There are so many real estate articles out there — and so little time! For busy investors looking to take a quick reading break, look no further than our list of recommended reading for the week. From advice and investment tips to market reviews, we’re highlighting the stuff that’s really worth your time.
So sit back, and take a break. These were the 5 Must-Read Real Estate Articles of The Past Week:
Via the AP
Tears still spring into Debbie Cooley-Guy’s eyes when she thinks about her dream home, with its wide, sweeping porch. It overlooked a bayou filled with wading birds, a glittering blue pool and had space for not only a 12-foot Christmas tree but a grand piano as well. She bought the home in a suburb west of Tampa, Florida, for $637,000 in 2002. Seven years later, after the economy tanked, she sold it for less than she owed on her mortgage to avoid foreclosure. She recalls the black moment when she was still caring for the lawn but not living there. A falling branch knocked down an outdoor staircase railing.
By Ann Carrns via The New York Times
Anyone who has purchased a home knows how stressful the closing of a mortgage loan can be. A typical closing — the meeting to complete the loan — involves signing stacks of legal-size documents laden with financial jargon. Borrowers may be anxious about the amount of money involved and worry about whether they understand the forms they’re signing. Document packages can total 100 pages or more, and closings can take hours. That’s why some lenders are starting to automate the process, using technology to create “e-closings” that require fewer paper documents.
By Kristin McFarland via U.S. News and World Report
Once you’re on track with your financial goals – such as retirement contributions or repaying student loan debt – you may find yourself exploring real estate investments in lieu of the stock market. Buying real estate as an investment can be lucrative, but it’s also cash-intensive and carries risks. As you weigh your options, consider the following points in your analysis. Risk versus expected returns. Whether putting cash into the market or purchasing real estate, you need to assess the risk versus the expected returns. Traditional equity investments are much easier to analyze in this way. You have historical data, and although past performance is not indicative of future results, you have a bit more control over how much risk you’re exposed to when deciding what amount to invest, the asset allocation and so on. Investing in single stocks versus an index fund is a calculated risk some are willing to take in search of higher expected returns.
Via The Economist
THE Economist tracks the health of housing in 26 markets around the world, encompassing a population of over 3 billion. Prices are now rising in 19 of these markets at a median pace of 5.2% a year. But in China, whose decade-long construction boom appears to be coming to an end, and in much of the periphery of the euro area, which is just starting to recover from an especially severe bust, prices are falling. To assess whether house prices are at sustainable levels, we use two yardsticks. One is affordability, measured by the ratio of prices to income per person after tax. The other is the case for investing in housing, based on the ratio of house prices to rents, much as stockmarket investors look at the ratio of equity prices to earnings. If these gauges are higher than their historical averages then property is deemed overvalued; if they are lower, it is undervalued. According to our measure, property is more than 25% overvalued in seven of the markets we track, notably in Australia, Britain and Canada.
Via Realty Today
Houston-based commercial real estate firm Situs RERC ranked 48 U.S. metro areas as to which are has the most promising commercial real estate market for investments. The top six areas among the 48 were Dallas, Orlando, Raleigh, San Antonio, Austin and Phoenix. According to bizjournals.com, Brian Velky, managing director of fiduciary and valuation services for Situs, said that “Phoenix has better price values than more expensive ‘primary’ U.S. markets such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Boston.” He also said that “Phoenix has good growth projects for population and job gains. Phoenix has a strong outlook and relatively reasonable prices.”
Did you like these articles? What were your favorite articles this week?