Posts tagged with "real estate"

OVOLO HOTELS: "Do Good, Feel Good" via 360 MAGAZINE

OVOLO HOTELS: “Do Good, Feel Good”

OVOLO HOTELS LAUNCHES “DO GOOD, FEEL GOOD” SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE

Ovolo Hotels, the award-winning lifestyle hotel collection with properties in Australia, Hong Kong and Bali, has announced the launch of its brand-wide “Do Good, Feel Good” sustainability initiative, including the “Green Perk” pledge to plant a tree, in association with Eden Reforestation Projects, for every direct booking at its hotels.

“Do Good, Feel Good” follows Ovolo’s vegetarian “Plant’d” pledge and features the following key highlights across the two key pillars of “Planet” and “People”:

PLANET

  • Beginning on November 1, 2022, Ovolo will partner with Eden Reforestation Projects to plant one tree in Nepal for every direct booking at any Ovolo property, as part of its “Green Perk” program.
  • Working with EarthCheck to ensure all actions are science-backed, strategic and sustainable.
  • The Plant’d Pledge which promotes vegetarian and plant-based cuisine across Ovolo Hotels restaurants and bars.
  • A commitment to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.
  • Designing new hotels responsibly to include sustainable materials and fittings and achieve Green Certification for all Ovolo-owned new-build hotels.
  • Eliminating single-use plastics by 2023.
  • Measuring and managing carbon emissions, water, waste and energy consumption.
  • Sourcing locally and organically wherever possible.

PEOPLE

  • Protecting the mental and physical well-being of employees and increasing development and learning opportunities for all.
  • Providing education, nutrition and healthcare for disadvantaged children in Indonesia and Hong Kong:
  • Ovolo has partnered with Bali Children’s Foundation, which help thousands of children complete school, find employment, and improve their lives and the life of their community. Ovolo has sponsored a school in Bali with classroom upgrades, class delivery for a year and a stationery kit for each student in the elementary school of SDN 3 Sidetapa in North Bali. www.balichildrenfoundation.org
  • Ensuring a 50/50 breakdown of women and men in management positions by 2025.
  • Doubling fundraising efforts by 2025.
  • Promoting local art, culture and history to support local communities.

“Our commitments go beyond environmental indicators and include issues such as celebrating diversity and inclusion, supporting children and schools, sourcing locally and building hotels that give back to their communities in a meaningful way,” said Dave Baswal, Ovolo Group Chief Executive Officer. “We want to make better choices for ourselves and the planet and play our part in ensuring a better future for all.”

Whenever guests book directly with Ovolo, they will receive a message after their stay with details of where their tree has been planted and the corresponding impact on the environment. In the spirit of transparency to its guests, staff and investors, and in a continual effort to improve its sustainability credentials, Ovolo has also committed to producing an annual sustainability report, verified by a third-party auditor.

“Transparency and alignment with initiatives and sustainability development goals is key for us; we don’t just want to talk the talk, but we want to be held accountable to walk the walk too,” Dave Baswal concluded.

For more information, visit www.ovologroup.com/do-good-feel-good

ABOUT OVOLO:

The Ovolo Group was founded by entrepreneur Girish Jhunjhnuwala and first entered the real estate market in 2002; then further expanded into the hotel industry in 2010. Ovolo Hotels quickly became one of Hong Kong and Australia’s most dynamic independent owner operated hospitality firms by providing guests with the best in effortless living across hotels and food and beverage outlets.

The Ovolo Group is a collection of contemporary hotels that keep you connected to the little luxuries you love, all effortlessly included. The company prides itself on being in touch with the modern traveler through award-winning interior designs, detail-driven comforts, complimentary value-added services like the mini bar and breakfast, with cutting-edge technology. Ovolo Hotels have been acknowledged for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, receiving the accolade “Hotel Brand of the Year”, at the 2019 and 2020 HM Awards.

A proud Hong Kong brand, Ovolo Group remains a family-owned and privately-operated business operating four hotels and three restaurants in Hong Kong, and eight hotels and seven restaurants across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.

Ovolo also has the By Ovolo Collective within its portfolio of hotels, a distinctive collection of four hotels each one unique, each one special, the more guests explore, the more they’ll find. These include Nishi Apartments in Canberra Australia, The Sheung Wan by Ovolo and The Aberdeen Harbour in Hong Kong, and Mamaka Kuta Beach in Bali Indonesia.

As of March 2021, Dash Living collaborated with Ovolo Hotels to launch two new generation of serviced rental solutions in Hong Kong. A total of 135 rooms and suites that form part of a new generation of serviced rental solutions for hyper-mobile millennials will be available for booking. The Aberdeen by Dash Living, soon-to-be converted from Mojo Nomad By Ovolo, offers 79 rooms ranging from studios to executive suites. The 56-room The Sheung Wan By Ovolo, only remaining under Ovolo’s management for stays under 7 days, will offer units from studio, one bedroom, to family room options.

Ovolo acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we are located. We recognize their continuing connection to land, waters and culture, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

MOST POPULAR CELEBRITY HOMES

  • Wiz Khalifa’s home in Los Angeles is the most popular, as its video has more than 52 million views
  • Zedd’s $16M mansion comes in second
  • Jessica Alba’s home is third, while Robert Downey Jr and David Dobrik are fourth and fifth respectively

Wiz Khalifa’s home in Los Angeles is the most popular celebrity home, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by Hollywood Hills real estate experts RubyHome analysed Architectural Digest’s YouTube series ‘Open Door’ – where celebrities show viewers around their houses – and ranked the videos based on their total views.

First on the list is Wiz Khalifa, whose home in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles has received 52,198,769 views. The video was published on July 16th, 2018, and it stars the rapper himself showing around his house which includes a dab bar, a weed wall, a heated pool, and a recording studio.

Producer and DJ Zedd’s mansion is second with 47,213,280 views. The house is reportedly worth sixteen million dollars and is located in Benedict Canyon, an area of Los Angeles northwest of Beverly Hills. In the video, the DJ explains that he decorated the house himself and shows off its views of the canyon.

Third is Jessica Alba’s home which has received 35,146,040 views. In her video released on May 23rd, 2019, Alba shows Architectural Digest around her $10M house, which comprises a custom-made fireplace for Christmas stockings, an impressive laundry room and a ‘double’ bathroom with his and hers showers.

Further down on the list, Robert Downey Jr’s windmill Hamptons home is fourth with 28,191,919 views. Side by side with his wife Susan, the Iron Man actor shows off his eccentric and tasteful house, which they renovated with the help of interior designer Joe Nahem and his team. The video, dated October 10th, 2017, is one of the first on the channel to feature a tour by the owners themselves.

The top five closes with the home of YouTuber David Dobrik, which has 25,174,565 views. The house, worth $2.5M, features a full recording studio and a thorough security system.

photo of Invest Fest via The Nottingham Group for use by 360 Magazine

EARN YOUR LEISURE × INVEST FEST

The biggest financial literacy podcast, Earn Your Leisure, returned to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta for their 2nd annual Invest Fest. This year’s festival brought out more than 12,000 people for the weekend-long assortment of activities & expert-led discussions focused on investing, entrepreneurship, real estate, and financial literacy. Speakers included billionaire Dan T. Cathy (chairman of Chick-fil-A), billionaire real estate entrepreneur Donahue Peebles, T.I., Dame Dash, Terrence J, DJ Envy, Angela Yee and many more.

Steve Harvey and Harvey Ventures were strategic partners and co-producers for this year’s Invest Fest and programming. “I am proud to partner with Earn Your Leisure, which was founded by two young and dynamic Black entrepreneurs, to take this year‘s Invest Fest to the next level,” said Steve Harvey. “There is an urgent need for more expansive financial literacy to promote saving, investing, and generational wealth creation for traditionally underserved communities. Rashad and Troy have responded with an incredibly innovative and visionary platform to make this information open and accessible to all.”

The highlight of the festival came when billionaire writer/director Tyler Perry took to the stage alongside Earn Your Leisure hosts Troy Millings, Rashad Bilal to share words of wisdom and influential takeaways he learned throughout his career. Immediately following Tyler Perry’s fireside chat, Steve Harvey joined the guys on stage to congratulate them and to salute Mr. Perry.

“We created Earn Your Leisure and now Invest Fest to marry culture and commerce. We know that information and resources about financial literacy, investing, entrepreneurship and building generational wealth have traditionally been inaccessible for our culture, said Rashad Bilal, Troy Millings, Founders, Earn Your Leisure. Sponsored by ChaseVibraniumBET META, Invest Fest included a vendor marketplace with over 250 small businesses as well as live podcast stages with interviews from top entrepreneurs and celebrities.

The festival began with a VIP kick off-party featuring fireside chats with Terrence J, Kenny Burns and others, followed by a high-energy performance from T-Pain and a surprise performance by multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter Queen Naija.

One of the most anticipated moments of the festival was the all-star billionaire fireside chat with Chick-fil-A chairman Dan T. Cathy, R. Donahue Peebles, moderated by Matthew Garland. Stand-out speakers included Ian Dunlap,19 Keys, Pinky Cole (founder/owner of Slutty Vegan), ET The Hip Hop Preacher and Dame Dash, who dropped gems on ownership and becoming your own boss. The festival came to a close with an explosive, awe-inspiring performance from Hip Hop heavyweight Rick Ross.

Aston Martin Residences wins awards listed inside 360 MAGAZINE

Aston Martin Residences Wins

The Aston Martin Residences Miami has won six Regional and two International Property Awards, including ‘Best International Apartment/Condominium’ and ‘Best International Residential High-Rise Development.

G&G Business Developments is honored to accept the prestigious awards for its first luxury residential development, receiving recognition against formidable competition from around the world. Eight awards in total were won by the Aston Martin Residences, including:

Best International Apartment/Condominium

●Best International Residential High-Rise Development

Best Residential High Rise Development Florida

●Best Residential High Rise Development USA

Best Apartment / Condominium Florida

Best Apartment / Condominium USA

Best Residential High Rise Architecture Florida

Best Residential High Rise Architecture USA

The International Property Awards celebrate the highest levels of achievement in the property and real estate industry. Widely regarded as a mark of excellence, a panel of over 80 independent expert judges selects the best developments worldwide to receive the coveted awards.

Germán Coto, CEO of G&G Business Developments, said: ‘When we started this project, our dream was to create an elegant architectural landmark and the most beautiful homes. We always knew that the building would be exceptional, as, from the start, quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail have been our guide. To receive international recognition against such strong competition is wonderful, and we are so proud to have created a world-class award-winning development for our residents. These awards are a credit to the whole G&G Business Developments team. I’d like to give special thanks to our incredible partner, Aston Martin, the talented architects from Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Miani Anger, and all of the highly skilled craftspeople who have worked tirelessly to bring our vision for the Aston Martin Residences to life in the most spectacular way.’

Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin, said: ‘I’d like to congratulate our partners at G&G Business Developments and everyone involved in the Aston Martin Residences Miami project on these highly-respected international awards. These accolades further establish Aston Martin Residences Miami as one of the most exciting ultra-luxury residential developments anywhere in the world and demonstrate our vision to create something truly unique on the Miami waterfront.’

Located at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way in downtown Miami, the Aston Martin Residences is on schedule to complete by the end of this year, and over 90% of the luxurious development is sold. For further information, visit HERE.

*photo credit: Aston Martin Residences/IPA

Alvaro Nuñez Alfaro image for use by 360 magazine

Alvaro Nuñez Alfaro – Super Luxury Group

Global connector and real estate entrepreneur, Alvaro Nuñez Alfaro, has grown to become one of the latest disrupters in luxury real estate. Over the years, he has developed unique relationships and sold luxury homes to public figures as well as celebrities from all walks of life, amidst accolades from different quarters. In addition to being a real estate talent on the rise of global repute, the founder and CEO of Super Luxury Group is known for his adventures as a skydiver and jetsetter.

We got the chance to speak with Alvaro last week and managed to get insights on how he manages his success and talked to us about his upcoming goals.

What are the objectives of Super Luxury Group?

Super Luxury Group (SLG) is a luxury real-estate media network that focuses on helping the affluent to celebritize and sell high-end properties from Miami to other jet-set locations through proven media, luxury brands, and influencer collaborations.

How have these objectives changed as you get more recognition?

We have a clear vision on what we want to achieve, so we are excited about the continuous journey we have ahead.

Coming from a different country, it’s not always easy to establish connections. What would you say is your biggest tip?

To be humble, energetic, positive, and to always find ways to add value to the right people around you.

In my case, I started by arranging luxury villa rentals and experiences at some iconic destinations, which led to build strong relationships, acquire more knowledge, and therefore, more opportunities.

While it is straightforward, is there a reason you chose the name Super Luxury Group?

The name of Super Luxury Group has a very meaningful story tied to it. As I began my entrepreneurial career doing luxury villa rentals in the Caribbean, I decided to take a leap of faith and expand the business towards Europe – which led me to travel for many months visiting each country and connecting with other companies to build a strong foundation. As I got back home in Madrid, I sat down with my grandfather – a successful visionary and consultant for many on the Fortune 500 list – to talk about the business model and vision for the company and my future. He then drew a logo on a napkin and handed it over to me – it said: “Super Luxury Group.” He then carried on explaining the reason behind it. This was my last conversation with him as a few weeks later he passed away. Therefore, I keep this name and company tied very closely to my heart.

What made you choose Florida?

Florida, especially Miami, represents lifestyle. We wanted an international hub where top players work and play. Even though we operate in many other destinations, Miami will always be the heart of the company, as we work with many successful entrepreneurs and celebrities that trust us every day with their real estate needs.

Are there any international services that clients can contact SLG for?

Yes, we have the same business model we have in Miami in other jet set locations, such as Bahamas, St. Barts, DR, Tulum, Ibiza, Mykonos, French Riviera, etc.

What else do you wish to achieve with SLG in the coming years?

Luxury TV show (which we are already working on it), to host large conferences related to luxury living, and develop our line of villa/hotels.

Any exciting collaborations you wish to share?

There are always great collaborations in place, but there is one related to the NFT world that is going to be mind-blowing – stay tuned!

Alvaro Nuñez Alfaro has built strong connections with the community and created a firm that helps buyers look for a new home. When working with Alvaro’s team at SLG, you will be able to use his connections and knowledge to find what you are looking for. His strong reputation is essential and aligns with his company’s vision and goals.

Super Luxury Group

SLG is an acclaimed Miami luxury real estate media network committed to connect and help the affluent to celebritize and sell high-end properties through influencer marketing. By using the power of proven media, luxury brands, NFT & Crypto integrations, and influencer collaborations, the Super Luxury Group team strives for the best results: matching the clients’ lifestyle with properties that reflect and cater their personal needs is a priority. SLG’s ability to find the best homes is attributed to its team’s knowledge and determination.

Is Tokenization the Future of Real Estate?

By Julio Gonzalez, Founder and CEO, Engineered Tax Services

In the Middle Ages, medieval alchemists dreamed of a magical object called the Philosopher’s Stone, which could change lead into gold. Well, today, we in the realm of real estate have at our disposal just as miraculous a tool—tokenization, which can transform an illiquid asset (like a real estate holding) into a liquid asset!

It’s Time for a Change: Brick & Mortar Goes Blockchain

Last year I came up with an innovative idea. Blockchain technology is disrupting capital markets through cryptocurrency—what if we harnessed blockchain technology to promote liquidity in real estate markets?  As the founder and CEO of Engineered Tax Services, the nation’s leading specialty tax advisory firm that weds modern accounting methods with sophisticated engineering studies, I have over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, and I believe in looking ahead.

To bring my dream into reality, I partnered with tZERO, a leader in blockchain technology for capital markets, which works to tokenize and trade digitally-enhanced securities securely. Its stated goal is “democratizing access to private market investments.” I collaborated with tZERO to bring tokenization to the accounting industry and its real estate clients so I could make next-generation real estate services available to the nation, just as I’ve done with cost segregation studies, 179D energy tax deductions, and R&D tax credits for a wide variety of industries. 

Disrupting Real Estate Markets Through Digitalization

To understand how tokenization works, let’s first take a look at the traditional real estate landscape.  Real estate’s status as a relatively safe investment has remained pretty much unchallenged. There’s a famous Mark Twain quote: “Buy land, they aren’t making it anymore.”  The stock market might rise or fall, but real estate is eternal—people will always need a physical place to live and work. However, real estate transactions also tend to be some of the most complex and expensive, which makes real estate itself relatively illiquid.

In recent decades, securitization has been somewhat successful in making real-property interests easier to transact. But there’s a new method of engaging in such transactions that promises to go even further in transforming the purchase, holding, and sale of real property. It’s called tokenization.

Exactly what is tokenization? When you tokenize real estate, you create a digital securities ownership interest in the entity that holds and/or operates the underlying real estate assets. These securities use blockchain technology to make trading easier and safer for investors. (In the future, with regulatory reform, we could see an expanded role for blockchain in the lifecycle, including real time or near-real time settlement.) To make their holdings available to the public, an issuer can utilize a variety of blockchain networks, such as Ethereum or Telos. Digital securities are typically governed by a smart contract that’s programmed to be compliant with securities regulations.

Tokenization and blockchain have numerous advantages over traditional methods of dealing in real estate. Among these technological innovations are:

  • Increased liquidity and transparency;
  • Materially faster transaction settlement speeds;
  • Reduced settlement costs;
  • Enhanced security; and 
  • Simplified management.

How Does Tokenization Work?

By tokenizing real estate, you issue digital equity securities in a holding company that owns the real estate asset. You can easily structure digital securities to represent a variety of ownership and economic interests in an underlying asset.  These interests can be:

  • Equity in a company that owns the asset;
  • An interest in debt secured by the real estate;
  • A stream of income based on cash flows from the asset; or 
  • An interest in the capital growth of an off-plan project. 

You can apply tokenization to a wide variety of types of the real property, including single-family homes, multifamily structures, office buildings, warehouses, retail spaces, timeshares, and everything else imaginable.

Several models of real-estate tokenization are already being actively developed, such as:

  • Ownership of real estate through a special purpose vehicle;
  • Shares in real estate funds;
  • Investments in and loans to development projects; and
  • Tokenized REITs.

Why Tokenization Is a Good Idea: Its Benefits

Here are some of tokenization’s outstanding advantages:

  • Access to capital: Because property developers can fractionalize a property efficiently, more investors can participate, so more capital can flow into a project.
  • More accurate pricing: The price of the asset will closely match its real market value, since illiquidity discounts will be significantly decreased. In the secondary market, potential investors can easily trade many assets at low fees.
  • Real-time pricing information from the order books: Because you’ve eliminated paper-based systems that share data asymmetrically, investors can uncover better trading deals more swiftly.
  • Elevated transparency: Since the blockchain-based system is regularly updated, investors can be informed of the underlying property’s value in advance.
  • Reduced overhead expenses, faster settlement of funds: With tokenization, there’s no need for intermediaries such as brokers and agents, since you’ve converted the platform’s entire operations digitally and automated them.
  • Portfolio diversification: Market participants can invest in multiple properties internationally and enjoy higher returns.
  • Decreased opportunity for fraud: Investors can have greater confidence in the process, since no one can change a transaction recorded on the blockchain network. 
  • A collateral-backed investment: Since real estate tokens are financially supported by real-world assets (tangible property), they’re less risky than unstable cryptocurrencies or potentially questionable Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
  • Constant oversight: With regular checks and balances that ensure stability, the security token’s value doesn’t fall below the real estate asset’s net asset value (NAV).

tZERO’s Real-Life Examples of Real Estate Tokenization

Now I’d like to discuss why my tokenization partner, tZERO, has been so successful in introducing digital liquidity to real estate markets.

First, tZERO digitizes securities by creating a digital capitalization table can be efficiently managed with an innovative smart contract. Then it offers a regulated trading platform through its regulated broker-dealer subsidiaries, where issuers can make their assets available for trading. (These securities aren’t purchased with or quoted in Bitcoin or another exotic cryptocurrency—only in traditional cash, although tZERO is working on regulatorily-compliant mechanisms so investors can convert their crypto into cash that the broker-dealer would then accept.)

Tokenizing real estate has many advantages. One is controlling liquidity. If you don’t want a certain party to own more than 10% of your security, for example, through set contracts, you can obtain tailored liquidity. You can also create a “sandbox” where only a certain set of investors are allowed to trade your security.

If you’re a real estate owner, you can digitize your building or real estate portfolio and sell shares in it as if you were a large public REIT on the NYSE. Recently tZERO has been seeing on its platform 30 times the historically balkanized and opaque liquidity of traditional private markets.

Here’s a useful case study. Last year, tZERO was approached by a luxury ski resort in the western United States that was interested in tokenizing its real estate assets. Last summer, it took tZERO less than two months to completely digitize the capitalization table for the holding company owning the real estate asset and onboard the holding company’s securities for trading. During the pandemic, this resort continued to maintain continuous automated liquidity, with market-driven pricing that was untouched by the dislocation some other publicly traded hospitality companies suffered.

Tokenization: The Future of Real Estate

Tokenization is yet another sign of how technology is revolutionizing the real estate profession. I see it as the democratization of access to asset classes. Now anyone with substantial assets—even collectibles!—can convert those illiquid assets into liquid ones and trade them on a regulated trading platform as if they were shares of Apple or Amazon. It’s a potential game-changer for capital markets — and I think it’s a startling new development that could introduce substantial liquidity to U.S. and international real estate markets.

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. Whether it is selling your house to an investor or new homeowner, 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.