I work with hundreds of real estate agents and property developers and at this time one thing is for sure things could be better, however I will present a twist in the tale that changes this for buyers and agents alike. Despite lower overseas property prices consumer and bank confidence is low, this has resulted in a reduction in numbers of people buying real estate overseas. This combination is slowing our industry down but it’s far from a grinding halt and in fact for some, things could not be better.The bad news is that I am seeing evidence especially in markets that were fat with buyers such as Spain suffering the most with real estate agencies reducing staff whilst other are closing down all together. So what does this say for the future of international real estate? Those buyers who are in the fortunate position not to require high loan to value finance are now reaping the rewards they have the power. Agents who can sell to this audience will no doubt survive these times but this is not all that is required.Lifestyle buyers and Investors Can Win Win WinI tend to split overseas property buyers into two types of buyer the first is a lifestyle buyer i.e. buyers seeking retirement, relocation, a second home or holiday home. The second type of buyer is the hard nosed investors who almost don’t care about the location only the figures on the bottom line. What ever the types of buyer both are now in for a treat when buying abroad. Like natures cruel method of selection the fittest survive and this can also be attributed to agents, developers and their products. So how are the agents becoming the fittest?Real Estate Agents are now presenting the best availableEvidence that recession proofing measures are being undertaken by the overseas property industry includes reducing marketing budgets and agents becoming more selective with the products that they push. I know of numerous agents who have got rid of the stuff they will find harder to sell and to hold on to properties that are more desirable. One of my agents is a good example he previously marketed properties in 6 countries he has now reduced this to one region and only the properties that give the buyer a high loan to value finance option. He explains I have got to go where the guaranteed money is going to be. Other agents are not so concerned with branding and are simply promoting for a tangible return for their marketing. Lifestyle buyers cannot believe their luck I recently spoke to a British couple who for them the slowdown had come at the right time. They like others had a life time ambition to buy a property in Florida. With the help of a local realtor they found a home being sold on ‘short sale’ i.e. sold by the owner before the bank took it from them. For the owners it left their credit status intact for the British couple it gave them a huge property beyond their imaginations.Property Developers are now bending over backwardsProperty developers know the environment that are operating in and are becoming more and more inventive with finance products with very low initial deposits lengthy payment plans, guaranteed buy back schemes, rental guarantees and free furniture packs to name but a few. The most innovative developers can be seen in Dubai with some outstanding finance packages for off plan property. The rise of the fractional ownership for the more expensive real estate is almost common place. Good examples of this can be seen in Portugal with two of the most prestigious developers now offering luxury homes on this basis. Developers need agents to help sell their homes and many have increased their commission rates and incentives for them to do so One of Dubai’s largest developers Damac properties has pushed up its commission rates substantially to encourage agents to increase their activitiesOverseas buyers and investors are still thereMy own experiences running an overseas property website prove to me that buyers are still there and that they are picking and choosing the best products for them. These tend to be for investors developments that offer low deposits and guaranteed returns. For the lifestyle buyer it is desirable property that has been reduced in price importantly these types of buyers like to see evidence of the price reduction.Hot property regions reflect the state of the marketThe top 5 countries that appear to be the hottest for UK buyers at this time are1.Egypt
5.PortugalAll the above regions are providing investors with low entry prices and good prospects for capital growth over a 5 year term.Tipped for the topMy tip for the top is Ajman I see this part of UAE as Dubai a few years ago properties prices are low starting from about £28,000. Dubai prices are being put up each year not by demand but by the developers meaning many workers will be priced out of the region. Ajman’s close proximity to Dubai makes it ideal for Dubai workers. The lack of infrastructure at this time in Ajman and its desire for foreign investment makes this ideal for speculators.18 months is a long time.It seems to me that this slow down will reduce prices not only for overseas real estate but also for related industries that help feed the industry. We are all now in stronger positions to demand chunks off previous rate cards and unlike before you are highly likely to receive your well deserved discount.Buyers are out there picking and choosing the best properties.Today’s market is all about value for money for us all whether you’re and real estate agents, developer or overseas property buyer, those that can provide it will survive and prosper.
Commercial Flooring Contractor: Your Guide To Have The Best Commercial Flooring
So you want to put up new flooring in your commercial outlet or your workplace. The first step towards putting up the best commercial flooring for your place is to know all about the different aspects of commercial flooring. Well how do you expect to have the best commercial flooring for your place if in the first place you do not even have an idea about what this is all about? There are several resources that you can make use of for finding out all the information related to commercial flooring. A commercial flooring contractor in your city is a very good option for you to find out all about commercial flooring.Now that you know exactly the sources through which you can gather all information about commercial flooring, earnestly set about finding out as much information as you can. Whether you want flooring for your house, your office or your commercial outlet make sure that you find out the best flooring for your place. You have to make a wise choice for your place. If you feel that you are not in a position to do this properly hiring the services of a commercial flooring contractor is an option that you can try out.The commercial flooring contractor will be able to guide you in buying the best flooring for your office or commercial outlet. The décor and interiors of any commercial outlet goes a long way in attracting customers and making them come again and again to your place to buy goods. Just imagine the scenario where you are visiting you favorite restaurant and you find that the flooring is in very bad condition, will you ever feel like going back there again. Well with so much of other and better options available why would anyone come to a place that does not have the proper flooring? This is a huge turn off for any customer. So find out the best you can for your commercial outlet.There are certain things that you must avoid doing if you want your commercial flooring to last longer in proper condition. The commercial flooring contractor is also a good option for you to get tips for keeping your commercial flooring in good condition for a long time. If you your commercial flooring is made up of hardwood flooring make sure to use wax based cleaners to clean the floor. Never walk on your hardwood flooring on shoes that have spikes and very high pointed heels. Never leave a damp rag on your flooring for a long time. Besides there being the danger of someone skidding and falling down there is also the danger of your flooring being damaged due to the presence of the wet rug.Choosing a proper color for your flooring is very important. Well if you do not choose the right colors you will not be able to make the proper impact that you want to make out to your customers. The internet is a great source for you to know more about all you want to know about taking proper care of your commercial flooring. At any time there crops out any doubt in your mind about your commercial flooring immediately seek advice form your commercial flooring contactor.
The Best Mutual Funds Vs. Best Investment Strategy for 2014 and Beyond
Millions of Americans own mutual funds and see them as their best investment options. Consider this question: would you rather own the best funds or have the best investment strategy for managing your funds in 2014 and beyond? With history as my guide, I offer an opinion here, as well as a plan you might want to consider.Within a 10-year period (2000 to 2009) investors experienced two bear (down) markets where stocks lost 50% or more of their value while bonds did just fine. Both times stocks recovered, and by 2014 were again at all time highs. Bonds were the best investment options and the funds that invest in them were the best funds in both bear markets. Even the best funds in the diversified stock department left their investors little to cheer about in that 10-year period of time. The best investment strategy since early 2009: be heavily invested in diversified stock funds. Who could have known they would be the best investment options available to average every-day people?The truth is that NO ONE knew this, and in 2014 it would be extremely risky to assume this was still the best investment strategy. The last two major bull (up) markets before this current one (2009 to 2014) were followed by the above bear (down) markets. In each case even the best funds in the diversified stock arena took big losses, and often the best funds in an up stock market are the worst to hold in a down market.The previous bull market lasted about 5 years, and as of early 2014 this last one was 5 years old. Maybe it’s time to start looking for the best investment strategy for three different reasons. First, the bull market in stocks is 5 years old and stocks are not selling cheap. Second, even the best stock funds will be losers in a bad market. Third, with interest rates rising, bond funds are not relatively safe or dependable anymore. For 30 years (until recently) they were the average investor’s best funds and were among the best investment options out there. Problem: if interest rates continue to rise, bond funds will lose money. That’s the way bond funds work.Sometimes the best investment strategy is to be aggressive in stocks, if you have the stomach for it. For most of us with long term goals, the risk that goes with that strategy far outweighs the prospects for higher returns. After all, if you take a 50% loss in a bad market, you then need to earn 100% (double your money) just to cover your losses. In the bond funds area, the vast majority of conservative investors still hold on to the belief that they are the best funds and that the best investment strategy is to just hold on and everything will be just fine.If history tells us anything, it makes two things in the investment world crystal clear. One: you will never find the best investment or the best funds on a consistent basis. And two: the best investment strategy is to never put yourself into a position where you are open to heavy losses that are difficult to overcome. So, it’s time to make a plan and put together the best strategy in case stock funds and/or bond funds stumble in 2014 and beyond.Virtually all mutual fund families offer a safe investment option called a money market fund. Reallocate your portfolio so that you are invested equally in a money market, stock, and bond fund. Then set it up so that an equal amount of money flows from the money market fund to the two others each month. The monthly amount should be such that in two to three years the money market fund will be down to almost nothing. Example: $90,000 portfolio, starting with $30,000 in each fund and $1000 flowing monthly from money market fund… $500 to stock fund and $500 to bond fund. In about 30 months the money market fund will be about depleted.Even if you don’t hold the best funds, this could be the best investment strategy for the middle-of-the-road investor who wants to basically be invested about half in stocks and half in bonds ultimately. You will be less exposed to stocks and bonds over the next couple of years; hence your potential for big losses is diminished in the event the markets turn ugly. If stocks and/or bonds fall you will be picking up more and more shares as fund prices fall. This is called dollar cost averaging and is a time-tested investment strategy. If fund prices don’t fall during this time period you’ll earn a respectable return, with peace of mind, because you lowered your level of risk. At that point consider going through the same process again.Remember that bull markets are always followed by bear markets sooner or later. Bear markets are generally shorter in duration but they can be brutal. Don’t be overly concerned with finding the best funds for 2014 and beyond. Focus on having the best investment strategy. This way you can stay invested without the fear of taking big losses in stocks or bonds if things turn sour.In the best funds vs. the best investment strategy for 2014 and beyond debate, I suggest you focus on strategy. Unfortunately, most investors ignore investment strategy. That’s why most average investors have not done well for the past dozen or so years.