Investors new to flipping should verify insurance


CHICAGO – Oct. 11, 2016 – A home renovation can be an overwhelming experience with high stakes. Investors must create an overall vision for the project, gauge its financial feasibility, find a reliable contractor and hope for a smooth construction process. But an important consideration often falls by the wayside: Making sure the project is adequately insured.

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Whatever a home remodel entails, it's important that all the players involved are insured – from the homeowner to the general contractor to any subcontractors, says Mark Komiskey, director of homeowners products at Esurance. He recently shared five insurance tips to help keep investors financially sound as they consider a home renovation.

1. Notify the insurance company before the renovation
Home remodels, big or small, typically increase the value of th

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5 Fla. cities rank in top 30 for economic growth


LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. – Oct. 3, 2016 – With the economy rebounding since the Great Recession, WalletHub, a personal-finance website, attempted to identify the U.S. cities that grew the most rapidly between 2009 and 2015. To do that, it considered 14 metrics, ranging from "population growth rate" to "college-educated population growth" to "unemployment rate decrease."

WalletHub broke down the results by city size and also by specific metric. Overall, however, five Florida cities made the top 30: Lehigh Acres (No. 3), Fort Myers (14), Brandon (16), Miramar (17) and Palm Coast (28).

"Experts might not agree on the 'best' or the 'right' recipe for rapid economic growth, but some cities have figured out the key ingredients and how to stir the pot just right to sustain long-term prosperity," WalletHub said in the study. "Patterns emerge within those c

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4 Fla. metros at top of ‘best cities to invest’ list


LOS ANGELES– Sept. 28, 2016 – GOBankingRates surveyed 61 out of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. to find the best and worst cities to own investment property. And according to their analysis, Orlando ranked No. 1 as the top metro area in the U.S. to own investment property, with Tampa coming in second.

Overall, four Florida cities ranked in the top 15. Miami came in at No. 10 and Jacksonville at No. 13.

GOBankingRates offers a map of the best and worst investment cities on its website.

To create the rankings, the study analyzed the following factors:

  • Employment growth: the percent change in the city's number of employed people year-over-year
  • Population growth: the percent change in the city's population year-over-year
  • Increase in home values

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EB-5 visa program set to expire Sept. 30


WASHINGTON – Sept. 22, 2016 – Without a Congressional extension, the EB-5 visa program that grants visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in an American business that creates 10 jobs will expire on Sept. 30. Beyond the benefits to the residential real estate market from immigrant home sales, it has also become a targeted source of capital in the commercial real estate industry.

The EB-5 program's future isn't clear, though Congress could decide to temporarily extend it at least through the November elections. The program was previously slated to end on Sept. 30, 2015, before lawmakers extended it through stopgap bills.

While the EB-5 program has many backers, the current form of the program has been criticized, and some lawmakers want to see changes rather than a simple extension.

One senator from Iowa for example, doesn't want co

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U.S. home flipping increases to a six-year high in Q2 2016


IRVINE, Calif. – Sept. 16, 2016 – ATTOM Data Solutions, the new parent company of RealtyTrac, has released its Q2 2016 U.S. Home Flipping Report, which shows a total of 51,434 U.S. single family home and condo sales were completed flips in the second quarter of 2016, up 14 percent from the previous quarter and up 3 percent from a year ago to the highest number of home flips since Q2 2010 – a six-year high.

For the report, a home flip is defined as a property that is sold in an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period based on publicly recorded sales deed data collected by ATTOM Data Solutions in more than 950 counties accounting for more than 80 percent of the U.S. population.

Homes flipped in Q2 2016 accounted for 5.5 percent of all single family and condo sales during the quarter, down from 6.7 percent of all sales in the first quarter but up from 5.4 percent of all sales i

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