Thursday, August 18, 2005

To Dorm or Not to Dorm. . .

When I was an under- graduate at Hillsdale College, two good friends of mine purchased a house together as sophomores. They rented out several rooms which paid for their mortgage and lived there for next to nothing for the rest of their undergraduate years. During the summers in between college semesters, they made several improvements (mostly cosmetic), and then sold the house to a younger college student when they graduated. They split a handsome profit for their efforts.

Yesterday's Boston Herald has an article about what more and more colleges are doing as they struggle to replenish diminishing incoming public funds. They are embarking on a dorm building frenzy as a way to boost their bottom lines. Dorms generate incredible revenue for colleges.

Savvy parents are realizing that interest rates are hovering still near historical lows. A house can be purchased as a second home for the student to live in while going to school that has around the same (or better!) payment than one would pay living in the dorms!

As colleges' budgets get tighter and tighter, and costs keep going up and up, this is going to remain an excellent investment for students or parents of students for a long time to come. Other students are happy to be able live off campus (and pay less than living in the dorms and way less than by renting off-campus) and by renting out rooms, the parents and students are able to lower the monthly burden of getting an education.

Meanwhile, colleges (such as Boston University and Emerson) are going to keep building dorms, as the revenue derived from room in board will remain for them one of the few ways (other than begging in the form of fund drives)they can shore up the shrinking support coming from the state and federal government. There are immense tax benefits colleges reap for this as well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Detroit Market: Featured Property!

60255 Cottage Mill
Washington Twp, MI
This very custom new-construction home was built by Viva Homes. (Click on the tab that says "Viva Homes". ) On a half acre lot, with a beautiful forest view in the back, this house boasts a number of upgrades, including granite counter tops and distinctive all brick elevation. For more details, check out here. Click on "Hot New Listings".
Call Giovan Agazzi with Keller Williams to view this house or similar ones in the area today!
Call Joe Russo with Flagstar Bank for financing options.

Monday, August 15, 2005

With Condo Associations, the Fine Print is Everything

Here's a great article examing the power that condo associations can wield over what owners can and can not do to their property. Many people do not understand just how powerful condo associations are. Condo associations, for the most part, help solidfy a condo's value via rules designed to maintain the common good.
All properties are affected by the condition of the properties that surround it. A million dollar house is not going to be worth a million dollars if it is surrounded by burned out shacks. Condos are even more dependant than single family residences (houses) are on those properties in the immediate vicinity, i.e. other condos that are part of the complex. As baby boomers have ages and are facing empty nests, they are deciding to downsize and condos make an attractive choice. They have less maintenance and frequently require less upkeep. The grass gets cut, the snow gets plowed and the exterior gets painted every few years. Being part of one of the most independant generations in history, as they grow old these boomers are sure to cling to this independance. It can be a rude awakening for someone used to doing whatever they please with their properites when moving into a condo.
If you are in the market for a condo, make sure you go over the Condo Association's Master Deed and By-Laws with a fine tooth comb. Show it to a Lawyer or a Realtor for clarifications if you don't understand something. They are written in "legal-eese" and can be quite the challenge to decipher.