Category Archives: Real Estate

Man installs home insulation

EECA Offers Funding Grant for Home Insulation Among Low-Income Kiwis

Man installs home insulationLow-income households in New Zealand that need home insulation services should consider applying for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) funding grant for homes that are built before 2000.

EECA plans to provide financing assistance under its programme called Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes. The project will be available until July 1 for poor households and landlords with low-income tenants.

Funding Qualifications

Interested parties may send an application to ask for help in covering 50 per cent of the price for ceiling and under-floor insulation products and services. Qualified households should present a Community Services Card or a referral from the Healthy Homes project of the Ministry of Health.

If your home is not qualified for the government subsidy, you can still apply for financial assistance if you have a health condition or disability. Several local councils offer loans to help households pay for the installation of insulation systems. Some banks may likewise include the cost of insulation to their mortgage payments.

Home insulation is particularly important for those who plan to rent out their homes since the government will require under-floor and ceiling insulation for all leased properties by July 2019.

New Housing Model

Energy-efficient insulation can help lower your electricity bills. Some architects believe that property developers should focus more on building sustainable houses instead of larger homes.

Home builders usually prefer larger houses because they sell faster, although energy-efficient houses can save owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars in energy bills per year. In addition, an upgrade to a 6 Homestar rating only requires between $5,000 and $6,000 for an average-sized house.

Cash-strapped Kiwis should take advantage of the government subsidy, whilst property developers should consider building smaller yet more energy-efficient homes. It is better to look for contractors that have several years of experience in the insulation supply and installation industry.

Couple looking at house models and plans

How to Avoid Stress During House Construction

Couple looking at house models and plansSo, you’re currently in the process of building your new home. You’ve worked out the floor plan, agreed on an interior design and the landscaping, and found a plumber, electrician and an air conditioning contractor in Sydney. All you need now is to get things in motion. But as well as the excitement of watching your new home develop, the responsibility of staying within budget and staying on-plan can become stressful. These tips will help keep those stress levels lower during the construction of your new home.

Trust Your Contractor

Choosing a contractor you’re comfortable with is important. The builder should be approachable and know how to listen to your suggestions and requests. Spend time asking around beforehand, and consider reputation and quality of work as well as the bottom line. The cheapest quote may end up being expensive if you have to find another contractor to fix shoddy work.

Expect the Unexpected

Bad weather, delayed delivery ‒ these are examples of situations that can mess up your construction timetable. Many unexpected things can happen during the process. Be prepared for delays, and as much as possible, think of a plan ‘B’ in advance to keep the momentum going.

Choose the Right Time to Visit the Site

Just because you own the project, it doesn’t mean you have to be there all the time. Things can get hectic for the workers. Having someone lurking around can get in the way of their work. Let your foreman know when you want to visit the site so the team can prepare for it.

Include Allowances in Your Budget

It’s always wise to have a little extra in your budget when building a home. You’ll never know when prices can change, extra work is needed or a license is required.

Building a home is a big commitment and it’s normal to have anxieties. The key to managing the stress is solid pre-planning. The more you plan, the less unexpected costs are likely to occur and the fewer delays in completing your dream home.

Apartment complex

Multifamily Sales in Salt Lake City Amounted to More Than 1$B in 2017

Apartment complexThe Salt Lake Board of Realtors reported that sales of multifamily units in 2017 amounted to more than $1 billion, due to an increase in median sales prices.

Despite the increase, there were 4,500 units that exchanged possession in the previous year. This indicated that demand from buyers remained stable amid higher sales prices, up 11% to $225,000, according to the report.

Property Development Activity

Fitch Ratings expects home prices nationwide to increase 4.6% in 2018. It listed Utah’s housing markets among the top five states that will perform well this year. In Salt Lake City, home prices would increase by 3.2% from the current average prices of $360,000.

A reason for the projected increase involves the influx of several companies, which continue to set up business in the state.

For instance, many enterprises have flocked to the Provo/Orem region because of its high-tech industry. Workers from out of the state also moved to the region because of job prospects and higher salaries. While rising home prices normally elicit concerns of a bubble, experts say there should no reason to worry over a potential crash for now.

Housing Bubble?

Jim Wood of the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute said that the most number of sales occurred in Salt Lake City, West Jordan, and Sandy. He attributed the increase to a larger demand for affordable housing options. Wood believes that the likelihood of a real estate bubble remains low, as mortgage lending standards have become stricter in recent years.

For this reason, cash-strapped developers that remain undecided should consider launching new projects this year. Good thing, as bmfcap.com mentioned, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) multifamily loans will help you finance your next development.

An opportunity to make a profit awaits property developers since demand for multifamily units in Utah will likely continue to increase in the near future.

 

Condo units for sale

3 Mortgage Mistakes When Buying a Condo

Condo units for saleDespite the large number of desirable Corpus Christi, Rockport, and Key Allegro homes, many people prefer to buy condominium units. After all, as Rockport Properties, Inc. explains, condos usually provide a better view, help eliminate property maintenance nightmare, and are located in the heart of the city.

However, you might be surprised that it’s trickier to secure the right financing and get the unit you love. Here are some of the most common condo mortgage mistakes first-time buyers make:

Snagging the Lowest Rate

Compared with traditional mortgages for freestanding properties, condo loans tend to come with higher interest. Lenders consider condos to be riskier since units could lose value easily when other residents default on their loans. In turn, lenders would most likely have stricter conditions or restrictions in place. Unless you put down about one-fourth of the unit’s cost, your interest rate could be 0.25 higher than what you’d pay on a single-family house.

Being Unprepared for a Large Down Payment

Considering that condos are risky assets to lenders, you might be asked to pay for 25% of the property’s price upfront to secure financing. Condos may cost less than freestanding houses, but being able to borrow less money to buy the property can put a damper on homeownership.

Then again, most lenders look at the entire package when granting loan requests. Even if you want to buy a risky asset, you might be asked to put down as little as 5% if you have an excellent credit score.

Forgetting About the Building’s Occupancy Rate

Most condo mortgage providers would require a certain number of units to be sold first before offering to finance. If you wouldn’t have enough neighbors when you move in yet, your loan application may be denied.

Buying a condo has its unique challenges, but the risks are worth taking when it makes perfect sense for your situation. Exercise your due diligence to choose the right unit — not just based on its location, but also on the building’s management. Make sure you’re on good financial footing before you buy to ensure you could keep up with the payments associated with condo living.

Three Changes to Do in the Workplace this 2018

a busy workplaceThere's no better time to roll out changes in the workplace than as when the new year sets in. This is in line with people starting over a new leaf. If you've noticed some weaknesses in business operation and productivity problems last year, this is the time to address them. 

Here are some changes you should do soon: 

Enforce CLAYGO

You know to call ProKleen for commercial cleaning in your Salt Lake City office, but what about the pieces of trash that each employee contributes to the office throughout the day? It's time to gather everyone and talk to them about the importance of cleaning after themselves. While your cleaning company can clean the windows and wash the carpets, they won't be around to wash the dishes every time someone leaves them in the pantry sink. Letting dirty dishes pile up invites pests into the office.

Offer Flexible Schedules 

You probably have a younger workforce, as the majority of them are millennials. They have different expectations than the generations before them, one of which being that the quality of the job done weighs more than the number of hours spent in the office. Even if you want them to complete a full day's shift, you can allow them to start work at an earlier or later time—whichever schedule will make them more productive.

Update the Workplace Design 

A facelift might be necessary if your office has peeling paint and everyone feels burnt out just by looking at the same four walls. A fresh environment kicks up office productivity. While you're at it, get your employees involved in the redesign, as they will be the ones spending time around the renovated space. Don't replace something they hate with something they will hate even more. 

Every once in a while, you need to improve the office environment for it to be a space conducive to work. Make positive changes a part of your yearly agenda. 

Are Real Estate Investors Better Than Individual Buyers?

Sold Home with the sign focused and house blurredIf you’ve ever faced the need to sell your property, you may have many questions: How long should you wait to pull the trigger on an offer? What’s the highest you can sell your house for? Should you sell your house for cash?

You might even receive offers both from individuals (e.g. your neighbors and relatives) or real estate investors like Klamen Real Estate. Can you rely on individual buyers more than brokers when selling your St. Louis house for cash?

Here are some advantages of selling your house to real estate investors:

Reliability

Imagine if someone makes a great offer to buy your house. After the verbal and written handshake, the would-be-buyer applies for a cash home loan. A week later, the buyer receives a letter from the bank, saying the loan request was rejected.

In this case, it’s best to sell it to an investor. Unless the person who made an offer has the cash on hand to buy the property, it can take weeks for the transaction to be resolved. Even then, it’s not guaranteed to succeed. Time would be lost, and you would have to go back to the drawing board and wait for offers again. This is not the ideal place to be for those who need cash urgently.

Documentation

With brokers, you can have some more peace of mind. If someone makes an offer to flip your St. Louis property, you can always ask them for a license. This way, you can find out whether they are authorized to practice in the state of Missouri and protect yourself from any scam.

Real estate investors are trained to appraise properties and make the best offers for your house. If you’re in need of quick cash, you can inform them that you’re receiving cash offers by sending them an e-mail, filling out a web form, or even by calling them.

Cavite Home Prices Around 30% Cheaper Than City Rates

Brand New Luxury HomeAlmost every Filipino will consider the price of a home as their top reason, whether or not to purchase the property, with location likely being the second factor.

In Cavite, home buyers may save around 30% in costs compared to acquiring property in cities, according to Pronove Tai International Property Consultants. Cavite Properties note that the province’s proximity to Metro Manila makes it even more attractive not just for buyers, but also for developers and investors.

Transport Infrastructure

Pronove Tai CEO Monique Pronove said that the emergence of many transport links to Metro Manila allowed easier access to different cities. For instance, the Manila-Cavite Expressway connects the South Super Highway to Daang Hari, which lets residents travel to Muntinlupa or Las Piñas.

These transportation links led to the construction of more township developments. As a result, land values in Cavite have increased by 300% over the past ten years, according to Pronove Tai. This bodes well for investors that made a bet on the region’s property market.

Even as land prices increased, more buyers can still find it cheaper to acquire a spacious home than a small condominium unit in the city, Pronove said.

Competitive Pricing

The different prices offered by developers can be a confusing chore. If you have been considering a house and lot in Lancaster New City, a review online helps you reach a decision.

Enrique Soriano, executive director at Wong + Bernstein Advisory Group, said that house-and-lot packages still account for the biggest share of transactions in the residential property market with an almost 76% share.

For this reason, you may expect to see competitive prices from developers as they try to outsmart each other in luring clients.

While it may be cheaper to buy a house in Cavite, you need to consider all options and review prices before signing along the dotted line in any contract.

Workaholics Anonymous: De-stress and Regain Control of Your Life

Portrait of a womanTo be called a “workaholic” used to be something to be proud of. Recently, however, more and more companies are putting emphasis on achieving a good balance between work and life outside the workplace. Companies are coming to terms with the potentially harmful effects of overworking their employees. From serious medical conditions to decreased effectiveness, being a workaholic now makes you more of a liability than an asset.

As with most people who are hooked on a routine, workaholics have a long road ahead of them, when it comes to breaking the habit. However, certain changes in your lifestyle can make the journey a little easier.

Re-examine Your Values

It’s always good to remember that there are some things more important than work. Re-evaluate your life and ask yourself what those things are. Maybe it’s family, or health, or even your favourite hobby. Your work shouldn’t stop you from experiencing those other aspects of your life; instead, work should allow you to enjoy those things fully, and make you appreciate them more.

Change Your Environment

Having a work environment that is conducive to stress can lead to work-aholism. While you may not be able to change your company’s policies, placing yourself in a physical environment that you can enjoy can reduce the stress levels of your everyday life. Luckily, there are numerous office spaces in Singapore that offer a relaxing, peaceful, and vibrant space for you to work and live.

Take Your Time (And Use It Well!)

Time management is an essential skill for any worker. While there are only a limited number of hours in a workday to complete all your tasks, you should be able to finish all your essential work in the time given to you. Streamline your to-do list and give yourself a set amount of time to focus on the task at hand, before moving to the next one. An efficient workflow is essential to managing your time and freeing you up to de-stress.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good amount of sleep not only helps you feel relaxed and rejuvenated, it also helps your brain to be more focused and creative.

It’s never easy to break an addiction, but with the right attitude and a few steps in the right direction, workaholics can take charge of their life and enjoy it.

Things to Consider When Choosing Fuel Filters for 4WD Vehicles

Man checking his carYou cannot let contaminated fuel feed your four-wheel drive vehicle. Contamination will only damage your 4WD's fuel injection system and the cost of repairing this can be huge.

That is why filter suppliers like Diesel Dog recommend that you install heavy-duty filtration for your 4WD. Premium fuel filters can remove water and particle matter.

With these in mind, read on to learn more about the things you should consider when choosing one for your 4WD vehicle.

Primary vs. Secondary

You can have both primary and secondary filters, or just one of them, together with your engine's factory filter. The primary filter is installed between the fuel tank and the fuel supply pump while the secondary filter is located between the fuel supply pump and the fuel injection pump.

The primary filter contains a coarse filter material to remove large particle matter while the secondary has a fine filter to remove even the smallest particles from the fuel.

These filters allow fuel to flow through your engine unrestricted. As a result, you maintain the quality of your fuel, and you keep your vehicle well maintained and free of any possible damage.

After all, extra protection is never bad for any car engine.

Manufacturing Quality

The efficiency of your fuel filter is dependent on the level of engineering that goes into its production. Look for manufacturers and suppliers that have years of experience in engineering high quality, durable and easy-to-install fuel filters.

Faulty fuel filters will only result in reduced fuel efficiency, which means you burn more fuel than necessary. So investing in high-quality fuel filters will make your vehicle more environment-friendly.

The bottom line is that you ensure you get the right fuel filter kit for your 4WD to extend the service life of your vehicle.

 

Why Is Flu Common during the Colder Months?

Guy with fluFlu is one of the most common diseases in the world, and it can happen any time of the year. But in the United States, it usually peaks during the colder months. In fact, the most number of cases occur during the months of December to February. Why?

Here are the probable explanations:

Weather

Yale University study suggested that the colder temperatures could make a person’s immune response weak or sluggish. The first line of defenses may not easily catch the virus, giving it enough time to replicate and make a person ill.

Transmission

Many of the diseases that are very common during the colder months are viral. These include the common colds and flu. A good reason will be the easy and fast transmission among patients. According to the National Institutes of Health, the viruses may develop resiliency when the temperatures are low.

Their lipid coating can become thick, so they do not die very quickly. It is also faster to transmit these diseases since most people are usually indoors where ventilation may be poor. It also means there are many chances for individuals to come in contact with the sick.

A droplet of a sneeze may end up on somebody else’s skin, making that person susceptible to the disease.

Hospitals Should Be Ready

It takes as short as a day for the flu symptoms to appear. Moreover, as many as 5 percent of the country’s population can get sick of the disease annually. Hospitals, therefore, should have enough staff to meet the influx of patients.

For seasonal illnesses like the flu, health care facilities may opt for emergency department staffing provided by firms such as Emergency Staffing Solutions. An agency can customize the solution, ensuring the facility receives only the right number of well-trained and certified professionals. These people can be on call, so the additional staff does not add a burden to the facility’s budget.

Despite having a vaccine, flu is still deadly especially for high-risk people like infants and seniors. The sooner they receive the medical care they need, the more lives a hospital can save.