Tariffs boost housing renovation costs after Zillow and others go all-in on iBuying

Zillow | May 15, 2019

The United States and China are locked in a tit-for-tat trade war that will boost the price of materials that go into home renovation and construction. The higher costs come as iBuyers such as Zillow, Opendoor and Offerpad are expanding into new markets with plans for fixing up and reselling homes.

Spotlight

According to the 2015 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report, almost
68 per cent of Canadians would rather spend a long weekend at the
cottage or cabin over a big city getaway. The survey, conducted by Leger,
found that Canadians, of all ages and from all regions, were enthusiastic
about spending time at the cottage or cabin


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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

BDP Holdings Acquires 27 and 35 Waterview Drive Near New York City

BDP Holdings | March 02, 2022

BDP Holdings, a New Jersey-based real estate investment company, announced today the acquisition of 27 and 35 Waterview Drive, a best-in-market, Class A office building in Fairfield County, Connecticut, part of the New York City Metropolitan Area. The 310,000 square foot facility is 100% leased to Pitney Bowes Inc. The location at Waterview Drive is 100 percent leased to Pitney Bowes and just a short commute from the company's headquarters. Pitney Bowes is a well-established industry leader with a long track record of success whose revenues have only continued to grow over the last 24 months, We are thrilled to have acquired such a desirable property, located in such an affluent and scenic location as Fairfield County." Dennis Lim, principal, BDP Holdings. Located in the county of Fairfield, Connecticut's largest and wealthiest county, the Pitney Bowes location at Waterview Drive totals approximately 310,000 square feet situated on 22.7 acres of land and provides easy access to several major local roadways, as well as mass transit which offers an easy commute to Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C. The property consists of three stories of office space, with additional space utilized for assembly/warehousing and engineering. The building also includes a full-service cafeteria, fitness center and a scenic outdoor area, perfect for a post-COVID work environment. Built in 1995, the property has undergone many recent capital improvements, including a new roof and major office and lab renovations throughout, making it well-positioned for future productivity. Pitney Bowes is a global technology leader which provides e-commerce, shipping and mailing services across various market segments and supports 90% of all Fortune 500 companies. The Pitney Bowes location at Waterview is considered a mission critical location, serving as an operations center for all business lines and containing the largest concentration of Pitney Bowes employees in the world. It is also in close proximity to the company's headquarters, located in Stamford, Connecticut. In addition to Pitney Bowes, Fairfield County is home to 19 Fortune 1000 companies, including Indeed.com, UBS, WWE, Financial Charter Communications and many others. Just 60 miles from New York City, Fairfield is one of the most affluent counties in the country, with an extremely educated workforce. Nearly half of all workers hold at least a bachelor's degree. Fairfield also features many public and private golf courses, yacht and boat clubs, country clubs and marinas. This is BDP Holdings' fifth investment in the New York City Metropolitan Area. BDP's leadership has invested more than $6.5 billion in value-driven real estate across the U.S. About BDP Holdings Led by a team with nearly 30 years of experience, BDP Holdings is a New Jersey-based real estate investment company specializing in the acquisition, development and repositioning of real estate in the New York Tri-State area and across the U.S. BDP focuses on properties in markets with high barriers to entry and then seeks to add value through the repositioning of current properties or the development of new properties and communities. BDP's executive team has invested in over $6.5 billion of value-driven real estate and acquired over five million commercial square feet in more than 30 states.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Houwzer Names Jonathan Zabusky Executive Chairman of Board of Directors to Help Drive Next Stage of Company’s Growth

Houwzer | April 19, 2022

Houwzer, a next generation real estate brokerage and homeownership platform powered by proprietary technology and an all-W2 labor model, announces that advisor, entrepreneur, and investor, Jonathan Zabusky, will join the company’s board as Executive Chairman. Zabusky, most recently the President and Board Director at GrubHub Inc., will act as a co-pilot to Houwzer’s CEO, Mike Maher, helping drive the next stage of growth at the company, which pulled in $118M in equity and debt as part of a Series B funding round earlier this year. With the new funds, Houwzer is introducing three new products, Cash Advantage, Convenience Offers, and Buy Before You Sell, to help clients remain competitive in the most challenging housing market in history. Zabusky will work alongside Maher to help refine corporate strategy, which is timely given the current state of the housing market. As a seasoned CEO and operator, Zabusky will provide mentorship to Maher as a strategic thought partner as he navigates the company through market volatility and unprecedented change. He will also ensure maximum collaboration and vision alignment between the other Directors and the management team transforming the Board into a strategic weapon for the business. I am incredibly excited to join Houwzer's Board as Executive Chairman and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mike and his outstanding team. I’m energized by our mission to elevate the home buying and selling experience to become more fair, transparent, and seamless. Houwzer's robust suite of integrated tools, products and technology, coupled with a deeply engaged and aligned team of expert agents, facilitates a more enjoyable and productive real estate journey for its clients." Zabusky Zabusky led Seamless, as its CEO, through tremendous growth before merging it with GrubHub. After the merger, Zabusky led corporate strategy and development, product, marketing, and corporate and restaurant sales as GrubHub’s President. During his tenure, he successfully integrated multiple strategic acquisitions and played a pivotal role in the company’s initial public offering. Zabusky is Founder and Managing Partner of Bounce Ventures LLC and also serves as an advisor and board director to a portfolio of venture and private equity-backed companies in the U.S. and Israel. “Jonathan brings a wealth of strategic growth experience to the team,” says Houwzer CEO and Founder, Mike Maher. “As we continue building on our momentum, he will play a critical role in fine-tuning our approach and ensuring we continue to prioritize resources to accelerate growth and market share. I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside an entrepreneur as successful and thoughtful as Jonathan.” Houwzer also announced the recent hiring of Andrew Daley as Chief Marketing Officer. Daley brings two decades of high-growth experience in highly competitive environments, helping companies differentiate their brands across a range of industries like mobility, real estate, and travel. Most recently, he led marketing for Hana, a CBRE company that redefined the flexible office space experience. Daley has also served as Global Head of Marketing for Zipcar and in key marketing functions for Starwood Hotels, Reebok, and several online travel and startup brands. “The real estate industry is ripe for disruption and the incumbent model is broken. Houwzer is realigning the incentives more fairly between the broker, the agent, and the client so that everyone wins. The end result is a better, faster, smarter way to buy, sell, finance, and insure homes,” says Daley. Houwzer has eliminated the percentage-based commission pricing for listings and rebuilt the brokerage model around the customer, creating a one-stop shop for real estate, mortgage, title, and insurance that simplifies the chaotic and expensive process of buying and selling homes. Its $5,000 flat-fee listing model empowers sellers to maximize their profit – saving an average of $15,000 in commissions, while still providing a full-service experience via technology and expert, salaried agents. Houwzer has helped clients buy and sell more than 4,000 homes with a cumulative sales volume of nearly $2 billion, saving home sellers $35 million in brokerage commissions. Houwzer is the only real estate company operating on an all-W2 compensation model across all of its salaried agents and mortgage advisors. It’s also the industry’s first B Corporation real estate brokerage and will soon be announcing its newly appointed Board of its impact model, the RiseUp Fund. Recently, the company entered into a partnership to become the Official Real Estate Partner of the 76ers. About Houwzer Houwzer is a next-generation real estate brokerage and home services company built around the customer. Its full-service, salaried agents and loan officers help homeowners save when they sell and trust when they buy. Houwzer’s proprietary technology is an end-to-end platform that streamlines the entire transaction from beginning to end with an integrated one-stop shopping experience. The company employs unique salaried agents as dedicated seller or buyer agent specialists who receive salary instead of commissions, allowing them to focus on service, not just sales. Houwzer has maintained an industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 84 and an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from over thousands of client reviews online. Since launching in 2015, Houwzer has saved home sellers along the East Coast over $35 million and helped clients buy or sell thousands of homes worth almost $2 billion.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Whitecrest Real Estate Celebrates the Completion and Official Grand Opening of Brand-New Luxury Condominium Development, The Heritage

The Menkiti Group | May 21, 2022

MG Residential, an arm of Brookland's The Menkiti Group, was joined by Whitecrest Real Estate, to celebrate the launch of The Heritage, a newly developed collection of modern condominiums starting in the mid $300's. The new development offers 1–2-bedroom units that range from 570 – 1050 square feet. The completion of this project marks a major milestone in the new development and momentum in Ward 5. "The project was started late 2018 and took over 3 years to complete. Even through the chaos of COVID-19, we trooped through as we believed in the project," said the company's Director of Design, Maryam Kazmi. "We chose this project as we believed in the neighborhood and wanted to add value to this area and offer new modern living. This is an emerging neighborhood and we wanted to be part of its story." The Heritage lies in the heart of Woodridge, a residential neighborhood located just north of the National Arboretum. The dynamic team of Whitecrest Real Estate always believed in the Woodridge neighborhood, but it was not until they began working in the area, that they realized its true potential. We were one of the first very few developers who started to invest in the neighborhood, about a decade ago in 2013 with a boutique style building. While working in Woodridge, we realized that it is not only a conveniently located and easily accessible neighborhood to various hot spots of Washington DC, but also amongst one of the safest and most affordable areas in the city." Reza Damani, Real Estate Investor and Chief of Operations for Whitecrest The Heritage is conveniently located near a variety of the District's parks and amenities. Barnard Hill Park lies in the northwest corner of the neighborhood, providing 22 acres of open green space for walking or picnics. Also, near the neighborhood, the Dwight A. Mosley Playground and Taft Recreation Center have a large playground, several sports fields, a tennis court, and a basketball court. Although Woodridge lies in a residential area, its proximity to the city's main attractions is what gives this neighborhood its unique flexibility and advantage. Whitecrest and MG Residential were joined by many Ward 5 residents and local businesses, resulting in a successful community event. Joe Dawson of Mission Mortgage and Lawrence Elliot of Prime Title sponsored the event and were also in attendance. "We appreciate everyone who attended the official Grand Opening for The Heritage," says MG Residential's VP of Sales and top 1% of realtors nationwide, Lashika Mason. "We are truly overwhelmed by the constant outpouring of support from the community and look forward to seeing The Heritage's impact in Ward 5." The Heritage is on one of the main arteries of the neighborhood, that runs into Washington, DC. The luxurious finishes combined with the extra effort that was taken to preserve the 100-year-old bank façade makes this beautiful building stand out. The Heritage is a well-built, high-end, and eco-friendly mixed-use condo building in a calm and inviting neighborhood that's a rare find in Washington, DC. The units are well-designed, efficiently built, and are offered at the most competitive prices available in the marketplace for brand-new condominiums. "This is an exciting partnership with MG Residential and Whitecrest Development," says top producing realtor and Managing Director at MG Residential, Anthony Mason. "We are proud to be a part of this project and are looking forward to seeing the impact on the community as we strive to continue to fulfill our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate." About Whitecrest Real estate Whitecrest is a dynamic team of real estate investors composed of four key players: Farid Khan serves as the President for Whitecrest Real Estate Company. His primary role is developing a vision for White crest real estate. He also Analyzes budgets and financial reports regularly, reviews and advises on contracts, and leads the company towards success. Reza Damani serves as the Chief of Operation for Whitecrest Real Estate, providing executive management and overseeing all areas of a project from acquisition of raw land to design and development of all the company's construction projects. Mr. Damani is a licensed Class A builder in the Washington DC area with 20 plus years and over 150,000 total developed square feet in the Washington DC metro area. From site selection, through acquisition and construction, to occupancy, he offers comprehensive ground-up and build-to-suit development services for the region. Syed Ali serves as the Chief financial Officer for Whitecrest Real estate and is responsible for tracking cash flow, financial planning, analyzing the company's financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing strategic direction. He is also responsible for maintaining relationships with bankers and investors. Maryam Kazmi serves as the Director of Design for Whitecrest Real Estate. She oversees all design decisions and aesthetics of the project from the floor plans to the finishes. Her responsibilities include making all indoor and outdoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials to ensure a well-designed and cohesive look to the whole project. About MG Residential MG Residential is a premier sales team based in Washington, DC, with expertise providing residential and commercial real estate services to buyers, sellers, investors, and developers across Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Over the past 15+ years, MG Residential has had the privilege of serving over 3,000 families in the greater DMV region and has consistently been ranked within the top 100 teams nationally for Keller Williams. Founded with the mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate, MG Residential is anchored by Bo and Kymber Menkiti and Anthony and Lashika Mason. Their goal is to close the gap on homeownership and create intergenerational wealth in the District of Columbia and throughout the greater DMV region.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

FAIRSTEAD ACQUIRES 200-UNIT PORTFOLIO IN JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

FAIRSTEAD | December 17, 2021

Fairstead, a purpose-driven, vertically integrated real estate company committed to sustainable development and the creation and preservation of high-quality housing, today announced it has acquired the Sable Palms Apartments in Jacksonville, Florida. The acquisition will preserve and extend the affordability of the 200 units and enable investments in improvements to the apartments, buildings, and outdoor space. Preserving our affordable housing stock is a critical strategy to supporting our neighborhoods and ensuring that families can stay in the communities they love, Fairstead's acquisition of Sable Palms Apartments will extend the affordability of 200 homes and bring improvements to enhance the lives of residents." -Jordan Capellino, Director, Development at Fairstead The Sable Palms Apartments features 200 one- to four-bedroom units across 29 residential buildings. The campus includes one community building, where the management office is located, as well as two playgrounds, laundry facilities, and parking. Fairstead will preserve and extend the affordability of these units and provide upgrades to the buildings including improved kitchens, bathrooms, appliances, and common areas. Fairstead recently announced a new $500 million equity commitment to strategically grow the company's operations, including expanding its multi-family housing portfolio and enhancing the firm's prop tech, sustainability, and community impact programming. Fairstead works with community leaders, advocates, and residents to provide programming and services that improve resident health outcomes, provide financial literacy, offer job training, bolster internet access, and provide opportunities for civic engagement. This purchase is part of Fairstead's ongoing commitment to creating and preserving affordable housing across the nation. This week, Fairstead announced the largest affordable housing deal of the year in New York City with the acquisition of 48 buildings in the Bronx. Last week, Fairstead announced the acquisition of Gateway, 160 apartments in Lake Jackson, Texas, where it will preserve and expand its affordability. In Virginia, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) recently announced that it had selected Fairstead in partnership with Mill Creek Residential and The Communities Group to redevelop the Samuel Madden Homes in Old Town Alexandria, nearby the new Amazon HQ2, where the company will create a sustainable mixed-use community with affordable, workforce, and market-rate housing. About Fairstead: Fairstead is a purpose-driven vertically integrated real estate developer specializing in creating sustainable, high-quality housing. The firm's national footprint includes more than $6 billion in assets and identified pipeline. With offices in New York, Maryland, and South Carolina, Fairstead's team manages 90+ communities across the country and runs its comprehensive real estate platform, which includes acquisitions and development, venture capital investments in prop tech, design and construction, energy and sustainability, property management, marketing, and leasing. The firm also administers one of the industry's most proactive community impact programs to provide on-site support services to residents.

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Spotlight

According to the 2015 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report, almost
68 per cent of Canadians would rather spend a long weekend at the
cottage or cabin over a big city getaway. The survey, conducted by Leger,
found that Canadians, of all ages and from all regions, were enthusiastic
about spending time at the cottage or cabin

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