A Summer of Rental Discontent

June 21, 2012

 A slow down in apartment construction, coupled with low vacancy rates and a rising millennial demographic will continue to fuel a rise in apartment rents this summer.

According to Trulia, a company that tracks rents and home prices, it now costs more to rent than to own a home in 98 of the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas.

Moody Analytics reports that demographics has become a leading factor in more people renting then buying, and “demand for rent will remain solid over the next two years.”  While the overall rental rate is 35%, the renter rate for those between the ages of 25-29 is nearly 65%, and for those under 24 years old, it is 77 percent, according to the Census Bureau.

On the single-family home stage, the rental craze has made it frustrating for the homebuyer. Inventory of “decent” homes is being depleted as investors snatch up single-family homes for the purpose of renting them out. Those left on the market are receiving multiple offers, resulting in bidding wars.  And prospective buyers with FHA loans are finding out that their loans may require sellers to do more home repairs than other loans. Subsequently, if a seller receives multiple offers, they may avoid the ones with FHA loans.

Prospective buyers are also losing homes to cash buyers and bidders with bigger down payments.

This is all playing into the hands of investors who surmised a couple of years ago:  “Accumulate hundreds or thousands of homes, rent to the 99% and make a killing when they dump them back on a property-starved market in three to five years,” according to Personal Real Estate & Investor.

Advertisements

Luxury Home Market is Silver Lining Today

October 11, 2011

In every economic downturn there is a silver lining. And in housing, it continues to be the luxury home market.

But you need to move fast if you want a deal. Foreign buyers have been busy doling out cash on discounted properties brought on by the housing crash and the deals on a piece of luxury won’t last.

In Manhattan, a shrinking inventory means if you want a place to live for under $1 million, it will need some renovation. In Miami, prices are starting to rise as the economy slowly recovers and luxury properties are selling quickly. Realtors in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Malibu, California, report inventory on luxury homes is dropping, although prices continue to be stable.

From March 2010 to March 2011, the National Association of Realtors found that international buyers bought more than $82 billion in real estate, up 24% from the previous year.


Milestones

July 15, 2011

Last weekend, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees achieved a milestone only 27 other major league baseball players have ever done in more than 100 years of America’s Pastime — 3,000 career base hits. And he did it with a home run.  We saw the excitement in his face as he rounded the bases and, we were just as excited for him.

We are a society of milestone lovers, whether personal or otherwise. When we decide to lose 20 pounds, and we reach that plateau, we relish in that feeling of accomplishment. We also love seeing someone else succeed — Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition is a pretty riveting show.

And it does not have to be just about numerals. It can be firsts, or lasts, the latter of which we are collectively celebrating right now as the last Space Shuttle — Atlantis — completes its mission. Quite a milestone.

Other milestones have nothing to do with numerals or rankings: getting married, having a baby, buying your first home, graduating from anything. These events and others sprinkled throughout our lives make us feel good, special.  

No doubt, milestones are one of the keys to happiness. We are happy when we reach them; we are happy when others do.  

So relish those milestones. Derek Jeter did. And so did we.


Happy Mother’s Day

May 13, 2011

On Mother’s Day morning, 2011, a man on our quiet neighborhood street took his own life on his back patio. A chilling morning for many to say the least, but a more devastating one for his mom, to be sure. 

Reasons are not important, nor how it all went down. The reality is the lives of his survivors were changed forever in a single instant.  

Since Sunday, two things have weighed on my mind that should be food for thought for all of us. 

First, more of us need to watch closely for depression in our fellow man before it is too late. According to WebMD,

more than 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder.

And second, guns do kill people. In 2007, 34,598 people killed themselves, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half of them used a firearm.


Winning — A Relative Term

April 25, 2011

Winning, as we have seen in the post Two-and-Half-Men saga is a relative term. 

Indeed, there are certain recognitions you tout, others you may want to sweep under the rug.  This month,Orlando had the honor of appearing on three separate recognition-type lists this month. 

 First, Kiplinger.com namedOrlandoas one of the nation’s 11 comeback cities for 2011, in a list of cities whose unemployment rates have exceeded the national average, but are showing strong signs of a rebound. Kiplinger forecasts job growth at 2.9 percent inOrlando, with an emphasis on health care and life sciences, as well as hospitality and tourism. All good.

Next, hearing that the Orlandoarea ranked 35th in the ‘small business vitality standings’ of 100 major metropolitan areas, sounded like more good news on the surface. However, rated by The Business Journals, the online arm of American City Business Journals, Inc., the report shows Orlando dropped from number 17 last year and from 7th in 2009. Not so good.

And finally, Playboy released its list of the top 10 party schools in the country — and there at number nine was theUniversity ofCentral Florida. TheUniversity ofColorado took top honors, unseating last year’s number party school,Texas. 

Really? I don’t think that’s what the epicenter of ‘MedicalCity’ was looking for.


Giving the Gifts Of Gardening and Fitness

December 7, 2010

 

Volunteers from Get Active Orlando (GAO), the organization that acts as the City of Orlando’s link to health and fitness initiatives, announce the debut of three new community gardens in the Orlando area. Utilizing grant monies from the Blue Foundation, this year GAO funded five school- and youth-based gardens designed to teach children the importance of healthy eating.

Sunrise_Elementary_Garden
Sunrise Elementary Garden

 

The new gardens –the New Image Youth Center Garden, 

Reeves Terrace Recreation Complex Community Garden and the Sunrise  

Elementary School Garden — also promote physical activity. 

“It’s a special feeling to have these gardens up and running at a time of the year associated with bountiful feasts and giving thanks,” notes GAO Chair Leah Nash. She says two other gardens — the Fern Creek School and Community Garden and the Orlando Day Nursery Garden — are scheduled to open by the end of the year. 

 For more information or to become involved with GAO, please visit www.getactiveorlando.com.


I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

December 7, 2010
During the rush of the holiday season, it may be harder to beGreen ChristmasGreen Christmas the green person you strive to be throughout the year, but here are some simple ideas from Mahalo that can help us all feel a bit better.
The 2.6 billion holiday cards sold each year in the United States could fill a landfill the size of a football field 10 stories high. Send e-cards or at least reuse cards you receive to make gift tags.
 
The tree: If you love having a real live tree, try to buy your tree as close to its source as possible to cut down on fossil fuels. If you prefer the artificial kind, make sure it was made in the U.S.A.
 
Switching to LEDs for your holiday light display is 90% more efficient than incandescent lighting. 
 
The best way to eliminate waste is to give less. 

Be a giver of green gifts, i.e., items made of organic or recycled materials.  

 Skip the wrapping paper if possible. Wasting an entire roll of paper disguising a new bike is a waste. And remember to reuse bows.

 For a complete list of green tips for the holidays, visit Mahalo.