In a matter of months, five projects—two residences, a government office and a pair of educational facilities—achieved Net Zero Energy Building Certification through the Living Building Challenge. This recent flurry of certifications supports an assertion commonly voiced at our Net Positive Conference in February: the future of Net Zero buildings isn’t on the horizon; it’s already here. Learn more about the following certified projects via our case studies:
Zero Energy House, Auckland, New Zealand
American Samoa EPA Office, American Samoa
Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservancy & Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA (also pursuing Living Certification).
via International Living Future Institute Newsletter: May 2014.
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
NEW YORK TIMES
[MAY 2, 2014] The American economy picked up steam in April, as employers added 288,000 jobs while the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, the lowest level since September 2008.
After a sharp slowdown in job growth in December and January, and a modest improvement since then, economists had been forecasting a healthy gain for April as consumer and business activity rose in tandem with temperatures in many parts of the country.
But the good news was tempered by a drop of 806,000 in the number of Americans in the labor force, pushing the labor participation rate down sharply. And despite the fall in joblessness, average hourly earnings were flat.
via Report Shows Resurgence of Hiring but Has Downbeat Notes – NYTimes.com.
via Brandon Turner, BiggerPockets.com
[April 24,2014] “On today’s episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast, we sit down and chat with a real estate investor who wasn’t seeing a lot of action in his business – until a friend challenged him to take his investing seriously and start treating it like a business….Our guest today, Tim Gordon, accepted the challenge…”
via BP Podcast 067: Overcoming Inaction, Direct Mail, and Becoming an Successful Wholesaler with Tim Gordon.
By Sarah Borchersen-Keto
[APRIL 24, 2014] Starwood Capital Group Chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht is expressing confidence that the single-family rental housing sector has the potential to become a major REIT asset class, but he acknowledges that investors remain skeptical.
via Sternlicht Sees Strong Potential in Single-Family Housing Business | REIT.com.
Have you been searching for an alternative to the ups and (mostly) downs of the stock market? Are you interested in the growing trend of using retirement funds to invest in real estate, tax liens, precious metals or other alternatives, but feel intimidated by self-directed IRAs?
National Education Specialist John Bowens from Equity Trust Company will provide an easy-to-understand overview of self-directed IRAs, which will include:
• How to tap into IRA and 401(k) funds to make more deals than you thought possible
• How investing with self-directed IRAs equals tax-free or tax-deferred profits
• How to possibly qualify for large tax deductions
If you’ve been thinking about taking control of your retirement savings, now’s the time to start!
via Beginners Guide to Self-Directed IRAs.
For many adults who are nearing their 60’s (and even some adults much younger than that), one of their biggest financial concerns is being able to save enough for retirement. The average American who reaches age 65 can expect to live for about another 20 years, so if that individual plans to stop working once they retire, they will need to have accumulated a significant nest egg to cover their ongoing living expenses. Many adults find that they haven’t save enough.
So what happens if you find yourself in this position? What do you do if you believe that you’ve saved too little for your retirement?
Click below to read Quest IRA’s response:
via Worried about too Less Savings Retirement? | Quest IRA, Inc..
[CNBC, 04/02/2014] a lot of folks thought that the housing recovery would weaken rental demand and in fact, that sentiment hit the apartment reits pretty hard last year. investors were concerned about overbuilding. fast forward to the first quarter of this year. rental demand is still very strong. vacancies down 20 basis points to just 4% according to reit. rents continue to grow up over 3% from a year ago. they would be higher but landlords say that weak income growth is holding them in check. so with all that, it seems that investors have come back to apartment reits this quarter with a vengeance. the sector returned 12.75% in q-1 making it the top yielding of all commercial reit sectors.
via Apartment REITs returned to 12.75% in Q1.
By Michael Stoler, Commercial Observer
(MARCH 28, 2014) The residential rental asset class is one of the most sought-after investments by purchasers of commercial real estate. Investors from around the world, including private equity funds, real estate investment trusts and established long-time owners of real estate, all want to own this asset class, especially if the property is located in New York City.
The purchasers and the owners of this property class have been fortunate that the majority of commercial and savings banks, as well as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Wall Street firms providing CMBS financing, are all very interested in financing rental apartments.
via Multifamily Lenders Scramble For Business | Commercial Observer.
By Jessica Flur, Senior Editor
MULTI-HOUSING NEWS ONLINE
Washington, D.C.—Recently Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R) drafted the Federal Housing Administration Solvency Act of 2013. If passed, this bill would have a direct impact on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and calls for the creation of a new enterprise called the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC).
MHN talks to Willy Walker, CEO of Walker & Dunlop, about this new proposed legislation and how the bill could affect multifamily if it passes.
via How Proposed Johnson/Crapo Legislation Could Affect Multifamily | Multi-Housing News Online.