Archive for the ‘Property Management’ Category
The recession/depression and housing crash have certainly altered the old American Dream…at least for the foreseeable future. The ongoing foreclosure crisis will drive another 3 million families to rent single family homes before 2015.
These millions of people are not typical renters, either. They are older. They have furniture, appliances, kids and pets. They are not interested in apartment living. They are looking to move back into single family homes, after foreclosure. This new growth in single family rentals is the fastest growing part of the rental market and the pace is unprecedented.
A Nation of Renters Appears to be the Plan?
Private Equity groups smell the blood in the water. They are buying up billons of dollars in distressed property, which they will in turn rent back to American families. Colony Capital, for example, has purchased over 1ooo single family homes since December of this year and plans to invest at LEAST $1.5 BILLION more this year.
In the next 5-10 years, investment firms will gobble up hundreds of billions of dollars of single family homes, at basement prices. They will Raise rents every chance they get over the next 3-5 years. Then, they will dump these properties for a profit and move on something else.
How does a Renting Society change the American neighborhood?
The combination of transient families and declining home values will take a huge toll on American neighborhoods. A rentership society is much less likely to spend money on plants, a fresh coat of paint, new carpet or a fenced yard—as they would if they owned the home they live in.
Renters also mean shifts in student populations and present more challenges for our school systems. Many schools in the Phoenix area report that 50% of their students will be new this year, a far higher percentage than normal. Everything slows down when a new student enters a classroom and parents are less likely to be involved, when they are not sure they will be there for long.
Is American homeownership still the American Dream?
Thankfully, the answer is YES. 83% of people who lost their homes to foreclosure or distress sales say they want to own their own home again. Most say they will buy something smaller than they had. Many promise they will never again tie up so much of their income for a home. Many who are forced to rent feel displaced. They feel that they are living in someone else’s house. They are fearful of entering retirement without having a home that is paid for…which only owning and paying off a mortgage will accomplish. So, yes, neigborhoods are changing…new homeowners aren’t families, but are investment firms…but appears for all the right reasons… the American dream is alive… at least for now.
CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — The government wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not.
It’s a lesson Angel and David Dobs discovered when their homeowners association north of Atlanta denied their request to install solar panels on their roof. Neighborhood officials said the panels would look out of place and might lower home values in a community that regulates details as fine as the coloring of roof tiles, the planting of trees and the storage of trash cans.
“It’s like living under communism — someone gets to dictate every possible thing you do,” David Dobs said.
Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice. A recent attempt in Georgia to expand the right to go solar had support from environmentalists and some Republican lawmakers concerned about private property rights but it succumbed to opposition from developers and real estate agents.
Roughly two dozen states now forbid or limit homeowners associations or local governments from banning solar panels, according to a database run by North Carolina State University. Similar disputes have prompted lawsuits in Nebraska and California.
Angel and David Dobs supported the Georgia legislation after their run-in with the homeowners association. David Dobs had viewed the project as his personal contribution to prevent global warming.
Leaders of the Vickery Lake Homeowners Association in Cumming say the dispute is about architecture and aesthetics, not the merits of solar power. Homeowners automatically accept the community rules when they purchase a home there.
“We’re not going to debate whether it’s a good idea to have green energy or not,” said Jim Pearson, the association’s president.
These debates are likely to keep flaring as more people install solar energy systems because the equipment is getting cheaper and governments subsidize the cost. Taxpayers can now deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing solar panels from their federal tax bill. Other states and local governments offer additional incentives.
The fight is not new. Some solar rights laws date back to the 1970s, while other states have added similar measures more recently.
California’s law, first enacted in 1978, prevents homeowners associations from forcing residents to make aesthetic changes to photovoltaic panels that raise the cost by more than $2,000 or decrease a system’s efficiency more than 20 percent.
Most disputes in California are worked out privately, but a few have reached the court system. Last year, a California appellate court upheld a decision forcing a couple to remove solar panels that were installed in their yard without the approval of their homeowners association. They were allowed to keep other panels on their roof.
“They don’t like the way they look,” said attorney Michael McQueen, who represented the couple and others in similar disputes. “And (homeowners associations) are all about looks. Is your lawn green? Are your hedges trimmed?”
Ricardo Cestero, an attorney for the homeowners association, said neighborhood leaders were concerned the ground-level panels were not set back far enough from the street, were inadequately protected from damage and might cause erosion.
Texas adopted a law last year preventing homeowners associations from totally blocking solar panels. The law makes clear that residents can install them on roofs or in fenced-in yards or patios, subject to some limits.
In Georgia, the fight between the Dobses and their homeowners association started in 2010. David Dobs said the rules required that he and his wife seek permission to build solar panels.
He first proposed installing 30 panels on two areas parallel to the slope of his roof. People could have seen sections of the three-by-five-feet panels as they walked or drove along the street.
The homeowners association rejected that request and three others from Dobs.
Board member Jim Graham said that to win approval, the panels would probably need to be out of view, perhaps mounted in a backyard and obscured by a fence — though fences too are subject to association approval.
Graham said that if people don’t like the rules, they are free to buy elsewhere.
“They chose to come into this community,” he said.
Lawmakers in Georgia tried to resolve the problem with legislation giving homeowners associations the rest of the year to decide whether to ban solar panels. Any neighborhood that did not set a ban by next year would be unable to stop a homeowner from installing solar panels in the future.
There were limits. Homeowners associations could restrict the panels to roofs or fenced-in backyards and patios. They could require that panels be installed parallel to the slope of a roof and ban any backyard solar equipment that rose higher than the surrounding fence.
Even in states that give homeowners the right to install solar panels, homeowners associations still ban them.
Neighborhood leaders in a Salem, Ore., subdivision rejected Larry Lohrman’s request to install solar panels on his roof because their rules banned the equipment, Lohrman said. He successfully argued that a 1979 solar rights law made that ban illegal, and he and a neighbor helped the association draft guidelines governing the installation of solar panels.
His panels were installed and started producing power in 2010, though Lohrman said he nearly abandoned the effort in frustration during the year it took to write the new guidelines for his homeowners association.
“They’re just afraid that someone’s going to put up this big, honking ugly thing that reflects light and just looks ugly,” he said.
Associated Press reporter Kate Brumback contributed to this report. Follow Ray Henry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rhenryAP
InfoTube thinks some logical thought should prevail on this issue. On one hand, we want to encourage US independence from fossil fuels that harm our environment and fund terrorism. On the other hand, homeowner association rules are in place to protect the beauty, value and function of a neighborhood.. Restrictions against solar panels are common in most associations and those rules were in place when the homes were initially purchased.
A Green or Living Roof… is a concept that has been around for centuries and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Cities such as Atlanta, Portland and Chicago now offer incentives to encourage builders to put green roof’s on their buildings. The green roof on the Chicago City Hall (shown below) is one of the earliest and best known examples in the USA.
Why are Green Roofs Good for Man and Earth?
1. Adding Green Roofs to Buildings in Urban Area’s has a dramatic effect on high temperatures, which are increasing. A green roof can decrease cooling costs by 50-90% depending on the amount of glass used in the building. On average, the use of green or living roof materials in cities can reduce overall summer temperatures by 4-7 degrees. Imagine a July high temp of 82 vs 90.
2. Living roofs dramatically reduce storewater runoff and they filter pollutants and heavy metals out of rainwater. They can retain up to 75% of rainfall and reduce the need for expensive underground sand filters that meet storm water regulations.
3. Green Roofs Filter pollution and carbon dioxide out of the air, which lowers respitory diseases such as asthma. Check out the green walled homes built in Austria below.
4. Living Roofs create a Natural Habitat for Birds, Bee’s, Butterflies and Insects in Urban and Rural Settings. They increase our agricultural space and can be used to grow food, herbs, fruiting tree’s and shrubs.
5. Green Roofs Require Little to No Maintenance…and Mowing can be fun
6. Living Roofs dramatically improve a roof’s insulation value and cuts heating and cooling bills about 25% on average. The roof’s also last two to three times as long as a standard asphault shingled roof.
Flower Tower Building – Paris, France
7. Green Roof’s Increase Real Estate Values and Earn LEED’s points
The idea of Green roof’s may be centuries old..but in the 21st century they are becoming new again. They increase life, and the beauty of it…in addition they make financial and environmental sense.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. If you are installing or caring for a green roof…please send us your pictures or share you story with us. We are always looking for new ways to improve quality of life and the value of real estate.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Home Improvement Stores Outsource American Jobs to China Home Depot, Lowe’s vendor ignores U.S. patents, outsources popular INFOBOX®
ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (May 10, 2011)—Recently, Hillman Group, vendor to national DIY home-improvement retail giants Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Menards, replaced the store’s popular American-made INFOTUBE® and INFOBOX® products with Chinese factory replicas.
INFOTUBE® literature boxes were invented 23 years ago in a garage in Dallas, TX, to provide Realtors®, builders and homeowners with an affordable way to sell their homes. Today, millions of these patented real-estate literature boxes are being used in neighborhoods across America.
In March, Hillman informed Crow Erickson it was replacing INFOTUBE® and INFOBOX® products effective immediately, leaving thousands of boxes stranded on the docks and effectively closing the doors of the Asheville, NC-based manufacturer and inventor. Caplugs® factory jobs in Erie, PA and Buffalo, NY will also be affected, two areas already hard hit in this economy.
Crow Erickson’s patent attorney has inspected the Chinese product, currently available on Home Depot’s website, and it does appear to be copy of the INFOBOX® design, something Hillman insiders have conceded. The Chinese knockoff provides no cost savings to the consumer.
This is not the first time Hillman has ignored U.S. patents and put American jobs in jeopardy, including the hundreds of disabled and handicapped American workers that Crow Erickson has employed at competitive wages in partnership with vocational rehabilitation centers.
In the 1990s, Hillman tried to outsource INFOTUBE® products, a patent violation against which Crow Erickson took legal action. The settlement required Hillman to renew its contract for INFOTUBE® and agree not to compete in its product niche.
Apparently Hillman is banking on the rising cost of lawsuits to deter the small, woman-owned business from pursuing legal remedy this time around.
Crow Erickson has made numerous direct appeals to the Hillman Group and senior management at Lowe’s and Home Depot, citing its 20+ year successful partnership, patent concerns, and a desire to work with all parties for a mutually beneficial and cost-competitive resolution.
To date, Crow Erickson has not been able to engage Hillman, Lowe’s or Home Depot in any meaningful discussion and has been left with no recourse other than pursue costly legal action or close its doors and watch another American-made product fall victim to Chinese factories.
Crow Erickson is currently launching a public media campaign to save American jobs. More information can be found on www.infotube.net and the company’s blog. INFOTUBE® is also sponsoring an online petition to save American jobs from export to China which can be viewed and signed on The Petition Site at Help-Save-American-Jobs.
President, Crow Erickson, Inc.
800-858-6000 (o) 828-230-2260 (cel)
Wall Street Journal Blog Post:
Perhaps tired of doubling up with family or living in mom’s spare bedroom, renters are heading back into the market, driving down vacancies and driving up rents.
Nationwide, the vacancy rate measured 7.2% in the third quarter, down from 7.9% a year earlier-one of the sharpest declines on record, according to new data released Wednesday by Reis Inc.
“Despite lackluster economic growth and continuing uncertainty in the labor markets, households appear to be returning in droves to the rental market and signing leases,” writes Victor Calanog, Reis’ director of research. (See Apartment Market, Rents Rebound)
Landlords took the opportunity to bump up rents for the third quarter in a row. “We are getting more rent every time we either renew the lease or a new resident comes in,” Jeffrey Friedman, chief executive of apartment owner Associated Estates Realty Corp., tells Developments. The days of renter perks like free rent and flat-screen TVs are largely over, although landlords could be back in the incentive game if job growth doesn’t materialize next year.
The New York City metro area saw the biggest jump in rents, gaining 2.2% from the second quarter; to an average of $2,756–the costliest rent by far in the country. ( If you want cheap rent move to Tulsa, which ranks last of 82 markets with average rent of $540.)
Greenville, S.C., and suburban Virginia also saw rental gains topping 2%. Not surprisingly, rents continued to decline in some of the markets hardest hit by the housing crash. The usual suspects–Miami, Jacksonville, Fla., and Las Vegas–each dipped 0.2%.
When measuring vacancy, the nation’s tightest market is New Haven, Conn., with just 2.3% of units empty, thanks to those college kids. New York follows with 3.6%, while Long Island’s vacancy rate is 3.9%.
Jacksonville tops the list at 12.1%.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net FREE homes for sale and rent website. We experts at selling real estate. Visit our website and learn how we do it!
1. Some communities charge rental permit fee’s. Property owners should be aware that unpaid fee’s can invalidate the lease agreement.
2. All leases should include Key elements. At a minimum include…dates that the lease active; the rental fee agreement; how the deposit will be held; the responsibilities of each party with regard to repairs and maintenance.
3. The security deposit CAN NOT exceed 1 and 1/2 months rent… In other words, if the rent is $1000, the maximum security deposit that could be collected is $1500.
4. If your property is not up to code…the tenant has the the right to hold rent in escrow versus paying it to the landlord. Simply put, the rent can be withheld to force the landlord into making repairs and bringing his property up to code.
5. Landlords can evict a tenant for damaging the property (serious damage, not normal wear or tear) or using the property for illegal purposes.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net Free homes for sale and rent website. Take a look at some fabulous properties or place a free listing about yours! We are here to help you!
Given the millions of homes that are languishing on the market, it’s no surprise that many owners are considering leasing their homes in order to avoid big financial losses. If you are an owner that is debating the pro’s and con’s of leasing your property, we have some very valuable advice to share with you.
Leasing out your home can be a great experience. A good tenant will care for your property, while paying your mortgage. Owning investment property also has tax benefits, and while the home selling market maybe soft…the present rental market is stronger than ever.
TIPS FOR A NEW LANDLORD!
- Don’t be afraid of bad credit. References are as important as a credit report. In addition, many renters who lost their homes have gotten rid of their biggest expense…their mortgage. So, if their references check out and they have good jobs, don’t let a bad credit report scare you.
- Ask the tenant to provide a current copy of their credit report, references and their last paycheck stub.
- Call the renter”s employer to verify that they are still working there.
- Consider hiring a private investigator for less than $50. They can immediately find out whether the tenant is a scammer or not.
- Check you local laws to see if you have to have a permit to rent out your house.
- If you are using a standard lease agreement, ask your lawyer to look it over and avoid potential surprises.
- Build in convenience for yourself. Requests wire transfers and automatic deposits for monthly rent payments.
- Craigslist and InfoTube.net are fantastic places to advertise your rental. Best of all, both sites are Free and allow pictures.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net, your FREE homes for sale and rent listing website. Please check back in with us tomorrow when continue our blog with Property Management Tips for Homeowners.
Florida implented the act on July 1st and the result has been overwhelmingly successful, so far. The first thing the act did was give condo associations the right to demand deliquent renters pay rents directly to the association. Even more significant, the law eliminated developer liability. Prior law defined a developer as anyone who sold or leased more than 7 units in a condo in one year. Under the old law, “Developers” faced potential unlimited liabilities for such things as construction warranties..
By removing the unlimited liabilty for bulk investors, major Wall Street firms, which represent billions in assets and capital, descended on South Florida and began gobbling up condo units in bulk. “Since the law went into place, activity has been “off the charts”, said Peter Zaleswski, founder of Condo Vultures. “We’re moving away from a situation where it’s 10 oe 20 units in a bulk buy, to one where it’s 100 or 200 or even 300 units,” Zalewski said. “You have several Wall Street funds competing on the same projects. It’s all because of the change in the new law.”
Good news for Florida homeowners and builders…Zalewski said the change has been drastic. “I would challenge you to find one of the largest groups on Wall Street who’s not looking into South Florida right now.” Zalewski predicted…”I would anticipate you see some huge numbers put on the board by the end of the year.”
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net homes for sale and rent website. Visit the site to Search for property, download free legal forms, place a free property listing, sign up for the MLS or buy an InfoTube or InfoBox for your “For Sale” sign.