July 06, 2007

Interesting twist on college housing

Student housing is a great real estate investment niche, but here’s an interesting twist on university town housing: properties that target the people who come to town for college football games. It seems that affluent alumni are buying condos or perhaps houses near the university’s stadium so they have confirmed lodging for games—and then renting those units out when they’re not in town. A recent article in the Orlando Sentinel referred to the market as sports real estate.

If you’re interested in land development, this might be a market you want to research.


September 25, 2006

Commercial Real Estate Investors: Environmental Due Diligence Helps Avoid Clean-Up Costs

When you invest in raw land and/or commercial property, be sure you know what environmental issues you might have to deal with.

John Brennan, president of Brennan Environmental, Inc. in Summit, New Jersey, offers tips on how to complete environmental due diligence prior to closing on a commercial property. He says the environmental firm you hire should gather as much information about the property’s past by doing the following:

- Records on file with the local municipality and the DEP should be reviewed.
- Interviews with past and present owners, operators and occupants of the facility should be conducted in order to determine previous uses of the property and how they may have changed over the years.
- Historical sources since the property was first developed, including chain of title, aerial photos and land-use records should all be reviewed as well.
- Federal, state, tribal and local government records need to be reviewed to learn about any spills or releases that occurred on the property.
- Searches of recorded environmental liens against the facility that are filed under federal, state or local law should be conducted to examine any unresolved issues.

Finally, Brennan says, visual inspections of the facility and adjoining properties should be conducted in order to learn about potential impacts from existing use and off-site sources that may contribute to environmental issues on the subject property.

Chief Blogger
Wealth Intelligence Academy

September 08, 2006

What’s driving down the cooling market for real estate developers?

In many areas, we are seeing developers backing off from earlier ambitious plans. A number of factors are driving their decisions, including a slowing rate of home price increases and a dramatic rise in construction costs.

Another big factor is neighborhood opposition. Developers come in with a grand plan and the neighbors fight it. Sometimes the resistance is valid; sometimes it’s not. In any case, some developers are deciding that certain projects just aren’t worth fighting for and they’re taking their marbles (and their dollars) elsewhere.

Realty Times columnist Al Heavens has an interesting perspective on this issue. Click here to read his observations.

Chief Blogger
Wealth Intelligence Academy