You’re financially ready. You’re excited to be shopping for
your new home. But you’re getting slammed by the competition! Now, how do you make
offers with confidence and get your home purchase goal back on track?
There are three key parts of this home-buying adventure. You
can break them down into:
1. Preparing your finances.
2. Choosing homes you’d like to buy, assessing
their value and appropriate pricing.
3. Negotiating with sellers.
When the going gets tough, a few competitive tips might help
strengthen your hand in each of these three stages. Then we offer a few
lesser-known ideas. What follows is a range of possible strategies to work
with, so you can choose what resonates with you.
Real estate is known as an illiquid asset. Turning real
estate assets into cash is a complex, costly process. This is so, whether the
owner is selling, or seeking profit from steady rental income. Returns on an
initial investment are typically slow, cumbersome, dependent on intermediaries,
and reliant on other people’s reliability and performance.
Blockchain technology is being applied to lessen the
administrative friction. Were real estate easier to transfer, proponents say, new
investment choices could be developed.
Readers may have noted a marked rise in discussions of DeFi — decentralized finance — as a way to bringing tangible assets into digital, accessible form. Real estate, with a global market approaching $300 trillion in total value, is an impressive use case. According to Paul Tostevin, director of the Savills World Research team:
By any measure, real estate is
by far the most significant store of wealth, representing more than 3.5 times
the total global GDP.
And no wonder. Territory is a good we cannot live without.
And real estate is finite.
In the United States, real estate investment opportunities
abound. International real estate buyers can earn profits and bolster the U.S.
economy at the same time. Some people invest from outside the borders. Some investors
hope to live in the United States.
If you are thinking of purchasing U.S. real estate and
gaining residence as well, read on. We’ll start with a broad-brush Q&A. Then
we’ll get into the investment visa and the eligibility rules as of 2021.
Buying a home is a major challenge for a large segment of our
population, and many people can’t afford homes near the workplaces that need
them. With the travel and hospitality sectors reopening for business, the
problem is growing more obvious. There’s a home affordability crisis calling
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Or several. Some counties
and towns are addressing the issue by dropping
their single-family-only zoning rules. Another response is a flurry
of permissions for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units (a.k.a. “in-law
cottages)” on their properties.
In this article, we’ll explore yet another partial solution:
dedicated workforce housing. Counties can create deed restrictions that
allocate homes to employees of local businesses. A deed restriction, recorded with
the property deed, can limiting the ways a home can be held or conveyed to
June, 2021 — As Deeds.com readers know, we’ve
been watching the steady emergence of blockchain for real estate applications.
Blockchain, which was introduced to the world through Bitcoin in 2009, is here
to stay. How can we say so? It’s increasingly viewed as a change agent in the
way business is done.
Case in Point: El Salvador, June 2021
Cryptocurrency has just reached a new milestone, becoming a legal tender in El Salvador. To underscore the intent to make bitcoins more like a currency than a taxable asset, President Nayib Bukele said transactions could occur without being subject to capital gains tax. On the 9th of June, 2021, the president tweeted about the country’s official recognition of Bitcoin:
The #BitcoinLaw has been
approved by a supermajority in the Salvadoran Congress. 62 out of 84 votes!
Bukele has replied to concerns that cryptoassets can be used by criminals, observing that criminals trade in U.S. dollars and other assets as well. The president also tweeted a rebuttal to the objection that cryptocurrency relies on coal-based electricity:
I’ve just instructed the president of LaGeo (our state-owned geothermal electric company), to put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos. This is going to evolve fast!
El Salvador will offer citizenship to those who have
invested in at least three bitcoins.
Note: Bitcoin with a capital B is usually
reserved to mean the platform, whereas a bitcoin with a small b is the
cryptoasset itself. BTC is the abbreviation for bitcoin traded on an exchange.
Home values shot up over the past year. Now, in the second
half of 2021, demand remains high. But did you know that condo prices, on
average, have only risen about half as much as single-family homes?
The difference is especially pronounced in some of the major East and West Coast cities, Bankrate.com notes. For a striking example, take San Jose. The price of an average San Jose home has risen 11% year-over-year — while the rise in condo prices is a laid-back 2%.
What explains the extra high demand (and pricing) for houses
over condos? When the pandemic took hold, a wave of buyers headed for suburbia,
seeking extra personal and working space. The work-from-home trend freed many
to leave condos and apartments near their jobs. The newly remote workers could now
buy homes and cabins with space and scenery.
The upshot? Condominiums are available. In many markets,
they are still surprisingly affordable. To boost buyers’ savings further, condo
insurance is cheaper than home insurance. Plus, condos tend to be compact and
insulated by adjacent units, so owners don’t spend so much on heating and air
conditioning. Add in today’s low interest rates. First-time buyers have an
Black-owned homes are regularly low-balled in appraisals.
It’s been happening for generations. Now, the Biden administration is confronting
On June 1, 2021, the president said a new task force will deal
with race-associated disparities in home appraisals. Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge will lead the team as it embarks on a
thorough review of current appraisal methods and outcomes, and as potential
remedies are considered.
The task force will consist of a large group of agencies and
financial groups, encompassing the Federal Reserve, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae,
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and a host of financial groups. It
will seek information and guidance, too, from civil rights nonprofits as well
as the appraisal industry and its state-based regulators.
You start off the marketing and sale of your home with a
listing agreement. This document controls all the terms of the sale. It sets
the keynote for a string of important decisions and legal agreements.
In this article, we’ll discuss some recent news about
listing agreements, as well as the broad-brush concepts every seller must know.
First, we look at some sales tactics to look out for before you even think of
selling. Then, we’ll explore how to understand the terms of the agreement
you’ll sign when you’re ready.