Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

An apartment in Manhattan

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

One of my dreams has always been to own an apartment in Manhattan (in addition to one in Seoul, one in Rome, one in a Canadian city like Ottawa or Toronto, and now I’ve considered adding Brazil) so I was recently checking out Stuyvesant Town where, at least on this official site, it seems like you can only rent but not buy. $3,000/month for a 1 bedroom (which is all I need so far) tells you why I haven’t achieved my dream yet…

I’ve been considering a more attainable dream, like an apartment in Morris Park or one on Arthur Avenue. These are also fun areas and I have a good friend who lives in and highly recommends Morris Park.

While most of New York’s best attractions are in Manhattan, the island is easily accessible from the Bronx (subway or bus) and the Bronx does have it’s zoo

A lot of house for $200,000 on 5th Ave. in Pittsburgh

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Pittsburgh didn’t make the list of most resilient real estate markets, but some investors call real estate in Pittsburgh undervalued.

Anyway, this much house in or near a city for $200,000 is new to me:

The carefully restored 1871 town house boasts 14-foot ceilings, three bedrooms, 31/2 baths, original pine floors and oversized molding, furniture and artwork. But the real surprise is the 28-foot-long in-ground swimming pool surrounded by mature trees and shrubs in the side yard. Next to the pool is a 20-by-20-foot deck shaded by wisteria, with a two-car garage beneath.

The neighborhood is supposedly getting better but they still say not to go for walks at night or take your abby out for a ride in the stroller by day…

Here’s an article about Pittsburgh working to improve a problem area.

Pittsburgh real estate and sports

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

I’ve blogged about Pittsburgh real estate before, including residences that seem too cheap, the city targeting niche markets, and that Forbes thinks Pittsburgh is not overpriced.

Today I’ve got a few more articles involving Pittsburgh sports and their effect on real estate. This one is about a Charlie Batch project (he’s the Steelers QB) while this one is about the North Shore where Jerome Bettis (the Steelers retired running back) just opened a restaurant.

And of course we also have the Penguins staying in Pittsburgh (for at least 40 years) and the new arena being built. All this seems to bode well for Pittsburgh.

Real estate in Brazil

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Brazil is one of the better real estate markets for foreign investment right now, competing with Germany, Japan, and China according to this article.

This article says that buying real estate in Brazil is not too tough. You’ll need a CPF (taxpayer number) and should hire a real estate attorney to do a title search.

Brazilian real estate has a lot of things going for it. It’s drawing more attention from international investors which should drive prices up. It can be rented out to vacationers since Brazil has a good climate and great culture and scenery. Brazil’s economy in general is looking good.

It would be great to have a vacation home on the beach in Brazil, wouldn’t it? Maybe you could rent it out when you’re not using it and maybe you’ll see real estate prices go up. But you would definitely enjoy that beach…

Overpriced and not too overpriced US real estate markets from Forbes

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Here’s an article on overpriced real estate markets. The authors calculated a P/E ratio for each market involving home prices and rental income. Low affordability, low income growth and a high cost of living are also issues here.

Starting with the most overpriced:

1. San Diego
2. Miami
3. Sacramento
4. San Francisco
5. Washington
6. Honolulu
7. New York
8. Los Angeles
9. Boston
10. San Jose

We also have the least overpriced real estate markets:

1. Charlotte, N.C.
2. Austin
3. Raleigh, N.C.
4. Detroit
5. St. Louis
6. Pittsburgh
7. Orlando
8. Philadelphia
9. Indianapolis
10. El Paso

Keep in mind that these listing don’t necessarily talk about which cities are good real estate investments. The article warns agains investing in Detroit, and I’ve blogged about the same thing here. Philadelphia has economic concerns that are hurting areas outside of Center City. Pittsburgh does look good to many investors, however.

Killadelphia real estate

Monday, May 7th, 2007

The better real estate prices in Philadlphia (compared to declining markets like Vegas and Boston) haven’t reached a lot of neighborhoods outside of Center City. So many philadelphians in these areas live in poverty that a lack of jobs (plus easy access to guns) is being blamed for a quickly increasing murder rate and an unfortunate new nickname, Killadelphia.

Advice for new real estate developers

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Here’s an interesting article with advice for new reat estate developers. This was the most interesting part to me:

One way to begin is with four-unit rental properties. These properties can be financed with 20 percent down payments and single-family mortgages. If your credit history is good, you should be able to obtain financing at attractive terms.

You should be aware, however, that such property in the D.C. area is currently rather expensive to buy relative to the rental income it generates. Prices are much lower in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Richmond, but managing properties from a distance can be difficult.

Some actual numbers would be helpful here, but it’s good to know which markets show better rental income relative to your investment.

If you are moving to Colorado then some Colorado real estate resources could be very helpful, like a Colorado home finder or various other tools and articles on real estate in the area, whether you’re interested in Denver real estate or some other areas.

Perspectives on Housing Predictor.com’s best and worst 25 real estate markets

Friday, April 13th, 2007

First, take this HousingPredictor.com stuff for what its worth – when I did a News search for “housing predictor” I didn’t get many results. I published links to the two useful ones below. Most results were press releases and that’s often a bad sign as the company may be trying to create hype when there really isn’t much interest.

But what did I find? Philadelphia is just happy not to be listed in the bottom 25. You have to wonder if they need to fix their pension problem before we see real growth there.

San Diego was in the bottom 25 (2nd worst) – HousingPredictor.com expects about a 13% decrease.

Luckily for San Diego, Miami was seen as the worst housing market (although single family homes under 250,000 are expected to perform comparatively well).

And of course, there’s always India.

Philadelphia city’s economic mess from large pension payments could mean trouble for real estate

Sunday, April 8th, 2007

Here’s an article that says Philadelphia could end up in trouble like Detroit has gotten itself into because they spend so much money paying pensions there’s not enough left to run the city properly:

This reality prompted one veteran city executive who is familiar with the impending budget crisis to liken Philadelphia to a “Bos-troit”: a rapidly regenerating downtown, like Boston’s, ideal for affluent tourists and new-comers, but surrounded by square mile upon square mile of dying neighborhoods, impoverished residents and relentless urban ruin, just like Detroit. And that situation is probably not sustainable, either – at least, not for long. No matter how good it looks, Center City cannot survive if it’s totally cut off from the rest of a desolate, crime-ridden Philadelphia. That’s no better than living under a state of siege, even if you are enjoying the view from the balcony of a million-dollar condo.

Scared yet? The article mentions other problems such as a lack of affordable housing, and a relatively uneducated population. The author paints a very bleak picture of Philadelphia’s future.

Will Pittsburgh real estate appreciate in value?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Not too long ago, I wrote about investing in Pittsburgh real estate. An $1,000 investment generated $300/month positive cash flow (liabilities = $18,000 mortgage, tax, and insurance which toaled $300 monthly payments while income = $600/month rent).

Most real estate investors are also looking for appreciation of the property. Pittsburgh is trying to make that happen and by targeting niches, I think the city has a good chance.