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  • Start Your Own Personal Hedge Fund (and Pay Yourself the 2 & 20) [View article]
    More of an advertisment than anything else.
    Oct 26 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bulldozing brand new suburbs. Amazing video of brand new suburban homes being razed, as lenders find it's cheaper to destroy out-of-vogue ex-urban communities than to keep them on the books.  [View news story]
    These were models so the street improvements would not be complete yet. In order to get a certificate of occupancy to allow habitation of the homes, you would need to complete the street improvements - likely final capping of the streets, raising manholes, sidewalk work, street trees and other landscaping, etc. This could cost several hundred thousand dollars or more - just depends on what off-site work was linked to those homes. Plus, you then have to sell or rent the 4 models in the middle of a see of empty lots. Additionally, if there are mello roos bonds on the property, the vacant lot tax rate is lower than compared to occupied homes. Selling the homes would trigger the mello roos tax for the entire subdivision or certainly a portion of it to kick in - could be several hundred thousand dollars per year depending on how many lots would get hit with the increased tax. As crazy as it seems, without a waiver on the cetificate of occupancy requirements and taking into account possible mellos roos triggers, the most economically efficient disposal of the homes is to raze them rather than complete all off-site work and then sell or rent them. The money needed to complete the offsite work and pay the higher taxes could be spent on alternative housing solutions for many more families than just the 4 families who would live in the models.
    May 11 09:23 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Target Decides to Let Stock Languish [View article]
    Todd (or anyone else)

    Could you address the similarities and differences between the proposed Target REIT and the Mervyn's REIT structure that ultimately failed?

    If Target is now saddled with rent payments to a REIT, what happens if they can't make those payments - like Mervyn's?


    Nov 24 08:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Homebuilders Try All Kinds Of Upgrades [View article]
    The "free car" doesn't make a lot of sense from either a buyer's or lender's perspective. For lending purposes, the value of the car will need to be deducted from the purchase price of the house. The result is a lower loan amount and a corresponding higher down payment. If the "free car" is not disclosed to the lender, the regional builders could be looking at a civil and/or ciminal fraud action. Once buyer's realize that the "free car" offer is really a poorly designed bait and switch scheme, complaints to the local Department of Real Estate will commence.
    Oct 22 01:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment