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Ginjovanni Wozhi

Singapore

Member since December 07, 2013


  • Article-0-1d00cbfb00000578-765_634x421_177_

    House prices are rising, spring is in the air and the property market is blooming. Estate agency and lettings chain Martin & Co floated on the stock market in December and is ideally positioned to benefit from the new mood. At 129p, the shares offer robust, long-term value.

    Martin & Co was founded by entrepreneur Richard Martin in the 1980s. Starting out in Yeovil, Somerset, the business did well and in 1996, the company adopted a franchise model so it could grow at a faster pace without recourse to the banks.

    Under this structure, agents run their own businesses but have access to Martin & Co’s support and experience in areas such as IT, marketing, shopfitting and training. They also benefit from collective purchasing and in exchange, they give the company 9 per cent of their annual revenues.

    The system works in part because many Martin agents come from other professions, ranging from policemen to vicars to tennis coaches. They are looking for change, they want to run their own businesses but they need training and advice to be able to set up and Martin & Co gives provides them with this help. Even seasoned agents like the idea of support from a larger parent and many are given financial help too, particularly in the early years.

    The company now has 160 franchisees operating 190 branches from Scotland to Devon. Until recently, the business focused exclusively on letting, working with landlords, finding them tenants and managing their properties. In...

  • Id-10044953_177_

    The market can be tough for first-time buyers so with the spring homebuying season now in full swing (March through June are the year’s four

    busiest months), here are some tips for first-time homebuyers.

    With two daughters and a baby on the way, Carlos and Cinthya Jijon decided last year to buy a house for about the same monthly cost as a bigger apartment. But they couldn’t find a home.

    Supply was tight. And investors armed with fistfuls of cash outbid them every time.

    This month, however, the Jijons are unpacking, settling into a one-story house in Buena Park, Calif. The auto-parts deliveryman and the nurse made the transition from renters to first-time homebuyers.

    The market is tough for first-time buyers such as the Jijons, and statistics show the number of first-timers is falling.

    But the Jijons persevered, taking an eight-hour homebuying course, learning about cash-assistance programs, and getting loads of practical advice. They beat the odds.

    With the spring homebuying season now in full swing (March through June are the year’s four busiest months), here are some tips for first-time homebuyers.

    Determine what you can afford. The first step is to meet with a lender, review your finances and find out how much you can afford to spend on

    a home and how much you have for your down payment.

    “If they qualify for a $300,000 house, they shouldn’t be wasting their time looking at a $500,000 house,” says Maritza Reyna, an education manager at Consumer Credit Coun...

  • City_street_177_

    Real-estate legend Sam Zell said recently that the “End of Suburbia” might be happening. Right here and now.

    Of course, all the suburban dreck that was built in the last six decades isn’t going to vaporize. But, in terms of new construction — in other words, the real estate development business — reproducing the postwar, automobile-dependent Suburbia pattern is a money-losing proposition.

    “You’re drawing all the young people in America to these 24/7 cities,” said Zell last October. “The last thing they want to do is live in the suburbs.”

    Of course, as people get a little older, compromises ensue. But, that doesn’t mean they like it. “Why would anyone live in the suburbs, except to provide schools for their kids?” Zell asked.

    The first criticisms of the American automobile suburb began about the same time as the suburbs themselves appeared in the 1920s and expanded in the postwar period. “There’s no there there,” lamented Gertrude Stein about Oakland, California, in 1937. She would know — she grew up there.

    But, if we aren’t going to build suburbs, what should we build?

    I propose that we build what I call the Traditional City — the normal form of human urban living for the last five thousand years. The Traditional City is the basic form of historic cities in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and both pre-Columbian and post-Columbian Americas.

    It is the form of ancient Rome, of the Aztecs’ capital city Tenochtitlan, of ...

  • Waystoscreenlandlord0327_177_

    The real estate rental market/) is fast paced, competitive and sometimes daunting. During the stress of finding a rental that fits your needs, you sometimes run into yet another brick wall: the landlord. Some landlords can be nosey people. Every corner your turn at an apartment viewing they’re racking off another list of things they need before you’re approved. But before you slip your social, you might want to do some research of your own. Here are five ways to screen your landlord or property manager before you sign a lease.

    1. Find Foreclosures

    According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s an entirely possible that your dream apartment is in the foreclosure process. Meaning, a landlord could try to rent an apartment he or she doesn’t even own. You could lose your deposit, and worse, your home.

    Look into tax records and find out who actually owns the rental. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a property management company, research any recent foreclosures for their properties. If the company is underwater or filing for bankruptcy, your lease terms might be shorter than you think.

    2. Check Criminal Records

    It’s important to know your landlord’s prior convictions. From fraud to assault, your potential property manager could have a horrifying history.

    If a criminal record can disqualify a potential tenant, then why not a landlord? eHow.com has several tips on ways to search for criminal records.

    3. Consider Complaints

    Yahoo.com suggests investigating poten...

  • Tips_multiple-offer_177_

    *Synced from Seattle and Real Estate Blog

    In regions with booming real estate markets, sellers may think getting multiple offers on their home is inevitable, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances. The three must-haves for attracting multiple offers, according to Zillow, are location, price and presentation.

    You’ve heard it time and again: location, location, location. Buyers often consider location before other factors such as price, number of bedrooms or home size, so a well-located home is a huge advantage. Homes on busy streets, near freeway on/off ramps, or in less-than-stellar school districts may not attract as much interest. Work with a real estate agent to price your home very carefully if it’s not in a prime location.

    That brings us to the next factor: price. Zillow reports that homes priced 10 percent over their market value will not get noticed, so it’s important to be smart and realistic with your listing price. While you won’t truly know the market value of your home until a buyer closes on the sale, real estate agents can help you establish a value range based on factors such as whether you are in a buyers’ or sellers’ market, location, and how well your home shows. If you price your home at the lower end of that range, you can be pretty confident you’ll generate lots of interest.

    While you can’t change your home’s location and prices can fluctuate based on any number of factors, presentation of your home is something y...

  • Vmjmigw_177_

    The market can be tough for first-time buyers so with the spring home-buying season now in full swing (March through June are the year’s four busiest months), here are some tips for first-time homebuyers.

    With two daughters and a baby on the way, Carlos and Cinthya Jijon decided last year to buy a house for about the same monthly cost as a bigger apartment. But they couldn’t find a home.

    Supply was tight. And investors armed with fistfuls of cash outbid them every time.

    This month, however, the Jijons are unpacking, settling into a one-story house in Buena Park, Calif. The auto-parts deliveryman and the nurse made the transition from renters to first-time homebuyers.

    The market is tough for first-time buyers such as the Jijons, and statistics show the number of first-timers is falling.

    But the Jijons persevered, taking an eight-hour home-buying course, learning about cash-assistance programs, and getting loads of practical advice. They beat the odds.

    With the spring homebuying season now in full swing (March through June are the year’s four busiest months), here are some tips for first-time homebuyers.

    Determine what you can afford. The first step is to meet with a lender, review your finances and find out how much you can afford to spend on a home and how much you have for your down payment.

    “If they qualify for a $300,000 house, they shouldn’t be wasting their time looking at a $500,000 house,” says Maritza Reyna, an education manager at Consumer Credit Counse...

  • De-stressing_177_

    We must also not forget about the stress involved in moving to a new location. After all, one is leaving familiar surroundings and neighbours behind for good. Simultaneously, it often becomes necessary to get acclimatised to a new area where everyone is a stranger.

    What are some of the most difficult and emotionally stressful experiences in any person's life? We can easily list the top four:

    The death of a loved one Breakdown of a marriage Change of jobs Buying a home Does the last point really belong in this list? Actually, it does. Anyone who has ever been through the process of buying a home will agree that there is a lot of insecurity involved in such an operation. People ask themselves a lot of questions when buying a house:

    "Are we doing the right thing?" "Is this the right time?" "Is this the right area/neighborhood/flat? I liked the previous one better." We must also not forget about the stress involved in moving to a new location. After all, one is leaving familiar surroundings and neighbours behind for good. Simultaneously, it often becomes necessary to get acclimatized to a new area where everyone is a stranger. Finally, the expenses involved in buying a home are easily the biggest financial responsibility any of us will ever shoulder.

    As a matter of fact, it is not just the process of buying a new home that can be stressful. Even leaving the old self-owned home behind can take an emotional toll. The questions we tend...

  • Feb 17 (Reuters) - Having traded for years almost oblivious to the notion of risk, China's bond market, Asia's biggest outside Japan, has begun exhibiting characteristics of a genuine credit culture, with onshore investors demanding higher premiums for weak borrowers.

    In the past, investors had operated under the belief that the state would always step in to prevent a default.

    But a recent default of a credit product, and growing worries over the proliferation of a shadow banking system extending off balance sheet loans, has made them question old assumptions.

    Hence, lenders have begun differentiating on the basis of industry fundamentals, the degree of state support and balance sheet size, making the credit curves steeper as the gap between the strong and weak names widens.

    "There is no dearth of potential defaulters. But, when there is confidence of a bailout there is no fire sale even in the stressed names, because of confidence that principal will be repaid despite missed coupons," said Becky Liu, Standard Chartered strategist based in Hong Kong.

    "The situation is starting to change."

    In January, AAA-rated Beijing State Owned Asset sold bonds carrying a coupon of 6.48 percent, 242 basis points more than a coupon paid by AA-rated Ningxia Baota Petrochemical.

    Similar bonds sold in December showed a narrower gap between top-tier and second-tier issuers.

    Shaanxi Coal, rated AAA, sold 2018 bonds at a coupon of 6.48 percent, but AA-rated Anhui Foreig...

  • Zah_auction_lw-20140209203011391267-620x349_177_

    Just over two-thirds of properties up for auction over the weekend sold, setting the scene for a hot market in the late summer and autumn.

    The Real Estate Institute of Victoria recorded a 68 per cent clearance rate from 253 results. Research house RP Data recorded 68.8 per cent from 285 auctions.

    RP Data spokesman Robert Larocca said the market was picking up where it left off last year but the low number of auctions meant it was too soon to judge where it was going.

    ''I would be surprised if there is any substantive change from last year. The fundamentals haven't changed,'' Mr Larocca said.

    Commentary over the holiday break has focused on concern about the surging house prices in Sydney and Melbourne but the Reserve Bank of Australia kept rates on hold last week.

    There are signs the market will remain as hot as it ended in December. The highest price in weekend auction results was for a house that was snapped up last week.

    The four-bedroom clifftop property at 4 Ian Road, Mount Martha, had six registered bidders and a quoted price of more than $1.3 million, JP Dixon agent Val Garma said.

    ''One particular buyer threw in an offer that was way above the rest of the pack at $1.48 million, on a 30-day unconditional settlement,'' Mr Garma said. ''It was way too tempting for our vendors. Other offers had been around $1.3 million,'' he said.

    Agent Greg Hocking said there was a ''new range of buyers'' in the market place impatient to see new stock. ''They've been saying to us...

  • Sf_googlebus_177_

    On one of the first rainy days that drought-stricken California has had in months, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee stood out of the rain in an unfinished retail space on the city’s gentrifying Market Street. Exposed pipes ran past naked plaster and cold concrete floors, but the drab backdrop had shining significance: above the retail space were nearly two dozen brand new, below-market rate apartments, the kind of housing the land-constrained, soaringly expensive city desperately needs—and that the mayor has vowed to provide.

    Housing in San Francisco has become the most costly in the nation, spurring an affordability crisis that has pushed protesters into the street and low-income earners out of their homes. It has also inspired a flurry of activity at City Hall, where politicians have been churning out proposals aimed at fixing housing problems and easing the city’s simmering class tensions. Lee’s latest effort, announced at a press conference in the retail space on Thursday, calls for cutting red tape in the cumbersome review process for new projects and giving priority to proposals that include units for lower-income residents.

    Other proposals have been more ambitious and far more controversial. Here’s a look at seven other plans for solving San Francisco’s housing crisis:

    Build, build, build

    One of the city’s biggest problems is that far more people now want to live here than can currently fit. In his “State of the City” address in January, Lee announced the amb...