With the real estate market in the tank, many investors are thinking twice about real estate investment trusts, or REITs. And that suits Jim Johnson just fine.
Hedge funds are back. Worries about European debt crisis, war in the Middle East and the potential for rating agencies to downgrade America’s treasuries have rattled shareholders. But those fears haven’t held back investors from pouring record amounts of capital into the cowboy country of largely unregulated, nontransparent funds.
Looking back, it’s easy to see how some local government pension plans wound up underfunded. As described in last month’s issue, much of the blame goes to generous legislation passed during California’s boom cycles.
After a jarring sell-off and resulting glut, there’s just one word for today’s municipal bond market: precarious.
Lesli Pletcher’s parents were not extravagantly wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. However, true to form of a couple raised during the Great Depression, they were frugal and financially cautious so that, by the end of their lives, they had amassed a substantial estate capable of easily sustaining Pletcher’s father in his $9,000-a-month Alzheimer’s care facility.
There’s a lot of legal hubbub in California surrounding Property-Assessed Clean Energy programs. Also known as PACE, the programs could be headed for troubled waters.
Bob Grandinetti needed $400,000 — fast.
It’s no secret that city leaders have cut jobs, programs and services as quickly and responsibly as possible in response to economic malaise. But the numbers still fall short of filling growing budget gaps in jurisdictions across the region.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A lawyer dies young and arrives at the Pearly Gates.
“There must be some mistake!” he wails. “I’m only 31!”
St. Peter consults the records and disagrees. “Judging by the number of hours you’ve billed, you’re at least 73.”
Asset-based lending can be more expensive than a bank loan or line of credit, but for some it may be the best choice, providing flexibility and cash flow when others won’t.
Red Hawk Casino opened in December, just weeks after economic woes sent the stock market plunging. The launch of the new venue just off Highway 50 coincided with a sharp drop in gross gaming revenue at Nevada’s Lake Tahoe casinos, and California casinos also felt the sting as gamblers gave Red Hawk a try.
It’s the meeting no business owner wants, an adult equivalent to sitting in the principal’s office.
Only instead of a principal, the person calling you in is a banker. And instead of the dreaded “permanent record,” the folder on the desk is an agreement for a business loan, a line of credit, equipment financing or some other form of borrowed money that helps keep the company afloat.
Wearing coveralls and galoshes caked in manure and mud, a father and son attach suction devices to the teats of ailing cows.
The new-home market in Solano County soared even higher than that of California as a whole, and it fell harder too.
The smart landlords are doing whatever it takes to keep old tenants and lure new ones. That includes free rent, bigger allowances for tenant improvements, free signs and plain old cash. “If there is less than two years remaining on the lease, a savvy landlord really should be talking to them about extending,” Frisch says. “Oftentimes landlords and property managers don’t start that conversation until it is much later in the lease term.” But if a tenant is in good enough financial shape to keep paying the rent, very few landlords will renegotiate a deal with more than two years left, Frisch says.
California is running out of money, pure and simple. As we go to press, the state is finalizing the budget and lurching from one financial crisis to the next thanks to elected leaders who put politics above fiscal responsibility.
The credit crunch and other broad changes in economic conditions cut a wide swath through the ranks of potential buyers. Those who are left are biding their time, lining up cash and waiting for a sweet deal, probably a distressed property at a bargain price. But far fewer multifamily properties are facing the default notices that helped drive down prices for single-family homes, and many landlords are trying to ride out the storm. The result is very few deals.
If Napa County is wine country and Calaveras County is frog-jumping territory, where does that leave a place like Solano? Trying to catch up, perhaps.Thirty years ago Napa County was where Solano is today, says Solano County Supervisor Mike Reagan. In 1992, Napa brought in $361 million in tourism revenue, and with $319 million, Solano wasn’t far behind. Fast-forward to 2006: Napa brought in almost $890 million, but Solano’s revenue only rose to $554 million.
Asset values are down, interest rates are down, and industry experts doubt the Obama administration will allow the current estate tax exemption to expire in 2010. That combination makes a ripe environment for creating or adjusting an estate plan, and financial advisers say acting now could save thousands — if not millions — of dollars later.