where recent rains have triggered significant landslides. During the "wet" winters the region experienced back in 1981-1982 and 1982-1983, the rainfall was approximately "twice" that of normal. The most recent rains have once again aggravated the matter.
The most fulsome nationwide real estate listings yet, legal help for buyers and birds-eye views of Detroit caught the eye this month of Web site maven Becky Swann property appraiser whose monthly pick of top 10 Internet sites are a regular feature of her online International Real Estate Directory
Moore Data Systems, currently out in front of the real estate Internet pack with multiple listing service data from more than 28 cities, made the cut with its CyberHomes site, complete with maps provided by GeoSystems Global Corp. A Scottish lawyer's well-designed and user-friendly summary of legal information for buyers also passed muster with Swann, who praised solicitor the D.W. Georgeson & Sons firm of Caithness, Scotland, for its outstanding narrative and "excellent use of frames." In the unusual real estate Web site category, Swann found a site featuring aerial views of the region around Detroit, giving prospective buyers a decidedly "new perspective" on the area's metro area, Swann noted.
Other hot picks this month include a Shrewsbury, Mass., buyers broker's site; a Century 21 site from California featuring virtual tours; a wide-ranging Australian property site; community profiles from the Hartford Courant; a helpful relocation guide to Dallas-Fort Worth; an enticing look at an Orcas Island, Wash., community; and a Canadian broker's user-friendly site that includes an online buyers seminar.
WASHINGTON -- Every corner of the real estate market was sizzling hot in 1996, including the sale of condominiums. Sales of existing apartment condominiums and cooperatives eased off in the fourth quarter of 1996 from the previous quarter, but surged for the year, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The fourth-quarter 1996 annual resale rate for condominiums and cooperatives was 463,000 units. This represents a drop of 2.5 percent from the third quarter's resale rate of 475,000 units. However, the 1996 annual sales rate for existing apartment condominiums and cooperatives was 470,000 units -- a 9.8 percent surge from 1995's annual pace.
While many have argued that the aging of the Baby Boom generation will lead to less housing demand and presumably lower prices, a new study says otherwise.
Patrick Hendershott, co-author of the study and a professor of finance at Ohio State University's Max M. Fisher College of Business, told the Chicago Tribune that while housing demand among aging demographic groups traditionally has declined, the more educated and affluent Boomers aren't likely to cut back as they enter their 70s and retire.
There are a few things property holders can do to make a decent impression in land valuers. Here are a few tips or to plan effectively for property valuation. Housing prices could fall for other reasons, however, says Hendershott and co-author Richard Green, a professor at the University of Wisconsin.
Hendershott told the Chicago Tribune.NAR President Russell K. Booth said the condominium and cooperative sales were a mirror of activity seen in the existing single-family home market. "Resale activity usually drops off as winter approaches, but there was enough activity taking place in the condo and co-op market that the slowdown failed to have a negative impact on the nation's annual resale rate," Booth said. "Consumers are staying in the market. The outlook is very promising," he added.
The national median price for condominiums and cooperatives increased 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 1996 to $91,100, compared to $88,100 for the same quarter a year ago. CHICAGO -- As of this month, Illinois communities debating whether to enact new real estate transfer taxes now must put the issue before the public before it can do so. the business estimation of any property.Gov. Jim Edgar signed a real estate industry-endorsed law that now requires home-rule governments to hold a public referendum before they can increase or impose any new real estate transfer taxes (an extra levy assigned to either buyers or sellers at closing).The new law ties local government hands further by requiring a public hearing be held before referendums may be held at all.
Currently 62 Illinois communities collect transfer taxes ranging from 50 cents per $1,000 to $10 per $1,000 of sales price, in addition to transfer taxes of $1 per $1,000 of sales price collected by the state and 50 cents per $1,000 collected by all Illinois counties, according to the Chicago Tribune. focus while gaining an exchange private or business property is the
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precisely the same as the offering cost of the property. The new law was driven in part by an earlier and ill-fated move by the Cook County Board to raise its transfer tax to $7.50 per $1,000 from 50 cents per $1,000, a 15-fold increase, the Tribune noted.
"Many homeowners don't know the transfer tax exists until it shows up as a part of their closing costs at the time of sale" said Pat Dalessandro, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, told Tribune's Steve Kerch. "These taxes are especially burdensome on the buyer, who already can have difficulty coming up with a down payment. Conversely, when the tax is imposed on the seller, it comes directly out of the homeowner's equity."
DENVER -- Searching for real estate on the Internet by typing in the same information again and again can be tiring. Colorado Real Estate Online has taken a step to give fingers a rest with its new Virtual Real Estate Assistant tool, an innovation likely to be found on other sites in the future.
Using this personalized navigation tool, homebuyers can enter their requirements and preferences into Colorado Real Estate Online's World Wide Web site, which currently carries more than 11,000 residential listings, according to the service's Craig Plantz. The Virtual Assistant retains the specifications and continually searches the database for properties that meets that criteria. Next time the buyer signs on to the system, the Web site is tailored to their needs. In addition, homebuyers can choose to receive e-mail alerts when properties meeting their criteria become available.
Virtual Assistant technology is not just consumer-friendly, Plantz said.
"By empowering prospective buyers to become effective allies in the house-hunting process, Realtors can dramatically increase their productivity. Agents can focus their attention on the motivated, compatible prospects whose awareness of current market conditions truly makes them better buyers. Their familiarity with available options and opportunities prepares them to deal decisively, and so the sales cycle is simplified and often shortened. Everybody benefits."
Check an agent's references to make sure that the agent you select will be sensitive to your needs and will give you top-quality service.
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This will give a good agent the information he or she needs to screen the inventory for you.
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For decades, title companies and other real estate firms have held onto information as if it was the King's jewels. Not anymore, there is crack in the flow of information and the real estate industry is often leading the charge.
Access to current real estate data and parcel maps can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars a year - an expense that may be avoided with a new free Web site by the title firm that offers information on all major California counties.
A limited version of the service also is available at no charge to consumers. Real estate professionals have several levels of access that must be approved by Commonwealth. Registration is required and the number of requests for information is tracked, so the title company obviously expects to get the insurance business from those using the Web site.
The registration page says that "Commonwealth offers Nite Owl On-line to its customers as a "FREE" service. However, we do track customer performance from Property Profile Requests to Order Closings and assign Levels to our customers based on those performance reports."
The available data files are nearly as complete as those offered for a fee by companies like DataQuick, Experian and Transamerica MetroScan, who charge from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars a year per county, depending on the level of use and online hours.
The Commonwealth Web site allows searches by owner name, street address, parcel number, and all sales by Zip code or by comparable home sales in the neighborhood. Once a particular property is identified, the complete county assessor file is displayed and includes information such as the owner's name, address, sale price and date, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, year built, and lot size.
One of the great surprises on the Commonwealth Web site is the quality of the parcel maps, which are scanned raster images of the original maps on paper. The map display software is the CPC View a Web browser, a plug-in from Cartesian Software. The 200 dot-per-inch map images can be zoomed in or out, and rotated, and the user can select background colors your property by taking help of
Contracted valuation Surveyors in Melbourne.
Another nice feature of the Commonwealth Web site is direct linkage to street maps on the Yahoo site, produced by Vicinity using Etak mapping data. Nite Owl also has a seamless link to the Yahoo site offering directions from one address to another, street by street, corner by corner, with distances in tenths of mile between turns and off-ramps.
For both consumer and professional alike, Nite Owl offers a number of free templates in Excel and Microsoft Works format to compare buying versus renting, loan qualifying, estimating buyer's costs, and comparing one loan with another.
The Nite Owl welcoming page cautions that to get "the most out of this site, you need Internet Explorer 3.0 final release. If you're using Netscape Navigator, you need to download the ActiveX plug-in from NCompass Labs to sample this site in its full experience." However, testing with both browsers shows that the Web site designers clearly prefer Explorer.
Nite Owl's Level 1 service is assigned to all users that sign-up with NiteOwl online. This level is described as "a pre-approval stage in becoming a member of Commonwealth's NiteOwl Online community." This entry level allows two property searches and then the account is expired until approval by a Commonwealth representative.
customers are approved customers of Commonwealth Land Title Company and have unlimited access to online property searches, online comparable sales, property searches, online plat maps, street maps, and up to five searches delivered by e-mail, mail or fax.
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Nite Owl's Level 3 offers data services that should appeal to top producing agents. In addition to those features in Level 2, this third level offers customizable farm searches, various output formats (such as laser labels and file downloads, custom comparable sales, and mail merge letters.
Level 4 is currently Commonwealth's highest level a customer can achieve on the NiteOwl Online system. This level has all the features of Levels 2 and 3 and adds several online title products, such as preliminary title reports.
The fifth level is for title companies only, and includes all of the above services plus back room title processing.
Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. is headquartered in Philadelphia and is affiliated with Transnation Title Insurance.
This spring, Californians will be seeing and hearing this message on their television screen and radio, "
Brought to you by the California Assn. of Realtors and created by the advertising firm of O'Leary and Townsend, a $2.5 million ad campaign will attempt to shore up the image of Realtors and increase demand for their services.
The campaign is being watched very closely by the National Assn. of Realtors, so look forward to similar campaigns elsewhere in the United States.
Comparing the real estate profession to medicine and education, the commercials use doctors and teachers reviewing X-rays and grading papers. The message is that you should count on a Realtor for expert services such as an objective home value analysis or how to find the right mortgage.
Ironically, the very real estate puzzle that can confuse the consumer,There is the lengthy and tangled purchase contract. Beyond figuring out how much to offer and what to negotiate, the consumer must make decisions on a complicated legal agreement that obligates both buyer and seller. There are contract contingencies to consider such as financing issues, environmental problems with the property and home seller disclosure obligations.
The MLS once a mystery database that only Realtors could get access to is going up on the World Wide Web. The practice is being championed by Prudential Real Estate Affiliates.NEW YORK -- As Wall Street goes, so goes Manhattan real estate? It may be at least one reliable barometer, according to the Halstead Silk Stocking Index of residential real estate south of 96th Street.
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The Halstead Property Co.'s quarterly statistical survey of sales and rental prices showed that for the third year in a row, properties on Fifth and Park avenues, Central Park West and Riverside Drive show posted double-digit gains, going up 13 percent in 1996 (prices went up 15 percent in 1995 and 16 percent in 1994).
Prices in two middle-market areas rocketed upwards in 1996. On the East Side, the area bounded by Second and York avenues between 60th and 79th streets showed a 25.4 percent rise in prices (after a three-year stall). Average prices in the area between the same streets on the West Side (excluding Riverside and Central Park West) went up 24.4 percent. The only area posting a price drop was the East End Avenue/Gracie Mansion neighborhood, according to the Halstead Co. figures.
"I don't remember a year in which the price changes were so uniformly up," said company founder Clark Halstead. " I believe it will stay up with the stock market. If that continues up, so will property."
Overall prices went up 8.1 percent on average in 1996, compared with 10.1 percent in 1995, 6.3 percent in 1994, 5.3 percent in 1993 and 4.1 percent in 1992.
In the coming months, virtual technology is poised to knock the socks off real estate on the Web. Affordable panoramic photographs will not only bring the aesthetic of home and community to cold and sterile Internet home listings, but they will begin to emulate the three-dimensional nature of the house in a revolutionary way.
After years of technology forecasts and lofty press releases, virtual walk-through photography is beginning to look practical for real estate. In the near future, the marketing, viewing and process of finding properties could be forever different as house hunters have a deeper and more efficient way to cull and screen for the homes that they want. The breakthroughs could also unleash a wave of competition in the real estate industry as firms try to outdo one another with the virtual technology that they use to market properties.
A virtual walk through is an interactive three dimensional picture retrieved from the Internet, giving the computer user a easy way to view and inspect property from the desktop.
Virtual walk-throughs are beginning to pop up everywhere on the Web. Last week, a self-guided tour of 1997 Super Bowl was uploaded. Other sites offer a panoramic view from the driver's perspective of a new car. Another Web site takes viewers on a tour of a Frank Lloyd Wright home. And, in one of the most successful and longest term applications of the technology, renters can tour models and exterior amenities such as swimming pools of apartment buildings.
Panorama In real estate, the technology permits prospective clients to conduct their own online tour of the interiors and exteriors of properties almost as if they were using their mouse to point a remotely controlled television camera. However, the images are not bandwidth hogging full motion video streams but rather relatively fast loading digital still photographs with 360 degree views, coupled with software that allows the online Web user to select the viewing angle.
Three companies focusing on real estate are Be Here, Inc. , Omniview, and Black Diamond. property valuer salary At Mac World, in San Francisco today this week, Be Here announced that Listing Link will be offering panoramic photos. Listing Link, the largest Internet-based real estate listing service in California, will offer Be Here 360 degree photo technology as a new service to residential real estate agents in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles Westside regions.
At the National Assn. of Realtors annual convention in San Francisco in November, Be Here previewed its virtual walk through technology in cooperation with NDS Software, which owns the Homeseekers.com Web site.
This week, Be Here, which will be demonstrating its new service in the Apple booth, is marketing its technology as an "easy-to-use camera lens system" that "instantaneously captures seamless 360-degree panoramic images for a very low cost." These images can be loaded and presented on an Internet web site or CD-ROM. Be Here photos can be viewed with on Netscape or Explore with virtual reality plug-ins such as Apple's QuickTime VR and RealSpace's RealVR.
"The technology could dramatically affect the manner in which real estate is marketed," said Ted Driscoll, Be Here's president and CEO. "Buying agents can review dozens of potential home easily"
Along with his competitors in the field of virtual reality photography, Driscoll says panoramic photography on the Web could be especially helpful for buyers who are relocating over a long distance. "Home buyers can tour dozens of homes in only a few hours, even if they are several thousand miles away," he said. " Property
valuers Be Here technology is being debuted on the MacWorld/San Francisco web site.Another virtual virtual walk-through company at Mac World will be Omniview, the photo technology used by RentNet. Omniview was the first of the bunch on the Web and currently has several demo sites that point to the future for real estate applications.
In addition to RentNet, Omniview has links to how its PhotoBubbles are used to provide online tours of the 1997 Super Bowl and a room-by-room tour of a Frank Lloyd Wright house.
PhotoBubbles is a 360-degree are a spherical, wrap-around photograph. The online viewer sits at the center of the PhotoBubble, and "the location is literally all around you. You can look in all directions. You can zoom in or zoom out. You see absolutely everything you'd see if you were actually standing where the photographer was" taken.
The third virtual walk-through company with an interest in real estate is Black Diamond Consulting, Inc., which is closely aligned with Microsoft and will be in the Microsoft booth at Mac World. Black Diamond's home page recently added a link to demostate its Surround Video with a virtual walk-through of a home.
In the online demo of Black Diamond's real estate tour, the viewer rotate the first screen image until a door is seen. From this first room, the virtual tour leads other rooms in the house and to the exterior. Using the mouse to click on one of the chairs in the photo provides a list of external links.
Omniview's Surround Video is a collection of tools that developers can use to add 360¡ panoramic images to an application, as well as a runtime Internet control to allow the use of Surround Video images in HTML documents. The Surround Video software development kit supports the use of progressive rendering, image Hotspots with URL links, and development of Internet and native multimedia titles. Highly
talented and hard working valuers are helping you in getting the estimate amount of
your commercial or residential properties and prepare real estate property valuer n report. Consumer advocates and at least one state regulatory agency are warning against a new pricing strategy called value range marketing, which involves advertising a property for sale in a price range rather than for one amount.
As of October, Prudential agents have advertised more than 6,000 listings using a price range and have sold 1,100 this way. No other franchise offers range marketing to its affiliates, however, a small number of agencies are adopting a similar program on their own.
Prudential says listing a home in one of its 50 pre-determined value ranges increases exposure because sellers typically inflate their asking price scaring away buyers who automatically rule out homes above their price range. Prudential also argues that the technique eliminates a common fear among home buyers, especially first-timers, that their offer may be too low and may insult the seller.
However, Jerilyn Coates, founder of the Real Estate Consumer Council in Narberth, Pa., says the program smacks of baiting. Baiting is the practice of advertising something for sale at a low number to lure buyers with no intention of selling it to them at that amount.
Coates also says that as professionals Realtors are required to present all the facts to their clients and that they may be shirking their fiduciary responsibilities if they suggest a range of 10 to 20 percent rather than a single price.Property
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Norma Garcia, a lawyer for Consumers Union in San Francisco, a watchdog for deceptive practices, doesn't see any advantages to range marketing either. She says most buyers today are savvy and aware that home prices are negotiable. "People who could afford a $180,000 property would look at one priced at $190,000 anyway," she says.
In Pennsylvania, Harvey Levin, chairman of the state's Real Estate Commission, which oversees licensing and real estate practices, recently said that if any complaints were lodged over range marketing and if they were substantiated, the agents involved "would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." In October, the commission had refused to support the practice because it said it was misleading, but stopped short of banning it.
Elliot Rose, a senior vice president for Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, which is based in Costa Mesa, Calif., said the brokerage was not deterred by the critics of its program and would continue to offer it in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. "There has not been a shred of evidence that it is illegal, and we continue doing it," he said. Pennsylvania is the only state to have raised concerns, he added.
Dan Garrett, a spokesman for the California Department of Real Estate, said its attorneys have "kicked it around and don't think it's a violation of California real estate law." Garrett said one consumer complained that his agent did not get enough money for his property. But, he said, "that's not peculiar to value range marketing."
If the experts are right, the vintage charms of an older home may soon be overrun by the rising costs to deal with such a property's potential environmental hazards, such as lead in the plumbing or a leaking old heating-oil tank buried in the backyard. There is required to critical and complex transactions during buying or selling real estate properties. Our skilled valuers offer you extensive real estate property valuation services at _________.
In their new book, The Home Environmental Sourcebook: 50 Environmental Hazards to Avoid When Buying, Selling or Maintaining a Home ($19.95, Owl Books, Henry Holt and Co.), environmental attorney Andrew N. Davis and licensed engineer Paul E. Schaffman make the case for buyers and sellers to look closely for these types of problems before leaping into any real estate deal. While disclosure requirements for sellers, real estate agents, landlords and developers are getting more stringent, a buyer or seller caught unaware by a hidden hazard could suffer serious health consequences or end up paying thousands of dollars to fix the situation, the authors say.
In an easy-to-read format, Davis and Schaffman present a mind-boggling array of potential environmental issues that could affect a real estate transaction. On-site hazards they list include lead paint, asbestos, formaldehyde, contaminated water, radon, PCBs, heating-oil tanks and septic systems; off-site hazards include nearby toxic waste dumps, airports, dry cleaners, electromagnetic radiation, gas stations, mines, industry and farms.
For each hazard, the authors discuss pertinent regulations, potential health and financial risks (it costs $6,000 to remove a leaky oil tank, for example), how to deal with mitigation costs and where to go for more detailed information and assistance.
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- While a few regions of the country have been off the pace, high-end homes across the country have gone up in value faster than the rest of the housing market so far this decade, according to new figures from a nationwide real estate information company. Now real estate firms that have affiliated business relationships with title and escrow companies must provide written disclosures to consumers that say:
The report issued by Experian, formerly TRW Information Systems and Services and TRW REDI, show that overall U.S. home values have risen an average of 0.6 percent a year since 1990. High-end homes -- those in the top 10 percent of the market -- in most metropolitan areas have gone up by at least 2 to 3 percent during the same period. Buying or selling properties with veteran property valuers. Nevertheless, even home values at the top end of the market have barely kept up with the inflation rate during the last six years," said Experian market analyst Nima Nattagh.
The Experian numbers are based on a so-called 'repeat sales model,' which tracks the resale value of the same homes that have sold at least twice and show gains or losses in price. Industry analysts prefer this measure to average or median prices of homes sold because it eliminates trend shifts due to changes in the type of homes sold from one period to another.
As of October 1996, high-end home values have increased most in the Nashville, Boston, Detroit and San Francisco metropolitan areas. Only Washington, D.C., did high-end homes lose ground, dropping 1.9 percent. In Los Angeles, home to some of the most expensive properties in the country, values at the top end of the market recorded an increase for the first time since 1990.
HUD Long awaited rules on the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act, that attempt to police cozy relationships and referral fees between real estate firms, lenders and title companies, are finally going into effect after a prolonged debate between federal regulators and industry groups.