10 Predictions for Innovation in Commercial Real Estate

The government implements COVID-19 containment measures that shuttered offices and businesses and affected the demand for commercial real estate. The pandemic also blurred the industry outlook companies implemented work-from-home initiatives. A recent IMF analysis discovered that these trends could cause a disruption in the market and possibly threaten financial stability.

The Relationship to Financial Stability

The commercial real estate sector can potentially affect broader financial stability because price movements reflect the expansive macro-financial picture. Moreover, it depends heavily on debt funding. Loans comprise a considerable portion of banks’ lending portfolios, and in some cases, nonbank financial intermediaries also play a role. 

An adverse shock to commercial real estate can decrease its prices and affect the credit quality of borrowers and the balance sheets of lenders. Falling prices have their risk of price misalignments. Commercial real estate prices can deviate from economic fundamentals can magnify the dangers of future growth. For example, a drop of 50 basis points in the capitalization rate can increase the downside risks to GDP growth by 1.4% in the short term and 2.5% in the medium term.

The Damage Caused by COVID-19

Increased price misalignments are an evident effect of the pandemic, and it comes from the sharp drop in operating revenues and overall demand. However, they can diminish as the economy starts gaining momentum. The possible structural changes in the market will prove to be challenging to the sector. For instance, an increase of 5% in the vacancy rates can result in a 15% drop in fair values after five years.

The Role of Policymakers in Offsetting Financial Stability Risks

Nonfinancial firms get help in accessing credit through low rates to help in the commercial real estate recovery. However, the uncomplicated financial conditions entice risk-taking and add to the pricing misalignments. Policymakers can use their macro-prudential policy toolkit to restrict the debt service coverage and loan-to-value ratios to address the vulnerabilities.

Moreover, policymakers can broaden the reach of this policy by covering nonbanking financial institutions. Lastly, ensuring the strength of the banking sector and performing stress testing can help decision-makers setting aside adequate capital for commercial real estate exposures.

Ten Ways Innovation Will Affect the Commercial Real Estate Post-Pandemic

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on everyone, and one of its most affected industries is commercial real estate. As businesses shut down and others work remotely, only a few stores remain open. New ventures are hard to come by, and demand for purchase or lease of commercial buildings is low. However, as many people know, these effects are only temporary.

With the world slowly returning to normal, employees return to work, and stores begin to open. Commercial real estate is abuzz, and with this development, innovation is now awash with possibilities. Here are ten ways how the industry will respond to the global pandemic effects:

1.    Heightened Demand for Multifunctional Spaces

The pandemic increased the number of people working from home. As companies become open to employees doing virtual work, developers must include aesthetic and functional pockets in interior spaces conducive to work. Privacy, advanced digital capabilities, and adaptability of rooms for recreational use during non-working hours will determine the new home office.

2.    Increased Need for Sustainable Buildings

Buildings add about 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions; therefore, real estate leaders must spend on healthier materials and energy-saving designs. As governments implement stricter regulations about sustainability, properties that do not focus on it will lose value because no one will occupy them. They become uninsurable and obsolete too.

3.    Changing Definitions for Real Estate

The merging of residential and commercial real estate will force the industry to create a more specific definition of commercial. The merging of working, playing, and living spaces, together with the ways to own and invest, will require inventive and iterative meanings to account for the changing operations of economic progress and the future of living.

4.    Focusing on Nearness to Home and Work

 Community development requires the building of more spaces for living, playing, and working. More and more people value their time and quality of life. Proximity to play and work areas are now more appealing to reduce expenses and travel time.

5.    Transforming Unused Office Spaces

Because of the considerable decrease in office space demand because of the digital economy and work-from-home initiatives, underutilized commercial spaces will become condominiums.

6.    Soaring Real Estate Automation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will reduce operating expenses at the corporate and property levels. The commercial broker and appraiser will have a reduced rule over time because of the automation of most activities.

7.    Rising Demand for Technology Solutions

Legal tech will automate and centralize case management because of the volume of transactions. The industry can use AI to predict foreclosure timelines for more efficiency.

8.    Modernizing Housing Developments

Because of work-from-home initiatives due to COVID-19, housing design will experience the most significant innovations. Owners and developers will rethink their house layouts. Much of the time spent in the residence will be in the at-home office.

9.    Integrating Data with Relational Information

Access to real estate knowledge, data, and information will improve due to technology. Real estate professionals control the integration of this access with appropriate relationships and experience, but they must always focus on relationships.

10. Increasing Number of Portals for Commercial Real Estate

More property portals will pop up because they have to reach more clients across markets. Companies will cooperate to serve the needs of prospects and owners.

Final Thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on all industries, but the commercial real estate sector is one of the most heavily affected areas. This large sector can cause financial stability risks that policymakers can reduce by using their macro-prudential policy toolkit. 

Aside from the damages, the pandemic is also a way to implement many innovative ways to help the commercial real estate sector:

  • Increased demand for multifunctional areas
  • Heightened requirement for sustainable structures
  • Evolving definitions for commercial real estate
  • Concentrating on proximity to work and home
  • Revamping unused office spaces
  • Increasing real estate automation
  • Spiraling demand for technology
  • Improving housing developments
  • Merging data with relational information
  • A growing number of portals for commercial real estate

These ten predictions for innovation can help the commercial real estate sector to get up on its feet again post-pandemic. The eagerness and willingness of everyone involved can make these forecasts become a reality soon.

About the Author

Charlie Svensson is a fast-rising and charming freelance writer for writing services australia. He uses his excellent skills in blogging and content writing while actively providing proofreading services UK. Charlie loves to write about social media, SEO, self-growth, education, marketing, and motivation blogging. As an assignment help writer, he can quickly adapt his skills to engage his diverse audiences.

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How to Build a House from Scratch with Little to No Outside Help

Building your own house from scratch lets you design every part of it as per your needs. Personalization goes beyond the furniture you decide to buy for the house; you can find an experienced contractor, provide inputs throughout the building process, avoid harmful chemicals, and cut costs exactly where necessary.

It’s certainly not as easy as buying a ready house, but with the right contractor by your side, you can build your own house with little to no help at all. Here’s how.

Take time to choose your contractor

An experienced contractor who understands your vision and needs is the only help you need in your house building process. You can apply for an owner-builder permit (if your state allows it) and do it all yourself. However, it’s advised that you hire a contractor to oversee the entire building process. Through them, you can find reliable sources for different materials needed to build your house.

A contractor will provide their inputs to help you avoid any mistakes in your build and finally create a shell for you to continue with. If you work effectively with a contractor that understands your vision for the house, you’ll make the entire process a lot easier for yourself while reducing the chances of future structural damages to your house.

Plan your house investment

Buying an existing house gives you the full sum needed to buy it. Building a house yourself requires planning investments, as you will have to evaluate your expenses on house materials as well as the interior decor work once the house is built. Sit with your contractor and calculate the amount you’d need to complete the entire project.

During this calculation, look for ways to reduce your costs by opting for cheaper alternatives. Don’t try to save at the cost of your house’s structural integrity or safety. It’s better to spend on your house while building it rather than repairing it after every month or two. 

Set your foundation and house shell

Your contractor will have the biggest role to play in this. Building a secure foundation for your house along with a shell resembling your vision is a tedious but crucial task. Your entire project will be based on this phase, so it’s important to give it its due time. This process will require you a permit, but your contractor will be responsible for acquiring the permits required throughout your building process.

You should dig your ground and pour concrete with spaces left vacant for the basement (if you choose to have one). Raise vertical foundations along with the entire shell of the house and you will be ready for the next phase of the build. Once the foundation is laid down, an inspector will check the structural integrity for any flaws. Once you get the approval, you will be able to continue with framing and the rest of the build.

Framing, Electrical and Plumbing Connections

Framing will involve building the shell or exoskeleton of the house. Once the shell is made, exterior attachments such as boards, walls, doors and floors would be set in place. This will have to be interrupted in its rough stages as the next task would involve planning and implementing plumbing and electrical connections. 

Take your time to plan this thoroughly and have sufficient connections throughout your house. Your contractor will help in ensuring each section of your house is included, and the electrical and plumbing systems can function without any obstructions in the future. 

Making a thorough plan can save you a lot of hassle in the future and save money spent on repairs and maintenance. Again, inspectors will check each system and the frame structure, after which you can continue building. 

House completion and inspections

The rest of the process can be summed up as it would include finer details such as flooring, tiles, interior decor, furniture, and other house additions. If you ever feel the need for help, talk to your contractor, who can help you with whatever help you may need by connecting you to reliable workers. 

Throughout your house building process, you will have to undergo inspections to ensure the house would maintain its structure in the future. Moreover, the safety of the house would also be thoroughly checked. Apart from the inspectors, you must go around the house to see if you missed anything important. 

Finances

Managing your finances during the project will be one of the hardest challenges. Finding the right priced materials without compromising on quality takes time and a lot of searches. You could take a construction loan to help you finance the project. 

However, it’s advised that you make a budget excluding the loan amount and formulate a plan around it. This will help you stay well below your total sum (savings+loans) and make your expenses a lot more thought-out. Include your contractor’s fee in this budget as well. Contractors take a substantial amount at the end of the project and require financial planning as well.

While building your house, find ways to install equipment that saves you money in the future. This includes electrical equipment like solar panels and energy-efficient radiators, along with high-quality pipes and systems that require very little maintenance. Opting for such methods can help you regain any excess money you may have put into your house. 

Conclusion

Building a house from scratch is a long process, but it comes with the benefit of greater space for personalization. By following all the steps and tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to stay on top of your house plan and financial expenses. Keep in mind that your house will remain an asset for many years to come. By investing in good materials, you’d save yourself a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on maintenance in the future. Work alongside a trustworthy contractor, and you’ll be able to build the house you dreamt of.

Author Bio:

Leon Collier is a freelance blogger and academic writer from the UK working with essay writer service and UK dissertations. He likes to explore a subject deeply and cover areas that are usually left untouched by other writers. This quality makes him an outstanding writer. His hobbies are reading books and playing board games with his friends. Get in touch with him on Twitter @LeonCollier12.

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How to Budget for Your Next Home Project

Your next home project is going to improve your home, whether it’s small or large. Maybe you plan to update only one thing, like the flooring in your kitchen, or maybe you plan to do a large-scale renovation of the entire kitchen. Unfortunately, renovating any part of your home isn’t easy or cheap. However, it can increase your home’s value if you plan to move

To effectively plan your next home project, you need a budget, and to start a budget, you need a plan of action. Here’s how you can create a smart budget and make the right decisions when it comes to home projects. 

Find Out How Much the Project Cost

Everything you do to your home costs money– from painting its exterior to doing a full renovation. All home projects will come at different price points depending on what the project is and the types of help you’ll need. For example, installing a new bathroom counter will be cheaper than renovating the entire bathroom. If you do choose more renovations, you can expect to pay thousands of dollars. 

Many factors go into the cost of a home project, including:

  • Size of the project
  • Room size
  • Type of work needed
  • Cost of materials
  • Cost of labor 

The easiest way to create a budget is to write down all of the projects you want then price them out. You can do this by getting bids for each project and rank your projects according to your priorities. Next, you’ll need to budget out the projects you choose as a top priority. 

How Much Should You Spend?

We can’t tell you how much to spend on a renovation or home project, but spending too much won’t add as much value to your home as you think because people will be paying for your home based on ones of similar size, the number of bedrooms, and the number of bathrooms in your area. If you turn your house into a multimillion-dollar house in a neighborhood where homes cost a fourth of that, you may not be able to sell your house for the asking price too easily. 

As a general rule, try not to spend half of what your home is currently worth for small renovations like one or two rooms. Instead, look at your monthly budget and decide what you can afford and how much value it can bring to your home. 

How to Create a Home Project Budget

To start your project, you can use these steps to create a budget:

  1. Prioritize

Remember that list we mentioned earlier? Get that out and begin writing down all of the projects you want to be done on your home. Make sure to list the ones that affect your living situation first. For example, if you have dangerous electrical wiring, you should make that your top priority before changing out the flooring because it can affect your safety. 

You should also take care of any home maintenance first, such as plumbing issues, or fixing things around the house so you can fully enjoy the results of your home project. There’s no use in renovating a bathroom when the toilet doesn’t work properly. 

If you don’t have any rooms with major issues but want to make some changes, write down the changes you want to make that can add value to your home. If you plan on living in your home for the rest of your life, you may choose to go with renovation projects you want instead of ones a potential homebuyer would want. 

  1. Outline Estimates

Now it’s time to do a little math. Once you’ve decided which home project will be your top priority, you’ll need to break down the cost of every little thing that goes into it. This part will take a lot of your time because you’ll need to do research. 

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get exact costs until you talk with the contractors you’ll be working with for your home project. However, you can search online to get ballpark estimates so you know what to expect in terms of estimates and budgeting. 

When it comes to spending money on maintenance projects, you can use the same 1% rule that landlords use. According to SmartMove, “Many professional property managers use what they call the 1% rule: One percent of the total property value should be set aside to address rental maintenance expenses.” 

Therefore, if your house is worth $300,000, then you should set aside $3,000 for maintenance costs before moving onto your next home project. 

In your budget breakdown, make a chart of the name of the cost, what percentage of the budget it takes up, and what the estimate will be. Then, you can total it up and get a final number for your overall budget. 

Taking this step and doing research gives you a better idea of how much each part of the project will cost. It can also help you figure out ways to cut costs in some areas so you can spend more in others. For example, if you need a certain countertop for your kitchen, you may be able to find cheaper flooring with the right research. 

  1. Collect Bids
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Now that you have realistic prices in mind, it’s time to talk to a contractor. You can ask around or search online for these professionals. Try to find at least three contractors in your area with good reviews and request project bids and timelines. This allows you to compare pricing. 

Beware of the lowest bid because you might end up paying for a contractor that doesn’t get the project done on time or becomes unprofessional midway through the project. If you receive a bid that is thousands of dollars lower than the estimated budget you put together, then this might be a red flag. However, if your estimate is only a few hundred dollars off the bid and it’s a large project, you may have simply miscalculated. Remember, the estimate you put together is not the exact cost you can expect to pay. 

Never DIY Home Projects

Unless you’re a contractor yourself, you should never try to take on a large DIY project yourself to cut costs. While you may think you’re saving yourself tens of thousands of dollars, you could actually be costing yourself more when you realize you made a mistake and need to hire a professional to fix those errors. 

Matt Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music. 

Real Estate Strategies for Small Business Owners

Real estate is one of the most lucrative markets in the world. Everyone wants to own a property. However, it is highly competitive. The competition is understandable as businesses are vying to hold the most value in the market. You could describe the real estate market as a shark tank. You have to be innovative and fit if you want to survive in the real estate market. When looked at it from a competitive perspective, you can’t help but feel like small real estate businesses will not survive. However, things aren’t strictly black and white. No company can claim to control the real estate market.

The real estate market is vast. Because of this, your real estate business, no matter how small, can make a significant impact in the market. You only have to be resourceful and think outside the box. The fact is you don’t have the marketing budget of larger real estate firms, but what you have will work. You can’t be bullish like these big firms, but you can be precise and smarter than them. Contrary to what the big companies want you to think, you can upstage them.

We are pretty confident in you achieving success. Your small real estate business is in the era of the explosion of the internet. The internet is a great disruptor and a leveler. Skeptical? Okay, but a report made by the NAR (National Association of Realtors), over 50% of home buyers found their home online. So, as a small business, you can take advantage of the internet to improve the chances of your marketing strategies. In addition, you don’t need to feel pressured to compete. The market is a large one. Pressuring yourself to compete causes you to make a hasty real estate strategy. So, in this list, we will analyze crucial real estate marketing strategies that will help you compete favorably as a small business.

Study the Market and Have a Target Base

Even if you were a big business with a massive budget, you could waste money by marketing to the wrong audience. Your ROI wouldn’t reflect your marketing expenses. So, the first thing you do as a real estate business is to research. You have to study the market. Studying the market would allow you to identify the various audience and niches. When you can successfully identify a place, you can decide to target them. So, instead of imprecise marketing, you get a personalized form of marketing that targets an audience.

As a small business, personalization is key to your success. Big businesses have their pedigree to speak for them, but they tend to disconnect with the audience more. As a small business, you can build a personal relationship with your audience to relate to you and do business with you.

You can’t go wrong when you research. Apart from finding a niche, you would be able to predict a market when you study it. For instance, you can learn about the various risks, the market direction, etc. This knowledge would let you create your short and long-term marketing strategy. Also, it would determine your approach to your real estate marketing.

Budget

Here comes the money talk. As a small business, the money talks are vital to you. You can’t afford to spend lavishly. You have to be more intelligent, hence, your budget. Create an extensive budget and stick religiously to it. Things are now in your favor, even if you have a minimal marketing budget. You can use the alternative form of marketing that the internet provides, rather than the more expensive traditional marketing.

Create Awareness for your Brand: Internet Version.

Like big real marketing businesses, you need people to be aware of your brand. You need people to know you, and one of the ways you can achieve this is through the internet. You can use the internet in several ways. You can use;

  • Social Media
  • Websites and Blog
  • Email Marketing

Social Media

Social Media is crucial when it comes to a small business like yours. Remember, earlier. We mentioned something about your audience relating to you. You can achieve this through social media. What you want to do here is to create social media accounts across all platforms. There are about 4.5 billion social media users worldwide, and creating accounts across the various social media can let people be familiar with your real estate business.

Although, it is not just about opening accounts across all platforms. It is about using those platforms correctly. For instance, you have to curate content for your accounts. Contents give you the link to interacting with your audience. You can create contests across your social media accounts to the reader the most interactive members of your audience. In addition, you can use social media influencers. These influencers have a significant following on social media, and through them, you can connect to an even larger audience. Furthermore, you can use social media ads. Depending on the social media platform, you can tweak these ads to focus on a particular section of social media users that fit your niche

Websites and Blog

A website allows your audience to connect fully with your brand. Websites are hallmarks of professionalism, and through your website, you can tell your audience about yourself. Also, your blog should be part of your website. A blog allows you to create unique content. There are word limits on social media platforms that could prevent you from expressing yourself fully.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a legend among marketing, and you can make it work for you. You can acquire mails in any form and send personalized emails to your audience. You can use email marketing to announce discounts, events, etc.

Create Brand Awareness: Physical Marketing Version

Although you have a smaller budget, this doesn’t stop you from hitting the streets and meeting people physically. We aren’t talking about the old door-to-door salesman marketing strategy of old, but we admit it’s something close to it. This involves meeting people, sharing fliers, using stickers, pasting papers on buses, benches, etc.

Building a Strong Customer Care

Customer care is one way to keep an audience and get them to talk about you. It is the best PR you can do for yourself. A successful business is built on its ability to address issues raised by customers. Addressing customers has to be done quickly to retain them. You don’t have an excuse for not attending to customers on time. Through the internet, your social media platforms would be barraged by questions from customers. You have to be quick in responding to these customers.

A prompt response would make a customer speak favorably of your business and promote you to other people for free.

Author Bio:

Charlie Svensson is an engaging freelance writer in content writing and blogging. She has written for a credible essay writing service and a dissertation service. He is also skilled at custom essay writing.  He loves writing on education, social media, marketing, SEO, motivation blogging, and self-growth. Excellent adaptability of skills to reach diverse audiences.

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10 Steps to Buying a Home: A Quick Breakdown

In July 2021, 676,000 homes were sold in the United States!

If you are looking to buy a home too, there can be a lot of different emotions going on. You might feel excited about the prospect of owning your own home, or anxious about making such an important decision. 

More than anything, you probably want to know what are the steps to buying a home.

To help you stay on track and make the right decisions, take a look at these 10 steps to buying a home.

1. Check Your Credit Score

The first step to buying a home is to have a good credit score. Before you start shopping around, get your free copy of your credit report and check it for accuracy.

2. Make Sure You Can Afford It

You might be wondering what it means to “afford” a home. Generally, you should have enough income left over to pay for the house after paying your living expenses and debts every month. 

3. Connect With a Real Estate Agent

There are many different agents to choose from, and some might have better qualifications than others. With that said, you want an experienced professional.

It’s a good idea to interview a few agents before making your decision.

4. Become Pre-approved

A pre-approval letter will help you negotiate the best deal. It also means that your credit and finances are in order, which gives potential sellers confidence in your ability to make good on a sale. 

5. Search for a Home

Once you have your pre-approval letter, it’s time to start looking for a new home.  Start with the type of house that meets your needs and then narrow down the list based on things like price range or location. 

6. Put in an Offer

When you find a house that is perfect for your needs, it’s time to make an offer and get the ball rolling! Pay in your earnest money deposit, which is a sum of cash you put down to show commitment and seriousness. Use this guide to help you.

7. Get an Inspection

Home inspections are where buyers can learn a lot about what condition the house is in and whether it will need to be repaired.  If you’re planning on putting down an offer, this step is necessary before making that commitment.

8. Polish Your Finances

This step doesn’t happen until after you have agreed to purchase the home. This is often done through one of these two programs: FHA or VA loans.

They each provide different types of lending options and benefits, so it’s worth exploring both before making a decision.

9. Get Insured

You won’t be able to close on your new home until you have a homeowners insurance policy in place. This is an important step that can cover you financially should your home encounter disasters. 

10. Move-In

Finally, it’s time to close and move in! This should be a smooth transition. You will be given the keys to your new home and you can decide when to move in.

10 Steps to Buying a Home

You now know the 10 steps to buying a home. Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make.

This is why you need to ensure that you do it right. Going through the steps individually will assist you with making the process a smooth one. If you would like to know more about real estate buying, please visit our blog.

Author: Steffy Alen

Why Having a Community Solar Farm Is a Great Idea

Between physical obstructions, rental agreements, and geography, up to 80% of US households might not have access to a rooftop or ground-based solar solution.

Even more disturbing, of those that do, communities are presenting a large ethnic and racial disparity in solar installation. Why this is happening comes down to a number of historical, economic, and social factors.

One solution that can benefit all is to get into a community solar farm. What are community solar farms? How do they work?

Keep reading to find out how they might be the best idea for you and your neighbors!

What Is a Community Solar Farm?

There are many kinds of ways to access solar energy savings and help the environment at the same time. If solar isn’t an option for your location but you still want to benefit, then community solar farms are the way to go.

First off, you can save a ton of money by deciding how you’re going to access solar energy — if you do have options. To find out how much, check out https://blueravensolar.com/blog/how-much-do-solar-panels-save/ for in-depth details.

A community solar farm is a field of solar panels that are taken care of by their owner. The solar farm feeds electricity into the power grid, producing solar credits for the company. They often use the best technologies available and get round-the-clock maintenance.

They’re high-tech and produce more electricity more efficiently than you would get on your roof. They also constantly upgrade their equipment to be on the leading edge of solar technology.

They’re privately owned solar farms that sell off their energy to people who otherwise can’t install their own systems. This helps to level the playing field and help all involved.

How Does a Community Solar Farm Make Money?

They often sell those credits at a discount to the price of electricity from your utility. For example, if you show them your electric bill, they may be willing to sell you credits at up to 10% off your normal kWh rate.

Those credits will be used against your utility bill, even though you are not the one producing the electricity. A community solar farm is not a utility, but they do work with utilities in a mutually beneficial arrangement for all.

Utilities can focus on power generation at times solar isn’t viable. Solar feeds the grid with clean, environmentally friendly energy during sun exposure. Regular US homeowners don’t need to invest in solar installation and design and still benefit by purchasing the solar farm’s credits.

Bridging the Socio-Economic Gaps

Let’s face it: the United States has some serious socio-economic gaps. From ethnic and racial injustices to gender debates, the nation is in a moment of extreme flux.

One of the ways to bridge those gaps is to take advantage of what a community solar farm can offer. Lower rates without home installation benefit renters and apartment owners alike, no matter the gender, race, ethnicity, or economic position.

Did this help you understand your options for going solar? Keep browsing our articles for more nuggets of solar power wisdom!

Author: Steffy Alen

How to Do Business with a Contractor without Frustration

Whether you are looking to renovate one room or working on the entire property, renovation is a large project. As experts in remodeling and building, contractors can deal with all the required inspections, permits, materials, and equipment to ensure the smooth completion of the project.

However, failure to choose the contractors wisely may result in frustrations such as project delays, quality compromise, and wastages. Doing business with a contractor requires finding a reliable, reputable and efficient one to avoid such frustrations.

Conduct background checks

Whether you have received recommendations from a relative or a friend, it is important to establish the minimum credentials of the contractor before hiring. Obtain the full name and address of the company and ensure that enough insurance coverage and a state license are available.

Obtain policy and license numbers and verify their validity. Establish whether the company has any pending legal cases or has received complaints from customers in the past. If the potential contractor does not have any pending issues that may affect their work, you will avoid problems when the project is ongoing.

Plan on how to resolve differences

Many homeowners are coming up with diverse property renovation ideas, especially with the current housing boom. With a rush to create a home office, for instance, you may be tempted to ignore conflict resolution strategies.

Hiring a contractor means that you will work with them until the project is complete. Hire someone trustworthy and easy to communicate with. If, for instance, the contractor is setting up office space and something goes wrong, you should have a strategy to resolve conflicts beforehand.

A good contractor will facilitate written agreements to safeguard the interests of both parties. Before the start of the project, enquire how differences and unexpected issues may be handled.

Investigate the work habits and history of the contractor

Contractors may be general or specialists and so you need to ensure that they can handle the project appropriately. Investigate their work habits and the projects they have completed in the past. Look out for quality materials, some similar issues to your project, client satisfaction, and workmanship.

You may also track minor indicators of lack of professionalism. Establish whether the contractor returns calls promptly, whether they keep appointment times and whether their dress code tells something about their ability to be organized. Carelessness in small matters may lead to frustrations as a result of compromising the quality of work.

Have a smart payment schedule

Reliable and reputable contractors often request some upfront payment before they start working. In some states, asking for a down payment exceeding 10% is considered illegal, especially for large projects.

Smaller property upgrades with tailor-made specifications may require between 30% and 50% deposit. You should pay the balance after the completion of the project. Ensure that the payment schedule is clearly stated in the project contract and that it is updated on need.

Find a contractor from reputable sources

Getting recommendations from family members and friends about the contractor’s experiences is a good way to find a company to do business with. However, if you are new in the industry or are uncertain about available options, use online services to find a good contractor.

Most online services review recommendations from users. Your goal should be to ensure that the reviewers have experience working with a contractor you want to hire. Getting accurate information regarding online reviews will guarantee proper project completion.

Interview several contractors before hiring

It is possible to find a reliable contractor online, but online reviews should not substitute meetings in person with the contractor. If you don’t have a specific contractor in mind, you have some options.

Interview several candidates to gather insights into the kind of person you want to hire to undertake the project. Every contractor may have a unique approach, timeline, budget, and connections with subcontractors around your area.

Gathering estimates from several contractors will help you to have a clear perspective on appropriate project costs. You may also understand the kind of work each contractor is likely to provide.

Understand the contract details

Understanding the contract details is one of the best ways to avoid frustrations when doing business with a contractor. A contract should have information regarding fees and building permits and the commencement and completion dates of the project.

It should also have the details of payment terms, products and services to be provided by your contractor and the subcontractor issues. It should define the consequences of failure to honor the terms of the agreement, such as failure to compensate subcontractors.

If anyone needs to modify the contract to adapt to something new, request to sign an addendum and be clear about the updated project estimate. Understanding the contract details will help to minimize possible disputes that may amount to frustrations.

Request for a project estimate

Signing a construction agreement should start by having a formal estimate of the cost of the project. If you have multiple contractors to evaluate, consider a bidding process to narrow down the options. Apart from the timeline and budget, talk to the prospective contractors about your preferred materials and if there is a need to engage subcontractors.

It is also important to know if the contractor has completed similar projects. They could be good in one area of construction or renovation and not good in another. The home contractor should be willing to discuss material recommendations, previous projects similar to yours, and any questions you may raise during bidding.

Getting the project estimate will ensure timeliness and cost-effectiveness of project completion. A contractor who provides project estimates understands the project’s structure and how to integrate various design options. Therefore, it may guarantee a better outcome and minimize possible frustrations.

Conclusion

Construction projects are critical no matter their size and so it is important to take initiatives when hiring a contractor to ensure a smooth flow of work. With the above tips, you should be able to do business with a contractor without frustration. It will ensure the success of a project in terms of scope, time, quality and cost.

Author Bio

Leon Collier is a blogger and one of the best academic essay writers from the UK who works with essay writing service UK. He likes to take on challenges and is always keen to prove his writing prowess with his work, which is always high-quality and unique. His hobbies are reading books and playing tabletop games with his friends. You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12.

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Top 5 Tips for Building Your Own Home in Portugal

When you are planning to build your own home in Portugal, you need to be aware of the documents and procedures that you need to undertake. The following will help you understand what documents you will need for construction permits to build your own home in Portugal.

There may be some cases where an application for construction permits is not required, such as when building with temporary materials or when reconstructing existing buildings.

1. Find the right location

Portugal is a small country and it may be more difficult to find a suitable location than you imagine. if you are thinking to be building your own home in Portugal you may already have a nice region in mind that you like most. But don’t overlook the hidden jems Portugal has to offer.

There are some regions that are more affordable than others, some are actually not far from the beach and mountains.

2. Apply for a planning permission

This is absolutely mandatory and will save you from potential problems later on. But don’t worry there is offices out there who are specialized in helping you in this process, such as an architectural office. Hiring an architect in Portugal is not as expensive as you might think. Depending on the size of your project it can cost you as little as 10 € per square metre.

3. Find and hire an architect

It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it will make your life much easier in the long run by ensuring that everything gets done correctly, within budget and on time. Also, the architect in Portugal can design your home in a way that will actually save you money, in the end you probably pay the same that you would have without an architect.

4. Consider buying land

If you are only looking to build a home for yourself in Portugal, then make sure you look in the area that is right for you and have everything nearby that you will need. Also, it is important to check if the land is suitable for construction. If you buy a land in Portugal that is located in an estate make sure to check the estate rules – sometimes there are rules regarding colours of the house or windows or the roof needs to have a certain colour and angle… etc.

5. Speak to a solicitor

Better safe than sorry. Getting legal advice will help you to understand the procedure involved and be aware of potential pitfalls.

Conclusion: Building Your Own Home in Portugal

With these few simple steps you can be building your own home in Portugal and invest in the healthy and growing housing market of sunny Portugal.

Image by Steffen Zimmermann on Pixabay 

5 Tips for Painting Your Home’s Exterior

Are you looking to give your home a fresh coat of paint before you put it on the market? Have you noticed recently that your property’s exterior paint job is looking a little worse for the wear? If so, then you need to learn a few tricks for painting your home’s exterior to perfection.

Doing so can give your home an aesthetic with precision and a beautiful coat. Anyone that walks/drives past it will be forced to do a double-take.

See below for an in-depth guide on different tips you should follow while painting a house. You’ll be glad that you did!

1. Know the Signs

Did you know that there are telltale signs that your home needs a fresh exterior paint job? Contrary to popular belief, exterior paint serves more of a purpose than improving the looks of your home. It’s also used for benefits such as:

  • Protecting your home from the elements
  • Extending the lifespan of your home’s siding material
  • Preventing rot
  • Boost the value of your home

You must understand the reasons to repaint your home so that you can make the proper call on what paint brand to use, which exterior painting company to hire, whether or not you need to make a few repairs before you paint, and so on.

Too many homeowners ignore these signs and are forced to deal with the consequences. The value of their home ends up suffering in the long run.

2. Search for Rot

For those of you that have a wooden exterior on your home, you’ll want to take this project as an opportunity to search for signs of rot. After all, if you’re going to go to the effort of painting your home’s exterior, you want to make sure you won’t have to replace certain pieces down the line.

You’ll want to take the time to inspect for rotting on your wood siding, any wooden doors, wooden door frames, wooden window frames, and any other wooden feature on the outside of your home. 

This can be done by simply going around and tapping on the wood. Does it sound strong and dense or weak and hollow? If it’s the latter, then it’s generally a sign of rot. You’ll want to replace that piece before you start painting.

Rot can start in a wooden feature of your home’s exterior for a few reasons. It could be due to the moisture the wood was exposed to during a storm, the effect of usual wear and tear, or a sign of a termite infestation problem. 

Whatever the reasoning, make sure that all of your features are a-okay before you begin prepping for the paint job.

3. Prepare the Home Exterior for Paint

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when painting your home’s exterior is walking right up to the siding and painting over it without any other form of preparation.

Think of it this way: if you don’t prepare the siding for a new coat of paint, you’re simply painting over all the dirt, debris, and germs that have piled upon it. Therefore, placing a new coat over it will trap the grime inside, which can cause bubbling or running paint. 

To get the results that you want, you’re going to need to get it in paint-ready condition. Be sure to rent or purchase a pressure washer to clean the outside of your home. For optimum results, you’ll want to find one that fits the siding of your house.

For example, homes with soft siding (like stucco or wood) should only use one with anywhere between 1,200 to 1,500 psi. However, a home with vinyl siding will require something a bit stronger, such as a pressure washer with anywhere between 2,500 to 3,000 psi.

After you’ve pressure washed the house, make sure to provide a covering for all the plants near the side of your house, as well as remove any statues or figures that risk getting paint on them.

4. Scrap off Lead Paint

Perhaps you were prompted to inquire about exterior painting when you noticed the paint outside your home is starting to crack and peel off. This could be a sign that your home was previously painted with lead paint. 

Regardless of what type of paint it is, that cracked paint has to be removed before you put on a fresh coat. Otherwise, it could cause the new paint to bubble or drip.

Grab as many friends, relatives, and neighbors as you can, then get them all to help you scrape off the paint from the side of your house.

5. Hire a Professional Painting Company

Is painting your home’s exterior more overwhelming than you originally thought? Perhaps you didn’t realize that repainting your home’s exterior would include things like pressure washing, scraping, and sanding.

If so, then you should hire a professional exterior painting company to do the work. That way, this project is put in the hands of experienced professionals with the manpower and equipment for the job.

The result will be a high-quality paint job that will make interested buyers salivate. It’s sure to up the curb appeal of your entire house.

Paint Your Home’s Exterior Today

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on how to paint your home’s exterior and all the steps it requires to do it right, be sure to use this information to your advantage.

Start by browsing our website for more articles on painting the inside and outside of your home, as well as many other helpful topics that you will enjoy.

Eight Things You Should Know About Before Buying A Home In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the most popular places to buy a home in. Every year, the worldwide population visits the most expensive city in the US and has a great time doing the things they love. If settling in Vegas has been your dream too, then there is a list of Henderson Las Vegas home for sale. But, before buying a home, consider reading these things that can be important for you to know.

1. You get a variety to select from

Before you decide anything, you have to settle on a budget. There are a variety of places available for you to settle down but, you should be aware that the hottest real estate place in the market has to come at a greater price. So, decide on a budget and start searching for a place that suits you the best. The type of home you are looking for also depends on your budget as they all have different prices. If you are looking for a villa, you are expected to keep your budget higher than an apartment.

2. You should go through the requirements of buying a home in Vegas

Once you are through in successfully selecting the home of your dreams, the next thing in line is looking at the requirements to buy a home in the area of your choice. You might need a pre-approved home loan before settling down at one residence. Make sure that the approval is not from anyone but a decent lender. You have to keep other things in mind, and for that, it’s best to consult someone with experience. If you can’t find a home yet, try the list of Henderson Las Vegas homes for sale. We are sure something will come up!

3. Have you heard about the green neighborhood?

If you are a planet lover and want to find a place that saves the environment, look for a green neighborhood house. Such sites are environmentally friendly but come at an expensive rate. These days more and more people are trying to look for a place here. It not only helps save the environment but makes sure you are safe too!

4. Living away from the strip is always a better idea

Looking for the best property in Las Vegas, then you should avoid the area near the strip. This is because you will have to research a lot when finding a school or amenities like a gym nearby. Going here on vacation purposes does make sense, but why take a home that is not family-friendly and involves many struggles? Shifting to a new home should always be convenient and easy.

5. It might be expensive so negotiating is a must

Negotiating on small things like a pen or a notebook might not make sense but negotiating on the house does! Wouldn’t it be good if you save some dollars while hunting for the best home in the town? Real estate being hotter in Las Vegas makes the property dealer more accountable in asking for a higher price. Helping yourself might get you a better deal, and there is nothing harmful in trying, right?

6. You have to decide early as houses are selling soon

Construction in Las Vegas is catching up speed because of which moderately priced properties are selling at a faster rate. So, acting fast is one option you have! Making a decision ASAP is an important step as you never know next day you will find the same house at the same price or not! Try to negotiate to an extent where the seller does not get tempted by someone who is paying a little more than you.

7. It won’t be that easy to buy a house in the hottest market

Just like you, there are a lot of people looking for a place to settle in L. A. It is not impossible, but it might not be easy for you to settle on a property because the demand and supply are running together. While the legal process can be easy and fast, you have to make sure that your decision-making power is one the same rate as well. You might love a few houses, and by the time you decide on one, all your choices are sold! As the market is on fire, it is not a smooth task to buy the home of your dreams.

8. Try creative offers to impress buyers

Creativity is one of the best ways to impress someone uniquely. While all the buyers are approaching in an ordinary fashion, you can make a difference and get the house with your creativity to pitch differently. Tr y taking a homebuyer education course to learn all the details. A few tips from us include, try making an offer before they speak about the price. Try to work with experienced men who know the field and will help you in the best way possible.

Buying a place in Las Vegas might not be a daunting task if you have the right people behind you. It is the hottest market globally, and things might work on a priority basis, but if you try and work it out, you can get what you are looking for without much of a problem.