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Category Archives: Real Estate

Land Is Prepared For Home Construction

Once you have found the perfect place to build your house, the construction company will start by clearing the land. Any trees or shrubs will have to be removed if they fall inside the site plan for the house. There are times you can design the house around an existing plant, if for instance you have a historic tree in your yard. For any plant that is removed, there is some more work involved than just felling a tree or cutting a plant back. All of the roots will have to be extracted, so there may be some digging involved.

Before taking down a tree, think about how much shade it can offer. This can really mean a big reduction in cooling costs during the summer. Plus, trees help pull pollutants out of the air and add oxygen back. They serve as places for animals and birds to nest and raise their young. This can be really fun to watch in the spring.

Once the site has been cleared, the contractor will have to come out to compact and level the ground. This may involve scooping up soil in one place and moving it to another part of the property. Any soil that can be relocated will save you the haulaway fees. The contractor will then create the foundation trenches on which to put the house. There may be a need for some extra dirt to be brought in if the ground is not as solid as it should be. Some heavy machinery will be deployed to firm up the ground and dig the trenches.

Next it’s time to set up the stakes that will indicate the location of the corners of the house. They’ll do this so the concrete pouring team will know where the footings are to go. It’s important to find out the topography of the land, in case your house has to be stepped up into the hillside. Your contractor may also go ahead and have your driveway poured while the concrete truck is there.

Utilities come next. You’ll see the contractor lay the lines for electricity, water, natural gas, and sewer. If there isn’t any sewer connectivity in the area, you’ll see them dig a space for the septic tank.

If the plans call for a basement, this will be dug out and smoothed off. This will be the time to make sure that there aren’t any drainage issues. The last thing you’ll want is a wet basement that is always leaking.

Should you decide to have your home built on a hillside, the contractor may be doing some erosion control on the property, so you don’t end up unintentionally meeting your neighbors.

While there is a lot of prep work that goes into getting the land ready for a house, attention to detail and some good planning will make it all smooth and successful.

Building the Best Log Cabins

There are tricks and secrets that can help you come up with the very best construction for all your needs. Some of the things to consider include:

Keep logs dry

It is important to ensure that you use materials that are dry to a certain level. When the moisture content is lower, then settling is not an issue and you will not need the settling jacks. The design should also include roof overhangs that are long, good landscaping and decks need to be covered soon after construction. The overhangs need to be around 3 feet. Also, avoid sprinkler systems being too close to the completed cottage.

Design

This is another important thing to consider. The design allows you to get the most out of the home. It also aids in any future maintenance needs as well as energy efficiency. As much as this is important, you need one that you can afford. Consider this as you make a choice. You need a design that is prudent. The overhangs should be large. In addition, the very first course needs to be some feet from the ground. The grade should slope from the house.

Plan

Everything has to be planned well, so as to ensure all factors are considered. When you make all considerations early, maintaining the home will not be that hard. If the house is exposed to the sun too much, then it may need re-finish/re-stain more often. When exposed to a lot of moisture, then you will have to deal with wood decay sooner than later. It is, therefore, necessary to plan, so as to protect the home from the elements.

Choose the right manufacturer

One of the things to consider is who will make the house for you. As you are choosing, do not think of the price alone. Each company has its own quality standards as well as completeness level. It helps to know exactly what you are bargaining for by getting a very detailed quote/estimate. You should then make a decision based on this. The company should have the highest level of integrity and they should deliver on all the promises that they make. They should use materials that are of the highest quality and they should also be able to offer you advice based on their personal experiences as well as knowledge.

The site

It is important to select the best site for the construction. As stated earlier, protecting the cabin from the elements is important. Therefore, you need to select the ideal site for the construction. Determine the direction of the sun and wind.

Find the Best Lot

Hasil gambar untuk Find the Best LotYou need to select a lot. It can seem so confusing trying to narrow down what qualities to look for, and where to place your home. Here are a few questions to answer that should help make this part of the process a little easier.

First, decide whether you want to live in the city, the country, or somewhere in between. You won’t be happy in the most perfect home that is in an area you hate. Then take it for a test drive – literally. Drive around to see how the neighborhood looks, how your commute to work will be (if you still have one), and how close the schools are. You will also need to consider how good the schools are. You should look at the area at varying times of day to see if people just exist there or if they really live there.

Check the noise level – are you right next to a train station? Do you hear the freeway from your property? Are you downhill from a landfill? Are there a lot of open lots in your area that will be developed soon, meaning you’ll hear the noise of big equipment for months on end? Is your property on a main road or near the entrance to a neighborhood?

What kinds of parks, roads, and other services are available? If there aren’t enough right now, what plans are in place for the city or county to add them? Are you close enough to doctors and dentists?

Are you in a slide zone or an area prone to earthquakes? How about other natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes? Are there a lot of big rocks or other debris that need to be cleared? Are you looking at a property with a large southern exposure? This can be great in the winter for heating and lighting, but a bear in the summer in warmer climates.

How expensive is the area? Is the cost of living there very high, or are property taxes low? Are you better off buying a corner lot or one set on a side street? What was this piece of property before? This is important especially in urban settings because that property might once have been the site of a gas station or other toxic chemical business.

What zoning was this area cleared for before? What is the surrounding area zoned for now and in the future? You might have what you think is an unobstructed view of the countryside, but in the future there will be apartment buildings tucked into that valley.

Turn Key Transactions Work When Building a Home

You might have also wondered what turnkey means. Let’s take a look at the process and what this means to you.

What does turnkey mean?

There are two kinds of homes that you can buy – custom-built or turnkey. A custom built home is made either completely to the buyer’s requirements, or at least in part. Some houses are built with input from the buyer on key areas like room layout, window and cabinet placement, and flooring types. Other custom-built homes are built to a certain amount of the job being finished, and the rest will be finished by the homeowner.
A turnkey home, on the other hand, is one that is built by the contractor to completion and the home is able to then be sold to anyone. All of the design and planning comes from the contractor.

Why do you want a turnkey home?

One advantage to this is that the contractor holds the responsibility for the performance of all of the items for a certain amount of time. Think of it like a manufacturer’s warranty on an item.
Another upside is that the home is ready to move into right away. Think of turnkey as being ready to turn the key to the front door lock of your new home.
Title to the property is easy to track, too. The developer owns the land and builds the house on that land. They might even offer financing so everything is easy to negotiate and easy to understand. If the builder doesn’t offer financing directly, the company should be able to connect you to a mortgage broker that will be able to help you.

Using a turnkey home as an investment

In the investment part of real estate, a turnkey home is all ready to go as a package. The home is bought and fixed up or the new one is built, the home is leased or rented to a tenant, and then the property is sold to a buyer. That way, the buyer is ready to go with a property already generating income. These types of investments are much easier to get started with instead of flipping. You don’t have to worry about finding contractors or discovering any hidden damage to the home. You don’t have to be in town to deal with the property, either, and meet with the inspectors. If you find the right company, they can stay on as a property management company, so all you have to do is sit back and collect the income.

Stay Away From Real Estate Fraud

Getting trapped in a real estate fraud is among the worst ways to lose large sums of money, and you end up not getting what you had paid all that money for. Here’s what you need to do to keep yourself out of such trickery.

Identify Whose House It Is, Really

‘Title Fraud’, also known as identity theft, is a property owner’s worst nightmare. Tricksters forge documents by changing the property owner’s personal details to match theirs. Once the property and all the documents are transferred to their name, they procure a new mortgage against this property and seal the deal. Taking back your house after that is quite a hassle. In fact, what if they sell your property?

In addition to thoroughly verifying who the property belongs to, you can opt for a ‘title insurance’, which protects your property title against fraud. This also guards a new owner against existing claims, such as unpaid property taxes, unpaid utilities, and unpaid mortgages.

Don’t Opt For Loans Offered In Disguise

a) Foreclosure Fraud

Cash-strapped property owners that can’t afford to meet mortgage payments sometimes get taken for a ride. Deceitful people make an offer to pay the loan on the owner’s behalf, as if to help them out of the situation, but then leave without fulfilling the promises. The trickery usually requires immediate payment for the trickster’s services and an agreement to transfer the property title to him or her. Once this is done, the trickster flees, while you are left behind with piling amounts of debt and no property. This type of fraud is called foreclosure fraud.

b) Home-Equity Fraud

Watch out for those people who are eyeing your house equity. If you rely on your house equity to borrow money, you have to constantly be on the lookout for unscrupulous lenders so you can stay away from them.

When it comes to leveraging properties, there are huge risks involved. The risks must be carefully explained by your lender. Those who want to make extra bucks will embellish their application such that the income, down payment, and property assessment values are exaggerated, ultimately helping themselves to a huge loan amount.

Be Wary Of Money Laundering

Money laundering is another common method of deceit. Illegal money is made to seem like a clean asset. Stay wary of people who purchase a property with illegal proceedings and sell them to other people. On the face of it, the property might look legitimate to you, but only careful inspection and assessment can spell out the dirty secrets.

There’s only one way to prepare and protect yourself against fraud: constant vigilance! Do your homework, and stay cautious and smart about every investment decision you make.

Your Guide to Foundations

What are foundations? Foundations are an element of a building project that are unseen once the project is complete. It is the load-bearing part of a building that typically is situated below ground level. Does this mean that they don’t necessarily matter?

If foundations are incorrectly formed there is a varying scale of outcomes. These can range from minor issues to very severe consequences. Some of the minor issues can be resolved, however in the most severe case the extension or property may need to be demolished. It is genuinely that serious to get the foundations right.

This guide has been formed in order to offer a well-rounded insight into building foundations. When considering the project plan there are other elements that should be taken into account. These may include load-bearing walls, widths, depths and excavation challenges. Detail will need to be gathered about the land surrounding the planned foundations in order to gauge the best alternatives.

An imperative element of the plan is to ensure that the foundations are built on solid ground. If this is not the case there can be movement and other issues faced which will later cause problems. Plans may sometimes need to be altered slightly as some issues can only be identified once the process has started. Once digging the trenches for the foundations, different problems may need to be solved.

The best available advice is to ensure that your plans are over-cautious. To over-consider all elements of the building process can only lead to better preparation. Solutions can be identified at a faster rate and there is likely to be less surprises. Experience in the trade will also offer assurance as time-served builders will be well-versed in all aspects in relation to foundations.

Did you know there are different variations of foundations? These include simple foundations, engineered foundations, piled foundations and raft foundations. The best variation will be identified prior to the project commencing and will be dictated to by the proposed building project and the surrounding ground.

As the above information suggests, foundations can be complex. Their multi-faceted nature means that they are a challenge to get right. It is always advisable to seek the assistance of a foundation specialist in order to successfully plan your project. Careful consideration, execution and support will lead to an exceptional finish. The foundations may be invisible once the project is complete, but with the above information you will be left with the assurance that you have done your best. Your building project will stand proudly and stand the test of time.

The Homeowners Association

Is this reputation deserved? It’s hard not to believe the rumors while being bombarded with news stories about Homeowners Associations (H.O.A.’s) that force residents to take down American flags, or those that take homes when residents are late paying their dues.

H.O.A.’s are like “little governments,” according to Jackie Faye of NBC News. Like all governments, they exercise the power granted to them in one of two ways: with benevolence or authority. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln foresaw the rise of the H.O.A. when he claimed that “… if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

So, who are these people?

A H.O.A. is actually a legal entity whose purpose is to manage a group of housing units, or a common interest development, as they are known in some regions of the country. These developments may be single-family dwellings or condominiums. The decision-making body of this entity is typically known as “the Board,” and there may be committees as well. The association board is composed of homeowners who act as volunteers, and are generally chosen in annual elections open to all homeowners within the community.

The reasons for volunteering to sit on a homeowners association board are varied. Some homeowners want more of a say in how the money is spent, others are concerned with maintaining home values.

Duties and responsibilities

Although it seems as if their boards have unlimited power to do as the members wish, most states have laws that govern what they can and cannot do. Yes, they sometimes overstep these laws. While duties and responsibilities vary across the country, here are some that are common to most:

• Paying taxes on the common areas
• The enforcement of the association’s rules, such as the bylaws and the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
• Creating the association’s budget
• Creating rules for the use of the common areas
• Disciplining homeowners for violations of H.O.A. rules

Buying a home in a H.O.A.-governed community

They must supply the homeowner with certain documents when there is an offer to purchase the property. The seller then gives these documents to the buyer. There is usually a charge for the copies and the seller typically pays this fee.
The doc packages are usually quite thick and may be extremely complex and boring. It is essential, though, that you read and understand everything in them. If you need help, contact an attorney. Once you own the home, you are obliged to follow the rules.

Some items to pay close attention to in the CC&Rs include:

• Pet policies, if you have pets
• Parking rules, for yourself and guests
• The rules and restrictions for the use of on-site amenities
• Landscaping rules
• House color, exterior decorations allowed
• Restrictions on the construction of outbuildings, such as sheds and gazebos
• The rules regarding leasing your home

Look at the H.O.A.’s budget:
• Does the income cover the costs? If not, why?
• How is the money spent?
• Does the reserve account hold enough money for emergencies?

Check out the board’s meeting minutes:
• What type of issues does the board typically face?
• What type of actions have they taken against homeowners?
• Have they talked about increasing fees or any upcoming special assessments?

North Lincolnshire History

Due to its location, several rivers and North Sea access, the northeast area of England known as the Humber – which includes North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire and East Riding of Yorkshire – has a history of invaders from all sides. Conquest and pillage were the goals of those foreign parties, however today those people from those same countries are more likely to be trading partners in this economically vibrant area.

The Humber, one should note, appears to be a river but is in fact an estuary, the point at which fresh water drains into salty seawater. Flowing into the Humber are the rivers Ancholme, Hull, Ouse and Trent. Today, environmentalists value the area for its wetlands habitat. But the conquerors came for other resources, beginning with the Romans and followed later by Danish armies, William the Conqueror (the first Norman King of England) and his successors.

Contemporary investors of land take note: Ancient conquests may have been about property, but what kept that land valuable was the produce thereof. Specifically, sheep farming and wool filled the ships that sailed to points north, east and south. The great, elaborate churches of the area (St. Botolph’s Church in Boston, St. Wulfarm’s church in Grantham and Lincoln Cathedral among them) were built upon the fortunes generated by the wool trade. Agribusiness and food remain important industries in the 21st century, as do manufacturing, engineering and tourism. But a low-carbon economy (wind farms in the North Sea), healthcare and the ports and logistics industries are what UK land investing focuses on now.

Lincolnshire has many castles – Tatter shall, Burghley and the thatch-roofed Alford Manor House (now a museum) – evidence of the wealth of the region then and a draw to tourists today.

Indeed, the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) strategic plan calls for the construction of 100,000 houses in the near future. While that means fewer sheep farms in the region than 1,000 years ago, this is because room is made for local residents (and those who are expected to migrate here for work) to engage in technology, shipping and other contemporary industries. Investment from the central Government of £3 billion in the South Humber Gateway project will build the largest deep-water port in the UK. Another major project, a 219 MW wind farm under development by Humber Wind, involves a £1.17 billion investment of private funds. The same winds that blew invaders to the area a long time ago brings clean, renewable energy to a vibrant, growing north England district.

An Investor’s Perspective

North Lincolnshire is on the cusp of significant forward movement. Its most significant natural resource, the Humber, is increasingly engaged in commerce with a collection of ports plus a £3 billion infusion of Government funding in the Able Marine Energy Park and Green Port Hull.

And yet Lincolnshire is historically a sparsely populated county (510 people per square mile) with beautiful wetlands and other natural features worth preserving. Planners and community leaders are not unaware of this. sustainably, sensitive to habitats and natural ecosystems. Wildlife corridors and biodiversity of this estuary region, along with hedgerows, ditches, swales and lakes, are foremost in the plans set forth by developers and their architects. The results are a strategic preservation of flora and fauna that can co-exist with a growing economy and population.

North Lincolnshire’s growth is the product of planning, but much of that growth was happening organically. In the recession years of 2008-2012, the greater Lincolnshire economic output, as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA), grew by 3.8 per cent. Growth rates were greater in England overall and the East Midlands in particular. But three North Lincolnshire industry sectors – agri-food, manufacturing and tourism – had much higher GVA numbers (11%, 13% and 5%, respectively). The Greater Lincolnshire Local Economic Partnership (LEP) is therefore urging that resources be applied to these three sectors for their historic and on-going strengths relative to the national economy.

Who are the builders of homes, commercial properties and related infrastructure) are the following:

Broad mix of entry-level and skilled employment – Engineers and medical professionals are already here, including the builders of wind turbines, the physicians who staff hospitals and researchers working with businesses through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park. This skills diversity extends also to housing and commercial activities, with a consumer market that is less susceptible to economic and business cycles.

Knowledge base, innovation-driven – The LEP proposes to create a “growth hub” to provide strategic coordination and create conditions for growth that feed the 41,000 small- to medium-sized businesses in the area. A goal is to help start-ups beat the survival rate of three-years’ existence, which nationally is 58 per cent. But make no mistake, these are firms and industries of greater importance and relevance in the emerging industries such as renewable energy and technology.

Increasing productivity – Historically, the region has ranked below the English average for overall worker productivity. But with a focused effort on one industry in particular, the agri-food sector, the LEP endeavours to apply world-class agricultural science and technologies, as well as process innovation across the supply chain. Further, investment in infrastructure such as the ports and highways and rail hubs will get more products to more markets in less time – yielding a net increase in product volumes and prices at market.

A Look at the Numbers

Altadena is charming community located directly north of Pasadena at the base of the Angeles National Forest San Gabriel Mountains. Altadena is an unincorporated and 14 miles northeast from Downtown Los Angeles. This warm, Mediterranean climate has hot and dry summers that average highs of 91 degrees. The winters are essentially warm and windy with the lowest average temperature of 44 degrees. Altadena averages 21 inches of rainfall annually.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census – Altadena had a population of 42,777 people. With 8.71 square miles to share there were 4,909.6 people per square mile. This is average for Los Angeles County. The population was more diverse compared to other areas of the county with the dominate ethnicity being White at 52.8%, followed by 26.9% Latino, 23.7% Black, 5.4% Asian and 0.7% American Indian.

The population of Altadena is well educated in comparison to the rest of the county with 45.6% of residents aged 25 and up with a four year degree and 87.9% with a high school diploma. In regards to the male population: 57.8% were married, 32.9% had never been married, 7.1% had been divorced and 2.1% were widowed. The female population had53.9% who were married, 24.4% had never been married, 12.4% were divorced and 9.4% were widowed. The average age of Altadena was 37, which is an older average age compared to the rest of Los Angeles County. 9.8% of the people in population were veterans and 20.8% of residents were born in a foreign country. The average commute to work was 27.5 minutes. Altadena has a Walk Score of 48 out of 100 meaning that it is a car dependent city.

The average household size was 2.8 people, which was 9% higher than the national average. Approximately 74.6% of residents owned their homes. This was 10% higher than the national average. 25.4% of the population rented from a house, apartment or condominium. The 2010 Census declared there being 15,518 households with a median household income of $83,917. This is high compared to Los Angeles County.

Altadena real estate isn’t cheap, however. The median price of homes for sale in Altadena is $780,000. This is 226% higher than the national average. However, the average home value is $731,400. The price per square foot is $485. The current housing market “temperature” is neutral. Last year the home values increased by 8.1% and Zillow predicts they will rise only 1.9% within the next year.

The average monthly rent is $2,921. This is 53% higher than the national average. The current housing market health is 6.9/10. This is healthy score given by Zillow in comparison to other housing markets across the country.

According to Area Vibes, Altadena has a livability score of 77 – extremely livable. This is higher than the national average of 70. This comfortable, safe community will continue to flourish and grow and produce beautiful homes by its affluent residents.