What Kind of Home Will a Million Dollars Get You?

Ah, to be a millionaire. It’s been almost every kid’s dream – how many little boys (and maybe even little girls!) haven’t fantasized about being not just Batman, but his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, the filthy rich bachelor who could so easily afford all those cool “bat toys”? Fantasies of being a movie star meant not only being famous, but being rich as well.

Even television programming acknowledges most people’s dreams of being rich, as a recent game show gave itself the title, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

For decades, it was thought that being a millionaire meant the end of all troubles – you could go where you want, do what you want, buy what you want. But is that really the case anymore? With rising salaries and inflation, will a million dollars really get you anything and everything you want?

Obviously the answer is no, and nowhere is this more demonstrated than the U.S. real estate market. A million-dollar home was once an opulent mansion, or a spacious apartment with a spectacular view of a city below. At the very least, a million dollars would buy you a parcel of land that you could build that dream home on.

Today, that’s obviously not quite the case. In many areas of the country, a million dollars won’t buy you much of anything. A million dollars will get you a modest two-bedroom condo in Manhattan, without a lot of charm or added amenities. In many places in California, a million will buy a simple 2,000 square foot home that’s also very modest in amenities and updates. The same goes for areas such as Aspen, Colorado, The Hamptons on Long Island, and of course many beachfront cities in Florida. A million dollars is considered a median or even fairly modest price for a residence.

In some areas, such as in Connecticut and other New England states, homes valued at a million dollars are actually being demolished or razed to make way for new construction, since that million dollar price tag just isn’t as remarkable as it once was.

But to many people, a million dollars is still a lot of money, especially when you’re financing a home for that much. From 1999 to 2004, U.S. home prices increased by a whopping 48%, according to the U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. In states such as California (up nearly 100%), New York (an increase of about 68%) and even Maine (63%), costs have risen even more dramatically. Buyers wonder just what that price tag includes.

So really, what will a million dollars buy you when it comes to a private residence in the U.S.?

Location is still the key.

In real estate, the old adage, “Location, location, location” still has not changed. Prices of homes always seem to follow businesses and industries, as demand for homes of course spike up the price of existing structures and surrounding land on which to build. And when you’re dealing with a small bit of land that must accommodate a large populace, such as on the island of Manhattan, then of course the huge demand sharply increases the price.

The median sales price of a two bedroom coop in Manhattan hit $1,272,000 in 2006, triple what it cost in 1997, according to data from Prudential Realty. “In the past, the million dollar home was the last one you bought in Manhattan, you raised your family in it,” says Palumbo Taubner of Prudential. “Now it’s a stepping stone.”

Other real estate agents and brokers agree. “A million dollars, these days that’s a two-bedroom,” says Richard Hamilton, a real estate agent at Halstead. “There are one-bedrooms going for that much. And the days of studios under $400,000 are rapidly disappearing.”

Million dollar homes account for about 2% of the residential realty market, and the biggest concentration of them is not in New York, but the other side of the country – California. In this state, over 4% of homes – that’s 1 out of ever 25 – is valued at over $1 million. San Jose tops the list with a median home price in 2006 at over $760,000. San Francisco, Santa Ana and Anaheim were all very close behind, with median home prices in the $750,000 range.

Obviously beachfront and vacation property areas will always be more expensive than the average home, as these are favorite hotspots for celebrities, politicians, captains of industry, and the like. Aspen, Colorado, and Palm Beach, Florida, will probably always see property values well into the millions because of the property and surrounding area itself.

Amenities also figure in.

But it’s not just location that affects the price of homes, and especially of new homes. Buyers are spending more time at home and want all the amenities and luxuries that they can afford.

Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers recorded 1,094 contracts for million-dollar homes in 2006, which was 18% of the total. In 2001, that category was at 152 homes, or 4%. So the price may be higher, but the product is better.

Speaking of Toll Brothers, their homes are not only luxurious on the inside – most include marble floors, great rooms, sunrooms, on-site fitness centers for apartments, and too many amenities to list here – they also offer a “community,” meaning most are built around a golf course, or in certain desirable neighborhoods, such as Long Island. Memberships into these clubs or social communities is typically included with the purchase price of a home – not a standard feature with a home that’s priced much less.

Many million-dollar homes also come standard with security features such as touch-screen controls and built-in alarms and monitoring systems, entertainment rooms and hardwired audio systems, and their own internet and broadband access built into its construction.

Obviously the list of amenities that are available for those willing to spend over a million dollars is endless. But the bottom line is that while a million may not get you what it once did, most buyers find that they can purchase whatever it is they dream of for their luxury home – if they’re willing to pay for it.

The Three “P’s” to Achieving TOP Dollar!

If in the market to sell your home, you probably want what all home sellers want.. Top Dollar! Many sellers however do not always understand what it takes to obtain top dollar, often placing themselves in a “behind the 8 ball” position. When this takes place optimism can quickly turn to pessimism, making your sale much more stressful then necessary. If a top dollar sale is the result you are hoping to obtain, these three simple tips can and will help you start out on the right foot.

Price

You needn’t be in the Real Estate industry to understand the importance of pricing correctly to obtain true Top Dollar. Under pricing positions you in a quick sale low profit situation, and over pricing places you in a wait and hope situation, neither of which will produce the results you desire. Pricing too low, while obviously netting you less, can lead buyers to assume something is wrong with the property. Too high and your traffic will be low to nil, with any offers coming in generally being low ball offers. Work with an agent who understands both the values of the community you are in as well as the value your home offers in current market conditions. Pricing in an aggressive but realistic manner will bring higher levels of traffic as well as justifiable offers, often leading to a top dollar sale!

Photos

You wouldn’t post a fuzzy, off center picture of yourself on Facebook – so why do it when selling your home? I’ve seen time and time again lackluster photos of homes for sale in the MLS. Pictures taken with cell phones, a picture focused on a table when trying to show a dining room, people in the background, etc. In this day and age, with Internet search being the #1 source of interest from homebuyers we simply cannot be as cavalier with our photos. Pictures SELL, so please be sure to have your home photographed by a reliable source or at the very least be sure to show the home in it’s true best light. Wide angle lenses, correct lighting, crisp and focused images, these are imperative parts of the process if you demand top dollar. A cell phone doesn’t cut it, do it right and your home will shine, do it wrong and there may be no contract to sign.

Promotion

Promotion and marketing is simply crucial if seeking top dollar for your home. More interest brings higher dollars; it’s a simple fact to understand. As your buyer base grows, your value grows with it. Many agents will place your home on the MLS and hope for the best. This strategy is dated by decades, and while it can and may bring offers, they will often not be at the highest amount possible. Local advertising, social media marketing, video tours, high quality photos and pertinent ‘on-site’ information are necessary if your goals are to obtain the highest amount possible for your sale. If in the market be sure to work with an agent who provides this type of marketing on a consistent basis. More exposure equals more showings, which in turn brings higher offers!

We all want the best for ourselves, in life and in any and all monetary transactions. With the right strategy and team put into place for your homes sale, you can make the best outcome available a reality!

Work Online From Home

Work from home is an option that no one can turn down. You can work from the comfortable environment of your home without being supervised by anybody. You can also choose your working hours as you feel comfortable. Working from home also saves from the morning traffic jams and high fuel bills.

How to find work on the internet that can be completed sitting at home? If you search any of the search engines there are thousands and thousands of websites that claim to provide you such kind of work. But are all these websites trustable? Is there any guarantee that these websites will pay you once you have completed the work? If you have these questions on your mind then just read on. Listed below are some points that can help solve all your queries on which website to trust.

1. Make sure that you do not have to pay initially to get work. Most of the websites that ask you to pay initially tend to run away when they have accumulated good amount of money from people.

2. Make sure that the website has good financial background and has a history of paying the workers previously. Perform a detailed research on various forums and communities to get correct feedback about the website.

3. Another point that matters is the customer support. Valid websites tend to have very good customer support. A valid postal address and contact number is instrumental in deciding the validity of the website.

4. Use your brain instead of your eyes. You eyes can be attracted by high dollar figures listed on some websites. But use your brain before joining any online earning program.

5. Before you join any earning program make sure the website is partnered by some reputed organization. And do a complete research on the history of the website.

6. Try to get an answer to this question. Does the website have enough revenue to pay all the workers? Most outsourcing and crowd sourcing websites have positive answer to this question, as the clients pay the workers. The website just acts as an interface between the two.

Before you join any of the online earning programs just perform these checks and you will be fine. And ready to make a real living out of the internet.