West Coast Equity Group

Author Archive: Rebecca Heathcock

The 7 Most Financially Savvy Home Upgrades You Can Make Now: Enjoy your home more today, and sell it for more tomorrow.

doorsWhen it comes to home improvement, some dollars stretch more than others. And if you’re on a limited budget, it becomes even more important to spend those dollars wisely.

Here are seven affordable home improvement projects that will help you enjoy your home more today while providing strong financial return in the future. (more…)

What’s Next for Commercial Real Estate?

commercial real estate update bellingham washingtonThe Strategic Thinking Advisory Committee of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) was tasked with the responsibility of producing a report detailing the risks and opportunities in the commercial real estate industry. With the help of the Swanepoel T3 Group, the below findings examine the risks and opportunities presented by trends in technology, demographics, lending, and politics.

Excerpted from an article originally published by REALTOR® Magazine. Read the full article here: http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2017/05/what-s-next-for-commercial-real-estate. (more…)

U.S. Commercial Real Estate Market Update – Office, October 2015

Public perception has generally been that activity is weakening in the Commercial Office Real Estate market, but according to Walter Page, Director of Research at the Costar Group — the commercial real estate industry’s leading provider of information and analytics — the Office market is actually booming right now. Page provided a 2015 market update at the Commercial Real Estate Show podcast on October 14th. (more…)

Industrial Market Update (and How Light Industrial is Becoming the New Retail)

Industrial real estate for sale Bellingham WAOn the national level, the industrial asset class is white hot right now, experiencing record low vacancy rates and significant sales volume on both a local and national level. Sales volume has also started to pick up due to a severe shortage of new starts (although there is a vast amount of new industrial construction underway which should alleviate some of the pent up demand in 2016). If you own or wish to lease industrial property here in either Whatcom or Skagit County, there are both opportunities and issues to be aware of. This article is based on an August 2015 talk given by René Circ, Director of Research – Industrial, and Manager of Industrial Portfolio Strategies at Costar, the commercial real estate industry’s leading provider of information and analytics. (more…)

Top Ten Issues Affecting Commercial Real Estate (from the CRE Counselors 2015-2016 Report)

Commercial real estate for sale Whatcom and Skagit County WAThis is a market update from the Winter 2015-2016 Real Estate Report, put out by the Counselors of Real Estate, a Chicago-based organization that publishes scholarly articles each trimester by national thought leaders. The goal is to provide expert opinion on the most important issues impacting the US real estate market, to facilitate better decision making for real estate investors, brokers and advisors. The perspective below was provided by Noah Slayze, a former commercial real estate appraiser and 2015 CRE chair and guest speaker on the August 6, 2015 Commercial Real Estate Show. (more…)

Forcing Equity in Older Whatcom County Apartment Buildings (While Saving the Environment)

All real estate investors want to force equity, and you don’t have to be a developer to cash in on some great forced equity opportunities here. Investors seeking pre-existing, cash flowing apartment buildings can also force some substantial equity in seventies and eighties constuction.

It’s the classic model: buy an older building which is being poorly managed, with below-market rents. Typically it will sell for a higher cap rate because of these problems. Make some interior improvements, and get the rents up to market rate as the units turn over. Any smart investor will do this, but this equity takes time. (more…)

1031 News: Presidents 2016 Budget Proposal Seeks to Modify Like-Kind Exchange Rules

Background: President Obama’s 2016 Budget Proposal seeks to modify Like-Kind Exchange rules for real property and restrict some eligibility. The proposal would limit the amount of capital gains that can be deferred under section 1031 from the exchange of real property to $1 million (indexed for inflation) per taxpayer per taxable year. In addition, art and collectibles would no longer be eligible. The provision would be effective for exchanges completed after December 31, 2015. (more…)

Should you Hire a Property Manager?

A few of my apartment building clients have chosen to manage their properties themselves. After all, property management isn’t rocket science, and it’s not hard to keep you building full in a market like Whatcom County where in most areas we have sub 1% vacancy rates. Just post the occasional vacancy on Craigs List, screen tenants carefully, and turnover units quickly. Definitely doable, and part-time for most people. Even fully employed people can manage it and pocket the 5-9% per month it would have cost to hire a property manager. In many cases however, property managers do a better job keeping rents at market rate and making sure rents come in on time, especially if they’re incentivized to do so. (more…)

Where is the “Strategy” in the Whatcom County Economic Development Strategy?

If you’ve read the Whatcom County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy published by the Whatcom Council of Governments in March, you’re likely impressed by the wealth of data included and explanation of Whatcom County’s economic progress over the last decade. Jack Louws, Robert Bromley, and Robert Wilson clearly did a great job on that, and I support their work. Unfortunately, the report falls short of providing any concrete solutions for reviving our county’s fragile economy. What it does do however, is provide a list of how we as a county are planning to spend our money, and that needs a lot more public input.
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