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Holiday Home

When searching for the perfect getaway, most people will head straight for the nearest travel agents and book something that involves a beach, several bars and a whole host of good intentions. However, before you rush off to explore another country for that all important break, it is worth considering exploring your own.

Many people in the UK have still seen just a small section of what our beautiful and diverse country has to offer. A surprisingly large proportion of these have never even spent any time in our nation’s capital.

Whilst we may not always have the sun on our side, there are numerous benefits to taking a holiday in your own country. Whilst there is much to be said for exploring other cultures, fully understanding your own is one of the most important aspects of personal growth.

Discovering the beauty and history of your own country comes with other benefits too. For instance the cost will be less, with even central London hotels being reasonably priced compared to some you may find abroad, whilst travel costs will be almost negligible. There are the environmental benefits, with a smaller carbon footprint left by your less damaging journey, and also economical ones, with the money being spent in the UK being a boost to our economy.

Hotels in London can afford you not only the culture of our capital but also the beauty of many of the surrounding areas. Even central London hotels are easily accessible by public transport from many of the most beautiful and historic sights the world has to offer.

Try picking up a British travel guide and find out how exploring your own country can be an even more fulfilling holiday than that one spent in English pubs eating English food and watching English TV abroad. You are likely to find much more by booking hotels in London than just about anywhere else in the world.

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The Benefits of Joining a Real Estate Investment Group

Joining a real estate investment group can be a great way to get information support and other advice from those in real estate. A real estate investment club is very different from a REIT or real estate investment trust. You can search through the Internet to find local clubs or even join a real estate investment club online. One of the best places to start is the National Real Estate Investors Association.

Before you join a real estate investment club you need to make sure the clubs goals match your own. Try to see if you can attend a meeting or two before you pay any dues or membership fees. Make sure you uncover the real estate investment groups motives. You should determine if the club is set up for networking or education is it non for profit or for profit will their be many people trying to make sales pitches what type of real estate does the club focus on and how well have the clubs investors done over time? These are a few questions you should get answered before joining any real estate investment club.

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Many times an individual will join a real estate investment club to form partnerships as investing on your own can be a big step. Many times a partnership provides some security and can let you purchase more property then you may have been able to by yourself. A partnership is a business transaction and you need to know your partners background credit history and references. There are sharks out there that will try to scam you.

You may find that many individual in the real estate investment group may not actually invest in real estate or may stop investing after a try or two. While you may feel the need to do everything by yourself just being able to talk to others with the same interests can provide you with excellent support and information even if you decide by yourself. If there isnt a real estate investment group in your area then you can always see about starting your own group.

How Bad Is The Housing Market In Calgary?

I am a Realtor, so by nature I am an optimist. Every day I get questioned about how bad the re-sale home market is in Calgary. Every day I respond that while it is pretty rough out there, it’s not as bad as some pessimists would have you believe. Here are some of my opinions on where the market is and where it is going. I will strongly caution that anybody who tells you that they KNOW what the market is doing is a charlatan, delusional, or both.

The re-sale home market is not nearly as bad as it feels. While home sales are off by over 25% year over year and almost 40% November 2007 compared to November 2007, the average selling price has only dropped by 2.5% year over year and 5.7% compared to last November. To me this indicates that there is significant resilience in home prices in Calgary, that the bottom has not fallen out of the market. It also indicates that there is an acceleration of price reductions happening, with the economy suffering and nobody seeming to know how to go about fixing it, no wonder people are running scared. There are a lot of price reduction and distressed selling situations out there, that is fact. The problem is that the bad news makes news, the good news gets buried.

Real Estate Market in Calgary

Here is the rub, we don’t generally buy Real Estate as a short term investment. The vast majority of people buy a home to live in, raise a family, and so on. Our statistics indicate that the average length of time to own a single home is approximately five years. We must think longer term or we are in danger of scaring ourselves insane.

  • The average single family home in Calgary in November of 2008 is $461,497
  • The average single family home in Calgary in November of 2007 was $473,153 (+2.5%)
  • The average single family home in Calgary in November of 2006 was $408,581 (-6.2%)
  • The average single family home in Calgary in November of 2005 was $303,160 (-30.4%)
  • The average single family home in Calgary in November of 2003 was $245,658 (-43.6%)

By this logic, if I had bought five years ago and sold today my home has increased in value by 43.6%! Nothing to be ashamed of, as a matter of fact the only owners really taking a hit are those that bought for the short term (flipping) during mid-2007 and now have to sell, they projected a continued increase in property value that has no yet materialized, but their carrying cost are killing their bottom line.

I am an optimist, as I said earlier. I believe that with so many smart people focused on the economy, they will find solutions for the current malaise. While I do not think that we are going to get back to a market like 2005-2007, I do think that the market will fairly quickly return to a sustainable level of activity and growth. Calgary was affected more by over-enthusiasm (read as speculation) than by outside markets, leading to an extreme number of available listings which are now being absorbed back into the marketplace as building activity slows. My prediction is that we will see a stabilization in prices and return to a balanced market by the end of the first quarter of 2009.

We may have already seen the bottom of the market, a hard thing to do is recognize a bottom, since you have to be past it to see the change in trend. One week into December I can tell you that the prices and number of sales are off by less than November was, and may indicate the start of a reversal in the market, but it is still early. December is traditionally a slow month, and this year the conditions are ripe to make it a great time to buy, I believe that if we are not at the bottom, we are very close to it and a buying decision made now could pay huge dividends down the road a little. The one caveat, buy longer term, think in five year terms, not one year.

The Real Estate Market in Calgary is not really that bad, it just requires more thought and planning than in the last couple of years.

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