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Experts Tell Students “Cash is King” in School’s New Real Estate Class

January 27, 2009
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Cash is king. That was the word from South Florida residential real estate experts who spoke to undergraduate and graduate students in a new, jointly held, real estate class Jan. 26. The real estate finance class is offered as part of the school’s new undergraduate major in real estate and its new Bachelor of Architecture/MBA program, which is offered in partnership with the School of Architecture.

The guest lecturers included Eduardo Imery, vice president for finance and George Fraguio, an end loan specialist, from Fortune International. The firm specializes in developing and marketing high-end residential units in downtown Miami and the Brickell area. The two were joined by T. K. Heatley of EWM, a resident expert in Gables properties. All three speakers stressed that fact that mortgage credit is still hard to come by, and that terms are currently a throwback to the underwriting and qualifying standards that prevailed before the Internet bubble burst.

Heatley noted that local inventory is beginning to move, with sales volume in December 2008 up 50% from December 2007, and that many of his clients either finance a purchase by borrowing against personal assets, not through a mortgage, or they pay cash. Imery and Fraguio echoed that sentiment. They said they are seeing interest from foreign buyers who are using waterfront property for two purposes—as a second home and as a safe place to park flight capital.  As such, they said, the lack of mortgage financing is not an issue to these buyers.  
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