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News & Notes
FALL 2013
The Rise of Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate
In today’s global economy, the U.S. has become a prime location for foreign real estate investment. The relative stability of the economy and government is making the U.S. real estate market increasingly attractive to overseas investors seeking a secure location to invest. That is what the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate determined according to their annual survey. (AFIRE is an interactive forum for institutional investors in international real estate whose network of principals and senior executives have a combined estimate of $2 trillion in global real estate assets.) Indeed, for the first time ever, four out of the five top global cities for real estate investment selected by AFIRE members were located in the US.
A Note From Our President

Purple carrots aren’t found in most grocery stores and the few that do carry them often sell out right away.  That’s because purple carrots are special.  They not only have all the nutrients of orange carrots, but they are packed with additional antioxidants.  So why aren’t there more purple carrots at the store?  Because people don’t know about them and thus don’t ask for them. 

In business, carrots and customer service are a lot alike.   While most businesses deliver service much like orange carrots -- average and common -- there are some businesses focused on providing uncommonly good service.  Such companies recognize the value of going above and beyond and delivering exceptional service. 

At Madison, our goal has always been to give our clients a level of service that is supercharged with support, top-notch courtesy, speed, effective solutions and a can-do attitude.  We focus on providing a plethora of financial, transactional and management services for real estate.  As we approach 2014, we are prepared to take it up a notch, expanding our slate of educational seminars to keep our clients ‘in the know’ about important matters related to investment property.  Our team of experts is ready to help customers solve problems and achieve the greatest ROI for their RE portfolio.  At Madison, we aren’t satisfied to be typical or ordinary.  We strive to deliver outstanding service.

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy 2014.

Joseph I. Rosenbaum
In A Nutshell:  Aiming for a Simplified Financial System On a mission to simplify consumer finances for Americans, there are number of initiatives designed to regulate financial products and services in the US. Among other things, some of the goals of these regulations are to protect consumers from abusive lending practices, clarify the home-buying process for consumers, and enforce federal consumer financial laws.  Read more...
ALTA 7 Best Practices
Making Practices Perfect

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has come to the forefront of the title industry to introduce a strategic plan which will aid title companies in complying with the proposed CFPB regulations.  As the primary resource for title insurance policy and practice guidelines, ALTA is in regular contact with Congress, weighing in on legislative and regulatory issues. Offering Seven Best Practices, ALTA’s guidelines aim to assist title companies with understanding how to adopt and adapt to the new, increased regulations. These voluntary guidelines are intended to protect consumers, promote quality service, provide for ongoing employee training and meet legal and market requirements.

Six Things Any Real Estate Investor should know about Title Insurance in the Lone Star State Spanning over 260,000 square miles, Texas is the largest state in the contiguous 48 states. With large hats and larger-than-life personalities, Texans are traditionally proud of the popular phrase, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” This maxim holds true of the Texas title industry as well. With a more robust system and stricter regulations, title operations in Texas are indeed bigger than in the other 49 states. Before embarking on a real estate purchase / investment in Texas real estate, here are six things you should know. Read more...
How New IRS Guidelines for Determining Capitalization will affect Investment and Business Property Owners IRS has finalized its capitalization regulations. A key aspect of the final regulations proposed by the IRS regarding capitalization was the classification of tangible property expenses, commonly referred to as the “Repair Regs”. The IRS has been trying to resolve the confusion between immediately-deductible business expenses versus the capitalized costs of construction. Original regulations were proposed by the IRS in 2006, withdrawn in 2008, reissued in 2011, then postponed until 2014. The final regulations were finally published in September, 2013 and will apply to tax years beginning on or after Jan 1, 2014. These new regulations will affect all taxpayers that acquire, produce or improve tangible property. Read more...
Expanding Madison Learning Center’s Horizons Based on demand, Madison Learning Center is expanding its horizons to offer more seminars in more locations. MLC increased its course offerings over the past two years to include a wider range of topics, from “Clearing Property Violations” to “Ethical Implications of the Tri-Partite Relationship”. MLC also broadened its reach by adding to the number of locations where it teaches seminars. What else is on the books for 2014?
Focus On: Debra Smith, Esq. News and Notes speaks with Debra Smith, Esq., Associate General Counsel for MCRES, about her background and expertise, her popular seminar presentations and recently published articles.
In Brief
Recent Legal Decisions affecting the Real Estate Industry.
1.  K2 Investment Group, LLC, et al. v. American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Company

2.  IRS Revenue Ruling 2013-14 (released June 7, 2013

3.  Borough of Harvey Cedars v. Harvey Karan and Phyllis Karan
Madison’s NYC Office is Moving! The NYC location of Madison is moving to larger offices. The new office space is being custom-designed to Madison’s specifications and will provide a comfortable work environment for its developing sales operations in New York as well as work space for clients. Enlarged conference rooms will also provide an excellent venue for hosting Madison Learning Center’s monthly seminars. Read more...