Condominium maker Corus Bankshares Inc is looking for possible sources of additional capital after it got wind of the likelihood that its request for government finance assistance will be turned down by the Treasury Department. Corus, which is known for its glass and steel condominium towers that line up the commercial districts of major cities like Los Angeles, recently suffered a quarterly loss worth $260.7 million. It is also faced with $4.1 billion non performing outstanding loans.
Corus’ standing as a well-capitalized bank may not be for long as there is a possibility that banking regulators would soon strip it of its present standing. Corus chief executive Robert Glickman said it is a tough market for capital search but they are set to hire an investment banking firm to do just that. Corus’ losses make the infusion of new capital necessary.
The bank has been hit by the decline of the real estate and housing industry as it invested heavily in Florida, Las Vegas and California condominium markets. Corus has an asset worth $8.4 billion as of December 31, 2008 but it is dangerously flirting with the recession considering that more than four-fifths of its loans are in big construction projects.
Homebuyers now have more reason to rejoice despite the worsening economic crisis thanks to the approval of a $15,000 tax break for home buyers. The Senate approved the bill with the hope of revitalizing the sagging housing industry. This is considered a Republican victory and was passed without dissent. Some of the bill’s spending provisions however met opposition so the Republicans have no choice but to accept the spending reductions.
The homebuyers tax break bill was advanced by Senator Johnny Isakson with the intention of encouraging the revival of the housing industry which has further resulted to massive unemployment and other economic problems. Last year’s credit crisis has led to the virtual collapse of the housing industry and the bill is expected to somehow resuscitate the burst bubble. Home buyers can look forward to a 10% or a maximum of $15,000 tax credit when buying new residences as opposed to the previous $7,500 tax break which applies only to first time home buyers.
The real estate market is down and for most people, renting out their homes is better than selling considering the very low home prices these days. This has resulted to a rise in the number of vacation rentals which is actually a boon not only to property owners who get additional income out of their second homes but also to renters who can enjoy a second home while on vacation while spending only a fraction compared to buying a vacation home. Vacation rentals are condominiums or homes that are a good alternative to hotels since they can be rented for weeks or even months but they provide a more homely atmosphere.
Vacation rentals can however be more expensive than hotels but it presents an ideal option for family vacationers who can share a whole house with additional amenities rolled in like a fully equipped kitchen and swimming pool. It is now fairly easy to find cozy vacation rentals whether you are bound for the snowy Colorado slopes or the refreshing waters of Miami Beach. Thank the economic crisis and the real estate downturn you can now get a taste of sophisticated vacation homes which were once exclusive only to the rich and famous.
There’s a silver lining behind the dark real estate clouds and Prince George’s County in Maryland is among the first one to see that hope. The real estate market of this Washington suburbia is on its way to recovery. This means a slow climb out of the foreclosure mess which has ravaged many real estate markets in the country. It has in fact emerged as one of the hot markets in the region based on pending sales statistics. Prince George has a 4% unemployment rate and is enjoying an increase in job opportunities thanks to the various commercial development projects in the Potomac River as well as the 2,200 additional jobs that will be generated by the Andrews Air Force Base.
Prospects are bright for both the County’s real estate and employment markets as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure. The realignment is expected to bring 14,000 spin-off jobs to the county over the next ten years. An increase in real estate transaction is also expected with the continuous drop in average home prices from $300,000 in January 2008 to $250,000 in December of the same year. Pending sales for December last year also increased by 49% compared to the number of pending sales in December 2007.
The real estate industry may be at a standstill but there are thriving sectors you can consider for investment purposes. Self-storage facilities aimed at small scale businesses may not be highly glamorous but is one of the safest real estate industry niche. There are over 52,000 self-storage facilities all over the country that are raking in up to $20 billion annually sales wise. The Self Storage Association confirmed that this business is thriving because people always need someplace to keep their stuff.
The thousands of self-storage facilities nationwide are generating positive cash flow despite the economic downturn and the 30% vacancy rates. This is an ideal area for small scale investors who want to keep investing in the real estate business without fear of gambling big time. Investor Leigh Robinson, who owns four facilities with up to 500 units each, said he buys existing facilities with high potential for growth and which requires modest fix-ups. The self storage facilities business is very competitive and faces tough competition from giant public storage facilities. Be prepared to come up with creative marketing and sales strategies if you want to go into this business.
If you want to go back several years back for your architectural design then the Federal architecture popularized between 1780 and 1830 will be a good choice especially if you thrive on Roman classicism. Thanks to Robert Adam who owned one of Britain’s largest architectural firms, the classic Roman Empire can be seen even in the United States. The classic Renaissance architecture can be seen through geometric shapes like circle, ovals and hexagons as well as in decoratives like urns and garlands. A Federal style house with a front façade speaks of wealth with tall and slender columns, simple doors with grand ornamentations, iron railings and symmetrically-aligned windows.
For a good idea of what a Federal structure looks like, take a look at the White House Oval Office. This is however just a room but if you want the grand scale then the University of Virginia, which was based on Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is the perfect example of Federal architecture. If you want a residential structure then the Otis House Museum would fit the bill. This former residence turned repository of New England’s history was designed by Charles Bulfinch for his friend Harrison Gray Otis. One of the best preserved structures depicting Federal architectural is the 1820 Davenport House which is also a must-see.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has become some kind of a celebrity thanks, or not thanks to his illegal entanglements which cost him position but gained him some kind of notoriety. He is so infamous that even his house has become the target of real estate rumor mongers who are still debating whether Blagojevich is selling his house. The rumors came after ABC 7 in Chicago featured a story on the governor’s home plan. It was purely speculation as to how much his home would fetch in case he decides to sell it. This prompted Zestimate to place his 2934 W Sunnyside Avenue Chicago home at around $963,000.
The problem started when CBS-2 reported that Blagojevich’s home is on sale at Zillow. The same news was picked up by Chicago’s KNX 1070 News Radio and there the smoke became fire. A representative of the governor however denied that Blagojevich’s home is up for sale. The governor’s home has been valued at a range of $661,710 to $1.074 million. The 3,817 square foot home which sits on a 5,063 square foot lot has 5 bedrooms and 4 baths. Blagojevich has been ousted by the Senate last Thursday on a vote of 59-0 for abuse of power. He is replaced by his former running mate Patrick Quinn.
Roland Orzabal, popularly known for being the frontman of long-standing band Tears for Fears, has placed his Hollywood Hills property in Los Angeles for sale. Orzabal is just one among the many celebrities who have placed their properties in the real estate market for one reason or another, mostly due to the economic crunch. Orzabal’s 4,266-square foot house was originally up for lease for $15,900 per month. However, it seems he has decided to finally get rid of the property for good.
The 48-year old house has quite a history behind it having been built in 1960. There is however confusion as to how many rooms this house possesses because listing information show it has four bedrooms and four and a half baths but registration records show it has six bedrooms and four baths. The house boasts of having a large dining room that’s great for social dinners, a master suite with sauna, workout studio, spiral staircase leading to a rooftop deck and a walk-in closet among others. If you want to own a celebrity home then grab this one!
Another artist is placing his house in the market. Singer Daniel Powter is selling his 2,659-square-foot house in the Los Angeles Brentwood area for $2.295 million. It was listed in the market on January 16. Powter is obviously not up to make profit as records show that he bought the house for $2.3 million in April 2006
Though built in 1951, Powter’s house is contemporary in style with architectural details that speak of modern-day living. Surely, you’ll get your money’s worth for a modern house of light-filled rooms, French doors, hardwood floors, a dual fireplace in the family room/living room, a gourmet kitchen with a breakfast area, a master suite with a fireplace and a bath.
It offers two additional bedrooms each with its own bath, and a mini-guest suite/office with a separate entrance while its outdoor lot features include an entertainment area, a waterfall and a viewing area. You might want to experience the aura of peace and joy Powter once enjoyed, so take it!