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Two Types of Real Estate I’ll Never Invest In | Bedford Real Estate


I generally try to avoid blanket statements such as this, but I’m confident I will never invest in the following two types of real estate:

1. A Speculative Development Project I know, I know some of the most successful real estate investors in the world have made vast fortunes and built empires through development. I just won’t be one of them. Right or wrong, here is my rationale:

  • Development is all about timing and I’m not clever enough to consistently time the market over an entire investing career. Often the best time to build is when the market is in the gutter and development doesn’t “pencil” (i.e. the numbers look awful). If you start to build when the market is on fire, you’ll often miss the party before you finish construction.
  • Developers often have to “land bank” to wait for the right time to build. The holding cost of land creates a negative carry investment, which eats into the project’s final returns.
  • The entitlement and permitting process is expensive and tortuous. Get out your checkbook, because every consultant and city agency is going to have its hand out. The EIR (Environmental Impact Report) alone can wreck a pre-development budget (traffic study, wind study, etc.) and everything takes 2-3 times longer than your “most conservative” project timeline.
  • Too much construction / execution risk. One failed development can crush a company’s reputation and balance sheet; erasing years of positive returns. Why not let others develop and just wait for a market dip to buy buildings below replacement cost?

2. A Suburban Office Property I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I owned a leveraged office property outside of a major city. Here’s why…




Bedford Antiques Show Opens This Weekend | Bedford NY Real Estate

The first Bedford Antiques Show is set for this weekend.

The show will run Saturday and Sunday at the Bedford Historical Society’s Historical Hall across from the Village Green in Bedford, according to a press release. The show promises to bring together nearly 20 exhibitors, “all of whom have been invited to participate because of the quality, authenticity and diversity of their collections,” according to the release.

“This unique event has been organized to fill a void in Northern Westchester after the Historical Society decided to retire its antique show this year,” said Brad Reh, estate jewelry specialist and producer of the new show, according to the release. “It allows well-respected dealers to continue to bring fine furniture, decorative objects, art and jewelry to a discerning and loyal clientele in an intimate venue right in their own backyard.”

The Bedford Antiques Show is set to feature “an exceptional and eclectic selection of items from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries for perusal and purchase, including English and Belgian hall lanterns and hurricane shades, American and English furniture, and fine Estate Jewelry,” according to the release.

Participating exhibitors include: Brad Reh, fine estate and signed jewelry; Debbie Turi, furniture, fine art; Fair Trade Antiques, British Colonial furniture and lighting; Fardin’s Antique Rugs, oriental rugs and textiles; Jaffe & Thurston, fine art and antiques; Donald Rich, period furniture and objects; Diane Davis, porcelain and small furniture; Knollwood Antiques LLC, furnishings for the home including lighting, mirrors, art and accessories, and more, according to the release.

To preview some of the pieces that will be on display,  visit the Bedford Antiques Show website.




Falling foreclosures: A sign of borrower heroism | Bedford Real Estate

Falling foreclosures are the result of heroic homeowners who have spent the past five years deleveraging, or paying down personal debts, says economics reporter Jon Hilsenrath with The Wall Street Journal.

CBS This Morning caught up with Hilsenrath to learn more about this deleveraging trend.

The news agency pulled the following excerpt from the interview:

“Americans have done something heroic, really, in the last five years,” Hilsenrath said. “Faced with all of this debt after the housing boom, they’ve made a lot of progress on paying it down. Almost one-eighth of the household consumer debt got basically paid down.”

                    Source: CBS News – WSJ

Tide of New Foreclosures Soaks Judicial States and Floods Florida | Bedford Real Estate

After months of decline, foreclosure activity increased in July, led by Florida and six other judicial states where legal procedures delay foreclosure processing.

The top six state foreclosure rates in July were in states with a judicial foreclosure process, although two of those top six states posted decreasing foreclosure activity from a year ago: Ohio (down 18 percent) and Illinois (down 44 percent).

RealtyTrac reported default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions on 130,888 U.S. properties in July, an increase of 2 percent from the 78-month low in June but still down 32 percent from July 2012. The report also shows one in every 1,001 U.S. housing units with a foreclosure filing during the month.

Foreclosure starts increased from the previous month in 26 states and were up from a year ago in 15 states, including Maryland (up 275 percent), Oregon (up 137 percent), New Jersey (up 89 percent), Connecticut (up 37 percent), and New York (up 27 percent).

Bank repossessions increased from the previous month in 29 states and were up from a year ago in 18 states, including Arkansas (up 266 percent), Oklahoma (up 126 percent), Maryland (up 101 percent), New York (up 100 percent), Connecticut (up 67 percent), New Jersey (up 40 percent), and Ohio (up 20 percent).

Among the nation’s 20 largest metropolitan statistical areas, 10 posted increasing foreclosure activity from the previous month and five posted increasing foreclosure activity from a year ago: Baltimore (up 182 percent), Miami (up 58 percent), New York (up 42 percent), Philadelphia (up 11 percent), and Washington, D.C. (up 5 percent).

Nine of the nation’s 10 highest metro foreclosure rates in July were in Florida cities, and five of those nine Florida cities posted increasing foreclosure activity from a year ago.  Florida also led the states in foreclosures for the third consecutive month.



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Actress Jodie Foster listed home for $6.4 million | Bedford Real Estate

The home has 4 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms, an office and an attached guest suite. Adjacent to a formal dining room, a butler’s pantry leads to a stunning kitchen. A luxurious master suite features a sitting area, walk-in closets, fireplace and sauna, according to Trulia.

Outside, the central courtyard pool and brick patio are shielded by a high-reaching hedge for the utmost seclusion – a must for the notoriously private Foster.


Actress Jodie Foster listed home for $6.4 million | HousingWire.

Mortgage market of the past may hold some clues for the future | Bedford NY Real Estate

James Hagerty of the Wall Street Journal hosted a session on the future of America’s mortgage market this week at the MBA Secondary Conference in New York.

The title of the session and the majority of the discussion assumes in some way that the mortgage market needs to be different than it is today. This leads me to wonder: Does the mortgage market need to be fixed and if so what still needs to be fixed?

We are all well aware of the extent to which GSEs and FHA currently provide liquidity to the U.S. mortgage market. I suspect consensus on this development is that it is far from ideal. Private, not public, capital should be supporting the mortgage market at least more than it does today.

But how much more?

Think back to before the mortgage crisis: Public capital played a very significant role, and had historically done so in the U.S. mortgage market.

The GSEs also brought something else to the market: standardization.

Is this a role that the private sector is qualified or prepared to play going forward?

Is the goal to achieve a level of private capital that is higher than before the crisis?  One highly oversimplified argument against this is that the private-label RMBS market was a a major contributor to the financial crisis.

Yes, regulators have put in place new rules to reign in many of the bad practices of the past, but a new privately built market structured would be untried.

What if rather than creating a whole new market structure, as some have proposed, what if we went back to the way it was before with a few important improvements?

The first improvement would be to develop private-label RMBS standards. Just as the GSEs issue standardized MBS, there could be a standard template for private label RMBS.

For example, there would be standards for the types of loans in the security, the type and amount of due diligence performed on the loans, and for the contract terms.

This is part of what was missing in the private-label RMBS market of old. Second, go back to the conforming loan limits of old which will reduce the market share of the GSEs.

Moving forward loan limits can be used to adjust the share of public versus private capital in the mortgage market over time.




Trulia: Inland asking prices up 14% | Bedford NY Homes

The Trulia monitor on real estate asking prices and rent for San Bernardino and Riverside counties had enough lift to put the Inland region in the “rebounding” column — right along with Phoenix, Las Vegas and Detroit.

Jed Kolko, chief economist for San Francisco-based Trulia, said asking prices are up 14 percent year-over-over in January for Inland Southern California, and rents rose 4.6 percent. “Asking prices in the Inland region have been increasing up year-over-year every month since July,” Kolko said.

Trulia says 'new low price' toppers on real estate signs are fallign to the wayside

Trulia says ‘new low price’ toppers have fallen to the wayside with asking prices on the rise.

Trulia’s percentage change in asking prices, on average, rose 5.9 percent; excluding foreclosures, prices rose 6.5 percent.

Out of 100 metropolitan regions, 86 reported year-over-year gains.

“Strong job growth, low vacancy rate and low foreclosure inventory — not huge price gains — are signs of a healthy housing market,” he said, but dramatic price gains can mask serious red flags. “Without strong underlying market fundamentals, price rebounds might be here today, but gone tomorrow.”

With the region still grappling with its share of unemployment, slow job growth and foreclosure-related actions, Kolko said Inland Southern California’s big price increases are offset by those weaker market fundamentals.

The Inland area’s housing market ranked 83 out of 100 on the list of healthiest housing markets.

Which cities are at the top in a category Trulia described as booming?

That would be San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, San Jose and Salt Lake City. Houston, Boston, Raleigh and Dallas are in the category Trulia labeled as “humming.”

Appraisers Warn: Bad Neighbors Can be Very Costly | Bedford NY Real Estate

Bad neighbors with annoying pets, unkempt yards, unpleasant odors, loud music, dangerous trees and limbs, or poorly maintained exteriors can cost homeowners big time.

The Appraisal Institute today cautioned homeowners and potential homebuyers that bad neighbors can significantly reduce nearby property values.

The Institute advised owners and buyers to walk streets neighboring a property on several days at various times to learn more about what is happening in the neighborhood. A home’s proximity to a bad neighbor also can impact the rate of potential decline in value.

“I’ve seen many situations where external factors, such as living near a bad neighbor, can lower home values by more than 5 to 10 percent,” said Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II, MAI, SRA. “Homeowners should be aware of what is going on in their neighborhood and how others’ bad behaviors could affect their home’s value.”

Appraisers refer to this as “external obsolescence,” which is depreciation caused by external factors not on the property. External obsolescence may be caused by economic or locational factors, and may be temporary or permanent, but it is not curable by the owner, landlord or tenant.

A Beginner’s Guide to YouTube Branding | Bedford Homes

youtube branding

With so many business-related videos on YouTube, and more being added every day, you need to put some effort in if you want your brand to stand out.

In this article I’ll look at five quick tips to help you create a more memorable YouTube presence.

Tip #1: Reinforce who you are

At the end of every company video you upload to YouTube, you should reinforce your brand. For example, you could say your company name and web address at the end of each clip or include an image showing this information in the final frame of your video.

If you fail to do this, people might forget who you are by the end, depending on the length of the video they’ve just watched.

Tip #2: Add your social media links

Your YouTube channel shouldn’t be treated as an individual online entity. It’s definitely a good idea to include your other social media links within the channel. For example, if people like your video and what you’ve had to say, they might want to follow you on Twitter or Facebook.

Tip #3: Take time choosing your avatar

The avatar for your YouTube channel is also an important consideration. You need to bear in mind that you’re competing with millions of other company video channels, so an eye-catching logo that stands out for all the right reasons is essential.

Tip #4: Add your logo to your videos in a subtle way

A watermarked logo can be added to your videos in a subtle way so that people are aware of it without it being intrusive. This also helps with branding if other people decide to embed your video on their websites.

Tip #5: Include your brand in the tags

My final tip is to include your company name/brand name as the final tag when you’re adding these for each video you upload. If you put this at the beginning, you’re using up a valuable space that should feature one of your main keywords.

Including your brand is great if you’ve recorded a series of videos and want the others to be displayed as related content.

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Image credit: SarahJane (license)