Posts tagged with "real estate"

by Kaelen Felix for use by 360 Magazine

Top Mistakes to Avoid While Selling a Home for Cash

Generally, selling a home can take so much time, which you may not have. Real estate experts estimate 6 months or more when you follow the normal listing process. However, selling a home for cash can save you a lot of time because it is fast and easy. It will be even better if you avoid common mistakes homeowners make when taking this direction.

So, are you planning to sell your home for cash? Whether you are a real estate investor or just a homeowner trying to sell your home, avoiding these mistakes will make a big difference in your life.

Setting an Unrealistic Price When Selling a Home for Cash

Selling a home for cash, either to homebuyers or any other interested person, is fast when the price is realistic. When it is too high, every buyer will think twice before making an offer. A price that does not match the house will slow everything and might even derail the whole project completely.

To avoid this, have a professional conduct an appraisal and understand the current market price. If you want the house to sell even faster, slightly lower the price especially if you have not renovated and repaired areas that are not in great condition.

Selling to the Wrong Cash Buyers When Selling a Home for Cash

When selling a home for cash, using cash buyers can really save you time. They conveniently buy homes that are proposed to them as long as they meet their standards. However, one wrong move can mess things up; avoid choosing the wrong cash buyers, who are not fair in their pricing or will give you empty promises and never close the deal.

So, take your time to research and locate the best cash buyers in your area. They will give a fair offer and close the deal fast for you.

Failure to Prepare the Home for Sale

Selling a home for cash requires that you prepare your home for the process. Just like any other home sale, take some time to declutter and clean the home for showings. Potential cash homebuyers may want to close a deal fast, but they also consider the status of the home. Disorganization can put off buyers and force them to look elsewhere.

If possible, do simple repairs and renovations unless the cash buyer offers to buy on an “as-is” basis. This is usually a simple project that any person can really do.

Failure to Market the House

It is easy to personally market your home on social media and other free platforms. This will increase the visibility of your home even if you do not list it with real estate firms. On the other hand, failure to do marketing when selling a home for cash will increase the time it will stay on the market.

The wrong marketing will have a negative impact as well. So, make sure that you have used the right marketing even if it means hiring a digital marketer to take professional photos and post them for you.

Final Words

When selling a home for cash, most people wish to take the shortest time possible and get good proceeds at the same time. The above insights on mistakes to avoid when selling your home fast for cash will be invaluable to you. So, follow them carefully.

Pandemic Real Estate Trends

5 Massive Real Estate Trends Created by the Pandemic

By: Polina Ryshakov, Director of Valuation at Sundae

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on a number of demographic and home buying and selling trends. Here are 5 of the most noteworthy shifts. The coronavirus pandemic upended daily American life in countless unpredictable ways. Real estate was no exception. Some of the ways in which the pandemic affected housing reshape how we think about homeownership and hint at larger economic shifts down the line.

First-time buyer demographics prior to 2020

The median age of first-time homebuyers was around 33 before the pandemic started. This is the oldest age recorded since 1981 when the median age of first-time homebuyers was 29.  As homeownership is commonly considered a gateway to wealth creation and a key piece of the American dream, an older average first-time buyer age could reflect a lack of economic opportunity for young people. Over the past few decades, there were several factors behind the extra four years it takes on average to buy a first home.

Contributing factors include:

  • A skyrocketing increase in college tuition
  • Delay in household formations (i.e., having children later)
  • Rapid home appreciation causing a lack of affordability
  • Other key demographic trends predating the pandemic

The median age of repeat buyers increased even more rapidly between 1981 and 2020, going from 36 to 55. As with first-time home buyers, multiple interesting factors drove this trend. For example, some studies claim that baby boomers prefer to age in place, identifying 3.6 million unoccupied rooms owned by baby boomers, thus contributing to the housing shortage.

But it’s not that simple.

Since 1980, wage growth hasn’t kept up with inflation for over 50% of American workers. Meanwhile, the dot.com bust and the Great Recession dropped S&P levels 43% and 48%, respectively, which also reduced home equity at a similar level. These essentially trapped boomers because they owed more on their homes than they could get for them, while at the same time suffering hits to their overall wealth. The Great Recession also created an opportunity for older Gen Xers and boomers with cash to purchase investment properties. As home prices dipped following the bubble bust, Americans seized their chance to buy properties for passive income, and with more distressed properties for fix and flip opportunities, real estate became a more popular way for people above-median home-buying age to create wealth, thus contributing to the increased repeat buyer age. The biggest jolt in demand is yet to come

The largest age bracket among millennials, which adds up to nearly 10 million people, has been turning 30 over the last two years. This is the milestone age of starting a family and buying a home; their home-buying appetites are already starting to show. According to the NAHB Trends Report, between the fourth quarter of 2019 and that of 2020, the number of millennials and Gen Xers actively searching for a home increased dramatically, from 46% to 65% and 43% to 57%, respectively.  The relative numbers of Gen Zers and boomers remained essentially flat, with 42% and 32% looking for a home, respectively. With this demographic backdrop, and the continuing economic and social fallout from the coronavirus, what are we likely to see over the remainder of 2021 and beyond?

Trend #1: Median age of first-time homebuyers will decline

Millennials’ desire to own a home has been long debated. A number of long-term trends put millennial homeownership on the backburner:

Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic created an attractive new opportunity for this demographic cohort. Several things came together: immediate demand for more space with the need to work from home, record low-interest rates that translate to lower monthly mortgage payments, and the last piece of the puzzle, increased savings. While staying home, there is no need to buy new clothes or daily Starbucks. There is no going out after work or on weekends, and a lot less travel, for work or pleasure. In fact, the virus even put a pause on paying off college debt, since it became a COVID-19 Relief option. The bottom line is that more people will have the ability and interest to buy a house, sooner than they were before.

Trend #2: Median age of repeat home buyers will decline

The median age of repeat home buyers is likely to decline immediately post-pandemic but will revert to the pre-pandemic increasing trend quickly.  The average tenure of homeownership continued to increase and was over 8 years at the end of 2020, up from 4 years in 2007, before the Great Recession. Assuming the median age of the typical “move up,” or second-time home buyer is roughly 40 years old (given the simple math of 33 + 8), a median repeat buyer age around 55 means that a lot more people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are acquiring third, fourth, or even fifth properties. One of the factors behind the dramatic age increase in repeat buyers since 1981 is the growing popularity of real estate as an investment. During the Great Recession, mom and pop investors who had cash and solid credit were able to build their rental income portfolios by capitalizing on depressed home prices and strong rental demand from distressed homeowners.

Another factor is the baby boomer generation born between 1940 and 1964 has been downsizing. According to the latest Census data, many baby boomers will be single in retirement. Almost a third of men and over half of women are unmarried at 65 or older. With the onset of the pandemic, city dwellers who could work remotely and whose kids started going to school virtually began looking for bigger houses and open spaces in rural areas. With interest rates at historic lows, amid the pandemic, it became a strangely perfect time to buy a dream vacation home away from major Metropolitan Areas.  The annual rise in second-home mortgage applications is more than double the increase in mortgage applications for primary homes, with demand-driven primarily by families with kids.  Aside from vacation homes, working, learning, dining, working out, and self-entertaining at home created the need for more space and put a larger value on the fourth bedroom or larger back yard.

Trend #3: Length of the home search process increased and will keep increasing

Lack of supply sets the trend for buyers to view fewer homes while the home purchase process itself is increasing. Tight inventory results in fewer homes on the market and buyers must search longer for the right home. With fewer homes available, there are fewer homes that fit the buyers’ requirements coming on the market. On top of that, in the Housing Trends Survey the number one reason 40% of home searchers cited, is being outbid by other offers as opposed to not being able to find an affordably priced home, which is a big difference from 19% of home searchers a year ago.

Trend #4: Fewer sacrifices will be made to purchase a home

Financial experts recommend having three to six months’ worth of expenses saved up in an emergency account. But at the end of 2019, according to GoBankingRates survey, 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. The personal savings rate or amount people are saving as a percentage of their disposable income, soared to 33% in April of 2020. That was the highest savings rate recorded since BEA started tracking it in 1959. People realized the importance of having emergency funds and at the same time, stimulus payments and tax refunds have been distributed to help build up a reserve. Per Generational Trend Report from NAR, in order to save for a down payment, homebuyers had to cut spending on non-essential items, entertainment, clothes, vacations, get a second job or sell a car. But with severe limitations on how money can be spent, savings built up on their own.

Trend #5: Fewer repeat buyers will compromise on the top four reasons 

With so few homes for sale, the additional risks of holding an open house to sell their own, and having crowds doing walkthroughs, move-up buyers are likely to stay put unless a property that meets most of their needs is identified and won in a bidding war. Not only have public health concerns necessitated virtual tours, but homebuyers are getting savvier with online tools. Even before the pandemic, 93% of homebuyers used the internet as a resource in their home search, according to the NAR. Sellers are having to keep up with the trends, too.

Further Reading: Real Estate Shifts to Accommodate Customers in a Virtual Age

What will be the big theme for 2021?

To start, a massive fear of missing out.

The headlines of every major media outlet are screaming about continuous home price appreciation. The thought of home prices reaching the point of being out of reach while interest rates have nowhere to go but up will be the end of the last opportunity to buy that first, or second, or even an investment property.

With a tight, low-inventory market dipping under 2 months of supply, the strongest contract activity in a decade, and historically low-interest rates, buyers’ fear is well-founded and likely to only get worse.

But don’t take our word for it.

Acobie the Model Headshot

The Model Acobie

360 Magazine sat down with up and coming model Acobie Inniss, to find out how he got started with modeling and where he plans to go next. The young, Barbadian model has a unique look that is sure to gain attention as his modeling career takes off.

Included below is also information about Rhaj Paul a designer that works with Acobie and Graham Edwards, Acobie’s agent. Working together, the team has created an amazing shoot featuring Acobie as the star.

When did you decide to begin modeling and how did you get started? 

I was approached by Graham from GADAL Model Management at the end of 2018 and I didn’t take it too seriously at the time. A year later we had another chance encounter meeting and this time I decided it couldn’t hurt to give it a try; so I officially started at the end of 2019. 

What was it like growing up in Barbados?  

Growing up in Barbados is great! I loved that a nice beach would always be right around the corner; I was definitely a beach person, like in the summer I would be at the beach every day. I loved riding around on my bike and playing football and many other sports with my friends.  

Do you think you will eventually become a full-time model? Why or why not? 

Yes! I’m hoping to become a full-time model; but I know life can have twists and turns so I remain open to it happening or not happening, where ever life takes me I guess. 

Where do you aspire to be five years from now and do you have plans to get there? 

Five years from now I’d like to have my own home and to be traveling the world with my girlfriend- who I hope will be my wife at that time. I also want to be in a financial position to invest in Real Estate and be able to help the needy. Things don’t always go according to plan, but it’s still good to have one in place. I plan to keep an open mind and open heart to whatever opportunities come my way. 

Are your family and friends supportive of your modeling career? 

My mother and my close friends are supportive. 

What has been your favorite part of modeling so far? 

So far, my favorite part is meeting new people; trying new experiences and exercising my confidence and communication skills. 

Some of your hobbies include stunt-riding and photography, do you hope to progress these talents further in the future?  

Yes, I hope to progress further in these hobbies. For example the stunt riding; I’d love to build a community (of riders) where we ride for a cause…hopefully raise some funds as well and donate to different charities while having fun riding (smile). 

What makes you unique from other up and coming models? 

Well, I think everyone is unique in their own way; for me, I’m not sure, some people say it’s my hair or maybe my eyes. Lol. 

Do you have any collaborations coming up that you’re excited about? 

I’m definitely hoping to have some collaborations! I know my agency is working on stuff…don’t want to let the cat out of the bag. I like to only speak about things after they are done. 

Are there any other models you would like to work with in the future?  

I’d like to work with everyone! I’m new to this industry so I want to learn as much as I can from everyone. 

About Acobie Inniss

Acobie is a newly discovered Barbadian model who describes himself as a “regular guy” who loves stunt riding and going for long rides on his Haro mountain bike. He says, he also likes researching things on the internet and learning new things.  

One look at Acobie however, and you’ll see he’s anything but “regular”; the 6’ 2”, 21-year-old is an eclectic ethnic blend of Black; White and Indian- with a negro structured face and nose; light skin; freckles; pink lips; hair that can change color ranging from dark brown to blonde; perfect jaw-lines and hazel eyes with an intense gaze, that causes you too, to also gaze intensely. Anything but “regular!” 

Acobie is not just another pretty face though, he is also talented practically with his hands. He’s a certified electrician and PV (photovoltaic) installer and sees the latter as “the future” because it’s “environmentally sustainable; good for the planet and clean energy”. 

He also has a passion for photography (which he’s teaching himself); because he likes how you can “capture a moment forever.” All the knowledge he has on various topics such as his stunt-riding and photography he eagerly shares on his YouTube channel another one of his hobbies. 

He loves the artist Saint Jhn (who’s originally from Guyana) and appreciates his music; success and Caribbean roots. Acobie is also into Kendrick Lamar and Arianna Grande. His favorite fashion brands he’d love to work with are Polo Ralph Lauren; Gucci and Prada. 

About Rhaj Paul 

Rhaj Paul is a conscious artist, whose objective is to use the medium of fashion and design to grow positivity, creativity and connection, particularly in the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora.  

From the emergence of his eponymous cut ‘n’ sewn menswear label – Rhaj Paul Montaazh (pron. ‘montage’) in 2000 to the trendsetting soft apparel Brand Evolve in 2010, and the first-ever Barbadian beard brand – The Beard Island Gang in 2014, the name Rhaj Paul has been synonymous with top-quality craftsmanship, unique style and innovative fashion marketing in Barbados.  

His work encompasses bespoke tailoring and design, fashion styling, graphic design and motivational public speaking. 

Rhaj has worked with various organizations, entertainers, artists, videographers and photographers and has also starred in several local movies  

Passionate, inspired, skilled and committed to raising an attitude of excellence and a genuine love for authentic self-expression, Rhaj Paul represents the Ministry Of Style Creative Alliance in its mandate to grow creative entrepreneurship in the Caribbean region and beyond. 

Welcome, Minister of Style Rhaj Paul Whitehead!  

Rhaj Paul Photograph

About Khali Goodman

Khalil Goodman is a photographer, digital strategist and writer.  When he’s not art-directing or shooting a new set of images, Khalil spends too much time reading comic books and listening to all the wrong music at the right volume. 

Khalil Goodman Portrait

About Graham Edwards

Graham Edwards is a Model Agent and the founder and owner of GADAL Model Management Inc., a Barbadian based mother agency and model management company specializing in the scouting, training and placement of primarily black models internationally.   

The name “GADAL” is a Hebrew verb for: “to grow; become great; become important; promote; make powerful; praise; magnify; do great things; to increase; to exceed; to excel; to promote; to become like a great tree or tower.”  

It’s a personification of all that he wants to do for black models worldwide. He describes his job as, “doing my part to ensure a more level playing field in the fashion industry for models of color; long before Black Lives Matter appeared- I always knew black models mattered!”  

Nothing makes him more satisfied than to see models of color succeed and to see them on the runways worldwide and in the pages of major international magazines.  

Models scouted and placed internationally by GADAL Model Management Inc. through Graham, have appeared in Beyoncé’s music video: Get In Formation; Tinchy Stryder’s In My System; Avicii’s I Could Be The One; in shoots with Selita Banks; appeared in major fashion publications: L’Officiel Hommes; Men’s Health UK; Men’s Health Portugal; Cosmopolitan; Essence Magazine; Prestige Hong Kong; Cole Magazine; ESTE 2 and walked for international labels and designers: Givenchy; Calvin Klein; Moncler; Marcelo Burlon; Granted London; Sibling London; OTHER UK; Fausto Puglisi; Dockers and represented international brands such as: Nike; Coca Cola; Levi Jeans; Addidas; Asics and Equinox Gym. 

The company has signed the models it represents into several international fashion markets and placed them with larger model agencies in: Germany; Italy; Mexico; South Africa; Spain, UK and the USA. Graham loves his job; still, actively scouts for models and is excited about every ‘new face’ he discovers and helping them achieve their fullest potential! 

Acobie the Model Headshot

Acobie the Model Headshot

Acobie the Model Headshot

Acobie the Model Headshot

Acobie the Model Headshot

Acobie the Model Headshot

Acobie the Model Headshot

Acobie the Model Headshot

Real Estate article illustration by Rita Azar for 360 magazine

Break into the Housing Market

In the mid-2000s, observers expected millennial homeowners to be few and far in between. This new generation faced stagnant wages, crippling debt issues, and an unfavorable market. Flash forward more than a decade later, and we see a different picture.

The Wall Street Journal notes, a wellspring of new buyers from the millennial market has carried the housing industry this year. Last year, this demographic represented more than half the new mortgages. By July 2019, they also made up 38% of homebuyers. Home ownership aspirations among millennials continue to grow even in 2020, thanks to low interest rates. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, also led to massive unemployment. Its impact on millennials’ finances will no doubt slow down demand from this market.

If you’ve a stable job and need a little more elbow room, now could be the best time to buy a home. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. And even if you had to put your house-hunting aspirations on hold, don’t fret. The first steps often begin long before you even look at the listings.

The Advantages of Home Ownership

There is no real answer to the classic rent or own debate. What works best for your situation will depend on your finances and lifestyle. Some people prefer the mobility offered by renting. Others love the stability provided by an owned home. When it comes to price, it’s a different ball game.

The longer you live somewhere, the more it makes financial sense to own the property. Fixed-rate mortgage payments have one big advantage over rent. You pay the same amount for the entirety of the mortgage. Rents, meanwhile, can rise over time. If rents rise too high, it might be cheaper to buy a house!

As a general rule, you can compare the costs of renting vs. owning by multiplying your rent by 200. This is the equivalent of staying in place for 16 years and three months. For instance, let’s assume your rent costs $1,500 a month. In 200 months’ time, you could’ve paid for a modest home worth $300,000. And this is already assuming that your rent stays the same.

Complicating factors include the median home price in your neighborhood. Renting might be justified if the houses in your neighborhood are too pricey. If you have the option of moving, then a cheaper home somewhere else might be more practical.

Refining Your Budget

Whoa, there. Close that tab and stop looking at house listings. Before you fall down that rabbit hole, let’s examine your budget. This much-needed reality check can help you make the right financial decisions. The last thing you want is repeat the same mistakes people made two decades before.

Your budget will play a key role in deciding when you can buy a home. How much mortgage can you fit into your regular budget today? Will your budget have room for savings afterward? Examine the costs of home ownership and compare them to your current needs. In the meantime, focus on pressing financial matters like emergency funds and debts. You must make these considerations before deciding to buy a home. While you wait, set aside as much money as you can for a down payment.

Defining Your Down

The down payment is among the most important expenses you’ll make in the homebuying process. It lowers your starting loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Your LTV is the percentage of the home paid for by the mortgage and thus owned by your lender. For instance, if you paid a 10 percent down payment, your LTV ratio is 90 percent. The remaining 10 percent is your home equity, the amount you do own. The greater your starting home equity, the smaller the sum you need to borrow.

A sizeable down payment cuts down your expenses in other ways. You’ll also avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an extraneous fee slapped onto your mortgage payment to protect lenders from the risks of default. It does nothing to help you build equity!

By law, PMI payments stop after your LTV ratio reaches 78 percent. But why waste your money until then? Instead, avoid paying PMI altogether by having a down payment worth at least 20 percent of your home’s price. You can save more money by removing that one unnecessary cost.

Remember, prices are not static. Real estate markets often follow an upward curve. Be aggressive when saving and adjust your down payment goals. If you expect real estate to climb by 3 percent each year, plan accordingly. If your savings goal is 5 years away, aim to make 16 percent more than your target amount.

Analyzing Your Home Needs

It’s easy to get carried away with a dream home. But don’t buy into it easily. Choose a home based on meeting your immediate and anticipated needs.

The ideal home will vary from person to person. If you like to keep things simple and manageable, then a small home might be right for you. A standard, four-bedroom family home is good for the average nuclear family with two kids. Even if you don’t expect another child, the extra bedroom could serve a variety of purposes. It can be a guest bedroom, a room for your parents, or a home office. If you have or expect a big family, a bigger home is in order. If you love the countryside, a rural property might be the thing you’re looking for.

Home offices in particular have become important considerations for homebuyers. Thanks to the advent of telecommuting, millennials needn’t live close to the city center to work. Companies, including tech giants like Twitter, now recognize the advantages of remote work. This trend grew further in the wake of COVID-19 and may likely continue into the future. A home office keeps your professional and personal lives distinct when telecommuting.

While you can always go to cheaper suburban or rural areas to buy a bigger home, this isn’t always advisable. A long stressful commute to work can have adverse effects on both your health and your daily budget. And don’t think having “more house for your money” is a bargain. One UCLA study has found that most rooms in a standard American house were underused.

Mortgage Options

How much and how long you must pay for a house will vary. It’s natural for you to veer toward the smallest monthly payment option. You want a mortgage that fits snugly into your budget. But this choice comes with its own drawbacks. Loans calculate interest fees from the money you borrowed based on the rate and the term. The longer the term and the higher the rate, the greater the interest costs.

According to Freddie Mac, the most popular mortgage option has been the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. These have low, regular payments that are easy to fit into the regular budget. It has been around for nearly a century. But is the 30-year fixed mortgage all that it’s cracked up to be? Critics have claimed that this loan product has failed as a wealth building tool for working-class Americans. This is because the interest costs of a 30-year mortgage will always be high. Besides their long terms, they often have steeper rates.

Thus, aim for as short a term as you can afford. Although pricier each month, a 15-year mortgage can help you save more money in the long run.

Let’s look at one example. Suppose you bought a house worth $300,000 and are willing to pay a 20 percent ($60,000) down payment. You have two options for your $240,000 mortgage. One mortgage offered a 15-year term and 2.5 percent annual percentage rate (APR). The other offers a 30-year term but comes with 3.3 percent APR. The examples below do not include escrow payments like taxes and home insurance.Mortgage DetailsMortgage 1Mortgage 2Term15 Years30 YearsRate (APR)2.5%3.3%Monthly Principal & Interest$1,600.29$1,051.09Total Interest Paid$48,052.94$138,393.31

Although you saved $549.20 each month, you still spent $90,340.37 more on your mortgage’s interest.

Some low monthly payment options come with dire financial consequences. Adjustable-rate mortgages may have low minimum payments at first. But that payment does not reduce your mortgage’s principal. Because their rates change with the market, you’ll likely end up paying more in the future.

Other Ways to Save

There’s more than one way to save money on your mortgage. Because of the way mortgage interest is calculated, you can pay extra toward your principal to save money. This is an excellent and flexible way to reduce your lifetime interest costs if you cannot afford a higher monthly payment up front.

Here’s how it works. In the early days of a mortgage, most of your payments go toward paying interest. On your first payment, only a small part goes toward paying your principal balance. With each payment, your balance shrinks. This means less of your payment goes toward interest and more toward your principal. The cycle continues until your mortgage matures. Paying extra to your principal speeds up this process. 

Let’s return to our 30-year example. Suppose, in the 3rd year, you begin paying an extra $100 per month. For this example, we used this extra payment calculator from MortgageCalculators.info.Mortgage DetailsOriginal PaymentExtra $100/ month on the 3rd yearMonthly Principal & Interest$1,051.09$1,151.09Pay-off Time30 years26 years 3 monthsTime Saved03 years 9 monthsTotal Interest$138,393.31$120,129.89Total Interest Savings0$18,263.42

In that span of time, you shaved off 3 years and 9 months from your loan term and saved about $18,263.42 in total interest charges. That’s money you can set aside for emergency funds, retirement, or other important expenses.

Another way you can save is through biweekly payments. This method takes advantage of a quirk in the calendar. There are about 52 weeks in a year and 26 biweekly periods. In effect, you’ve added an extra month to your payment plan. There are several ways to set up biweekly payments. You can discuss the matter with your lender or have a third party do it on your behalf. Both options come with pricey maintenance fees. The alternative is to pay the equivalent of one month’s payment at the end of the year.

Finally, you can refinance your mortgage. This involves paying down your existing mortgage balance with a new one that has more favorable payment terms. Refinancing to a shorter term or lower rate has the potential to save you even more money in the long run. CBS reports that U.S. homeowners can save $160 each month if they refinanced their mortgages. Indeed, many homeowners refinance when rates drop low enough.

Returning to our previous example, let’s look at how much you can save by refinancing. In this example, we’ll assume you’ve paid off 3 years’ worth of mortgage payments. From there, you refinanced to a 15-year term at the cost of $3,200. Your new APR is 2.7 percent. Here’s how much you can save:Mortgage DetailsCurrent PaymentRefinanced PaymentRemaining Mortgage Balance$225,221.50$225,221.50Rate/APR3.3%2.7%Monthly Principal and Interest$1,051.09$1,523.05Interest Due$115,332.99$48,927.27

By refinancing, you can save $63,205.16 in interest minus your closing costs. But to recoup the costs, you must stay in your current home for at least two years and two months. The up-front costs of refinancing make it an unwieldy option for many homeowners. Thus, refinancing is ideal for established homeowners who intend to stay in their homes long-term.

The Bottom Line

If you want to settle down, don’t wait until your rent goes up. While you save up for your down payment, it’s time to review your spending. Look for expenses you can remove to bolster your cash flow. Start by paying extra toward debt. Clearing your credit card bills and other debts serves a dual purpose. By paying extra toward your debts, you save money and increase your cash flow. Making regular, punctual debt payments also improves your credit rating. This will help you qualify for better interest rates when you look for a mortgage deal.

Look out for caveats like prepayment penalties in your mortgage contract. These punitive clauses punish home buyers for paying extra too early. If a prospective lender won’t remove these clauses, take your business elsewhere. If you’ve already signed on, don’t worry. Since 2014, prepayment penalties must only last three years by law.

As with all things worth doing, if you can afford to wait it out, do so. Great savings come to those who wait.

Hemsworth Brothers’ List Their Malibu Mansion

Earlier this week movie star siblings Luke, Liam and Chris Hemsworth started selling their shared modern Malibu home. Valued at $4,900,000 you can enjoy 4 beds, 4 baths, and 4,612 Sqft. with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Mountains, and nearby horse stables. In addition, the home comes equipped with a chef’s kitchen, a home theater and a 750 bottle refrigerated wine cellar.

The acting brothers purchased the 4,612-square-foot property together in 2016 for $3,450,000. Now, it’s being listed for $4,900,000, an increase of $1,450,000 million. Now the Hemsworths look to be making Byron Bay their permanent home base, after deciding to put their Malibu house up for sale, which could score them a $2 million profit in the process. Five years ago, Chris Hemsworth said the felt ‘suffocated’ by his Hollywood career. That’s when they officially moved their family from Los Angeles to Byron Bay and began building their dream home. The mega-mansion in Broken Head is valued at an outstanding  $20 million and we all are looking forward to seeing what Hemsworth has planned.

Amenities

Amenities and upgrades include tall ceilings, a chef’s kitchen, restaurant-grade Viking, Wolfe and Sub-Zero appliances, quartz countertops, a 750-bottle refrigerated wine cellar and a state-of-the-art theater or family room. Take advantage of indoor/outdoor entertaining with this beautiful open floor plan. The kitchen and dining area doubles in size by simply opening the floor to ceiling sliders. Polished concrete interior floors seamlessly lead you to a generous deck dining-space overlooking ocean views, an outdoor fireplace, gardens and yard space below. Four stunning bedrooms include a luxurious master suite, spa bath, steam shower, Calcutta gold marble bathroom finishes, dual walk-in closets and tall art walls. The home is positioned with ample usable outdoor space, trees and landscaping.

Price: $4,900,000 with an estimated $23,568/mo.

Rooms: 4 Beds, 4 Baths,

Squarefoot: 4,612 Sqft. 

Location: 6315 Gayton Pl, Malibu, CA 90265

Check out the listing: HERE

Call about this home today: (310) 928-6930

Photos can be credited to MLS / homes.com

KLûK CGDT × Montague Real Estate

Two of South Africa’s most visually iconic properties, and the bespoke creation of celebrity fashion house KLûK CGDT, are now available for purchase through London-based Montague Real Estate.

Ilkley, located near the coast of Cape Town’s exclusive Atlantic Seaboard, comprises of two three-bedroom luxury apartments. It comes with panoramic views extending over both the Atlantic Ocean and the natural beauty of mountainous Signal Hill.

Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriel du Toit, the founders and creative force behind the international award-winning fashion house KLûK CGDT, Built in 2018, every aspect of the modern, brutalist properties – from the kitten white walls to the bespoke terracotta tiles.

Arguably Africa’s most established designer pair, Kluk, who apprenticed under John Galliano, and du Toit have had their designs worn by the likes of Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé, Shakira and Kate Moss.

Three times African Designers of the Year winners, their works have also featured in the likes of American Vogue, Elle, French Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Spruce, I-D and Dazed.

The Ilkley development, which was Kluk and du Toit’s first property addition to their design portfolio, is priced at ZAR 17.5m (£765,000) for Ilkley 1 and ZAR 22.5m (£983,000) for upper floor apartment Ilkley 2.

London-based Montague Real Estate facilitates the sale of the properties. Montague Real Estate is a boutique real estate firm and private office specializing in complex global property investments and acquisitions. This is their first venture into the African luxury residential property market following international expansion. Further projects are in the pipeline for later this year.

Amenities:

With each property featuring three en-suite bedrooms, the apartments also offer air-conditioned ocean and mountain views, a private garden, a wood burning fireplace and a seamlessly linked entrance hall and dining room.

Residents will also be able to enjoy state of the art plug-and-play home automation systems, an expansive terrace and an ocean or Signal Hill nature-reserve facing swimming pool.

A secure, undercover, off-street parking in a naturally ventilated landscape garage and elevators to all levels compliments both apartments.

The environmental impact of the apartments was a major consideration during the design process; as such, there is chemical-free filtration systems in the pools, automated LED lighting, and water supplied by efficient heat pumps. The orientation of the house minimizes heat loss in winter and provides shade in the summer. The use of coffered slabs reduces the carbon footprint by using less concrete in the build.

Malcolm Kluk, co-founder of KLûK CGDT, said:

“We’re really happy to be working with Montague Real Estate with their first project in Africa. These properties will offer a discerning buyer both style and substance, with the best that beautiful Cape Town has to offer.”

Thomas Balashev, Founder and CEO of Montague Real Estate, said:

“Ilkley is a truly unique development, the creation of Africa’s most exciting design talent, and a fantastic entrance for us to the South African market.

“Opportunities to work with properties and designers of this pedigree are so rare, so we are naturally delighted to be able to facilitate the sale of what is KLûK CGDT’s iconic vision in property form.”

Websites:

Montague Real Estate | Klûk CGDT

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, REAL ESTATE, ILLUSTRATIONS

DWELLoptimal * Real Estate

DWELLoptimal LAUNCHES SECURE REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS FOR CORPORATE TRAVEL IN POST COVID-19 ERA

Delivering Tech-Enabled, Secure Live|Work Environments that Cater Specifically to the Needs of Business.

As the country begins to re-open, questions and concerns abound for businesses that rely on corporate travel. Managing the needs of business travelers in a post COVID environment presents companies with a new array of challenges, and the notion of secure travel is now suddenly in focus.

DWELLoptimal, which officially launches in the summer of 2020, is attempting to solve the problem of secure real-estate for business travel. DWELL accomplishes this by providing dedicated live|work apartments – optimized for remote work, and exclusively provided to companies only.

The backdrop for business travel was in the midst of an evolutionary shift prior to COVID 19. Within the industry, the traditional hotel space was feeling the disruptive effects of a growing STR market (short term rentals), which was ushered in nearly 12 years ago by Air BnB. According to a recent CBRE report, STR’s now represent nearly 10% of total U.S. Hotel supply and amassed over $119 Billion in revenues in 2019.

What was once considered an ancillary product is now becoming a preferred typology – according to Craig James, founder of DWELLoptimal. “Hospitality maps were already changing dramatically before COVID-19, but the onset of this health crisis changes the priorities of business travelers in a permanent way. The crowded lobby bar is suddenly less appealing.”

As a start-up that was designed specifically for business, DWELLoptimal delivers secure live|work apartments that optimize employee productivity and well-being.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, James points out that DWELLoptimal was thoughtfully designed to promote health and well-being with intentions such as a ‘no touch’ check-in process, keyless entry, low-to-no touch integrated groceries, customizable in-unit exercise, and industrial cleaning and sanitization options. These features come standard for Dwell units along with dozens of other customizations that uniquely position Dwell to respond to these new realities.

PARTNERING WITH BUSINESS

Differentiating itself in an increasingly crowded landscape of branded accommodations, DWELLoptimal partners with companies to deliver entire portfolios of live|work apartments, in locations companies actually elect themselves. In describing the business model, founder Craig James describes it simply – “We start with asking companies the outrageous question: What
do you want? and where do you want it?  And then we deliver that.”

DWELLoptimal then provides their corporate clients with an integrated software platform for managing utilization, controlling unit environments remotely, and allowing employees to “drive experience” of their live|work spaces. “We’re one of the first to deliver truly customizable experiences – down to the Kiehl’s soap in the bathroom” says James.

AN EVOLUTION DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY

While the corporate apartment concept has been around for decades, innovations in Iot and platform technology have brought it into a new era.

“It is a critical juncture”, says Luke Bujarski, founder and managing director of Luft Research & Advisory. “Technology will separate the winners and losers as this industry consolidates,” he predicts. “Technology is the enabler of smart property management and customer acquisition and retention.”

Creation of optimized living solutions, James notes, can’t happen without effective technology. “At our core, we want to power the productivity of the employee,” James says. “And that starts with utilizing technology to eliminate travel friction in all the obvious ways. With instant Wi-Fi connections, Zoom conferencing and Slack integrations, we’re utilizing our platform to actually give time back to the mobile employee.”

Ease-of-use is also an important part of the equation, which is guided by an elegant application interface. “In business travel, mobile professionals prioritize the overall tenant experience, which includes fitness, nutrition and wellness,” James says.

That kind of customized experience is designed to keep increasingly mobile employees functioning at a high level – and keep them onboard.

“We see secure real estate as an offensive strategy designed to attract and retain employees,” James says. “Why wouldn’t you give your employees access to the most productive and secure environments you can?”

About DwellOptimal

DWELLoptimal is a real estate technology company that provides a new standard in productivity-focused design for extended stay business travelers. Unlike most companies currently in the serviced apartment space, DWELL is focused exclusively on business travel on behalf of its corporate clients.

DWELLoptimal provides their corporate clients with an integrated software platform for managing utilization, controlling unit environments remotely, and allowing employees to customize elements of their live|work spaces.

vacation homes, rentals, condominiums, cooperatives, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home

If you’re in a financial position where you are considering a vacation home, it can be exciting. Maybe your family has a favorite travel destination, or you’ve come across a great deal, and you think you might be ready to dive in.

Last year according to the National Association of Realtors, around one in eight homebuyers were purchasing a second home.


There is a lot that goes into buying a vacation home in terms of finances and logistics that you need to keep in mind. Sometimes it can sound dreamy, but the reality is different than you expected it would be, and the following are five important things to consider and weigh before buying a vacation home.


How Much Is It Really Going to Cost?


You may be looking at just the cost of the property itself and thinking it’s a great deal, but that only tells a small fraction of the story.


For example, is the house close enough to drive to, or will you be flying? If it’s somewhere you have to fly to, then you may have to buy an additional car to use when you’re there, and that comes with its own set of costs beyond the purchase price, such as carrying auto insurance for a rarely driven vehicle.


If you have to fly, you also have to factor in how much those airline tickets are going to cost you every time you want to go to your second home.


You’ll need other types of insurance along with auto insurance, such as homeowners’ insurance, and if your second home is in a place where flooding or hurricanes are likely, you’ll have to add that coverage in.
Other costs that often come with a second home include utility bills, homeowners association fees, and maintenance for the lawn.


Are You Willing to Commit to One Travel Destination?


If you buy a second home in a place you love, you may be happy only to travel there but you have to ensure that’s the case. You may be very limited in where you’re able to go outside of traveling to your vacation home.


If you’re someone who likes familiar routines, this could be fine for you, but if you are someone who has the travel bug, you might want to save your money and put it toward trips around the world versus locking yourself into one destination.


Are You Going to Rent It Out?


Some people who buy a second home will use it as a source of income when they’re not there, by renting it out. It can be a good way to cover some of the costs of owning a second home, but it’s a lot of work to own and rent out a property.


First, you have to ensure you can even rent it out at all. Certain neighborhoods or condo buildings might not allow this.


You also have to think about how you would rent it out—some locations in the country don’t allow Airbnb, for example, so you may have to pay an agency to handle it for you.


You also then have to pay for additional maintenance, insurance and cleaning services.


Plus, the most demand for your rental is going to be during the high season wherever it’s located, and that’s going to cut into your ability to enjoy your home.


What Will the Taxes Be?


A vacation home is a personal residence according to the IRS if you rent it out 14 days or fewer a year. If you rent it out more than 14 days a year, it’s considered a rental property. Either way, you have to report the rental income, plus there are issues like property taxes to take into consideration.


Are You Being Realistic?


The biggest thing to think about aside from the financial considerations is if you’re being realistic about the potential value, monetary and otherwise, that a second home will bring to your life and the life of your family.


There are snowbirds that love their vacation homes, and they use them for months at a time.


However, if you have a young family and you’re working full-time, this just isn’t going to be feasible.


What can initially seem like a dream may turn into something that you rarely get time to go to, and a vacation home can quickly become a burden.


You want to make sure you have the time and willingness to use your vacation home before you make such a big purchase that’s going to impact your finances and your life in so many ways.

Equinox Members Feel Bamboozled

After The Related Companies (parent company of Equinox, SoulCycle, Hudson Yards) Founder/Chairman Stephen M. Ross announced his Trump fundraiser (tickets which will cost up to $250,000) in the Hamptons, all hell broke loose – tons of memberships have been cancelled online, over the telephone and in person. After all, Ross is a ‘passive investor’ for Equinox and SoulCycle which are premier fitness centers for celebrities, political leaders and senior level executives alike whom all seem to be proactively involved within the LGBTQ+ and art communities.

Why are members so infuriated?

Many feel they were a part of a movement of societal justice and equality, not just a fitness institution since its inception twenty years ago. Fast forward to present day, Equinox has popped all over every urbane and metropolitan area’s infrastructure largely in part to real estate mogul, Ross.

Lately, the brand has announced a slew of designer duds, hotel chain and talent agency geared towards their top instructors. Today, more or less of its constituents will gather at the West Hollywood location (8590 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069) at 4PM to protest against Ross’s decision to host such a lavish engagement for one of the most ridiculed US Presidents in modern day times. A man who’s rhetoric has possibly fell upon the ears of young white supremacists like the alleged shooter at El Paso last weekend who gunned down dozens of Hispanic people at a local Walmart.

Maybe after today’s outrage, the Miami Dolphins owner, who was shunned for his actions by some of its players, will renege on tomorrow’s elaborate event. According to the LA Times, the soldout venue may raise close to 12 million dollars for Mr. Ross’s friend of over 40 years.

As of late, Equinox has announced the construction of a 20-story hotel and residential building downtown LA which is scheduled to be completed around 2021.

New York Reality Shows

New York is an exceptional city and its essence has been immortalized in Michael Montgomery’s iconic song New York, New York. Its unmistakable skyline is recognizable in countless movies and TV shows and has become home to record-setting, rating-grabbling reality TV shows. Just like the hugely successful Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles featured previously on 360 Magazine, the following rank as the top three and most popular of their respective franchises under reality TV shows based in New York.

Say Yes to The Dress

TLC’s famous reality show, which debuted in 2007, revolves around New York’s swanky bridal salon, Kleinfeld, owned by Mara Urshel and Ronald Rothstein. The show follows soon-to-be brides in choosing their dream wedding dress. While accompanied by friends and family, they are waited on by the store’s consultants and fitters. To be featured on the show, future brides must provide countless personal details, including the fiancée’s occupation and information about the upcoming wedding for dramatic purposes.

Due to the success of the show, Kleinfeld has become a tourist hotspot with fans flocking from all over to check out the store and try on dresses despite upcoming marriage plans. In-person, the store appears quite different than on the show, with the small salon packed with 20 or so brides crowding for dresses. With only 90 minutes to choose the perfect dress, brides who aren’t even in front of the camera feel the pressure.

Million Dollar Listing New York

In its seventh season, Bravo’s popular New York real-estate reality TV program features what it truly means to sell high-priced New York City properties. Hosted by New York brokers Fredrik Eklund, Ryan Serhant and Steve Gold, the series has become a massive hit with viewers who live vicariously through the show and dream of owning a high-end New York apartment. With the wide exposure, the show has seen the hosts’ careers fast-tracked immensely. As for Ryan Serhant and Steve Gold, it has brought both fame and fortune.

Serhant was ranked 15th on The Real Deal’s top agents when the show debuted in 2012, and is now listed as number 1 for Manhattan closed deals. With Manhattan apartments getting more expensive each year, broker commissions have also soared. Yoreevo reports that New York commissions have gone up 50% in the last decade despite the increased information transparency. It’s no wonder that the show’s exposure has exponentially benefitted the trio – Steve Gold landing a job with coveted brokerage firm, Corcoran Group.

The Real Housewives of New York

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In what has been described as 10 seasons of catfights, wine swigging, and backstabbing, the Bravo show’s popularity stems from its intentional and unintentional humor. The Real Housewives of New York (RHONY) features 7 female socialites while focusing on their personal and professional lives. Originally a spin-off of The Real Housewives of Orange County, the 13th season premiered July 16. Executive producer, Andy Cohen told Vanity Fair that the show “…is stuff no one could script. It’d be considered too absurd.” This is exactly what the series feels like, absurd, with storylines that often defy belief. Although, it was RHONY’s mercurial cast and over-the-top drama which has propelled the franchise to the grand following it has today.