Monthly Archives: July 2014

Realogy Acquires ZipRealty For $166M

As reported in Banker & Tradesman…

Realogy Holdings Corp., parent company of Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA Key and Sotheby’s International, has acquired online-centric brokerage ZipRealty Inc. for approximately $166 million in a deal announced Tuesday by the companies. The all-cash transaction values ZipRealty at $6.75 per share.

With this transaction, Realogy will be acquiring ZipRealty’s residential brokerage operations with 23 offices across the United States, as well as its real estate technology.

The deal will allow Realogy to leverage Zip’s brokerage technology platform, Richard A. Smith, Realogy’s chairman, CEO and president, said in a statement. Zip had recently begun offering it as a white-label solution for competing brokers.

Zip, founded in 1999 as a discount online brokerage, has long had a well-trafficked website but was hard-hit by the housing crash, pulling out of a dozen markets and shedding half its agents between 2010 and 2012. Zip Realty’s shares more than doubled on the news, rising to $6.71 this morning after closing out the day Tuesday at $3.02. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

Realogy intends to merge 17 of Zip’s existing brokerage offices into Coldwell Banker offices, while continuing to operate the remainder as stand-alone offices. Post-acquisition, NRT will have approximately 44,400 independent sales associates. Realogy intends to maintain ZipRealty’s existing headquarters in Emeryville, Calif., to further product development.

Lanny Baker, the current president and CEO of ZipRealty, will continue in an executive leadership role within Realogy after the transaction closes, reporting to Alex Perriello, president and CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group.

“We expect the acquisition of ZipRealty to drive incremental revenue for our company-owned, franchise and title business segments,” Anthony E. Hull, Realogy’s executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, said in a statement.”We are acquiring a residential brokerage operation that, after operating efficiencies, we anticipate will contribute meaningful earnings at an attractive valuation. We also expect that the upfront and ongoing costs associated with the enhanced technology made available to our franchisees will generate attractive returns. While deleveraging our balance sheet remains a very high priority, this unique transaction represents our opportunistic approach toward enhancing shareholder value through accelerated long-term growth.”

Bruins Practice Facility Added To Boston Landing Complex

According to Banker & Tradesman, the Boston Bruins have agreed to build a new practice facility at the $500 million Boston Landing mixed-use complex being built in Brighton, which is anchored by the New Balance headquarters.

“I am thrilled that we have found the Bruins a new practice home within the Boston city limits,” Bruins Principal Charlie Jacobs said in a statement. “Our goal is to set the industry standard in everything that we do, and we are confident that our new practice facility will do just that.”

Boston-Bruins-Logo-WallpaperIn addition to ice time, the agreement includes approximately 25,000 square feet of dedicated locker room, training and office space. Construction is estimated to begin in spring 2015 with completion for fall 2016. Elkus Manfredi Architects will do the design and John Moriarty & Assoc. will handle the construction.

The Bruins have practiced at the Ristuccia Memorial Arena in Wilmington since 1987.

Boston Landing is a 14-acre mixed-used development being co-developed by NB Development Group and HYM Investments of Boston.

New Balance broke ground last fall on its new headquarters, which will occupy 250,000 square feet of the office space component. The master plan for the Boston Landing complex calls for 900,000 square feet of office space, 210,000 square feet of sports facilities and a 175-room hotel, 80,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 30,000 square feet of medical offices on 15 acres.

Last week, developers submitted an application to the Boston Redevelopment Authority adding plans for a residential building near the corner of Guest and Arthur Streets. The new building would include 295,000 square feet of housing and 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

What To Do When Your Real Estate Loan Is Declined

There are many reasons why a mortgage loan could be declined. It doesn’t have to be the end of your real estate dreams. Here are a few things to consider if you’ve been turned down for a mortgage.

Loan-To-Value Ratio

The loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is the percentage of the appraised value of the property that you are trying to finance. For example, if you are trying to finance a home that costs $100,000, and want to borrow $75,000, your LTV is seventy-five percent.
Lenders don’t like a high LTV. The higher the ratio, the harder it is to qualify for a mortgage. To reduce the percentage, you can save up a bigger down payment. Some lenders may approve the loan if you buy mortgage insurance, which protects the lender in the case of default, but makes your mortgage payment higher.

mtg111Credit To Debt Ratio

Lenders will be less likely to approve your mortgage loan if you have a high credit-to-debt ratio. The ratio is figured by dividing the amount of credit available to you, on a credit card or auto loan, and dividing it by how much you are currently using.
High debt loads will scare away most lenders. Try to keep your debt to under fifty percent of what is available to you. Lenders will appreciate it, and you will be more likely to be approved for a mortgage.

No Credit Or Bad Credit

Few things can derail your mortgage loan approval like credit issues. Having no credit record can be as bad for your approval chances as bad credit. With no record of timely loan payments from anywhere, a lender is unable to determine your likelihood to repay the mortgage. Some lenders will consider other records of payment, like utility bills and rent reports from your landlord.
If you have frequent late charges or collections, you’ll need to work on getting those paid on time, every time. There aren’t many lenders who will approve someone with bad credit, especially in today’s market.

Talk to your loan officer to determine which problem applies to you, and learn the steps to fix it. Then, you can finance the home or condo of your dreams.