PHOENIX — A stack of shipping containers sitting in a lot in an industrial section of Phoenix has some developers thinking inside the box.
The structures usually used to transport cargo have been transformed into eight apartments. Scuff marks, old serial numbers and shipping company logos remain, but a look inside each unit reveals a 740-square-foot modern home.
“It doesn’t even feel like a shipping container. It’s also insulated really well,” said Patrick Tupas, who is in the Air Force and along with his wife signed a one-year lease for $1,000 a month. “It just feels like a regular apartment.”
There was a downside, he said — passers-by asking questions and sometimes pressing to see inside their home.
Housing and retail projects using the containers have popped up in recent years in Las Vegas, Detroit and Washington, D.C., as developers and cities try to cater to millennials and baby boomers who want to live closer to the cultural offerings in urban hubs.
To meet those needs, “cargotecture” has become a quick way to fill urban housing gaps.
“They are faster, cheaper and now potentially have much more of an aesthetic range,” said Dana Cuff, director of cityLAB, a think tank at UCLA that looks at architecture and urban growth. Some mask their shipping origins, but the ones in Phoenix don’t, she said.
“They’re celebrating them,” Cuff said.
In the Containers on Grand project in Phoenix, the architecture firm, StarkJames, designed the apartments in a way that retained the corrugated metal exteriors. Each unit is made of two containers, but inside there are no signs of the cargo hauling days.
The walls are painted white. The original wood flooring is encased in epoxy. There is enough space for a bedroom and living area.
The two rooms are connected by two separate hallways. One hallway has the kitchen, oven and some counter space. The other one has closet space and a nook. There is also a washer and dryer unit. Monthly rent averages about $1,000.
All but two of the eight units are occupied. One is being marketed as a vacation rental.
In Washington’s Brookland neighborhood, university students and young professionals have been living in a four-story housing cluster since September 2014. In Las Vegas, containers make up the building blocks of a downtown retail complex.
In Detroit, Three Squared Construction is working on $14 million in new projects involving shipping containers because they save time. The company erected the city’s first residential shipping-container development in April 2015.
The three-story building is used as a showcase with the top floor periodically rented out. CEO Leslie Horn said there’s been a high demand among millennials and “empty-nesters.”
On the brokerage side, cultivating a list of private listings is key.
“There’s a fair share of purchases and sales that are off-market transactions,” Weiner says. These are high-profile people who might not want their names in the papers or pictures of their homes splashed across the Internet.
Weiner estimates that 20 percent of his transactions are whisper listings, and he employs former executives in the NHL and NFL, a former MLB pitcher, and a fashion model, among others, to maintain an inside track.
He also thinks long term—very long term. These clients may buy and sell over and over again. Weiner’s business is far more about the people than it is about the properties.
“Three years later, they may need you again,” says Weiner. “We don’t just try to make a big buck.”
The typical brokerage model includes a buyer connecting with local agent. “This industry is very hyper-local and fragmented,” says Weiner, so the network includes agents across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. The local agent may change, but the agency won’t.
And most of these clients come with teams of their own, teams that need to be included in the unfolding history. “One thing we really work on and have a lot of experience in is working with their advisers, wealth managers, and attorneys,” says Weiner.
In the end, pro athletes and those in the entertainment industry need to plan for what you can never really plan for: the unexpected. You could be traded, your show could be canceled, you could get injured, or your life could erupt in some kind of scandal that suddenly dampens your career.
“It’s not just a transaction. It’s a long-term plan,” says Weiner. “If there’s one thing we really try to instill in their heads, [real estate] is an exit strategy.”
Hat tip to GM for pointing this out – did you know that the Obama Administration has been trying to modify the 1031 exchange rules?
Potential sellers of investment properties are already paralyzed by the thought of the excessive taxation by federal and state governments. The 1031 exchange allows properties to be sold and the excessive taxation be deferred – any limiting of the 1031 rules will cause fewer transactions.
If this change is implemented, it will apply to 1031-exchanges that are completed after this year. If you want to upgrade your investment portfolio, let’s move!
The proposal would limit the amount of capital gain deferred under section 1031 to $1 million (indexed for inflation) per taxpayer per taxable year. The proposal limits the amount of capital gain that qualifies for deferral while preserving the ability of small businesses to generally continue current practices and maintain their investment in capital. In addition, art and collectibles would no longer be eligible for like-kind exchanges. Treasury would be granted regulatory authority necessary to implement the provision, including rules for aggregating multiple properties exchanged by related parties.
The provision would be effective for like-kind exchanges completed after December 31, 2016.
Buying a luxury home is expensive enough. Moving into it can be costly, too.
Many wealthy homeowners hire traditional moving companies for household goods and retain specialty movers to handle things like rare paintings, antique furniture and other high-value items.
These “white glove” services cost more because the items may need delicate wrapping, climate control and custom crates, for example. Some companies, such as New York-based Roadway Moving, offer concierge services to help plan and supervise the move, says Roadway CEO Ross Sapir.
For a move from Austin, Texas, to Manhattan, one recent Roadway client requested special vaults constructed to transport his rare paintings, sculptures and musical instruments. The company complied with an additional request that the vaults be sealed so that only the client could open them, Mr. Sapir says.
After five vaults were loaded onto two trucks, the client insisted on following them in his car. “At some point, however, he gave up following and switched to his private jet,” Mr. Sapir says.
Forklifts were needed to unload larger items and the vaults out of the truck to the door of the client’s Fifth Avenue condo building. In the end, this move cost the client about $35,000.
Using photographs from the homeowners’ previous property, Roadway’s concierge can also walk through the new home to mark where the audio system needs to be installed and ensure that closet layouts are reproduced exactly, Mr. Sapir says.
“On the high end, planning is everything,” says Nir Shuminer, owner of New York-based Scanio Movers, which specializes in luxury moves. Wealthy clients value careful packing over speed. While a traditional mover might provide six to eight people to pack up a home in a day or less, Scanio typically sends no more than two or three skilled packers who may take up to three days to ensure that fragile items, such as chandeliers, artwork and crystal, are packed so they won’t get lost or damaged. Scanio recently completed a move that cost the client about $27,000 and included chandeliers, expensive artwork and some historical artifacts.
In addition to the moving company, the homeowner may retain a personal assistant or personal organizer to work on the move. This person may inventory and photograph every item that is packed and oversee the finer details of unpacking so that everything ends up in the right place in the new home, Mr. Shuminer says.
Project managers, such as New York-based NouvelleView, may also perform such tasks as calling utilities, arranging a cleaning crew, and hiring a contractor to wire a home-theater system, says Pamela Muller, the company’s owner.
Helping clients sort through 35 years’ worth of possessions can be emotional, Ms. Muller says. She compares her role to that of a “move therapist,” as clients decide what items to take and how they should be organized, she adds.
Management fees vary based on the scope of the move and services performed, Ms. Muller says. Last year, her smallest project cost the client $7,000, and four other moves cost more than $25,000, she says. These prices are on top of what the movers charge. In one case, the client paid NouvelleView $15,000, a traditional mover $30,000, and a fine-arts specialty mover an additional $25,000.
When preparing the Transfer Disclosure Statement, the seller sets forth any property defects they know or suspect to exist. Defects to be disclosed in the TDS include any conditions known to the seller which might negatively affect the value and desirability of the property for a prospective buyer, even though they may not be an item listed on the TDS. Thus, disclosures to the buyer are not limited to classic conditions preprinted for comment on the form. [CC §1102.8]
Further, the buyer cannot waive the seller’s delivery of the statutorily-mandated TDS. Any attempted waiver, such as the use of an “as-is” clause in the purchase agreement, is unenforceable as against public policy. The words “as is” are never to be used in the context of real estate transactions.
“As is” implies a failure to disclose something adverse known to the seller or their agent, a prohibited activity. In contrast, “as disclosed” is the condition of the property as known by the buyer when the seller accepts their purchase agreement offer. [CC §1102.1(a)]
Thus, all buyers purchase property:
“as disclosed” by the seller, the seller’s broker and the broker’s agents; and
“as actually observed” by the buyer prior to entering into the purchase agreement.
Brokers and their agents who list one-to-four unit residential property have a duty to all prospective buyers, separate from the seller’s, to timely disclose any physical aspects of a property:
– observable by the broker or their agent on a reasonable inspection of the property; and
– affecting the property’s market value.
A buyer of a one-to-four unit residential property has two years from the close of escrow to pursue the seller’s broker and agent to recover losses caused by the broker’s or agent’s negligent failure to disclose observable and known defects affecting the property’s physical condition and value. Undisclosed and unknown defects permitting recovery by a buyer for the cost to cure the defect or loss of value are those observable by a reasonably competent broker during a visual on-site inspection. A seller’s agent is expected to be as competent as their broker in an inspection. [CC §2079.4]
However, the buyer is unable to recover their losses from the seller’s broker if the seller’s broker or agent inspected the property as a reasonable competent broker, did not observe the defect and did not actually know it existed. [CC §1102.4(a)]
For more on seller disclosures and case law, click here:
February’s Case-Shiller Index for San Diego rose by 0.1% over January. Our average of +0.3% per month over the last six months is probably what we can expect for the rest of the year, with the next couple of months being elevated (like in 2015) due to the ‘season’.
But the higher-end market dropped 0.3%, and with 459 active listings of NSDCC houses priced over $2,400,000, it’s a buyer’s market there. We could see more pricing turbulence on the high-end before the year is out.
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!