Picking a home using a Mobile Device

cropped-View-of-GardenSt-copy.jpgMore than half of all U.S. listing-page views now occur through a mobile device, overtaking desktop searches in the high-end markets.

Erika Goyzueta recently searched, toured and purchased a two-bedroom cottage—all via her iPhone.

Ms. Goyzueta and her husband Jason Velez of Irvington, N.Y., had been searching for a vacation home on Cape Cod for four months. When their real-estate agent, Maureen Green, found a cottage listed for $199,000 in November, Ms. Goyzueta didn’t want to wait to see the property in person. Instead, she took a video tour led by Ms. Green the next day.

“I was a little on the fence and wondered if I’d really see all the little minute details,” says Ms. Goyzueta, a 35-year-old film and television freelancer and mother of three. “But I loved the property. I loved the location. I was shocked that after the tour, I was ready to make an offer.” She made an offer that day.

Ms. Goyzueta is part of a growing force of home buyers who use a mobile device, such as a smartphone, as a primary information-gathering tool. More than half of all page views of listings nationwide now occur through a mobile device, as opposed to a desktop computer, according to an analysis by Realtor.com. Of mobile searches, more than twice as many listings are viewed via iPad and iPhone than via Android devices. Searches with iPhones are nearly three times as high as Android searches.

Realtor.com examined listing page views by desktop and mobile device in the most-expensive and least-expensive markets in the second quarter of 2013 as compared with the same period in 2012.

Overall, high-price homes—those listed for $1 million and up—made up a small proportion of total mobile usage: less than 6% of total mobile searches. But in high-price markets, iPad and iPhone searches are significantly more common than Android searches compared with lower-priced markets, according to Realtor.com. Mobile searches overtook desktop searches in four of the most expensive markets by median price: Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.; Bergen-Passaic, N.J.; Orange County, Calif., and Oakland, Calif.

“These are the markets where you’re seeing the highest real-estate recovery and homes are selling very quickly,” says Errol Samuelson, president of Realtor.com. In expensive markets, home buyers want to know about a property’s status immediately so they don’t miss an opportunity. A mobile user typically submits five times as many property inquiries than a Web user, he adds. Searches from Samsung’s Android-based devices skew toward lower-priced homes, perhaps because Samsung devices are generally less expensive than Apple devices, says Mr. Samuelson.

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4 Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid

Although today’s market may have its unique problems and challenges, buyers still have the options available to pick from. If your home is in need of a sale, then you will likely be prone to making a few mistakes along the way if you’ve never done this before. This could however turn out to be quite costly if you’re not careful. The following few tips will give you more information on what you must do to avoid such mistakes:

  • Avoid asking for far too much money when you place your property on the market. Although you may have once paid a great deal of money for your home, you must keep in mind that currently its real value is hardly the same. The worth of your home is pretty much only as the market itself decides, so you will have to make sure you can find buyers over the amount of profits you can make. If you set your price way too high, then you risk your property standing on the market for far too long.

You should also do your best to focus on a good marketing phase, even if you believe that your home has non need of more than a few good photos to show off its magnificence. The best way to guarantee a sale is to cover all bases in terms of marketing and all connected aspects. One of the most common ways of doing that today is online advertising through either website listings or other options. Never wait until the last moment to do that, since it will only make things a lot harder for you overall. Getting a realtor on your side will help you on your sales efforts, as they can greatly improve the marketing strategy you focus on.

  • Never deal with the sales efforts alone if you can, especially if you have zero experience in selling or buying homes, having never done this before. If you have never done it before you will need professional help no matter what you may believe. A lot of people will never end up purchasing or selling a property in their entire lifetime, so they will also have no understanding of the many laws involved in the process. A realtor will have an excellent idea about the properties sold in your area as well as the laws you will need to deal with. Check for possible references before you interview an agent that attracted your attention instead of opting to take on things by yourself.
  • You must never avoid or neglect a poorly maintained home or any broken objects. If your future buyers walk through your home and they happen to notice such issues, then they will be far less inclined to actually purchase anything after all. You must address these things long before you decide to actually move on to selling things on the market.

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St. Nevis and Kitts Real Estate Buyer Tips

If you are a willing buyer on the scene of real estate, you will likely have a good idea that proper preparation is key to a successful purchase. Being as prepared as you can be, you need to make sure you’re ready for even the unexpected parts of the process. The tips ahead will give you more information on the subject, so you can move toward a successful purchase with less trouble involved:

  • Start your search by checking out the prices of the local homes in the area. You will likely have quite a few listings to choose from, but that number largely depends on the density of local population and the activity on the market. Check local MLS listings as well if you need more information on the subject.
  • You need to also consider the total costs of the home each month, such as taxes, insurance and other expenses not covered in the original cost. If you want to know the exact amount of money you would have to deal with, then the affordability calculations will allow you to understand the results better and to stick to a more reasonable outcome. You need to do the same with the insurance escrow as well, so look for an insurance company that fits your needs, giving you an estimate on the amount you will have to pay eventually. The last thing you need to make sure you check with is the amount of property tax you will need to pay as well.
  • You have to look for the closing costs of the property of your choice as well. They will also enter the overall sum you will have to pay, so keep it in mind when you deal with the final preparations of your budget. Things like settlement and government fees, closing costs and more will be a part of the payment, so you have to check the averages of those before you make your purchase.
  • In the end, you have to take a good, long look at the budget you work with and figure out whether these expenses will go beyond a safe, 30% margin of the total income you have. If it does, then you will risk quite a bit by going beyond that. Make use of a real estate agent to find the best solution for this situation. In the end all it takes is some prior research and preparation to make the perfect purchase. You can contact house removal company if you need professional moving help.

St. Kitts and Nevis Real Estate Landlord Tips

If you want to be a successful landlord, then you will need to do your best to do a bit of research, both before you pick your tenants, before you rent your property out for potential tenants. If you fail to work on that, then you will likely feel pretty overwhelmed when the time comes. You should use the tips of this article to get things organized better. This will be necessary if you have more than one property to manage:

  • Begin by building up a network of good references. Though the future renters of the home will do what they can to look as presentable as they can. You must still check for references from previous places they have lived in, as there may be all manner of individuals looking for a place. If you want to keep things more controlled, you should screen some of the potentials. Make sure you don’t do your screening based on a race, religion or other similar trait however.
  • Something else you need to consider when it comes to your interests is to look after the interests of your tenants as well. Each of your interactions with the tenants will have to have some sort of either digital or paper trail. If they even have to have maintenance, then you will need to have that in writing just for your records if nothing else. You will also need to work on figuring out tax deductions if there are any.
  • There is no denying that the most important thing a landlord does is provide a reliable, good residence for their tenants. The building/apartment you rent out will have to be as clean and good as you can make it, so depending on the location, you will need to do what you can to make the home as secure and practical a possible. This will help you with insurance premiums as well, so work on it.
  • If you must work with a manager, then you will have to make your choice with care. A manager will take care of a lot of things for you, especially if you don’t have the time to do so. Look for possible choices, check for references, interview potential candidates for the position and make sure you ensure they will be there when you need them.
  • You have to ensure you put a lot of attention to details, especially in terms of rental insurance. You will need a liability insurance when you work with real estate. The price itself may vary, but the need for it is undeniable. Get in contact with an insurance agent and figure out how you want to handle this too.

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St. Kitts and Nevis Moving Tips and Guidelines

A lot of people yearn for a change, something to make their lives different, exciting and free of the tedium of prolonged living in a single spot. Others are looking for a more peaceful opportunity to enjoy a life away from the megalopolises of today. Those of us who get the chance to move ahead with our plans can choose a number of locations to do so, such as the wonderful St. Kitts and Nevis. The following steps will give you an idea what you can do to make things happen in a more effective way:

Since you plan on moving to the islands, you should make sure you understand what you will have a chance to experience here. Read more about local culture, cuisine, language and affordability so you can adapt faster once you arrive. This will take some time, but regardless of that you will need to do it so you can enjoy the area as best as you can. You will also need to make sure you find the right home for you, contacting local real estate agents and seeing what they have to offer before you firmly decide on moving there.

  • Final preparations

There are things that will require your immediate attention before you move, so you will need to make sure you finish with them before you move ahead to your new home. You will need to begin by canceling all your subscriptions at your old place of residence, then following up with utilities, services and more you won’t be dealing with once you make your move. You will also need to address your friends and family, letting them know of your decision and allowing them time to see you in person before you move out. If you happen to be moving permanently, you will need to le the authorities know so you won’t have to pay taxes. You will also need to check for the right moving company to get the job done for you, preferably one with a good track record of international moving. Call up companies for a free estimate on their prices and time frame for best results.

  • Money-saving

One thing you will likely face before moving to the islands is quite a bit of expenses. You will not only need to cover your travel and moving costs, but also the fees surrounding your documentation and visa, as well as your future expenses. Make sure you make a good budget and stick to it as closely as you can. This is not a time to be way too lenient with the way you spend your money, so you will have to think ahead before you act.

  • Keeping in touch

Something else you should remember is to never burn bridges with the past and your friends and ex-coworkers. You may eventually need to move back for any reason whatsoever and you will stand to benefit from it by being good to those you’ve been in contact in your previous home. You never know what your future may hold, so you should look forward to making it as amazing as you can.

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Land Swap deal welcomed but concerns over location of land raised

PM Douglas calls for setting aside of emotions, process will be a boon to Federation

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 25TH 2012 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has called for the setting aside of emotions and expressed confidence that at the end of the day, the land swap process will prove to be a boon to the Federation.

Although there was no opposition to the land swap agreement between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, there were concerns about the location of land including in the swap, although it was pointed out that residents of the local communities would still have access to hundreds of acres for community expansion for home, agriculture and infrastructural and other development.Speaking at the first in a series on Town Hall Meetings on Wednesday night at the Lodge Community Centre, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Sustainable Development, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas pointed out that it was in July 2011, the Government entered into a Standby Agreement (“SBA”) with the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”).

At the head table besides Prime Minister Douglas, were Parliamentary Representative Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, Mr. Linkon Maynard; Managing Director of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Managing Director, Sir Edmund Lawrence; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Mrs. Hilary Hazel and Director of Planning, Mr. Randolph Edmeade.

Prime Minister Douglas in answering the questions from the participants gave clarification to several issues.

“One of the terms of that agreement called for the Government to reduce the national debt. Notably, prior to entering this agreement with the IMF, the Government had already set for itself a goal to reduce its debt through a variety of means and these proposals were accepted without major adjustment by the IMF,” said Dr. Douglas, pointing out that he received a mandate in the 2010 General Elections when he promised that by the time the next General Election is held in 2015 “the National Debt will not be an issue.”

He told a packed Community Centre which overflowed on the corridor that one of the major holders of Government debt was, and still is, the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank Limited (“National Bank”).

“The Government and the Bank came together, and together, they agreed to a plan that would substantially reduce the national debt and help set St. Kitts and Nevis on a sustainable course of fiscalhealth,” said Dr. Douglas.

“We should remember here that the Government did not enter into this agreement with just any institution. This is a Bank that since its inception has shown that it will, within the scope of its business model, work diligently and unequivocally with the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to move this country forward,” said Dr. Douglas.

“So what was agreed was for the Federation, which is rich in lands, to offset the debt to National Bank by transferring certain land assets at least equivalent in value to the debt to National Bank, thereby extinguishing the debt to the Bank,” said Dr. Douglas.

He said that the Government could not simply transfer lands to the Bank and the Bank could not simply remove the debt from its books. There are rules and regulations. The Bank is a business, and the Government conducts the business of the people. The Bank had, in some way, to be given cash back for the cash borrowed. And the Government had to ensure that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis were given good value for their lands.

“What was then further agreed between the parties was that a Special Purpose Vehicle (an “SPV”) would be established. This SPV would be a company, incorporated in partnership between the Bank and the Government. At the date of incorporation, each party – Government and Bank – would hold equal shares. (At this point, the Government holds one hundred thousand shares in the Company and the Bank owns one hundred thousand shares in the Company.]]

That ratio will never change except in favour of the Government and the People of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“After the transfer of the lands to the Bank, the debt owed to the Bank would be transferred to the SPV. Also, the Bank which has entered into an exclusive agreement with the SPV, would give the SPV exclusive rights to sell the lands. Any money that is realised from the sale of the lands would be used first to defray the costs of sale and secondly, to reduce the Company’s debt,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

Explaining the shareholding arrangement works in favour of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Douglas said: “The Bank owns “A” Shares in the Company. The Government owns “B” Shares in the Company. The main purpose of these different classes of shares is to clarify the redemption value and priority of the shares. The designation of classes of shares does not mean that the Bank has more power or authority in the Company than the Government. What it means is that when the lands are sold, the Bank’s shares will be paid out before the Government’s shares are paid. And this is the way it should and has to be. The Bank lent the cash, the Bank must get back its cash,”

“So as the lands are sold, and the monies from the sales reduce the Company’s debt, the Bank’s “A” shares will eventually be redeemed. The Government will continue to hold all its “B” shares in the Company even after the Bank’s shares have all been redeemed. That means that the Bank’s shareholding will eventually come to zero and the Government (and therefore the people of St. Kitts and Nevis) will at the end of the day hold one hundred percent of the Company. Holding one hundred percent of the company means that the Government will hold one hundred percent of all the remaining assets of the Company. And the agreement of the parties, and the structure of the Company, is designed to ensure that there will be no, or no significant liabilities of the Company at the end of its purpose. Because that is what a Special Purpose Vehicle is designed to do. It will carry out its purpose – in this case to sell lands and extinguish a debt – and at the end, having achieved its purpose, the assets will be distributed and the company will be dissolved.

Therefore, if there are any lands that were transferred to the Bank under the terms of the agreement, and those lands were not needed to be sold to satisfy the Company’s debt, those lands will be returned to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Bank will not have a choice. The Government will not have a choice. They have to be returned.

“Even further, if there is any excess money left over from the sale of lands after the Bank has been fully paid, that money will also be turned over to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. Neither the Government nor the Bank can transfer assign or dispose of the shares they own to any third party UNLESS the other shareholder agrees to such a transfer in writing,” said the Prime Minister, adding:

“Neither the Government nor the Bank can pledge, mortgage, charge or otherwise encumber any of the shares that they own in favour of any third party unless the other shareholder agrees in writing Therefore you, the people of the Federation, will always know the persons having power and authority over the sale of our lands. This further ensures that no third party without a genuine interest in, or an emotional tie to, the lands of this Federation will ever hold the power to sell these lands.”

“The people of St. Kitts and Nevis are protected further. In the Company, there will be six directors. Three will be appointed by the Bank. Three will be appointed by the Government. The Chairmanship of the Board will be rotated annually between the shareholders, with one of the Government’s appointed Directors being the First Caribbean. When it comes to voting, the directors have equal voting powers and the Chairman does not have a casting or deciding vote. The Government will always have equal say in what happens in the Company.

“There are more benefits to the people of the Federation – once the Government loan is transferred to the Company, the interest rates reduce from an average commercial rate of 8.6% per annum to the extremely favourable rate of 3.5% per annum. This new, lower rate was not just handed over to the Government by the Bank. This rate was negotiated by the Government who said that at times the value of the people’s land must be recognized.

A reduced interest rate ultimately means that fewer lands will have to be sold to satisfy the debt because the overall debt will be reduced.”

It should be understood that the SPV will be run like any other well-established private sector company. There will be directors as explained earlier. There will be professional staff hired and operating from brick and mortar premises. There will be secretaries and managers. There will be auditors appointed. The rules governing companies in the Federation will apply to it. Annual returns will be filed. It will have retained accountants and legal counsel.

Further, the land sales process will be transparent and apparent.

The lands have been valued by an independent valuation agent agreed between the parties.

“A minimum of three real estate agents selected through a competitive tender process will assist the Company with the sale of the lands. They will only assist however in accordance at all times with any licences or permissions granted to them by the Company. The company will continue to have the sole and exclusive right at all times to sell the lands. It is the sole and exclusive agent for the marketing and sale of the lands in accordance with the agreements made between the Bank and the Government.”

The Bank, as legal owner of the lands, will sign the transfers of the lands to the prospective buyers. The Government will always have an equitable interest in the lands by virtue of its shareholding in the Company and the relationship between the transferred debt and the sale of lands.

The entire process from the date the Company becomes fully functional to the date that the Company’s debt is fully paid out is calculated to last three years with provisions for an extension if that becomes necessary. We do not expect it to become necessary.

It is the conversion of one asset to another – the change from land to cash. It has the benefit of reducing the Federation’s debt by 33.3% instantly. It has the further benefit of reducing the interest cost to the country instantly.

“All throughout the process your Government will continue to oversee the lands that are the birthright of the people of this Federation and ensure that they will be used for purposes that are to the benefit of the people of this nation,” said Prime Minister Douglas.



Nevis Real Estate – Pros and Cons to Buying Properties on Nevis

NSRThe vibrant island of Nevis has long been a destination for vacationers to enjoy. Many investors and vacationers are now looking into Nevis real estate due to the increasing value of the property. Investors see this real estate as a prime investment opportunity, while vacationers see the pure enjoyment of owning a little piece of tropical paradise. While there are many pros to buying real estate on this island, there are also some cons to be considered as well.

One of the biggest pros that a person can take advantage of by purchasing a piece of Nevis real estate is the ability to become a citizen through this real estate purchase. People who are interested in becoming a citizen of the country can do so by purchasing approved Nevis real estate. This allows the individual to have a dual citizenship as well as a second passport. The purchase of real estate allows a citizen to avoid capital gains taxes as well as income taxes. This also offers the ability for a citizen to travel visa free to many countries all over the world due to the passport holder benefits of citizenship.

There are several advantages to purchasing Nevis real estate, but there are some areas that some people consider cons. In order to qualify for the citizenship program, one must purchase approved property and not sell this property for a period of five years. This may be considered to be too long for some buyers. Although the island is not crowded, some buyers consider the island to be a tourist location that will increase in visitors over the coming years. This is a drawback for some people who may not want to own property on an island that draws tourists each year.

Nevis Villa

Beautiful Nevis Villa

There are pros and cons to owning Nevis real estate. Depending on what the buyer is looking for in terms of investment types, liquidity and the expected growth of the real estate value, this may be a fantastic investment for some. Choosing the right property is essential to gaining from the benefits of buying real estate on this island. It is important that each buyer review their own list of pros and cons before they consider purchasing real estate on the island of Nevis. A real estate professional that is experienced in working with real estate on Nevis can be most helpful in helping the buyer to determine if this purchase fits the buyer’s current needs.

Citizenship by Investment – Qualifications to Invest in Real Estate on St. Kitts and Nevis

Cottage at Clifton Gardens

Cottage at Clifton Gardens

Investing in real estate on St. Kitts or Nevis can offer a wealth of benefits. One of the benefits includes the citizenship by investment program that allows investors to gain access to citizenship to this country by simply investing in real estate. This allows the purchaser of real estate to have dual citizenship if they choose. They can enjoy the ability to travel to many countries without a visa due to the diplomatic relations between the twin island federations of St. Kitts and Nevis.

In order to take advantage of the citizen by investment program, investors must meet minimum qualifications. The real estate that the investor is purchasing must be approved by the government for this program. This can include approved real estate that includes land, a house and land or a multi-family villa. There are no size requirements in terms of purchasing either land, land with a home or multi-family villas on the island of St. Kitts and Nevis. There are a wide range of choices available depending on the investor’s needs and desires for this investment. Since these islands are a fantastic tourist location, the real estate purchase has the advantage of seeing returns.

People who buy real estate on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis with the intention of participating in the citizen by investment program, cannot sell this real estate for a minimum of five years in order to retain this dual citizenship from the federation. After such time has passed, the investor can sell the property and enjoy a return on their investment. There are several returns that are beyond monetary in value. The benefit of citizenship can be considered one of the biggest benefits of investing in real estate on either of these islands.

When a person obtains citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis through the citizenship by investment program, they are granted citizenship for life. They will not be taxed on income, capital gains, real estate as well as wealth or inheritance. This can save a person a great deal of money over the course of their life. Many people choose to safeguard their money and investment gains in this country due to their tax free status awarded to citizens of the country. Citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis are able to live and work on either island, although residing on either island is not required to retain citizenship through this program.

Please contact Nevis Style Realty to speak with a knowledgeable agent about the Citizenship by Investment Program.


Citizenship by Investment – Choosing Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is a wonderful advantage to have because of the many benefits that come with this type of citizenship. The twin island federation including St. Christopher (also known as St. Kitts) and Nevis offer a citizen by investment program that offers foreigners a chance to gain access to citizenship to their country by purchasing government approved real estate.  This program allows the investor to retain citizenship to their home country and also have citizenship to the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Many people are finding that this is an easy process that gives them a wealth of advantages over just having a single residency to one country.

The Citizen by Investment Program for St. Kitts and Nevis provides the ability for a person to carry a second passport. The country has diplomatic relations with the United Nations, which can account for the ability for citizens to travel between many countries Visa free. Dual citizenship has its advantages including the ability to use either passport when traveling. The investment in real estate in St. Kitts and Nevis can have both personal and financial benefits that are incredible. Many people invest for the financial gains that they can obtain with this type of program.

Citizenship by Investment

St. Kitts & Nevis Passport

People who take advantage of the Citizenship by Investment Program are able to have dual citizenship legally. Many people like the idea of dual citizenship for a variety of reasons. The high taxes in their home country may lower their chances of building wealth, while in St. Kitts and Nevis islands; citizens are able to enjoy an income tax free environment. This is a big benefit for those who are affected by high income tax rates in their home countries. Living and working in this country is a benefit that citizens can take advantage of to protect their financial assets.

When investing in real estate on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis a person can receive the benefit of citizenship easily through the citizen by investment program. Many people choose this program and dual citizenship because they want to protect their financial assets and wealth. When a buyer purchases real estate as a part of the citizen by investment program, they are granted citizenship for life. This takes the burden off the buyer so they no longer need to worry about their citizenship status once it has been granted. Choosing dual citizenship is wise for many people to have because it offers flexibility for people who want to be free from the rules and financial constraints that their home country imposes.

For more information about the Citizenship by Investment Program, contact Nevis Style Realty.