Black Friday Loft Sales

2 Dec 2014 · by Virtual Results PubSub

1-Modern-loft-layoutAs we prepare to enter the holiday shopping season, Loft sellers may think it is too late to sell their Loft this year. You may have heard that Lofts sell better in the spring, so you might be tempted to take your Loft off the market until after the New Year. After all, you have shopping to complete, baking to do, decorating to finish and myriad programs and activities vying for your time.

However, a survey of real estate agents shows that while Thanksgiving Day typically is set aside for families, Black Friday and the remainder of the weekend are days when serious buyers have more time to look for a Loft. In fact, sixty-eight percent of agents surveyed agreed that the buyers out looking on Black Friday are serious about buying a Loft.

Motivated Sellers

During the holidays, serious sellers can offer extra bonus items to entice buyers: a new washer and dryer or big-screen TV. Motivated sellers could offer holiday discounts, or offer to cover some of the buyer’s fees. Committed sellers may consider dropping their asking price, thereby lowering the effective tax rate on the Loft—a terrific value to Loftbuyers.

Sellers can take advantage of Black Friday sales to upgrade appliances and fixtures to improve their Loft’s appeal. Tasteful holiday decorations add curb appeal, too! Seasonal accents and colorful baskets of mums or pumpkins add a burst of interest to porches and walkways. Brightly painted doors graced with wreaths add a welcoming touch, and new door hardware and carriage lamps add that extra boost of pleasant hospitality to your Loft’s exterior.

Remember the little touches. Adding a little pumpkin spice or the smell of fresh baked cookies to your Loft gives buyers the sense of celebration and warmth. They can imagine celebrating the holiday there next year with their own family.

If you are a motivated seller, talk to your agent about ways to make your Loft more exciting or enticing to holiday buyers, and how to increase your curb appeal.

Bargaining Power

More than forty percent of agents responding to a survey believe that sellers perceive Black Friday Loft buyers to be serious, and would likely entertain or accept offers during this time. Buyers with preapproved mortgages have increased bargaining power, especially when sellers want to close the sale by the end of the year.

If you are in the market for a Loft, talk to your agent about shopping on Black Friday or the remainder of the holiday weekend. Both you agent and motivated Loft sellers will know that you are serious and will make time for you. If you have picked out the Loft you want, consider making your offer during the holiday weekend instead of waiting. In the spirit of the holiday, some sellers may be more inclined to accept your offer, or add other values or incentives to the Loft … so tell your agent what you want, and what would seal the deal for you.

Why Renters don’t buy

14 Nov 2014 · by ChrisSampaio

Realtor Mag just came out with an article with the Top 10 reasons why renters don’t plan to buy in the future. Some of them make sense, but some others are just misinformation.

Here are the reasons and my comments on them.

  1. Cannot afford the purchase or upkeep of a home. Buy a LOFT and most of the upkeep will be handled by the HOA. Also you will have a good idea of the costs, since you will know how much the HOA dues are before you buy.
  2. Not good enough credit for a mortgage. You will be surprised, lenders are more flexible now, but you might get a higher interest rate.
  3. Not a good time economically to buy a home. The economy is doing great, prices did go up a lot, but interest rates are at a all time low.
  4. Cheaper per month to rent than to buy. Sometimes. In LA rent prices skyrocketed, so it depends on the area.
  5. Don’t want to be concerned with doing the upkeep. Again, but a LOFT and your upkeep will be minimal.
  6. Don’t plan to be in a certain area for an extended period of time. Thats a good reason, since it costs around 7% to sell.
  7. Rather use the money for other investments than a Loft. Real Estate is one of the safest investments out there, you can live in it, you can rent, you can upgrade and you can borrow money against it. Not too many investments can do that.
  8. Process of buying a home seems too complicated. Thats why you can get a good Real Estate agent to guide you thru the process.
  9. Purchasing a home limits flexibility in future choices. Depends on your choices, but yes, it ties you up a bit. Its a longer term choice.
  10. Can live in better neighborhood by renting. Not true, the better neighborhoods are the ones with owner occupied houses and condos, since they have more vested interest in keeping the area desirable. Again, with exception of the Down payment the numbers are very close.


Can I Sell My Loft with a Reverse Mortgage?

28 Nov 2014 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Can I Sell My House with a Reverse Mortgage?To help you through your retirement, you took out a reverse mortgage on your Loft. Now, several years into your retirement, you son wants to buy his childhood Loft so you can move to a warmer climate. Can you sell your Loft?

Reverse mortgage

A so-called “reverse mortgage” is a home loan that offers regular cash payments (in a single lump sum, a monthly advance, a line of credit, or a combination of the three) to a homeowner based on the home’s equity. The borrower must be above the age of 62 (in the U.S.) and the Loft must be his/her principle residence. Economists proposed the loans as a means of assisting seniors in maintaining a level income, and the IRS does not consider funds from a reverse mortgage to be income, but rather, loan advances.


Typically, the borrower can defer repayment of the loan until he dies, sells the Loft or moves away from the Loft for more than 12 consecutive months. When the loan comes due, the borrower or her heirs may refinance the loan, pay the loan with interest or sell the Loft, cashing out any remaining equity. Alternatively, they may turn the Loft over to the lender of the reverse mortgage, giving up all claims to the property or the equity in the property. With a HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage), available through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), the borrower can never owe more than the Loft is worth, so the lender only has recourse on the property, not the borrower or the borrower’s heirs.

Selling the home

The interest on a reverse mortgage compounds over the life of the loan, which means that each month, interest accrues on both the borrowed amount and the unpaid interest. The final mortgage owed may be much higher than the original amount borrowed. If selling the home, here are the first steps to take:

  1. Determine how much is owed. You will owe all of the money borrowed to-date, compounded interest on that money, and fees that the lender may charge.
  2. Obtain a payoff quote from the lender. This gives you an estimate of the amount required to pay the loan in full. Remember that a payoff quote is for a specific date or date range, so if the sale takes longer than anticipated, the final amount likely will be higher than the quote.
  3. Contact your real estate agent. We not only can help you with the sale of your Loft, we can help determine the fair market value and determine if selling a Loft with a reverse mortgage is appropriate for your situation.

When the Loft sells, the reverse mortgage will be paid from the proceeds of the sale. Any remaining monies after paying off your real estate agent and any liens, fees or other loans will be yours.

Remember that the original reverse mortgage loan may be higher than what the property currently is worth. In that case, it may not be in your best interest to sell the Loft. We can help you determine if selling your Loft is the right decision for your circumstances.


Elections Affect Homeowners

7 Nov 2014 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Elections Affect HomeownersOne of the very first discussions the Founding Fathers had was about how to balance the rights of all individuals with the rights of those who owned property. They knew that if only property owners could vote, the rights of individuals and minorities might be suppressed … but, if voting extended to non-property owners, the rights of property owners could be unfairly overruled. In the end, they left the question of voter rights to the individual states. Now, nearly 240 year later, with suffrage extended to all citizens, with or without property, the question remains:

“Do elections affect property owners differently than non-property owners?”


Nearly every municipality imposes property taxes on homeowners for, well, owning homes (and other property). The tax authority typically bases these taxes, or mill levies, as a percentage of the assessed value of the property owned. Proceeds from levies on property fund local services including:

  • Law enforcement
  • Roads, bridges, street lights, and other infrastructure
  • Public schools
  • Emergency services
  • Debris and snow removal

Each locality and school district sets the property tax rates each year to meet the needs of that community. This means that tax rates vary widely from one municipality to another, and even between neighborhoods. They can increase each year, or may even decrease. For homeowners, voting for or against a levy affects property owners in two ways:

  1. The actual tax increase affects a property owner’s bottom line. Yearly property tax increases might push the cost of owning a home higher than the owners plan, or higher than their income can bear. Putting stress on property owners’ financial situation may make it more difficult for them to maintain their property. Homes in distress can bring down the value of an entire neighborhood.
  2. When homeowners vote to increase levies—such as those that provide local services, upgraded roads, improved schools or increased emergency personnel—they are voting to increase the value of their homes and communities, making them more attractive to buyers.

Voting for or against levies is a delicate balance between increasing an owner’s outgo with increasing the property’s value and the community’s desirability. Researching the fiscal impact of the levy you intend to vote on is an important first step in determining how it may affect your bottom line.

Sales Taxes

Taxes based on the sale of goods typically spread the burden of the tax across both property owners and non-property owners. Sometimes, however, a sales tax increase is for a specific neighborhood or commercial area. If you own property in an area with a higher sales tax rate than one nearby, it can determine how easily you keep your space leased to shop owners since customers may choose to shop elsewhere.

If you are new to home ownership, increases in sales taxes make purchasing furnishings and appliances more expensive. If you are considering upgrades and improvements, renovations or additions, a tax increase may expand your scope costs.

Other Taxes

Taxes specifically affecting homeowners include those like the one embedded in the Affordable Care Act. It taxes the capital gains income of upper-bracket homeowners that sell their home at a sizable profit and even taxes rental income from investment property.


Decisions by both national and local elected officials—from state senators to congressional representatives, governors to county commissioners, city council members to school board members—impact the future levies imposed on local property. Knowing your candidates and how they hope to legislate their agenda can affect both your bottom line and your property values.

Not only are elections about national and state officials, international and social concerns or party platforms—they are about local schools, streetlamps, parks and 911 services.


Do not leave decisions that affect property ownership to others. Take the time to vote in your local and national elections. Balance how a levy can affect your immediate bottom line with the impact it might have on the sale of your property in five years.