Developers of Retail Stores Build with Steel

The design flexibility, cost efficiency, and ease of erection of steel have made steel buildings the structures of choice for retailers across America–especially those stores with multi-site operations. As a result, the increasing demand on steel buildings has created remarkable innovations in steel building technology. There are several factors to explain this phenomenon that are worth identifying.

For example, a number of building developers benefit from the speed and ease in which steel buildings can be constructed and the overall lower cost. A great number of owners are remodeling their current properties or framing new structures with steel. These companies know that the entire costs of building with steel are only a fraction of the price of conventional structures. Several design alternatives are possible–even with the strictest of project budgets. These savings can then be passed on to the patron.

You will appreciate a cheaper cost of labor. Much depends on local labor costs, but the overwhelming majority of steel buildings can be set up rapidly with the economy of a single work crew. Very often, a small amount of professional aide is necessary. As a matter of fact, when building smaller structures sometimes no professional help whatsoever is necessary.

Maintaining a steel building with a comfortable climate is possible thanks to the great improvements in insulation technology. Developers are generally selecting the steel building design thanks to the savings resulting from its ability to conserve energy. A completely insulated pre-fabricated steel building will out-perform traditional structures and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

Advances in steel building technology have also resulted in such amenities as ridge vents, skylights, louvers, as well as more common features as wind resistance and enhanced steel roofing systems. Regardless of the climate, you can know confidently that your personnel are all safe inside a pre-fabricated steel building. Because of its snug connections and reinforced metal alloy, steel buildings can withstand the weight from heavy snow and the potential leakage from heavy rains.

Almost any combination of structural, roofing, and facade applications are possible due to the current innovations in steel building technology. The clear-span frame, another popular option, can reach up to 300 ft. in width, have unlimited length capabilities, and require no walls or columns to allow your store all of the space it requires in an unobstructed environment. A variety of steel roofing styles are available, such as parapets and mansards. You can also select standing seam applications; and not to mention, having your roof painted in just about any color you desire. Steel buildings are the attractive choice for today’s retail store owners and the smarter choice for tomorrow’s requirements.

Examining the Power of Curb Appeal

With so many potential buyers viewing property on the Internet, first impressions are essential. If your house doesn’t stand out the next listing is only a click away. A great exterior will not only stop a surfer, it will get a drive-by buyer through your front door. Don’t underestimate the power of curb appeal! The front of your house is its calling card, and it’s up to you to make sure it’s giving the right number.

First take care of the obvious: Poor exterior maintenance will have potential buyers wondering what else you didn’t keep up. Clean moss off the roof and plants out of gutters; wash the windows and pressure wash dirty decks or siding. Clear weeds growing from the front walk. Take care of the details. If your driveway has faded, it’s time to re-seal it. Fill the cracks in your sidewalk. Trim back unruly bushes, mow the lawn and add mulch to tidy up garden beds. Put away tools and other yard clutter – the property should look well taken care of. 

Spruce up your front entrance. You may want to change your front door for something more eye-catching, perhaps engraved wood or one with decorative glasswork. Changing the door’s hardware can also help it stand out. The doorknob and knocker should be polished. Placing planters near the front door can add a pleasing visual as well as contributing fragrance to further the sensory experience. A front doormat can also be welcoming touch.

Changes that cost more can also increase the selling price. If you can afford to paint the house, look for examples of eye-catching color combinations in design magazines, online and in your city. If you can’t afford to paint the whole building, just do the trim and shutters. Adding window boxes can also brighten the exterior. 

Landscaping is another opportunity to increase the value of your property. You could hire a professional, but just adding a few shrubs and flowering bushes should do the trick. A well placed bench can help potential buyers imagine themselves sitting in their new garden. 

You can ensure potential buyers notice your home just by giving the exterior a little extra attention. Remember, your traffic and often your selling price will increase with your home’s curb appeal.

Fixed brokerage or ‘Set Fee’ giving way to percentage brokerage in Real Estate

It is human nature to dream. Everyone who strives to achieve a certain status in his or her life dream of many achievements and at some time of their life these dreams revolve around the ultimate achievement for many people – owning a home. Some go even further and dream of perhaps owning few real estate properties as investments. It is when these dreams are in the process of being realized that one encounters the ugly fact that they have to deal out over six percent of the value to a broker – whether one is selling home or buying home. This could amount to a lot of cash, however, Help-U-Sell seem to be the answer to these woes, with their set fee system as opposed to a percentage brokerage system, they can save a lot of cash, and we are talking thousands of dollars not penny pinching – both for real estate buyers and real estate sellers. 

Trained professionals at your service

The difference here is that they don’t charge you the conventional six percent fee that all other real estate brokerage firms and individuals charge. They have what they call a ‘set fee system’ for their clients and this definitely works out far more economical than having to dole out 6 percent of the property cost plus the taxes. If you compare the fixed fee the clientele paid to ‘Help-U-Sell’ with the 6 percent they would have had to pay as conventional brokerage they have actually saved 400 million dollars for their ever growing client base in a single year. That really proves that the set fee system truly is customer centric – benefiting both Real Estate Buyers and Real Estate Sellers, the same way.

Help-U-Sell authorizes licensed real estate agents to help you buy home or sell home. These individuals are highly trained professionals who take you through the entire process of buying or selling a property. These real estate services include listing the property, handling negotiations, offering referrals to other service providers, showing the property to the prospective buyer, and over all providing their reputed representation that guarantees the property to have a clear title. These licensed professionals charge a professional fee set by the company instead of a percentage of the property’s current value. This proves to be a saving of about fifteen thousand dollars, on a property valued at five hundred thousand dollars, for both the buyer as well as the seller. Imagine the things you could do with this kind of savings! New furnishings, bathroom fittings, or just about anything.

Value for money

Another advantage of Help-U-Sell is that when they advertise your property they are doing just that, they will not infringe on your advertisement time and space by advertising their services. This ensures value for money and also getting the point home to prospective buyers. Buyers can browse through over two million listings on their site and then, for a set fee rather than a percentage of the value of the property, solicit the services of these highly professional group and transact a completely trouble free real estate transaction.

The fact that thousands of clients are turning to a set-fee system for selling or buying of property proves the popularity and cost effectiveness of the set fee system. With their set fee system Help-U-Sell is definitely going places after appointing over 60 franchises in the U.S., establishing 14 offices in South Africa and now have set up base in the Philippines, Seems like the set fee system of real estate is here to stay.

Fix It Then Flip It: Main Real Estate Tips

In this country the act of buying and flipping real estate has been refined to a fine art form. More and more people are making their fortunes in the real estate market and its a simple truth that it can be done by anyone. It takes a great plan and some money to invest, but if done right the rewards can be astounding. No other area of investment has consistently shown such a high profit margin and such a pattern of growth.

So what does it take to successfully fix & flip a home? This depends on you. Are you a bit of a handyman? Or could you cut off your own finger with a spoon? If you are the latter you may want to engage the services of a contractor, it will likely save money, time and band-aids. Whether you choose to DIY or to hire someone to do the fixing aspect of this there are a few things they almost all fixer-uppers will need. 

Paint is the most likely of these suspects. Most older homes have a somewhat neglected cosmetic makeup. A new coat of paint both inside and out can take years off a homes appearance and add nicely to its value. One place that usually needs a bit of love is the kitchen. As the highest traffic area in any home, kitchens can deteriorate faster than any other room. If you are looking for a quick way to increase you asking price, install all new appliances and redo the countertops and cupboards. A modern and inviting kitchen is a great selling point. 

If you have purchased a home as a “fixer-upper” chances are there are some aesthetic improvements that are going to be essential in terms of the property itself. To take care of the yard bring in a landscaper to create a new and dynamic flow for the property. New plants and flowers add a beautiful touch to a yard and can be one of the most inviting aspects of a home. The exterior of the home is critical as the “visual impact” can make or break a sale. Just remember, the new asking price must justify the improvements that you have made. So never forget to plan your improvements carefully.

Evaluating the Offer for Your Home

People work tirelessly to generate interest in a home they are trying to sell. Once they get an offer, however, they often are not sure how to evaluate it. 

Evaluating the Offer for Your Home

You have read every book under the sun. You have read more internet articles than you can imagine. You have cleaned up your home, made repairs and put out your marketing. At this point, you feel like you are an expert in the process. Suddenly, you get an offer on the property. Now what? 

The first thing to do is relax. Do not make the mistake of rushing to evaluate it. An offer is just that – an offer. It has contingencies and all kinds of little quarks in it. Although you have lived in the home for a lengthy period of time, you need to realize you are now in a business transaction. Once you have caught your breath, it is time to consider the offer. 

The first issue is always the offered purchase price. The price will never be what you are asking for in the listing. It will be below the number, perhaps shockingly lower. At this point, you may feel the urge to pick up the phone and give the buyer a piece of your mind. Don’t! This is a business transaction. The buyer is merely throwing out a bit of bait to see if you are going to bite. If you do, they get a great deal. If you do not, they will evaluate any counter offer you make. If you do not counter, they can always submit a higher offer. Remember, this is a business transaction, not an affront to your pride!

A second issue concerns items in the home the buyer may want included in the sell. I have seen brawls break out over a lamp that would make a biker blush. Maybe that lamp is an heirloom that you can’t part with, but it probably is not. Only you can decide how valuable it is and whether it is worth losing the sale, but try to be objective and coherent when making the decision. Yes, it has been a loyal lamp, but really now…

After this, you need to evaluate any additional costs associated with the offer. The buyer may want allowances for painting and so on. It is usually fairly easy to bypass your emotions on this one, but you need to make some basic financial calculations. Take the offered price and subtract all costs for the transactions. One you have the net revenue figure, compare it to the bottom line number you decided on when you first decided to sell. This will tell you if it is an offer you should accept. 

Homeowners often get so focused on the selling process, that they are caught off guard when an offer actually rolls in. Stick to your guns on your bottom line and you should be fine.

Finding your ideal alpine home

There are many different versions of the ideal traditional ski lodge. Since the early 20th century this building style has slowly evolved as it has spread across the world, interpreted by different architects and developers. Today’s ski lodges and high mountain homes offer all the style of classic architecture, while delivering a wide variety of modern comforts and amenities.

The most common elements of ski lodges and high mountain homes are high, steep roofs, extensive rock walls, large windows, and log walls or exposed log beams, often accompanied tree trunks and branches used decoratively throughout the house. Many homes in this style also include vaulted ceilings and curved staircases. 

High mountain and ski lodge homes in the southern rocky mountains tend to use less rock work than homes in eastern alpine locations. That’s because, traditionally, homes in this region were constructed primarily of adobe, as most homes weren’t built in high mountain locations. The alpine and mountain style became popular as technology and modern building materials enabled developers to find more exotic locations for home building. 

U.S. national parks housed many of the nation’s first traditional ski lodges. In 1916 the National Parks Service Adopted this building style for its high mountain outposts and lodges, constructing many of these buildings across the country. During this period wealthy home owners in the Adirondack Mountains also built mountain style homes as summer retreats. Early ski lodges and mountain homes often used branches and thatched roofing styles, but most modern ski lodges use metal roofing. 

If you’re considering moving to an alpine area, it’s a good idea to learn more about high mountain style and ski lodge homes.

Fix And Flip – The Formula

Making money with a “fix and flip” property is a great way to make money in real estate. However, it isn’t about repairing drywall and planting flowers. It’s all about how you do the numbers.

People often buy and sell a fixer-upper without a definite plan. They buy a house, fix it up, then add $10,000 or $20,000 onto their costs. They then put the house up for sale at this price. 

Have you ever bought a house according to what the seller has into it? Of course not. You look at similar houses to determine the value. If you have $110,000 into a fix-and-flip project, and similar homes are selling for $105,000, how much will you get? It has nothing to do with what you’ve spent, does it?

The Fix And Flip Formula

 1. Determine the after-repair value of the house you’re looking at. Get an appraiser’s help, or look at what similar houses have actually sold for (not asking prices). The price it’s likely to sell for is going to be your starting point.

 2. Calculate costs: closing fees, loan fees, document prep, homeowner’s insurance, title policy, repair costs, interest on loans, property taxes, sales commission, fees, title policy, etc. You want projected costs of all four categories: buying, improving, carrying, and selling. Subtract all costs from the expected sales price. 

 3. Subtract a profit that makes it worth the effort. Now you have the highest price you can pay. You have to walk away if you can’t get it for this price or less. You’ll offer thousands less, of course, to give yourself negotiating room. 

A Fix And Flip Example

You’ve found a fixer-upper, and determined you can get $98,000 for it when it’s done. Buying costs will be $2,000. Repair estimates add up to $8,000. Carrying costs will be $2,500. Sales commission and other closing costs will be around $8,000. You figure in $1,500 for the “unexpected.” For you effort, you want a $10,000 profit.

When you subtract all of that from your expected sales price, you have $66,000. That’s the most you’ll pay if you want a safe real estate investment. Offer $61,000, and walk away if you and the seller can’t settle on something under $66,000.

You always start with the eventual sales price and work your way back. This is the right way to safely do a fix and flip.

Evaluating A Home – Water Pipes

When evaluating a home you are considering buying, it is easy to get caught up in the visual aspects of the home. Water pipes are just one unseen area you remember to inspect. 

Water Pipes – Drip, Drip, Drip

Alright, I’ll admit right away water pipes are not exactly the most glamorous aspect of a home. In fact, water piping in most homes is more than adequate to keep you in hot showers while you live there and take care of all your water needs. If there is a problem with the interior water pipes, however, you are in for a very costly and disruptive experience. 

The main issue with water pipes on the interior of a home is their location. It is easy to forget about them because they are primarily hidden behind the walls of the house. While this is good from a visual perspective, it quickly becomes a negative if a pipe starts leaking or, god forbid, actually bursts inside a wall. Leaks lead to rot and mold problems that can effect the health of you family. A burst pipe leads to flooding, new carpets, rebuilt walls and large bills. 

When evaluating the water pipes in a home, keep in mind the following issues. 

1. Copper – The best piping material for water pipes is copper. It will last forever and is resistant to hard deposit build ups which can impact the amount of water flowing through the pipes. Copper pipes are also the sign of a quality construction effort as they tend to be more expensive than alternatives. 

2. PVC – If you see PVC water pipes anywhere other than on the sprinkler system or from the main street line to the house, red flags should wave before your eyes. The presence of PVC piping is an indication of an owner doing the piping themselves, as most construction companies will not use PVC. In a majority of locations, such use of PVC is outright illegal. Do not buy a home with PVC piping in the walls! Ever!

3. Iron Piping – For a long time, iron piping was pretty much the standard in home construction. There is nothing particularly wrong with using such piping with one exception. Iron piping is susceptible to water and will rust over time. If you find this grey, metal piping in the home, find out when it was put in and check for rust. Iron piping should last roughly 30 years without any major problems. If replacements must be made, go with copper. 

The pipes moving water around the interior of a home may seem uninteresting. Your attitude, however, will change if one of them bursts in the middle of the night.

Financing a Real Estate Investment

The benefits of financing a real estate investment in Maryland can’t be emphasized enough. Not only does it give you a massive tax benefit, it also eliminates your need for immediate cash and for sellers or lenders, it also creates a stream of income. And getting it is not very difficult. Most lenders know that they can earn a good amount of interest on the amount they lend. In case you are looking for a seller to finance your purchase, just tell him that you will pay him more if he waits. He’ll be game. However, this is not all; there are various other ways to get your deal financed.

An investor in Maryland can also look for private lenders to finance his deal. Though the investor might have to pay a rate of interest that is higher than what the banks ask for, but there will be lesser hassles. 

The investor can also take over the existing loan, if any, against the property in Maryland while purchasing it. The investor must make sure than the all the previous installments are cleared. In this method, the investor does not have to shell out a down payment for the purchase of property in Maryland. The remaining payment for the purchase can also be made to the seller in installments. 

What does an investor do when he has no cash and the seller is not ready to sell without it? The solution is pretty straightforward and simple. He mortgages some other property that he has. He might even try combining the equity of more than one property to arrange for the finance. However, the investor must take care that he mortgages his residential property and not the ones that are meant for investment. He will end up blocking them and might have a problem selling them when he plans to. 

An investor can raise all the cash he needs for a real estate deal in Maryland. He just has to be alert and look at all the options available.