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Real Estate Today: What Can You Get for $1 Million?

One million dollars can buy you a great home in some parts of the country; in other parts, not so much. According to Danielle Hale of Realtor.com, “If your price range is $1 million and you are looking for space in Los Angeles or San Francisco, you’ll find more square footage for your money in Los Angeles. In San Francisco, even if you pull down a six-figure salary you may not find a great house for $1 million when you look at price per square foot.” How about Boston? In some areas. especially the in-demand Seaport area, $1 million isn’t enough to buy a one-bedroom condo with parking. However, you can find good deals in other markets like Chicago and Washington, D.C. Homebuyers there can get

Facebook Helps Landlords Discriminate Against Minorities

Just when you thought Facebook had weathered its latest embarrassment regarding users’ privacy, here comes a new problem. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) claims that the company’s advertising policies enable advertisers to discriminate against certain classes of people. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 made it illegal for a landlord or seller to consider a person’s race, gender, or disability status when deciding whether to rent or sell housing to that person. But if you have a Facebook account, Facebook already has a lot of personal information about you. That allows landlords to filter out who sees their ads based on those characteristics. And that’s a big no-no. Rea

The Most Equity-Rich and Underwater U.S. Housing Markets

According to the ATTOM Data Solutions U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report, more than 5.2 million U.S. properties were seriously “underwater” at the end of Q1 2018. These underwater properties represent 9.5 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage, up from 9.3 percent in the previous quarter but down from 9.7 percent in Q1 2017. States with the highest share of seriously underwater homes at the end of Q1 2018 were Louisiana (20.1 percent); Mississippi (18.0 percent); Iowa (17.2 percent); West Virginia (15.9 percent); and Illinois (15.9 percent). But what about equity-rich properties? “We’ve reached a tipping point in this housing boom where enough homeowners have regained both sufficie

“Stress-Free” REITs That Yield Over Six Percent

Investments are usually fraught with risk; and risk can cause a lot of stress. Ask Brad Thomas of Forbes Magazine. In an informative, amusing and unusually personal article, Brad comes to the realization that guiding people into “stress free” investments is his new mission. Brad writes: “In this “Quest for No Stress,” I like to start at a level of “6% dividends.” Perhaps that’s where others may fear to tread, but I have a reputation to uphold. Six percent is where a bit of discomfort starts, and signs of Intelligent Investing can clearly be seen.” He goes on to recommend six of his favorite Real Estate Investment Trusts: Brixmor (BRX), W.P. Carey (WPC), EPR Properties (EPR), Hannon Armstrong

Downtown Chicago Rents Climb to Record High

Top-end apartment rents in downtown Chicago rose 5.7 percent in the second quarter this year compared to 2017. Why? Simple supply and demand. People are renting apartments faster than developers are building them “Class A” downtown apartments have an occupancy rate of 94% and climbing making landlords very happy. With more people opting to rent rather than buy and strong downtown job growth, demand for apartments is surging. “It just keeps on going,” said Ron DeVries, senior managing director in Integra’s Chicago office. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving. But not all is rosy. Because of an acceleration of new construction, there could actually be an excess supply by 2020. Developers will c

Edgewater Beach Condo Building In Chicago to Be Sold for $27 million

The iconic lakefront Edgewater Beach Condominium will be sold for more than $27 million to New York-based Greenstone Property Group. Greenstone plans to convert Edgewater’s 188 units into rental apartments. If the sale is completed, it would be one of the biggest condos-to-apartments conversions seen in Chicago. These “deconversions” are getting more and more popular because of a high demand for apartments in the city. These kinds of projects enable icondo owners in aging buildings to collectively sell their buildings rather than fund costly repairs. Says condo board president Shawn Swift: “A lot of the owners are on a fixed income and wouldn’t be able to afford a special assessment like tha

It’s a Bad Time for Real Estate Agents

This is a bad year for real estate agents. The increase in mortgage rates and the alarming shortage of affordable homes has put the brakes on homeownership. Yes, there’s also been a slowdown in new construction but not only for the reasons you think. This may come as a surprise, but the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration and its tariffs on imported lumber have made homebuilding more expensive, particularly in popular urban markets. The decline in new construction and a short supply of existing homes for sale have made housing prices so high that many potential homebuyers are either finding themselves in bidding wars or sitting on the sidelines. "We're hearing things from our rea

Buy vs. Rent? Rent is Winning

According to the latest national index produced by Florida Atlantic University, the U.S., for the first time since 2008, is becoming a renters first country. Cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Seattle and St Louis are experiencing a significant drop in homeownership. What does this mean for the future of U.S. housing prices? "It is clear that we are at a point where markets will begin to see downward pricing pressure, implying in some markets annual pricing increases will begin to slow," said Ken Johnson, Ph.D., a real estate economist. The biggest reason why America is moving into what’s called “rent territory” is because the cost of buying a home is out of reach for more and more

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