Crowdfunding has become the great equalizer; opening up the opportunity for smaller investors to get a piece of real estate without regard to location or degree of wealth. Crowdfunding has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to advances in technology and changes in the law (the passing of Title IV of the JOBS Act that gives more power to the non-accredited investor). With crowdfunding, money can be raised not only through friends and family but through Internet platforms and social media. Before 2015, an investor’s net worth or annual income …

Technology and the digital age are evolving the real estate industry by leaps and bounds, but it seems like certain old-school traditions remain sturdily in place. According to a recent Inman study, fewer than 1 in 10 homebuyers and sellers found their agents through a website in 2017. Astoundingly, that stat is similar to the numbers of a decade ago. The Inman survey, in collaboration with The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) found that buyers and sellers were far more likely to find agents through recommendations and referrals: friends, neighbors …

Reverse mortgages are among the most misunderstood processes in real estate; your clients should be sure to understand its pros and cons before making any final decisions. Essentially, a reverse mortgage allows homeowners over age 62 to sell their home without having to leave it. Typically, you sell your home to a reverse-mortgage lender for a choice of one sum, an income stream or a credit line. All the while, you are allowed to remain in your home until you die, move on (for example, to a nursing home), or …

What retail apocalypse? The pop-up store trend, in which stores are here today and gone tomorrow (on purpose), is proving to be a powerful way to study customers, work out new business models, appeal to Millennials and build a brand. Pop-ups can be described as anything from a kiosk or booth in a mall or marketplace to a store within a store. They are generally perceived as a temporary lease in a vacant space. Pop-ups require less investment, and can get business instantly connected to foot traffic. They also make …

A recent Coldwell Banker survey found that 72 percent of Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997) would be willing to pay $1,500 more for a home that was “smart.” In fact, 42 percent of those surveyed would be willing to pay as much as $3,000 more. Smart devices include network-connected security and monitoring devices, sensors, system controllers, lighting, power, and appliances. Forbes reports that 36 percent of home sales are now made to Millennials, who are now starting families. This is in contrast to the popular perception that Millennials …

After the McMansion era, perhaps it’s an idea whose time has come. The tiny house movement (also known as the “small house movement”) has been adapted by advocates of living a simpler life in smaller homes. The concept behind the idea: more financial freedom, greener living, lower utility bills, and shared community experiences. It’s a sharp shift away to the postwar American consumer idea of “bigger is better.” Tiny homes come in all kinds of shapes, types and even sizes. They can be rented or owned, on wheels or set …

The trend of coworking in office spaces began as a high concept in 2005, and since then has spread like wildfire. The Millennial generation workforce has adopted it as an accepted way of life — and corporate America is responding in a big way in a rush to recruit young talent. It seems the days of the corporate center, cubicle and corner office are vanishing forever. The coworking concept consists of membership-driven office services, consisting of independent workers (often entrepreneurs, independent contractors, freelancers) and businesses. All of these members pay …

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) must be reauthorized by November 30, 2018. Periodically, Congress must renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. The President signed legislation on July 31, 2018 to extend the program’s authorization to November 30, 2018. Usually, Congress has always honored the NFIP, particularly the contracts that are already in place with NFIP policyholders. What if the reauthorization fails or lapses? FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) would still have the authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would have …

There is a growing interest in — of all things — million-dollar ghost towns, according to The Real Deal. “Ghost town” is the nickname given to settlements whose population has since moved on, usually due to economic change. Many of these towns are located alongside abandoned mines or farmland. Usually, all that is left behind are the properties — homes, commercial buildings — now old and decaying. Interested buyers: mostly churches and corporations, who often buy properties as a marketing strategy, to preserve history or to launch a new project. …

Although climate change is still being hotly debated, its effect on real estate presents no doubt. Zillow estimates that rising sea levels threaten 1.9 million homes in Florida, New Jersey, and New York, and in cities such as Boston (17 percent of homes), Honolulu (24 percent) and Miami (30 percent). As a result, the long-love affair with coastal properties may be waning. Home sales in flood-prone coastal areas grew about 25 percent less quickly than counties that do not typically flood, according to Attom Data Solutions. One of the main …