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November 2013 Archives

Reasons for failed real estate contracts in Mich. and across U.S.

Before the housing crisis, only about 10 percent of U.S. real estate transactions across the country failed to close. Now, with the tightened reins of the lending industry, it is more common for about a third of purchases and sales to fall through.

Investors flocking to Western Michigan

A study released in September indicated that Grand Rapids was second in the nation for job growth from 2010 to 2013 and pinpointed the metro area as a magnet for the manufacturing and health care industry. Real estate investors have made the connection between the growth of the income and an improved real estate market. They have decided that Western Michigan is a smart place for them to find great real estate properties. The growth of the region has revived the faltering reputation that once caused Newsweek to call Grand Rapids a dying city.

Investors plan on fixing up four Riverfront buildings

Oakland County residents may have heard that Triton Properties Company, a real-estate investment firm based in Denver, announced on Nov. 11 that it had purchased four apartment buildings in the Riverfront section of Detroit. A spokesperson from the company was quoted as saying that the firm's first step would be to deal with maintenance that had previously been gone unattended.

Same-sex couples and estate planning

For same-sex couples there have been a lot of changes over the last few months. With the United States Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act many of the former challenges for same-sex couples have been removed. Michigan residents may be interested to know that under this new ruling, the federal government must extend benefits to same-sex couples who have been legally married in one of the states that allows gay marriage.

Rules for being a landlord

Michigan, like many other states, saw the value of homes drop during the recession. Many homeowners realized that they would make very little or perhaps loose money on a house. While waiting for the housing market to recover, many owners in this situation found themselves entering into a residential lease agreement.

Landlord-tenant dispute leads to arson charges

Landlord-tenant disputes are not uncommon in Michigan, but rarely do they get as extreme as one recently did in New York. A Westchester County landlord set two separate fires outside her home early in the morning of November 3. Her own family members, including two grandchildren, were sleeping inside the home at the time, according to local police officers. They further added that, after lighting each of the fires, the woman simply went back to bed. She allegedly set the first fire around 12:30 am and the second around 4:30 am. The fires burned down a pine tree behind the home, igniting a rear deck as well.

Financing options might be too costly for Michigan developers

As Michigan investment firms begins to roll out new forms of financing intended to give the commercial real estate market a much-needed boost, many developers might wonder if they are affordable. Several firms have announced plans to start up mezzanine funds, but this type of debt financing can carry interest rates of up to 30 percent. Although this funding is meant to serve as a quick method to inject money into a project early on, many feel that the loans are impractical and prohibitively expensive.

Trusts are not only for the rich in Michigan


In Michigan, trusts may have a reputation that they are only for the rich. People think of trust funds and with that rich people who are trying to avoid taxes. However, many people do not understand that trusts can be useful for middle class families in a variety of situations.

Singapore billionaires eye American property

Michigan residents may want to know about the real estate practices of some of the wealthiest brothers of Singapore. The Kwee brothers have a net worth of $5.2 billion, and they currently serve as Singapore's fifth most wealthy family. The four brothers now are embarking on a new venture to purchase a 1,050 foot skyscraper between 53rd and 54th streets in New York City. The brothers will be creating a building that contains 145 luxury apartments and some art galleries for the Museum of Modern Art. Similar venture projects have also arisen in Oakland County, where investors are snatching up low-cost homes to turn into luxury living spaces.

Common mistakes to avoid while estate planning in Michigan


Michigan residents often understand that it is important to plan for their deaths. However, people may not know exactly how to go about doing that. Estate planning is so important that without the right help, people may end up making decisions that turn out to be mistakes in the long run. There are a few common mistakes that Michigan residents should avoid as they are drafting their estate planning documents.

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