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Archive for the ‘real estate’ tag

Weekend round-up

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Lots of cool turf news this week, some more brain-twisting than others. Also: Why you should keep your tailgate up. Have a good week.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

June 2nd, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Weekly round-up

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I’ve got a wide-ranging list of links for you this week, including advice on how to prepare for Obamacare, insight on the booming (again) housing market and, for you botany nerds, a list of terrible names for wild pansies. Enjoy!

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April 12th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our collection of interesting things we found on the internet this week. Enjoy, and have a great weekend.

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November 9th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Weekly round-up: Turf, bugs and rock and roll

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Here’s our weekly digest of fun and interesting stuff from the world of the web. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

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October 12th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our weekly digest of fun stuff we found online, now with more robots. Have a great weekend.

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September 28th, 2012 at 8:18 am

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our weekly digest of cool and interesting stuff. Happy reading, and we’ll see you next week!

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September 14th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Weekly round-up

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Here’s our round-up of the most interesting stuff from the web. Enjoy your long weekend. We’ll see you back here Tuesday.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

September 1st, 2012 at 12:01 am

Betting on renters

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In the latest issue of Businessweek, we learn about the growing interest by private equity firms in buying up huge swaths of foreclosed homes and renting them out.

To date, they’ve spent more than $7 billion, mostly in the hard-hit markets of the Southwest, on vacant or abandoned single-family homes.

This could be a boon for landscape contractors, as the homes are often in dire need of re-sodding and landscape renovations.

Private equity firms including Colony Capital, Blackstone Group (BX), KKR (KKR), and Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (OZM) are rushing to make similar bets. They plan to spend at least $7.2 billion to snatch up undervalued single-family homes and then rent them out. The aim is to capitalize on U.S. home prices that are 34 percent below their 2006 peak, as well as on a broader shift toward renting. At 65 percent in the first quarter, U.S. homeownership is at its lowest level since 1997. Scott Simon, head of mortgage bonds at Pimco, says about 6 million borrowers will lose their homes in the next five years, creating demand for as many as 4 million new rental homes. “Our view is there’s tons to buy and tons to buy attractively,” says Justin Chang, acting president of Colony Capital’s American Homes unit.

Colony has bought 1,100 homes in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas, with plans to acquire $1.5 billion in property by next April. Colony was among the winners of the largest bulk sale thus far: a $330 million portfolio of 2,500 foreclosed properties auctioned off by Fannie Mae (FNMA), the government-controlled mortgage company that owned 114,000 foreclosed properties as of March 31, according to people with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be identified because they signed confidentiality agreements.

Blackstone, the biggest buyer of U.S. commercial real estate since prices bottomed, has “bought over 2,000 homes at this point,” Jonathan Gray, senior managing director for real estate, said at a July 18 conference, adding that the company “probably spent over $300 million doing this.”

Not everyone’s quite convinced the equity firms will make money on the deals, but it is a glimmer of hope in the troubled real estate market.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

August 3rd, 2012 at 12:23 pm

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No one’s home

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The housing market continues to improve in pockets, but many large metros are still plagued by large numbers of vacant homes:

Vacant properties have increased by 43.8 percent nationwide since 2000, according to the Census Bureau. Homes can be vacant for many reasons, but are defined by the bureau as both unoccupied rental inventory as well as homes that are unoccupied and “for sale.” As of 2011, there were about 14.3 million year-round vacant housing units in the country, with a 10.6 percent gross vacancy rate that excludes seasonal vacancies such as vacation homes.

Earlier this year, the Cleveland Federal Reserve analyzed the impact of foreclosed and vacant homes on the surrounding communities. The study found that a vacant or tax-delinquent house decreases the value of nearby homes by at least 1.3 percent, thanks to poor maintenance, and making the neighborhood appear less desirable.

This effect is amplified in higher-income neighborhoods where a vacancy or foreclosure has a negative price impact of 4.6 percent.

CNBC compiled a slideshow of the 10 emptiest U.S. cities, which you can find here. Some of these will surprise you.

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July 26th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

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Weekly round-up

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Here’s a collection of some of our favorite stuff from the web this week. Enjoy!

  • TruGreen and Terminix add jobs in Dallas, Atlanta.
  • Should you buy your own building? Depends on your market.
  • Some California businesses are turning parking spaces into parks.
  • A new speakers bureau started just for the green industry.
  • Alan Burke has a great post on the ancient meanings of many popular landscape plants.
  • Take a tour of the green roof at ASLA headquarters in Washington.
  • Above: Wear your sunscreen – a cautionary tale. (via)

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

January 13th, 2012 at 1:01 pm