Entries Tagged as 'Real Estate'

5 Reasons You Should Use a Property Stylist before Selling Your Property

Property Stylist

Property Stylist

Did you know that property styling your house before selling it can increase its final sale price by 7.5 – 12.5%?

The fact was discovered in a survey conducted among the best agents from the LJ Hooker network. Even though it’s beneficial, there are only 22% real estate agents who believe it is a useful tool for improving house value.

Property styling is a term used for organizing and decorating the inside and outside of the home to provide the best possible spectacle during the days of property inspection and open-house for potential clients. Owners can see the task of styling their property on their own, but experts suggest hiring a property stylist is a more plausible option.

Here are 5 reasons why the experts advocate hiring a professional property stylist to get the job done:

It Brings Out the Best

Property stylists are experienced in making the home/property look its best. They know how to hide the negative aspects of the property and enhance the positives to portray a proper picture of the complete potential of your house. They will use furniture placement, artwork, and colour palettes to make your home look more appealing.

It Gives Your Home a Competitive Edge

Your house is obviously not the only property on sale in the market or on the potential homes list of the buyers. The buyers will be looking around for other properties too. Hiring a professional stylist can gain you a competitive advantage over the other properties in the market – when your house looks perfect the buyers wouldn’t want to consider other less-than-perfect homes.

Great for Making a Strong First Impression

Open houses and property inspection by the buyer is the best time to create a good impression on potential buyers. And it’s the first impressions that count the most. A property stylist is aware of the latest trends and styles that would work best for your property and help improve your house’s listings. It could actually make buyers fall in love with your home in no time.

Maximum Returns

A professional property stylist in addition to styling your home, helps you save on major costly renovations that can bring down your after-sale returns. This is an affordable way to improve the look of your house and add value to it. You get a good price for your property and save on the irrelevant expenses too.

Establishing the Bond

When buyers go out house hunting, they like to look for homes that they can see themselves living comfortably in. Professional property styling helps buyers create a vision of the home they are visiting. It allows them to picture themselves living in it and creates an emotional bond between the buyer and the home that can later sway their decision in favour of your property.

Property styling can prove to be the ace of your property sales game plan. It is an effective element of your sales campaign and it is cost-effective. Besides, you get to reap the benefits in terms of increased sales prices anyway!

The Difference Between a Good Analyst and a Great Analyst

I came across this piece from Quandl and it got me thinking about about politics and experts and analysts. Quandl is a data site that offers information on thousands of stocks, with historical data going back decades and futures data to help you forecast trends. They created this graphic to help novice analysts get ahead in the industry.
the Difference Between a Good and a Great Analyst

I love to talk politics. My dad and I conversed and analysed and argued about the Vietnam War and every other thing that was worth discussing. Sometimes they were heated. College was a disappointment. I thought there were would be more conversations in depth much like the ones between dad and me. Sadly, that only occurred in the classroom … infrequently. In my adult life, once in a while there is a conversation I look back on with fondness. Those conversations  with new friends or in depth conversations over a fine dinner. Today, it is hard to have conversations when each participant is holding on to biases and attaching their ego to those opinions.

I want to have conversations with great analysts.

When I was a broker, I made the most money for my clients when I could analyse the facts, and draw conclusions from those facts that were outside the norm. If you saw The Big Short you saw great analysts reach conclusions that were farseeing. The consequences of their conclusions were far reaching.made them huge piles of money.

It is one thing to develop a story about the future of Germany or Cuba if you are a citizen, another thing altogether to draw the conclusion that being Jewish in Germany is existential; it is another thing to be Cuban and realize that the door to Spain is the only escape and it will close soon.

To stand in a place and observe that a country that spends more than it takes in and builds up debt to the point that they can barely pay the interest is a good analyst. To be a great analyst it takes courage to conclude that this cannot stand and it’s time to leave.

Great analysts tell stories that are believable and motivate others to take action. Strive to become a great analyst.

I Wanted the Freedom

Mike Landfair freelance writer


I started working at 15 years old, because my parents couldn’t afford the clothes I wanted to wear and I wanted the freedom my own money would bring. I started working  as a stock boy at Thom McAn shoes and then graduated to selling shoes. One summer while in college I sold shoes at Thom McAn, JC Penny and Nordstrom’s. I don’t recall saving any money for college, although my parents said I did. I spent all my money, as the song goes, on booze and women. The rest I just wasted.

The best thing I did was get a college education, Back then a private school cost about $5,000 a year including room and board, tuition and books. Public University was about $100 to $ 300 a term, if memory serves. I gave no thought to retirement what so ever.

I got married, got a job as a stock broker, bought a house and had kids. That was all the motivation I needed to be successful. If you were 30 and earned your age, you were doing well. This was the early 1970s. As I recall, to be in debt was the American way. We knew we would earn more money the next year than we did the past year.

There didn’t seem to be any worry about retirement. Companies had retirement plans. They offered were defined benefit plans with vesting and profit-sharing plans. There were no IRAs. There were Keogh plans for the self-employed like CPAs, doctors and dentists. Most of us continued to pile up debt, buying bigger houses and more expensive cars and toys and vacations. I don’t recall hearing about home equity loans. Only when I got a divorce after 17 years of marriage, did debt become a problem. I was still earning good money, but the cost of two households and child care was a giant burden.

Sometime in the 1980s, I learned about compound interest. Einstein called compound interest the ninth wonder of the world.

Here’s an illustration of how compound interest works. Suppose at 19 years old you invested $2,000 each year for seven years into an IRA. You put in $14,000 and then never invested in that IRA again. Then suppose your best friend waited until he was 26 and started putting $2,000 every year until he was 65. That would be 40 years and $80,000. Each received a 10% compounded return (meaning that each year you get interest on last year’s interest).

In the year when they were 65 they sat down and compared nest eggs. The friend who invested $2,000 a year until 65, had a nice retirement nest egg of $893,704. The smart kid who stated at 19, invested for seven years and quit, had a retirement nest egg of $930,641.

Here’s what I wished I had done with my money.

I wish had utilized compound interest to get rich in real estate. Suppose you buy a house for $300,000 and put down $30,000. At 7% the house doubles to $600,000. Assuming you didn’t take out a bunch of home equity loans to buy toys, your equity in your home would be $330,000, an eleven-fold increase not counting any reduction in your mortgage.

If it was a rental, and I’d used the income to pay down the mortgage, I could have paid down the mortgage rapidly and bought another rental and so on. I could have retired with rentals throwing off income. Hopefully the property would have appreciated.

One thing I don’t do is look back and say, “If only I’d a. If only I’d a bought Microsoft at $50 in the IPO. The decisions I made got me here to San Miguel de Allende as an expat, retired, writing as a freelance writer, loving a foreign country, happily married for 23 years, wonderful girls and two wonderful grand kids. I could be wealthier, but I could be poorer, too. One thing I’ve learned is to be grateful for whatever I have and value my health. Do things in moderation and don’t put poisons in your body; that includes your mind, too.

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Mover Mike Hit 2,000,000

After an incredible June, Mover Mike hit 2,000,000 page views. I have been blogging since 2004 and it is nice to see that more people are finding this blog. Sometimes, I have considered quitting, thinking why bother, no one reads me. However, conservative fiscally, Libertarian socially, this blog joins many others who don’t like the path the U.S. is on.

No longer can we discuss things rationally and heatedly.  Now it seems the play book says to ignore the message, savage the messenger. We are seeing that currently with Trump and we read that Hillary hasn’t answered the press questions in two weeks. AND…more and more people are considering leaving the country.

Mexico”sends” their unemployed to the U.S.. How long will 93,000,000 unemployed and under employed wait to move south? How long will the drought stricken  in the south west wait to move? What happens when the U.S. becomes like Greece and can’t feed the 43,000,000 on EBT?

Stay tuned, dear reader. I hope to cover it and provide some answers. Thanks for reading Mover Mike

Spooky Signs for the Housing Market

Mike Larson chronicled many of the challenges housing faces, from tighter mortgage standards to fearful buyer psychology to high levels of student loan debt — but the charts he’s about to share with you should really hit home.

First, there’s the quarterly homeownership rate that the Census Bureau tracks. As he mentioned earlier, it just sank to 64.4 percent in the third quarter. How bad is that? We haven’t seen the percentage of Americans owning their homes this low since 1995:

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Second, there’s demand for mortgages used to buy homes (as opposed to refinance existing debt). You can see from this chart below that purchase application volume just fell to the lowest level since 1995. That’s almost 20 long years ago!

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Third, there are house prices themselves. You can see in the following chart the massive, initial bubble in prices from the mid-2000s … and the second “Echo Bubble” the Federal Reserve’s policies helped inflate over the past few years.

But you can also see that year-over-year price growth is rolling over again — yet another sign of fading momentum in the housing market!

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Bottom line: There’s been a lot of crowing from the likes of Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen and present and past Fed policymakers. They can’t stop talking about how their benevolent interest rate and QE policies actually help Main Street America, rather than just Wall Street fat cats.

But is there any evidence whatsoever of that being the case in housing or mortgages, the single-biggest market the Fed itself said it was trying to help?

Heck, Janet Yellen talking about the success of Fed policy regarding housing reminds me of George W. Bush landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner in 2003. He was wrong about Iraq then, and Fed apologists are dead wrong about housing now!

I’m not trying to make this Halloween any scarier than it already is by pointing all this out. But facts are facts as sure as pumpkins are pumpkins.

Until next time,


Mike LarsonMike Larson graduated from Boston University with a B.S. degree in Journalism and a B.A. degree in English in 1998, and went to work for Bankrate.com. There, he learned the mortgage and interest rates markets inside and out. Mike then joined Weiss Research in 2001. He is the editor of Safe Money Report. He is often quoted by the Washington Post,Reuters, Dow Jones Newswires, Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel, and he has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg Television and CNBC.

The investment strategy and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of any other editor at Weiss Research or the company as a whole.

Copyright © 2007 Mover Mike. Design by Anthony Baggett.