Friday, May 6, 2011

Very Funny Dog Video

This has nothing to do with Real Estate but this is very cute!

My Next Home

Bin Laden's Brother's Pad in ST Petersburg Florida- 5 Bedroom

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – For sale: a five-bedroom, Mediterranean-style mansion with a red, barrel-tiled roof and arched doorways and windows. It even comes with some notoriety as it was once owned by one of Osama bin Laden's brothers.

Khalil bin Laden, one of the terrorist mastermind's 54 siblings, bought the home in 1980 for $1.6 million, but the wealthy businessman and his family fled their vacation spot under police escort shortly after 9/11, fearing they might be targeted because of the terrorist attacks. The 1920s-era mansion has sat empty ever since.

The home is in Oakland, Fla., a quiet small town about 20 miles west of Orlando. There's a pool, horse stables and a four-car detached garage. It has fallen into a bit of disrepair due to vandals and humid Florida weather, but the real estate agent in charge of selling the property said it can easily be restored to its previous grandeur.

Asking price: $1,999,000.

Khalil bin Laden's children used to run up and down the stairs, playing near the quiet lake in the back when the bin Laden name meant wealth and prestige. Then came Sept. 11, 2001.
Eventually, boards covered windows that overlooked the 1,200 feet of private lake shoreline.
In February 2006, at the height of Florida's housing boom, Khalil bin Laden sold the property for $4 million, property records show, to a businessman who later went bankrupt and was sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud.

The home was eventually foreclosed on, said Autumn Norris-Makin, the Florida real estate agent who has been trying to sell the property for over a year. It was recently named by Forbes as one of the "creepiest abandoned mansions" in the U.S.

Norris-Makin said she's had a lot of interest despite the asking price. One person was thinking about turning the property into a bed and breakfast. "It's an amazing property," she said Wednesday. "But not a lot of people have that kind of money right now. It would sell in a second if everyone knew the economy would turn around."

By TAMARA LUSH, Associated Press Tamara Lush, Associated Press

Chester Maryland Real Estate Market Summary

Average price per square foot for Chester MD was $168, a decrease of 2.9% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Chester MD for Jan 11 to Mar 11 was $216,000 based on 21 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 14.5%, or $36,500, and the number of home sales decreased 12.5%. There are currently 82 resale and new homes in Chester on Trulia, including 4 open houses, as well as 8 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Chester MD was $475,443 for the week ending Apr 27, which represents an increase of 2.9%, or $13,547, compared to the prior week.

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Are you a Tycoon in the making?

Malynda Williams is a real estate tycoon in the making. She's putting together a mini real estate empire as she eases into retirement.

 ."NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Malynda Williams didn't set out to be a real estate tycoon. But the 40-something has managed to acquire four properties over the past three years, and she's looking for more.

Her first buy came in October 2008, a vacation home on the Texas Gulf Coast, 225 miles south of her home base in College Station. She and husband John planned to retire there someday.
"My husband used to travel for work in the oil fields," she said. "We knew it was reasonable to buy a home there, and the people are so friendly."
They bought a four-bedroom place for $540,000 in Aransas pass near Rockport, a city of 8,000 residents on Aransas Bay.
The area boasts a nice beach and great fishing. Visitors from all over the world make it their base for trips to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Rockport is also home to many "winter Texans," northerners escaping the big chill.
John soon sold his business building natural gas facilities, and began spending time in Rockport. Malynda kept her retail consulting job for Xerox in College Station. To be able to stay in Rockport most of the time, she decided to install a home office and hired a cabinet maker to put it in.
The cabinet maker mentioned that he also builds vacation homes to rent, and a light bulb went off. "I can do that too," Williams said to herself.
Williams found a two-bedroom on the water for $250,000. It sleeps 12, has its own dock and provides easy access to great fishing waters. "There was very little work to do on it and the deal included the furnishings," Williams said. (Ask the Expert: 'Should I buy a vacation home?')
The next purchase was a five-bay storage property she bought for $119,000 in April 2010. She and John use it for their own stuff, but it came with a 750 square foot apartment, which she rents for $600 a month. (Latest home price forecasts in your area.)
The latest deal came this past winter and seemed, at first, like a steal. Williams paid just $140,000 for a six-bedroom, five-bath, "lodge-like" house a few blocks off the shore, but a problem cropped up.
"The home is 2,180 square feet," she said, "and 460 of that, right in the middle, was a mobile home. Its axles were rusting."
A previous owner, maybe two, must have expanded the living space of the mobile home by building wings all around it. Fixing the axles involves tearing out the core and rebuilding it. That will improve the house but cost upwards of $25,000.
Williams had been getting calls from renters since she first put the rental online in late March, at $1,800 a week and up. Now, she can't book until June when the repair is finished, so there's lost income.
She rents out the homes for short-stays -- weekends, weeks or months. That's more work, because she has to manage the bookings and supervise maintenance and cleaning crews. But it's also more profitable, as long as tourists keep coming.
She set the weekly rates at $900 to $1,500 for the two-bedroom, and the house has been booked about 70% of the time, bringing in $40,000 or so a year. Williams said that's enough to cover all expenses and turn a tidy profit.
That setback has not discouraged Williams. As early as later this year, she plans on adding to her five properties, which includes the old College Station residence, now rented out. She figures she can handle as many as 10.
She paid cash for her three of her acquisitions but she got the cash for the most recent by borrowing against the couple's investment portfolio of stocks and bonds.
That means lower closing costs, and the interest rate on the loan against her portfolio is less than that of a mortgage.
She has also started to manage vacation home rentals for other owners, which only adds lightly to her work, since she's already doing that for her own properties.
This new career will be a perfect retirement fit, she thinks, providing extra income and -- just as important -- fun.
"I can't be idle," she said, "and I don't want to be tied to a desk." 
By Les Christie, staff writer