“Grant Realty of Florida”
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Florida is becoming the center of serious interest from international real estate investors. Starwood Land Ventures, an international real estate investment firm, has just completed a deal with one of the major developer in the USA, Lennar, for the development of more than 2,700 home sites in 38 communities across Florida. These are land parcels that constitute one of the most desirable portfolios come to market in years. Starwood Land Ventures had acquired the whole package at a bankruptcy auction last January and now it is planning to work with Lennar to develop first-time homebuyer, master planned, active adult and premier golf course communities in the Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville and Southeast Florida markets.
This means that development activity is beginning again with single-family homes, townhomes and garden villas priced in the low $100,000s of the above mentioned markets that are already rich in foreclosures and discount properties. The plan apparently is to undercut the offering from banks that provide repossessed or shortsale properties requiring various degrees of repair, and providing instead competitively priced single family homes that are brand new and ready to be purchased by first time home buyers.
Lennar hasn’t disclosed the timing of the project, but it is already remarkable that international funds are triggering new massive development efforts in the state of Florida.
Tomorrow I will have an important meeting with three people that will have a fundamental role in my future professional life. One of them is of course my business partner and friend Daniele, with whom I will be sharing all of my future endeavors in the US and in Europe; the second is Terry Ogburn, a very interesting businessman and chief of business development at Century 21 Grant Realty of Florida, in Seminole. The third is a lady, Karen Selby, the broker.
Our story begins about four months ago. My investing career was moving slower than I wanted and, after talking with my wife Maria who is also my personal business coach, I decided to immerse myself in the local market and see how people worked around me. I opened up Craigslist, the most important free announcement network in the US, and I found a posting about two real estate brokerage firms that were looking for new agents. I contacted both of them, and only person who actually returned my call was Terry.
I explained him that I had done my real estate training at a formal Florida school and was considering activating my license as I wanted to see how the market really worked in the field. We arranged a meeting (intended to be a formal presentation) and a couple of days later I was entering for the first time the office of Century 21 in Seminole.
As I stepped into the door, I noticed a message board displaying “Welcome Roberto Mazzone”. Despite the misspelling of my last name, I was impressed by the attention to detail and the positive effort to make me feel like at home. The following presentation was more like a two way discussion and lasted twice as long as expected. At the end I knew very well three things: Read the rest of this page »
Read the rest of this page »