Real Estate Opportunities in the World’s Most Romantic City

Venice in Italy is one of the world’s most enchanting cities thanks to the almost fairytale allure of landmarks such as St Mark’s Basilica and Square, the Palazzo Ducale, the Grand Canal and the Bridge of Sighs.

This is understandably one of the most desirable places in which to own a property in Italy. Yet with prices of apartments in St Mark’s Square, for instance, routinely changing hands for US$9.75million, many investors have shied away from buying real estate in Venice. As have many locals, in truth, and since the 1950s the city’s population has shrunk by two-thirds to its present 60,000. Continue reading Real Estate Opportunities in the World’s Most Romantic City

Record Foreclosure Rates Could Mean Cash in Your Pocket

Foreclosure bookWith the mortgage crisis in full swing, homes are going into foreclosure left and right all across the country. In 2005 there were 850,000 foreclosures, with the number of foreclosures increasing every quarter.

All these foreclosed properties offer you a great investment opportunity. You can scout and buy homes in foreclosure, then keep them as rental properties and collect monthly checks from tenants. Or you can purchase foreclosed properties and flip them, renovating and selling the homes for a profit. The time has never been better to use the real estate market to your advantage. Continue reading Record Foreclosure Rates Could Mean Cash in Your Pocket

Home Insurance – Where to Start

Picking the right insurer for your home can be a daunting task especially if you’re a new home buyer with no prior experience. There are so many providers out there with such a vast range of insurance packages, it’s difficult to tell which is the right plan just for you.

Fortunately the internet makes home insurance shopping much easier especially with sites like InsWeb for the US and Money for UK residents. InsWeb provides a free database  which offers quotes from up to 8 insurers and the UK Money site provides up to 20. They are basically search engine comparison sites so you can access quotes from one location without having to hop from one insurance site to another.

There’s also an article on the CNN site under the money section which I recommend reading that discusses the top things to know about insurance. They even provide some other good articles worth reading pertaining to home ownership in general.

Insurance coverage and requirements also vary based on which state and country you live in. For example, I live in San Francisco which is very earthquake prone so an optional earthquake insurance option is available. Others who live in the mid-west are prone to hurricanes so their insurance will be more expensive.  Regardless of your location, it’s always important to seek out and find at least 2-4 quotes before making your decision. Not only will you save money but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you didn’t just select the first insurance plan you came across. Good luck in your search!

Premium Real Estate WordPress Theme

agent-theme4If you are a real estate agent or someone looking to take your real estate website to the next level, then I highly recommend the Agent WordPress theme by StudioPress. It’s an amazing black two or three column professional theme with a strong emphasis on photos and functionality.

Unlike many other real estate themed templates, this modern theme is customized so you can actually display your listings, write articles, create pages, and even have your own blog all-in-one. You can’t beat that functionality.

Once you view the live demo, you’ll notice that the home page has an animated rotating sideshow so you can easily display your top listings. The theme designer and developer cleverly used WordPress categories to create a real estate search engine of sorts that highlights all of a brokerage’s or agent’s listings.

Below you will see what a single listing page looks like. It’s very clean and provides a large photo spot and main description towards the top. Following that area is a “Property Details” and “Additional Photos” sections. I can only say so much about this theme. It’s just better if you see it in action for yourself.

premium real estate wordpress theme

With this package you get unlimited theme support and customization techniques with detailed theme tutorials. Brian Gardner is the designer behind this beauty and he’s got several other templates as well. If you are looking for a low-cost and high-quality premium WordPress theme then this is just for you. I personally have purchased one of his other themes (Revolution Sports) which is actually what this real estate blog uses.

To have this sort of custom design done for your blog would easily cost several hundred dollars. On top of that, you’d have to pay a web developer to code this into a WordPress theme. Essencially you would pay close to $1,000 for this! The good news? This template costs only $59.95 or you can buy the entire set of his amazing premium WordPress themes for $199.95! You also get instant access to download it right after you pay. Credit card or PayPal are both accepted.

I promise you won’t be disappointed with this theme. Keep in mind though after you purchase it, you’ll need to spend at least one hour getting everything configured.

If you’re interested in other niche themes, I’d recommend the following: a job board theme, directory theme, classifieds theme, and even a coupon theme. These are all designed and built by the leading WordPress application themes company, AppThemes.

When Will Real Estate Values Begin to Appreciate Again?

When will the nation’s property values begin to appreciate again? This is the $64,000 question that real estate professionals, investors, and mortgage professionals would like to know. The truth is nobody can accurately predict the return of the real estate market.  Like everyone else, I can’t predict the end of this crisis either, but what I can do is tell you what will have to happen to facilitate that change. The answer is quite simple: America must reinvest in herself once again. Without an investment, real estate is as worthless as the Dollar is today.
Continue reading When Will Real Estate Values Begin to Appreciate Again?

A New Way To Sell Your House – Bury St. Joseph In Your Yard

bury st josephAre you religious (or not) and looking for a new way to speed up the process of selling your home? If so, you may want to try what one person did to help sell her home in Brooklyn, N.Y. during this difficult real estate market. She has turned to an unlikely source for help: St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is a Catholic saint who has long been believed to help with home-related matters. And according to lore now spreading on the Internet and among desperate home-sellers, burying St. Joseph in the yard of a home for sale promises a prompt bid. After she and her husband held five open houses, even baking cookies for one of them, she ordered a St. Joseph “real estate kit” online and buried the three-inch white statue in her yard.

These statues are flying off the shelves as an increasing number of skeptics and non-Catholics look for some saintly intervention to help them sell their houses. Talk about desperate measures. You might as well put your house up on eBay and/or Craigslist and see if anyone makes a bid. Regardless, I guess at this point I would try anything and everything to help sell my home.

You can read the entire article on the RealEstateJournal website.

Update: I received an email from the seller and her house has sold! Congrats to her and apparently burying St. Joseph in her yard helped. 🙂

Real Estate Agents – How to Get Noticed

What is the key to getting noticed, being remembered, and getting referrals?  It’s simple actually, the answer is building strong, lasting client relationships.  The most effective way to do this is by keeping in constant contact with them and leaving a gift behind to remind them of you later.  A phrase used for this type of self advertising is “Pop By”.  You want to Pop By clients, old and new, on a regular basis. Continue reading Real Estate Agents – How to Get Noticed

A Remortgage – What is It?

You say tomato, I say tomahto. You say remortgage, I say refinance. Yup, you guessed it. They both mean the same thing. The only difference is “remortgage” is the term used primarily in England where as “refinance” is used in America. Since the housing crash hit, more and more people are searching out for a new loan once their existing rate starts adjusting. This is typical for those who went with a 3 or 5 year ARM instead of locking in a 30-year fixed.

Has your number been called yet in the UK or are you just looking for a better overall mortgage rate? If so, now is the time to start looking while interest rates are still reasonable. The hardest part is finding the right person or loan broker to work with (at least in my experience) but with the internet at your fingertips, it’s much easier.

As I mentioned in my previous post about researching home insurance policies, using a search engine comparison site is the best way to compare and find deals catered for you. This is also true when it comes to just about anything these days. Before I order things online, I use shopping comparison sites like Froogle. When I’m searching for health insurance I’ve used ehealthinsurance.com. Now, if you’re living in the UK and looking for a remortgage, I would try a site like remortgage.org.

Remortgage.org makes it easy to speak with a mortgage professional for free advice regarding a remortgage in the UK. After completing 3 steps on their site, you’ll get access to one of their professional remortgage brokers. They will then answer your questions regarding advice on a mortgage or remortgage in the UK. I have yet to personally try them out since I don’t live in the UK but their site is pretty clean and useful which presumably means their staff is professional too.

If anyone has used remortgage.org, I would love to hear about your experiences by commenting below. Our goal is to help share knowledge and real estate information that is useful to all.

Real Estate Brochure Printing

The importance of quality brochures for real estate agents and those trying to advertise their properties is sometimes overlooked. Just like a resume, the quality of paper you use reflects on your professionalism. How many times have you seen a cheap piece of paper presenting a house or apartment building for sale? Most of the time I see these fliers they are people trying to sell the home without a real estate agent. In my opinion, it’s worth going the extra mile to spend a few bucks more to pay for quality brochures and or paper.

The second part of printing brochures has to do with convience. I like being able to handle any brochure printing needs with ease and one such solution is to use an online printing company. After doing some searching online, I ended up finding such a service called www.psprint.com. I have yet to use their offerings but when the time comes, I’m sure to give them a try.

Has anyone else tried an online printing service before? If so, what were your experiences? I’d like to think most online businesses are legit but without a positive review from a nuetral person, it’s hard to trust a site.

Real Estate Investing in Tremblant – Is it Worth a Look?

Looking for a blissful winter wonderland vacation home in a location that most people have never heard of? Up until a few days ago, I have never heard of it either but now I’ve got the urge to go.

For those of you not familiar with Tremblant, it is located about one and a half hours northwest of Montreal, Canada. It’s a large year round resort and Mont Tremblant is best known as a ski destination, but also features a lake suitable for swimming, and a golf course in the summer months. The name of the mountain, Mont Tremblant, means “trembling mountain” in French.

For Mont Tremblant Real Estate to be an attractive place to invest, the prices need to be in an affordable range. After doing some searches online I found a nice site which lists all types of Mont Tremblant Properties. Some of them are rather high which are out of most people’s price range ($1 million +) but this site also lists Mont Tremblant Condos in the $175k + range. These are called condo/hotels which is a fairly new concept. Continue reading Real Estate Investing in Tremblant – Is it Worth a Look?