Real Estate

SEC accuses California men of running $2.18 million home flipping scam

Allegedly took investor funds for personal use
The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging two California men with running a home flipping scam that defrauded dozens of investors out of their retirement savings. According to the SEC, the men actually purchased some properties, and were successful in turning a profit by flipping those properties, but did not make enough money to cover the money they took for their own use.
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New York, New Jersey, Connecticut plan to sue federal government over GOP tax bill

Take issue with elimination of state and local tax deductions
The states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are planning to sue the federal government over the Republican-led tax reform bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law late last year. Each of the three states’ governors say that their residents will be harmed by the tax plan’s cap on state and local tax deductions.
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Vermont city partners with Propy to bring blockchain to real estate transfers

Pilot program will use blockchain to record real estate conveyance documents
Blockchain. It seems that one can’t go five minutes without hearing something else about how the ledger technology is the future of this industry or the future of that industry. While many have discussed what that utility could be, one company is launching a pilot that aims to show how blockchain can be used for real estate conveyance.
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Flat-fee real estate agency Purplebricks plans expansion to New York

U.K. company first launched in U.S. in September 2017
Last year, flat-fee real estate agency Purplebricks expanded into the U.S. after building a successful business in the United Kingdom and Australia. Purplebricks’ first foray into the U.S. was Los Angeles. Now, the company is plotting the next phase of its U.S. expansion and is looking to the opposite coast.
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Trulia: Rent prices jumped 3.1% in 2017

Higher increases seen in hot housing markets
Does it feel like the rent is too damn high? That’s because, according to Trulia, it is. Trulia’s latest rental analysis shows median rent increased 3.1% in 2017 with much higher increases experienced in four major metro areas.
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HUD to consider eliminating manufactured housing regulations

Launches comprehensive review of manufactured housing rules
The Trump administration’s deregulatory efforts have officially come to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD announced on Thursday that it is launching a “wholesale review” of its manufactured housing rules as part of a “broader effort to identify regulations that may be ineffective, overly burdensome, or excessively costly given the critical need for affordable housing.”
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New home sales finish 2017 at highest level in a decade

More new homes sold last year than in any year since 2007
Earlier this week, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed that 2017 was the best year for existing home sales since 2006. As it turns out, existing homes weren’t the only ones selling at a record level last year.
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Meet Divvy: Startup aims to revolutionize rent-to-own

Buyer selects property, Divvy buys home, rents it to resident while they build equity
While rent-to-own is not a new concept in the housing market, a new real estate company is set to launch that aims to rebrand renting to own into a buyer-friendly proposition. Divvy Homes, which soft-launched two months ago, claims that its program offers consumers the flexibility of renting with the financial benefits of homeownership, all with the prospective homeowner in mind.
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Japan’s SoftBank continues U.S. real estate push by leading $865 million investment in Katerra

Makes sizable investment in construction disruptor
In the last few years, Japanese technology company SoftBank Group has undertaken a significant move into the U.S. real estate and housing market with a series of investments and acquisitions. Now, SoftBank is making another move into U.S. real estate by leading a massive capital raise in Katerra, a company that wants to revolutionize the construction industry.
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Real estate startup Reali will help buy or sell your California home for only $950

Rolls out flat fee for homes priced under $250,000
Reali, a tech-focused real estate startup that charges flat fees for both homebuyers and sellers, is now offering one of the nation’s smallest transaction fees in one of the nation’s most expensive real estate markets. Reali announced this week that it is rolling out a new program that will help certain California buyers and sellers buy or sell their home for only $950.
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