Nevada’s Creepy Clown Motel Is Now for Sale

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at

Located in the old gold and silver mining town of Tonopah, Nev., this Clown Motel is most certainly not the place for people suffering from coulrophobia (a.k.a., the fear of clowns). Not only is the lobby filled with hundreds of assorted clowns, from figurines and wall art to assorted trinkets, but each and every room is clown themed, as well.

Freaky enough for ya? It gets worse.

The motel shares a lot with a cemetery full of gold miners who died from a plague. The cemetery is literally right next door. It’s like a real-life horror film. Picture this: It’s after midnight and you’ve just checked into your clown-infested room when you realize: you left your phone charger in the car! No big deal—you’ll just have to leave your room, alone, at night, to run to your car that is more or less sitting in a probably-haunted cemetery full of things that go bump in the night. Not panic-inducing at all! It’s like House of 1,000 Corpses meets Stephen King’s It meets From Dusk Till Dawn. (Is it Halloween yet?)


Image Credit: Travel Nevada

The motel’s owner, Bob Perchetti, is ready to retire and move on from the creepy clown shrine he opened 20 years ago. We can only guess what kind of buyer is going to chomp at this bit—actually, we shudder to think.

The motel is for sale for $900,000, but one condition: the motel must keep its heritage.

Take a further look inside The Clown Motel in this video from Las Vegas Now.

Nick Caruso is RISMedia’s senior editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at

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Ask any retiree what mattered most in their search for a new home, and most will tell you location. A recent study by WalletHub ranked the top locations for soon-to-be retirees, weighing cost of living, health care, quality of life and recreation—and in a not-so-unexpected twist, the top three locations in the ranking were all within the Sunshine State:

  1. Orlando, Fla.
  2. Tampa, Fla.
  3. Miami, Fla.
  4. Scottsdale, Ariz.
  5. Atlanta, Ga.

Several other cities outside of the top five were named ideal for retirees, as well. Laredo, Texas was ranked No. 1 based on cost of in-home care and cost of living, while Plano, Texas, and Grand Prairie, Texas, were ranked No.1 and No. 3, respectively, in most employed retirees. (Many people of retirement age are simply forced to keep working due to a lack of savings, according to WalletHub.) Some sprawling metropolitan areas are suited for retirees seeking an active lifestyle; Washington, D.C., for instance, is tied for first for the most museums and senior centers per capita.

When it comes solely to weather, however, California cannot be beat: Glendale, Riverside and Bakersfield ranked in the top three for “mild weather,” followed by Scottsdale, Ariz., and Henderson, Nev.

Source: WalletHub

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Real estate is the long-term investment of choice for Americans, who in a recent survey by placed it ahead of bonds, cash, gold and stocks as the best method of building wealth over time. Real estate is now the chosen vehicle for the third consecutive time in the survey:

  • Real Estate (28 percent)
  • Cash (23 percent)
  • Stocks (17 percent)
  • Gold/Other Precious Metals (15 percent)
  • Bonds (4 percent)

Stocks have never been highly favored in the survey, despite their tendency to produce significant returns for investors who have a wide enough window to weather swings.

“We’ve begun to see rising yields on savings accounts,” says Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at “However, the preferences for cash and real estate indicate that too many people are leaving money on the virtual table by failing to be sufficiently exposed to the stock market, where higher long-term returns are found. This is especially the case for younger investors, who are in the best position to weather the inevitable short-term market volatility.”


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Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at

It’s no secret that moving is a headache. You need to purchase packing supplies, change your address, clean your current home, and more. Luckily, technology can make the process less painful. Whether you’re choosing the best mover or expertly packing your belongings, there’s an app for it. Read on for useful apps to help you streamline your moving process.

Book, manage, and pay for your move all within the Unpakt app. No need to fill out multiple request forms or call different movers for quotes. Simply enter your move details into the app to see moving prices in several cities across 37 states.

Hire a mover via Unpakt online or on iOS and Android.

Get your home or apartment ready for the move by hiring a Tasker to complete home repairs, deep clean your home, and disassemble your bed frame. Services are available in most major cities.

Get your chores done with TaskRabbit on iOS and Android.

Take pictures of your new home or apartment before your move and use them to create detailed floor plans with MagicPlan. These floor plans allow you to view your space in 3D, decide where to put your couch, and plan DIY projects.

Visualize your space with MagicPlan on iOS and Android.

Plan your move with Wunderlist, a to-do list web app. Create lists, set deadlines, schedule reminders, and share your list with friends and family helping you move. You can also assign tasks to people you’ve shared your to-do list with.

Make your to-do list online with Wunderlist.

Pack with the help of Sortly, a digital organizer. Use the app to take inventory of what you packed in each box so you know where to find your wine opener, your favorite jeans, or your drill. With the premium account, you can create QR code labels for your boxes, access your account online, and export your lists via PDF and Dropbox.

Pack like a pro with Sortly on iOS.

Internet Speed Need Tool
Determine your ideal internet speed with this web app. The tool also shows internet providers in your area that offer your recommended speed—helpful if you’re moving to a new area. The internet speed you need will vary depending on how you use the internet. You may need faster speeds if your kids play video games, if you recently upgraded to a smart TV, or if you run an online business from home.

Determine the speed you need online with the Internet Speed Need Tool.

Order late-night meals, cleaning supplies, basic toiletries, or lunch from virtually any store or restaurant in your city. Postmates will deliver the best your city has to offer right to your doorstep—saving you a trip while you’re busy unpacking. Postmates is available in over 200 cities.

Start receiving deliveries through Postmates on iOS and Android.

Socialize with your new neighbors on Nextdoor, a private social networking app that over 145,000 neighborhoods use to stay connected. Find a babysitter, learn about a rash of car break-ins, and hear about neighborhood events all in one place.

Meet your neighbors through Nextdoor online or on iOS and Android.

Hire house cleaners, interior designers, carpet cleaners, painters, home security companies, and more, with Thumbtack. Find professionals—in all 50 states—for anything you need in your new home or apartment.

Hire a professional via Thumbtack online or on iOS and Android.

While these apps might not make moving completely pain-free, they can help you get your home ready to move, hire the best mover, and find services in your new neighborhood. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, technology can help you save time, money and energy.

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The post Your Move Simplified: The 9 Best Apps for Moving appeared first on RISMedia.

Home staging offers a distinct advantage for sellers: a speedy sale.

Sixty-two percent of sellers’ agents believe staging a home cuts down the time it spends on-market, with the majority believing it “greatly” reduces the window, according to the new 2017 Profile of Home Staging from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents believe staging a home helps buyers envision themselves living in it, and 40 percent believe it prompts buyers who first saw the home online to visit it in person.

2017 Home Staging Report (PRNewsfoto/National Association of Realtors)

2017 Home Staging Report (PRNewsfoto/National Association of Realtors)

Staging can also have a positive effect on home value. Thirty-one percent of buyers’ agents and 29 percent of sellers’ agents believe it adds anywhere from 1 to 5 percent, while 13 percent of buyers’ agents believe 6 to 10 percent and 21 percent of sellers’ agents believe 8 to 10 percent. The cost of staging is often fronted by the seller or sellers’ agent.

Buyers’ agents caution, however, that staging is only beneficial if the home is staged to appeal to general, not specific, preferences. Most buyers’ and sellers’ agents believe the living room is a key space to stage, as well as the kitchen, the master bedroom and the yard. They also believe decluttering, depersonalizing and a deep clean—beyond staging—are essential for a show-ready home.

Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents stage all of their listings before placing them on the market, while 14 percent only stage listings that require it. A near-even 37 percent do not stage their listings at all.

“REALTORS® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”

For more information, please visit

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Self-directed IRAs are the only retirement arrangements that allow individual investors the freedom to pursue alternative investments, such as real estate. Investing in real estate with a self-directed IRA offers many benefits to those who are looking for creative ways to save for the future. Before you start, you may want to consider which type of IRA would be best to invest from. You have two options: Traditional IRA or Roth IRA.

The fundamental difference between a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA is how they are taxed upon distribution. Choosing one of these options instead of the other can result in significant differences in the amount of wealth accumulated and the amount you can distribute tax-free. Most importantly, Roth IRAs have features that may benefit investors who want to use an IRA to invest in real estate.

Here are seven reasons why you might consider this strategy:

  1. Tax-Free or Tax-Deferred Earning
    Self-directed IRA investing offers great tax advantages to real estate investors, though the exact benefit will depend on the type of account used. If you use a self-directed Traditional IRA, for example, you will not have to pay taxes on contributions or earnings until you start taking distributions during retirement. With a self-directed Roth IRA, however, your earnings will appreciate tax-free, allowing you to enjoy your profits without hassle from the IRS.
  1. Wealth of Options
    When investing through a self-directed IRA, your real estate investment options are nearly endless. Choose between rental properties (both residential and commercial), undeveloped land, fix-and-flip opportunities, mortgage notes, REITs, limited liability corporations, offshore real estate, and more. Investment restrictions include any work of art, rugs, antiques, gems, stamps, or any alcoholic beverages, as well as S Corps (S corporation tax laws prohibit IRAs to invest in them).
  1. No RMDs While the IRA Holder Is Alive
    There is no Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for Roth IRAs. The IRA owner doesn’t have to deplete their retirement assets even after age 70½. Additionally, the IRA owner does not need to worry about liquidity or valuation for real estate assets. Simply put, they can pass assets to heirs tax-free.
  1. Beneficiaries Enjoy Tax-Free Distributions
    Beneficiaries have options for how they can deplete the inherited Roth IRA. The first option includes a complete lump sum distribution that’s tax-free, if the deceased has had a Roth IRA for 5 years. Secondly, the five-year rule option lets beneficiaries leave assets in the Roth IRA until the fifth anniversary of the original owner’s death. After five years, the assets are distributed in a lump sum, tax-free. The annual distribution is calculated based on the beneficiaries’ age (life expectancy payment option).
  1. Secure Future for You and Your Family
    If you are an experienced real estate investor, you could be using your knowledge to help secure a comfortable future for yourself, as well as your family. Self-directed IRA rules protect your retirement savings from debt collectors, which means investments held in these accounts are more safeguarded. Self-directed IRA rules also allow you to leave these savings to your heirs, so successful investing could mean a significant inheritance for your children.
  1. Flexible Contributions Year-Round
    You can withdraw contributions made to a Roth IRA tax and penalty-free at any time (i.e., ordering rules). Even if the owner has not satisfied the criteria to distribute the earnings tax-free, owners can withdraw some of the growth in value or earnings penalty free. Examples: paying for medical expenses above 10 percent of the individual’s AGI or college expenses.
  1. Contributions Are Allowed After Age 70½
    If, like many people, IRA owners want to keep on working past the “normal” retirement age, owners can keep on contributing to a Roth IRA as long as their income falls within the limits.

Once your Roth IRA account has cash in it, you can start investing immediately. You can even partner with other investors until you have enough cash to invest in real estate on your own. If you’re interested in learning more about real estate investing with a self-directed IRA, please request a complimentary consultation with one of our IRA specialists here.

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In today’s market, it’s all about staying competitive. To that end, PNC Bank is focused on improving the home-buying experience by helping customers take control of their home mortgage borrowing experience. Whether it’s buying a home, saving for retirement, investing for the future or finding the right credit card, PNC helps customers gain the confidence they need to make important financial decisions.

“Culturally, there’s something about this company that separates us from the competition,” says Charlie Crowe, market manager, Washington, D.C., PNC Bank, National Association. “We really do pride ourselves on doing business the right way by ensuring a positive experience and putting customers first.”

Offering a suite of mortgage products, all the way from affordable to portfolio jumbo loans, PNC has its own 3-percent down affordability product, in addition to down-payment assistance, for those buying in a low- or moderate-income area. PNC also offers the whole suite of FHA, VA, Rural Housing Service loans and conventional products—both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which are attractive to a lot of borrowers, as well as a suite of luxury portfolio products.

“The fact that we retain servicing on each and every one of our loans is another key advantage we have over the competition,” says Staci Titsworth, vice president/regional manager, Northern Ohio/Pittsburgh Region, PNC Bank. “This means a lot to clients as it shows we’re committed to building relationships with our customers.”

Building relationships with customers and offering a high level of service are two of the founding principles that guide every decision made at PNC.

“The level of service and transparency we provide is instrumental in helping real estate professionals stay ahead of the curve when working with today’s buyers and sellers,” says Jordy Castillo, market manager, PNC Bank, New York, N.Y.

“We pride ourselves on doing the best we can upfront, which includes communicating with both the client and other parties involved in the transaction so that they always know what’s going on,” adds Castillo, an even more important piece of the puzzle today thanks to the new TRID requirements that are now in play.

“It’s now on us to disclose to customers in a slightly different way, which has not only added time to the process, but it’s made us more cognizant of taking the time to prepare the borrower for the process in order to hit closing dates on time,” says Crowe.

But it doesn’t end there. In fact, PNC is upping the ante even further as they launched PNC Home Insight® Planner, an online home-buying experience geared toward millennials that helps homebuyers understand true home affordability.

Planner provides customers with the ability to prepare a budget, calculate payments and ultimately shop for homes within their budget, while at the same time providing real-time mortgage rates and product information. The experience ensures homebuyers understand the true cost of homeownership, beyond just the monthly principal and interest payment. Planner even prompts buyers to consider retirement and savings when thinking about affordability.

“The more education a buyer has about home affordability, the easier it will be for the agent and lender to guide them through the experience,” says Crowe.

For Castillo, it’s the level of transparency intrinsic in everything the company does that will provide the biggest benefit in integrating Home Insight into his business model. “It gives us a better handle on the process and keeps buyers better informed, while providing the clarity and transparency we love.”

Continued growth—and a focus on doing more of the same—is a common theme as we head toward the future. “Looking forward, we’re going to continue expanding our presence in the markets we serve while delivering for our customers every step of the way,” concludes Crowe.

For more information, please visit


PNC and PNC Home Insight are registered service marks of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (“PNC”). PNC has a pending patent application directed at various features and functions of Home Insight® Planner. All loans are provided by PNC Bank, National Association, a subsidiary of PNC, and are subject to credit approval and property appraisal. This information is provided for business and professional uses only and is not to be provided to a consumer or the public. This information is provided to assist real estate professionals and is not an advertisement to extend consumer credit as defined by Section 226.2 of Regulation Z. Programs, interest rates, and fees are subject to change without notice.

©2017 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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Today’s Ask the Expert column features Dan Steward, president of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

Q: What advice do you have for those thinking of buying a home without waiting for a home inspection?

A: As housing markets continue to heat up, many buyers are forgoing the important step of getting a home inspection. While this isn’t a widespread phenomenon, it can easily occur when a particular market heats up. In fact, when a market gets hot, buyers are afraid that if they put in an offer contingent on the outcome of a home inspection, they may lose the home to others who are willing to take the risk of buying the home without that contingency.

While some have been able to dodge the bullet, others have purchased homes without inspections, only to find that there are thousands of dollars in repairs needed.

In fact, a recent home inspection revealed a crack in the cement floor of a garage attached to a home. While the crack appeared to be tiny, the home inspector later revealed that it was there as a result of a giant oak tree next to the garage. The roots were so huge that the floor would eventually be broken by the tree’s growth. By removing the tree, the cost was only a few hundred dollars; however, the inspector noted that five years down the road, the entire garage floor would have needed to be jackhammered and replaced, costing thousands.

Understanding the importance of home inspections, many of our franchisees offer an immediate post-closing inspection for the sake of catching items that, while small at the moment, can grow into something very large and costly.

For more information, please visit

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Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at

Buying a luxury home isn’t as straightforward a process as one might think. This market has a lot more variables when it comes to each property, making it difficult to establish an exact market value on a home. That being the case, buyers may wonder if they’re getting a fair price on a luxury piece of property. If you’re in the expensive real estate market, here are some steps to take to ensure that the price for your home is fair.

It should be said that comparing two luxury homes isn’t the same as comparing other types of real estate. When you buy a “normal” home, your REALTOR® will look at similar homes in the area, keeping in mind the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Luxury homes aren’t built with that in mind. When you compare these types of homes, you may want to look at features like great views (if it’s a penthouse, for example), privacy, sports features, etc. This gives you an idea of what’s on the market.

Know What You’re Looking For
Once you’ve looked at a couple of properties and have had a chance to compare them, you should be able to develop a “must-have” list. Think about your financing options as well. All of these will become a factor once you’re ready to buy.

Hire an Expert
Like any other profession, the real estate market has professionals that specialize in high-end homes in certain areas. These REALTORS® know what properties in the area are going for and how to find good deals.

Additionally, real estate professionals can tell you what types of transportation amenities are in the area. This is especially important if you’re moving into an area that’s very different from your current location. Hiring someone who knows how the flow of a geographic area works will be better able to steer you toward a good location.

Timing and Motivation
Once you’ve done the first three steps, you’ll finally want to start narrowing down the properties you’re looking at. It’s at this time that you’ll be able to make an offer on a home and, more importantly, hopefully, get it at a fair price.

Luxury homebuyers should consider the timing of their purchase. They may be able to get a better deal on a home in the winter than in the summer. The same can be said for homes that go up for sale at the end of the year. These homeowners may want to get rid of the property by year’s end for tax purposes.

Additionally, you may also be able to secure a luxury home at a reasonable price if the seller is motivated to sell—but be warned. Homes priced to sell go fast, in sometimes as little as two weeks. If you find a luxury home at an excellent price, be sure to ask your real estate professional to make an offer on it.

Buying luxury real estate at a good and fair price is a process. You should start by doing some research and by hiring a real estate professional who specializes in the luxury market. From there, compare the different homes on the market. Finally, once it comes time to buy the home, look for a motivated seller. This factor, combined with all of the previous work you’ve done, will help ensure that you’ve gotten the best price for your new place.

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The post Luxury Homes: How to Tell If You’re Getting a Fair Price appeared first on RISMedia.

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at

One Canadian couple is making a splash transforming shipping containers into backyard swimming pools. (We always knew those shipping containers were universal!)

Paul and Denise Rathnam launched Modpools earlier this year and the idea has taken off, with orders mostly coming from the hottest locales in North America, particularly California, Nevada, Texas and Florida.

“The traditional pool is a symbol of excess and waste. This is a little more modern, more modest. We’re repurposing something rather than recycling. This pool can be resold, and you can take it with you if you move,” Paul Rathnam told Vancouver Sun.

It’s an interesting concept, for sure, and the design, once installed, looks pretty slick. It’s as if your backyard was always destined to house a shipping container.

The standard size Modpool is eight feet wide by 20 feet long, and just over five feet deep. It also comes with a clear, acrylic window on one side, which is actually a pretty spiffy design element. Customers can opt to add another acrylic window on the other side for a see-through look if they want one.

In Canada, after delivery, a Modpool will cost you $35,000 plus tax, which could be a cheaper alternative for families planning on installing an in-ground swimming hole.

Would you buy a Modpool for your home? Tell us what you think!

Nick Caruso is RISMedia’s senior editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at

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