Buying A Second Home And How To Pay For It

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 23rd, 2019

Buying A Second Home And How To Pay For ItHow does an average homeowner become a real estate investor? Certainly, owning a home is an investment in real estate. However, this guide discusses the next step for many to become a real estate investor. This is to buy another property and use it for a commercial purpose. Owning another home is less of a burden when an investor finds a way to make the home pay for itself.

Here are some tips on how to help a property generate cash flow:

Renting Out A Home

Renting the home to others may be an effective way to pay for it. To do this well, a real estate investor looks for a home with special characteristics. The home is for sale at a low enough price and can be financed well enough so that the cash flow coming in for the rent will be equal or more to the expenses of owning and managing the property. It is terrific if the property makes a positive cash flow each month, even if only a small amount.

If a property has a $50 per month positive cash flow, then that small amount builds up over time. Adding more properties with positive cash flow increases the investment portfolio value quicker.

Home Office

Using all or part of a home as an office creates special tax deductions for the expenses that cover the portion of the property used for business. Even if a homeowner does not have enough money to buy another home, starting a small business by using a home office may help create the money for the investment needed as a down payment on the second home.

Renting A Home Out As A Vacation Rental

Many like to rent homes in nice areas for vacation purposes. The home can rent out as a full home or as individual rooms in the home. Airbnb is a useful web-based service that can bring rental customers for those interested in doing this.

Bed & Breakfast

Another way to make money by owning a property is to turn it into a commercial enterprise as a bed & breakfast. Depending on the location, and the number of tourists attracted to a particular area, a bed & breakfast business can be profitable.

Tax Implications

Even if owning a second home does not make positive cash flow, it can still be financially beneficial when it reduces the tax burden. Work with an accountant and/or investigate the tax implications of owning the property. It may be possible to take deductions such as for property expenses and non-cash deductions such as depreciation, which when combined with other income, reduces the overall tax liability.

If owning a second home reduces the taxes to be paid, this is a financial benefit that offsets any negative cash flow. Tax savings is money in the pocket, so this counts as part of the positive cash flow that comes from owning a property.

Summary

These are just a few ideas to consider that may help pay for a second home and make it easier to become a real estate investor.

When you are considering a new property, be sure to partner with a trusted real estate professional.

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Want to Make A Richer Life? Take Time To Make Time

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 22nd, 2019

Want to Make A Richer Life? Take Time To Make TimeMany who are financially sound got that way by being skilled at accumulating wealth. The question is, did they also accumulate quality of life? Working all the time to build wealth, while at the same time lacking happy experiences with those who are important, is not creating a rich life. Here are some ideas to promote both a healthy and wealthy lifestyle.

Time Budget

For those who already do a decent job at managing their finances by using a budget, congratulations for doing half of the planning well. In order to have a fully-satisfying life, the other budget that is needed is a time management budget.

Allocate time on a weekly basis to all the other things that are important, which, in addition to money-making efforts, may include:

  • Personal Growth and Development: Examples in this category include daily meditation, yoga practice, and self-help classes.
  • Quality Family Time and Time with Pets: This category is less about the things to do and more about who does them together. Take time to sit with kids and play with them. Walk the dog or use a laser light on the wall to play with the cat.
  • Community Service: Make an effort to spend at least one hour each week doing some community service. This is a “pay-it-forward” way to keep everything in perspective and develop an attitude of gratitude.
  • Stress Relief: Find a way to release anger and frustration in a healthier way, such as going to a gym and working out with a punching bag.

Make More Time

Time is actually more precious than money. The best practice strategy is looking for the possibilities to create more passive income that requires money investment to produce a positive result but little or no time to make it happen. Creating passive-income streams by investing in real estate is a way to achieve wealth, while also creating free time.

Delegate And Outsource

Make a list of the little annoying things that take the most time. Find a way to delegate some of those tasks to others. Consider using the help of freelancers to outsource things that are time-consuming and can be done more efficiently by others.

Let A REALTOR® Do The Work

If there is some investment capital available to work with, find a real estate agent that becomes an integral part of the long-term business strategy. Make an investment plan together and let your agent find the properties that qualify for the strategy. Be happy paying the agent commission for a property acquisition that meets the investment criteria.

Success Creates More Success

Rewarding others who bring valuable deals that create passive income usually improves the results. If possible, start young, be patient, and, step-by-step, build up a valuable real estate portfolio. The life goal is to eventually create enough passive income, which requires so little time that most of the time can be spent playing with pets along with the grandkids. That is the meaning of true wealth.

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How to Become A Billionaire Land Trader

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 21st, 2019

How to Become A Billionaire Land TraderTrading land like a billionaire relies on three simple premises. The first one is to acquire the land for cheap. The second one is to never intend to sell it. The third one is, if you trade it, trade up.

Howard Hughes

Billionaires that start with an inheritance have an advantage. Howard Hughes was born into wealth. His father invented an oil drill that penetrated difficult, hard rock, which made Howard Hughes one of the richest men in the world from his inheritance.

Hughes visited Las Vegas during WWII for the first time. Then, in the 1950s, he traded some parcels of desert land that he owned in Northern Nevada for 40 square miles (26,500 acres) of federal land. This property, managed by the US Bureau of Land Management, was in the northwest of Las Vegas.

Hughes died on April 5, 1976. Well after his death, this land would later become the master-planned community of Summerlin. The first family moved into Summerlin during 1991.

Vacant lots in Summerlin now sell for an average of $2 million per acre. This makes the land Hughes originally acquired by a trade of land worth a few million, equal to about $53 billion today.

Billionaire Lessons

Howard Hughes was not exactly clever. He was just greedy and stubborn. He decided to make Las Vegas his home after he came for a party in 1966. He stayed at the Desert Inn in the penthouse. After ten days, when his reservation was over, the manager asked him to leave. Instead, stubborn Hughes bought the hotel.

Next, Hughes went on a buying spree. He bought three casinos. He acquired all the vacant lots around the Desert Inn. He purchased all the vacant land on both sides of the street that became known as the Las Vegas strip. He bought the North Las Vegas airport and the land around the McCarron International Airport, which is right off the strip. Hughes’ appetite for buying things was insatiable.

The lesson learned is to buy and hold all the key land that is available. Be patient. It took 40 years for the land value in Summerlin to really take off in terms of value. Hughes did not live to see this but maybe he is laughing from his grave. One thing is certain, the desert land that, long ago, nobody but Hughes wanted became worth a fortune.

Investing In Raw Land

Investing in raw land that becomes valuable depends on just a few considerations, which include:

  • Location: Select land that is in the path of future growth.
  • Hold: Be prepared to own the land for a very long time.
  • Stimulate Development: Develop the area or encourage others to do so.

Summary

Land traders achieve success by being extremely patient. They are able to imagine the future growth of an area ahead of others. Land trading may create long-term opportunities because of the continual expansion of the population. This happens frequently around metropolitan areas in many parts of America. 

If buying land appeals to you, be sure to schedule an appointment with your trusted real estate professional.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 20th, 2019

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 20th, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 20th, 2019Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions, housing starts and building permits issued. Consumer sentiment was reported along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

NAHB: Builder Confidence Rises in May, Housing Starts Increase in April

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index posted its highest reading in seven months in May as headwinds facing home construction waned. Lower mortgage rates were a positive sign. May’s reading rose three points to 66; component readings also rose.

The index of builder confidence in current housing market conditions rose three points to an index reading of 72; the reading for builder confidence in housing market conditions in the next six months rose one point to 72 and the confidence reading for buyer traffic in new housing developments rose two points to 49. The reading for buyer traffic seldom exceeds 50. A reading of 50 or above indicates positive builder sentiment.

Commerce Department reports for April showed higher readings for housing starts and building permits issued. 1.235 million housing starts were reported at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace. Analysts expected 1.209 million starts based on March reading of 1.16 million starts. Housing starts were six percent higher as compared to March, but remained lower year-over-year. Building permits reported in April rose from 1.288 million permits issued on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis in March to 1.296 million permits in April. 

Mortgage Rates, Mixed New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower fixed mortgage rates were lower last week, but the average rate for 5/1 adjustable mortgages rose. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.07 percent and were three basis points lower. Rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.53 percent and were four basis points lower.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose three basis points to 3.66 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims were lower last week with 212,000 claims filed as compared to expectations of 217,000 new claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 228,000 initial claims filed. Analysts said that the drop in first-time claims was a sign of economic strength and job markets.

Consumer sentiment hit a 15-year high according to the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment

Index. reported an index reading of 102.40 in May; analysts expected a reading of 97.10 based on April’s reading of 97.20. Low unemployment fueled consumer sentiment, but analysts emphasized that consumers were surveyed before higher tariffs on China were announced; the costs of tariffs will be passed on to consumers, which is expected to dampen consumer sentiment.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of new and pre-owned homes and minutes of the Fed’s FOMC Committee meeting. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

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Finding ‘Hard Money’ Lenders Is Easier Than You Think

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 17th, 2019

Finding 'Hard Money' Lenders Is Easier Than You ThinkAre you the type of real estate investor that has an interest in a treasure hunt? A real estate investment strategy based on hard money is, at its core, a treasure hunt. There must be an underlying value, the “treasure,” for a hard money opportunity to exist.

Collateral For A Hard Money Loan Is Only The Property

Hard money loans rely only on the value of the real estate property for collateral. The credit history of the borrower is not important. Usually, the limit for a hard money loan is a 60% loan-to-value. The hard money loan must be in the first position, as a first mortgage lien on the property, in the case of a default on the loan.

If the loan amount needed is only 60% of the property value, finding a hard money lender is easy. Just conduct a search on the Internet for a hard money lender in the area of the property.

Please note that the sale amount for a property is the value so it is not possible to use a higher appraisal for a higher hard money loan and then purchase a property for a lower value than the appraisal.

Hard Money Lenders Want To Make Loans

Hard money lenders want to lend money to deals that are qualified. They typically charge higher interest rates plus points (a percentage of the loan amount paid at the close of escrow). They almost always have more money available to lend than qualified deals. The qualified deals are harder to find than the money!

Advance Fees Are Usually A Bad Sign

One word of warning. NEVER, ever, under any circumstances, pay an advance fee for a hard money loan “commitment.” Any fees for the lender come out of the escrow closing when the loan funds the deal and not one second before.

No matter how convincing a lender is, about requiring an advance fee, do not pay it. If you cannot find a real hard money lender, who does not ask for an advance fee, your deal does not qualify for this type of loan.

Joint Venture With The Land Owner

If the land is owned free and clear, a joint venture can be arranged to borrow 60% of the land value for a development project and then a hard money loan can be used on a short-term basis while the land is improved and permitted for development. Then, a property can be reappraised at a higher valuation after improvement and permits are in place.

New financing can pay off the hard money lender. For example, a construction loan that converts into permanent financing can retire the initial hard money loan when the project hits certain milestones.

Advertise For Investors

Under the JOBS Act of 2012 and subsequent revisions, the regulations allow general advertisements for investors. Many real estate developers are now using crowdfunding platforms to fund their deals, as another way to raise capital. Using this method, investor funds can be pooled from smaller investors to provide working capital that can be used along with hard money loans to do real estate deals.

You could surmise that finding and/or creating the deals that are hard-money worthy is the more difficult task than finding the hard money loan funds for a qualified project. Before making a rush decision, consider discussing your options with a mortgage lender. This trusted professional can offer information about a variety of financing options.

The best person to help you find just the right property is your trusted real estate professional. 

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NAHB: May Home Builder Confidence Hits Highest Level in 7 Months

Posted in Market Outlook by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 16th, 2019

NAHB May Home Builder Confidence Hits Highest Level in 7 MonthsThe National Association of Home Builders reported the highest builder confidence reading in seven months for May. May’s reading exceeded expectations for an index reading of 64 and rose three points to 67.

Component readings for the main NAHB reading were also higher. Builder confidence in current housing market conditions rose three points to 72; confidence in housing market conditions for the next six months rose one point to 72 and the reading for buyer traffic in single-family housing developments rose two points to 49.

Any reading over 50 indicates most builders are positive about housing market conditions, but the reading for buyer traffic is often lower than 50. May’s reading suggests that builders were expecting solid buyer traffic as the peak home buying season started. The average NAHB Housing Market Index reading for 2018 was 67; 2019’s average reading is 62.

March housing starts were the lowest in two years. Lower mortgage rates could increase demand for homes and possibly compel builders to ratchet up construction, but there are no guarantees that low mortgage rates will hold steady over the long run.

Builders Cite Ongoing Obstacles Including Tariffs And Labor Costs

Home builders continued to experience higher materials and labor costs. Tariffs were cited as a cause of higher materials costs that are passed on to buyers by raising home prices. While would-be buyers may enter the market due to lower mortgage rates, higher home prices are likely to sideline first-time and moderate income buyers who are concerned with affordability and strict mortgage qualification requirements.

Freddie Mac reported that based on its survey of recent buyers, about 16 percent of recent home buyers relied on seller assistance. While seller contributions to home buyers are carefully regulated, this type of transaction can help buyers get into a home without spending their last dollar.

Rapidly rising home prices and buyer competition have skewed housing markets in favor of sellers in high-demand markets, but slower growth of home prices in recent months could help more renters buy homes. Continued trade negotiations and increased tariffs on China could impact housing costs depending on terms of negotiations and tariffs imposed.

 

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I Can’t Believe It’s Not Grass!

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 15th, 2019

I Can't Believe It's Not Grass!For those who have not taken a look at the innovative technology that is now used to make artificial grass, they will be surprised at how realistic some of the newest products look when compared to living grass. Installing artificial grass, which is high quality, does not come cheap.

Prices range from $8 to $14 per square foot. However, this investment may pay off well because of improved resale value, low monthly water bills, and other benefits. The best artificial grass can last up to 25 years with little to no maintenance.

Here is a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the most innovative artificial turf to help homeowners and business owners decide if these new products are suitable for their properties.

Disadvantages

Besides the investment cost, here are some other disadvantages.

Hot To The Touch

Some artificial grass products do no dissipate heat very well. In areas where there is a lot of direct sunlight this problem can make artificial grass too hot to walk on barefoot.

Nevertheless, there are advanced designs of artificial turf, which have perforations that allow water to easily run through. These can be quickly cooled down by simply spraying the artificial turf with a light water mist spray.

Homeowners Association Rules

The rules of the homeowners association (HOA) may prohibit the use of artificial turf. Check the HOA rules before installing artificial grass. There may be a need for an exception to the rules.

High-quality artificial grass looks as nice, if not better, than real grass. Low-quality artificial turf looks like cheap, green, furry plastic. Make sure the HOA sees a sample of the artificial grass product for the project for their more accurate understanding and consideration.

Advantages

There are many advantages of using high-quality artificial grass.

No Water And Low Maintenance

In drought-stricken areas, water for irrigation may not be available at all, has use restrictions, and/or is extremely costly. Artificial grass does not need a huge amount of water that real grass needs to survive. It is very low maintenance.

No mowing or lawn care is needed to keep it looking perfect. It is washable, which makes it easy to remove dirt, dust, and pet litter. It is durable and tough.

Curb Appeal

High-quality artificial grass makes a home stand out. When all the neighbor’s homes are dull with dead, brown, real grass or another bland-colored ground cover, a vibrant green artificial lawn really looks spectacular in comparison.

Pet-Friendly

Pets like quality artificial turf. It is easy to clean. It should be able to withstand plenty of pet activity without showing ugly wear and tear. Depending on the installation, pets are discouraged from digging up the lawn.

If a portion does get damaged, it is fairly easy to replace a damaged section.

Conclusion

Artificial grass is increasing in popularity. In most cases, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Even for properties, which have the option of maintaining a real-grass yard, artificial grass is something worth considering.

For tips on home improvement projects that can improve your resale value and attract buyers, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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How To Find Motivated Sellers In Your Real Estate Market

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 14th, 2019

How To Find Motivated Sellers In Your Real Estate MarketBargains in real estate may come from identifying motivated sellers who are willing to let a property go for less than it is really worth. Real estate investors who acquire properties at a discount from current market value enhance their success by increasing their profit potential. Real estate agents who list properties owned by motivated sellers increase their chances to sell a property quickly and have happy sellers who might refer them in the future.

Here are some tips on how to find motivated sellers:

Distressed Discounts

A property that lists for a long time and then the listing shows a discount is a clear sign the owner is becoming motivated. However, just because a property shows a discount from the original listing price, it still may not be a bargain. It is important to learn if the present owner has an unreasonable expectation. Check the recent comparable sales (comps) and then offer no more than 25% less than the sales price of the lowest comp.

Track Foreclosures

For real estate investors with the liquidity to do all-cash deals, tracking foreclosure dates creates opportunities. Properties may be bought just before the final foreclosure date at a large discount because the owner knows that the house will soon be lost anyway.

Short Sales

Another all-cash deal is the short sale. In this type of sale, the lender is driving the deal. The lender is willing to accept a steeply-discounted price to avoid an expensive legal foreclosure process. These homes almost always sell for way below market price and the seller is highly motivated.

Divorce Proceedings

A couple going through a disputed divorce may be forced to sell a home in order to be able to divide the assets owned by them. These are highly motivated sellers who may simply want to get rid of the home fast as part of the process of being finished with the relationship.

Estates

Another reason why a home may need to sell is if the person who owned it died. An estate sale may be a good deal if the executor of the estate is motivated. This happens if there are multiple family members who are impatient and have claims to a portion of the assets as their inheritance.

Will Pay Cash For Houses

A simple sign or flier posted many places with “Will Pay Cash For Houses” and a telephone number on it actually may work in some areas to find motivated sellers.

Personal Networking

Ask everyone if they know of someone who needs to sell a home quickly.

Summary

Finding motivated sellers is a useful thing to do for investors looking for great deals and real estate agents wanting faster-selling properties to list. Ask a homeowner why they want to sell to learn their motivation. Property owners who experience troubles create opportunities for others who are ready to help them sell a property fast and when the need is urgent.

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5 Ways To Find Properties For Sale That Are Not Listed Yet

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 10th, 2019

5 Ways To Find Properties For Sale That Are Not Listed YetReal estate agents, who are successful, know that getting listings is the life energy of their business. It is boring to sit around waiting for a new client to call. It is expensive to spend extraordinary amounts of money on general advertising to get listings. Clever real estate people learn how to find properties for sale before they are listed.

Value Of Unlisted Properties

Real estate agents and investors have a competitive advantage when they find properties for sale that are not listed. These off-market properties may be available at a better price. There may have little or no other competition from other potential buyers making an offer. Real estate agents can motivate buyers to move quickly to close a deal on an unlisted property before it goes on the market.

Finding Off-Market Properties

Here are five ways to find properties before they are listed:

1. Check Tax Records

Sometimes it is as simple as looking up the current owner in the tax records, making a contact, and giving an offer. That direct approach may work well as long as enough contacts are made to improve the odds of finding a motivated seller.

2. Maintain Contact With Past Buyers

Real estate agents should always stay in contact with past buyers of a property that they sold. On the anniversary of the sale date, send a nice postcard with a handwritten note that says something like “I remembered this was the date you bought your home (or building). If you ever want to sell it, give me a call.”

3. Networking

Another technique is in-person networking with people. Join professional associations, mingle with people, and learn what neighborhood they live in. Tell them someone is thinking of moving there and ask them if they might be considering selling their home or if they know someone who is.

4. Friendly Neighborhood Scouting

Become known in a neighborhood as a buyer. When an investor likes a neighborhood, a terrific strategy is to wander around, knock on doors, and hand out business cards.

People hate someone knocking on the door who is trying to sell them something. However, they usually have a very positive reaction when someone wants to buy the home. There is no need to be shy. Walk around a neighborhood, get to know it better, and the people who live there.

5. Title Companies And Real Estate Departments Of Banks

Make friends with the staff at title companies. Get to know the people working at banks in the real estate department that handles the short sales and foreclosures. These two groups are very strong sources for off-market deals.

The staff of title companies knows when a sale fails at the last moment due to loan funding issues. Bank staff knows when new foreclosures come in before they list for resale. By moving fast, an investor takes advantage of the short gaps between the time these properties are available for sale and when they get listed.

Summary

Learning how to find off-market properties creates many benefits. Investment opportunities expand for real estate investors and real estate agents create more listings for themselves with these proactive strategies. Think of this as a treasure hunt and it actually can be a lot of fun.

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Case-Shiller: February Home Price Growth Rate Slowest in 6.50 Years

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 9th, 2019

Case-Shiller February Home Price Growth Rate Slowest in 6.50 YearsHome price growth slowed in February according to the Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index. Home price growth hit its lowest rate in more than six years; this indicates that the roaring growth of home prices is settling and could provide opportunities for more would-be buyers to enter the housing market.

The 20-City Housing Market Index rose 0.20 percent in February as compared to January. Year-over year home prices grew by 3.00 percent and missed analyst expectations of a 3.20 percent growth rate. The 20-City Index reported slowing trends in home price growth and emerging trends in housing markets within metro areas tracked.

California’s Hold On Top Housing Price Growth Topples

Home price growth in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, California slowed enough to lose their hold on highest home price growth rates seen in recent years. San Francisco was the only city to lose ground in national home price growth with a reading of 1.40 percent growth.

The top three cities with highest gains in home prices were Las Vegas, Nevada with year-over year home price growth of 9.70 percent; Phoenix, Arizona home prices grew by 6.70 percent and Tampa, Florida where home prices grew by 5.40 percent year-over-year.

No double-digit home price gains were reported in the 20-City Home Price Index in February; as a comparison, home prices in Seattle, Washington had grown at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 12.70 percent a year ago. Rapidly rising home prices slowed in California due to lack of homes for sale coupled with affordability.

Buyers seeking affordable homes in temperate climates shifted their searches to metro areas offering more homes for sale at affordable prices. While fluctuating mortgage rates impact homebuyers depending on home loans, slower rates of home price appreciation can encourage would-be home buyers to enter the market.

Regional Home Price Growth Trends Shift

Home price growth slowed nationally; Case-Shiller’s February reading showed a year-over-year rate of 4.00 percent growth as compared to January’s reading of 4.20 percent home price growth. David M. Blitzer, chair and managing director of the S&P Indices Committee, cited slowing growth in new home sales, housing starts and residential investment as more signs of cooling housing markets. Mr. Blitzer also said that regional trends in home prices growth were shifting. While home price growth in East and West Coast and Great Lakes regions slowed, home price growth gained in inland areas.

 

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