DIY Real Estate: Should You Sell Your House Yourself?

In an age when traditional markets everywhere are being disrupted by internet innovations, it’s tempting for home sellers to try to go it alone, use the web and forgo the services of a real estate agent. A slew of online sites offering advice, assistance and exposure make it now seem even more appealing.  This new realm of Do-It-Yourself realty, known by the shorthand FSBO (i.e., For Sale By Owner, pronounced “fizzbo”) has become increasingly popular and has delivered real value to millions of home sellers.  There is even a website dedicated to serving DIY home sellers called, not surprisingly, For Sale By Owner. But as with many other exciting new things on the web, the results don’t always live up to the buzz.  FSBO home sales are not without their downsides.  The real question is, as ever, “Is it right for me?” Continue reading “DIY Real Estate: Should You Sell Your House Yourself?”

Estate Planning – Creating a Trust for the Family Home [Part 1 of 3]

Putting one’s home into a trust is an increasingly popular strategy for aging homeowners and their families who want to ensure that the parents’ home is transferred to their survivors with a minimum of fuss and the fewest possible tax liabilities. It’s an excellent way both to preserve the value of what is often one’s chief asset for one’s heirs and to avoid the complexities and potential risks that can come with a traditional inheritance scenario. Unlike a will, the contents of which are part of the public record, the terms of a trust are private. And unlike a will, a trust is not subject to the review and possible challenge to the extent to which wills that are going probate are exposed. Nor will the heirs have to bear the burden of probate fees which can eat up to 7 percent of the home’s value – or wait for the process to end to gain ownership of the property. Continue reading “Estate Planning – Creating a Trust for the Family Home [Part 1 of 3]”

The Un-Mixed Blessings of Commercial Real Estate

The outlook for the commercial real estate market in 2016 is considered to be very good with a few minor areas of concern. Overall growth has been particularly strong over the past year.  According to Real Capital Analytics there was a total of $533 billion in commercial real estate sales in 2015 representing a 23% gain over 2014. Last year also saw the second highest level of investment ever, trailing only 2007.  Plus, the Moody’s/RCA Commercial Property Price Indices are predicting price increases of 12% this year over 2015.  Nationally, steadily growing demand and declining vacancy rates are seen as signs that this upward trend will persist. Continue reading “The Un-Mixed Blessings of Commercial Real Estate”