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2016
Aug 12

Real Estate Group Newsletter — Summer 2016

ORBA’s Real Estate Group Newsletter is a quarterly publication focused on effective real estate practice management. The Summer 2016 issue includes two articles: “Ask the Advisor: How Can I Maximize Escalation Income?” and “FHA Developments Could Affect Your Profitability.”

2016
Jun 23

Get Smart with “Smart Buildings”

Smart buildings are bringing dramatic changes to the real estate industry. As owners and investors begin exploring how these technologies can help them and their bottom lines, they will likely jump on the proverbial bandwagon sooner rather than later. This article explains that, while smart buildings typically provide some green benefits (that is, benefits related to energy and sustainability), they also go beyond energy efficiency to address operational issues — such as building and equipment performance and maintenance — that, in turn, allow better capital planning.

2015
Dec 21

Wealth Management Group Newsletter – Winter 2015

ORBA’s Wealth Management Group Newsletter is a quarterly publication focused on effective wealth management. The Winter 2015 issue includes two articles: “When Selling Your Business, Have a Retirement Backup Plan” and “Year-End Planning Tips to Lower Your Tax Bill.”

2015
Oct 26

Three Benefits of Donor-Advised Fund Giving

A donor-advised fund (DAF) comprises contributions made separately and independently by individual donors. The fund maintains legal control of the contributions, and donors retain advisory privileges regarding investments and fund distributions. This brief article examines how DAFs can be particularly beneficial for charitable-minded, high-income individuals.

2015
Sep 16

Property Tax Assessments

Property taxes often represent a significant chunk of an owner’s annual expenses. Even when tax bills are high, many taxpayers simply accept the billed amounts calculated by their assessors. But that may not be wise, as a recent case in California illustrates. This article explains how the California Court of Appeals, applying property tax laws similar to those in some other jurisdictions, found that a county’s assessment improperly inflated a hotel’s value, thus improperly inflating the hotel’s property taxes.

2014
Sep 18

My Fund Portfolio Manager is Leaving! What Should I Do?

A quality fund portfolio manager (PM) can be influential in the overall success of an investment plan, so it can be disconcerting when one leaves. But that does not necessarily mean that an investor should jump ship. This blog discusses some of the considerations involved in evaluating both the old and new PM, in light of the type of fund involved, management style and past performance.

2014
Sep 17

Wealth Management Group Newsletter – Fall 2014

The Fall 2014 Wealth Management Group Newsletter includes two articles, Revise Your Estate Plan to Cover Health Care Directions and A Primer on the Timing of RMDs.

2014
May 21

Valuation Comparables in a Slow Market

The unstable real estate market over the past several years has posed many appraisal challenges. In particular, low purchase prices — often resulting from “distressed” sales — and a relatively small number of transactions in some markets can make it difficult for appraisers to locate comparable transactions (or comps), a critical element in many valuations. Qualified appraisers, however, have ways of dealing with such situations; this article discusses some of the adjustments they can make.

2014
Jan 23

Real Estate Group Newsletter – Winter 2014

Although much of the nation has seen an increase in home sales, there are still areas in the United States that are dealing with sluggish markets. If you find yourself in this situation, it may be better to surrender the property rather than try to satisfy the loan obligations. But be careful. Why? Because discharging the debt may lead to unwelcome tax consequences.

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