MaleSingaporeMember since 7 Dec 13Last online 4 years ago

  • ginjovanniwozhi

    Dorota Dyman Associates Tips: Estate agents can win from blooming property market

    House prices are rising, spring is in the air and the property market is blooming. Estate agency and lettings chain Martin & Co floated on the stock market in December and is ideally positioned to benefit from the new mood. At 129p, the shares offer robust, long-term value.

    Martin & Co was founded by entrepreneur Richard Martin in the 1980s. Starting out in Yeovil, Somerset, the business did well and in 1996, the company adopted a franchise model so it could grow at a faster pace without recourse to the banks.

    Under this structure, agents run their own businesses but have access to Martin & Co’s support and experience in areas such as IT, marketing, shopfitting and training. They also benefit from collective purchasing and in exchange, they give the company 9 per cent of their annual revenues.

    The system works in part because many Martin agents come from other professions, ranging from policemen to vicars to tennis coaches. They are looking for change, they want to run their own businesses but they need training and advice to be able to set up and Martin & Co gives provides them with this help.
    Even seasoned agents like the idea of support from a larger parent and many are given financial help too, particularly in the early years.

    The company now has 160 franchisees operating 190 branches from Scotland to Devon.
    Until recently, the business focused exclusively on letting, working with landlords, finding them tenants and managing their properties. In 2012, however, the company added sales to its roster and most franchisees now cover both selling and letting.

    The move was smart, as the housing market has picked up dramatically in the past two years and sales have increased considerably. A number of landlords have begun to sell their properties, too, and Martin can now pick up this business.
    Conversely, when people buy property to let, they frequently use the estate agent involved in the sale. Martin’s is winning business here, too.

    Investors can become suspicious when founders decide to float their business on the stock market. In Richard Martin’s case, however, he has stayed on as chairman and only sold half his shares, keeping the rest in the business. In his mid-60s, he is keen to have a little more free time so he is a non-executive chairman and the day-to-day running of the business is handled by chief executive Ian Wilson.

    Read full article at

    More related content:
  • ginjovanniwozhi

    Dorota Dyman Associates Tips for first-time homebuyers

    The market can be tough for first-time buyers so with the spring homebuying season now in full swing (March through June are the year’s four busiest months), here are some tips for first-time homebuyers.

    With two daughters and a baby on the way, Carlos and Cinthya Jijon decided last year to buy a house for about the same monthly cost as a bigger apartment. But they couldn’t find a home.

    Supply was tight. And investors armed with fistfuls of cash outbid them every time.

    This month, however, the Jijons are unpacking, settling into a one-story house in Buena Park, Calif. The auto-parts deliveryman and the nurse made the transition from renters to first-time homebuyers.

    The market is tough for first-time buyers such as the Jijons, and statistics show the number of first-timers is falling.

    But the Jijons persevered, taking an eight-hour homebuying course, learning about cash-assistance programs, and getting loads of practical advice. They beat the odds.

    With the spring homebuying season now in full swing (March through June are the year’s four busiest months), here are some tips for first-time homebuyers.

    Determine what you can afford. The first step is to meet with a lender, review your finances and find out how much you can afford to spend on a home and how much you have for your down payment.

    “If they qualify for a $300,000 house, they shouldn’t be wasting their time looking at a $500,000 house,” says Maritza Reyna, an education manager at Consumer Credit Counseling Service.

    Experts also warn not to shop for the most expensive home you qualify for, unless you truly can live with the payment that comes with it.

    Shop for a mortgage. Don’t use whatever lender your agent recommends without doing some independent shopping, says former loan processor and author Carolyn Warren.

    Another classic mistake: calling 10 lenders and asking for their interest rates. A lender can’t be held to those quotes, so “it’s just going to lead you to the smoothest-talking liar,” says Warren, author of “Homebuyer Beware” and another book on mortgage rip-offs.

    She says it’s better to look up mortgage rates online, then call three or four lenders and mortgage brokers and ask them for a written list showing their fees.

    “The lowest rate is no good if you’re paying too much in fees,” Warren says.

    Check for down-payment assistance. Before you shop, check to see if you qualify for one of the down-payment assistance programs.

    “Don’t assume your income is too high,” says Karla Lopez del Rio of NeighborWorks Orange County, a housing assistance agency. “These special programs, no one’s going to tell you about it if you don’t seek it out.”

    Get preapproved. Getting a lender to preapprove a loan before you shop can make your offers more attractive, while avoiding deals falling apart because loans don’t get approved during escrow.

    Get all the documentation you’ll need for the loan process — W2s, tax returns, pay stubs, bank account statements. Find out from your lender exactly what you’ll need.

    And go to to get your free credit reports from all three major credit agencies. If necessary, follow the steps for correcting errors or repairing your credit.

    Pick an agent who’s right for you. Get referrals for agents from friends and family, then talk to each one. Look for someone with whom you can communicate.

    Read full article at

    More related content:
  • ginjovanniwozhi

    Dorota Dyman Associates Tips: Top X-factor index of global cities

    New York and London are the leading cities in terms of wealth generation and economic growth which means they are likely to appeal to expats seeking a world class city to live and work in.

    A new report from international real estate adviser, Savills, classes leading cities on their prominence and fame, as well as economy and size that give them what it calls ‘world class’ city status with the X-factor.

    The firm has looked at a combination of global competitiveness, together with measures such as connectivity, international visitors and web search data, to determine overall world city status.

    Behind New York and London are Singapore and Paris followed by emerging cities such as Moscow, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro which are less established leading global cities in the top tier of 12 covered by the study.

    ‘Our definition of a world city is not just based on size or economic prosperity, but other less tangible factors. These include fame, prominence, international reach and investability, all factors that are not revealed by population and GDP figures alone,’ said Yolande Barnes, director of Savills World Research.

    Read full article at

    more related content:
  • ginjovanniwozhi

    Dorota Dyman Associates Tips: How to Make Billions While Making People Happy and Saving the Planet

    Real-estate legend Sam Zell said recently that the “End of Suburbia” might be happening. Right here and now.

    Of course, all the suburban dreck that was built in the last six decades isn’t going to vaporize. But, in terms of new construction — in other words, the real estate development business — reproducing the postwar, automobile-dependent Suburbia pattern is a money-losing proposition.

    “You’re drawing all the young people in America to these 24/7 cities,” said Zell last October. “The last thing they want to do is live in the suburbs.”

    Of course, as people get a little older, compromises ensue. But, that doesn’t mean they like it. “Why would anyone live in the suburbs, except to provide schools for their kids?” Zell asked.

    The first criticisms of the American automobile suburb began about the same time as the suburbs themselves appeared in the 1920s and expanded in the postwar period. “There’s no there there,” lamented Gertrude Stein about Oakland, California, in 1937. She would know — she grew up there.

    But, if we aren’t going to build suburbs, what should we build?

    I propose that we build what I call the Traditional City — the normal form of human urban living for the last five thousand years. The Traditional City is the basic form of historic cities in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and both pre-Columbian and post-Columbian Americas.

    It is the form of ancient Rome, of the Aztecs’ capital city Tenochtitlan, of ancient Cuzco and Machu Picchu, of Alexandria in Egypt, and medieval Kyoto. It is also the basic form of most of modern Tokyo (built after 1950), central Paris, and Kathmandu, Nepal.

    Hundreds of millions of people — perhaps billions — are living in Traditional City environments today, throughout Europe and Asia. You could hardly think of anything that has a longer track record of proven success.

    The world’s most beloved urban places — central Paris, Venice, Florence, Santorini, Greece, the best parts of Kyoto, Hanoi, Bangkok and Quebec City — are inevitably in the Traditional City form. Obviously, it is popular.

    Americans spend thousands of dollars and travel for days to escape their Suburban neighborhoods, and enjoy a week in Barcelona, Amsterdam, or Innsbruck.

    Alas, here in the United States, we hardly have any examples of the Traditional City form. We have what I call 19th Century Hypertrophism, the form of all U.S. cities and towns built after 1780 or so. This later morphed into two new forms in the 20th century — automobile Suburbia and the high-rise 20th Century Hypertrophism popularized by French architect Le Corbusier in the 1920s and exemplified today by places like Dubai, New York’s Stuyvesant Town, and much recent highrise construction in places like Shanghai.

    Think of the best parts of Europe’s best cities — places like Rome, Lyon, Lisbon or Madrid. Is there anything like that in the U.S.? Obviously not.

    If 19th Century Hypertrophism worked, then we would today be celebrating the beauty of places like Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Buffalo and the Bronx. Despite some pleasing elements, our 170-year experiment in 19th Century Hypertrophism (1780-1950) was a failure. Alas, even the confused “New Urbanists” in the U.S. don’t really grasp this, and attempt to reproduce this failed experiment, with predictably mediocre results.

    After literally decades of real-world experience, we can conclude today that 19th Century Hypertrophism and 20th Century Hypertrophism are failures.

    Besides creating better living spaces for people (as demonstrated by thousands of existing successes worldwide) — which also happen to be inherently cheaper to build and live in — the Traditional City, in its modern form today in places like Osaka with a fully-developed train system, is also vastly less consumptive of resources. It is the path not only to a more pleasant lifestyle, but also a much more environmentally-friendly one.

    Read full article at

    More related content:
  • ginjovanniwozhi

    Dorota Dyman Associates Tips: 5 Ways You Should Be Screening Potential Landlords

    The real estate rental market is fast paced, competitive and sometimes daunting. During the stress of finding a rental that fits your needs, you sometimes run into yet another brick wall: the landlord. Some landlords can be nosey people. Every corner your turn at an apartment viewing they’re racking off another list of things they need before you’re approved. But before you slip your social, you might want to do some research of your own. Here are five ways to screen your landlord or property manager before you sign a lease.

    1. Find Foreclosures

    According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s an entirely possible that your dream apartment is in the foreclosure process. Meaning, a landlord could try to rent an apartment he or she doesn’t even own. You could lose your deposit, and worse, your home.

    Look into tax records and find out who actually owns the rental. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a property management company, research any recent foreclosures for their properties. If the company is underwater or filing for bankruptcy, your lease terms might be shorter than you think.

    2. Check Criminal Records

    It’s important to know your landlord’s prior convictions. From fraud to assault, your potential property manager could have a horrifying history.

    If a criminal record can disqualify a potential tenant, then why not a landlord? has several tips on ways to search for criminal records.

    3. Consider Complaints suggests investigating potential complaints through the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, “check websites such as Yelp for complaints about the landlord. You can also check with your city or county Chamber of Commerce to see if they register complaints or have knowledge of any other local agencies that would keep such information.”

    You could find a laundry list of tenants who mysteriously never received their deposit or never got the features promised in their lease.

    Read full article at

    more related content:
Loading ...