Luxury Lakefront Condominiums Can Be Within Your Reach Nebraska Real Estate The Cornhusker State Appealing Business Personal Property Tax Assessments In Texas Why Condotels Credibility One Of The Most Over Looked Items In Real Estate

Much has been written about the so-called housing bubble in the United States. After growing exponentially for several years, housing prices in many markets are inching downward. Some analysts are even calling this a buyer’s market, especially for condominiums.

If you’ve been holding off buying property, or have thought that the cost is out of your reach, it may be time to take the plunge and reach for your American dream.

Location, Location, Location

When it comes to real estate, it’s all about location. Despite reports of inflated real estate prices, there are many areas around the country where luxury remains affordable. In East Tennessee, for example, luxurious lakefront condominiums are both available and affordable. Imagine waking up to expansive views of both a gorgeous lake and the beautiful Smokey Mountains.

It’s tempting to overlook less populated areas and believe that big cities offer greater advantages. But when you resist that temptation, you see that, in the example used above, East Tennessee is home to Johnson City, the fourth largest metro area in the state and the home of East Tennessee State University. The Tri-Cities Regional Airport serves the area, and the Bristol Motor Speedway serves NASCAR fans.

The Condominium Community

Condominiums are the perfect choice when you want affordable luxury without a lot of maintenance. Small condominium communities (with fewer than 25 units) offer the camaraderie of a neighborhood with the amenities associated with community living. A condominium community center, for example, may have a pool, fire pit, grills, and a large room where you can hold functions and parties. For a low monthly fee, all outside maintenance will be taken care of. What homeowner could ask for more?

Construction and Amenities

When you’re considering purchasing a condominium, look for quality construction and extra amenities. These can include firewalls between units; high-quality windows, hardwood flooring, tile, granite kitchen counter tops, stainless steel appliances, recessed lighting, and custom cabinets and closets.

If you’re interested in lakefront luxury condominiums – whether for your primary residence or as your weekend getaway – you’ll likely find boat slips available. What could be more relaxing than being able to have your boat just steps away from your condominium?

The Perfect Condo in the Perfect Market

If you’ve been putting off buying your own home, now is the time to consider buying a condominium in a less populated area like East Tennessee. The prices are affordable, the extras are available, and the peace of mind is inviting.

When the state nickname is based on the beloved University of Nebraska college football team, you know all you need to. With inexpensive prices, you’ll have your pick of Nebraska real estate to watch the games.


To the surprise of many, Nebraska is a state with a history of significant personalities and events. Figures such as Crazy Horse and Walter Reed were prominent during the expansion of the country to the west. While Nebraska is often derided as a “flat state”, there is something to be said for the peaceful and hypnotic swaying fields of wheat that cover the state. If you’re looking to live in a state valuing traditional American values, Nebraska will do the trick without wiping out your bank account.


Lincoln is home to the University of Nebraska and “Go Big Red!” is a theme in this town with a lot of culture. While the University dominates the town, it does so to the benefit of residents. Lincoln is full of little shops, cafes and restaurants you would expect to find in a college town. What sets the town apart is the passion for college football. Lincoln is the place where 75,000 people will fill the stadium to watch the Cornhuskers have a practice game against themselves. Euphoria or depression follow the result of Saturday games each fall. All and all, Lincoln gets a big thumbs up.


Omaha is the biggest city in Nebraska and the state capital. The city is fairly prosperous, but generally unremarkable. The highlights are the downtown area, a solid collection of museums and impressive zoo. Unlike Lincoln, the overall atmosphere is a low key one. While the lack of energy might trouble some, it is a good, solid place to raise a family.

Nebraska Real Estate

Nebraska real estate is generally inexpensive. Single family homes will run from $140,000 to $220,000 on average throughout the state. In 2005, the appreciation rate for Nebraska real estate was a very modest 5.5 percent, the eighth lowest in the nation.

“Collecting more taxes than is necessary is legalized robbery.” These words of wisdom, spoken by the 13th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, still ring true in today’s society for homeowners and business owners. Robbery may seem like a harsh word, but what would you say if someone tried to sell you one-year-old motel sheets for 90% of the original cost? Based on the appraisal district’s depreciation schedule, this is a fair deal.

Most people would not consider this a fair deal and either reject the offer or request a lower price. This should be the same thought process when the appraisal district overassesses your business personal property (BPP). Texas law requires business owners to report BPP, personal property used for the production of income, to the appraisal district for assessment and taxation. Although there are no criminal penalties for not complying with the law, there is a penalty of 10% of the taxes. For example, if you have a BPP account assessed for $100,000, your annual BPP taxes are $3,000, based on a 3% tax rate. The 10% penalty for this BPP account would be $300 ($3,000 times 10% equals $300).

The huge range of assessed value for business personal property (BPP) makes obtaining substantial property tax reductions highly probable. It is not unusual for the range of assessed value for BPP accounts for similar properties to vary by 5,000%! For example, furniture and computers for companies within the same office building sometimes vary from $1 to $50 per square foot. Market value and unequal appraisal are two options for appealing BPP assessments. Given the inequity in BPP assessments and the subjectivity of valuing BPP, property owners have a high probability of success when properly prepared for a BPP assessment appeal. Protest both market value and unequal appraisal.

How to appeal?

To appeal your BPP, you can either use the Comptroller’s form, or send a letter to the appraisal review board (ARB) on or before May 31st of each year. The protest letter to the ARB should identify the property and the reason for your protest (section 41.44d of the Texas Property Tax Code).


While the term “Condotel” is nothing new in the Philippines, it’s meaning has changed dramatically since the hotel-condominium hybrids were introduced 30 years ago. Back then; a condotel unit might look-and feel-like a cramped, converted motel room. Not Now!

Pacific Concord Properties Inc introduces the Condotel Concept through newly built Condominium Buildings designed and conceptualized as Residential Condo Hotels

The Lancaster Cebu Resort Residences and Lancaster Suites Manila, are privately owned condominium units, made available by the individual unit owners through the Condotel Management Company for short-term rentals. They are more spacious and with amenities such as 24-hour Security, Concierge and Reception, Business Centers, Retail Shops and Restaurants, Swimming Pool, Spa and Exercise Facilities

For buyers looking for a vacation property with rental-income potential, The Lancaster Cebu Resort Residences Condotel units are completely furnished and equipped, making them ideal for out-of-town owners. Those same “feels like home” qualities appeal to vacationers seeking an alternative to the traditional hotel room. In fact, popular vacation “hot spots” such as Cebu are seeing a surge in Condotel development, with some hotels being earmarked for conversion to condotel units and other properties being built exclusively for the short-term rental market

According to Beth Collingz, of PLC International Marketing Networks, a Lead Marketing Partner with Pacific Concord Properties Inc., whom have Condotel developments in Metro Manila and Cebu, and specializes in working with international clients: “My phone has been very busy with buyers from the UK, Scotland and Australia interested in purchasing investment properties and holiday homes here. A lot of this interest is being driven by the relatively cheap market prices in the Philippines compared to Europe, especially UK Housing prices, and the easy payment options available for our Condotel Developments, but there are other factors, too. Offshore Property Investors, Foreign baby boomers as well as overseas Filipinos, are looking for ways to maximize their return on investments as they approach retirement, and so are purchasing second homes, particularly Condotel Investments where they can use the Condo for vacations and rent it out through our In-House Condotel Management when they are not using the unit thereby gaining rental incomes that on today’s purchase prices, give a projected ROI on their investments of some 12-16% depending upon the mode of payment for the unit”

Beth Collingz, who runs PLC Global Pinoy, an internet based marketing network specializing in Condotel Investments in the Philippines, indicated that more than 85% of all Condotel sales in Metro Manila were to international clients. While such a level of foreign-purchasing activity is not as high in the Philippines provinces, Cebu in particular, has seen a sharp increase in real estate purchases by international buyers in the past several years.

“These international buyers know it’s a buyer’s market in the Philippines right now
There are several different ways I built credibility.

First of all, like it or not, people make value judgements about you before you even open your mouth. Think about it. What preconceived ideas do you have about a bag lady vs. a movie star? You get an image but the reality is you don’t really know anything about them. It is in your best interest to present a well-groomed professional image and make sure your staff members comply as well.

This professional image extends to the meeting location you choose, the marketing items you provide, and your presentation.

This is whether you want to borrow money, buy their house or sell them a home.

The first verbal message should be to gain rapport with the guests. I share that I have lived in the area for 10 years and I have kids in school. I establish credibility as a member of the community. We are in this together. If you lose, I lose – and I’m not gonna lose because I have a lot at stake.

The actual presentation sends one clear, consistent message such as “you loan me money and I’ll give you high interest payments”. That’s it. While I have other facets to my business and other interests, I do not waiver in my message.

Sending a straightforward message in an easy-to-understand way, to convey credibility because there is no “small print.” You let them know this is a simple program. These are the simple forms. This is the way it works. Period.

Current action conveys credibility. I always mention one of my most recent deals which is usually that I bought and/or sold a property yesterday or within the last few days.

In my presentation I acknowledge their fears and openly address a big one when I show the slide that says, “What Happens to my Investment if Alan Dies.” They usually chuckle because they thought of that but didn’t want to say it. I let them know that the corporation is structured to sell properties and their principle and interest will be paid as agreed. Talk about credibility. Have I not crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s with this presentation?

Also, If you say you are going to do it, DO IT.

Someone might be testing you by loaning a small amount just to see if you are for real. Make sure you send them their interest check at exactly the agreed upon time for the correct amount. I’ve seen this happen time and time again where the lender comes back a couple months later with more money. Then a few months later they come back with even more money. You must prove that you are for real and that you do what you say.

If you break that trust, it’s over.

Finally, I build credibility by being reachable. I have an office that they can stop by. I have an answering service that picks up my calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and relays important messages quickly. I have a web site where the lender can see what I’m doing and, they can send me email and I respond promptly.

Credibility is powerful… Learn to use it to your advantage.

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