International investment in U.S. real estate is nothing new. Many South American businessmen and wealthy families own beachfront condos in Miami. Europeans from countries like France, Germany and Italy often choose to relocate to the United States. What is really making realtors in the United States stand-up and take notice is the rapidly growing interest in U.S. properties by Chinese investors.
According to the National Association of Realtors, in the one year period from March 2013-March 2014, Chinese real estate investors and home buyers spent $22 billion dollars on real estate purchases in the United States. The data also shows that California was, by far, the favorite state for Chinese real estate purchases. Of the $22 billion spent between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, 35 percent of that money was spent purchasing California real estate. Rounding out the top-5 market shares were Washington (9 percent), New York (7 percent), Pennsylvania (6 percent) and Texas (6 percent).
Money to Spend
As the standard of living has risen in China in recent years, Chinese visitation to the U.S. has increased dramatically. This year, it is expected that more than 2,000,000 Chinese tourists, students, and businessmen will pay a visit to the United States. While you do not actually have to visit the United States to invest in real estate in this country, most Chinese people who do decide to purchase a home in the U.S., have visited the States one or more times. While not everyone who visits America from China is wealthy, most who purchase homes pay cash as opposed to taking out mortgages.
California is a Big Draw
Yes, California is a beautiful state, but why does it attract nearly four-times more Chinese real estate dollars than Washington state? Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are among the most desirable cities for Chinese real estate investors. One thing that makes them particularly attractive is the presence of large Chinese communities. Many of the people who live in China have family or friends living in Southern California or the Bay Area. All of the above-mentioned cities depend heavily on tourism to help drive their local economies. Hotels, restaurants, and other members of the business community all make a concerted effort to please international travelers. Chinese people feel welcome in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
In addition, California, as opposed to a states on the East coast, is much closer to home. It is easier to get a direct flight from Shanghai to Los Angeles. California also offers excellent colleges and universities such as Stanford, UCLA, and San Diego State. Chinese parents will often purchase a condo for their son or daughter who is attending one of the state’s universities. Finally, being the home of Silicon Valley is particularly attractive for technology-minded buyers who may be looking for careers in the United States.
Seattle, New York, and Detroit are also Attracting Chinese Real Estate Dollars
For many of the same reasons as California, Seattle, and the state of Washington attract home buyers from China. A good location, access to the latest technology, a major port, and a welcoming community are all incentives for moving to the Great Northwest.
New York is the world’s financial capital, has more museums and fine restaurant, and is home to some of the most desirable real estate in the world. Wealthy Chinese investors and businessmen want and need a place that is close to the action.
Detroit is unexpectedly attracting a certain breed of Chinese real estate investors. Some savvy Chinese investors are scooping up distressed properties at bargain prices, fixing them up, and renting them out. While there is definitely some speculation involved, investors are betting that the auto industry and the City of Detroit will someday return to its former glory days.
Article Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Patrick Belhon (email@example.com)
No one wants to think about their home being burglarized, but countless homes are broken into each year. This can lead to damage to the home, a loss of property and lingering feelings of violation. To keep your home safe, consider the five following security suggestions.
1. Secure entrance points.
Every home invasion starts somewhere. The burglar has to enter the home through a door or window. In most cases, a burglar will look for the most vulnerable such point and exploit it. One easy way to deter an invasion is to make your home hard to enter. By using high quality locks on your doors and windows, burglars are more likely to give up before even getting inside. For doors, deadbolts and other high quality locks are recommended. Also consider the material of the door or window and its surrounding frame. If a door can be kicked in or if the glass can be broken, then burglars have an easier time getting inside. This can be especially problematic for doors with large glass panels or windows that are placed next to doors.
2. Good visibility.
Most burglars will pick entry points that are not only vulnerable but well covered. Many modern homeowners value their privacy, which is why large trees and privacy fences are so popular. However, because these things provide such good coverage for a home, they are also favorites among burglars. After all, home invaders do not want to be seen. If given the choice between a well-lit front porch and a secluded back door, they are going to pick the back door every time. Therefore, consider the visibility of your main entry points. Are there large shrubs around your front door? Is your backyard hard to see in? Do you have motion activated lights? Addressing these issues can make your home less of a target.
3. Keep up appearances.
Sometimes the best ways to keep home invaders out are also the easiest. Many homes are robbed while the owners are away. Burglars can easily pick up on this by how the home appears. If there are packages on the front stoop and mail collecting in the mailbox, it is a sign that no one is home. It is also worth considering interior lights with timers, which can ensure that there is always a light on inside during the evening whether you are home or not. Moreover, even if you are in town, you should make sure your house appears secure. Do not leave your garage door open, and always lock your windows and doors. A surprising number of home invasions require no breaking and entering at all because at least one entry point is left unsecured.
4. Security systems.
While all these other measures are worthwhile, the most effective way to prevent home invasions is a security system. These systems have evolved a lot in recent years, combining high end technology with strategic implementation. These days, home security is often more than a simple alarm, which can be triggered by unapproved door or window access. Now home security can include video monitors, pressure sensors and a 24-hour monitoring system. The scope of security systems can vary, so homeowners can pick and choose an option that fits their needs and their budget. Many of these systems also include fire detection, carbon monoxide monitoring and medical alerts. According to some estimates, homes with security systems are four times less likely to be burglarized.
It is impossible to protect your home at all times, but with these four ideas, it is easy to start making your home more secure.
Article Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Patrick Belhon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you are looking for a home in San Diego this summer, I know the perfect property. Located in La Jolla, this home has enough space for the entire family and enough flair to appeal to any style. The perfect answer to your summer living situation is 5380 Moonlight Lane.
The dreamy address does not do the property justice. With almost 5,600 square feet, 5380 Moonlight Lane has five spacious bedrooms and 5.5 luxurious bathrooms. The property has a three car attached garage and two fireplaces. The home was built in 1994 and has been thoroughly maintained and impeccably updated. With central air and heat, the home has everything one might expect from a high end property in the greater San Diego area.
From the street, 5380 Moonlight Lane has clean lines to create a modern silhouette. The lush palm trees soften the image, and the well chosen landscaping has a classic feel for Southern California. As an added touch, there is ample exterior lighting, which means the house is plainly visible at day or at night.
Inside, the home has a layout that flows easily from one room to the next, especially in the main living space. The house relies on unexpected architectural touches with uniquely angled walls and full floor to ceiling windows. This gives the house added depth, inviting the outside in while also capitalizing on the unparalleled ocean views. The home has wood floors throughout most of the main floor, seamlessly connecting the main living spaces.
The kitchen is especially dramatic with top end stainless steel appliances and sleek white cabinets. Even expert cooks will be satisfied with the touches, which were chosen with no expenses spared. There is an exquisite modern backsplash and a perfect center island, complete with seating on one side. With all this, the kitchen is ideal for cooking, but it is also a fantastic gathering space, allowing for family life or upscale entertaining.
From here, the dining room is large, allowing for dinner parties of all sizes. All of the main spaces have spectacular light fixtures, utilizing chandeliers to make the ultimate statement. When paired with the ample natural light, these rooms are airy and inviting. There is also a unique home theater inside the property, complete with tiered seating and a projector.
The home also features five bedrooms, starting with the decadent master suite. This grandiose space has views of the water and its own private fireplace. The attached bathroom is equally impressive with European style tile work. The double vanities flank the soaker tub, and the shower is a showcase all on its own. Its walk-in style is completely refined with intricate tile work and luxurious spray capabilities. The other four bedrooms and bathrooms are all fully updated with modern touches that will appeal to the whole family.
These selling features are noteworthy, but they pale in comparison to the outdoor living space. Positioned off the back of the house, the patio sits on the hills of La Jolla, offering unimpeded views of the water and the San Diego skyline. The tile work is exquisite, and the massive area makes use of both water and fire elements. The outdoor fireplace is extra large, and the pool is decadent with curved edges and an attached spa. There is a lavish outdoor kitchen, making this property perfect for summer living.
This amazing La Jolla home is listed with the Tash Team in La Jolla. It is currently available for purchase or for rent. If you are thinking about a move this summer, contact me today to see this incredible property.
Get it All Together before You Tear it All Apart
It is always a good idea to put some thought into any changes you want to make to your home. The time you spend planning is usually proportionate to the size and cost of the project. If you are contemplating a small do-it-yourself project like painting your bedroom walls or installing a new kitchen faucet, you don’t have to think about it too long. All you need to do is pick out some paint, or choose a plumbing fixture. After that, it is just a matter of using a few hours of your spare time to complete the job. Deciding to do a major home remodeling project is a lot different than painting walls or installing a new faucet.
Suppose you decide that you no longer want to live with your small, outdated kitchen. In order to give yourself the space you need, you’ll have to knock-out a wall and reroute the plumbing. Such a job is beyond the scope of most homeowner’s skills and capabilities. If you are planning to tear up the floors, tear down the cabinets, and build a new wall, you should also plan to hire professionals who will do the job properly. Don’t try to save some money by asking your willing, but inexperienced friends to help you do the project. Trying to do a complicated on the cheap often winds up costing you more.
Remodeling Costs Around San Diego
The price of doing a remodeling project can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Labor, materials and building permits are just some of the variables that determine cost. The 2014 Hanley-Wood Cost vs. Value Report shows national and regional averages for different types of remodeling projects. The Report shows both the cost to do the job and the resale value added to your home. Take a look at the national average for some mid-range home remodeling project.
• A major kitchen remodel will cost you $54,909 and you are likely to recoup 74.2% of the cost when you sell.
• Adding a family room will set you back $80,765 and you are likely to recoup 68.8% of the cost when you sell.
• A bathroom remodel will average $16,128 and you are likely to recoup about 72.5% of the cost when you sell.
The best way to avoid frustration, disappointment, and results that don’t live up to expectations, is to take a methodical step-by-step approach to your major home remodeling project.
Hire Experts to Help you Create a Solid Plan in La Jolla
An interior designer or architect can help turn those ideas swirling around your head into a concrete plan that will work. Before you start knocking down any walls or go out and buy new flooring, hire an experienced professional. An architect or structural engineer should be consulted if you are going to build an addition or knock down any walls. If your project is not going to involve the existing structure, a good interior designer can help you create the new look that you want. Sometimes it is necessary to hire both an architect and a designer.
If you are only making minor changes to the interior of your home, you probably will not need to go through the permitting process or have an official inspection. If you are building an addition to your house or making substantial changes to the structure, you will need to get permits and have the work inspected.
Thanks to the fabulous software programs that are available today, an interior designer can show you exactly how your newly designed bathroom or other home improvement project will look when it is completed. They can show you different options so you can decide on the best way to make use of the available space.
Putting the Plan Together
Once you have consulted with your designer or architect, they will take the next step and put together a plan for how the work will be done and when it is expected to be completed. There are always a number of steps to follow and each step takes time. It takes time to prepare the area where the work will be done. You may have to tear up an old floor, remove an old tub or sand the walls. Depending on the project, you may have to apply for permits before work can get started. It may take several weeks, or even longer to get the necessary permits to do the job legally.
A good plan will have a timetable where you can track the progress of the job. If, for instance, the job is expected to take a month, you should know what needs to be done in the first week to stay on schedule. In the real world, there are always a few unexpected issues that come up. If the cabinets don’t arrive on the day they were supposed to arrive, that can delay the progress of the work being done in the kitchen. Your contractor could get into a car accident and not be able to come back to work for three days. Even with the most professional design team and contractors, you should always anticipate the job taking a little longer than planned.
Hiring Contractors in La Jolla
It is important to hire reliable contractors that have experience in the type of work you need done. A carpenter does not do electrical work and an electrician does not lay tile floors. Interview several candidates before you make a hiring decision. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and an estimate of the cost to complete the job.
Stay Out of the Way While the Job is Being Done
You should never be breathing down the neck of your contractors. Allow them to do the work they are being paid to do. It is okay to periodically check on the progress, but don’t make suggestions on the way they are applying grout or hammering a nail. If you stay out of the way, the job will go much faster and the job will be completed in a more timely manner.
Article Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Patrick Belhon (email@example.com)
It has taken about five years for the California real estate market to stabilize. Back in 2004 or 2005, home prices were going up so fast that you could buy a house (with no money down) in January, do some cosmetic improvements, and sell it for a big profit in June. A few years later, the real estate bubble burst. Home prices dropped precipitously and foreclosures soared.
In the years that ensued, hedge fund managers and real estate companies swooped in and bought up thousands of foreclosures and distressed properties at bargain-basement prices. Prime waterfront property went first and then the professional real estate investors expanded their purchases to less expensive homes in different neighborhoods.
Today, in 2014, the housing market in California is much healthier than it has been in the recent past. Property values have gone up along with the recovering economy. The big real estate investors have largely curtailed their home-buying activity, but are still reaping the benefits of their previous purchases. In the last several years, those wise enough to invest in California real estate when it was selling at depressed prices have seen substantial growth in the equity of their properties. In addition, many investors are getting high rents while they build more equity and wait for the right time to sell.
If you want to buy a home along the California coast or in the most desirable areas of any major city in the state, it will not come cheap. If you want to live in a San Diego home overlooking the Pacific Ocean or a three-bedroom townhouse in an upscale section of San Francisco, a million dollar price tag is not at all unusual.
Prices are high in part because the demand for prime locations has been fueled by foreign buyers. High net-worth individuals from Europe, Asia, and South America have the means to spend millions on a second or third home in San Diego, LA or San Francisco. Prime locations are scarce. Some investors buy a million dollar home, tear it down, and build a five million dollar home in its place.
If you are looking to invest in California real estate today, there are still many good opportunities available. Whether you are buying a home to live in or as an investment, the one thing you can not ignore is location. Real estate investors have two ways of earning a return on their investment. Property can appreciate in value and property can be rented to generate current income. In California, median home prices have leveled off, but rents are close to historical highs. Buying multi-unit properties, or even single-family homes, and renting them, can generate enough revenue to cover your mortgage payment and also leave you some free cash flow. If you hold on to your property for a few years, it is likely that you will see your property appreciate in value and earn you a greater return on your investment when you decide to sell.
Investing in equities is another way to play the California real estate market. Blackrock, the well-known private equity firm is a major player in real estate. They were one of the major investors who acquired a large portfolio of homes at depressed prices and their efforts have paid-off handsomely. You can also invest in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) or in a home builder like Pulte. Another possibility is purchasing shares in a company like Zillow, a leading provider of data to the real estate industry.
There are always great real estate investments. You just have to know how to find them. If you are interested in learning more about the many excellent investment opportunities in California real estate, please give me a call.