Antique Rug Buyers Guide

When buying an antique rug, what should I look for:

Having been in the business of buying and selling rugs for over a decade, the first questions I get from people are: Before buying an antique rug, what should I consider? Where do I go to buy antique rugs? Where do I actually begin my antique rug-buying hunt?

First of all, dealers, designers and collectors all over the world seek to find the greatest antique rugs. Antique rugs are considered a form of art. A rug needs to be at least 80 years old to be considered an antique. Whereas furniture or art needs to be at least 100 years old to be considered antique. One of the differences is that antique rugs should not look like they were used at all and just viewed as art. Also, rugs are stepped and walked on as opposed to art which is only viewed. Therefore, art will always look newer and last longer. It is amazing that some antique rugs will cost less than an actual new rug. However, there is a misconception that antique rugs cost more than new rugs. A new rug could cost $80 for every square foot in today’s market. This is an average price. The better quality rugs can cost over double that. For example, a 9’x2′ new rug can cost approximately $8,600. Bearing in mind that the rugs will not necessarily be commercial grade in this price range, nor will they be great pieces. New 9’x12′ rugs have been seen to sell well over $20,000. Therefore, my question is pretty simple: why not purchase a rug which has resale value if you are going to invest such a substantial amount of money in an antique rug? As nice as new rugs are, they have no intrinsic value. The same rule applies as if you bought a new car and paid $30,000 for it. As soon as you drive the car out of the dealership, it automatically decreases in value.

Therefore, there are a few things to consider before successfully finding the perfect rug:

Budget, current design market, size, quality, age and condition are among the few categories that need to be considered.

1. Budget – All rugs, new and antique, vary greatly in price. There are many reasons for the price variations. Some of these reasons are:

a. Current design market – Patterns, colors, trends and looks will determine whether a certain rug is a must-have in the current market. Of course, everyone has different tastes and the ultimate decision is a very individual one. All markets are different as well. The American market, for instance, concentrates on decorative pieces. We are a society of beauty. We make our selections by colors and patterns. Other markets base their selection on quality. The European market for instance. Europeans will pay more for an antique rug based on quality. Antique rugs such as an Oushak rug prices are greatly affected by the pattern of the rug as well. For example, all-over designed rugs vs. medallion rugs. All-over designed rugs are at least 30% more expensive that rugs that have a center design. In the American market everything should be centered. We tend to select rugs which have center designs and try to perfectly align the rug in the room according to other furnishings.

b. Size – First measure the space and determine the size of rug you desire. There are no set rules for placing a rug in a room. Some people prefer a small rug in a large room. Some like to see that the rug fits the room to the exact size. People usually compromise on size first. If they find an antique rug that they fall in love with based on its colors, design, price or style, they are very willing to compromise on size. The cost of new rugs is based on square footage. The bigger the rug is, the more expensive it will be. However, this is not the case with antique rugs since they are individually evaluated based on many factors. For instance, it is not unheard of for an antique rug (5’x8′) to be sold in Christies London for $10 million.

c. Quality – If a new rug has more knots per square inch, it takes longer to weave. The same rule applies for antique rugs. The qualities of the two pieces are compared, should have the same origin and were made around the same time.

d. Age – The most expensive antique rugs are dated back to the 18th century.

e. Condition – The general and logical rule is: the better condition the antique rug is in, the more it will cost. Antique rugs will need restoration and repair at some point.

2. Look – Most high-end decorators believe a rug should be the most expensive piece in the room. Therefore, it makes the most sense to start with the purchase of an antique rug and then purchasing remaining furniture. Finding the perfect rug you love is not going to be an easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort. By seeing what is on the market first, you can compare rugs to your specific taste. There are a lot of choices online. This is the easiest way of finding a rug you love. The internet is also the best way to choose your dream rug since you can compare every rug available. One great site is the Nazmiyal Collection. You can spend hours and days browsing the entire collection. This site has one of the most comprehensive collections such as Antique Oriental rugs and Vintage Moroccan rugs and it is the largest online source of great art and information. There are also plenty of local rug dealers around. This is another great way to get a feel for different designs, colors, types and price ranges.

Once the size, budget and style of rug are established, you are ready to start shopping for antique rugs. More important than the dealer you choose to work with is educating yourself on the purchase of rugs beforehand. Make sure you choose a dealer who has the best reputation and selection. Seek an established dealer who has been in business for a long time as opposed to a smaller dealer who usually has only one or two pieces available. Larger dealers will have reputable collections. Ask friends, family and colleagues for references if you are seeking high-end rugs. Compare prices once you have narrowed down your selection. Visit several dealers and search the internet to get a feel of all aspects before you commit to buying a rug. You will know you have selected the correct piece once you lay it down in your room. If you choose a local dealer, they will be more than happy to bring the rug to your home so you can lay the rug down in your room and know you have the perfect rug. Some of the reputable dealers online will do the same for you. They will offer to pay for the shipping to your home. It is crucial that you read or inquire about dealer guarantees as far as shipping and return policies. You should ask the dealer to provide you with the guarantee in writing.

You should feel confident in your choice. Dealers will charge different prices for a similar item. Therefore, you should have a basic idea of what you are looking to purchase. Ask the dealer for something in writing as to the condition, price, description and age of rug. Some of the high-end dealers will actually allow you to return the rug in exchange for another size or look if you haven’t damaged it. Dealers usually stand behind their price and sale of rugs.

You definitely want to have an independent appraiser look at the rug if you are choosing a high-end one before finalizing the sale. Since this is a big investment, you want to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Never ask a rug dealer to give you an appraisal on your rug as most will not be truthful with you. Choose either Christies or Sotheby’s. They are both reputable auction houses. You should ask for their recommendation for an independent appraiser. If the dealer is an honest one, he will have no problem with your request for an appraisal. If you feel that the dealer is not an honest one and he doesn’t feel comfortable with your wish to have the rug appraised or gives you a hard time, chances are it would be better for you to walk away from that sale.

Be aware of going-out-of-business sales. They are often misleading. Another reason not to buy a rug from a store going out of business is once the business closes, you have no way of returning or exchanging the rug. Since antique rugs have a market and certain value, there is no reason for the rug to be on sale.

Buying from a dealer vs. buying at auction: Worldwide, knowledge is power and You can find good deals if you know what you are looking to buy and are familiar with market prices. The following are benefits of buying from a dealer rather than buying at an auction:

1. The dealer will work around your schedule and you will have the option of trying the rug in your room before buying.

2. Delivery – this is a great benefit. If you purchase your rug through a local dealer, he will come to your home to place the rug down. In the meantime, they will move any necessary furniture in order to try the rug and return the furniture to its original place upon their completion.

3. Pads – Certain dealers might not charge you for the padding that is required when an antique rug is purchased. They will pay for it themselves and it will save you money in the long run.

4. Restoration – Reputable dealers will restore or clean the rug prior to delivering it to you as opposed to purchasing at auction where you need to get the rug restored yourself at your own cost.

As stated earlier, if you educate yourself in buying an antique rug first, you can find a good buy. Another drawback from buying a rug at auction is you have to pay a commission on the rug, get your own estimate for restoration and have a set price in mind before bidding. Make sure you have a maximum cap on the bidding process so you don’t pay more than you planned to pay. Often times people get carried away with the bidding if they fall in love with a certain rug. They wind up paying more than the rug is worth. Bidding is always risky. If someone else likes the rug as much as you do, you must make a decision as to the maximum amount you are willing to pay in order to prevent the price from escalating once a competitor starts bid against you.

What is your rug worth? It is almost impossible to figure out the true value of an antique rug as many considerations are taken into effect. Since demands are always changing, the value of an antique rug can fluctuate greatly. For example, a Persian Tabriz over 80 years old can be worth anywhere from $1,000 to $1,000,000. Therefore, trying to compare rugs in an auction catalogue or with other rugs that are comparable will be a waste of your time. What you should do instead is call a reputable dealer, send him pictures and let him know what appraisal you would like to receive.

1. You should ask how much the dealer is willing to pay for the rug if you are willing to sell.

2. Do you want a fair retail market value assessment? This is the amount a dealer expects to get from a retail client.

3. Are you looking to know what the rug’s fair trade value would be and are looking to replace it?

$500 is the average cost for a written appraisal. The average cost for a verbal appraisal is $100. A written appraisal is costly because it is documented, signed and delivered. It is also a valid, legal document. The issuer can actually get called to testify in court regarding his credibility if the need arises.

Ultimately, as stated earlier, there is no real way to get an estimate of the value of the rug without having a professional who deals with these pieces daily assess the rug. An antique rug value is not easy to determine. Most people who inherit rugs try to compare them with rugs they see for sale and assume their rug is worth a certain amount. One really needs to have a vast knowledge in antique rugs to know the market in order to try to determine the value. Trying to sell an antique rug is very subjective, difficult and unique. Of course, if you sell your rug to a dealer, bear in mind the dealer is buying the rug to make a profit so you are underselling your rug. They also have to clean and restore the rug before selling. Therefore, you will be offered a much smaller price than the actual value of the rug. Also, the dealer isn’t sure when they will get the rug sold so it is a big investment for him. He might not see their investment come to fruition for a long time. There is an upside to selling your rug to a dealer though. You will get your money immediately. You also save yourself a lot of effort and time in the process. The bottom line when selling a rug is the same as buying a rug: you must educate yourself first. Learn about the market for the rug you are trying to sell, find a reputable dealer, and get the rug appraised by an independent appraiser. However, keep in mind that an independent appraiser will give you a retail value estimate – sometimes offers are for half of the amount you request. Spend time researching antique rugs, Such as Antique Oriental rugs, Oushak rugs and Moroccan rugs and carpets. This will ensure that you get the top dollar for your rug.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Omri Schwartz

Real Estate Appraisals – Get Yourself Prepared For Knowing the Value of Your Home

The collapse of the economy began with a reality wind blowing against the sub-prime mortgage house of cards. We are all living with the results of over aggressive lending practices and over active government intervention. With all these friends who needs any enemies?

As the market realigns, property valuations have plummeted. Some of you may even be „upside down“ on your mortgages. Do you buy? Do you sell? Do you ride out the tsunami? This series will go through all the major questions that we normally encounter in determining the value of a property. What are the drivers? What are the inhibitors? What you need to know to get the best value.

What is Property valuation/real estate appraisal?

The purpose of property valuation is to provide a current market based value for a property in comparison to others in its immediate vicinity. So an appraisal is time, location and geography specific. It is a comparative value – not an absolute. Second, real estate appraisals are broken into two broad categories – residential and commercial. For the purposes of these papers we will be discussing strictly residential appraisals. Residential real estate appraisers are licensed by their respective states and have different levels of license levels based on the value of loan for the property. They have to take classes and pass certification tests to gain and maintain their license status. They are also usually bounded by county because of the way Multiple Listing Services (MLS) keep and sell their records. So a good appraiser really knows their geography and what to look for.

Why does it cost so much?

Real estate appraisers are traditionally independent contractors/business people – no appraisals = no money. So while you are paying a relatively standard one time fee (e.g., $400) they have to make sure they get as many appraisals in as they can to make any profit at all. How’s that? After all they’ve got your $400. An appraiser has to cover all out of pocket expenses the same as any business person (education, health insurance, MLS fees, liability fees, business insurance, state fees – the list goes on). In addition a good appraiser may spend anywhere from 3 to 6 hours in preparation (looking for comparables, etc.), have a 45 minute or more drive time to location, 2 hours driving comparables and taking pictures and then another 1 -3 hours writing the report and then if the bank wants more info or kicks anything back they have to invest the time to answer questions, etc.

Also, is they get your request from another appraiser or from one of these new rip off government created middlemen called AMCs – they may have to split the fee. These are all just the costs of doing business. So when someone stops by for 30 to 60 minutes with a tape measure know that it’s the tip of the iceberg and you’re getting a good deal.

Do I own the appraisal?

The person/company who owns the appraisal is the person who commissioned it. So if you are looking for a house loan, your loan company „owns“ the appraisal, not you because they are the commissioning agent. Even if you pay the appraiser, it makes no difference – you did not set up the transaction. Why is this important? The appraiser can’t legally give you a copy of „your“ appraisal – it’s not yours. If you request an appraisal for loan purposes you may find that it’s not accepted by the bank because they didn’t request it or they don’t know the appraiser. Catch 22 – yes but not made by the appraiser so don’t shoot the messenger. There are all different kinds of appraisals (home, land, cost based, estate, chronological, etc.) and they are not interchangeable. Make sure if you are going to personally request an appraisal you know what it can be used for.

Why do I need a new Appraisal?

The market is so volatile that you may require a new appraisal every 6 -8 weeks for some lenders. In the last eight months housing values have dropped up to 40% in some areas. This means a $1 million house could be going for $600k now. This has made lenders very uneasy and they require more documentation and proof of values than before. Of course they were also the companies that caused the problem – Catch 22 for us. Refinancing has become more challenging as appraised values have gone done so rapidly that people who can manage the monthly payments are penalized because the „value“ puts them underwater. For sellers it’s even more emotionally challenging as they believe their homes have a higher value in the market than they do and they get upset, the real estate agents get upset because the deal doesn’t close and the bank says the appraised value I what it is. The appraiser gets attacked for the state of the market instead the banks who created the issue.

How to determine value?

Value is determined the recent sales of similar homes within a given geographic radius. This means sales, not pending sales; people can ask what they want but banks want to know what other similar homes sold for – don’t let your real estate agent mislead you. While the process is meant to be precise, „similar“ is a very ambiguous term. Are we talking square footage, age, upgrades, tile vs. marble, pool vs yard, the variables can seem limitless. This is why online value services are worthless and if you pay for them you are wasting your money. Only a live onsite inspection can see and assess value properly. Lenders understand this. Geographic area is also becoming looser. Neighborhoods can change in character so rapidly that the normal radius for a comparable is 3 miles. However because sales have been so slow, comparables are fewer and fewer. Because the lenders require 3 -5 or more valuations per property, sometimes more; appraisers are searching outside the 3 mile radius for comparables. Bottom line – if you’re looking to sell in the next 12 – 18 months don’t do any major upgrades because you probably won’t get your money back. Do what you need to please yourself and that’s it.

Who’s on First in this process?

People who refinance a lot or were thinking about a refinance in the last 6 months often ask this. Remember in the whole real estate process – the bank has the power – no one else. The recent complaints by others and finger pointing at appraised property values is really a distraction as banks with their loan programs and compensation systems drive everything. Because the banks lent money so freely and caused the crash – they have swung 1800 away and are now hoarding cash. To justify this approach they are squeezing loan agents and appraisers for more and more documentation of value. This is especially ironic for refis – people who are already good customers but just want to take advantage of some good rates. Bear in mind that banks don’t have customers they care about for repeat business – you are a commodity. This squeeze play in the name of „making sure it doesn’t happen again“ drives up appraiser and loan agent costs which cannot be flowed through to the borrower. If you’re a banker – no big deal – you’re going to get a federal bailout bonus or in the government where it’s basically „who cares it’s not my money“ – these things are not important because you don’t really care about impact. BUT if you’re working for a living on $400 increments with no guarantees of where your next job is coming from – it means a lot. The other guy in the process, who used to be a silent partner is the government. They have enacted new legislation to „clean up“ the valuation process when it was never broken to begin with. This has backfired into more regulation raising lending costs in the process – some of which has been passed on to the borrower. It has also stifled loan creation – so while still have money they can’t borrow because of government pressures. The psychology is beyond the normal mind to fathom. Everybody that is supposed to help likes to put more rocks in our backpacks as we go up the hill and tells us it’s for our own good.

It also produces lower quality valuations and appraisals. Example, Fannie Mae requires that all appraisals they get be from „certified“ appraisers. Because the government requires banks follow suit. Now the difference between a regular appraiser and a certified appraiser is a couple of classes and taking a test. So let’s say you been an appraiser for 20 years, done thousands of honest appraisals, have an MBA and have an excellent reputation – guess what – thanks to the government your out of business until you get spend hundred to thousands more and take a test. But it’s the same job you did before. So now you get a valuation done by someone with little practical experience who happened to take a test but gets the work. That’s the answer to some of the basic questions you want to know in this market. If you’re in the middle of this process and frustrated take it out at the ballot box but don’t kick your appraiser – they’re just the messenger.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Gordon Townsend

The Best Resources For Fountain Hills Homes For Sale

Are you looking to relocate to Arizona? Why not consider Fountain Hills homes for sale? Fountain Hills is named after the town’s famous fountain. This fountain was first built in the early 1970s and was constructed by Robert P. McCulloch. To this day the fountain runs and shoots 560 feet in the air. At one time it was the largest fountain in the world. It has since then settled as one of the talent fountains in the world, delivering 7,000 gallons a minute. Still an amazing feat!

These homes for sale are diverse. There are custom-made homes here as well as three-unit structures, town houses and apartments. The total land area is 18.2 square miles. The population is over 20,000 and almost half are family households. There is estimated to be about 10,491 housing units in the town. Over 96% of the population is white. The media age is 46, meaning this is a fairly wealthy and settled community. The median income is $70,096 and is about average for the state. It’s not as wealthy a community as Scottsdale or Arcadia, but still very affluent overall.

This is an excellent location for business travelers, as it is placed in Maricopa County, near major cities and locations like Scottsdale and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. It is also considered one of the fastest growing towns in the entire state. There is certainly no lack of culture here; in addition to numerous attractions and establishments, the town also brings its residents two annual fairs, and a few art fairs. The town also celebrates a Thanksgiving Day parade, the only one of its kind west of Mississippi.

If you have children then you will be relieved to know that this real estate is located near four schools: McDowell Mountain Elementary, Four Peaks Elementary, Fountain Hills Middle School and Fountain Hills High School. There is also a charter school within the area.

Why not start searching for homes for sale in this area? Be aware that public listings, even Internet listings, are not always up to date. The best route to take is to find a real estate agent that can search MLS listings. Real estate agents also have access to the newest Fountain Hills homes for sale that just went on the market.

Become a part of this welcoming community! Fountain Hills real estate is worth every penny, as it is one of the most lively and picturesque towns in the U.S.!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Andrew Holm

Real Estate Statistics Explained

Basic Real Estate Statistics Explained

We are going to define some of the basic real estate statistics that get thrown around on a regular basis. To do that, we will use one real estate market, located in Hood County Texas. Even more granular, we will use the single family numbers for homes in Granbury Tx, a small town of approximately 8,000 residents which has seen substantial real estate growth in the past 12 months. It is important when reviewing real estate statistics to use a group of numbers large enough for consistency, but granular enough to tell your story.

The statistics that we will be referencing are true and accurate for the year discussed but are being used to define the real estate statistic itself.

We have chosen Granbury Tx as our example because the growth of the local real estate market there make the statics stand out.

Anytime you are evaluating statistics, especially in real estate, the source of the numbers are extremely important. In most instances, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) provides the most accurate numbers when referring to real estate. This is because they have all listings by all local real estate brokers in their database. For the sake of explanation of the data, we will be looking at the numbers for home sales in Granbury Tx, directly from the MLS. These numbers are meant to give an example of how to read the statistics themselves. Anytime you evaluate real estate numbers, its important to pay close attention to how the numbers are gathered. In this instance, we will be using ONLY single family properties in the city of Granbury.

Basic Real Estate Statistics

  • Number of Sales – This one is pretty self explanatory. It is simply the number of single family homes sold in a particular month. In January of 2015, they had 51 single family homes sold. One thing to pay attention to when looking at this statistic is are they using the Under Contract date or the day the property actually went to closing. These two dates are usually between 30 and 60 days apart, so its critical that you know which one is being referenced. In addition, many of the homes that get calculated, if you are using the „under contract“ number may not actually close! In our example, we are using the number of homes that actually closed. In January of 2016 they had an increase of over 49% which brought the total to 77 from 51. Growth of that level is very seldom ever seen.
  • Sales Volume – Sales Volume is simply the total amount of dollars spent on single family housing within that month. Once again, when reviewing this statistic, its important to keep the property types consistent. If you are comparing two areas to see which one has grown more and you include vacant land in the number for one area, you must include it in the other too. As previously mentioned, our examples only include single family properties. With Number of Sales looking at the units, you would expect the Sales Volume to go up appropriately, but in this instance, it went up even more than the units (by percentage). The total Sales Volume of single family homes in Granbury in January of 2016 was $15,191,500 as opposed to the January of 2015 number of $9,281,915. That is an increase of over 63%. Because the Sales Volume went up at a larger rate than the number of units, this reflects the average home sale being much larger in 2016 than 2015.
  • Months of Inventory – This is a commonly referred to statistic when examining a real estate market. This statistic refers to at the current rate of sales, how long will it take to sell through the existing level of inventory. This reflects the supply and demand for the market. In our example, in January of 2015 the level of inventory was 9 months and in January of 2016 it had dropped to 6 months. That is a 33% drop in available inventory! This means if you are looking to buy a home in Granbury Tx, it will be a little tougher in 2016 as there is less inventory available to buy.
  • Median Days To Sell – This stat simply refers to how long it takes for single family properties to be put under contract. Don’t let the „to sell“ confuse you. To accurately show the demand for active homes, you really want to track how long it takes to go „under contract“. The process of acquiring final lender approval, insurance and getting to a closing can vary on a variety of factors. In January of 2015, the Median Days to Sell was 88. That number dropped by over 30% to 61. Once again, this tells you if you are looking for homes in Granbury TX, you better get your offers in quickly as the most desirable homes are going fast!
  • Average Price – This statistic can be derived in a variety of ways. We are going to use it in its most raw form and simply be the Average Price of Homes Sold within that month. Be careful when looking at this statistic printed anywhere as how the user defines the date sold can vary. Needless to say, Average Price can be used for active homes for sale or for the homes that sold. The Average Price of ACTIVE homes for sale is generally a pretty useless number as you can list a home for any price, without any possibility of it ever selling. Many homes listed for sale are at unrealistic prices thus the Average Price of Active homes for sale can fluctuate dramatically and give little insight into the market. You will want to look at the Average Price of SOLD homes. In January of 2015, the Average Home Sale was $181,998 and it jumped to $199,888 in the same month in 2016. This is an increase of almost 10%. This is not a number that truly tells the increase in home values across the board, but simply of the homes sold in that month, what the average was.
  • Median Price – The Average Home Sales Price can be skewed by a variety of factors. All it takes is one 5 million dollar home sale to throw those numbers off. To get a better view of the overall increase in value, it can be better to look at the Median Sales Price. Median Sales Price takes the number that is perfectly in the middle. For instance, if you have 11 homes that you are using in your statistic, you would take the sales price of the 6th one. This leaves 5 homes sold higher and 5 homes sold lower. In this instance, they are pretty close as the Median Sales Price increase from January 2015 to 2016 was 9.69%. This shows that we didn’t have the Average Price skewed too much because of an extremely large or extremely small sale.

There are hundreds of ways to look at the same numbers, when referencing to real estate, so be very careful to read the fine print on exactly what numbers they are using. When making comparisons, you will want to make absolutely sure that both are referencing the same property types, dates etc. It like the old saying says… there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Dean Cacioppo

The Wonder of the Jamaica Property Market

Jamaica is a beautiful island. It is the third largest island in the Caribbean with a warm and sunny tropical climate. It has had over 40 years independence since 1962, and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II who officially uses the title Queen of Jamaica when she visits the country.

Jamaica’s heritage and culture is surprisingly diverse. Jamaicans‘ heritage includes African, Indian, British, Chinese, German and Irish. There is an increase in immigration from Latin America and China.

Jamaica is a popular holiday destination, especially for British tourists. It has a culture that is relaxed and an abundance of tourist attractions around the island. You can visit Montego Bay, with its aqua seawater and white sand, climb up Dunns River, a six hundred feet waterfall in Ocho Rios. You can also dive at the 7 miles of beach on the western coastline in Negril, which is home to many prestigious resorts. Inland, Kingston and Spanish Town are vibrant and interesting cities, bustling and full of life and character. The Jamaican cuisine is second to none, and you can feast on delicious dishes such as goat curries, jerk chicken and pork, yams, rice and peas, ackee and saltfish and Jamaican patties.

Home to global reggae stars, such as Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff, tourists flock to visit Bob Marley’s former home and studio in Hope Road, which is now a museum and a place of pilgrimage for Bob Marley fans and reggae-lovers alike.

As well as attracting tourists, the island also attracts buyers looking for Jamaica property, although it is not as popular as other Caribbean islands such as Barbados or St. Kitts. This is largely because of negative perception and media publicity which has had a knock on affect on tourists and buyers for Jamaica property. Reports of crime have also deterred people who would potentially buy properties in Jamaica, although Jamaica is a friendly island to live in.

Many retired Jamaicans who were born in Jamaica live, work and bring up their families overseas and then return to Jamaica to retire. With the proceeds from selling their overseas home, they can often buy larger and higher quality properties in Jamaica with a large plot of land, as well as securing an income for their retirement. Some families have a plot of land that has been bought historically by the family, and they build their own property in Jamaica to retire to.

There is a noticeable lack of supply of prestigious and high-end properties in Jamaica which doesn’t attract people with money or potential investors to the island. The lack of supply filters down to the tourist and hotel markets, which would also attract affluent tourists to spend money. So, high end Jamaica property should be a focus, as if the supply of luxury Jamaica property is not there, an argument can be made that demand won’t be stimulated with overseas buyers.

There is a whole range of properties for sale in Jamaica, from apartments and two bedroom houses to large, executive properties on three floors. Jamaica property can be located by the beach, inland upon hillsides and hilltops, in major towns and in more rural, remote areas. Detached Jamaican property often has large plots of land attached to it, and a majority have pools. There is also a range of new condominium and townhouse developments with resort style layouts and leisure facilities available for the residents to enjoy. Gated properties in Jamaica are also popular, with security a concern for residents and investors. Peace of mind is offered with security features such as steel-based windows, roofs and door grilles.

An added bonus for the Jamaica property market is that during this fiscal year, the Government is further reducing the Stamp Duty and Transfer tax primarily to stimulate the market and to help kick-start buying of the many properties for sale in Jamaica. Stamp Duty will be reduced from 4.5% to 3% and Transfer Tax from 5% to 4% effective from January 2010, so this will give investors an incentive to invest in Jamaican property and snap up some good deals.

In Jamaica, property prices have largely stayed static for the last two years, so the Jamaica property market is a buyers market, which is great news for investors who are liquid and in a good financial situation. They can make the market conditions work for them and negotiate some bargain prices on property for sale. There are also, unfortunately, many buyers who bought Jamaican property such as prestigious town houses for rental at the higher-end of the market at the peak, and now cannot rent them out and meet their financial commitments on the property. So these sellers will need to sell their properties urgently and will readily negotiate on price for quick sale.

The Jamaican property market has also not been helped by the global economic downturn, which has negatively affected attracting overseas investors, although the Jamaica property market is attractive to investors from overseas as the Jamaican dollar has decreased in value.

However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel, as looking ahead into next year, the recession in Jamaica may end earlier than expected. When this starts to happen and the economy is kick-started again, combined with the generous tax incentives given by the Government, the Jamaica property market will inevitably start to revitalize and house prices and demand increase and escalate to previous positive levels, which is good news for investors and people wishing to live and retire in Jamaica.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Peter Aps

Tips On How To Sell Your House Fast For Top Dollar

It’s the dream of every person looking to sell a house to sell it as soon as possible and at a high price. Unfortunately this is not the case. In some cases it can take you up to a year before you get a prospective buyer. While its tough selling a house, it doesn’t mean that you can’t sell yours fast and at a high price. Here are tips that will help you do it:

Prepare your house for sale

There is no buyer that will buy a mediocre house. You need to ensure that your house in good condition. One of the things that you should do is keep the house spotlessly clean. Give all areas of the house a thorough cleaning. For a better job, hire a cleaning company to help you out. When cleaning, pay attention to smells.

If you are still living in the house, don’t cook bacon during the day that you are showing it. This is to prevent it from smelling like a fast food restaurant. Also remember to paint the walls and get rid of your personal effects.

In addition to giving attention to the inside of the house also consider the outside. An easy way of giving life to the outside of the house is mowing the lawn. Also plant or place flowers at strategic areas of the house.

Sell your house with a realtor

Once the house is in good condition and don’t want to go the hard way of advertising the house, work with a realtor. When finding a realtor, choose one that has been in the industry for long as he/she understands the ins and outs of the business. He/she also might know people that might be interested in buying the house.

In addition to the professional helping you sell the house fast, he/she will also guide you on the areas that you should fix, clean or remove. This is to make the house more attractive for selling.

According to studies, most realtors sell houses on an average of 6 months. This calls for you to brace yourself to be in the market for at least six months. Also be ready to pay the realtor a 6% service charge.

Sell to a real estate investor

There are many real estate investors in the market that buy houses, renovate them and later sell them. Most of the investors will visit your house and analyze it in order to find its value. They will also identify the areas that need to be repaired/ renovated. Investors are good to sell to if you are in urgent need of money. When working investors be cautious as some of them might try to rip you off. To sell the house at top dollar, repair the house by yourself.


These are tips on how to sell your house fast and at a high cost. Regardless of the professional that you work with, ensure that he/she is experienced and reputable.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Idd Aziz

Tips To Find The Best Apartments for Sale in Colombo

Understanding The Market For Apartments For Sale And How To Decide On The Type Of Property You Would Want To Own In Colombo

Popularity Of Apartments For Sale

With the growth of the economy in Sri Lanka, there has been an increased focus on the real estate market within the island as well. Due to the higher concentration of development occurring closer to the capital city Colombo, it has also increased the demand for property either for purchase or rent in the vicinity. But such rapid developments and increased demand has also led to a scarcity of free land available. Since the need to buy home properties has to be provided with a solution, many leading apartment builders have begun several projects to provide potential homeowners with viable solutions to choose from. This sort of developments is supported by statistics that indicate that the entire Western province covers only 6% of the country’s land areas but close to 28% of the population seek to make their homes in the area.

Since this trend has been on the rise during the past few years, now you can find many apartments for sale and also apartments for short term rent that can be chosen according to your requirements. There are also several good houses for sale available in nearby areas but due to the high prices, they are not suitable for many interested homebuyers. In terms of apartments there are broadly two categories, namely, luxury apartment projects and micro apartments available for consideration.

Types Of Apartments For Sale

Popularity of luxury apartment projects

In previous times, real estate agents and property developers focused more on offering stand-alone houses for sale. But now, with the limitations highlighted above, these developers have looked to offer those who want to buy home units the option of choosing from luxury apartments. It has been found that the demand to buy apartment that fall into the luxury category comes from the Sri Lankan community as well as foreigners. Such investments made in relation to own properties in Colombo area have also shown high increase in popularity. As per the statistics gathered up until 2015, there have been close to over 2600 luxury apartment units and it is further estimated that this number could reach close to 6000 units by 2019. Such luxury units are also found to be available for those who wish to rent an apartment, giving rise to more and more apartments for short term rent being offered.

Potential for micro apartments in Sri Lanka

Another alternative to houses for sale is the availability of real estate in the form of micro apartments. Many apartment builders have also invested in such projects that have been in high demand among those who want to buy apartment space in Colombo. The target market for this type of property has actually found appeal among the affluent customers who might even want a luxury apartment as well as middle-income individuals who want to invest in such a home for them. Similar to the above category, this type of housing solutions are also available as apartments for short term rent for those who are unable to buy home units by making an outright purchase and therefore look to rent an apartment instead. This opens up the possibility for more home seekers to get closer to their dream of owning a home in a prime city location.

Choosing Between Apartments And Houses For Sale

When you consider purchasing such properties you should be prepared for making the investment. The main decision you would need to make would be in relation to whether you actually want to buy apartment space or you still would like to look out to buy home in the form of a separate house. As a primary consideration when you invest in real estate you would need to decide on the space or size of home. Normally houses in Sri Lanka tend to cover about 2700 sq ft while an apartment would generally fall in the range of 1000 to 1500 sq ft. In addition apartments tend to offer additional services such as security, cleaning, waste disposal and other recreational facilities that are normally not available with separate housing units. But on the other hand, you might want to consider the following that are normally not available with apartments.

  • When you buy apartments you will get a limited parking slot allocation
  • Modifications are not possible
  • Most apartment complexes have restrictions on owning pets
  • Your possibility of engaging in gardening activities is very minimal

Considering When To Rent An Apartment

Due to the various requirements of homeowners there are several other options made available in terms of being able to rent an apartment. Many individuals who would be looking at living in small living spaces for short periods of time can consider finding apartments for short term rent. Since there is a high portion of the population that need to find accommodation to travel to work and for other arrangements in the city limits, this has become more of a financially viable option many prefer. Depending on the requirement you could even arrange to extend the rental period once agreed with the renter. This is also a great way to check whether you can adjust to an apartment style living. If the lifestyle appeals to you, with time, you could also consider owning an apartment of your own.

To cater to much of the demand to wanting to buy apartment properties, there have been several investors and developers who have taken interest in developing projects which are in demand for this market. Among these companies there are several reputed apartment builders operating in the island that have produced several leading apartment projects and have several others lined up as future projects.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Steven Cameron

Belize Real Estate – The Investment Hot Spot

The tourism industry in Belize is undergoing a huge metamorphosis. The boom is evident everywhere. So it is hardly surprising to find international property investors making a beeline to invest in Belize real estate.

From its pristine Caribbean shores to its lush jungle, Belize is abundant in amazing natural beauty. As the tourism industry in Belize is awakening to its potential, the property market is struggling to cope with the surge in demand for a piece of Belize real estate from foreign property investors. If recent statistics are any indicator, then Belize is well and on its way to becoming the next hot destination for international property investors.

One of the hottest expatriate destinations in Latin America, Belize offers real advantages, including a lower cost of living, a better quality of life, amazing real property opportunities, lower taxes and prolific business potential. Belize real estate listings are a great source of information for those looking to invest in property here. Prime residential properties, commercial land and business places like hotels and resorts are listed at these sites, so investors can have access to all the information that they need in one place.

Belize real estate offers excellent investment potential in the current market scenario because of several factors that are specific to this Central American country. It is a tax-shelter haven where investors do not have to pay any capital gains or inheritance tax. Property taxes are abysmally low at just one percent of the market value of the undeveloped land. Land titles can be easily transferred without going through complicated legal processes like other countries.

There are countless reasons why property investors are finding investing here as an attractive option. Foreign property investors can buy property without any prequalification or restrictions. Government rules are very flexible and do not act as a deterrent to investors. Belize, the only Central American country with English as its first language, has a stable government and a growing economy. The cost of living is inexpensive and there are retirement advantages. In fact, there is no place in Central America where property is available at such incredible rates.

The best of Belize real estate for sale can be sourced from the well-managed property portals. Property companies help investors go through the buying process with little to no hassle. They work closely with their client right from the point of initial contact until the time of title transfer. All listed Belize real estate properties are researched to ensure that the titles are clear.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Albertina Belmont

Tips For Selling Your Own House

Not everyone is willing to use a real estate agent, since they do take a commission, usually around 7%. That means, by selling your own home, you’ll end up with upwards of $10,000 that would have gone to an agent. And given today’s slow market there is a very real chance your home will sit unsold for a year or more.

Today, more than ever selling your own house can not only be more profitable, but it is your best chance at getting it sold quickly.

In this article, I am going to show you how to go from „selling your own house“ to „I SOLD my own house“.

In a hot market selling may have been as easy as putting a „for sale by owner“ sign in front of the house and collecting offers. But let’s face it, times are tough and most houses are sitting unsold for months and years.

It’s a war zone out there. Foreclosures are at an all time high and that creates a lot of houses for sale on the market. In order to survive in a war zone you need special skills and a competitive advantage. With this special training you can get your house SOLD, despite the doom and gloom of the newspaper headlines.

If you’re selling your own house you need a secret weapon. And that weapon is highly specialized marketing!

Here is a killer marketing tip that will give you a competitive advantage over all other sellers on your block.

Don’t list your home in a traditional method. Instead of „starting high“ and being talked down do the EXACT OPPOSITE. Start low, get a lot of attention and let the buyers drive the price up. I am talking about a do-it-yourself auction style sale.

What is working best now is what’s called a „round robin auction“. Here is how it works:

First you will advertise that your home is for auction. In these tough times buyers are looking to get a good deal. Auctions are the place to get great deals, and your message will leap out at them.

Next you will hold an open house for two days only, Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 5 pm. This will allow you to funnel all the buyers through your doors all at once.

Those that are interested in the property will place their name and phone number along with the price they would like to bid on an „initial bidding sheet“.

On Sunday night you call all those people that put in a bid and conduct the auction. You will simply call down the list tell them the current bid amount and ask them if they would like to raise or pass. You will go around and around making calls until the highest and best offer has presented itself, hence the name „round robin auction“.

Now that you have found your buyer you will meet with them and get the paperwork started.

That’s the unique marketing method that is working now. And if you are planning on selling your own house there is no better method to attract droves of buyers and compel them to make offers on your house.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by N Big

How to Sell Your House Yourself – Make Potential Buyer’s Remember You When it Comes to the Crunch!

So you want to know how to sell your house yourself? Firstly, you should know that you’re not alone. Literally millions of homeowners now decide to sell their homes without the aid of a realtor. I guess this is due to the financial crisis of the past few years and people wanting to save as much money as possible.

The one major thing you need to learn about selling your house yourself is that you need to „stand out from the crowd“! By that i mean if everything about your listing, the way you deal with buyers, your offer is the same as everyone else’s, you stand just as much chance as anyone else of selling their property. However, just by being different will get you far more attention.

I believe a great way to entice potential buyers is by making up and handing out information packs to everyone who comes for a viewing. So what should your information pack contain?

Firstly, have a copy of your appraisal. People will want to know the estimated value of the property, plus if there are any discrepancies or repairs needed they will be highlighted on your report, so this shows honesty. Next you should have information about the local area. Leisure facilities, local transport routes, schools and other amenities.

One of the main concerns of people moving to a new area will be some of the above points. If you have a young family looking to purchase your home, they will be interested in schools and possibly childcare for their children. People will have to travel to work, so will be interested in car routes and public transport. By adding a section about local gyms and your favourite restaurants or nearest nightspots can help to clinch the deal.

If you are trying to sell your house yourself, just remember by doing the same as everyone else and having an average approach, you should only expect average results. By going that extra mile, buyer’s will remember you and therefore are more likely to do business with you!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Sam Renstaff

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