Real Estate is Not a Good Investment

With falling property values, the stock market on a roller coaster ride and the economy worsening many people will wonder if it is time to start investing in real estate again. The answer to this question is a very simple and very obvious one: not any time soon.

Pending home sales fell by nearly 30 percent in June according to the National Association of Realtors. Many people will see this as an opportunity to pick up but bargain properties as investments but it is not.

Real Estate is Overvalued
The reason why people should avoid real estate investment at this time is that real estate is still way over valued in most of the United States. In many areas homes that are worth less than $100,000 are still being sold for $200,000-$300,000 and condominiums that are worth less than $100,000 are still being sold for a half million dollars.

If you don’t believe me take a look around your area, drive or walk around and look at the houses for sale. Chances are you’ll see broken down old dumps with smashed windows and shingles falling off the roof for sale. Do a quick Google search on those properties and you’ll discover that they’re probably selling for $100,000 or more.

The market for commercial property is even worse, I know of one depressed Colorado town with high unemployment where questionable retail space is renting for $900 a square foot. This space is being leased in a building in a very cold area where natural gas the cheapest fuel for central heating in the US is not available. This means heating costs will be double or triple those in an area where natural gas was available. Not surprisingly that retail space has been sitting empty for years.

Sooner or later the market will catch up with all that over priced real estate and property values will fall to realistic levels. My guess is that real estate prices in most areas of the United States will still have to fall by 25 to 50 percent to reach a realistic level of value. This means that persons who invest in property now could loose 25 to 50 percent of their investment.

Properties are Over-Mortgaged
The main reason properties are overvalued is that many of them are over-mortgaged. Over the past few years it was so easy to get a mortgage that many people put two, three, or even mortgages on their properties.

Many pieces of property are mortgaged for more than they are worth, they are “underwater” in real estate parlance. Media reports indicate that as many as 25 percent of American homes could be “underwater.”

One terrible situation out there is that many property owners who want to sell can’t because they know they couldn’t make enough from the sale to pay off their mortgage. Naturally, nobody will want to take over the mortgages on those properties because they would loose money. This means that a lot of real estate can’t be practically or legally sold at this time.

If this wasn’t bad enough, a lot of those underwater properties are encumbered by all sorts of liens, especially tax liens. This means that anybody who takes over such properties will be faced with a big legal bill.

There Will Be a Glut of Foreclosed Properties on the Market
Anybody who has followed the news over the past couple of years knows that are hundreds of thousands of homes in foreclosure. This means that people haven’t been able to pay their mortgages and have been evicted. To this figure we can probably thousands more homes where the owner has simply walked away and the mortgage holder hasn’t bothered to take the property back yet.

Many of these foreclosed properties are sitting empty and off the market right now. Quite a few realtors won’t touch foreclosures because of all the problems with them so they’re hard to sell.

Sooner or later all of those foreclosed properties are going to come on the market and drive real estate prices down further. In cities like Detroit and Cleveland where a large percentage of the homes are in foreclosure full sized homes in some neighborhoods are selling for less than $20,000. We’re going to see similar situations across the country in the next few years. When this occurs, the value of real estate in many cities such as Denver, Las Vegas and Los Angeles will fall to levels rivaling those of Cleveland and Detroit.

Property Taxes are Too High
To make matters worse we’ll soon see a situation where property taxes will exceed the value of the property in quite a few areas.

This will occur because in many areas of the country property taxes are based on “property value.” Unfortunately this property value has little or nothing to do with market value. The values used to determine property taxes are based on a figure determined by a government official usually the County Assessor in most areas this individual is elected and needs no training or expertise. In many areas it is based on what “comparable properties” sold for in the recent past. Not surprisingly the local government sets the property values as high as possible so it can collect as many taxes as possible.

In other areas the property taxes are based on what the property last sold for. This means if you bought your house for $500,000 in 2005 but its now worth $100,000 you would still be taxed as if the property was worth $500,000.

The property tax situation will make the foreclosure mess worse because many owners won’t be able to afford to pay their property taxes. Many owners will simply walk off and leave the property to be seized by the local government and sold at a tax auction for pennies on the dollar. Many of the foreclosed properties will also end up at the tax auction because nobody is paying the taxes on them which will greatly increase the real estate glut.

When to Invest in Real Estate Again
Naturally people will ask: when should I start investing in real estate again? The best answer to this question is when the real estate market hits bottom which should be in about two years.

At that time we’ll see a real estate investors’ paradise with great properties selling for $50,000-$100,000 or less. Many people will be able to pick up tremendous bargains at foreclosure and tax auctions.

Until then your best strategy is to avoid real estate investment and keep your money in money markets, stocks, foreign currencies, CDs or precious metals. If you have a lot of cash I would recommend that you put it in precious metals like gold because a collapse of the dollar could be just around the corner. If the Euro collapses because of the European debt crisis it will bring down the dollar. Some foreign currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars and the Swiss Franc will be good investments too.

It would also be a good idea to sell off any property other than your home that you own right now. That way you will be able to avoid taking a huge loss on it in the future. For seniors who have no mortgages on their home, I would recommend taking out a reverse mortgage and investing the cash from it in stocks or precious metals. This way they can still live in their home and cash in.

Real estate is simply not going to be a good investment in the United States for the next five to ten years. Smart people should start seeking alternatives to real estate investing now.

Term Life Insurance- A Cost-Effective Alternative

Every person wants to ensure that he and his family is financially secure. Living comfortably is very important, even in the time of crisis. To have a sense of security one needs to purchase a life insurance plan.Which life insurance plan should one go for?This is a vital question. There are two types of insurance plans available. One can go for a permanent plan if one needs to secure his life till death. If a person wants to get secured for a short period of time, then he must go for a temporary plan. Term life insurance is one such temporary plan that gives the insured maximum profit in a short period of time.Permanent Insurance and a Term life insurance Plan – A person purchases a permanent insurance plan when he wants to get life time insurance. This plan would mature only when the insured person dies. Therefore, the premium that needs to be paid every year is also more in case of the permanent plans.On the other hand, even the best term life insurance does not cover the insured till death. It might so happen that the insured dies within his term. In this case, the entire amount will be paid to the beneficiary. If the insured dies one day after the policy ends and is not renewed, then he gets no money. This is the risk factor involved in such temporary plans. But, one must not overlook the advantages of such a plan. In a term life insurance, one needs to pay much lower premiums compared to the premiums paid in the permanent policies. The insured person can renew the policy at the end, if he feels the need for it.In a nutshell, the use of a life insurance program depends from person to person. It varies with the need and priority of every individual. Therefore, one needs to think and plan his requirements before purchasing any insurance program.What are the types of term life insurance plans available?The insurance company offers a wide range of term life insurance plans. The five types of term life insurance plans available are:o Annual renewable term insurance plan- In this plan the coverage is automatically renewed at the end of each year. The premium amounts keep increasing every time the policy gets renewed.o Renewable term insurance plan- In contrast with the annual renewable term insurance, this coverage gets automatically renewed at the end of each term (5 to 20 years).o Level premium term insurance plan- The premium paid at the end of each term is constant in this plan. Therefore, if a person purchases this plan in his early days, he will be benefited in the later days of the policy.o Decreasing term insurance plan- Unlike the above three plans, the cash benefits keep decreasing every year in the decreasing term insurance plan.o Convertible term insurance plan- According to this plan, the insured person can convert his present term insurance policy into any of policy. As the risk involved is more, this plan is bit costly.Select the most suitable plan and get a secure future!

The Right Approach to Use an Air Purifier for Best Performance

If you want to stay healthy, we suggest that you keep your indoor air free of harmful elements. According to statistics, indoor air is 500% polluted than the air outside. The problem is that most homeowners ignore the factors that may reduce air quality. Although there are many ways to improve air quality, an easy way to achieve this goal is to install a good air purifier. You can use these devices in summer and winter. In fact, you should use the unit if you want to protect the health of your family members, especially kids. Let’s find out how you can use these devices for optimum performance. Read on to find out more.

1. Don’t Open Doors or Windows

First of all, air purifiers work by filtering and circulating air inside your home. If you keep several doors and windows open, there will be no air circulation. The purified air will escape your home. As a matter of fact, these units work the best if they are used in an enclosed space.

So, what you need to do it, close all of the doors and windows before switching on these devices for a couple of hours.

2. Replace the Filters in a Timely Fashion

As for as using an air purifier is concerned, filters are the most important components. The function of these lightweight components is to filter different types of impurities. Therefore, it is essential to clean and replace these filters based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Use the Unit at the Right Time

For maximum benefits, don’t forget to use this unit at the right time. According to experts, you may want to keep these units running round the clock if you want to get the best results. But keep in mind that this will reduce the life of filters significantly.

So, we suggest that you turn on the units a few hours before you head to your bedroom. This is how you can maximize the life of these units.

4. Choose a Good Location

If you want to get the most benefits from these units, don’t underestimate the importance of the best location for the placement. Make sure that there is plenty of space around these units. The idea is to make sure that there is no obstruction when it comes to airflow.

The Takeaway

Long story short, air purifiers can make a huge difference when it comes to indoor air quality. So, we just that you make use of these units the right way in order to keep yourself protected against a lot of health problems, especially respiratory issues. If you are looking for the best HEPA air purifiers, we suggest that you consider these tips. They will help you make sure that the units give you the best performance.

A Guide to Help You Pick the Best Air Purifier for Your Loved Ones

Holidays are around the corner. This is the time of year when people start purchasing gifts for their loved ones. If you are going to purchase an air purifier for someone you love, we have some helpful tips for you. If you want to purchase the best unit, you may be able to use this guide to your advantage. Read on to find out more.

1: Set Your Budget

Just like anything you purchase, make sure you have set your budget first. The price of the unit will vary based on a lot of factors, such as the capacity, filter type, features, and brand of the unit. If you don’t have a flexible budget, we suggest that you go for a product that is available to purchase for less than $300.

2: Consider the Needs of the Recipient

Your next move is to consider the needs of your recipient. If you are going to purchase this unit for everyday use, we suggest that you go for a unit that comes with a HEPA filter. On the other hand, if your loved one has a specific need, we suggest that you consider a specialized unit.

For example, if they are more prone to respiratory issues, such as allergies and infections, we suggest that you get a UV purifier for them. The devices are designed to neutralize viruses and bacteria.

3: Think About the Available Space

Another primary factor is to consider the available space in the office or house of the recipient. For example, if they need a general-purpose unit for a small apartment, you may want to consider a filterless unit.

On the other hand, if they have plenty of free space, you may consider a bigger unit that features a higher airflow rating. These units are powerful enough to cover a large face.

4: Consider Extra Features

Lastly, we suggest that you consider additional features that they will just love. For example, some units come with an indicator that turns on when the filter needs to be replaced. This will allow the user to change the filter so that the device continues to work properly.

So, you may want to consider these features before you place your order. These features may not be important to you, but your friend may just be over the moon.

Long story short, we suggest that you consider these four tips if you are going to purchase a gift for your loved one on these holidays. Since the air is full of pollution during winter days, nothing can make a better gift than an air purifier. Therefore, you should consider these tips before looking for an online or physical store to make your purchase decision.