Books, Apps, & Magazines
  • Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
    Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt
    by Michael Lewis
  • Construction Calculators
    Construction Calculators
    Suresh Desu
  • Orion

Welcome to the informed real estate literature website Real Estate Lit.

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Big-Picture Forecast for Housing

Spring returns, and so does Money with its annual "Real Estate Guide 2014."  They're concentrating on four categories of housing markets for the forecast, namely: Booming Growth Cities, Upscale Neighborhoods, New Investor Favorites, and Once Hot, Now Not.  In each category, Money squares up helpful tips for buyers, sellers, and owners who find themselves in those four common types of markets this year.

Part of the guide is Lisa Gibbs' "When Wall Street Becomes A Landlord," a synopsis of the latest wave of influence in the marketplace: large investors and single-family rental REITs.  Atlanta's suburbs are spotlighted.  "This second wave of housing investors is spending billions to flip foreclosures into single-family rentals.  In January [2014] one in every four homes sold in Atlanta went to a large investor, four times the national average," Gibbs cites RealtyTrac.  Bundled rental income from single-family assets is backing a "new breed of bonds," although investors so far, writes Gibbs, "have not been enthusiastic."

Josh Garskof contributes rules of thumb for working with general contractors in, "Ready to Renovate? Here's the First Move You Must Make."  The sweeping eye-in-the-sky images are provided by aerial and portrait photographer Cameron Davidson.


Equity Crowdfunding for Real Estate

Real estate developers evaluate financing strategies to improve investments.  For those who like getting creative with capital, there is a new potter’s wheel to spin: equity crowdfunding.  One aspect of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups or JOBS Act of 2012, in part, attempts to ease securities regulations for capital formation through crowdfunding.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has the duty of issuing rules and regulations around crowdfunding, which will impact real estate finance and investment. But until the SEC rolls out the roadmap probably in 2014, and takes into account the masses of non-accredited investors, where can developers and investors begin to turn for an introduction to crowdfunding for real estate?  Start with these:

“Real Estate's New Frontier: Crowdfunding” by Diana Olick on her Realty Check blog at CNBC.

“Crowdfunding Property Deals on Horizon with U.S. JOBS Act” by Max Raskin on Bloomberg

“Real Estate: the Next Crowdfunding Boom” by Liyan Chen at Inc. 

For a broader overview of crowdfunding:

"What You Need to Know About the New Equity-Crowdfunding Model" by Sally Outlaw for Entrepreneur, and her book, Cash From The Crowd.

 “Crowdfunding Will Flourish Regardless of What the SEC Does” by Alan McGlade at Forbes.

Crowdfunding for Social Good, Financing Your Mark on the World by Devin Thorpe.

Also, check out Charles Luzar at Crowdfund Insider for “The JOBS Act: Misreporting & Setting The Record Straight.”


Scholarships for Real Estate Studies

Preparing to pay for college is paramount for success.  Be sure to research available financial assistance.  The Pension Real Estate Association offers scholarship opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels for real estate education.  For students considering retail real estate as a career path, there are a variety of awards and scholarships from the ICSC Foundation.  Students should also check out the SIOR Foundation if pursuing the commercial real estate industry.

Other helpful resources in the search for scholarships can be found in the Scholarship Handbook 2014, the Kaplan Scholarships 2014, and Confessions of a Scholarship Winner.