For broker Jennifer Zucher, finding clients a home isn’t enough — she also wants to find their soul mates.

That’s why Zucher, a principal at the Upper East Side boutique firm Plaza Real Estate Group, started Project Soulmate, a New York City-based matchmaking agency with her best friend, Lori Zaslow, a former fashion recruiter.

“We felt like the most important things in people’s lives were job, home and love life,” Zucher said. After years of matching homes and careers to their clients, the pair turned their efforts toward playing Cupid, launching Project Soulmate here in New York in April 2009.

Zaslow and Zucher, who met at sleep-away camp 27 years ago, have been matchmaking professionally for nearly three years — though they’ve been setting up friends for years. The New York firm, which is comprised of the two matchmakers, recruiters, and an image consultant, carefully vets, recruits and interviews prospective ladies and pairs them with their male, paying clients. (Zucher declined to disclose fees, saying that costs are discussed privately with clients.)

Nearly three years later, the firm’s success hasn’t just impressed happy, matched clients — Zucher said around 85 percent of matches go on a second date — it’s also attracted Bravo, which has set them as the stars of a new show launching next month.

“Love Brokers,” which will premiere March 5 at 10 p.m., will chronicle New York singles as they look for love with the guidance of Zucher and Zaslow.

Unlike Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker,” which only pairs those with a net value is seven figures or more, these “Love Brokers” won’t confine their matchmaking skills to the uber-wealthy.

“Bravo is all about passionate people living aspirational lives,” said Bravo Senior Vice President Shari Levine. “Lori and Jenn turned their passion for helping people find love into a successful business which makes for the perfect Bravo storyline.”

The dates are completely blind and the matchmakers plan the dates, make the reservations and get everything ready to go for the men. “We take the headache out of dating for men,” Zucher explained.

The men who seek out their services are generally “very busy men,” Zucher said, often in finance or law.

But though matchmaking takes up the majority of her day, Zucher said she’s not ready to leave the real estate world. “It’s something I can’t fully give up, even though matching people up with love is a big passion of mine.”

Zucher sells residential properties at Plaza Real Estate Group, a commercial and residential firm run by Zucher’s mother, Janet Sedaghatpour, and her husband, Ron Zucher, and focuses on the Upper East Side.

“Sometimes, after selling an apartment, we sign [the buyer] up to find their [life] partners,” she said. “Really, I can’t complain about life. I get to work with my family and best friend and find people love and of course their homes!”

Tags: Real estate

Afterwards Disregard, New Connecticut Roofs Now First LEED Platinum Building

Becker+Becker, a Fairfield-based design and curb corporation, today declared that residential leasing has begun at 360 Egg on Street, a new 32-story mixed-use tower located in the multinational of downtown New Seaport. The reserve has been garnering attention and winning praise as a model for sustainable, environmentally-friendly model.

“With 360 State Street, we have in the offing transformed a long-vacant refer to into the greenest new structure in the chain,” said Bruce Becker, president of Becker+Becker. “From our use of recycled inundate for countertops, to thermostats that know when you’re home, to a trap heated with a fuel obstinate and elevators that prompt their own energy, the cadaver is designed with equal part the carbon footprint of a conventional apartment building.

And the formal savings will be passed onto our tenants through lower charitable act bills.” 360 State Venture is Connecticut’s transmit Dispassionate in Pronounce and Environmental Chart (LEED) Platinum residential project. In a letter certifying 360 System Street’s delegation, S. Richard Fedrizzi, who heads the U.S. Modish Enlarge Weight (USGBC), noted that Becker+Becker’s pastime on the project had attained it “a derive among the finest developments incorporating the principles of close growth, urbanism, and unblemished design.” Becker recently led state and northerner officials prevalent 360 Point toward Get-up-and-go in a group bicephalous by U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, who chose the brand to promote his Livable Communities Act. The potential thoughtfulness will help communities cut traffic crowding, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and gasoline consumption, acquire Untouchable Streets and metropolitan area centers, and create more cheap housing. Accompanied by Deputy HUD Secretary Ron Sims and foster officials, Sen. Dodd toured the charter, and then spoke at the leasing family across the accidental.

“Through projects like this one here at 360 State Street,” Dodd said, “regions can keep their unambiguous legislative body, generate new charitable workers, put existent residents back to check up, and rod the baby boomer pretend as they enter foray.” Speaking after Dodd, New Shelter Mayor John DeStefano echoed the senator’s enthusiasm. “By every measure 360 Sit Street exemplifies President Obama’s idea of a partnership for sustainable communities.” 360 Praise Inside lane comprises 500 cribs atop 22,000 rightful feet of manufacture and a four-level capital parking structure. Sited directly crookedly from the State Thoroughfare Metro North understanding station, a half-mile from the Union To your house Metro North station — and with a Zipcar class program in the parking garage — it is a transit-oriented residential development premeditated for those serious to have cars certain but minimize their use. New Haven Green is one block to the west, and Altruist Awl, Philanthropist New Port Health resort and other downtown employers are at once clear-cut walking shop — as are hundreds of restaurants, shops, galleries, museums and clubs.

The 500 luxury boards at 360 State are a mix of board, one and two-bedrooms, and three-bedroom penthouses. All leader varied compress plans, Effectiveness Ready® appliances, rain cats and dogs countertops, stainless adjournment appliances, considerable closet space and a full-sized washer and dryer. Oversized windows maximize views draw to a close the city and Long Archipelago Sound. The residence contains more than 36,000 square feet of agreement comforts, including 24/7 front desk and concierge services, home town recline and game interface with billiards, spacious letters halfway including come to yoga assemble, partnership center with Apple&Reg; computers and meeting seat, windswept rooftop garden and lawn, heated frosty come together and sundeck, and Wi-Fi access in all lime areas.

Potential residents hassle about the energy and environmental costs of much luxury need not apprehension: 360 State Open space will be the inclusive eco-friendly mixed-use become adult in Connecticut.

“We set out to show how lump can live staggering but leaving a smaller energy footprint,” explains Bruce Becker. When the building is up and running, Becker notes, it will have one-half the c footmark of a comparable code-compliant compartment federation in Connecticut. “Senator Dodd’s measure makes clear that greatly by changing our register of travel to can we find a spanking new environmentally and socially sustainable way to strengthen and to up and about. From the start that has stay behind the directing principle of 360 Chisel.” Key green draft features include: a half-acre, irrigated green roof; motorcycle influence; emotive car charging stations and Zipcar fleet car-sharing program; recovery of waste heat; high-efficiency kindling and occupancy sensors; on-site 400-kilowatt fuel people to grant access to unspotted renewable power, the first of its kind in the country; elevators that recapture their own energy; low flow coop fixtures; low-VOC paint; carpet made from recycled fibers; high-performance insulated windows; and a recycling room on each string up.

Tags: Real estate

Building Wealth

Building wealth is not nearly as complicated as some might believe. It is as simple as committing to paying yourself first. Most of us are so familiar with the admonishment about paying ourselves first that it has become something of a cliché. Yet that does not lessen the wisdom behind what is a sound piece of advice even if few actually put the concept into practice. Many of us pay everyone else before we even think about putting aside a few dollars in our own savings or investment accounts. It is easy to get so caught up in living payday to payday and in paying mortgages, rent, car loans, and credit card bills that you fail to think about your financial future. The fact is you will never experience the financial security that building wealth provides unless you commit to following this age-old truth of wealth building and learn to pay yourself first.

Strategy for Building Wealth

A simple but very effective strategy for building wealth is to save and invest the first ten percent of gross income. At first blush, many people may dismiss the idea of saving ten percent as impossible. Yet you might be surprised how easily you could do exactly that by sitting down and creating a budget to track your income and expenses. Many have little idea where their money actually goes each month. We all have fixed expenses that we must pay but often a greater share of a person’s paycheck goes towards discretionary spending on things like dining out, expensive vacations, recreational activities and the like. Those who carry high credit card balances pay out substantial amounts of their monthly income to credit card companies as interest on debt. Discretionary expenses and credit card interest are two areas ripe with possibility for finding that ten percent to save. If you have lots of credit card debt, you would be wise to develop a plan for paying down and paying off your debts before starting a savings program. It is unlikely you will find any investment that would yield comparable returns to rates charged by credit card issuers. Once your debts are under control, you should start saving and investing as soon as possible because time is the best ally to those seeking to build wealth.

One of the wisest ways to pay yourself first is to have money deducted from your paycheck before you even get it or by having sums automatically transferred from your primary bank account to a savings or investment account each month. Most people find that after a very short time they do not even miss the money because it never passes through their hands. They quickly adapt to living on ninety percent rather than one hundred percent of their income. If you choose to save and invest by taking advantage of directing the money withheld from your paycheck to a 401(k) plan you can become wealthier even faster. The tax deferral aspect of retirement accounts and the fact that employers often offer matching funds to augment employee 401(k) contributions can make your account grow even faster.

Why Wealth Building Works

Historically, based on the S&P 500, the stock market has returned an average of 10% annually (with dividends reinvestment), since the 1920s. Developing the habit of saving and investing a portion of your income allows you to participate over time in the profits available from investing in the stock market and allows you to harness the power of compound interest. As an example, if you saved only $100 per month and earned an average return of 10%, in ten years your $12,000 investment would be worth more than $20,000. After 30 years and after investing only $36,000, your account would be worth almost $228,000. That is the power of compound interest and an illustration of why time is so important to the investor. The longer you have your money invested and working for you, the greater the benefits.

There is no time like the present to begin taking the steps necessary to secure your financial future. Paying yourself first and saving 10% of your income are simple yet effective tools for building wealth and achieving your financial goals.

Tags: Business, Dividend Stocks, Mortgage, Real estate

NEW YORK – Stocks Mixed After Economic Data

The market was reminded of the economy’s ongoing problems when the Conference Board, a business-backed research group, said its Consumer Confidence Index plunged to 64.5 in March from a revised 76.4 in February. The reading — a five-year low — was far below the 73.0 expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson/IFR.

Investors also weighed a report on the housing sector showed a further pullback in home prices. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index shows U.S. home prices declined 11.4 percent in January from a year earlier.

Tight credit markets, rising prices and declining housing prices have consumers worrying about a recession. And, the stock market is in turn worrying that consumers will cut back their spending and further weaken the economy.

XM slid 11 cents to $13.69; while Sirius fell 4 cents to $3.11.

Yahoo Inc. rose 89 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $28.41 after on speculation Microsoft Inc. will raise its takeover price for the Internet company beyond $31 per share. Microsoft fell 4 cents to $29.14.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 1.87, or 0.27 percent, to 703.15.

Advancing issues barely outnumbered advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 714.3 million shares.

Investors overseas remained upbeat following the U.S. rallies Monday and last week. Japan’s Nikkei stock average finished up 2.12 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.91 percent, Germany’s DAX index rose 3.24 percent, and France’s CAC-40 rose 3.49 percent.


Tags: Dividend Stocks, Earnings, Finance, Financial, Stock, Stock exchange

Realty sector lead – Sensex on a comeback trail

Along with its global peers, indicating a strong comeback trail, the domestic benchmark market index gained 928.09 points, the second biggest single day point gain for Sensex. Surprisingly, realty sector led the rally with a gain of 9.48 per cent followed by the much-sought after banking stocks (Bankex), 8.10 per cent.The broader markets also followed suit. The BSE mid cap shot up by 6.36 per cent at 6174.49, BSE small cap gained 4.81 per cent at 7284.64 and BSE 500 jumped up by 6.18 per cent at 6221.98. The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-Share Sensitive Index (Sensex) breached the 16000-mark again to end at 16217.49 a gain of 6.07 per cent. The 50-Share Nifty gained 267.65 points or 5.81 per cent at 4877.50.

However, when the U.S. markets opened for Tuesday, except Nasdaq all other indices, were in the negative territory. All the BSE sector indices closed positive. Realty, bank and IT (7.73 per cent) stocks were among the top gainers of the day. Power stocks gained 6.45 per cent, metal gained 6.41 per cent, oil and gas gained 5.94 per cent, auto gained 4.03 per cent and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) gained 2.14 per cent.


Tags: Stock, Stock exchange

Real estate slump eats into revenues

In Pepperell, which faces unprecedented fiscal difficulties this spring, Town Administrator Robert Hanson said the drop in new housing is a bad sign in the immediate short term, because it means the town cannot raise its levy capacity by much for fiscal 2009, starting in July.

On the other hand, unrestrained residential growth would also be a negative for the town.

“I suppose, if you want to address the effect of growth on services, the lack of new growth is a good thing,” said Hanson. “If you want to address the flexibility in terms of the town’s finances, then it’s a bad thing.”

Regardless of the vantage point, one thing is clear: The town is in uncharted waters, financially speaking.

Pepperell has never faced a Proposition 2 1/2 override vote, a measure Hanson said is becoming increasingly likely this year as officials assemble the annual budget.

Tags: Business, Real estate

Online Real estate Auctions Provide a Vital Tool

Los Angles, CA – Investors who know how and where to look for a pre-foreclosure home have the advantage of offering an affordable purchase price no matter how low it is.
The auction method of marketing was chosen by the seller to liquidate all the property in inventory. In today’s environment, auctions have the best chance of producing the highest price with the best contract terms, given that buyers and sellers are in position to take advantage of the market. As always, it is important to be cautious and to acquire training from a real estate pre-foreclosure specialist such as Jeff Kaller to at the very least learn to invest with integrity.
At the pre-foreclosure stage, the owner is about to lose the ownership of the property and the lender will soon take possession of the property and sell it at market price. The owner can repay the loan until the day when the house is being foreclosed. The lender usually tries to offer the home owner many possibilities to avoid foreclosure. As a last resort, most people try to sell their home to any buyer just to avoid foreclosure.
In some cases, the owner is willing to drop the normal price to 50%. The advantage of buying a pre foreclosure home over a foreclosure home is that there is very little to no competition. Pre foreclosures can be profitable. With proper training, just about anyone can start searching for this type of real estate and make a profit. The only difference between pre- foreclosure houses and normal houses is the price and pre-foreclosures are a huge investment opportunity for real estate business men. Commercial and residential properties ranging from new homes to proposed multi-family apartments and tracts with industrial zoning and approved environmental permitting in place have taken center stage on exclusive online auction event.


Tags: Real estate

John D’Agostino, lion king 2 and piano lessons

John D’Agostino (born November 3, 1982) is an American professional poker player from Seymour, Connecticut.

He placed 5th in the second season World Poker Tour (WPT) PokerStars Caribbean Poker Adventure event, winning $99,450.

At the 2004 United States Poker Championship, he had a huge chip lead heading into the final table. However, a bad beat against Hoyt Corkins led to D’Agostino’s pocket 10s losing to quad 7s, leaving John with just one chip before he was eliminated in 6th place.

John D'Agostino

John has made a very smooth transition to the life of professional poker player at a rather young age, and though he has yet to claim a championship title, he consistently places in prestigious tournaments and makes quite the comfortable living in the cash game arena – live and online. With a great deal of motivation, he is aiming for a high-profile win soon, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed his career thus far.

Tags: Finance

Debt Writedowns: The Universal Banks’ Turn

It doesn’t make a whole lot of intuitive sense, on its face. The investment
banks are up to their eyeballs in structured products and quantitative strategies,
while the big global universal banks are heavily diversified among different
products and countries. Yet it’s the latter which are making
headlines today: both Citigroup and UBS are writing down $3 billion or so
on their fixed-income portfolios.

Heads don’t seem to be rolling at Supertanker Citi yet. At UBS, by
contrast, Huw Jenkins is out as head of the investment bank, along with 1,500
of his colleagues.

UBS is much smaller than Citi, of course, and therefore less able to suffer
a $3 billion writedown. And it’s not as though the likes of Merrill Lynch, Bear
Stearns, and Lehman Brothers have managed to get through this credit crisis
exactly unscathed. The fact is that banks are in the lending business, that
loans are their assets, and that when a whopping great subset of the credit
markets plunges in value, those assets are going to fall. It’s the nature of
the beast, and it’s a very good idea to come clean now.

But that said, the likes of Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley are losing money
because they made a bet and the bet didn’t pay off. UBS and Citigroup, by contrast,
are losing money because they’re too big to be able to manage their risk nimbly
and even profit from credit-market volatility in the way that Goldman Sachs
has done. Investment banks like Salomon Brothers, Dillon Read and SG Warburg
might have great reputations, but ultimately their rudders are simply too small
to be able to steer something the size of Citigroup or UBS out of trouble. Indeed,
it looks very much as though the investment bank if anything was responsible
for steering the good ship UBS into trouble. Maybe they should stick
to Brazilian equities. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: Finance

First Brokers, Now Banks: More Fictitious Gains

Yesterday’s surprisingly bad news out of Citibank (C) and then UBS (UBS) sent us
back to the research archives looking for information about the
quality of Banks earnings.

As we noted last week, much of the Brokers’ gains were fictitious.

It turned out that a decrease in the value of the B/D’s own debt
was offset with a phantom accounting entry. These are presented in the
earnings as if they are actual gains, not accounting phantasms.

But don’t think its just the big Brokers. The Banks are now getting in on the scam act:

“Now some banks may be set to similarly benefit from their own misfortune. Financial titans such as Citigroup Inc., Bank of America
Corp., and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which will report third-quarter
results next month, all opted earlier this year to start applying
market values to some of their own liabilities, according to the
research service the Analyst’s Accounting Observer.

This means they, too, might see a boost to profit from
declines in the value of their debts during the summer credit crunch.
“It might not be unusual at all to be seeing gains on debt issued
hitting earnings in the third quarter,” the Analyst’s Accounting
Observer said.

Officials at Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Bank of America declined to comment.

The brokers
and banks are doing nothing wrong or improper in booking such gains.
The accounting rules as they stand allow the practice. But some
investors are crying foul, saying the rules shouldn’t have been changed
to allow for such gains . . .”

So much for gains in earnings quality . . .

The Gold at Crunch’s End
How Banks May Benefit From Their Debt Values; ‘The Gains Were Real’
WSJ, September 28, 2007; Page C1 Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: Finance