RealtyCast Global #7 Demystifying US Immigration Laws & Purchasing Real Estate with Karen Weinstock

RealtyCast Global #7: Demystifying US Immigration Laws & Purchasing Real Estate with Karen Weinstock

Welcome to episode #7 of RealtyCast Global – a global connection to all things real estate, hosted by Hugh Gilliam, president of Global Property Pros.

The Immigration Nationality Act of 1952 stands as an archaic law in dire need of revision to accommodate the current workforce realities. In the latest episode of RealtyCast Global, Karen Weinstock, the managing attorney of Weinstock Immigration Lawyers, spotlights the urgent necessity for an overhaul of this antiquated legislation on US immigration. An immigrant herself, Karen brings her personal insights to the fore, outlining the law’s inconsistencies and the pressing demand for reform.

In a captivating twist, the conversation explores the labyrinth of foreign nationals acquiring property in the United States. Debunking common misconceptions, we delve into the constraints non-US citizens face when attempting to procure a mortgage and gain employment in the US. Karen underscores the significance of an active business investment for securing an investor visa, shattering the myth that mere real estate purchase suffices.

Weinstock Immigration Lawyers have assisted numerous Fortune 500 and publicly traded companies to secure global talent and ensure a seamless transition for foreign employees and their families. Karen’s unique blend of professional expertise and personal immigration experience equips her to guide clients through the intricate US immigration system.

The dialogue extends into the realm of immigration objectives specific to foreign nationals involved in real estate. A captivating success story reveals how these objectives can be achieved despite the hurdles imposed by the immigration quota system. The account of a Canadian real estate investor securing an investor visa, with Karen’s expert guidance, serves as a compelling example of the achievable possibilities.

Despite the current immigration quota system, which still harks back to the outdated provisions of the Immigration Nationality Act of 1952, it is possible for foreign nationals to successfully navigate the US immigration and real estate landscapes. Through proactive investment in active businesses and proper understanding of the immigration laws, foreign nationals can achieve their American dreams.

Karen’s deep understanding of the US immigration system and her commitment to her clients are evident in her success stories. Her dedication and drive to facilitate positive immigration experiences for her clients make her a respected figure in the legal and business communities across the country.

Whether you’re a foreign national looking to invest in US property, a company seeking to bring foreign talent into the US, or simply interested in understanding the complex world of US immigration, this episode offers invaluable insights. It underscores the importance of seeking expert advice when navigating the multifaceted terrain of US immigration and its impact on the real estate industry.

The world of US immigration may be intricate, but with the right guidance and understanding, it is not an insurmountable challenge. Tune into this episode of RealtyCast Global to gain an enlightening understanding of US immigration and its impact on the real estate industry, as shared by one of America’s leading immigration attorneys, Karen Weinstock.

Make sure to listen to other episodes of RealtyCast Global.

For real estate agents looking to expand their business internationally, expose existing listings to a global pool of buyers, and connect with new clients, check out Global Property Pros.

For Property Buyers & Sellers seeking assistance in the international market, check out RealtyHive’s property marketing solutions.

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About the guest – Karen Weinstock:

Karen is the Managing Attorney of Weinstock Immigration Lawyers, one of the best immigration law firms in Atlanta, Georgia. With over two decades of experience, she has substantial expertise representing U.S. and international companies to secure global talent and ensure a successful transition for foreign employees and their families.

Karen has represented Fortune 500 and publicly traded companies in both the U.S. and abroad. She has helped many European, Asian, and Latin American enterprises and international investors achieve their American Dream.

Born and raised in Israel, Karen immigrated to the United States in 2000. Karen’s compassion for clients and commitment to excellence distinguishes her as one of the best immigration attorneys in the nation. Legal and business communities across the country regard Karen as a true leader in immigration and a role model among women entrepreneurs.

Karen’s website:

Connect with Karen on LinkedIn:

Contact Karen for a free case evaluation: (770) 604-1603

About the host – Hugh Gilliam:

Hugh Gilliam co-owned a national transportation company, created a land development business, and worked as a general contractor in residential and commercial construction for over two decades. Hugh also co-founded an international distribution company and successfully negotiated and contracted with 135 sales representatives in the United States, Canada, France, Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Today, Mr. Gilliam is affiliated with RealtyHive, LLC where he serves as Director of International Real Estate and President of Global Property Pros. His duties include involvement in commercial and residential transactions, plus promoting marketing systems and lead generation platforms.

He is also co-founder of the luxury digital magazine, DOORWAYS INTERNATIONAL, powered by RealtyHive, which serves as a platform for Brokers and Buyers throughout 70 countries.

Hugh’s Designations Include:

  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  • Certified Distressed Property Export
  • Certified International Property Specialist
  • Certified International Investment & Immigration Specialist
  • Transnational Referral Certification

Hugh’s Memberships Include:

  • Georgia Association of REALTORS
  • National Association of REALTORS
  • International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI-USA)
  • Asian Real Estate Association of America
RealtyCast Global #3: A Resource Guide for Investing in Central America with Michael Cobb

RealtyCast Global #3: A Resource Guide for Investing in Central America with Michael Cobb

Welcome to episode #3 of RealtyCast Global – a global connection to all things real estate, hosted by Hugh Gilliam, president of Global Property Pros.

Navigating the world of investing & international real estate can be quite an endeavor. However, the journey can be significantly smoother when guided by experienced individuals like Michael Cobb, co-founder, and CEO of ECI Development. With over two decades of experience in developing in Central America, Michael Cobb has a wealth of knowledge and insights that can be instrumental for anyone considering making a move overseas.

The story of Michael Cobb is far from ordinary. A daring leap from the tech industry into the realm of Belizean real estate led him and his business partner, Joel, to identify a unique opportunity in Central America. This bold venture involved creating a mortgage company in Belize, a move filled with challenges, misconceptions, and valuable lessons. The journey saw the duo raising money, applying for a banking license, and eventually, the creation of a development company.

However, Michael’s journey did not stop there. He noted that the quality of local development standards left much to be desired. He took it upon himself to make changes to the development company’s standards, thereby improving the quality of the properties. This was just one of the many lessons Michael learned from his journey, which he has graciously compiled into a Consumer Resource Guide (click here to download the guide). This guide is a treasure trove of information, designed to help individuals avoid common mistakes and ease the transition of moving overseas.

The process of purchasing real estate, both domestically and abroad, carries its nuances. In the US, the majority of individuals opt for the guidance of a realtor when buying a property. However, this trend does not seem to carry over when purchasing property overseas, with many people going straight to a seller or developer. This fast-paced approach often results in buyers overlooking crucial factors and making uninformed decisions. The importance of slowing down and thoroughly assessing a property, especially in earthquake and hurricane-prone zones, cannot be overstated.

In terms of construction, building a new house overseas is only slightly less expensive than building one in the US. The costs associated with materials such as concrete, steel, doors, windows, and electric wires are priced at the world price, making them relatively uniform. The primary variable in the cost of construction overseas is labor, which is significantly cheaper. This lower labor cost can allow for intricate detailing and craftsmanship, creating a house that would cost significantly more to build in the US.

Lastly, Michael Cobb’s ‘Are You Ready to Live Overseas’ quiz is an excellent tool to gauge one’s readiness for a big move. It’s important to understand that moving overseas isn’t simply a romanticized notion; it requires thoughtful consideration and careful planning. The insights shared by Michael Cobb can be instrumental in navigating the world of international real estate and making a successful transition to living overseas.

For real estate agents looking to expand their business internationally, expose existing listings to a global pool of buyers, and connect with new clients, check out Global Property Pros.

For Property Buyers & Sellers seeking assistance in the international market, check out RealtyHive’s property marketing solutions.

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About the Guest – Michael Cobb:

At the height of a successful career in the computer industry, Mr. Cobb left to pursue more pioneering opportunities in the emerging real estate markets of Central America.  In 1996, he and his business partner formed a company, Exotic Caye International, to provide loans to North Americans purchasing properties in Belize, Honduras and throughout the region.  As the need for capital outstripped the supply, the mortgage company was converted to an international bank under the jurisdiction of Belize.  It continues to provide mortgage services but has expanded its services to encompass the full realm of financial products. 
Mr. Cobb also saw the need for a regional real estate company that would serve the Baby Boomer consumer with a North American standard product for the next 2 decades.  He led the group into real estate development and created a holding company for several properties including a resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize.  In August of 2000, Exotic Caye purchased 3.5 miles of Pacific Beachfront property due west of Managua, Nicaragua. 

This master planned community hosts world class infrastructure, homes and condominium units.  In February of 2006, the ECI Development group acquired 1100 acres and 3km of coastline in Costa Rica, setting the stage for expansion into this popular market.  Most recently they merged their Belize property with a much larger parcel and have begun to develop 200 condominiums units on Ambergris Caye, Belize
Additionally, Mike Cobb has spoken at hundreds of international conferences about real estate financing and development.  He has acted as a consultant to The Oxford Club and gives counsel to various real estate projects throughout Central America.


Phone: +1.703.795.2555


About the host – Hugh Gilliam:

Hugh Gilliam co-owned a national transportation company, created a land development business, and worked as a general contractor in residential and commercial construction for over two decades. Hugh also co-founded an international distribution company and successfully negotiated and contracted with 135 sales representatives in the United States, Canada, France, Brazil, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Today, Mr. Gilliam is affiliated with RealtyHive, LLC where he serves as Director of International Real Estate and President of Global Property Pros. His duties include involvement in commercial and residential transactions, plus promoting marketing systems and lead generation platforms.

He is also co-founder of the luxury digital magazine, DOORWAYS INTERNATIONAL, powered by RealtyHive, which serves as a platform for Brokers and Buyers throughout 70 countries.

Hugh’s Designations Include:

  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  • Certified Distressed Property Export
  • Certified International Property Specialist
  • Certified International Investment & Immigration Specialist
  • Transnational Referral Certification

Hugh’s Memberships Include:

  • Georgia Association of REALTORS
  • National Association of REALTORS
  • International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI-USA)
  • Asian Real Estate Association of America
RealtyHive Announces Partnership of Global Property Pros and FIABCI-USA

RealtyHive announces partnership of Global Property Pros and FIABCI-USA; Medal of Honor Presented to Hugh Gilliam

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, June 14, 2023/ — RealtyHive, a global real estate marketing platform has announced a partnership between its global real estate networking platform, Global Property Pros, and FIABCI-USA, the world’s leading international real estate organization. At the installation of Carla Kidd as the new President of FIABCI-USA, she announced the partnership, which includes membership/access to Global Property Pros for all FIABCI-USA Chapter members.

“Having a global marketing platform for our organization just adds another level of value for our members,” stated Carla Kidd. “One of the things agents always have needed was a way to showcase their listings to other professionals around the world. Now, the world has become smaller due to GPP and all it offers to build referral relationships and sales.”

Through the partnership with Global Property Pros, all FIABCI-USA Chapter members will gain access to the platform where they can easily market their properties to buyers in over 200 countries, through RealtyHive. Members will also be able to connect with other like-minded real estate professionals around the world and gain new clients through these networking opportunities.

Hugh receiving medal of honor - Global Property Pros & FIABCI-USA Partnership

“Amidst the challenges of a global pandemic, Hugh Gilliam exemplified outstanding leadership as he navigated our national organization through uncharted waters,” stated Florentino Dualia. “Mr. Gilliam seamlessly adapted to the sudden shift to virtual meetings and kept the team motivated, engaged, and connected. His unwavering dedication and resilience helped the FIABCI-USA Chapter achieve great success despite the circumstances. Mr. Gilliam proved that true leaders emerge and thrive in times of crisis.”

Founded in 1951 in Paris, France, FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation, is the world’s leading international real estate organization devoted to all real estate specialties and activities. With chapters in over 70 countries that are spread over five continents, FIABCI provides direct access to international real estate contacts and international business opportunities. Since 1954, FIABCI holds special consultant status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. FIABCI takes great pride in our efforts to help the United Nations address serious housing and environmental issues worldwide.

RealtyHive is a global real estate marketing platform connecting property sellers and agents to buyers from over 200 countries, with over 2 million site visitors each year. In today’s ever-changing real estate market, real estate agents and industry professionals are seeking new and innovative ways to create value for their clients and grow their network. RealtyHive’s Global Property Pros was built by agents for agents, providing the ability for them to showcase their listings globally, collaborate with like-minded professionals on a common platform, share listings with buyers, track the global activity of their listings, stay abreast of popular countries to invest in, and be informed of global shifts in the real estate market.

Source: Read More

Where is the Best Place to Get Started in Real Estate?

If you’ve been thinking of working in the real estate industry, you’re going to enjoy every moment. This field is exciting with flexible working hours and the opportunity to meet and interact with customers from different demographics. Statistics indicate that there are close to 1.2 million realtors currently working in the US. That’s a clear indication of how a career in real estate is a viable option.

Consider this example: The average sales price for houses in 2019 was $299,400. If you’re working on 6% commission, a single sale gains you $18,000. It’s not surprising that many professionals working in other spheres opt to show houses as a second job, eventually moving on to taking up the career full time. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, here’s how to get started.

Get Licensing to Work as a Realtor in Your State

The first step is to check your state real estate commission’s website where you can get detailed information about the licensing requirements applicable in your state. You’ll also find a list of accredited pre-licensing agencies that offer training in the mandatory courses. You have the option of taking the course online or in person. Expect to train in the legal aspects of the business along with gaining an understanding of real estate practices like how to assess a property’s value. You’ll also learn about terms like “encumbrance,” “lien,” and “escrow,” among others.

The required number of hours vary by jurisdiction and state. For instance, if you intend to get licensing in Oregon, the mandatory hours is 150, including 30 hours of Real Estate Law, 30 hours of Oregon Real Estate Practices, and 20 hours of Real Estate Brokerage. On the other hand, California realtor licensing requires a total of 135 hours of training, including 45 hours of Real Estate Practices and 45 hours of Real Estate Finance.

Having completed your training, you’ll take the state licensing exam for a fee of $100 to $300. Expect to answer 60 to 100 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of general real estate principles and both state and federal laws. The pass rate is typically 50%, so it helps to take preparation seriously. Take the California Real Estate license practice test as many time as you need to evaluate your competency and raise your chances of passing. Once you clear the exam, you’ll get the necessary licensing to work as a realtor.

The Real Estate Industry is Multi-Faceted and Interesting

Once you gain adequate experience working as a realtor, you can consider specializing in a particular area. If you’ve always thought that real estate was all about helping clients buy and sell property, that’s not exactly accurate. You can choose careers such as:

Property Management

If you also have a degree in finance, think about working as a property manager. Such professionals can work for a company or as a freelancer. Your job description includes taking care of property issues for owners who don’t have the time or expertise. For instance, overseeing maintenance and repair tasks, marketing the rentals, collecting rent on schedule, dealing with evictions, and responding to complaints and problems that the tenants may have.

Apartment and House Sales and Purchases

Many people approaching retirement like to move to locations where the weather is warmer. They often seek a lower cost of living, or they just to be closer to family and friends. Others prefer to move into smaller apartments that are more economical and easier to maintain. You could assist senior citizens moving to Eugene, Oregon, starting with finding a good buyer for large houses and purchasing compact apartments or assisted living facilities.

Retail Leasing

Realtors who specialize in retail leasing have an extensive database of prime properties that become available for leasing. You’ll find locations ideal for your retail company clients to set up their business. Helping with the legal requirements and preparing the necessary paperwork for renting the property are all a part of your job in retail leasing. Most such professionals work over the weekends and after hours to identify viable options that their clients might like.

Real Estate Appraisal

Since determining the value of a particular property is a part of your training as a realtor, you could find a job with a business broker in NJ. When finalizing deals for mergers and acquisitions, one of the key elements of the process of due diligence is conducting evaluations of the partnering companies’ assets. Your job involves checking for the validity of the lease or ownership deeds and whether it is necessary to retain the property for ongoing operations.

A real estate appraisal can be critical to the outcomes of the merger deal since its value can influence the status of the balance sheets. Accordingly, your expertise may also be needed to check for the site’s profitability if it is sold, leased out, or used as is.

Real Estate Development

As a realtor, you’ll find and identify properties that have the potential for bringing attractive ROI for their buyers. Such buildings may be run-down, empty, or obsolete. Your job is to evaluate the cost of repairing the structures to make them fit for living, leasing, or accommodating a running business.

If you’re planning to work as a specialist realtor, you might need to get additional training and licensing. Check for the regulations in your state when choosing the career that interests you most.

5 Important Factors to Consider when Investing in Healthcare Real Estate

Healthcare is one of those industries that is on a never-ending upward trajectory around the world. Simply put, every country has a need for a better healthcare system and a greater number of top-quality medical institutions from a variety of fields within the medical profession. As a highly lucrative and ever-expanding industry, healthcare is one of the best industries to invest in in the real estate realm.

Whether you own a real estate business and want to make a long-term investment or if you have a team of medical professionals who are looking to buy a property and build a thriving medical practice, you need to know the key variables that are at play before signing on the dotted line. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the five key factors you need to consider when looking to invest in healthcare real estate.

The pros of owning vs leasing medical real estate

Many medical professionals who are looking to open their own practice will first look into leasing a space instead of owning, and there are some wise reasons behind it. Firstly, leasing allows you to move fairly easily to a new location once the lease term is up, and it doesn’t incur the risks and responsibilities associated with ownership. However, over the long-term it can be overly expensive and wasteful. While you might be tempted to lease, any experienced real estate agent will tell you that buying is the best long-term option.

Owning medical real estate brings numerous advantages to the table, like avoiding the risks of elevated rent, which is bound to happen at some point. If you do your research and pick the right location, then you won’t have a need to move and will retain full ownership of the property so that you can build your brand’s reputation and visibility in the local market.

Conducting due diligence on the property

Of course, you shouldn’t invest in healthcare real estate without conducting thorough research and ensuring a comprehensive due diligence process. After all, this is a grand investment you’re about to make, so you have to make sure that all papers are in order and that there are no liabilities that might catch you off guard in the following months and years.

With that in mind, be sure to check the property’s tax history and make sure everything is in order. Next, check the property’s condition and assess the amount of work and investment capital needed to bring it up to code. Lastly, make sure that the property has a clear title by checking for any outstanding liens.

Purchasing a property with sustainability in mind

As an investor in such a competitive and oftentimes wasteful industry, one of your primary goals should be to ensure sustainability and eco-friendliness in order to minimize financial waste and build an appealing brand. After all, medical professionals want to work in a top-quality workspace, while modern patients want to enjoy their stay at their chosen institution.

You can start by considering the long-term potential for energy savings, and plan to install LED light fixtures like those made for clean rooms that serve a specific purpose while helping with energy conservation. Next, consider the equipment you’ll be using and how it helps conserve energy, as well as the potential of the property to be outfitted with sustainable materials.

Calculating and preparing for operating costs

All this talk about sustainability isn’t for naught, because it will help you minimize operating costs in the long run. In turn, this will allow you to plan your investment and allocate financial resources more efficiently. You might even be able to take out a smaller loan than you initially planned. Be sure to talk to your key players to assess all the costs and prepare your budget for procurement, maintenance, and even expansion in those first few crucial years.

Consider the market trends and locations

Choosing the right location for your medical practice, however big or small it may be, is crucial for your long-term success. On the one hand, the property needs to be accessible and close enough to make it worth the patient’s while to drive over, but it should also be far away enough from the competition so that you don’t have to compete with other clinics. Make sure to do extensive market research to find the ideal location, one that will facilitate long-term growth and help you build a recognizable and trustworthy brand in your local market.

Wrapping up

The healthcare industry is growing around the world, and it’s important that investors know how to choose the ideal properties to build their medical practices. Take these considerations to heart to find the best real estate opportunities in the healthcare sector.

About the author:  Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer with a focus in real estate, home improvement, and the construction industry. He is a regular contributor to the Smooth Decorator blog.

A Taste of Beautiful RealtyHive Developments

Although buying international properties comes with a number of benefits, it can also be extremely difficult finding the right one for you. There are so many variables that go into purchasing a property in general but even more so when you’re buying abroad. The simplest to purchase properties abroad is to purchase a unit in a real estate development. International developments also offer amenities that other properties don’t have such as gated communities/security, concierge services, social spaces, and so much more! Want to learn more about real estate developments and whether or not its the right choice for you? Click here!

1. Estepona, Spain

This is a stunning residential development located in a privileged area of Spain. A number of amenities nearby such as golf courses, shopping centers, and much more. This development offers 187 one, two, three or four bedroom properties distributed amongst three different residential spaces. All residences are just minutes from the beautiful sandy beach!

2. Hua Hin District, Thailand

This gorgeous villa boasts 165 sqm of living and dining space! The unique “H” layout of this home makes it just as functional as it is stunning! My personal favorite feature of this home is the upper terrace that boast stunning views of the surrounding mountains. If mountains aren’t your thing the home also includes a 36 sqm private swimming pool. So thats pretty cool.

3. Long Bay Village, Anguilla

This development is the newest beachfront resort in Anguilla. There is much excitement around this new luxury boutique resort as it lies on one of the world’s most beautiful white sand beaches! This beautiful waterfront resort offer 15 professionally managed 1-3 bedroom condominiums! Each residence includes an outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the sea and a hot/cold tub!

4. Bonita Springs, FL

Seaglass at Bonita Bay is committed to providing a relaxing yet luxurious waterfront living environment. Seaglass combines lovely coastal interior design with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico! Resort offers amazing amenities such as steam/massage rooms, state-of-the-art fitness center, a theatre room, resort style pool, and so much more! You will never be bored in this Bonita Bay beauty!

5. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

This development property is located in Playacar Phase II, one of Mexico’s most exclusive gated communities. Mara Playacar is surrounded by 18 hole golf courses, restaurants, shopping centers, and is only 2 blocks from the best beach in the Riviera Maya! The luxury amenities and stunning ocean views will make you never want to leave. And since Mara playacar has everything you could ever want or need… you never have to.

6. Roches Noires, Mauritius

5 years ago this large estate was made on the north east coast. Since then it has metamorphosed into a tight knit and lively community! This development is offers luxury residences on a golf course right by the sea. These gorgeous residences also offer stunning natural surroundings, a safe neighborhood, convenience, and a sense of community.

7. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

This luxurious apartment project located in a once-in-a-lifetime location that overlooks 150,000,000 gorgeous blooming flowers. Each apartment is designed to offer uninterrupted views of Miracle Garden & Butterfly Garden. This development is particularly perfect for lovers of the architectural designs of the Roman era, an inspiration for the design of this real estate project.

8. Paradise Island, Bahamas

Situated on Nassau Harbour, Bahamas in between an Ocean Club and One&Only Resort, This beautiful development combines amazing location with stellar views! This gorgeous piece of waterfront real estate has a never ending list of amenities including a large pool, fitness center, concierge services, underground parking, 24hr gated security, and a marina! Residences are filled with natural light, luxury, and premium appliances!

9. Chicago, IL

74-story tower designed by Helmut Jahn, an internationally-renowned architect. Located in the windy city this development was made for urban connoisseurs and city dwellers! The floor to ceiling windows provide unobstructed views of the city, Lake Michigan, and Grant Park! This development also offers some amazing and luxurious amenities! This development just all around screams luxury and lavish living!

10. Sosua, Dominican Republic

This beautiful development offers private villas ranging from 2-5 bedrooms and starting just $199,900! With an amazing location just minutes from beautiful beaches, shopping, and restaurants and a number of luxury amenities, you’ll never run out of things to do! Property owners can play mini-golf, tennis, bocce ball, and shuffleboard. A waterpark, gym, and BBQ will be opening soon and a perimeter walking trail surrounds the development. Finally there is beautiful communal grounds and a waterfall for owners to enjoy!

11. British Virgin Islands

Surrounded by the stunning turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, this development is a visual representation of what “luxurious living” means. Experience the finest of private island living while staying at on of Oil Nut Bays exclusive luxury villas! The development has a number of amenities including a private staff, seaplane, helicopter, or boat, a kids hangout space with movies, video games, and arts & crafts along with much more!

Enjoy this article? Read some more!


Should I buy a vacant home?

Advantages and Considerations for Vacant Homes

In a blazing hot real estate market, a vacant home that’s not newly constructed can raise some questions. How long has the property been vacant? Has it been properly maintained so that there are no weather issues? Are there pests? Are there ghosts? At RealtyHive, we feature many types of properties, both vacant and occupied, from all types of sellers. This is what you should know.

Vacant Home Advantages

You can see it on your schedule

Unlike an occupied home where you have to coordinate schedules with current owners or tenants, vacant homes are often able to be shown at any time of the day. While the convenience factor is one benefit, there’s another reason this is so beneficial for a prospective buyer. 

Imagine you’re looking to buy a home in an unfamiliar area. Maybe you don’t know the area or the neighborhood well or only pass by during a certain part of the day. Depending on your location, the character of the neighborhood may change from day to night. Knowing there’s a loud and rowdy bar down the street or a school-induced traffic jam every afternoon may change the price you’re willing to offer. It’s not just properties in the city center that can be affected. What about a property that should have a wonderful view of the night sky, but instead has industrial lights coming from the nearby farm?

Viewing a vacant house multiple times allows you to see these details — the kind you normally find out about after the fact — ahead of time and without inconveniencing the seller.

It’s easier to picture yourself in

When looking for real estate, you should make it a point to look past the current tenant/owners personal items. Sure, you might fall in love with the current furniture and design, but more likely you’ll find yourself thinking “Why would you chose that couch?” or “How do you live in this mess?” 

When you look at a vacant home, you don’t run into this issue. Instead, you get to see a room with it’s permanent features. While some sellers use staging to create a more “homey” feel, the majority of the “stuff” is typcially removed allowing you to see how much space you have to work with and how the rooms flow without much distraction.

The sellers are probably motivated

The biggest advantage of buying a vacant home tends to be the sellers. From mortgages to maintenance, an unoccupied property costs the owner each and every month they hold on to it. Even if the property doesn’t have the mortgage, taxes, maintenance, and in some locations, required utility payments, that all need to be paid.

These holding costs, in addition to the labor and stress of having an additional property, can add up. For this reason, sellers of vacant homes are often highly motivated and more open to discussing all offers. One of the ways you can find motivated sellers is to check out the properties in upcoming RealtyHive Time-Limited Events. These sellers have committed to competitively pricing their properties and are willing to entertain all reasonable offers.

Vacant Home Considerations

How long has the property been vacant?

When a home is occupied issues are noticed quickly. Leaks in the basement or roof are addressed, heating or cooling systems are being used, and the property is often more or less maintained simply by being occupied. None of this applies to vacant homes. In the southern US, homes that sit vacant too long can attract unwanted guests like spiders, snakes, and scorpions, while homes to the north run the risk of freeze damage if homes are not property winterized.

Can the property serve its current use?

This one gets into the weeds of real estate law a bit, but if you’re looking at buying a vacant property, you should know about non-conforming use laws. In regard to a vacant home, this could mean that what appears to be a multifamily home or duplex would be allowed to be used as such.

Is buying a vacant home a good idea?

As with all real estate purchases, it’s important to do your homework. Vacant homes offer buyers the ability to see the property without any distractions, but may come with some unique considerations or challenges. Choose a great agent (find one who offers incentives to buyers here!) to assist you and help you through the process.

man speaking at conference

More than a meeting: Why conferences are still worth attending

Conference season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. From the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in early January to South by Southwest in March, the early months of 2020 are filled with opportunities to learn and connect, regardless of which industry you’re in. While the educational and networking opportunities abound at these events, are they really worth the sometimes astronomical cost of attending? Here are some of the advantages to attending conferences.

Learn from the experts

Yes, we all know how important continuing education is, but let’s be honest, it tends to take a backseat to the day-to-day work. Sure, you’d love to learn about the latest trends in your industry and keep abreast of the newest technologies, but you’ve got clients to meet, staff meetings to attend, and a non-work life to uphold. By attending conference you’re able to pack all that learning into the span of a couple of days.

Meet new people

One of the biggest advantages to participating in a conference is that you get to meet and network with others in a face-to-face manner. While being introduced through email or being a member of a group on a social network is a great way to meet people in your industry when you’re not at an event, getting to meet in person is the best way to form a relationship. Whether you’re looking for new clients, partners, or even mentors, conferences offer the chance to identify and introduce yourself to these key players.

Scope out the competition

Sure, you keep tabs on your competition now. Maybe you do watch their social media accounts or monitor their keywords. But, events are a great way to really suss out what’s going on with your competitor. Are they unveiling a new product? Does their booth match the rest of their branding? What kinds of items or information are they giving out? You can learn a lot about a company by just stopping by their booth at an event like this.

Learn what you didn’t expect

You never know what you don’t know is a great thing to keep in mind at conferences. Regardless of your field, most conferences will pull in speakers who cover topics that you wouldn’t normally think to have looked into yourself. From workshops on marketing to seminars on legal implications to a roundtable discussion on ethics, these horizontally integrated sessions can provide a ton of value where you didn’t realize you were lacking.

Do you plan to go to any conferences this year? This year my team is attending many conventions for the real estate industry. Hope to see you there!

What Makes a Good Investment Property?

No matter the route you go for real estate investing — such as fixing up your own home, flipping, or renting out a home or commercial property — you want to make sure you’re choosing the right property. These tips can help your income property bring you ROI instead of regret.

The necessary changes are relatively minor.

Some real estate investors pass on home inspections in favor of a faster closing date. These investors typically have an experienced team of contractors who complete renovations quickly. Time is of the essence with investment properties, because the longer you’re holding onto a vacant home, the longer it will take for you to generate a profit.

This is true for flipping or renting out a property, though less so if you’re renovating for your own home. That being said, in nearly every instance you want a property that doesn’t require massive changes. Foundation problems, mold, or other damages will massively eat away at both time and your savings.

The location is a selling point.

Investment property success lies heavily in where the property is located.

  • For most commercial properties, lots of traffic and visibility is crucial. This isn’t always the case if your commercial property is a huge space, such as for corporate offices. But for local shops, you need a location that requires little to no commuting time for your clientele.
  • When buying your first rental property, consider the demographic you’re targeting. Near a college town? Look for a house that’s on-campus or close to it. Single-family home? Suburbs or just outside the hustle and bustle of a city are great locations.
  • If wanting to renovate and sell your own home later on, you should pick a location that’s on the up and up. It’s not ideally located right now, but it will be in 5-15 years. Smaller cities or cities that are remote (such as places out West) are a good place to look.

The property has potential.

It’s OK if your potential rental investment is a carpet nightmare out of the ‘70s. But qualities like hardwood floors (beneath all that carpet), high ceilings, and killer views make this a property with potential. Again, you don’t want a money pit for an income property, but the underlying beauty can turn out incredibly valuable.

Similarly, if your property is in one of those “up-and-up” locations, there is a ton of potential in appreciation. Property owners in cities like Fort Collins and Boulder experienced insane ROI, selling just as these cities became increasingly popular. Even commercial property owners can see huge success from renting out or selling in an area that’s on the come-up.

No property is perfect, but considering these factors can help turn your investment into a successful one. Find the perfect investment property or sell the one you have with RealtyHive! Learn more about time-limited events and get started today.

handing over rent keys

5 Reasons to Rent Instead of Rushing to Buy

Home shopping can be an exciting, yet nerve-wracking time. There are a lot of important decisions to be made and those choices can impact you and your family for many years to come. Is this the right house? Are we getting a fair deal? Are we making the right choice?

In a highly competitive housing market, there can be huge disadvantages to taking the time to carefully consider your decision. Wait to submit the offer? Lose the house. Have to sell your house before you can buy? You might get lucky, maybe not. It may seem counterintuitive to go from homeownership to renting, just to go back owning again, but here’s why you may want to consider renting instead of rushing.  

5 Reasons to Rent Instead of Rushing to Buy

       1). You’ll know your budget

A huge advantage to selling your home before you buy a new one is that you’ll know exactly what you’re working with in terms of finances. Planning on upsizing? You’ll want to know how much of a price increase you can afford. Downsizing? You’ll need to consider what to do with the profits of your sale. Either way, it’s much easier to do this math when you know what you’re concretely working with.

        2). You’ll be first in line

Without having a home of your own to sell before buying a new one, you are able to submit a more enticing offer to sellers, especially those looking for a quick close. This free-and-clear method, paired with knowing your budget, means that you will be ready to act on any home that interests you and work on your own timeframe.

       3). You can take advantage of the hot market

Real estate prices are at an all-time high in a lot of places, but experts debate how long this streak will last. Now may be the time for you to sell at a premium, but that doesn’t mean you want to buy at a premium, either. Rent just until you find the right deal.

       4). Buying a fixer-upper is a little easier

If you’ve already found a place to rent and you’re getting accustomed to your new temporary digs, it might not be such a stretch for you to imagine staying a little longer. Instead of buying a more expensive move-in ready home, you make the option of a reno project a little more palatable. After all, you just moved in, what’s another month or two– especially if it’ll shave a few years off your mortgage.

       5). You may get to remember the joys of renting

Building amenities are one of the truly great things about rental life and can be a great upside to renting between homes. From included utilities to complementary gyms or community pools, these features can definitely help to smooth the transition.

Want to find your perfect home from motivated sellers who want to see your offer? Check out the properties in our next upcoming time-limited event by clicking here!