05 October 2012

Wright house fighting for Survival; a Modern Real Estate Transaction

Modern homes by specialist real estate agent/broker Tobias Kaiser
©Scott Jarson via NYT

The David and Gladys Wright house in Phoenix, designed 1952 by David's father Frank Lloyd Wright, is in immediate danger to be torn down; a developer is chomping at the bit to raze it and subdivide the lot. 

Michael Kimmelman, NYT's architectural critic, wrote a enlightening and detailed piece about the dilemma the house is facing; please read it here.

And while you're at it, please cast your vote here to preserve this endangered design. 

Update Wed, 3 Oct: The City of Phoenix and the developer have reached an agreement that will put any work on hold while a search continues for a buyer. A senior adviser for Mayor Frank Stanton said Wednesday that the agreement with the developer who bought the 1952 home delays for nearly a month any demolition of the house. The adviser said the deal allows time to find a buyer who will preserve the house. The potential demolition of the sweeping home, built on more than two acres, set off a firestorm among architects (dpa via nyt).

Real Estate Transactions in Modern Times

Some of you may know that I also practice commercial real estate, specialising on NNN or net-leased properties (this is the case when a tenant is responsible for every building expense including taxes, repairs and insurance. Typical are a Walgreens, CVS, McDonalds or many others you see every day). 

But recently, I was part of one the more interesting commercial transactions in my 20+ years of practice – interesting because of the geographical aspects of the deal. 

The way this transaction was conducted would not have been possible when I was a noobie in real estate:

  • the two investments were located in Ohio
  • the seller was located in Tennessee
  • the buyer was located in North Carolina
  • the listing broker was located in Michigan
  • the selling broker – me – is located in Florida

Netto vermietete Anlageimmobilien und Geldanlagen in Florida und USA durch Tobias Kaiser
I never saw the properties, never met the seller, never met my colleagues, and didn't fly up to the closing (which in most cases has to take place in the county the property is located). All done electronically, all done from afar.

I have conducted negotiations, inspections and closings long-distance before, some even from overseas. But this was the first time when I handled every part of a transaction from my desk. In my opinion, this clearly works only in commercial, and even then only in some cases.

Have you done a similar deal? And what are your thoughts on conducting business without any face-time?

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