Posts Tagged ‘USA’

2015 in Buffalo

Written by Alan Findlay on . Posted in Investor Insight

It’s felt like a quick 2014 here in Buffalo, but all in all it’s been the best year since I moved here. Momentum is gathering and in certain areas, house prices are rising fast (Overall, Buffalo prices rose 16 percent since May 31, 2006 – highest among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, according to research by Clear Capital) The biggest risers have all been the more upmarket city districts, like Allentown, Elmwood Village, and North Buffalo, but as expected this action has caused positive house price ripples all the way through the ‘West Side’ and Blackrock –two ‘investment’ level areas that are witnessing widespread gentrification as we speak. I rarely see empty homes any more (I’m always looking to snap them up!) and the blight that had affected many investment level areas in the past is steadily lifting.

As always, lets look at the underlying trends – what’s actually happening in Buffalo, and what does it mean for landlords and potential landlords in Buffalo?


Looking at the macros, while the population in the metro shrank by almost 1% since 2006, the number of people age 20-34, known as ‘millenials’ jumped by over 10%, one of the largest rise in the country. Thats great news for Buffalo and a great many positive reasons are given herehere and here.


What are young, economically active people moving to Buffalo for? Or not leaving? This year a whole raft of new critical masses seem to have been achieved. The Medical Campus, and Downtown have been focus points of new construction and job creation. The medical campus continues to grow , while downtown and Harbourside has seen a number of new hotels opening this year together with hundreds of new apartments, re-invigorating the area as a 24 hour mixed use neighbourhood.


Elon Musks new state of the art Riverbend Solar Panel Factory  is creating a lot more jobs than first expected. The plan for a medium size facility has been expanded and work has now begun on the largest solar panel factory in the western hemisphere.
STARTUPS and tax breaks

In the 2013 state budget, lawmakers approved a plan by Cuomo to get around the problem of New York taxes. StartUp NY would designate areas near state universities and colleges as tax-free zones, where companies could avoid all state taxes – including employee income taxes – for up to 10 years.

This year the program took off, with businesses clamouring to get in.

Thus far, zones exist at University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State, SUNY Fredonia, Jamestown Community College, Canisius College and D’Youville College. More than a dozen companies have announced plans to move into the sites.


Overall, 2014 has gone a long way to diversify the city economy and put Buffalo on a strong footing for broad, steady economic growth in coming years. The confidence for once is real, the long term economic benefits are real and long term. The cities finances are (unlike many US cities) in good order. The difference between Buffalo and other cities in similar situations, of course is that here we can still buy a 2000ft2 4 bedroom home for $30,000.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Buffalo Property Transactions June 2010 III

Written by Alan Findlay on . Posted in Members Only

Buffalo property transactions over $5,000 as listed in records of the Erie County clerk’s office for the week ending June 20.

Highest price: $1,600,000
Average price: $189,615
Median price: $75,000
Number of Sales: 46

• 304 North St., Grace Manor Health Care Facility Inc. to Grace Manor Llc, $1,600,000.

• 310 North St., Grace Manor Health Care Facility Inc. to Grace Manor Llc, $1,600,000.

•47 Wadsworth, Grace Manor Health Care Facility Inc. to Grace Manor Llc, $1,600,000.

• 232 Middlesex Road, Mary Ann Joyce to Paul G. Joyce; Katherine G. Joyce, $400,000.

• 18 Melbourn, David Pierce to Timothy Balch Hopkins; D. Douglas Hopkins; Kyle H. Hopkins, $311,500.

• 500 Crescent Ave., Mark J. Schroeder to Anne Wasmund; James Wasmund, $212,000.

• 165 Mariner Ave., Stephen H. Phelps to Dennis M. Martinez, $205,000.

•893-897 Michigan, New Millenium Medical to Roswell Park Cancer Institute Corporation, $180,000.

• 105 Shoshone St., Michele E. Amoia to Alicia Lombardo; Christopher J. Parisi, $175,500.

• 124 Tennyson, Heiei Rothschild; Heidi A. Rothschild to Emily J. Frazer, $161,000.

• 770 West Ferry, 770 West Ferry Inc. to Kevin Quinn, $159,274.

• 3430 Dolphin Drive, Charles T. Forth; Bridget M. Forth to Paul J. Wilczewski, $143,000.

• 772&766 Babcock St., Lorraine K. Stegura to Diamond Hurwitz Scrap, $120,000.

• 27 Campbell Ave., Laurie Greco; Michael Greco to Camille Petraitis; Thomas Petraitis, $108,000.

• 118 Melrose St., Phyllis M. Porebski; James J. Porebski to Loyal A. Murphy; Brittany L. Maute, $99,000.

•86 Cheltenham Drive, Rebecca J. Schenk to Melissa B. Gallineau, $95,000.

•699&701 East Utica St., Ivor Baker; Shirley Baker to Dunn-Kirk Corporation, $90,000.

•871 Tifft, Timothy P. Scherer; Patrick J. Barrett to Michael J. Aldrich II, $84,900.

•429 Bird Ave., Eugene D. Santercole to David Kohler, $84,000.

•94 Amber St., Kristy N. Kazmierczak to Joelle P. Machnica, $80,000.

• 146 Rounds, Bonita Krull to Latasha N. Simpson, $79,000.

•96 Kamper Ave., Carmelo Ranno to Abram F. Gadikian, $75,900.

• 29 Dana Road, Renee Gorman to Julia Gorman, $75,000.

•419 South Ogden St., Pamela Krawczyk to Amanda L. Ohl, $75,000.

• 73 Brinton St., Lisa M. Salvaggio to Jack T. Celi, $72,000.

• 74 Aldrich, Matthew Smith to Allison A. Bellanti, $71,000.

•468 South Ogden St., Russell Andolina; Mildred Andolina; Russell A. Andolina to Julia M. McKenzie; Robert J. Delregno, $68,900.

• 153 St. Lawrence Ave., Amy Kottler; Andrew Lipkind to Giovanna Crawford, $68,000.

• 115 Greenwood, Stephanie D. Williams to Fannie Mae, $67,100.

• 174 Fenton St., Felix Sowinski; Florence Sowinski to Jessica L. Wright, $61,000.

• 20 Bickford Ave., William J. Artis to Midfirst Bank, $55,764.

• 135 Gold St., Pinnacle Property Solutions of Western New York to Philip S. Porter; Joy T. Porter, $53,000.

•2 Woldwood Place, Natalie Goetz to Debra Abernethy; Kim Abernethy, $51,500.

• 1227&123 Niagara St., Sherrill L. Cooper to Dawkhin Mar Wai, $50,000.

•41 Magnolia Ave.,HUD to John F. Veith, $46,626.

• 75 Davey St., Beverly J. Norton to Irene Wachowski; Peter Wachowski, $45,550.

•453 Newburgh, Andrzej Rodak to Lola R. Shaw, $37,500.

• 313 Plymouth Ave., Samuel Vega to Georgette Waddell, $34,500.

• 225 Thompson, Amy M. Robinson to Donald H. Spencer, $34,000.

• 215 Stockbridge Ave.,HUD to DMR Management New York Corp., $22,100.

• 70 Houston St., Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation to Pinnacle Property Solutions of Western New York, $20,000.

• 567 Lisbon Ave., Erik Ballis to YS Buffalo Holdings Llc, $15,000.

• 57 Floss, Michael S. Ceaser to Moshe L. Kauffman; Menahem M. Hanzin, $13,000.

• 1245 Kensington, Michael S. Ceaser to Moshe L. Kauffman; Menahem M. Hanzin, $10,000.

• 75 Sattler Ave.,HUD to Jewan A. Hosein, $6,888.

•Vacant Land/432&434 West Ferry, 84 Group Inc. to London Harris; Katrina Harris, $5,800.


Successful Real Estate Investing 3 – Focus On Cashflow

Written by Alan Findlay on . Posted in Investor Insight

In the past, there was a received wisdom (usually among agents selling overpriced ‘investments’ for high commissions) to ‘invest for capital growth’ – i.e. don’t worry so much about what the Yield is, just buy where you think is an ‘up and coming area’ or ‘the next big thing’ – these in Europe were places like Capital cities in Eastern Europe (Tallinn, Riga, Sofia, Prague, Budapest) and Holiday destination such as Spain, and in USA places like Las Vegas or Florida. It’s no coincidence that these are the places now hit hardest in the real estate bust , and has taught a sharp lesson to ‘growth investors’ . Fortunately with the advent of the writings of Robert T Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad) and his less famous predecessor Dr William G Hill (Think Like a Tycoon) which gave the same message, there are a growing number of investors who use cashflow as their first ‘box’ to tick when looking for a real estate investment.

When looking at the object to buy – the most important thing and the first calculation to make is to check that the deal is ‘cashflow positive’ This means no matter how the market goes, you are making money regularly. The basic calculation will be to work out the difference between rent money in, and money out –lets say for example, you buy a foreclosed Investment Property – an apartment in a complex, in Florida, for $100,000 (sold for $200,000 in 2007). If the monthly rent is $800, the annual rent is $9,600 (gross yield 9.6%) and the service charge is $340 per month (service charges are relatively high here due to pool maintenance and other facilities), the mortgage interest (75% at 3.95% interest rate) is $247, there are $50 more of outgoings, and so the monthly income ($800) minus the monthly outgoings ($340 + $247 +$50) = $163 per month positive cashflow.

However, there are in addition some risk factors worth adding in to make sure the deal is worth it:

1. Vacancies – every year or two there is likely to be some empty time – Calculate in for one month every two years there or one month every year if it’s in a harder to let area (and ask yourself why are you buying in a ‘hard to let’ area?!) Assuming this foreclosure is in an easily letting area with a good tenant pool, then there’s $33 a month to take off the income to cover the potential for vacancy.

2. Mortage Amortisation – currently it’s likely that you’ll be asked to amortise your loan – with the above example, (check our mortgage calculator here) the loan amortised over 15 years will mean the repayment is $553 per month.

As you can see, the above extra checklists will put this ‘bargain’ into negative cashflow territory – $800 – $553 – $340 – $50 – $33 = minus $176 so what on the surface looked like a good cashflow deal, became a ‘growth play’, and isn’t a good investment from the start.
Looking at another example – lets take 63 Simon, Buffalo, on our front page – Rent in per month is $950. Monthly costs are $248, mortgage including amortisation is $330, and let’s take a vacancy of say one month per year to be safe – 950/12 = $80 per month, so there is $950 – $248 – $330 – $80 = $292 positive monthly cashflow.

This is fundamentally important – in every real estate investment you make, every month from day 1 you should be making money.

In Summary

1. Only buy deals with positive cashflow from day 1.

2. Make sure the investment has a good sized pool of potential tenants – i.e. take this into account when selecting 1. Unit size and 2. Area

3. Take into account ALL costs and deductions, not just the patently obvious ones, and assume a conservative scenario at all times.

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Buffalo Property Transactions in May Week 1

Written by Alan Findlay on . Posted in Members Only

Buffalo real estate transactions over $5,000 as listed in records of the Erie County clerk’s office for the week ending May 7.

Highest price: $400,000 Average price: $75,265 Median price: $27,500
Number of Sales: 32

• 50 Depew Ave., Clarissa Willett; Brian Willett to Julie A. Gavin, $400,000.

• 581 Colvin Ave., RJ Gullo Properties No. 1 Inc. to Hamri Garden Llc, $335,500.

•3 Clarendon Place, Michael Mathews; Olive A. Schoellkopf to Julian M. Lippmann; Jessica O. Lippmann, $315,000.

•80 Claremont, Kak Rehab 776 Llc to Jason M. Ryder; Jessica A. Moser, $167,000.

• 223 Lafayette, Frank Gillespie; Anna Maria Gillespie to Alexander Kerns, $155,000.

• 245 Mortimer St., City of Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency to Ronette Nevins, $150,000.

• 17 Eldon Road, Edward J. Gorczyca; Margaret H. Broderick to Monument Street Funding Llc, $115,522.

• 39 Rutland St., Richard C. Powers; Richard C. Powers Jr. to Steven J. Madsen, $91,900.

• 57 Trinity Place, 430 Niagara Street Associates to Chad Bevier, $87,500.

• 34 Choate Ave., Judith L. Tricoli; Edward H. O’Donnell; Edward P. O’Donnell; Daniel P. O’Donnell; Elizabeth A. Conner; Laura A. Pasier to Terence P. O’Connor; Gale L. O’Connor; Terence E. O’Connor, $84,900.

• 115 Tuscarora Road, Matthew M. Biondi to James Arthur Keipp, $82,500.

• 73 Tacoma Ave., Stephen B. Robinson to John Apgar, $42,607.

• 160 Potomac Ave., Maureen A. Gushlaw; James P. Gushlaw to Brandon M. Hernandez, $40,000.

•96 Tenth St., Frank DiPasquale; Christine DiPasquale to Anthony P. Lorusso, $39,999.

• 17 Albert Ave., Oliver Mark Booth to Jahangir Miah, $38,000.

•Vacant Land/817 Tonawanda&238 Ontario, City of Buffalo to 1093 Group Inc., $30,000.

•80 10th St.,HUD to Neil Carroll, $25,000.

• 292 Weiman St., Fannie Mae to Eric W. Percy; Theron R. Howard Jr., $24,000.

•5 Copsewood Ave., Moshe L. Kauffman; Menahem M. Hanzin to Netanel Stein, $20,000.

• 53 Phyllis, Moshe Kauffman; Menahem M. Hanzin to Netanel Stein, $20,000.

• 56 Alice, Craig W. Clark to Great Lakes Property Maintenance, $19,500.

• 118 Dartmouth Ave., Dale J. Dickman to Thomas D. Brinkworth, $17,500.

•66 Auburn Ave., Hawthorni 1 Investments to BUA Management Inc., $15,250.

• 105 Bickford Ave., Jollyette Gray to Michael Eubanks, $15,000.

•97 Woltz Ave., Map Properties Llc to Zubayer A. Rahman, $14,000.

• 1999 Bailey Ave., Dorothy R. Federici; Dorothy R. Burczyk to BUA Management Inc., $13,000.

•871 7th Street, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation to Three Vs Inc., $12,000.

•65 Benzinger, Frank Giogas to Aaron M. Hayes, $11,500.

• 224 Smith St., Cash Flow Properties NY Inc. to Nader Batarseh, $11,000.

• 1038 Fillmore Ave.,HUD to Kent Gedon, $5,300.

• 124 Roma, Matthew S. Shupe; Linda A. Shupe to Pilgrim Properties Llc, $5,000.

• 18 Wex Ave., Kathleen Matuszak to Jeffery T. Wartinger; Joseph D. Schuster, $5,000.


57,256 Homeowners Receive Pre-Foreclosure Notice

Written by Alan Findlay on . Posted in Foreclosure, Mortgages, News

In the last three months, more than 57,000 pre-foreclosure notices have been sent to homeowners across the state — including 2,917 in Erie County — who are behind on their mortgage payments, reports Buffalo News. A state law enacted last year requires servicers to notify delinquent borrowers at least 90 days before initiating foreclosure proceedings and tell them how they can avoid foreclosure. Read more…

US Foreclosures Fell in April

Written by Alan Findlay on . Posted in Foreclosure, News, Stats & Trends

Foreclosures in the US fell by more than 2 percent in April from a year earlier, the first year-over-year decline in the five years RealtyTrac has been reporting the data.

The number of Americans receiving foreclosure notices was down 2.4 percent in April from a year before and 9 percent lower than March 2010.

Experts say the foreclosure situation is slowing, and may have hit a plateau.

Read more: CNBC

Positive Reports Supporting Hopes For Recovery

Written by Alan Findlay on . Posted in News

It was an unbelievably busy March for U. S. factories and a surge in home buying are the latest signs that the economic recovery is picking up.

Orders to U. S. factories rose 1.3 percent in March, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was much better than the 0.1 percent decline analysts had expected. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders gained 3.1 percent, the biggest increase since August 2005.

A separate report showed that more people than expected signed contracts on previously owned homes in March. The jump, in large part, resulted from tax incentives that have propelled the housing market this spring.

Read more from The Buffalo News Business Today


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