DIY Home Decor

Home Improvement Projects

Whilst you are sitting at home in isolation, bored and staring at your four walls, why not refresh those four walls? There are plenty of home improvement projects from the large to the small that you could take up, to give your home a new lease of life. Whether you have been meaning to repaint your walls, or replace some of your scratched furniture now is the perfect time to get those improvements underway. Not only would they be great projects to distract you and absorb your time but when self-isolations finally ceases and the world rights itself, think how wonderful it would be to have guests in your new home or simply return from a hard day’s work to a beautifully refreshed home. You may gain a real profound sense of achievement and some improvements could even add value to your home. If you can get the materials required via home deliveries – why not look and see where your home could be revamped?

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Refresh and Repaint
One of the quickest and simplest ways to give your home a new lease of life is to repaint, this does not necessarily mean changing colours but if your walls have not been painted for a few years they may have started to dull from general wear and tear. This is also a great opportunity to get some new pictures or artworks up on the wall to add a touch of something new. If you want to go bold however, look at a new colour completely, think contrast for a really powerful and stylish look. You could even paint your ceiling as a feature wall.

Other quick renovations could be to repaint your cabinets. Consider a bold contrasting colour from the rest of the room to really make them shine. Dark colours can really make those cupboard doors look stylish and modern and transform a space whether the kitchen, bathroom or utility. Paint your staircase, update a fireplace or bring some colour into your kitchen with a bold tiled backsplash. Even moving around your furniture can give your home a fresh look.

Grow your Garden
One great little upcycling trend we have seen in the past few years is using old palettes or wood from furniture to make planters. There is a plethora of ideas out there for outdoor upcycling. Consider a window planter or an inbuilt seating area outside with little expense. You could dedicate an area to barbeque space, drinks bar, make your own fire pit or even lay a patio. Get the kids involved and make a wildlife area to attract local animals.

If you have a green thumb why not develop your own allotment or try your hand at landscaping, or simply make space for some of your favourite plants. Gardening is a great way to get out of the house (however limited) and can be quite therapeutic.

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Practical Improvements
There may be some practical changes that you can undertake that would add value to your home. Perhaps your bathroom tiles really need to be ripped out and replaced. Have you been toying with the idea of an attic conversion? Does your attic really need to be insulated? There are plenty of ways from small to large that can help improve your home for yourself and future buyers. From fixing small faults to renovating to create a more stylish and modern space. Perhaps consider swapping out old flooring, reworking your kitchen layout to gain more space or making an office space now that you may have to work from home.

If you have been thinking about an extension, now could be the time to properly plan and research it. Perhaps you have been wanting to reduce your carbon footprint, so use this time to look into alternative green energy providers and see if you can feasibly install solar panelling or similar. Of course, a lot of this work would likely be undertaken after quarantine but research and planning can still be done now.

If you have any old furniture you were getting rid of and can repurpose, or even furniture you are still using that could use an update, consider finding ways in which you can transform those into something new. Upcycling can be as simple as re-upholstering a chair or repainting a unit and changing the handles. The kitchen can be made to look bigger by taking the cabinet doors off and exposing the shelves. For larger projects, could you make a new coffee table out of an old cabinet, or repurpose the wood for shelving, can a wardrobe be made into a bookshelf? If you need to extend your office space can you build a new desk or desk extension? Even old clothes can be made into statement cushion covers or unique patchwork throws.

Infected COVID-19 Patient

National Conference Centre Turned into 4,000 Bed Coronavirus Hospital

The Excel Conference Centre in London has been transformed into a 4,000 bed coronavirus hospital to help tackle the surge in numbers of people suffering from COVID-19.

The Excel Conference Centre is one of biggest event venues in the U.K. and houses hundreds of events, conferences and exhibitions each year. With the outbreak of coronavirus putting a stop to all public events for the foreseeable future, such large spaces remain vacant, that was until an innovative proposition was put forward to utilise such venues as temporary field hospitals.

With the help of the military, Excel was transformed into the new NHS Nightingale Hospital. It was built in just 9 days and provides the equivalent support to around 10 district hospitals, helping to relieve the growing pressure on existing hospitals as numbers of cases continue to rise. Despite the speed at which this new hospital was built, the government received criticism for not acting quickly enough when compared to other countries who have already passed through this stage of the epidemic. China was notably praised for building a giant hospital from scratch, but in comparison to the Nightingale, this was merely a warehouse with beds. Images from inside the Nightingale are far more sophisticated and reveal purpose built beds, oxygen supplies, partitioned wards and a number of other high spec additions. It is clear that this is a fully functioning hospital and far more than simply a dedicated space with beds to house affected patients. The hospital will require around 16,000 personnel to operate and is now ready to start taking its first patients.

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The NHS Nightingale Hospital was officially opened by Prince Charles on Friday 3rd April, who conducted the ceremony via video link. This is the first time such an opening has been conducted virtually, but given the current pandemic and the fact that Prince Charles has only recently finished in self-isolation after being diagnosed with coronavirus, this was clearly the most sensible option. The hospital was aptly named after Florence Nightingale, who is known as the founder of modern nursing. She was a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organized care for wounded soldiers. Given that many have described this as a ‘war’ situation, it is understandable that this would be the name given to the first field hospital of its kind to be created in peace times.

In addition to the Nightingale, further ‘field’ hospitals are currently underway in Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow to help ease the strain on existing hospitals and to ensure that those suffering from COVID-19 are able to be treated in the most effective way. There have been ongoing concerns that hospitals may be overwhelmed and unable to treat the number of patients being admitted with COVID-19, but so far it appears that generally, the NHS has been able to cope with demand. There are obviously some variations to this across the country and with London being the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.K. the cases are exceptionally high, meaning that there is particular strain on services in the area. This is likely to be the reason why the development of the Nightingale has been prioritized, so that immediate assistance can be provided to hospitals in the capital.

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There have been some questions raised over staffing capacity, as reports have suggested that around 25% of healthcare professionals are currently off work self-isolating. The government has promised to ramp up testing of NHS workers to ensure that as many who are safe to return to work can do to help keep up staffing levels. In addition, student nurses are being trained to provide front-line support and medics from the British Army are also being drafted in to provide further support.

As the number of both infections and deaths continue to rise in the U.K. experts believe that the peak of the outbreak will occur within the next couple of weeks, providing everyone adheres to the strict social distancing measures which are currently in place. Although many consider the country to be in ‘lockdown’ much of the measures in place are still advisory, although the prime minister Boris Johnson has said that he will not hesitate to enforce stricter rules if people fail to comply with social distancing. Non-essential stores are now closed and all residents are being urged to work from home unless absolutely necessary. Due to the ambiguous nature of this caveat, there is still confusion over what is considered ‘essential work’ particularly in areas such as construction. As a result, there have been many reports of packed London tube trains due to a reduction in the number of trains running and many people still using the service to get to work.

The efforts of the many people who have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to get the Nightingale hospital ready is commendable, and will undoubtedly help the country in its ongoing fight against the coronavirus.

NYC Real Estate

Antonio Vendome NYC Uses His Real Estate To Embrace Humanity

Antonio Vendome, popularly known as ‘Nino’, is a real example of a person who carries the American dream in his heart. At barely 10 years, Antonio Vendome NYC was doing shoe-shining, but he since has risen to become a renowned real estate developer and investor. His dream was to be carried through by his daughter Raquel Vendome when she decided to quit her career in early childhood education to chase the dream of her father. She has since taken over Vendome Property Management throughout Manhattan and Queens. She has injected her creativity into Vendome projects to realize the most successful Urban Glass House, SoHo art galleries, Habitable Sculpture among other serious real estate investments. With Raquel by his side, this serious business magnate is unstoppable.

The Urban Glass House is uniquely built and features a state-of-the-art gym, bike storage, a structure that was inspired by Philip Johnson’s architectural creativity. After the passing on of Philip, Vendome advanced his creative spirit with the coming in the Habitable Sculpture. Besides, Antonio Vendome has other major investments such as the Studio Vendome and the art galleries.

Antonio Vendome NYC and Raquel Vendome both have a firm belief in giving back to the community. Shortly after the 9th November attack, these two incredible realtors exemplified their good heart of giving back by starting the Vendome’s Canal Street restaurant. They have helped the victims of the incident by offering psychological help and food substances, making a huge impact on humanity. Relying on their prominence in the real estate industry, Antonio Vendome has focused on developing and managing their real estate business in an impressive manner that has boosted the look of New York City.

After the 9/11 US attack, Antonio Vendome decided to give back to the community by donating a substantial amount of his resources to the victims through a Fund, besides organizing a “commando Cooking Operation” that helped the relief workers eat free meals. This was a clear demonstration of his tremendous generosity and the spirit that grows in the human race. The New York Historical Society was impressed by this unique gesture of the love for humanity by preserving some of the items offered by the restaurant owned by Vendome in order to provide the coming generations with inspiring stories amidst circumstances similar to the 9/11 tragedy.

The move to come to the help of the victims and relief workers after the attack has since earned him and his business enough praises from all spheres, including the Smithsonian Museum, Dr. Joseph Scelsa, the founder of the Italian American Museum. His restaurant in the City of New York remained open for 24 hours in order to feed all who needed something to eat. Scelsa says Vendome demonstrated overwhelming love for one’s fellow men through his philanthropy, something that earned him recognition from the Community Board. He looks forward to helping more other people realize their dreams, even when there seems to be no hope.As both a curator and a historian, Vendome has been honored by both individuals and organizations. The evidence of his compassion and love for humanity is endless so much so that his actions have been kept alive in many museums and historic places in the U.S.A.Antonio Vendome is not only a real estate mogul but also a kind-hearted man whose generosity is undoubted. Antonio Vendome has used a big portion of his hard-earned incomes to leave an indelible mark in the history of mankind as the only person who stood up at the time when the victims of the 9/11 needed help.

Raquel Vendome, a daughter to Vendome lives to spur the dream of her father in ways you cannot imagine. From establishing lucrative business ventures to planning property acquisitions, Raquel Vendome learned the art of hard work and echoed her father’s spirit to become one of the youngest real estate investors on the face of the earth.


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Real Estate

Why I’m Against the New Ban on Off-Market Real Estate Listings

A new policy that effectively bans off-market listings is wreaking havoc in the luxury real estate business. The National Association of Realtors says the rule is a positive step forward for the industry—but I have to disagree.

The rule, part of NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy, is meant to foster more cooperation amongst agents and ultimately bring more value to the consumer. Mandatory listings, the thinking goes, will foster transparency and create a more level playing field for everyone. But working with luxury clientele for decades, I know firsthand why successful individuals find off-market listings appealing, and sometimes even necessary, for their privacy and safety.

Publicly listing a home for sale on an MLS, or multiple listing service, means that all information including the address, is aggregated to publicly accessible websites. However, when a home is marketed as an off-listing or “pocket” sale, this information remains as confidential as it could ever possibly be.

With the establishment of its new policy, the NAR’s point of view is that you bring the highest value to the property by opening it up to the public. I can share that when showing a luxury property to a high net worth buyer, that is simply not the case. The luxury buyer wants to feel like they’re purchasing something special—and more importantly, a property where the address is private. In order to better cater to the consumer, especially the ultra-high net worth buyer, I would propose a disclosure agreement that would outline NAR’s concerns associated with off-market listings, but not establish hard and fast rules that inhibit the buyer.

Many times, I work with celebrities who are not interested in having paparazzi parked outside their front door every day or fans seeking a selfie when they’re trying to leave their house to go to dinner. It can become dangerous and unsafe to have their homes listed publicly, where anyone can access their address, and their property winds up on the next Hollywood home tour.

Executives in high power positions are also at a disadvantage. When they’re going through a personal life change, such as a separation or divorce, and want to do so privately, they need to have the option to sell their home quietly without inviting the world to weigh in. In no uncertain terms, it’s an invasion of privacy.

Finally, forcing every property to list on the MLS can be a financial detriment to sellers. The MLS contains a pricing history, a potentially skewed frame of reference that does not factor in the context of the market environment at the time of sale. I’ve witnessed numerous properties struggle to sell after they were listed on the MLS at a certain price point towards the end of the recession and subsequently re-listed a few years later. Ultimately, the consumer has to lower the price and settle for less than what they wanted due to the historical market data that remains on the MLS. Pocket listings, on the other hand, help to provide other data that may better reflect the context of the market at the time.


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Young Couple Talking to Real Estate Agent

Not All Real-Estate Agents Are Created Equal, Survey Says

Ninety-nine percent of respondents to a new poll commissioned by Century 21 Real Estate said their agent added value during the home-transaction process, but members of the public seem to be taking a somewhat lackadaisical attitude toward choosing those who represent them.

On average, buyers and sellers interviewed only two agents before settling on a selection, the survey revealed.

“We’re seeing a real disconnect within the real-estate industry today, where homebuyers and sellers are extremely invested in the outcome of their transaction, yet they seem to be shortchanging themselves on the front end by rushing the vetting process to find the right agent,” said Mike Miedler, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.

“Every potential homebuyer or seller should be extremely selective in whom they entrust to shepherd them through this complicated process,” Miedler said.

A lack of effort up front can result in a mismatch between clients and agents. According to the survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, 34 percent of recent buyers are not very likely to rehire the agent they just worked with.

The survey also revealed that buyers may end up feeling a tad abandoned after taking possession of their new home. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) who used a real-estate agent said that their agent had not reached out to make contact with them after closing was wrapped up.

Those who used an agent to help them complete their transaction rated knowledge of the market (73 percent), advice and counsel (72 percent) and navigating stress (53 percent) as the top benefits provided by agents. And 92 percent of recent purchasers agreed that their agent was very patient throughout the emotional ups and downs of the home-buying process.

The survey findings also revealed that nearly seven in 10 Americans rank buying a home as one of their top three greatest life achievements. In fact, a home purchase was second only to getting married (76 percent), the survey revealed.


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Nice Restaurant

The Link Between Restaurant Inspections and New York’s Wild Real-Estate Market

In a recently published paper, New York University computer-science professor Anasse Bari and graduate students Rafael Moraes and Jiachen Zhu found that traditional price-forecasting models can be enhanced by adding data sets available through New York City’s “Open Data” project, which makes a range of data published by city agencies and their partners available to the public.

In particular, crime statistics and restaurant health inspections offered the most insightful guide. And in the case of the restaurant data, that was a bit of a surprise, Bari told MarketWatch, in an interview.

It’s clear that nice restaurants and nice neighborhoods often go together.

“The intuition came from the fact that in New York, in many places where we have good restaurants it looks like somehow that affects the rents or the housing prices,” Bari said.

But the researchers initially thought the best potential insights might come from social-media reviews. One problem, however, was the well-documented issue of fake reviews. Business owners, after all, have an incentive to post positive reviews online that can distort the ratings.

In contrast, health inspection results can’t be faked. And every restaurant in New York is subject to at least one unannounced inspection a year. So in the end, high health ratings offer a cleaner perspective and provide a more useful signal than reviews, Bari said.

That said, making the model work wasn’t as easy as just going to Open Data and plugging in the figures. Substantial data cleaning and mapping efforts were also required, Bari explained.

To create the final data set, the researchers filtered only apartments that appeared at least twice in the data and stored their prices and sale dates, which allowed them to calculate the average monthly price growth for apartments in each zip code.

In a backtest, the researchers gathered data through 2017, then used predictive analytics to fuse the alternative data sources with historical prices to make predictions for 2018. They compared their findings to traditional forecast models based solely on historical price data. The results indicated that both the inspections data and the crime statistics led to better predictions and a lower error rate compared with relying solely on historical prices, Bari explained.

“The idea is that the two other data sets are much noisier but they still contain a faint signal that can improve our predictions. This is arguably plausible given the complexity of big cities, where many measurable factors are interconnected and can reinforce each other with certain time delays,” the researchers wrote, in the paper.

The paper also serves to underline why investors should be dissuaded from thinking that they can simply plug into a single data set and expect it to deliver market-beating insights.

Bari and other alternative-data experts caution against the hype that has accompanied the explosion of new data sets available to investors seeking an edge on the markets. An increasingly digitized economy, falling data storage prices and vastly growing computing power and other technological advances have made available a range of nontraditional data sets — from satellite images to credit-card data to web-scraping services — and spawned a rapidly growing industry.

For investors, individual alternative data sets by themselves should generally be expected to deliver results similar to traditional data sets, these experts say. The potential advantage is that a more diverse range of data sets combined with predictive analytics — a term that covers the use of historical data, statistical techniques and machine learning to make forecasts — can provide more accurate predictions that traditional data alone.

“This research project is a proof-of-concept of using two new data sets to make predictions of real-estate markets,” Bari said. An investment firm could use other data sets and use the same data-science approach described in the paper in an effort to improve their real estate predictions, he said.


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Real Estate Meeting

The 2020 Real Estate Market: What You Need to Know

While it’s most important to know what’s happening in your area, it’s also a good idea to have a general overview. In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, Steve Harney shares what experts are saying about this year’s real estate market in “2020 Market Predictions for Real Estate.”

After being in the industry for over 25 years, Harney is a residential real estate expert who specializes in market trends. He started as an agent and then developed his own 500-agent real estate firm.

Currently, Harney works with producers to help them achieve success. He is often quoted in major news sources and is recognized as one of the most accurate market trends predictors today.

In his Secrets webinar, Harney shares information about home price appreciation, interest rates and inventory and demand. Find out everything you need to know so you can talk to your clients as an expert.

When thinking about when to make your next push in the industry, Harney advises not to wait until spring when most of the competition will also be out. Instead, he recommends starting now, since buyers are already flooding the market.

Because there will be a greater influx of buyers and higher demand for homes, CoreLogic predicts that home prices will rise at least 5 percent over the year. Similarly, home value is expected to continue to appreciate. This is due to an inventory shortage and a high demand from buyers. In fact, in 2019, housing inventory dropped overall by 12 percent, while homes available for less than $200,000 dropped by 18 percent. This poses a challenge, especially since millennials and Generation X buyers are flooding the market, looking for low-cost homes. Harney says the best way to avoid issues with this is by listing properties as soon as they become available, especially if they’re in the lower price range.

During the webinar, a listener asked whether home sales would be affected by the 2020 election. Harney explained that, yes, there may be a slight decrease in home sales during that time. However, it’s not due to a lack of buyers. Instead, it’s because people are distracted by the election and put off buying. As a result of this, generally, home sales the following year are expected to significantly increase.

To learn more of Harney’s tips and listen to the full recording of the webinar, join the Secrets of Top Selling Agents Facebook Group here. For more free real estate education, including best practices, visit the Secrets of Top Selling Agents website.


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Airbnb Sues Miami Real Estate Developer It Once Gave Rights To Its Name

Airbnb now says that the Miami real estate developer it entrusted to open the first apartment buildings branded with its name violated a January 2019 agreement and stole at least $1 million.

Lawyers for the home-sharing company filed a suit in San Francisco federal court Thursday against NGD Homesharing and CEO Harvey Hernandez. The suit alleges that “NGD and Hernandez stole funds, made unauthorized loans to other Hernandez-controlled companies, fraudulently backdated documents, breached contracts, and then lied repeatedly in an attempt to cover their tracks.”

The complaint concludes, “NGD utterly failed to deliver on the core purpose of this partnership: creating more homesharing accommodations for the Airbnb community, particularly in urban, multi-family buildings.” Airbnb is seeking to terminate the relationship and recover its investment.

In a statement, attorney Michael G. Austin, who is representing NGD Homesharing, described the lawsuit as “baseless” and “factually inaccurate” and accused Airbnb of “attempting to use its size (and litigation tactics) to improperly usurp an innovative business.” Austin and Hernandez declined to comment further.

According to the complaint, the relationship between Airbnb and Hernandez goes back to 2016 when the startup loaned his real estate development company $1 million to explore homesharing-friendly properties. Hernandez’s Newgard Development Group has built several hotels and residences around Miami.

In October 2017, Airbnb and Hernandez announced plans for a 324-unit apartment complex in Kissimmee, Florida. The project, near Walt Disney World, was supposed to open in early 2018 and would be the first in a series of developments branded Niido Powered by Airbnb.

The idea was that instead of going behind the landlord’s back, tenants would be encouraged to rent out their units for up to 180 nights each year. Niido would provide an Airbnb-integrated app and take a management fee.

Up to that point, most real estate owners and operators had fought tenants who wanted to sublet their apartments through short-term rental marketplaces, often citing security concerns. Niido was an early attempt by a developer to participate in the homesharing boom.

“This partnership shows how landlords, developers and Airbnb can work together to create value for everyone and better serve tenants,” Jaja Jackson, then the head of Airbnb’s multifamily partnerships, said in a statement. A few months later, Brookfield Property Partners agreed to invest up to $200 million in Niido. In a July 2019 report, Cushman & Wakefield argued that short-term rentals could be the next hot real estate investment.

But it became clear that Niido tenants did not feel served. The property in Florida and another in Nashville, Tennessee, already had tenants in place when Hernandez’s team took over. Many residents who had signed traditional yearlong leases felt blindsided. “Surprise, You Live in a Giant Airbnb,” read one headline from Bloomberg.

The relationship continued. The complaint says that in January 2019, Airbnb invested $11 million with Hernandez in exchange for a commitment to open seven real estate projects in 2019 and another seven in 2020.

The company opened zero last year and operates just the original two. “We really wanted to have Niidos in every major city in the U.S., but there are a ton of regulatory challenges in cities where we want to have a presence,” Hernandez told Forbes in June 2019.

At that time, he was pivoting to a new plan, this time to open condominium towers—where residents would own the units—that were purpose-built for homesharing. The first two are planned for Miami and Austin and would operate under the new brand Natiivo and also be part of Powered by Airbnb.

The apparent failure of the Niido experiment is a blow for Airbnb. As the company prepares to go public this year, it is signaling a huge appetite for high-quality supply. Last year, it led a $160 million funding round in Lyric, one of several startups bulk-leasing empty apartments and renting out units by the night.


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NYC Real Estate

NYC Real Estate Market Values Increased Very Slowly

Market values of New York homes, apartment buildings and commercial space are rising at their slowest pace in six years.

The properties rose in value by 3.6 percent overall, while commercial property values rose by 2.4 percent, and hotel values went up by less than 1 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing data from a new assessment roll released last week. The total market value of all properties in New York City was at about $1.4 trillion, a $62 billion jump from last January.

Property tax bills are projected to rise by 6.7 percent in the fiscal year starting July 1, provided tax rates do not change.

The weak growth in valuations comes in the wake of a lengthy slump in New York’s real estate market, which has been facing slow home sales, slow rent growth and declining commercial sales.

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7 Ways to Invest for Income

Investing for income is an appealing concept for investors of all kinds. If you’re focused on increasing your nest egg’s size, then a reliable stream of cash is appealing because it removes some of the guesswork. And if you’re at or near retirement, income-generating investments are a great way to have your portfolio pay you a little at a time instead of generating a big chunk of cash by selling off assets forever. Regardless of your age, strategy or portfolio value, income investing is an important area that should be at least a small part of how you allocate your money. Here are seven ways that have something to offer.

One of the most common ways to invest for income is via the bond market. However, bonds are also one of the most varied and complicated asset classes. There are government bonds that involve loans to local municipalities, the U.S. federal government or even foreign governments. There are also corporate bonds that involve loans to enterprises of all shapes and sizes. And finally, the yield generated by a given bond varies based on the specifics, including the borrower’s risk profile and the maturity of the bond. Properly researching individual bonds can be quite a task. As a result, most individual investors instead opt for bond funds.

Dividend stocks are generally riskier than bonds, since companies pay them out of their profits. As the financial crisis of 2008 demonstrated, even the most stable companies can have a crisis that dries up profits. Consider Citigroup (ticker: C), which slashed payouts from 54 cents a quarter in 2007 to a measly penny per share after the financial crisis. Still many are willing to take on this extra risk if it means they can enjoy the potential of a regular payday with the long-term hopes of seeing their initial investment grow alongside the rest of the stock market. Dividend stocks can be a win-win when they deliver capital appreciation and consistent income.

Preferred stock is a kind of hybrid between stocks and bonds. It is less stable than bonds, since the stock value can fluctuate thanks to market forces. Preferred shares take a back seat to bondholders in the event of bankruptcy, but offer more stability than common shares. And income investors will be particularly interested in the fact that these assets tend to provide a significantly higher yield. As the name implies, preferred stock isn’t just handed out to anyone. But several ETFs, such as the iShares Preferred and Income Securities ETF (PFF), allow you to invest in this asset class with only a modest amount of cash.

Another popular investment class for income investors is real estate. That includes buying a property in your hometown and renting it for income, as well as the arms-length strategy of investing in publicly traded real estate stocks. There’s a special class of stock known as the real estate investment trust that grants favorable tax treatment to a corporation if it distributes nearly all of its net income to shareholders. This creates a leg up for firms that need a ton of capital to purchase and manage properties, but also for investors seeking income. Investors can buy individual REITs or put money in an ETF for ease and diversification.

There are several nontraditional sources that can help supplement your income potential if you’re willing to put in the time and energy to seek them out. Some living near shale oil fields may find they can earn a regular paycheck by selling mineral rights to the energy under their land. Others may participate in peer-to-peer lending, where you act as a banker to loan cash to someone starting a business or expanding their house. Those with means could consider a silent partnership in a local business. These nontraditional sources all require diligence, since they are not typical investments. But they can be a useful source of diversification and, in certain cases, bigger income potential.

Another income opportunity is the tried-and-true method of parking your cash at your bank or credit union to generate surefire monthly interest payments. With a guarantee by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. up to $250,000, these are perhaps the most certain income investments on the planet. The tradeoff for that safety comes in the lower yield. A one-year certificate of deposit account offers about 2% in potential income at current rates, which would amount to $5,000 annually on that FDIC-insured maximum of $250,000. Unless you have other sources of income or wealth, a CD alone likely won’t grow your nest egg or provide the cash you need in retirement.


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