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Luxury Homes, Investment, and Property Management

By Fred Yancy, Broker | Broker in Woodstock, GA
  • Married landlords who file separate tax returns may lose ability to deduct rental losses

    Posted Under: General Area, Investment Properties  |  March 24, 2014 10:30 AM  |  2,468 views  |  1 comment
    Married landlords who file separate tax returns may lose ability to deduct rental losses

    Real Estate Tax Talk

    by Stephen Fishman

    The vast majority of the time, it’s best for married people to file a joint return. However, there are situations where they can save on taxes by filing separately. For example, a married couple may save tax by filing separately if one spouse has substantial medical expenses, miscellaneous expenses or casualty losses, due to floors that limit these deductions. A spouse may also wish to file separately to avoid being jointly liable for the other spouse’s taxes. However, filing separately has many tax ramifications, most of them bad.

    One of the less well-known is the impact married filing separately status has on the ability to deduct rental losses, whether by qualifying as a real estate professional or by utilizing the $25,000 rental loss offset available to all landlords with incomes below certain levels. If you need such to deduct rental losses, think twice about filing separately.

    This is what Julie A. Oderio found out. She owned a rental property that incurred a $29,583 loss in 2008. For reasons that are unclear, she and her husband Jason filed separate tax returns for that year. The IRS later audited Julie and denied her 2008 rental loss. Real estate professional status Julie claimed that she was entitled to deduct the loss because she qualified as a real estate professional. Unlike everybody else, real estate professionals are allowed an unlimited annual deduction for rental losses.

    However, to qualify as a real estate pro a landlord must: Article continues below Advertise with Inman spend more than half (at least 51 percent) of his or her total working hours during the year working in one or more real property businesses; spend more than 751 hours a year in one or more real property businesses; and materially participate in the rental activity and any other real property businesses used to pass the 51 percent and 751-hour tests. Julie admitted that she did not meet the 51 percent or 751-hour tests to qualify as a real estate pro. Although she worked full time for a real estate investment company, she was an employee who failed the ownership test, so this time did not count.

    If you are an employee in someone else’s real property business, your time counts toward real estate professional status only if you own more than 5 percent of the business. If you work as an employee for a corporation, you must own more than 5 percent of your employer’s outstanding stock. Landlords who don’t qualify as real estate professionals may deduct up to $25,000 in rental losses each year if their modified adjusted gross income is below $100,000."

    However, Julie argued that her spouse Jason did meet the 51 percent and 751-hour tests and therefore she satisfied them too because his efforts were attributable to her. This can be true, but only if spouses file a joint return. In this event, the 51 percent and 751-hour tests are satisfied if either spouse meets them — but one spouse must satisfy both.

    For the third material participation test, both spouses’ time together is counted regardless of whether they file a joint return. But there is no attribution of one spouse’s time working in real estate to the other if they each file separate tax returns. This means that a married taxpayer who files a separate return must separately satisfy the 51 percent and 751-hour tests.

    As a result, Julie could not deduct her $29,583 rental loss on the grounds that she was a real estate professional. Had she filed jointly, she could have so qualified and taken this deduction. $25,000 rental loss offset What about the $25,000 offset? Landlords who don’t qualify as real estate professionals may deduct up to $25,000 in rental losses each year if their modified adjusted gross income is below $100,000. The offset is phased out at income levels of $100,000-$150,000. The offset amount is $25,000 for both single and married taxpayers filing joint returns.

    Married people who file separate tax returns and live separately for the entire year are each entitled to a $12,500 offset. However, married people who file separate returns and live together any time during the year get no offset at all. (I.R.C. § 469(i)(5)(B).) The tax court held that Julie Oderio did not qualify for the offset because she didn’t live apart from her husband Jason for the entire year. So filing separately cost her a $25,000 deduction.

    Stephen Fishman (the author of this article) is a tax expert, attorney and author.

    Fred Yancy, Broker
    Harry Norman Realtors
    (678) 799-4663
  • Will Student Loan Debt Derail Your Children’s Homeownership Dreams?

    Posted Under: General Area, Home Buying, Investment Properties  |  March 24, 2014 9:52 AM  |  693 views  |  No comments

    Will Student Loan Debt Derail Your Children’s Homeownership Dreams?

    By: Dona DeZube

    As the mother of a high school junior, I twitch a little bit every time she talks to me about where she might like to attend college. Far too many of her choices have a sticker price of $60,000 a year once you add up room, board, books, tuition, and pizza.

    So I’m not surprised when I hear news reports about the rising number of Americans with student loan debt and how that might influence their ability to buy a home. We know, for instance, from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® “2013 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers” that of the 12% of buyers who said saving for a downpayment was difficult, 43% cited student loan debt as a reason.

    But I was surprised to find out the driving force behind rising student debt levels isn’t rising tuition — it’s falling family wealth.

    Perfect Storm of Debt

    Outstanding student loan debt has doubled since 2007, and in that time “millions of American households experienced severe economic shocks, including large declines in home value, unemployment, and big drops in retirement account values,” said Rohit Chopra, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) assistant director and student loan ombudsman, in a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

    Essentially, it’s not just that schools cost more, but parents’ savings took a hit, so more kids are taking out loans. Then young adults leave college behind the financial eight ball.

    As of 2010, 40% of households headed by an American under 35 were on the hook for a student loan. Meanwhile, the real wages of young college graduates declined by 5.4% between 2000 and 2011. Not only are students paying more when they have to borrow to pay for college, the wages that a college degree nets them are falling.

    How Much Do Students Owe?

    The College Board estimates the average student with a loan owes $26,500. If she’s paying 3.4% interest and repays the loan over 10 years, she’s got a monthly payment of about $260.

    That $260 won’t stop her from qualifying for a mortgage any more or less than a similar payment for an auto loan or credit card. (What some people may not realize it that lenders don’t treat student loan debt differently from other debt.) But if that graduate is earning $30,000 a year and also has a $400-a-month car payment or uses charge cards to live beyond her means, buying her first home may indeed be a challenge.

    Why Do Homeowners Need to Care?

    Because college graduates are the ones who’ll be buying entry-level homes in the years ahead.

    • When young people can’t afford to repay student loans and default, their credit scores drop and they can have trouble qualifying for a mortgage.
    • When they’re forced to spend too much of their income on student loans, they may not have enough money left at the end of the month to save for a downpayment.

    What About Americans Who Don’t Go to College?

    Recently, they’ve been more likely to buy homes than their college-educated counterparts. “In 2012, for the first time in at least 10 years, 30-year-olds with no history of student loans were more likely to have mortgage debt than those with student debt,” Chopra said.

    Historically, a college education has been a ticket to eventual homeownership because you’re more likely to be employed and have a higher income than non-graduates.

    It’s possible that rising student loan debt could change that trend and, if it does, that’s bad news for anyone who needs to sell an entry-level home.

    What This All Means for You

    If you do borrow, be wary of the deal you’re offered. The CFPB has made it clear it’s going to take on the private student loan industry, but until then you might be better off using a home equity loan to pay for college. You have consumer rights when you use a home equity line or loan that you won’t get with a private student loan, plus the equity loan interest may be deductible.

    Fred Yancy, Broker
    Harry Norman, Realtors
    (678) 799-4663
  • Buffett's annual letter: What you can learn from my real estate investments

    Posted Under: General Area, Home Buying, Investment Properties  |  February 24, 2014 6:11 AM  |  5,255 views  |  No comments

    Buffett's annual letter: What you can learn from my real estate investments

    In an exclusive excerpt from his upcoming shareholder letter, Warren Buffett looks back at a pair of real estate purchases and the lessons they offer for equity investors.

    By Warren Buffett

    The author visiting (for just the second time) the 400-acre farm near Tekamah, Neb., that he bought in 1986 for $280,000

    The author visiting (for just the second time) the 400-acre farm near Tekamah, Neb., that he bought in 1986 for $280,000

    FORTUNE -- "Investment is most intelligent when it is most businesslike." --Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    It is fitting to have a Ben Graham quote open this essay because I owe so much of what I know about investing to him. I will talk more about Ben a bit later, and I will even sooner talk about common stocks. But let me first tell you about two small nonstock investments that I made long ago. Though neither changed my net worth by much, they are instructive.

    This tale begins in Nebraska. From 1973 to 1981, the Midwest experienced an explosion in farm prices, caused by a widespread belief that runaway inflation was coming and fueled by the lending policies of small rural banks. Then the bubble burst, bringing price declines of 50% or more that devastated both leveraged farmers and their lenders. Five times as many Iowa and Nebraska banks failed in that bubble's aftermath as in our recent Great Recession.

    In 1986, I purchased a 400-acre farm, located 50 miles north of Omaha, from the FDIC. It cost me $280,000, considerably less than what a failed bank had lent against the farm a few years earlier. I knew nothing about operating a farm. But I have a son who loves farming, and I learned from him both how many bushels of corn and soybeans the farm would produce and what the operating expenses would be. From these estimates, I calculated the normalized return from the farm to then be about 10%. I also thought it was likely that productivity would improve over time and that crop prices would move higher as well. Both expectations proved out.

    I needed no unusual knowledge or intelligence to conclude that the investment had no downside and potentially had substantial upside. There would, of course, be the occasional bad crop, and prices would sometimes disappoint. But so what? There would be some unusually good years as well, and I would never be under any pressure to sell the property. Now, 28 years later, the farm has tripled its earnings and is worth five times or more what I paid. I still know nothing about farming and recently made just my second visit to the farm.

    In 1993, I made another small investment. Larry Silverstein, Salomon's landlord when I was the company's CEO, told me about a New York retail property adjacent to New York University that the Resolution Trust Corp. was selling. Again, a bubble had popped -- this one involving commercial real estate -- and the RTC had been created to dispose of the assets of failed savings institutions whose optimistic lending practices had fueled the folly.

    Here, too, the analysis was simple. As had been the case with the farm, the unleveraged current yield from the property was about 10%. But the property had been undermanaged by the RTC, and its income would increase when several vacant stores were leased. Even more important, the largest tenant -- who occupied around 20% of the project's space -- was paying rent of about $5 per foot, whereas other tenants averaged $70. The expiration of this bargain lease in nine years was certain to provide a major boost to earnings. The property's location was also superb: NYU wasn't going anywhere.


    I joined a small group -- including Larry and my friend Fred Rose -- in purchasing the building. Fred was an experienced, high-grade real estate investor who, with his family, would manage the property. And manage it they did. As old leases expired, earnings tripled. Annual distributions now exceed 35% of our initial equity investment. Moreover, our original mortgage was refinanced in 1996 and again in 1999, moves that allowed several special distributions totaling more than 150% of what we had invested. I've yet to view the property.

    Income from both the farm and the NYU real estate will probably increase in decades to come. Though the gains won't be dramatic, the two investments will be solid and satisfactory holdings for my lifetime and, subsequently, for my children and grandchildren.

    I tell these tales to illustrate certain fundamentals of investing:

    • You don't need to be an expert in order to achieve satisfactory investment returns. But if you aren't, you must recognize your limitations and follow a course certain to work reasonably well. Keep things simple and don't swing for the fences. When promised quick profits, respond with a quick "no."
    • Focus on the future productivity of the asset you are considering. If you don't feel comfortable making a rough estimate of the asset's future earnings, just forget it and move on. No one has the ability to evaluate every investment possibility. But omniscience isn't necessary; you only need to understand the actions you undertake.
    • If you instead focus on the prospective price change of a contemplated purchase, you are speculating. There is nothing improper about that. I know, however, that I am unable to speculate successfully, and I am skeptical of those who claim sustained success at doing so. Half of all coin-flippers will win their first toss; none of those winners has an expectation of profit if he continues to play the game. And the fact that a given asset has appreciated in the recent past is never a reason to buy it.
    • With my two small investments, I thought only of what the properties would produce and cared not at all about their daily valuations. Games are won by players who focus on the playing field -- not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard. If you can enjoy Saturdays and Sundays without looking at stock prices, give it a try on weekdays.
    • Forming macro opinions or listening to the macro or market predictions of others is a waste of time. Indeed, it is dangerous because it may blur your vision of the facts that are truly important. (When I hear TV commentators glibly opine on what the market will do next, I am reminded of Mickey Mantle's scathing comment: "You don't know how easy this game is until you get into that broadcasting booth.")

    My two purchases were made in 1986 and 1993. What the economy, interest rates, or the stock market might do in the years immediately following -- 1987 and 1994 -- was of no importance to me in determining the success of those investments. I can't remember what the headlines or pundits were saying at the time. Whatever the chatter, corn would keep growing in Nebraska and students would flock to NYU.

    There is one major difference between my two small investments and an investment in stocks. Stocks provide you minute-to-minute valuations for your holdings, whereas I have yet to see a quotation for either my farm or the New York real estate.

    It should be an enormous advantage for investors in stocks to have those wildly fluctuating valuations placed on their holdings -- and for some investors, it is. After all, if a moody fellow with a farm bordering my property yelled out a price every day to me at which he would either buy my farm or sell me his -- and those prices varied widely over short periods of time depending on his mental state -- how in the world could I be other than benefited by his erratic behavior? If his daily shout-out was ridiculously low, and I had some spare cash, I would buy his farm. If the number he yelled was absurdly high, I could either sell to him or just go on farming.

    Owners of stocks, however, too often let the capricious and irrational behavior of their fellow owners cause them to behave irrationally as well. Because there is so much chatter about markets, the economy, interest rates, price behavior of stocks, etc., some investors believe it is important to listen to pundits -- and, worse yet, important to consider acting upon their comments.

    Those people who can sit quietly for decades when they own a farm or apartment house too often become frenetic when they are exposed to a stream of stock quotations and accompanying commentators delivering an implied message of "Don't just sit there -- do something." For these investors, liquidity is transformed from the unqualified benefit it should be to a curse.

    A "flash crash" or some other extreme market fluctuation can't hurt an investor any more than an erratic and mouthy neighbor can hurt my farm investment. Indeed, tumbling markets can be helpful to the true investor if he has cash available when prices get far out of line with values. A climate of fear is your friend when investing; a euphoric world is your enemy.

    During the extraordinary financial panic that occurred late in 2008, I never gave a thought to selling my farm or New York real estate, even though a severe recession was clearly brewing. And if I had owned 100% of a solid business with good long-term prospects, it would have been foolish for me to even consider dumping it. So why would I have sold my stocks that were small participations in wonderful businesses? True, any one of them might eventually disappoint, but as a group they were certain to do well. Could anyone really believe the earth was going to swallow up the incredible productive assets and unlimited human ingenuity existing in America?

    When Charlie Munger and I buy stocks -- which we think of as small portions of businesses -- our analysis is very similar to that which we use in buying entire businesses. We first have to decide whether we can sensibly estimate an earnings range for five years out or more. If the answer is yes, we will buy the stock (or business) if it sells at a reasonable price in relation to the bottom boundary of our estimate. If, however, we lack the ability to estimate future earnings -- which is usually the case -- we simply move on to other prospects. In the 54 years we have worked together, we have never forgone an attractive purchase because of the macro or political environment, or the views of other people. In fact, these subjects never come up when we make decisions.

    It's vital, however, that we recognize the perimeter of our "circle of competence" and stay well inside of it. Even then, we will make some mistakes, both with stocks and businesses. But they will not be the disasters that occur, for example, when a long-rising market induces purchases that are based on anticipated price behavior and a desire to be where the action is.

    Most investors, of course, have not made the study of business prospects a priority in their lives. If wise, they will conclude that they do not know enough about specific businesses to predict their future earning power.

    I have good news for these nonprofessionals: The typical investor doesn't need this skill. In aggregate, American business has done wonderfully over time and will continue to do so (though, most assuredly, in unpredictable fits and starts). In the 20th century, the Dow Jones industrial index advanced from 66 to 11,497, paying a rising stream of dividends to boot. The 21st century will witness further gains, almost certain to be substantial. The goal of the nonprofessional should not be to pick winners -- neither he nor his "helpers" can do that -- but should rather be to own a cross section of businesses that in aggregate are bound to do well. A low-cost S&P 500 index fund will achieve this goal.

    That's the "what" of investing for the nonprofessional. The "when" is also important. The main danger is that the timid or beginning investor will enter the market at a time of extreme exuberance and then become disillusioned when paper losses occur. (Remember the late Barton Biggs's observation: "A bull market is like sex. It feels best just before it ends.") The antidote to that kind of mistiming is for an investor to accumulate shares over a long period and never sell when the news is bad and stocks are well off their highs. Following those rules, the "know-nothing" investor who both diversifies and keeps his costs minimal is virtually certain to get satisfactory results. Indeed, the unsophisticated investor who is realistic about his shortcomings is likely to obtain better long-term results than the knowledgeable professional who is blind to even a single weakness.

    If "investors" frenetically bought and sold farmland to one another, neither the yields nor the prices of their crops would be increased. The only consequence of such behavior would be decreases in the overall earnings realized by the farm-owning population because of the substantial costs it would incur as it sought advice and switched properties.

    Nevertheless, both individuals and institutions will constantly be urged to be active by those who profit from giving advice or effecting transactions. The resulting frictional costs can be huge and, for investors in aggregate, devoid of benefit. So ignore the chatter, keep your costs minimal, and invest in stocks as you would in a farm.

    My money, I should add, is where my mouth is: What I advise here is essentially identical to certain instructions I've laid out in my will. One bequest provides that cash will be delivered to a trustee for my wife's benefit. (I have to use cash for individual bequests, because all of my Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) shares will be fully distributed to certain philanthropic organizations over the 10 years following the closing of my estate.) My advice to the trustee could not be more simple: Put 10% of the cash in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund. (I suggest Vanguard's. (VFINX)) I believe the trust's long-term results from this policy will be superior to those attained by most investors -- whether pension funds, institutions, or individuals -- who employ high-fee managers.

    And now back to Ben Graham. I learned most of the thoughts in this investment discussion from Ben's book The Intelligent Investor, which I bought in 1949. My financial life changed with that purchase.

    Before reading Ben's book, I had wandered around the investing landscape, devouring everything written on the subject. Much of what I read fascinated me: I tried my hand at charting and at using market indicia to predict stock movements. I sat in brokerage offices watching the tape roll by, and I listened to commentators. All of this was fun, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't getting anywhere.

    In contrast, Ben's ideas were explained logically in elegant, easy-to-understand prose (without Greek letters or complicated formulas). For me, the key points were laid out in what later editions labeled Chapters 8 and 20. These points guide my investing decisions today.

    A couple of interesting sidelights about the book: Later editions included a postscript describing an unnamed investment that was a bonanza for Ben. Ben made the purchase in 1948 when he was writing the first edition and -- brace yourself -- the mystery company was Geico. If Ben had not recognized the special qualities of Geico when it was still in its infancy, my future and Berkshire's would have been far different.

    The 1949 edition of the book also recommended a railroad stock that was then selling for $17 and earning about $10 per share. (One of the reasons I admired Ben was that he had the guts to use current examples, leaving himself open to sneers if he stumbled.) In part, that low valuation resulted from an accounting rule of the time that required the railroad to exclude from its reported earnings the substantial retained earnings of affiliates.

    The recommended stock was Northern Pacific, and its most important affiliate was Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. These railroads are now important parts of BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe), which is today fully owned by Berkshire. When I read the book, Northern Pacific had a market value of about $40 million. Now its successor (having added a great many properties, to be sure) earns that amount every four days.

    I can't remember what I paid for that first copy of The Intelligent Investor. Whatever the cost, it would underscore the truth of Ben's adage: Price is what you pay; value is what you get. Of all the investments I ever made, buying Ben's book was the best (except for my purchase of two marriage licenses).

    Fred Yancy, Broker

    Harry Norman Realtors

    (678) 799-4663


  • Kennesaw to get $38M mixed-use development

    Posted Under: General Area, In My Neighborhood, Investment Properties  |  February 21, 2014 7:24 AM  |  1,105 views  |  No comments

    Kennesaw to get $38M mixed-use development

    Downtown Kennesaw

    KENNESAW, Ga. -- A $38 million mixed-use development planned for downtown Kennesaw aims to rejuvenate the area by attracting new residents and more shoppers.

    The planned Main Street development, at Watts Drive and Main Street, includes more than 250 "luxury" rental apartments, with one, two or three bedrooms, as well as 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

    Atlanta-based developer South City Partners expects to break ground in March. The target completion date is summer 2015.

    Fred Yancy, Broker

    Harry Norman Realtors

    (678) 799-4663

  • Industrial Living: Converted Apartments for Rent

    Posted Under: General Area, Rentals, Investment Properties  |  January 31, 2014 7:32 AM  |  4,402 views  |  No comments

    Industrial Living: Converted Apartments for Rent

    By Jennifer Chan 

    Lofts converted from old commercial buildings are perfect for renters seeking a unique home with a history. Whether your style leans toward minimalist or shabby chic, the high ceilings, exposed brick walls and factory windows we found in these converted apartments are sure to add character to your urban lifestyle.

    San Francisco Clock Tower Building

    461 2nd Ave, San Francisco CA
    Rent: $5,200/mo

    San Fran

    San Francisco’s Clock Tower Building was built in 1907 and was converted into live/work loft units in 1992. It was the former home of the Schmidt Lithograph Company, known for producing California fruit-crate labels. This spacious 1-bedroom, 1.5-bath loft unit has the characteristic high ceilings, concrete columns and factory windows, as well as plenty of built-in storage.
    SF clock tower

    New York City carriage house

    134 Hoyt St #1, Brooklyn NY
    Rent: $4,600/mo

    Brooklyn factory apartment

    This 2-bedroom, 1.5-bath loft was first used as carriage house and then a sewing factory. Today, the bright and airy home has in-unit laundry, interior shutters, and a granite-topped breakfast bar. The convenient Boerum Hill location is close to shopping, restaurants and transportation.

    Brooklyn factory apartment

    Chicago church

    701 W Buckingham Pl #302, Chicago IL 
    Rent: $2,290/mo

    converted church apartment

    The original stained-glass windows and 30-foot ceilings tip off this building’s past as the Temple Emanuel. This 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment has high ceilings, large windows, and a Walk Score of 100.

    church apartment

    Fred Yancy, Broker
    Harry Norman Realtors
    (678) 799-4663
  • Rental Properties: Know When to Hold ‘Em

    Posted Under: General Area, Home Selling, Investment Properties  |  January 20, 2014 7:46 AM  |  718 views  |  No comments

    Rental Properties: Know When to Hold ‘Em

    Leonard Baron

    If you bought a rental property during the pre-crash era, you may be feeling the lingering pain of the investment. Whether you’re experiencing negative cash flow or the property is simply not as terrific as you’d first hoped, either in terms of quality or location, you’re probably wondering if this investment is worth the hassle. Before you make any rash selling decisions, here are some issues you should consider:

    Do you want to be a landlord?

    In the mid-2000s, many people jumped into the rental market, assuming they’d buy rental properties, prices would go up, and they’d get rich with little effort. Chances are, you’ve already learned that isn’t true. Being a good landlord is work. Are you willing to put forth the time and effort required to keep properties full and tenants happy? If you’ve decided rental ownership isn’t for you, now is probably a good time to unload the property — even if you have to take a loss on the property.

    What if the property is underwater with major negative equity?

    Fortunately, the values of rental properties in many markets have bounced back in the past six months. Negative equity is bad, but not necessarily the end of the world. A more important consideration: Cash flow. If your income from renters minus expenses and mortgage is positive (or very close to it) and your experience has been a good one, keep the property. A decade or two down the road, you will have forgotten the recent economic downturn and, instead, you’ll have a paid-off property, positive cash flow, and the satisfaction of knowing your current tenants paying for your retirement.

    What if your cash flow is negative?

    Some properties are never going to make money. If you picked up one of these well-located “Prize Properties” for very little money, you’re probably realizing it’s no prize at all. Did you do an analysis of the property’s cash flow potential before you bought? If you had, you might have realized it could be decades before you see positive cash flow. If you are in the red by $1,000 or more per month, it’s probably best to dump the property and cut your losses.

    What if you want to be a landlord but this property is a stinker?

    Ask yourself: is a little short-term pain worth a long-term gain? If your current situation isn’t totally unbearable, you may want to buckle down, hold on to this first property and consider this sometimes uncomfortable situation a “life lesson.” If, on the other hand, the future of the property is bleaker than bleak, this may be a good time to dump it. Take the loss and start fresh with a new property.

    As you consider your next move, remember that owning rental properties is hard work and unloading one property in favor of another may not make your job easier. If you have the desire, time and energy – and a willingness to get your hands a little dirty – you will likely make it work.

    Fred Yancy, Broker

    Harry Norman, Realtors

    (678) 799-4663


  • Guess who's coming to America?

    Posted Under: General Area, In My Neighborhood, Investment Properties  |  January 20, 2014 6:52 AM  |  626 views  |  1 comment

    Guess who's coming to America?

    By Les Christie

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

    As the economy recovered last year, more international workers started calling the United States home.

    Based on customer data from UniGroup Relocation, the international arm of the United Van Lines, 15% more people moved into the U.S. than left the country. That's up from 7% in 2012.

    We're coming to America!

    These 10 countries are sending the most people to the U.S.

    United Kingdom

    Source: UniGroup Relocation

    "It's a reflection of the strength of the economic recovery in the United States," said Richard McClure, UniGroup's CEO.

    The number one place new residents are coming from: the United Kingdom. Up next: Germany, China, Australia and France.

    The U.S. economy has rebounded faster than most of the Eurozone, spurring an inflow of workers from that region, explained Michael Stoll, economist and chair of the Department of Public Policy at UCLA. In addition, more U.S. companies are looking farther afield for highly skilled workers, he said.

    UniGroup's customers tend to be people who are hired for well-paid jobs. "The traffic is almost entirely corporate management," said UniGroup spokeswoman Melissa Sullivan. "People don't relocate internationally unless it's for a job."

    There are some exceptions, however. The company moved quite a few elderly Chinese to America last year, McClure said. Most of them were parents of Chinese businessmen working in the U.S., he said.

    Last year was the first time in four years that more people from China moved to the U.S. than the other way around. Part of that was due to the slight cooling of the Chinese economy. Another factor, is that American firms operating in China are increasingly switching to local workers so there's less need to move American employees into the country, said McClure.

    "As U.S. investments in China have matured, there's has been a movement toward homegrown talent," he said.

    The total number of international moves Unigroup did fell during the Great Recession. Yet, since the recovery, the total number of moves has risen.

    "You see more companies needing a presence overseas to access the increasingly global economy," said Sullivan.

    Fred Yancy, Broker

    Harry Norman Realtors

    (678) 799-4663


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