10 Signs You Are Ready to Invest in Real Estate

realestateinvestjpgWhen it comes to property investment, timing is everything. Ultimately, choosing the right time to enter the market will have a significant impact on the long-term success of your investment. But how can you as an investor know whether the timing is right and when to start building your investment portfolio?

1. You are financially ready. You have saved enough for the down payment and you have also established your emergency fund. You have taken into account home maintenance expenses. Your credit history is good and you are able to meet all the financial obligations.

2. You have set your long-term goals. You have a clear picture in your mind of the purpose of your investment and you are flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances. You are not hesitant and when the timing is right, you are able to adapt to the market needs and the development of technologies.

3. You have done your research. You know the neighborhood of your future property well enough to foresee the coming trends and the possible changes in the community. You have researched all the schools in the area as well as the best commuting means and you are able to predict the next homebuyers needs.

4. You have chosen a stable economy. The area is financially stable, economic trends are promising and equities are surging. No demographic fluctuation or no irregular variation of population have been recorded in the area.

5. You understand the country’s policies regarding real estate. The policies of the region promote and encourage a positive, innovative environment as well as drive further economic growth. The tax policy in the country is positive for homeowners. Global innovation index is rising in the area.

6. Infrastructure projects are underway and likely to lead to an increase in property values. The infrastructure of the area is being developed with a focus on: transport, energy, solid waste and water management developments.

7. The region is moving toward sustainable development. The region’s awareness of global and local environmental issues is increasing, the demand for eco-friendly homes as well as for sustainable rural and urban development is rising. As more and more people head toward sustainable living, investing in sustainable property will increase its value in the future.

8. The location draws a lot of interest. Whether it is the best travel destination or the hot jobs spot, the location is always on the top of the search engine. It has become a successful startup hub already or is planning to do so in the coming years, driving a lot of job seekers into the area. The number of enrolled students is increasing every year, the area draws interest of international students.

9. You have found a reliable real estate agent. It is crucial to make sure you have a good representative on the ground. Your real estate agent is trustworthy and knows the local market well enough to be able to help you make the choice.

10. You have researched local differences in the property market. Whether you plan to invest in a residential property and turn it into a rental or an office space, you are fully aware of all cultural differences that might occur when you deal with a property seller.

Your Property: Early Fall Color a Sign of Stress

earlyfall1The color-changing foliage of autumn is one of nature’s finest shows. If you’re fortunate enough to have mature trees on your property, take note of when leaves start to change – does it seem early?

A too-early transformation may signal a stressed tree, says Tchukki Andersen, staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).

“Premature colors can be an indication that a tree isn’t vigorous enough to withstand insects and disease organisms that may attack it, not to mention the usual changes that occur when the weather turns cold,” explains Andersen. “Occasionally, only one or two limbs of the tree will show premature fall color. This could a sign of a disease at work, weakening only the infected limbs.”

The more common situation is for the entire tree to exhibit premature fall coloration, a phenomenon usually linked to root-related stress. “Trees respond to these stresses by trying to curtail their above-ground growth,” says Andersen.

To better understand how leaves change prematurely, think of them as small factories containing raw materials, products and by-products, all in chemical form and some with color. As the leaf is “abandoned” by the tree, the green chlorophyll – the dominant chemical found in most leaves – is broken down and “recycled,” leaving behind other colored chemicals. Supply lines to the leaves also become clogged. If the major chemical remaining in the abandoned leaf is red, the leaf turns red. If it’s yellow, the leaf turns yellow.

“The yearly variation in color intensity is due to varying weather conditions, which can affect the balance of chemicals and their composition in the leaves,” Andersen says. Differing amounts of rainfall, sunlight, temperature, humidity and other factors may have an effect on how bright, how quickly and how long “leaf-peeping” season will be in any given year.

If the leaves on your trees seem to have gotten a jump start on fall compared to other similar species in the area, it may be time to consult with a professional arborist who can identify problems and offer solutions.

 

Top Concerns for Relocation Buyers

relo1Human resources executives of global companies are most concerned about rising housing costs and increasing requests from transferring employees who want additional spouse career assistance, according to a survey from Cartus Corporation, a leading provider of global relocation services.

The survey of more than 150 human resources and relocation professionals was taken at the recent Worldwide ERC meeting held in Las Vegas.

relo3When asked, “In what areas have you seen relocation costs rise dramatically in the past year?” relocation managers ranked the following as their top five areas of concern:

1. Housing
2. Temporary Living
3. Household goods shipments
4. Compliance
5. Schooling

“Housing costs and temporary living expenses are the top two areas of concern for relocation professionals worldwide,” says Michelle Vallejo, Cartus senior vice president, Account Management, Americas. “Additionally, the Cartus survey found that relocation professionals need to find additional ways to help their transferring employees get assistance for their spouses and also look for ways to provide additional settling in services.”

When it comes to benefits, human resources professionals say their relocating employees are increasingly asking for additional help for spouses as well as settling in services.

relo2The following are the top four employee requests when asked, “In which areas have you seen more requests for coverage?”

1. Spouse Career Assistance
2. Global Settling-in Services
3. Pets
4. Elder Parents

Last, when asked “Which demographic group do you find the most demanding in terms of relocation benefits and process?” relocation professionals says Gen X’ers were the most demanding, followed by Millennials and then Baby Boomers.