What Will $1 Million Buy You?

What will $1 million dollars buy you across the country? Here’s a slideshow of properties.

What  will $1 million buy you across the country?

Mansion (8)
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Forbes has a slide show featuring properties across the nation which are selling for around $1 million.  Some of the cities are Phoenix, Nashville, San Francisco, New Orleans, and New York, or course.

I think what is interesting is how many days the properties have been on the market which is a good market gauge.

It is not surprising that your million dollars doesn’t buy you much in San Francisco for example.  When you compare that property to the one from Dallas,  it’s almost a no brainer.

Here’s  the list of $1 million properties

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Tenant Problems: How To Stop Spending Money When They Think You’re Santa Claus

Your tenant wants to argue about the water bill. Here’s the solution that worked for us.

A serious tenant problem is the spending of  too much money on a property because a tenant is demanding you fix things.  These tenant types think of you as Santa Claus and they can come to you with their long lists of things they want.

Case in Point:  I have an old house with several tenants.  One tenant  has been very quick to ask for things he really doesn’t need.  In fact, at times he has demanded we fix things we don’t have the budget for.  How to handle a tenant like this without him moving?

Here’s what we did and so far the psychology  is working. 

He has a little garden that has costs much higher water bills.  Unfortunately, all the tenants share the same water meter.  We can’t change that, and that is a different subject for a different post.

We explained the water bill to him and told him we had checked the entire property for any leaks.  We think the extra $150 jump in the bill was coming from his garden.

“What?  I don’t water that much.”

To summarize we had all our facts and figures to present to him.  We know exactly what the averages are for the water per unit per month.  Math is math and really isn’t easy to dispute, no matter how hard people sometimes try.

He tried to blame it on some of the other tenants, but we were ready for that argument also.  In other words, we had done our homework.  We know what they use too.  We were ready to go to “court”. 

In the end, he saw it our way, but it took some patient convincing.    He had tried to “ask” for a new kitchen floor.  We explained to him he was not in a position to negotiate anything.  Times are hard, we told him.   Besides, we reminded him, he is paying $50 less rent per month than he should be paying. 

“We may need to do up on the rents,” we said.

He is getting rid of the garden.  Case closed. 

Take Away:

1. Do your homework.  Make sure you have all your facts and figures before you approach a tenant about anything.  You will be a force to reckon with when you are armed with knowledge.  Knowledge really is power, and even your dumbest tenants will know that.

2. Be nice.  You don’t have to get rough with them.   Keep the dialogue open but let them know you won’t be bullied.  Adult bullying is no different from kid bullying.  Don’t let them take the first punch.

3. Be confident.  Let your tenants know you are running a business.  

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Feds Keep Banks’ Rates Near Zero – For Now

The Feds are keeping the banks’s rates near zero for a while longer. How will that affect the rest of us?

How much longer will the Feds continue to keep banks’ interest rates low? How will this affect the economy in the coming months?

Description: Newspaper clipping USA, Woodrow W...
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Those are the questions being asked since the Federal Reserve came out proclaiming it would continue to keep the bank’s rates to zero, for a while anyway.

Kansas City Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig is dissenting with the policy.

Read Hoenig Says Rates Dangerous

XE.com – MONEY MARKETS-Interbank dollar rates fall on Fed economy view

on U.S. interest rates. Minutes of the June 22-23 Fed meeting released on Wednesday. showed officials wanted to be ready to consider additional. steps to boost the U.S. economy if an already softening outlook …

Publish Date: 07/15/2010 12:49

http://www.xe.com/news/2010-07-15%2013:49:00.0/1276889.htm

Pimco’s Gross: Fed won’t raise rates for at least two years

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross said the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise interest rates for two to three years as it seeks to keep the economy from slipping back into recession.

Publish Date: 08/13/2010 6:59

http://www.thetradingreport.com/2010/08/13/pimcos-gross-fed-wont-raise-rates-for-at-least-two-years/

Fed official sees bigger risks in future, not now | The Daily

One of the many challenges of being a Fed official is having to make decisions on interest rates and other policies actions now — based on your best thinking of what the future will hold. When James Bullard, president of the Federal

Publish Date: 08/13/2010 11:25

fedinterestrateshttp://dailycaller.com/2010/08/13/fed-official-calls-low-rates-a-dangerous-gamble/

Who will fix the economy? The Fed, Congress, shoppers and

Typically, the Fed can lower interest rates to encourage Americans to borrow money and spend it, invigorating the economy. But the benchmark interest rate controlled by the Fed has been almost zero for more than a year now. …

Publish Date: 08/13/2010 16:15

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/nation/who-will-fix-the-economy-the-fed-congress-shoppers-and-businesses-all-shrug-100638024.html

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Trouble Assets Relief Program: Here It Comes!

Uncle Sam is sending money for middle class mortgages. Wouldn’t a job help more?

Foreclosure signs, Mortgage crisis,
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Thanks to the Trouble Assets Relief Program some states will be receiving mortgage payment relief.

This is almost unbelievable.  Where will all this money come from?  

The government feels the mortgage crisis has now reached the middle class or those folks who used to be able to pay their bills.

Here’s another suggestion.  Holding on to a job might be the best way to pay off a mortgage.  People are losing their jobs so therefore they lose their homes.  What people need most now are jobs.

Here’s more information

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Housing Sales: Really Bad News for July

July housing sales are in the toliet. Why? What’s next with hop and change?

Housing Sales for July

Housing sales took a nose dive in July, according to the numbers crunch.  I’m using Nashville as an example because that’s the real estate market I am directly involved in and I know it all too well.

The last year has been very difficult for us as landlords.  We’ve had a huge turnover in tenants; much larger than usual.  We’re still getting 30 day notices, which is very strange for this time of year.  Usually, the season starts to wind down along the middle of August.

The article from the Tennessean sums it up.  The Obama tax credit for first time homebuyers is gone.  The article further points out  those  new homebuyers have already bought.  That means houses were sold earlier this year and sales are not being spread out over the remaining months of 2010.

I won’t criticize the Obama tax credit.  I’ve already done that ad nausium.  But I will say this.  You can’t keep on interfering with the markets.  I don’t think you can tweak and play with the real estate market, or any market for that matter without causing further damage. 

The important thing is to look to the future.  What can we expect?  More of the same, perhaps?

I am guessing there won’t be any more stimulus for first time buyers.   It will go the way of the clunkers for cash program, thank goodness.   What I do see as a possibility is that the Team Obama will now turn to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae distressed homeowners and will give them some sort of bailout.  I didn’t think that was conceivable a few weeks ago.  I now know anything can happen with this White House.

That will be cataclysmic.  Homeowners who are paying off their mortgages will think it isn’t fair and why should they keep on struggling?  One suggestion is to bring hope and change to Freddie and Fannie in the form of a complete makeover.

Still, I’m generally optimistic.  I think once we’re past the New Year, things will improve.  Real estate will make a comeback.  It always has.  That is what keeps me going.  I know the cycle will turn.  But I think the government ought to leave these markets alone now and let the chips fall where they will. 

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