Ugly Ducklings And Beautiful Swans In Real Estate

3 Green Roofing Materials for New Build Homes

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Green Roofing Materials for New Build Homes

One of the greatest benefits of hiring new home builders to build your house from scratch is that you can use the materials of your choice.  When you purchase a home, you have no say over whether the materials used to build the house are environmentally friendly or not, but as climate change becomes an increasingly pressing concern, you might want to have a say in how green your house is. One area that can make a huge difference to your home’s green credentials is the roof, so here are some of the eco-friendliest materials you can choose for your new build home. Roof pavers. These are essentially heavy paving stones for your roof, and they are ideal for a new build, because many existing structures can’t carry their weight, whereas you can ensure that your house frame is supportive enough to support such a weighty roof. There are two major benefits of this kind of roof. First of all, they are flat and reflective so UV rays bounce off the roof instead of being absorbed into the home. Because concrete pavers are very thick, they are also very insulating, so your home should stay naturally warm in the winter and cool in the summer with this kind of roof. Metal. If you are going for a sleek look with your new build home, metal can be a really great choice. Because of its highly reflective surface, it will reflect light and ultraviolet rays to keep heat out of your home. You can also paint on to metal with a light colour to reflect even more light and heat. Of course, there are many types of metal, but many metal roofs are made from recycled materials. Aluminium, for example, is a 100% recyclable ad sustainable material. This means that once it has fulfilled its purpose as a roof, the material can be used to create something else. Bamboo. Bamboo is the green material of the moment. It’s actually a type of grass and not wood, which means it grows really fast, and is entirely sustainable. It also doesn’t attract bugs, rot, or mould in the way that wood does. It will need to be treated to ensure that it’s totally weatherproof, but once that is done, you will have a protective roofing material that also makes your home look totally unique. Which green roofing material will you choose for your new build...

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Questions to Ask When Making Motel Reservations

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Questions to Ask When Making Motel Reservations

If you travel often, then you’re probably accustomed to making reservations at motels and hotels, and you may know exactly what to ask for and how to book your reservations quickly and easily. However, for those who are new to traveling or who haven’t been on the road in some time, note a few questions you need to ask so you have no surprises when you’re ready to check in. 1. Ask if the parking is free Some motels actually charge for parking on their lot; you may need a gate key or a card in the windshield to park overnight. This is often the case for motels with limited parking spaces or for those near professional complexes that host many visitors who rely on car services to pick them up and drop them off rather than getting their own car for their visit. Whatever the reason, be sure you ask about any parking charges so you know what to expect. 2. Inquire whether they have Wi-Fi Never assume that a motel has a Wi-Fi connection, especially one that is very affordable and not close to a professional complex, as these motels may be catering to those who are on vacation and not looking to log onto the Internet every day for business, or they may simply be out of the range of a nearby Wi-Fi signal. If the motel does have Internet connection, always ask if it’s free or if you get charged by the minute as you would a phone call. 3. Note if there are limits as to the number of guests in a room If you’re traveling with a group, don’t assume you can all stay in the same room even if you’re happy to sleep on the floor or a rollaway cot. There may be legal limits as to the number of guests you can have in a room for fire safety. The motel management may also know that a larger number of guests in one room can mean too much noise from that room and a disturbance to other guests. Whatever their reasons, always ask rather than assume you can all stay in the same room. 4. Find out about cooking and food storage Most motels provide a coffeemaker in the room but may not allow any type of cooking, even if you have something you bring with you to plug in, like a hotplate or a kettle to boil water for soup. Be sure you ask about this before you assume you can heat up some water for tea or assume there will be a refrigerator to keep your late night...

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Property Investment | 3 Tactics To Make Your Investment Property Consistently Profitable

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Property Investment | 3 Tactics To Make Your Investment Property Consistently Profitable

Your property investment becomes lucrative when you earn an income through rent, but with a multitude of rental homes available to tenants, it can be hard for you to find a good renter. Rental properties have the potential to be highly profitable, provided they are occupied with remunerating tenants. Vacant properties can be stressful, so follow these property investment tricks for high profitability, whether you run the place on your own or hire a property investment service.   Ensure Clean Surrounding Area If your property investment is a home, then make sure that the exterior walls are well-painted and gardens are properly manicured to create a good first impression on prospective tenants. You’ll also want to remove any unsightly bins from plain sight. If you live in an apartment, be sure to keep the common areas clean. If other occupants are dirtying the area, you may need to discuss this problem with your building manager. When tenants walk into a clean complex or home, they will automatically find the place more attractive. Make Utilities Part Of Your Rent While this may seem inexpensive, you’ll be surprised at how attractive this offer is to budget-conscious tenants because it simply eliminates the uncertainty of utility costs every month. Utility bills typically include electricity and gas, but to make your home instantly appealing, you can throw in other services like Internet. laundry and landscaping. Be sure to factor these costs into your rental amount, so that you don’t end up making a loss from this strategy. This will keep tenants happy and they are likely to stay for longer, which will ultimately increase your rental yield in the long run. Give Your Advertisement Enough Time For Viewership The biggest mistake that many landlords make is assuming that their tenants will renew the lease. They end up waiting till the last moment, only to realise that the lease isn’t going to be renewed. This puts them in a predicament because it typically takes a while to find a new tenant, which means that the investment property doesn’t earn an income. To prevent this from happening, be sure to discuss the lease renewal with your tenant in advance and advertise early enough to reach out to more prospects. This will make it easier for you to find new tenants, while reducing the vacant period drastically. These smart tactics will help you make your property investment consistently profitable because it reduces the vacant time of the home....

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What Exactly Will Your Property Manager Offer

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Exactly Will Your Property Manager Offer

You probably know that your property manager will manage your property for you. But what exactly will your manager be doing? It is important to have succinct details of what property managers do. Besides understanding services on offer, you will be in a position to ask the right questions.   Below are some key responsibilities to expect from your property manager and some of the questions you should not forget to ask. Value the Property Your property manager should do research in the given area where your property is located and calculate an average best pricing for it. Also, you should get recommendations on necessary repairs and renovation that would help improve the performance of your property in the market. Also, the manager should take care of property documentation, meaning he should provide a written description of the property including clear photos of the interiors and exteriors. Documentation is important in marketing because a good outlook of your premise will increase the chances of leasing it out at a good price. Manage Tenant Selection and Move-In Your property manager should guide you through on the type of tenants that are good for your property. For instance, if you have residential apartments, it is important to know whether to allow smoking and pets in the premise. Also, the manager should screen interested parties by checking their background, verifying identity, and checking out if they have a bad rental history. Tenant screening helps keep your property safe. Manage Legal Issues You may not be well aware of all legal requirements and responsibilities meant for property owners. Your property manager should prepare for you all legal documents required and, more importantly, keep them updated in case legal requirements are amended, or new ones are introduced. Also, in case your tenants violate the terms of the contract, it’s the responsibility of the manager to follow through with law enforcement, file relevant documentation, and advise you how to go about it. Maintenance and Inspections Besides collecting rental income on your behalf, filing taxes, paying for insurance and mortgage, and keeping updated financial records, your manager should take care of property maintenance. This includes hiring licensed contractors to maintain the interiors and exteriors of your property. Maintenance also involves ensuring policies that protect your property are followed. For example, for a residential place, the manager should ensure people don’t run businesses from their sitting room or kitchen. Running commercial services, such as a bakery, should be done in a commercial place where necessary precautions are in place. Questions Not to Forget When you approach a property management company ask whether: They offer a payment system for rental income Do marketing and advertising Allow you to choose when to receive rental income Have any hidden or extra charges not mentioned in the contract Although your property manager will take care of everything to do with the management of your property, it’s important to know what to expect and the right questions to ask to ensure you stay in control and that your property is safe. For more information and options, talk with different property management companies in the area, such as Verse Property...

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Why the Asbestos Management Plan Should Be Taken Seriously

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why the Asbestos Management Plan Should Be Taken Seriously

As a real estate developer, you have a duty to make sure that your premises are safe for humans to live in. Reducing exposure to asbestos is essential for protecting human health and meeting some legal requirements, including the possession of the asbestos management plan. Before embarking on any property development project, be sure to have an approved asbestos consultant to carry out the asbestos risk assessment. If asbestos is detected, the asbestos consultant will come in and help you make the asbestos management plan. Here is why this document can be helpful: Proper planning and management Knowing the quantity and condition of the asbestos in your building alerts you to act by putting in place the risk control measures. You need to discuss the procedures with your asbestos consultant about how you will handle the risks to avoid any danger. After thorough checks and inspection, the consultant will then prepare the asbestos management plan that will guide the process of controlling or removing asbestos materials. Guidance in managing asbestos An effective asbestos management plan guides in situation monitoring, keeping alertness and detailing the asbestos removal or control process. You cannot decide to jump into removing asbestos without first understanding it’s quantity and the control procedures that you will have to be put in place. So this plan lets you decide in an effective way without errors. Keeping records of checks, location and condition of affected materials The asbestos management plan helps you in keeping detailed records that might be of good use in controlling asbestos in your building. Such records are beneficial to any efforts undertaken to prevent asbestos exposure, control and removal. The plan also includes details about where the asbestos containing materials are found and their condition. Adherence to legal requirements There are local regulations that govern the asbestos checks, control and removal processes of asbestos. This is done to protect the lives of the people who might come into contact with asbestos containing materials. There are some laws stating that all buildings that were constructed before a given point in time be checked for the presence of asbestos. If your building falls under this, then the asbestos management plan is needed. Creating awareness If asbestos is detected in your building, a communication strategy has to be formulated by the asbestos remover/contractor. This helps you to plan how you will effectively communicate to the occupants and other personnel who will access the building for repair, checks, etc. Reducing the exposure of asbestos is not only essential for helping you meet regulatory standards but also protecting the lives of those who occupy your building. It is your responsibility to ensure that your building is safe for occupation and that any possible presence of asbestos is prudently dealt with. For more information about making an asbestos management plan, contact a local asbestos removal...

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How Your Body Corporate Can Prepare For A Storm

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Your Body Corporate Can Prepare For A Storm

A body corporate is a group of owners that all own a piece of shared land and, therefore, are obligated to maintain the public space on that property. The owners can decide common rules that should be followed on the property, making it easier for all of the owners and tenants to get along. One of the subject matters that a body corporate should have procedures and rules for is the weather. Different types of weather can affect a piece of land and buildings significantly. A storm is the type of weather with the largest risk of causing significant damage to your property. You need to make sure your body corporate are prepared to tackle this type of weather. Building maintenance When there’s a risk of a storm coming, a part of your body corporate services for your tenants should be to clean out gutters and remove debris from roofs that can become a danger to people living on the property. Overflowing gutters can cause problems, not just for the buildings, but also be a danger to people on the property if large tree branches or rocks where to blow off the roofs. Shared property When securing the property, you should also mind all things that are in danger of being affected by the wind. Rubbish bins, benches, and grills are all things that can become truly dangerous if caught by the wind. For this reason, you should also encourage your tenants to take all of their outdoor items inside. All items that are not firmly attached to other structures can become dangerous if they were flying through the air. You should also consider lopping any trees on the property that have large or long branches that might break if exposed to exceptionally hard winds. Try at least to tie tree branches down to the stem to avoid them being caught by the wind. Insurance Have an extra look at your body corporate’s insurance. Make sure that coverage for damage caused by the storm is present in the insurance. If it’s not, you should bring this to attention immediately. You can also call to a meeting to evaluate if your current insurance is appropriate for the coming storm season. There might be things that can be improved or things that previous storms have proved to be redundant. This will save your body corporate some money. You should also have a look at your personal insurance. Your personal belongings are not covered by any insurance that your body corporate might...

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3 Strategies To Fortify Your Front Door For Enhanced Protection

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Strategies To Fortify Your Front Door For Enhanced Protection

With nearly 214,222 burglaries reported in 2012 by the Australian Institute of Criminology, it’s no wonder that homeowners are focussing on better security measures to fortify their homes. Apart from entering through an unlocked front door, burglars have mastered the art of picking several locks. The trick is to use a couple of different tactics to bolster your front entry’s security with the help of your locksmith. Petty burglaries and thefts can be terrorising for your family, so make sure you follow these strategies to reinforce the security of your front door for enhanced protection. Replace The Strike Plate Of Your Deadbolt Lock With A Stronger Plate The strike plate on your deadbolt lock is a piece of metal that connects the deadbolt lock securely to the doorframe. In most instances, this strike plate can hold a door shut, but it is not strong to stop the door from opening because of a forced entry. You should ideally replace your existing deadbolt strike plate with a stronger strike plate. A sturdy strike plate usually comes with long screws and full metal enclosures for improved locking. This will enhance the ability of your front door to resist the onslaught of full-force pushes and kicks from burglars. Get your locksmith to install stronger strike plates to fortify your front door’s resilience. Secure Exposed External Door Hinges If your front door swings outward when opened, then chances are your hinges are exposed externally. Any attentive burglar will notice this weakness and may choose to tamper with the door’s hinges to break into your home more easily. Luckily, you can use certain methods to fortify this vulnerable area on your front door. You can re-install your front door to ensure that the hinges are inside the home. Alternatively, you can use a setscrew to fasten the hinge in place more securely. Make sure that this setscrew is ground down into your doorframe properly by the locksmith to ensure that burglars cannot take it out. You can also keep your hinges secure using safety studs. These safety studs are also meant to fasten the hinges securely against your doorframe. Safety studs will ensure that the door cannot be removed even if the hinge pin is taken off. Install A Security Camera Above Your Front Door Burglars are less likely to break into homes with security cameras for fear of getting caught, making this installation a good choice for fortifying the security of your home. Depending on your specific desires, you can choose basic security cameras or you can install cameras with additional features like motion sensors and night vision to deter any burglars from your home. You will need to hire a specialised locksmith for installing security cameras above your front door. Work closely with your locksmith and use these measures to protect your family and your home from unwarranted...

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Property Management | 3 Tips for Long-Distance Landlords

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Property Management | 3 Tips for Long-Distance Landlords

Instead of selling a home after moving to another city or country, some homeowners prefer to transform homes into rentals. While collecting monthly rent is a great way to earn a supplementary income, managing rental homes from afar can be highly challenging. While choosing a good property management company is vital to becoming a good long-distance landlord, these nifty tricks will help you handle your rental as smartly as possible. Choose Clients with Clean Background Checks The last thing you want as an out-of-town landlord is a trouble-causing tenant with a criminal history or poor tenancy record. Since you’re not close enough to get to your property quickly, it’s vital that you choose tenants that come up clean on all background and employment checks. Make sure you or your property manager screens tenants thoroughly before letting them into your home. Talk to your property management company about their tenant screening systems to ensure they follow foolproof processes. Make Sure Your Lease Terms Are Strict and Clear As an out-of-town landlord, it’s easy to leave room for ambiguity in tenancy agreements, but this can give rise to a tremendous amount of problems later. For example, unclear information about tenant and landlord cleaning responsibilities can cause you unwarranted grief, so you’ll want to be crystal clear about the responsibility to be shared between you and your tenant. You’ll also want to enforce certain rules for your property. It’s always ideal to be as clear as possible with lease terms to make sure your tenants are aware of what is and what isn’t acceptable in your home. For example, you can set up a no-tolerance policy for smoking or pets in your apartment to minimise the risk of damage to your property. Discuss your concerns with your property management company so they can help you set up a tenancy agreement that meets your specific needs. Organise Regular Inspections As a long-distance landlord, you’re probably in no position to undertake a home inspection on your own. Your property management company can organise regular inspections on your behalf to ensure that your tenant is maintaining the good condition of your home. Make sure the property management company documents details of every room. You can lay down the conditions of these regular inspections in the rental agreement and make sure the tenant agrees to it before signing on the dotted line. If you live far away from your rental home, a good property management company will ease your burden by undertaking every element related to your tenancy requirements. Contact a service like Calibre Real Estate for more...

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Real Estate | 4 Considerations For Buying A Wheelchair Accessible Home

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Real Estate | 4 Considerations For Buying A Wheelchair Accessible Home

Buying a real estate property is daunting for any potential homebuyer, but it can be a little more complicated when you need to add wheelchair accessibility to your bucket list since many homes aren’t built for them. If you’re in the market to buy a wheelchair accessible real estate property for you or a family member, rely on these considerations for making a good decision. Ramps For The Front And Backyard Naturally, if the home is on a slight height, you’ll want to ensure that ramps flow from the home to the front and back yard. This ensures that a wheelchair-bound person can move freely outside the home without having to deal with steps. If the home doesn’t readily come available with ramps, you’ll want to ensure that there is enough scope to build them, so your family member doesn’t feel bound to the house. Make Sure You Look At Single-Level Properties For a wheelchair-bound person, it’s certainly easier to move from one room to the next when they are all on the same level. Having a multi-storey real estate property may look great on paper, but it can be incredibly difficult for people in wheelchairs to navigate through, especially when staircases are involved. Apart from ensuring the home is on a single level, you’ll also want the doors to be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, so be sure to look for homes with widened doors. Choose Resilient Flooring Wheelchairs moving through the home can add stress to floors, so you’ll want to choose tiles that can withstand the constant movement on wheelchairs without damage. Floor tiles for wheelchairs need to be smooth, slip resistant and resilient to prevent breaking. Ideal flooring choices for wheelchair accessible homes include ceramic tiles, hardwood floors, luxury vinyl tiles, commercial-grade laminate and porcelain tiles. You’ll want to avoid carpeted floors because they can be difficult to navigate through for the person in the wheelchair. Opportunity for Modification Not every home is going to be wheelchair accessible, but they must be versatile enough to accommodate for modifications to certain items in the home. For example, lowered shelves, benchtops, vanities and wardrobe items will make it easier for the person in the wheelchair. Similarly, you may want to build a wheelchair accessible bathroom, so the existing bathroom space should be large enough to accommodate the needs of wheelchair-bound people. You should also be able to install minor ramps inside the home to ensure a smooth flow between rooms of different heights. If you need to buy a wheelchair accessible real estate property, keep these considerations in mind, and work with an experienced real estate company like McGrath Real Estate Group. They can help you narrow down your choices to homes that will meet the needs of you or your family...

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How to clean grout inside the office

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to clean grout inside the office

Cleaning your office yourself can be a nice experience and leave a sense of fulfilment afterwards, while also being economically efficient; however, there are some areas where you should hire a commercial cleaner to clean your office. Anything regarding water damage or mould is managed better by the professionals, as it can also be dangerous for your health. If you have tiles somewhere in your workspace, however, there might be a mould related issue you can handle on your own. Grout cleaning is important to keep the tiles as neat as possible and also to avoid build-up of mildew and mould. Choosing cleaning product The first thing you should consider is what type of cleaning product you want to use. Bleach is commonly used for this type of cleaning. It might, however, not only remove stains, but could also remove colour from the tiles. Bleach also produces fumes that might be dangerous to your health if you breathe them in. A friendlier option might be hydrogen peroxide that you mix with water. This type of product can also be effective as a preventive product, meaning that you can spray peroxide on the grout to prevent mould and mildew from forming to begin with. If you purchase a product that requires that you let it sit for a while, you should also make sure you buy a little more than you think you actually need, as you might have to reapply it if it dries out before it has been sitting or the required amount of time. Preferred tools Use a hard bristled brush to clean out between the tiles. You can use an old tooth brush for this. If you have a steam cleaning device available, these types of machines are also excellent for cleaning grouts. The machine makes it easier to reach the dirt and blast it off, also without the use of products. If the cleaner you’re using doesn’t have a chemical application unit, you should still use a bleaching product for a while before steaming the area. After this, you only need to mop up any leftover cleaning products and dirt. Cleaning company Removing grout isn’t very complicated, but you might benefit from hiring a commercial office cleaning company for your grout office cleaning needs. A professional cleaner would have the appropriate cleaning product to begin with, with different options to ensure the workspace was affected as little as possible by the choice of cleaning product. They would also be in possession of or have an easy time getting a steam cleaning device. The cost for hiring this machine alone might not look so different as the cost for hiring a commercial cleaning service for when there is water damage or mould somewhere in your...

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