Ramin Kamfar

Establishing and Identifying NYC’s Compelling Facts and Secrets

Ramin KamfarNew York City has more secrets than it has notable restaurants –which is saying something. More than owning a number of incredible culinary treasures, the city is also renowned its variety of destinations and features, and its renewed by a constant desire to preserve and expand.

Did you know that the nation’s first pizzeria was open in the New York City in 1895? Also, did you know that NYC’s drinking water has tiny shrimp in it called copepods? Or, that NYC has the largest Chinese, Puerto Rican, and Jewish population, consequently making it a foodway without comparison, NYC is a city that proves that facts can best fiction. Don’t believe me? Ask the secret train platform that located in Waldorf Astoria hotel? There so much to learn about this incredible city!

Linguistic Diversity: New York City is a mixed salad that’s comprised of a variety of individuals from all over the nation and the globe. Approximately 30 percent of New Yorkers are foreign-born individuals, and this is particularly true when visiting Queens. There’s more linguistic diversity in NYC than anywhere else in the world, with a small sample of individuals speaking one of the 800+ different languages spoken. There are dialects spoken in NYC that are traditionally unique to secluded areas in South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. The Endangered Language Alliance is a New York-based project, which endeavors to preserve these languages.

Time Square’s Transformation: Times Square’s original name was Longacre, and remained that until 1904 when the New York Times moved there, provoking a title change. Much like the name of the area, the area’s reputation has undergone numerous changes. Two decades ago, Times Square was regarded as a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, with its erotic video stores, strip joints, and peep shows.

Today, many of these institutions have shuttered their doors, but some still consider NYC to be an ideal place to visit if you were interested in seeing a bit of flesh. The New York Supreme Court altered penal 245.01, allowing women to go shirtless as men are allowed to. However, there are few occasions where women actually walk around without their tops on. The area has progressed to be a prime destination for visitors, who are interested in nightlife, theater, film, bright lights, and street entertainment.

The Converted Cemeteries: Madison Square Park, Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, and Bryant Park are easily identified as some of the city’s most charming, lively and lush parks in the city, Times Square notwithstanding. The bosky sanctuaries aren’t quite what they seem. Did you know that each of these parks once were cemeteries? Washington Square Park alone has 20,000 bodies buried beneath the green space, concrete slabs, and structures. Bonus fact; NYC also has a burial ground located off of the coast of the Bronx, on a piece of land called Hart Island. The island, which is no longer open to the public, has accepted nearly one million bodies since 1869.

There are few places in the world like New York City. Stop by for a visit and find out why it’s a country with itself.

Crowdfunding as a Tool for Successful Real Estate Investment

Crowdfunding is striking a chord within the real estate world.

The world of investment, particularly REI, has been reformed, reshaped, and remastered by the forceful and masterful efforts of new technology. Social media and other platforms that demand engagement are groundbreaking revelations, which have introduced both ease and congestion to the investment market. Seasoned financial professionals and real estate professionals alike are competing with more people than ever before, and a game-changing piece of the puzzle and a major resource is the crowdfunded campaign.

Crowdfunding is a practice of funding for ventures or projects by collecting monetary contributions from a large community of individuals. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, Peerbackers, Solo Lend, and Grow Venture Community are examples of reputable platforms created as a path towards the capital.

Crowdfunding presents an opportunity for the optimistic to engage with seasoned and inexperienced investors looking to invest money, create an investment culture and share costs. This revolutionary practice has lowered the risk for investors, thus irrevocably mutated the real estate market. Read on learning the many ways crowdfunding has done this.

Lower initial costs tend to be the primary reason crowdfunding is so very attractive to those interested in REI. Prior to crowdfunding, property investment required a great deal of capital to cost burdensome upfront costs. Doing this alone was no easy feat, particularly for the lone, freshman investor who is tasked to all expenses. The only other option at the time was a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust), which was not ideal because it granted very little control, regarding investment decisions and property management. Crowdfunding real estate investments can mean avoiding painfully high costs and a much smaller upfront investment.

Diversification is made easy because initial costs aren’t so overwhelming. Investors have wiggle room to invest in numerous properties. A portfolio that’s stocked with diversification likely means that there will be more stable ROI over the long-term.

Middle-men and admins, as well as mountains of cumbersome paperwork, are becoming less necessary.  Real estate investment is done entirely online, therefore ‘clicks’ are all that’s required in order to ensure that property upkeep is taken care of, which allows investors more time to monitor and handle accounts remotely.

Information and education are just a keystroke away. Insider knowledge has always characterized real estate investment, but new platforms can help with research and provide interested parties with vital information that’s simply accessible online. Investors are granted an opportunity to fully invest in their own profitability.

Investment can take place anywhere and everywhere. In the past,the locality was extremely important for property investment. However, crowdfunding has transformed the way investing online transpires. An individual’s location is no longer a hindrance, and a property can be managed through these platforms.

Fast-track your interest in real estate by using crowd funding. Rather than becoming netted with the restraints of paperwork. There’s simply less time involved when using these platforms.

Non-accredited and accredited professional alike can make an investment. In the past, wealthy individuals and financial professional had exclusive claim over the investment market. Today, an individual with far less capital can invest, likely due to nominal costs.

Small Banks Shrinking Away From Commercial Real Estate

According to reports, small banks have begun to shrink away from commercial real estate, opting out of financing the market as federal regulators increase inquiries and surveillance around lending.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued numerous warnings to commercial real estate lenders and banks, regarding loan terms and their need to strengthen them. This has provoked countless smaller banks to sell off loans and retreat from the prospect of acquiring new ones. Consequently, other institutional lenders, including private equity funds, are scrambling to fill in the gap. Currently, there’s less competition for $5 million to $10 million commercial property deals. This is particularly true when loans are affiliated with redevelopment or construction projects, which are widely considered to be riskier because these properties don’t generate income.

Institutional investors (i.e. pension funds and private equity) have been partnering with commercial property brokers, due to the fact that banks took a step back and foreign banks took a step forward. Regulators have been warning banks about being overly aggressive, with regard to commercial real estate lending. Banking agencies will proceed to pay close attention to potential risks associated with commercial real estate lending. Some of the commercial loans that banks recently put up for sale, but not buy, is due to weakened loan terms and other features.  With the capacity to make $10 million to $20 million in commercial loans, banks don’t want to aggressively compete for loans. The relationship-based lending is sought after by lending officers and banks.

Learn more about small lenders deviation from commercial real estate by reading the New York Times article “Scrutiny of Commercial Real Estate Loans Chills Small Lenders.”

City Island, the Nautical Village, Is Attractive to New Yorkers, Newcomers

4925063648_790f964714_bCity Island, the nautical village located on the far north tip of the Bronx, is starting to gain attraction from more that seafood-loving locals. The entire city and more are looking to the New England-style area, which has a beautiful mix of architecture, everything from Victorian-style homes to cottages and spectacularly shingled houses.

Accessible via a single road (the City Island Road), City Island resembles a vacation town, but more than that, City Island is an area that thrives on its incredible seafood market. Visitors from other boroughs often dock their boats along the outskirts as they enjoy the incredible fare provided at the waterfront establishments. The incredible food is pair with a friendly demeanor that spreads widely across the entire community. Establishments such as the Seashore Restaurant, Sammy’s Fish Box and Johnny’s Reef gain a great deal of attention for this very reason –the breathtaking views notwithstanding.

No matter your budget or your tastes, there are are establishments to meet your many needs. Indeed, even if you’re not interested in seafood, you’ll be delighted to discover Bistro SK, a French eatery. Also, the farm-to-table newcomer Archie’s Tap and Table is available to offer up fresh and inspired meals.

The main artery on the island is City Island Avenue. Spanning the entire length of the neighborhood, there are a number of businesses. Other neighborhood essentials include laundromat, gas station, a school, and two groceries.  Visitors and residents can reach the island by car. Nearly exclusively residential, there are a series of tree-lined streets that encase two-story homes. There are several marinas on the on land where boaters dock. Also, the New York Sailing Center  at 231 Kirby St. provides instructional classes in sailing, including a beginners course.

There are no public beaches on City Island, but there are numerous private man-made beaches accessible only by key access. The tranquility of the area attracts many to the numerous available properties. The advantages of dwelling on City Island are numerous, and it more to offer than seafood and tranquility, but also vacation leaving and picturesque community. Prices are relatively low for New York City because it is in the Bronx, which is easily the most affordable borough.

Young professionals with families are beginning to move into the area, relocating from Manhattan and Brooklyn. New developments in the area, such as a 43-unit condo complex, opened in 2015, and has welcomed newcomers. Nonetheless, the island manages to cling to its small-town feel, no matter how many new residents it manages to add. Called a “bucolic place” by residents, City Island was used as the filming location for Wes Anderson’s comedy-drama, “The Royal Tenenbaums.”

Entrepreneurship & Real Estate Investment: 10 Tips for Excelling as an Investor

 

Ramin KamfarReal estate investment can be a useful and intentional tool for certain entrepreneurs, particularly those interested in lending their money to a market that has definite long-term potential.

1. Consider Lending

There are several ways one might wisely invest in real estate, one of those ways include acting as a lender. Use your money to support other real estate investors, which is ideal when you don’t have the time or the necessary expertise. What’s more: You’re likely to make a great profit it succeeds, and if it doesn’t succeed you’re able to sell that property for a cost greater than your investment. Partnering with someone through an investor network should help you to find collaborators.

2. Think About Your Liquid Assets

There tends to be cash flow implications, so be sure that you’re totally abreast to them. When it comes to real estate, there can be huge down payments and numerous investments throughout the year. Known that if you’re strictly looking for a quick return, your cash may be more successful elsewhere.

3. Be Vigilant and Cautious

Real estate investments are attractive, but many don’t recognize the overwhelming stress associated with being a landlord. Caution is warranted if you’re interested in sinking your energy into a real estate investment that requires ongoing management. Sometimes, the role of the hands-off silent investor may an ideal role.

4. Educate Yourself on the Nature of the Market

The real estate market is a living thing that must be mastered and understood before being invested in. Developing a firm understanding of an area, as well as nearby accommodations provide a clearer understanding of what a market has to offer its buyers. This means knowing whether an area relies on tourism, whether job prospects are available, proximity to foodways, and all essential factors that impact investing.

5. Review Your Options

Investment into real estate is quite time-consuming, particularly if managing by oneself. Consider the possibility that you may want to hire a property manager who is trustworthy and knowledgeable. Also, consider options around investment; decide in you want to place a vested interest in illiquid real estate investment or stock funds, which tend to be a bit more lucrative.

6. Confer With a General Contractor

Without wanting to place too much time into updating an investment, you’ll likely want to see that it is in pique condition. One way to do this is to partner with an established general contractor who is totally willing to do the work and split the profits. By doing this work gets completed and the contractor is compelled to do an outstanding job because they have a stake in property as well.

7. Consider Investing as a Wealth Growth

Developing a management company can be instrumental for wealth growth, but it can a vital for future planning. You have to be very conscious about where you’ll buy property, establishing that it’s an area that’s up-and-coming and will likely beckon a great deal of interested years to come. Living close to one’s property, particularly as the manager, is essential for maintenance, and it’s important for monitoring other potential opportunities.

8. Change Happens

Many real estate developers are enabled by investments from accredited and crowdfunded investments. In fact, crowdfunding campaigns funded the development that will be the tallest building in Colombia, BD Bacatá.

9. Be Prepared

Because real estate assets aren’t easily converted into cash, it’s important to have adequate capital on hand in order to pay all taxes and fees, and to maintain the property. Smart and capable real estate investors tend to have access to credit lines and capital reserves, as to hold on properties for a longer period of time.

10. Involvement in Your Market

Understanding your products and services is the best way to be a successful real estate investor. Enroll yourself into your market and gauge day-to-activity and partner with trusted and seasoned individuals.

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Hershey Gearing Up to Open New Times Square Location

Hershey, the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, is gearing up to open a new Manhattan flagship location, which will be triple the size of the existing location. At the base of a 39-story hotel and retail development at the corner of West 47th Street and Seventh Avenue, the chocolate company has begun construction.

The Hershey’s Chocolate World store currently occupies more than 2,000 square feet just one block away, located at West 48th Street and Broadway. It attracts 3 million+ visitors annually. Expected to open in late next year, and will be stationed just one block from rival Mars Inc.’s M&M’s World Times Square shop.

Last month, it’s been announced that the National Football League, Cirque du Soleil, and the National Football League Players Association will open an NFL Times Square experience. It will be a four-story, 40,000-square foot permanent exhibit, placed at 20 Time Square. Included, high-tech, interactive displays, and a 350-seat theater for the purposes of creating riveting football moments for fans.

“If you look at all the stores now [in Times Square], it’s not traditional retail being done in the old format way,” said Andrew S. Goldberg, vice chairman of real-estate services company CBRE Group Inc. and a member of the 20 Times Square leasing team. “Everyone is looking at how to keep the customers engaged longer and having them stay and be more involved in the store.”

The Hershey’s store will be built by an investment group led by developer Steven Witkoff, and the development will feature an 18,000-square-foot LED sign hinged on the corner. Additionally, there will be a 452-room luxury hotel and a retail space.

Last year, rent costs in the Times Square shopping corridor dipped nearly 16 percent in the second quarter to $2,109 a square foot, decreasing nearly $400. However, rent has also increased quickly, though it is stabilizing. Hershey will likely add more details about its construction and expansion as the design and execution.

 

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Real Estate Is Booming In Areas Surrounding Stadiums

It’s no secret that stadiums attract huge numbers of people. But now, those people aren’t just hanging out at the stadium for the day. They want to live in the surrounding areas, too. This phenomenon is occurring all throughout the world.

Take Europe for example. Areas around Europe’s best soccer stadiums were once considered areas to avoid. Now, the property in those areas is becoming increasingly popular. Teams are building new facilities and cities are becoming expensive. Home buyers are looking for affordable prices and finding bargains near stadiums. Many developers feel that stadiums are providing opportunities to create new urban communities.

Sports stadiums in the United States have had a similar effect. Stadium neighborhoods are popping up in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Kansas City, Missouri. In fact, many would say these stadiums were catalysts for mixed-use projects. Europe’s stadium neighborhoods are gradually catching up to U.S. stadium neighborhoods. London, in particular, is doing well in this regard. Property prices have been increasing as the English Premier League teams generate more and more money.

Since 2005, property prices surrounding Olympic Stadium in East London have almost doubled. This is largely due to the fact that the stadium is the new home for West Ham United. The 2012 Olympics changed the area from an industrial region to a thriving market. In the past, buyers and renters avoided the areas surrounding the world’s best soccer stadiums because they were seen as older, rundown neighborhoods. Traffic could be extremely tedious and drunken fans could be wandering around the area.

As soccer became a more family-friendly game, the areas around the stadiums have become pleasant places to live. In addition, living around a stadium can be convenient. Stadium neighborhoods tend to be well served by public transit. These areas are usually brimming with restaurants and nightlife. Prices in these areas and usually lower than in other neighborhoods. A stadium neighborhood usually has a unique vibe that reflects the personality of the home team.

In the U.S., certain teams have had difficulty getting cities to build new stadiums. But now the teams are starting to work on these projects themselves, creating not only stadiums but entire cultural hubs surrounding these stadiums. MLB teams have been developing the land surrounding their ballparks in order to generate revenue in a new way. The Atlanta Braves, the Chicago Cubs, and the St. Louis Cardinals are among the MLB teams that are trying to create facilities around their stadiums to make the area more enjoyable for fans.

This is not only occurring in the baseball world. SportsBusiness Journal’s David Broughton created a list of over 30 developments near Stadiums that are somehow connected to team ownership. The Los Angeles Rams, for example, have a proposed stadium project in Inglewood. This project will include 780,000 square feet of office space, 890,000 square feet of retail, a 6,000-seat performance venue, 2,500 new residential units, 25 acres of public parks, and a 300-room hotel.

Hopefully, these developments will have a large impact on the areas surrounding the stadiums. It seems that these new developments will be booming areas for entertainment, but only time will tell if people decide to live in those areas, just as they have around a number of other stadiums throughout the world.

 

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Strategies Are Necessary for Successful Real Estate Investment

Startup Stock PhotosThere are multiple ways an individual can be involved in real estate investment, which is likely the greatest things about real estate investment. However, no matter how you choose to be involved, you need to develop a strategy.

The industry is a broad one, welcoming those interested in long-term rentals, short-term strategies, the flipping of properties, or buying of notes or tax liens. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s a strategy. Also, there’s a number of things to be considered when becoming involved in the real estate investment.

Strategies should be designed for specific endeavors, and strategies by nature should focus on end-to-end profits. In developing strategies, there are monumental mistakes that full-time real estate investors make, which can are troublesome for these real estate professionals.

Plan Ahead

It’s imperative that real estate professionals plan ahead. Many choose to plan as they go, which is a mistake. Failing to plan ahead is one of the biggest mistakes that an investor can make. In fact, it can be akin to working backward if you find a property to invest in and THEN develop a plan. Select an investment model and property that coincides, so that your transaction will make as much sense to you ten years from now as it does today. Real estate investment is an investment strategy, not a real estate transaction.

By doing your due diligence, you will ensure that you won’t spend too much money when investing in properties, and you educate yourself on the business in a way that helps secure the financial futures of you and your family. Don’t move too quickly. Take your time to make deals so you don’t make a reckless decision that will leave you without personal savings. Budget for everything, whether that’s a property manager, a handy manager, property taxes, insurance, vacancies, or mortgages.

Be Patient

Unfortunately, you won’t make money overnight. The real estate game is one that requires a committed level-headed player who understands that this is a long-term investment.

Develop Strong Relationships

Rather than going at it alone, consider choosing a team of professionals who will ease the selection and maintenance process.

Develop a strong relationship with dependable real estate agents, home inspectors, closing attorneys, lenders, and appraisers, who will be instrumental for ongoing or future deals. Likewise, find professionals who will be able to assist when it comes to heating or air conditioning, roofing, plumbing, contracting, flooring, and all-around maintenance.  

Design an Exit Strategy

Rather than being cornered into keeping a faulty property after buying it, construct a viable contingency plan. Consider options beyond simply selling or renting. For instance, you can offer a lease-purchase to a buyer or a wholesale option (selling to another investor at below-market cost), which will make it a bit easier to shed the property in a way that’s still profitable, even if you this means having to pay carrying costs.

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Golden Years Can Be Made More Financially Comfortable With Real Estate Investments

14373309286_e5aeff0f2c_oReal estate investment is a feasible option for bringing about supplemental income and diversifying personal income. Specifically, these investments can introduce ample retirement income for investors interested in focusing on creating wealth for their golden years.

Ideally, retirement is the time in one’s life when one can sit back and reap the benefits of decades of hard work. Social security, annuity payments, retirement fund distributions, and, hopefully, a sizable pension should help to ensure that these years are indeed quite comfortable. Some forward-thinking individuals may recognize that they don’t have quite enough lined up to ensure financial comfort during those years, and they’ve turned to real estate investing in order to add to their retirement income stream.

With that said, deciding to invest in real estate isn’t necessarily as easy as 1-2-3. In fact, it requires that investors do homework, do the legwork, and put in the work. It isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s work may require that you deal with difficult tenants, electrical issues, vacant rental units, and innumerable conflicts and concerns. Only those who are willing to roll their sleeves up and devote time will realize the true value of real estate investment as a satisfying option for diversification and an additional path toward income creation.

Investment isn’t simply about bankrolling a project, the action can help to bring balance to an investment portfolio. Also, if that property happens to have been managed well, it will bring in an abundance of income no matter economic conditions, and it can appreciate in value over years, which will be beneficial to an investor.

Presently, real estate investors are in a terrific position, thanks to low-interest rates and rapid rent increases, which will continue its pace for another two to three years. While the growth in rent is bad news for renters, it’s excellent for those interested in property investment.

So, what are the steps that an individual has to take in order to become a goal-oriented real estate investor?

Begin by saving money. After gathering an adequate amount of cash, so that you might successfully afford a down payment, you should seek pre-approval for a bank loan, which will allow you to quickly acquire a great property. Always analyze your finances before pursuing an investment. Verify rental rates, consider the cost of upgrades and upkeep, and make sure you have access to a real estate agent who’s educated in the workings of real estate properties.

Real estate investments are the most profitable for those who calculate finances so that income from renting covers the cost of insurance, mortgage, upgrades, upkeep, and repairs. Research and financial planning are crucial parts of designing an investment and retirement plan.

From the current owners of a property, request a detailed profit and loss statement when considering a property, and utilize the IRS Income Tax Schedule E to determine if an investment property is worthy of purchasing. Numbers can be inputted into the tax schedule to see gauge whether expenses can be covered with the income coming in from rent.

Novice real estate investors should consider starting small, rather than opting to take on a large project. For instance, consider renting out two or four-unit apartment buildings. However, be weary of single-family home investments because you don’t want to be liable for the entirety of vacancy rate; vacancy risks are greater with smaller investments.

The trick is to locate a property that’s affordable for you, as a buyer, and for potential renters. That means selecting a property with a median property value ($210,000), which has the greatest risk and can invite a reasonable rental rate. Obviously, roomy units in desirable neighborhoods that have excellent schools will be attractive to renters, so always have that on your radar. If you know anything about real estate trends or potential areas that may receive an influx of residents, then seek that out. Well-established areas tend to have a lower return rate while return tends to be greater in “hot” and up-and-coming neighborhoods.

Some other things to consider: think about choosing a property that’s close to your own home for convenience sake. Also, choose your tenants carefully. It’s important to screen for financially responsible, reasonable, and clean tenants who will respect your investment. Your return can be damaged if litigation or eviction become an issue for tenants. Real estate investment is a true, long-term commitment that demands attention and awareness.  

Real Estate Investing in a Recovering Economy

Last month the Federal Reserve announced that it would raise short-term interest rates to a modest range of 0.25-0.5 percent. In efforts to boost the ailing economy, interest rates were at a low near zero percent for the past ten years. The recent decision is meant to signal confidence in the the American economy and its growth, reports the New York Times. Fed officials also announced that interest rates will gradually rise as the economy continues to grow in the upcoming years. However, Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen cooled overly enthused reactions, signaling that despite economic recovery progressing, it is still not complete. “The economic recovery has clearly come a long way, although it is not complete,” said the Fed’s chairwoman. Nevertheless, increasing interest rates will surely affect the real estate investment sector onward.

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The real estate industry is always held at the whim of American economic forces. If you are a landlord planning to borrow money as a mortgage, or a landlord hoping to rehab a home into a profitable sell, your cost of doing business will surely increase. However as the economy strengthens, so will the demand for rental units and home ownership. As the demand for rental units and homeownership rise, so do property values, profiting real estate investors. A stronger economy inevitably means profitability for landlords, despite rising interest rates.

As for REITs, conventional wisdom would suggest that rising interest rates negatively impact REITs. However according to wealthmanagement.com, this isn’t necessarily true 100 percent of the time. Contrary to expectations, REIT stocks outperformed the overall market the last time the Fed raised rates. In fact, during that two year period when rates rose, REITs saw returns of over 60 percent, outperforming the S&P 500’s comparatively low 20 percent. From this, we can conclude that the rule that applied for landlords also applies for REIT investors: as the economy strengthens, so does the value of rental units and property values.

Home, office, and retail REITs all have the possibility of boding well in light of the forecasted economic bolstering underway. Economic growth means higher consumer spending as well as job growth, positively affecting office and retail property investors. As an investor in properties, it is important to first weigh whether the anticipated earnings from monthly rents will be sufficient to offset higher mortgage, and maintenance costs. In Leveraged property investments, higher lender rates generally mean lower returns. Again however, a strong economy and an increased demand for commercial space will result in higher rents and a better valuation for your property.

As a an investor in the real estate industry, becoming a lender can decrease your overall risk. Private lenders can earn between 8-12 percent in interest. However with higher interest rates come higher risks. Brian Kline of realtybiznews.com suggets investing retirement accounts like IRA’s or 401ks in a first mortgage, which provides a high level of security when your investment is secured by the house or property. Keep in mind though, the lower the risk, the lower your interest rate.