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Tips on How I Bought My First Apartment Building

I bought an apartment building many years ago, and it was no easy task. However, it was easier than I thought and I recommend doing it if you are looking to invest in property, but I also recommend doing it with a professional such as Maxwell Realty Inc. With that said, below are a few tips on how I bought my very first apartment building.

1. Get Cash

For starters, I got as much cash together as possible. I did this before anything else because I knew that buying an apartment building would cost a lot of money, possible even more than it would a house. Therefore, I told myself I would gather as much cash as possible over the course of a year.

This meant creating a tight budget and sticking to it. No junk food, no Ubers, no Netflix and so forth. Also, I took up a part-time job and never touched the money for anything. This was going and was used towards the purchase of a building.

The bottom line is the more cash you can get, the better. It means lower loan payments and a better interest rate. On that note, if you have debt, knock it down or eliminate it before buying an apartment building. Trust me, this will make life a lot easier.

2. Decide on The Units I Wanted

After getting cash together, I needed to decide on which type of units I wanted. Did I want a small building that had mainly studio apartments or did I want a large complex that had several studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms? I eventually settled on a complex that had several, but what worked for me might not work for you.

I suggest deciding how much risk you’re willing to take on. Also, weigh the pros and cons of the different types of units. This will make your choice easier.

3. Location Is Everything

Another thing I did was research various locations. I actually ended up buying a building nowhere near me because I didn’t feel that where I was, was an ideal location to buy and rent out apartments. I researched several markets within a 500-mile radius and settled on something in between that distance. I was willing to go as far as 500 miles because I firmly believe location is everything.

When doing market research on locations, take a look at everything. This includes the crime rate in the areas, public transportation, the average age of people living there and what types of entertainment is there. All these should factor into whether or not you buy an apartment building there.

4. Use Several Agencies

I used several real estate agencies because I figured the more I worked with, the better my chances were that I would find the ideal apartment building to buy. I was right, so I highly recommend contacting at least 3-6 agencies in the areas you are researching. If any of them make you feel pressured into buying something, then stop contact with them because they probably only want their commissions.

On that note, it’s a good idea to find an agency that can help you secure financing. Many do, but there are a lot of agencies that don’t. At the very least, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

The bottom line is to get as much money together as possible and work as hard as you can to get cash. Deciding on what you want, doing market research, learning about the demand, getting the right financing and using multiple agencies can all help you too. With that said, good luck if you plan on buying your first apartment building.

Nancy Alperin
Nancy Alperin
Nancy Alperin of Maxwell Realty has not only a keen understanding of real estate, but a genuine passion for it. She believes in garnering client respect by listening to their needs and delivering results for them.

Her in-depth knowledge of the Philadelphia real estate market plus her ability to broker complicated deals with infinite finesse enable her to navigate the challenging elements of buying, selling or leasing properties while making it all appear seamless. This is also strengthened by her years of owning, buying and selling for her own portfolio.

Committed to the health and longevity of her father's company, Nancy has helped Maxwell Realty Company, Inc. achieve its reputation for unparalleled service as well as for being an innovative and rewarding work environment for its associates.

How Is House Leveling Done?

As a homeowner you’ve probably heard of the terms foundation repair and house leveling. For average people who know nothing about these things you’ll probably think that these services are going to cost you a fortune, well, they won’t. The rates are reasonable, which is a good thing because these services are necessary to preserve the safety and the value of your home. When it comes to house leveling, you should not attempt to do it by yourself. This is not the kind of DIY project you’d want to involve yourself in because it’s risky and making mistakes may cost you a lot.

How do you know if your house needs leveling? Let’s find out.

What Is House Leveling?

House leveling involves lifting your home back to its original position (when it was first erected). For new erected houses the slabs should not go beyond 1.5 inches out of level. This is the standard set by the American Concrete Institute. When a house starts to move and shift out of its original position, house leveling is done to get it back to its usual spot. Majority of homeowners fail to notice changes to their home’s foundation elevations.

You see, all houses are built on a strong and solid foundation but over time this foundation can move and it can heave, crack, settle or sink. There are various factors that cause the foundation to move including problems with the soil, foundation that is poorly done and soil that have too much moisture. If the foundation of your property has moved you should have it repaired right away. Foregoing foundation repair or house leveling can lead to numerous structural damages and significantly reduce the value of your home.

Does Your House Require Foundation Repair or House Leveling?

Ideally, the best way to know if your house needs foundation repair or house leveling is to ask professional foundation repair specialists. Nonetheless, there are several signs that will help determine if your house needs repairs. Cracks in your ceilings or walls and outside your home are signs that you need to have it repaired. Doors that stick out or don’t properly shut also need to be repaired. If your floor appears to dip and sag or feel softer than the usual then you definitely need to seek the help of experts.

What Are the Different Foundation Types?

There are two main types of foundations – Pier & Beam and Concrete Slab.

Pier & Beam

A Pier & Beam foundation consists of three parts. The first part is a concrete foundation beam that’s built around the borders of the house. The second part are concrete columns or pads that are installed within the borders and the third wood beams that are placed on the interior pads on the border beam.

Slab Foundation

Concrete is the main component of slab foundation. It basically consists of a massive sheet of concrete that is directly poured to the ground. Standard thickness is between 4 to 6 inches. The outer parts of the slab have a depth of around 24 to 36 inches.

How Is House Leveling Done?

House leveling makes use of various techniques. The technique or process used is going to depend on your house’s foundation type. Each type of foundation can be repaired in various ways. Regardless of the technique used the ultimate goal is to level the foundation.

Pier and Beam Foundation Leveling

Each case requires a specific set of tools. If your house has a Pier & Beam foundation affixing concrete or steel pilings under specific locations under the concrete perimeter beam can level the foundation. The interior can be adjusted by either removing or adding shims on top of the columns or interior pads. Often times the movement is caused by incorrectly installed or damaged wood.

Concrete Slab Foundation Leveling

For concrete slab foundation leveling, certain areas in your home have to be excavated in order to make room for the installation of steel pilings, concrete pilings or concrete piers. Often times the terms slab jacking or mud jacking is confused with these types of repairs. To minimize the chances of soil swelling your professional foundation repair specialist will use soil injections.

After the successful completion of a house leveling project you must make sure to trace the source of the problem otherwise it will keep on coming back. Find out what is causing your house to move. If the problem is caused by water then you have to find a way to fix your drainage system and seal any leaks or perhaps it’s caused by a badly constructed foundation. If yes, we recommend that you find a professional company to take care of it.

Richard Earls
Richard Earls
Richard Earls Construction is a general contractor that has 28 years of experience and provides the New Orleans area with foundation specialist, new home construction, residential construction, commercial construction and more.

An Overview of California’s ADA Compliance Laws

If you’re a business owner with an actual brick-and-mortar store it is important that you be mindful of your physical store and make sure that it complies with California’s ADA compliance laws and proper ADA Designs. While you may be busy improving your products and service with your customers in mind, never forget that your actual store has a huge impact on your customers. When your property does not comply with ADA regulations then it means you failed to include people with disabilities in the picture. Are you aware that if you don’t comply with the regulations set by the ADA you are putting yourself at risk of costly lawsuits? ADA compliance is mandatory by federal and state law.

How to Know If Your Property is ADA Compliant?

How do you know if your property is compliant? The only surefire way to know is if you conduct an ADA accessibility assessment or otherwise called CASp Report. This report will identify and record every issue in your property that does not comply with ADA. By obtaining this report you are taking a vital step in safeguarding your business against potential lawsuits. Of course, action must be taken if the report indicates that your property has issues with accessibility.

Why Are ADA Complaints in California High?

Failure to comply with ADA can lead to expensive consequences. Are you aware that California receives the highest non-compliance complaints? Do you wonder why this is so? There are two reasons why ADA non-compliance complaints have gone through the roof over the past years. Number one, it is very easy to file a complaint because all the complainant needs to do is to fill out a form and submit it. The second reason is that most if not all complainants are winning the cases and as a result of winning the case, they will be rewarded with a whopping $4000 aside from lawyer fees and court costs.

What Are the Most Common Claims Made?

The following are some of the violations that complainants use in their reports.

Failure to put up signage or putting up the wrong signage for entrance and exit points or the absence of accessibility symbols

Routes that are too sloped or too steep that they cannot be accessed by people in wheelchairs or routes that are difficult to navigate by people with disabilities

Bathrooms that do not have sufficient floor space for adequate turning or bathrooms without accessible stall and those without affixed grab bars and a non-compliant sink

You will also be prone to violation if your property’s stairways do not follow the correct riser heights and tread widths, failing to install non-slip treads and when handrails are not set to the proper height or stairways that do not offer extensions and open risers. A crane or a foot can get stuck in it and this can cause people to trip and fall

If the parking spaces in your property are not spacious enough and if doesn’t display the correct designation signage or if it is not located near the entrance and accessible route

Not being able to provide appropriately designed seating for individuals in wheelchairs

Incorrect height of bars, work surfaces and service counters

What Happens If You Violate These Regulations?

One thing is for sure; you are going to be spending money if you violate ADA regulations. Aside from paying lawyer fees and fines, the owner of the property and those involved in the design and construction of the building will be held responsible for finding ways in fixing the issues. According to the law, property owners should execute readily achievable changes. For example, changing the position of a sign if it is wrongly placed, recoating parking lines to make them more visible, adding a ramp or redesigning a bathroom.

Why Hire an ADA Specialist?

If you are not familiar with the ADA regulations of California then your best course of action is to hire a reliable ADA specialist to help you. Hire an ADA expert prior to the start of the construction work or before it reaches completion so you can still make the necessary changes. Some business owners are lucky enough to have an employee who has had some experience with ADA compliance, if so then there’s no need to hire a specialist, otherwise you need a CASp professional to assist you. California Senate Bill 1608 made the Certified Access Specialist Program. These professionals have been trained and certified to determine what ADA requirements are needed for your property. It doesn’t matter whether you are constructing a new building from scratch or doing a major renovation, if you are not sure if your property adheres to ADA guidelines then you definitely can benefit from hiring an ADA specialist to help you. You can check out the list of Certified Access Specialists by vising the website of California Division of Architects. Investing in an ADA specialist will save you money in the long run as it safeguards your property from possible lawsuits.

David LoPresti
David LoPresti
David LoPresti, co-owner of ADA Compliance Professionals, brings years of architectural design and ADA compliance experience to the table. With a mother who has had a life-long disability, he has seen first-hand the complexity and challenges of making a property ADA compliant. This experience has led to him dedicating his life to improving ADA access for businesses across California so they can be enjoyed by all.

Top Las Vegas Condo Towers Worth Considering

If you’re looking for a new place to live in Vegas, or you’re thinking about moving there, you might be wondering if the top condo towers in the Las Vegas area could hold potential. Most people look at Las Vegas as a convention or vacation destination, given the great eating, attractions, and shows. Rumor has it there’s a casino or two to boot. Those casinos do wonders for locals though, as they provide enough tax revenue that the rest of the city doesn’t have to. That means many companies headquarter there to save money, and residents follow to fill the jobs, which also enjoy lower taxes than other corners of the country.

Condos certainly aren’t just for the affluent and retiree population anymore. Young professionals are flocking to them for luxurious living, and first-time home buyers like them for the safety in which they can raise kids, so the booming condo market should definitely at least be something you look at. You might know many people that consider condos to be too new or even extravagant, but Vegas is all about extravagance. Still, a condo doesn’t have to be like that. Former rental units are being turned into condos and new condo towers are getting built rapidly. For example, there are new units in Turnberry Towers for sale a block from the Strip. In fact, the growth in condos in cities like Las Vegas, Miami, and Phoenix is actually sometimes depressing the rental inventory. Condo conversions rarely turn into condo towers, but the affordability of conversions tends to keep the prices of tower units lower, so you can buy one knowing it’s not part of a sky-high bubble, at least not yet.

Old apartment buildings are often what can be turned into condo towers if they had enough floors. These properties are typically already close to schools and jobs. Refurbishing them with high-quality upgrades, such as hardwood floors and stainless-steel appliances, can give them a modern vibe inside. Common areas get revamped too before anything goes on the market. In order to help sell them, quite a few of them include incentives, sometimes even offering buyers the option of paying their closing costs. Retirees and first-time home buyers are just two market segments that enjoy the extra security that comes with a property like this.

Luxury condos are definitely a part of the growth in condo towers, especially in Las Vegas, so if you’re looking for the good life, you’re more likely to find it here than a cookie cutter suburb or neighborhood. Owners of units like these are focused more on buyers on the hunt for a high-quality lifestyle surrounded by extravagant amenities and possibly even something with a great view. The high end of the market certainly reflects this. Some condos are going for a thousand dollars per square foot. Some states are even reporting the sales of condos priced in excess of a million dollars have doubled.

Las Vegas is like any other city, with some pockets of wealth and affluence having nicer living than others, including those aforementioned views. Luxury condos might have furnishings already in them, on top of state-of-the-art appliances, window treatments, and granite countertops. Those who have wealth and/or kids or older relatives like how secure these properties are, knowing that their loved ones and property are typically safer in such an environment, often at no extra charge.

Some condo towers are even taking a hotel approach to their development. Residents in these units get amenities normally reserved for hotels, such as maid service, room service, and the availability of concierge staff. While retirees are often thought of as condo buyers, the average condo hotel buyer falls between 35 to 50 years of age, although many buy them as vacation or investment properties, and not as a full-time residence. Given the tourist destination that Las Vegas is though, any unit in a top condo tower could be used for rental income if you want.

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas built a condo-hotel with 576 units. In a two-month span during the pre-construction stage, developers sold every single unit.

Many condo residents that do it full-time like them over single-family residences. Many like living in what’s almost a community inside a community. A development might have rules or regulations that some find strict, even stifling, yet they like the safety and involvement that comes in living in the same building as many others. Condominium developments typically charge monthly fees for maintenance, security, and upkeep.

Don Kuhl on Linkedin
Don Kuhl
Don Kuhl
Don Kuhl is the principal broker at Synergy Sotheby's International Realty and owner of Vegas Verticals. His goal is to provide clients with the best in real estate representation and marketing services.

Pros and Cons of Pond Fountains

Having a great looking outdoor space is something more and more people are getting interested in. There are many different options when it comes to features to add to your outdoor space, and it will all boil down to your preference and budget. The good thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great looking outdoor space. There are many people out there who have managed to create an amazing outdoor space without spending much. You will need to invest some time and effort in the process if you want to achieve a great look on a budget.

A common feature is a pound fountain. The sound of water can be soothing, and you will feel great looking and being close to it. Many people are interested in having a pond fountain, but they are not able to get it for one reason or another. Many people don’t have the full information, or they might have seen a pond fountain that was not taken good care of. There are different options when it comes to pond fountains, and there is a good chance you will get one you love. Here are some of the pros and cons of pond fountain.

Pond Fountain Pros

Installing a pond fountain can make a dramatic statement. Many of the fountains will shoot up to 20’ and you can also have a light feature added so that it can have an even more dramatic appearance. There is a wide range of options to choose from, and you can get one for less than one thousand dollars.

You can get a pond fountain no matter the size of the pond. You might have to spend a little more, but the results will be worth it. You will fall in love with the new water feature because it looks amazing.

A pond fountain can also help you deal with stagnant water. The stagnant water can attract insects and animals and will start forming a scummy surface which is usually bacteria and mold forming. A pond fountain will help in cycling the water and this will no longer be the issue. A pond fountain will create a relaxation spot, and it will be the perfect place to go for a break from your busy life. It will be the perfect place to relax and unwind with friends and family. You will find many people attracted to the fountain when they are over at your house. Another benefit of installing a pond fountain is that it adds value to your home. Although it might not be by much, it will have some impact on the value of your home. You will also have an easier time selling once you decide to put it on the market.

Here Are Some Cons of a Pond Fountain

It can be a little expensive to install. You can expect the cost to range from 1000 to 25,000 dollars. The size will have the biggest impact on the cost. There are also different designs, with some being more expensive than others. There are some people who are interested in having their pond fountain custom made, and this adds up.

Pond fountains need to be taken care of, and this can be expensive.

A good pond fountain can do a lot to improve the look of your outdoor space. It is a good idea to look at the different options in the market and see what will work best for your outdoor space. Talk to an expert if you are not sure about. With the right pond fountain, your outdoor space will look amazing.

Joe Cadieux on FacebookJoe Cadieux on Instagram
Joe Cadieux
Joe Cadieux
Joe Cadieux is the Senior Biologist for Midwestponds was started to provide the products and advice needed to build and maintain water gardens and large ponds as naturally as possible. Joe consults and manages many lakes and ponds throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. He also takes special pleasure as a judge at the University School of Milwaukee’s Spring Science Fair.

Tension Fabric Structures and What They Can Be Used For

Tension fabric structures are some of the most useful and affordable structures that can be used for both temporary and permanent situations. These structures are also called fabric buildings, cover-all buildings, Quonset huts, tarp building, and tent buildings.

What Tension Fabric Structures Are

These buildings are made of steel skeletons and covered with tension fabric, essentially. The frame is often in a curved shape which is why some people also call them bubble buildings. A clear span fabric structure is a light material building that has no support beams, thus a “clear span.”

They cost very little to build and operate and they offer quick installation on-the-spot. They are erected securely but can be relocated quickly whenever necessary. These buildings are made by specialty companies that have a primary focus on the engineering, design, and installation of these structures.

What Tension Fabric Buildings Can Be Used For

The uses are practically endless. They can be used for functional or recreational purposes. They are often used in the gas and oil industries to provide a good shelter for the processing and handling of such resources. They can be installed wherever a job site is which makes them superb for the ever-changing gas and oil industries.

These buildings are used for municipalities that want to store salt or sand. They make ideal recycling centers and they can be the perfect storage facilities for industrial tools.

They can be used for agricultural work or equestrian practices and shows. They make great entertainment and sporting event facilities as well as Farmer’s Markets and much more.

When you decide to get a tension fabric structure for your needs, the first step is getting it designed by a building engineer. If you already have plans designed that meet all relevant building codes in your area, you can submit those designs to the manufacturer and your building will be custom made for you.

When you require a design, the engineers will use software to design the building as per your instructions. They will be stamped by an engineered that is licensed in your area. They also will be up to all codes.

Once the designs are complete, the building will be custom made for you. This process starts using fabric panels, many of which are created in the manufacturer’s facility. They will cut it as needed to allow for the proper tension once it is installed. The correct tension eliminates friction and allows the building to withstand various winds and even snow.

The fabric gets treated to make it waterproof. Once it has been cut the frame that supports the building is made. It is made from hot-dipped, galvanized steel, powder-coated steel or regular galvanized steel. Your fabric gets rolled so that it can be transported to the building site.

Your building will be constructed on site with all doors, lighting, and ventilation put into place. The building will be able to withstand various hanging loads and will have a fire suppression system. Many buildings come with fabric liners to protect the top layer from being affected in corrosive environments. Many also come with a generous warranty.

Carol Fontius on FacebookCarol Fontius on InstagramCarol Fontius on LinkedinCarol Fontius on Youtube
Carol Fontius
Carol Fontius
Carol is the founder of Creative Tent International and began by selling engineered tents to the resort and US military markets and then expanded to manufacturing in 2004 by starting Creative Tent International Inc. with Designs by Robert Stafford.

Strategies For Buying Property

With regards to buying real estate property and in particular, the first house, there are many considerations you want to keep in mind. All things considered, investing in a house is a big deal and it is usually the largest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. So, having said that, we’ll now have a look at a number of tips which will make certain you find the best property that you’ll enjoy for a long time.

The initial tip is that you should think about your future needs as well as your existing needs. Many people who are now thinking about buying their first house create the mistake of just thinking about what they need at this time. They generally forget to think about if they wish to add more kids for the family, if they’d like to create a pool within the backyard or maybe if their parents might go to tolerate them inside the years to come. Many of these things have to be thought of and considered prior to buying a residence. By doing this, it can stop you from purchasing a house that won’t meet your future needs.

Next, another tip is that you should have a professional builder look at the home before getting serious about buying it. It may be really simple to disguise mold or water damage and the very last thing you wish to do is get a home containing secret things that will set you back thousands to fix. So, always walk having a professional builder to correctly measure the property and find out if you will find any issues you should be aware about.

Lastly, it is best to take some time when you’re trying to find a home. Remember, there is no rush and you need to take no less than a couple of months and look at what’s in the marketplace before you start viewing homes. In that way, you will definately get a greater feel of the market and obtain a property that is not merely perfect for you but at an excellent price.