Real Estate Auctions: Is a Bidder Legally Bound?

by Alicia Filter October 11 2006, 15:52
Real estate auctions exist in many forms and are becoming increasing popular over the internet. Ebay alone boasts that 55,000 property have already been sold through eBay Real Estate. [1] There are significant benefits to using the internet to purchase property, since one can shop for real estate around the globe, pick a suitable property, and bid online from the comfort of one's home. [2] Traditional real estate auctions still exist, most commonly as government auction of seized property [3] or as bank auctions of foreclosed property. With the current estimate that one in three properties will be sold by auction by the year 2010, [4] one might wonder which, if any, of these auctions legally bind the bidder to purchase the property. [More]

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Real Estate

Where to Open a Business: Consideration of Living Wage Ordinances

by Patrick Clyder September 26 2006, 09:09
A company must keep three factors in mind when trying to decide where to open its doors, “location, location, [and] location.” [1]. Closely related to location, a company might consider traffic flow, highway access, and the presence of other businesses in the area. [2]. The applicable minimum wage is an unlikely consideration for a company that is in the process of selecting a location, but that may soon change. Federal law sets a minimum wage floor, but States can pass their own statutes raising the federal minimum wage. [3]. On the rise, however, is the presence of local ordinances that index minimum wage levels to cost of living increases or that target specific companies. [4]. This article will first briefly examine two such ordinances, one from Santa Fe and one from Chicago, and it will then set out options for companies wishing to do business in cities that have some form of a living wage ordinance. [More]

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Real Estate

Has the Bubble Burst? Economic Implications of a Buyer's Market

by Alicia Filter September 13 2006, 15:53
For the past several years, residential real estate has been a seller's market. With low interest rates and not enough houses to go around, sellers could expect to receive top dollar for their homes and could turn their homes around fairly quickly once they put their homes on the market. In early January, the National Association of Realtors projected that existing home sales would fall this year by 4.4%, but as of early September, that forecast has dramatically decreased, with existing home sales for 2006 projected to fall 7.6% below sales in 2005. [1] The market looks even worse for new home sales, with a 16% fall expected this year. [2] Indeed, it is a buyer's market, and if the bubble really has burst, the economic implications could be far-reaching. [More]

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Real Estate

McMansions: Super-Sized Homes Cause a Super-Sized Backlash

by Alicia Filter April 20 2006, 15:54
"McMansions", also known as "garage mahals", "starter castles", and "Hummer houses" are all synonymous for the latest phenomenon in home building that has communities across the country banging down the doors of local City Councils to enjoin builders from destroying the character of their neighborhoods. The debate concerns interests of property owners who want to be able to use their own land as they see fit versus the interests of community members who want to maintain a uniform neighborhood appearance and not have a huge eyesore on their block, literally casting a shadow onto their humble, and often historic, homes. There is a wide range of issues at play in these communities, including constitutional rights, zoning issues, and even energy and water concerns. Though McMansions are causing a stir throughout the U.S., the solution is left to the 40,000 local governments across the country who will ultimately determine whether to eliminate Super-Size from the menu of housing permits, or to allow the expansion to continue. [1] [More]

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Real Estate

Is the Internet Replacing Real Estate Agents?

by Alicia Filter April 11 2006, 15:56
Before the Internet became popular, homebuyers had to spend days touring dozens of homes pre-selected by their real estate agent, and were often forced to settle on a home that was merely satisfactory. Now individuals can shop online for homes, take virtual tours of homes, and even list their homes for sale online without ever stepping foot inside an agent's office. The Internet provides what previously could only be provided by an agent: a direct connection between buyers and sellers, thus eliminating the need for a middleman that charges a pricey commission. In this age of technology though, some argue that the middleman can never be entirely replaced by the Internet. [More]

Purchasing Beachfront Property in Mexico: How Americans Circumvent Mexico's Constitutional Prohibition

by Alicia Filter March 2 2006, 15:57
Because of the high-cost of real estate in the most desirable areas of the United States, especially southern California, many Americans are searching for a cheaper, less crowded alternative both for vacation homes and for primary residences. With thousands of miles of undeveloped coastline, and beachfront property costs at a fraction of those in the United States, Mexico has recently become a hot market for Americans wanting a laid-back atmosphere and an affordable vacation home with warm weather throughout the year. Though Mexico is the perfect place to build an affordable beachfront home, there is one slight problem for foreigners wishing to re-locate there: Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution prohibits ownership of beachfront property by foreigners and foreign corporations. Only persons born in Mexico or corporations established in Mexico can gain title to property within Mexico's "Restricted Zone." [1]


How do Americans get around this prohibition? The answer is rather complex. [More]

Real Estate in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

by Alicia Filter October 30 2005, 15:58
Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 28, 2005 and was one of the worst natural disasters in American history. Heavy rain and strong winds destroyed much of New Orleans and surrounding areas, leaving the Gulf Coast under water for weeks. For houses not completely blown to the ground by the 145 mph winds, the amount of damage sustained generally depends on the length of time the home was submerged in floodwaters, allowing mold and rot to thrive in the structure of the home. Because much of New Orleans was submerged for 2 weeks or more, the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality currently estimates that between 140,000 and 160,000 homes need to be leveled and completely rebuilt. [1] [More]

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Real Estate

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