A Tribute to K Dun Gifford, Andrea Doria Survivor and Kennedy Aide

Mr. Gifford began his many illustrious careers after graduating from the Harvard Law School and serving three years in the Navy. He was an investment banker, a real estate developer, a restaurant owner, and for the past 20 years a driving force in the movement to promote the health benefits and culinary appeal of the Mediterranean diet.

His father was a Republican, but Mr. Gifford became a Democrat by the time he graduated from Harvard College in 1960. After a year with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Gifford became a legislative assistant to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, before joining Robert Kennedy’s presidential bid as a national campaign coordinator.

The Boston Globe reported, “Mr. Gifford was walking behind Kennedy in a Los Angeles hotel when Sirhan Sirhan began shooting. He was among those who tackled Sirhan, telling the Providence Journal in 1998 that ‘people were piling on, hitting him, berating him…. I went to law school and wanted to have him alive and not dead.”

The following summer, Mr. Gifford was at his family’s summer home on Nantucket when he was called to Martha’s Vineyard to assist the Kennedys after Edward Kennedy drove his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick. A passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, died in the accident, and Mr. Gifford escorted her body to her family’s home in Pennsylvania.

Leaving politics in 1970, Mr. Gifford worked on major development projects for several years at Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, a real estate company in Boston, then went off to forge his own business deals.

Although Dun’s family is proud of all his business and political accomplishments, his son summarizes what he will be remembered for: “The most overarching thing for me about dad was his commitment to public service, which was so much a part of him that it was inseparable from his daily life in whom he was… He was also a master of the small, kind gesture.”

Mr. Gifford began displaying his humanitarian ways, even as a teenager, at the very moment when he should have been worried about his own humanity. His sister Bambi recalls, “Dun didn’t have his life jacket (after the collision). So he went back to his cabin. He noticed the weird angle that the clothes in the closet were hanging; since he was a sailor he knew that the boat was in trouble. He grabbed two jackets, thinking that his two friends might not have one. When he rejoined us he saw that they both had life jackets. He then walked around until he found someone who did not have one. It turned out to be a crew member.”

The Andrea Doria tragedy did not stop Dun from fully enjoying the sea. In fact, he was the navigator of the Constellation in the America’s Cup in 1964. He continued to navigate until the end of his days.

We, your fellow survivors, thank you, Dun, for your humanitarian deeds and your inspiration to navigate through life challenges with courage and dignity.

Postscript: Mr. Gifford died of a heart attack Sunday in Exeter, N.H., after returning from a trip to France and Australia. He lived in Cambridge. In addition to his son, brother, and companion Baer-Sinnott, Mr. Gifford leaves two other sons, Porter of Cambridge and Clarence of New York City; a daughter, Caroline of Newfane, Vt., who is known as Apple; another brother, John of Brookline; a sister, Priscilla (Bambi) Mleczko of Nantucket; and five grandchildren.

NB: On the last voyage of the Andrea Doria, Mr. Gifford was traveling in first class with his parents, brothers Jock and Chad, and sister Priscilla (Bambi). They were returning from a journey to London, Paris, Brussels, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Venice, Rome, and finally Naples. For a full account of the family story as written by Bambi Mleczko, http://www.PieretteSimpson.com/blog.

Essential Features of Real Estate Website Design

All business websites are not same and if you thought so, you were WRONG. A business website is concocted according to the sector, deploying appropriate web tools and design theme. When it comes to real estate website design, the distinction becomes even more obvious. Real estate is a sector which has its unique set of requirements and the website design must factor in all essential features.

Content Management Tools

Efficient content management tools are integral part of a real estate website design package. The user is not necessarily a person well aware of website development tools. The solution must be designed in a manner to enable users easily publish web pages, articles, customer testimonials and links to external websites. They must also be able to tag their web pages with appropriate keywords and take care of on site search engine optimization.

Unlimited Website Listings

The system must allow unlimited website listings to the user. The client might not need that kind of web space at the time when he/she decides to get a website designed. However, the business could turn into a real biggie a few years down the line needing a plenty of space to put up the property listings. Getting a completely new website then would be like covering the distance again which would be impractical. Better approach is to take care of future requirements well in advance.

Lead Generation System

Users must be able to easily collect and manage all their potential clients on the website. Creating notes, follow-ups and maintaining successful relationship with the clients must be easy. Good real estate web developers provide lead generators throughout the website on multiple levels. In fact, the whole objective of web site development is lead generation and it must be taken care of at every stage of development.

Use of Interactive Maps

A real estate website should distinguish itself from the crowd. One way of doing it is by using interactive flash maps that can show hot selling properties across the area the organization operates in. Interactive flash maps make a website much more user friendly. These maps enhance the user experience by displaying the information effectively they are looking for, assisting them in taking decisions, and helping the real estate business as well to close favorable deals quickly.

IDX System

IDX is an industry-standard technology which enables realtors to leverage all the listings of fellow agents and brokers in a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to attract consumers to their website. The web designer must integrate the IDX technology with the website. IDX technology lets clients get rid of irrelevant sub domains and the obsolete frame which were used to show property listings in older websites.

Advanced Search and Contact Options

Advanced search systems allow visitors to the website search for properties directly with a few clicks of a button, providing them easy access to the appropriate web site listings. This is backed up by contact options such as email, online contact form or phone numbers. The integrated system increases the chances of lead generation to quite an extent.

Professional real estate websites developers are well aware of the requirements of the sector. They can deploy the right tools in the right manner to come up with tailor-made solutions according to the requirements of the clients. They rope in the latest technology to offer appropriate realestate websites solutions.

The 4 Benefits of Fix and Flip Loans

Buying a real estate property, repairing and selling it quickly tends to be a profitable recipe. However, a key component of this recipe to success is access to capital. If one does not have sufficient funds but is interested in rehabbing a property, a hard money lender who offers a fix and flip loans could be a great financing option. These loans are structured in such a way that allow a purchaser to quickly acquire the property and have access to a reserve of funds for construction and renovation costs.

Buying a real estate property, repairing and selling it quickly tends to be a profitable recipe.

Advantages of Fix and Flip Loans

There are many advantages to fix and flip loans and the demand for this source of funding is steadily increasing in the real estate investment industry.

Four key benefits include:

  • Quick Approval: Getting approved for a fix and flip loan is a far quicker process when compared against the traditional banking system. If the borrower has submitted the requested documents, a private lender can approve the loan within a couple of days whereas a traditional financial institution can take at least a month. In addition to the significant longer wait time for bank loan approvals, the borrower will be required to submit numerous documents and clear multiple conditions as part of the process.
  • Any Property: Properties in varying states of the condition can qualify for a fix and flip loans. Whether the property is bank owned, a short sale, a foreclosure, or in a dilapidated state, a borrower is still likely to find a hard money lender willing to fund the deal. Once again, a borrower may not have the option of funding these types of real estate opportunities with a bank. Banks are very risk averse and have strict rules in place as to what type of property they can accept as part of their loan portfolio.
  • Zero Prepayment Penalties: If you take out a loan from an established bank, you may be hit with penalties should you have the opportunity to pay the loan off before the maturation date. This is called a prepayment penalty. Most fix and flip lenders will not subject you to this fee.
  • Repairs Covered: When you buy a property with the intention to flip it, a significant portion of your budget will be spent on construction and renovation costs. A fix and flip lender will usually set up a loan reserve which will cover repair costs of the property in addition to interest. This can alleviate a lot of stress and pressure for builders and developers since they don’t have to worry about spending money out of pocket for repairs or payments.

Teaming up with a solid lender who understands your property, the local real estate market, and is willing to help you throughout the acquisition, construction and selling process is vital. When choosing a hard money lender, keep the following in mind:

  • The lender must have sufficient experience in the industry. A private lender that has deep roots in the real estate investment market will not only be able to offer you a better deal but will also have numerous contacts that will prove helpful along the way – from recommended settlement companies, to permit expeditors and other preferred vendors. This can prove to be a great asset as speed, quality and efficiency is the name of the game in the fix and flip world. The less time you need to spend vetting companies and contractors is more money in your pocket.
  • Check the history of the lenders to ensure that they are genuine and have a good track record. It may be worth taking a closer look at lenders that tempt borrowers with “teaser rates” or a “no documents” underwriting process. As with most things in life, if it seems too good to be true – it usually is.
  • Finally, you should check out what previous or current customers have to say. Is the lender responsive and knowledgeable? How many loans do they have on the street? Do they have good ratings on Google or the BBB? Just as the lender performs due diligence on their borrowers, the borrowers should, in turn, conduct due diligence on the hard money lender. It’s a partnership and both parties need to be solid and committed to the process in order to ensure success.