The Future of Commercial Real Estate

Although serious supply-demand imbalances have continued to plague real estate markets into the 2000s in many areas, the mobility of capital in current sophisticated financial markets is encouraging to real estate developers. The loss of tax-shelter markets drained a significant amount of capital from real estate and, in the short run, had a devastating effect on segments of the industry. However, most experts agree that many of those driven from real estate development and the real estate finance business were unprepared and ill-suited as investors. In the long run, a return to real estate development that is grounded in the basics of economics, real demand, and real profits will benefit the industry.

Syndicated ownership of real estate was introduced in the early 2000s. Because many early investors were hurt by collapsed markets or by tax-law changes, the concept of syndication is currently being applied to more economically sound cash flow-return real estate. This return to sound economic practices will help ensure the continued growth of syndication. Real estate investment trusts (REITs), which suffered heavily in the real estate recession of the mid-1980s, have recently reappeared as an efficient vehicle for public ownership of real estate. REITs can own and operate real estate efficiently and raise equity for its purchase. The shares are more easily traded than are shares of other syndication partnerships. Thus, the REIT is likely to provide a good vehicle to satisfy the public’s desire to own real estate.

A final review of the factors that led to the problems of the 2000s is essential to understanding the opportunities that will arise in the 2000s. Real estate cycles are fundamental forces in the industry. The oversupply that exists in most product types tends to constrain development of new products, but it creates opportunities for the commercial banker.

The decade of the 2000s witnessed a boom cycle in real estate. The natural flow of the real estate cycle wherein demand exceeded supply prevailed during the 1980s and early 2000s. At that time office vacancy rates in most major markets were below 5 percent. Faced with real demand for office space and other types of income property, the development community simultaneously experienced an explosion of available capital. During the early years of the Reagan administration, deregulation of financial institutions increased the supply availability of funds, and thrifts added their funds to an already growing cadre of lenders. At the same time, the Economic Recovery and Tax Act of 1981 (ERTA) gave investors increased tax “write-off” through accelerated depreciation, reduced capital gains taxes to 20 percent, and allowed other income to be sheltered with real estate “losses.” In short, more equity and debt funding was available for real estate investment than ever before.

Even after tax reform eliminated many tax incentives in 1986 and the subsequent loss of some equity funds for real estate, two factors maintained real estate development. The trend in the 2000s was toward the development of the significant, or “trophy,” real estate projects. Office buildings in excess of one million square feet and hotels costing hundreds of millions of dollars became popular. Conceived and begun before the passage of tax reform, these huge projects were completed in the late 1990s. The second factor was the continued availability of funding for construction and development. Even with the debacle in Texas, lenders in New England continued to fund new projects. After the collapse in New England and the continued downward spiral in Texas, lenders in the mid-Atlantic region continued to lend for new construction. After regulation allowed out-of-state banking consolidations, the mergers and acquisitions of commercial banks created pressure in targeted regions. These growth surges contributed to the continuation of large-scale commercial mortgage lenders [http://www.cemlending.com] going beyond the time when an examination of the real estate cycle would have suggested a slowdown. The capital explosion of the 2000s for real estate is a capital implosion for the 2000s. The thrift industry no longer has funds available for commercial real estate. The major life insurance company lenders are struggling with mounting real estate. In related losses, while most commercial banks attempt to reduce their real estate exposure after two years of building loss reserves and taking write-downs and charge-offs. Therefore the excessive allocation of debt available in the 2000s is unlikely to create oversupply in the 2000s.

No new tax legislation that will affect real estate investment is predicted, and, for the most part, foreign investors have their own problems or opportunities outside of the United States. Therefore excessive equity capital is not expected to fuel recovery real estate excessively.

Looking back at the real estate cycle wave, it seems safe to suggest that the supply of new development will not occur in the 2000s unless warranted by real demand. Already in some markets the demand for apartments has exceeded supply and new construction has begun at a reasonable pace.

Opportunities for existing real estate that has been written to current value de-capitalized to produce current acceptable return will benefit from increased demand and restricted new supply. New development that is warranted by measurable, existing product demand can be financed with a reasonable equity contribution by the borrower. The lack of ruinous competition from lenders too eager to make real estate loans will allow reasonable loan structuring. Financing the purchase of de-capitalized existing real estate for new owners can be an excellent source of real estate loans for commercial banks.

As real estate is stabilized by a balance of demand and supply, the speed and strength of the recovery will be determined by economic factors and their effect on demand in the 2000s. Banks with the capacity and willingness to take on new real estate loans should experience some of the safest and most productive lending done in the last quarter century. Remembering the lessons of the past and returning to the basics of good real estate and good real estate lending will be the key to real estate banking in the future.

Residential Roofing Services For Home Roofs

When you decide to have a new roof put on an existing home or on a new home you will be using the services of a roofing services company. What type of roofing services company you use to put your new roof on your house depends on the type of roof you decide to go with.

Most roofing services companies can install asphalt shingle or shake roofs on most homes. But if you want to install a roof like an extensive green roof on your home roof, you will need to find a roofer that has experience with this type of roof.

A green roof may either be called intensive which is a green roof that requires a lot of maintenance or extensive which is a green roof that requires limited maintenance and watering.

Most single family home will not have a green roof in most neighborhoods but if your home is in an environment that supports this type of roof then by all means go for it. An extensive green roof is generally the type of eco or green roof that is installed on a reconstruction or a remodeling home project.

A brief description of an extensive green roof is a roof that has several components. First the roof must be structurally strong enough to support the weight of this type of roof. It will have to have weatherproof material, plus a drainage mat, and then there will be a water retention blanket layer. On top of this is the vegetation growing medium which the vegetation is planted in. This medium may be pre-seeded so the plants can start to grow when watered.

The plants are typically shallow rooted and drought resistant. It may require weeding once a year but it is meant to be low maintenance. This type of roof is excellent for water runoff. In a wet climate it will usually look green.

Not all roofing companies can install this type of roof. But it is becoming a more common option for residential roofs. However this type of roof still requires a standard roofing structure with soffits and trusses and so forth. There are other roofing materials that may require roofing companies that specialize in certain roofing materials.

There are spray foam roofs or roofs made of PVC components. With so many different roofing materials available you really have to investigate the roofing services companies expertise and experience.

Real Estate Training Guide – How to Become a Successful Real Estate Agent

Real estate training is essential for the people who want to become a successful real estate broker. It helps them to learn all about real estate business. Real estate business requires some time, some basic knowledge of the business and skill to perform all transactions. Real estate business will be one of the good carriers for a hard working person. Real estate training suggests them all the ways to achieve their goals.

License is the basic requirement to become a real estate agent. Even it is an essential thing to conduct real estate business. Real estate Internet is the best option to join real estate business. Some states provide online training courses that will help you to complete pre-license requirements. Before joining real estate business people should satisfy some pre-license requirements. They should; be of at least 19 years, be managed a proctored exam, have high school diploma or some equivalent to it, pass a state exam, have completed a least approved course.

Generally real estate training gives some guidelines to understand some real estate basics. They can easily learn about ownership transfer, real estate law and math with the help of real estate training. They are taught how to deal to with real estate transactions during their course. Real estate training enables them to understand the tips and tricks of the real estate contracts. People who want to join some state approved courses should have initial license.

Anyone can be a successful real estate agent after completing real estate training. They can run a successful business only if they have great professional habits, good salesmanship and the enthusiasm to learn more about real estate. Real estate business requires great working skill.

People can learn about real estate business with some related books. They can also join some online courses that provide information via Internet. Nowadays several people are making money in real estate business. Real estate brokers should be kind, knowledgeable, efficient as well as trustworthy. They should know the skill how to attract more customers. They can also take some suggestion from the experienced real estate agents.

The Need for National Guidelines and Testing in the Home Improvement Industry

It is time for Washington to step up and put legislation in place that will force states to better regulate the home improvement industry. Up to now Washington has left the regulation of the home improvement industry up to state regulators, and for whatever reason(s) many states have fallen considerably short.

There are still some states that do not even have contractor licensing in place for home improvements. For some of the states that do have licensing, the license requirements do not include that the applicant demonstrate the ability to do any type of home improvement work. (That is like saying I will issue you a license to cut hair but you don’t have to demonstrate that you know how to cut hair……… ouch!) Then why do states bother issuing licenses if there are no requirements to demonstrate competence? Revenue? Or could it be that they need more consumer complaints for Consumer Affairs and BBB to handle? The unfortunate consequences of this problem are that homeowners are the ones who are paying the price by receiving poor workmanship and a cascade of home improvement problems.

Let’s be honest, the home improvement industry does not seem to attract the most reliable, honest and competent individuals. The lure of a quick buck and the relative ease to “qualify” to do home improvement work, brings many a “character” to your door. When I was a contractor I needed to hire people for a variety of field positions. Most of the people, who I interviewed and sometimes hired, seemed to have the same type of problems with past employers. These problems consisted of substance abuse issues, honesty issues, and reliability issues. The labor pool never seemed to have an over abundance of talent and employability to pick from.

I remember always reading article after article that dealt with the significant manpower shortage in the home improvement industry. The bottom line of each article would always be the same, “If you can find an honest, reliable and competent person to work for you, pull out all the stops to keep them!!!! Do whatever you need to do to keep that person happy because you’ll never know if you will be lucky enough to find someone to take their place.” As an owner, it was a very constant and stressful problem to deal with. You were almost afraid to try and increase project production because you knew you would have to try and find someone to do the additional work. Finding employees was always an adventure, an adventure that I never looked forward to.

For the last 10-15 years the number one problem in the home improvement industry is the lack of manpower. Many contractors are training and hiring minorities to try and solve this major problem.

If you were to talk to your state authorities about what is being done to improve regulations and screening in the home improvement industry, they will probably tell you something is in the works or there is no money for more regulations (testing). I have been hearing this for 30 years. The county in which I live (Suffolk County, New York) still does not require any demonstration of home improvement ability to obtain a home improvement license. The fee has consistently gone up but the requirements have pretty much stayed the same. We are one of the highest taxed counties in the country, so I refuse to believe there is no money to develop and implement a better policing and screening process in the home improvement industry.