay. It was fairly easy for her to secure a job transfer to New York, and last fall she considered renting a 550-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in the West Village for $4,250 a month.

“It wasn’t enough space for that amount of money,” she said. “I thought maybe I could get more bang for my buck by buying, as I plan to live in New York for the long term.”

While mostly staying with friends and temporary rentals, Ms. Zamani set her sights on an industrial loft with high ceilings and a location for a large dining table where she could dine with friends. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms didn’t matter, “as long as the space was large enough not to be claustrophobic,” she said.

[Did you recently buy or rent a home in the New York metro area? We want to hear from you. Email:]

Through Zillow, she found Jeff Gordon, an approved seller at Platinum Properties. “I didn’t know the ins and outs of New York real estate,” Ms. Zamani said. “Jeff understood what I was looking for and sent me some amazing ads that I couldn’t find myself.”

She kept an eye out for loft-filled neighborhoods downtown: SoHo and surrounding areas. “The downtown culture resonates with me,” she said. “Being a transgender woman, it’s important that I root myself in a neighborhood that I don’t feel like I belong in.”

Most lofts for sale, in buildings dating back to around 1900, cost over $2 million. Its budget topped out at $1.8 million, and most places in that range were in poor condition. She was willing to make improvements, as long as the location suited her.

“I discovered that the New York market is not like anywhere else,” she said. “Even if I asked friends and family who bought elsewhere, their experiences didn’t apply to buying in New York, so I had a lot to learn.”

For one thing, she hadn’t realized the purchase would take so long. And she was surprised by the many transaction fees and taxes.

“When we started the process,” Mr. Gordon said, “I went over closing costs, and for someone new to New York, those prices can be a bit of a sticker shock. ”

Among his loft options:

Find out what happened next by answering these two questions:

How to Buy a House in a Hot Real Estate Market Tue, 07 Jun 2022 19:13:09 +0000

Buying a home has become incredibly difficult as most of the country has become a seller’s market.

Selling prices rose, forcing some people out of the market and pushing others to spend more than they wanted.

It’s a grim situation for anyone buying a home and it’s a market that has trapped people who might be willing to sell because they don’t see any place they could move to.

There are, however, ways to find a good (relative) bargain even in times when prices are higher and stocks are very limited.