Real Estate

How to Hire a Good Contractor

Remodeling projects can be a real challenge for homeowners. Since even small projects can be a significant monetary investment, it is important to choose the right contractor at the right price. There are several steps homeowners can take before choosing a contractor to avoid potential hiccup headaches during remodeling. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide that ensures homeowners choose the right contractor for their remodeling project.

The first step homeowners should take is to shop around. Get recommendations from friends, family, or online resources to determine which companies are the most reputable and trustworthy. Check Yelp and Angie’s List to check customer satisfaction with different contractors. Before approaching contractors to discuss your remodel, make sure you have drawings or specifications that illustrate the work you want to do. It is difficult for contractors to create an accurate estimate based on vague ideas.

Before making your decision, get at least three written estimates from different contractors. Make sure each contractor conducts a thorough evaluation of the work that needs to be done. Don’t necessarily go for the lowest offer; you want the best job, not necessarily the best price. Be sure to draw up a written contract that specifies materials, warranties, schedules, subcontractors, and other important information. It is very important to make sure the contractor and subcontractors are licensed and insured. The last thing you want is to be sued for workers’ compensation after an uninsured worker is injured on the job. Check with your insurance company to make sure you are covered for any injury or damage that may occur.

Was your home built before 1978? Many houses built before this time used lead-based paints. Lead is a neurotoxin that, when disturbed, can cause serious health complications, especially in children under the age of six and pregnant women. Read about the Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule. Make sure your contractor is RRP certified and takes steps to comply with EPA’s lead containment law. Compliance involves taking serious precautions to prevent the spread of hazardous lead paint dust from demolition and other renovation activities. The contractor must provide you with a brochure explaining the harmful effects of lead paint and take steps to seal off the work area, provide personal protection to workers, and thoroughly clean all surfaces that have come in contact with lead paint. lead. Ask your contractor about his strategy for addressing the RRP rule before the project begins.

Make sure your contractor uses surface protection and dust control throughout the remodeling process. Protective coatings for valuable accessories such as floors, granite countertops, high-end cabinets, doors, etc. prevent damage and help ensure your project is completed on time and on budget. A contractor who takes the time to protect his home accessories shows that he cares about customer satisfaction. Dust generated from tearing down walls, tearing off floors and cabinets, and other demolition activities can spread throughout the home if the work area is not properly sectioned. Make sure your contractor requires workers to wear shoe covers, use sticky floor mats at entrances, and put up ZipWall dust barriers to contain dust raised from remodeling activities. This will ensure that the rest of your home is not covered in dust and dirt while your remodeling project takes place.

By following these simple steps, your remodeling project should be hassle-free. As long as you are honest with your general contractor about project timelines, expectations, and surface protection requirements, the remodel project should run smoothly and be a source of pride for both the owner and the contractor. For more information on the RRP rule or surface protection recommendations, visit

Real Estate

How to sell a home without a real estate agent: FSBO

Not everyone has the luxury of placing their residence on the open market and waiting patiently for months to execute the deal. The common process when listing your property on the open market will be:

  • Question / Interview with many real estate professionals
  • Authorize a listing contract with a person to list your home for an exact period of time (typically a 6-month listing)
  • Handle a variety of open houses
  • Wait for offers and then negotiate with potential buyers
  • Set up home inspections, reports and also other disclosures to complete
  • Sign contracts to close the escrow.

For anyone who is lucky, the process can take between six and eight weeks. If an offer doesn’t go through, or maybe your home just doesn’t get many offers, you could end up waiting six months or even longer. Alternatively, instead of all that inconvenience, having to pay five percent or more in commissions and settlement costs, let’s review how to sell a home without a realtor.

For sale by owner (FSBO)

A basic strategy for marketing your property without a real estate professional is “Sale by Owner” or FSBO for short. The common way people try to market their property in this way is to put up some signs on your lawn or perhaps in your neighborhood newspapers and then wait for people to arrive. In lieu of this non-aggressive and often unsuccessful strategy, let’s take a quick look at several other methods to market your home and sell it quickly. It all starts with better promotion. Instead of making the minimum amount, you need to do a lot to make the home stand out in a crowded housing market. Some things we recommend are:

  • Tell all of your close neighbors that you are selling your home and ask if they know anyone who is looking. (Bonus: you can easily offer referral fees to bind your neighbors)
  • The first opinion can be everything, so fix the front of your property. It is commonly known as “curb appeal.” If it doesn’t look good when potential buyers are around it, they may not want to enter the home.
  • Getting superior quality photos can make a big difference; hire or just take them yourself, but make sure your property is beautifully decorated. Which means no wide open toilet seats, no trash, made beds, pushed chairs, etc.
  • Post sandwich panel signs along with balloons or other eye-catching signs advertising your property at active intersections in your community.

After a little preparation, a few dollars plus some FSBO home advertising has a significantly higher chance of selling.


Craigslist turns out to be a completely crucial resource for everyone who is going to sell their home without resorting to a real estate agent. Be sure to use descriptions of your residence that make it sound as pleasant as possible. Discuss the area: are there parks, local community facilities, schools, places of worship, or other facilities nearby? What about your specific community / subdivision? Are the roads lined with trees, are there hills, any kind of views? Also, use those high-quality photos as a way to attract buyers. The determination to view your residence or not will be made entirely in your descriptions along with photographs of your residence.

Open houses

Open houses are a good way to attract potential buyers (just check with any real estate professional). It should help potential buyers feel as much at home as possible. You should definitely clean up any clutter, garbage, or toys and games. Some other ideas might be to have the fireplace lit when it’s cold outside, make lots of cookies to give the house a nice scent, set the table for dinner, and possibly fire up the game if the local sports team is active. The secret is for people to imagine themselves living there, so consider getting rid of any personal trinkets and family photos. Be sure to promote your open house early and often by using signs near your neighborhood, Craigslist, sharing with your neighbors, and anything else that draws people to your home. One last tip: get ankle boots that can cover people’s boots and shoes so they don’t track dirt and grime across your immaculately clean property!


The final point, but certainly not the last, is investors. If you have to sell your home quickly, have a few problem areas that need to be remedied, or you may not want to deal with any of the above problems, call a nearby investor. These people are dedicated to acquiring buildings without resorting to a real estate agent.

Real Estate

FREE Bachelor of Business: 8 Books That May Be Better Than a 4-Year Bachelor’s Degree

My son would like to study international business, he is a born leader and negotiator. I recently recommended that he read “The 4-Hour Workweek. I encouraged him by reading a paragraph in which the author, Timothy Ferris, shared his first minimum wage work experience.”

Later that day, I called my son into the kitchen to help me with dinner, as I often do. I asked him to help me peel the potatoes, only this time, I cut the potatoes into large chunks first. He looked at me questioningly. Why wouldn’t he have asked her to peel the potato first? I replied, therein lies the difference between the 4-hour workweek and the 40-hour workweek. He smiled and happily returned to his precious free time that he had only just begun to appreciate, having left the alternative educational setting and joining the mainstream school system.

I hope you take the courses offered at your International Business school. It is an accredited program and yet I have a feeling that much of what will be taught is based on past success. While it is true that there are certain psychological triggers that will always be effective in persuasive writing, I think there are also new ways of doing business that are only now coming to the forefront of today’s reality … “past performance does not guarantee future success … “

As a student of life, I am continually expanding my horizons and that is why I will share with him the books that have most recently expanded mine:

o Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and the Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki

o Secrets of the millionaire mind by T. Harv Eker

o Timothy Ferris’ 4-hour workweek

And the most mind-boggling = one of all, I’ll save it until some day, after I’ve experienced the minimum wage and its various forms of lack and limitation: Breaking the loose money game by Robert Scheinfeld.

Okay, you’ve already been exposed to:

o The science of getting rich

o The magic of faith

o Spiritual Marketing

o As a man thinks

All the classics in their own right … these are the building blocks … perhaps more important than much of what will be taught in any high school business class.

Real Estate

Five secrets to finding a cinema near me

It’s no secret that we in America love our movies. Any day of the week, relaxing and watching a movie after a busy day at work or dinner is a favorite way to spend evenings and nights for most. Movies allow us to enter a new world of possibilities while learning about our own. There is nothing difficult about sitting down, opening your mind, and letting a movie drag you down, except perhaps finding the perfect theater to watch. That’s what we’ve got you covered for. Here are five secrets to finding a movie theater near me.

1. Local newspapers

Most major cities have a popular local newspaper that many residents turn to for all their weekly local events and screenings. If you are interested in seeing what new movies are being released in your area, choose one of these newspapers and browse the entertainment section. They will surely have reviews from local critics, screening times, and possibly even some reviews from audience members to give a more balanced picture of how the general audience feels about the film.

2. Vlog Reviews

There are also many movie vlogs that you can watch. A vlog is basically a blog, but instead of reading the writings of the author, you watch his live video recordings. Sites like Vimeo or YouTube host many different vloggers, from strangers to household names. Some vlogs focus on one style of movie, for example comic book movies, and offer particularly detailed reviews on them. They will also provide links to find a theater near you.

3. Blog reviews

For those of you who prefer to take your information old-fashioned, blogging is still very popular. There are many blog sites that offer movie reviews and backstories, as well as details on the actors, directors, and any studio / production dramas that occurred during filming. Like vlogs, they offer very specific in-depth reviews, as well as links to local theaters and resources.

4. Movie review sites

Many movie review sites, such as Rotten Tomatoes, will offer critical reviews and audience feedback on new releases. This is a great place to watch all the latest rated movie releases while seeing which locations in your local area show which ones. Some theaters will offer similar services on their own website with online ordering and ticketing information.

5. Online ticket sales

Some websites like Fandango serve to provide a quick and easy way to view all movie premieres with links to movie review sites, ticket sales, and local cinemas. You can become a member and receive emails directly to your inbox about new releases and special events. With direct links to your local theaters, these sites are the most direct way to find the information you are looking for.

Use these resources the next time you decide to find the perfect movie to relax.

Real Estate

Which is better: a deed or a lease option?

A deed contract is also known as a land contract or installment sales contract. It is simply an agreement or contract between the seller of a property and a buyer in which the property is not transferred to the buyer until the terms of the contract are fulfilled. It sounds very simple and it is except for the fact that the seller’s rights become the issue if the buyer breaches the contract.

Various states regulate the Land Contract differently and some states do not allow its use at all. This is not a reflection on the Land Contract, only the thought and experience of legislators in these states.

So the process looks like this: A seller wants to sell a property and, for financing or capital gains purposes, he wants a buyer to pay for the property over an extended period of time. This installment payment technique would possibly reduce your capital gains or, in the financing situation, allow a buyer who cannot obtain financing to live in the property and purchase it for an extended period, or until they can obtain conventional financing to replace the property. of the seller. financing.

This type of contract is often used when the buyer wants to know that they are obtaining title to the property while paying money to the seller. The alternative would be for a seller to give the buyer a lease option to purchase the property. In this case, the buyer would only be a tenant of the property and would actually purchase it in the future. In some cases, buyers may not like the control that is lost by not having a deed in their name and may refuse to pay rent in lieu of a mortgage.

The lease option can be a one or two-part contract and is specifically an option agreement associated with a lease. Therefore, the tenant, or potential buyer, leases the property to the seller until such time as he decides to exercise the option and buy the property.

The benefits of each type of contract are that a property can be sold, transferred, or rented to stop the property’s vacancy and the resulting negative cash flow or allow the buyer to enter the property without conventional financing. The buyer has a sense of ownership, so you have to treat the property differently than if you were just a tenant. Both are legal documents that are adjudicated in the court system under contract law. Some lenders may disagree, but both are viable as ways to finance the homeowner, whether or not there is a mortgage on the property.

Personally, I have had experience with both Deed Agreements and Lease Options. I want to give you just one example of the use of each so that you care about one over the other. Some time ago, I was approached by a real estate agent who was the buyer’s agent for a new investor who wanted to buy as many properties as possible while signing a deed on each property. The investor would buy the properties using his credit to obtain the money to finance each operation.

The investor’s end buyers were county employees and many were teachers. It had a simple premise, to buy with financing from conventional lenders and to sell to these buyers who otherwise could not have obtained financing. In a year, get them financed by a conventional lender because then they would not only need “refinancing” and not a new loan. The idea was that it was much easier to get a refinance than a new financing. Sounds almost perfect, right?

The investor was a guy with some money but no experience, so the whole idea was worked out by the investor’s mortgage broker whose interest was to finance the investor and refinance the buyers. The real estate agent’s deal with me was that she would find the properties by having them pre-sold to the investor, I would go in and buy them below the list as much as possible and she would sell them to the investor at what we could get, presumably fair value. market. The investor immobilized the properties until he could obtain financing and resold them to his buyers with only a small down payment.

If you’ve been here before, it’s like a herd of piranhas feeding on an injured cow crossing a stream: the mortgage broker, the title company, the lawyer, the real estate agent, the inspection company, the survey company, the appraiser, the construction or rehabilitation people, other investors who sell, etc. . All of these trades or professions were simply looking to make money from the original buyer, myself, and the novice investor. Of course, none of these non-buyers had any financial interest in the property.

I spoke with the investor after buying and selling a specific property from him and told him my dislike for the Deed Contract he was using on the first four properties he bought. His mortgage broker suggested that he use them to get the refinance working in one year. But I explained to him that if his buyer didn’t make the payments, he would have to foreclose on the property, which could take time, maybe years in our state.

The mortgage broker argued with me, after all he had already done four properties with this investor so he was an expert and some guru told him it would work. I’m not saying it wouldn’t work; Only, removal of the buyer can be a lengthy court battle. The mortgage broker proceeded to tell me that I was wrong and that foreclosure in this particular county only takes 2-4 weeks.

Now I know that the mortgage broker had no interest except commissions, so I did not argue and told the investor to be careful, especially if the market fell. The investor assured me that the market would continue for the next few years and that it was risk-free. This turned out to be in July 2006 and the market sank by at least 50% of its purchase prices.

Every deed contract he made was in default within six months and last year he called to say that he should have listened. He mentioned that he assaulted the mortgage broker and spent some time in jail (I wouldn’t tell you how much) and that the mortgage broker is now a bartender at a local tavern.

The investor made a total of seven properties before running out of financing ability with his lender. All of his properties went into foreclosure against him because he had the loans in his name, but not until the foreclosure of the buyers began to release the ties they had in the properties: his deed. If you had paid cash for each property, you would have had the same problem of foreclosing to get buyers out. His original agreement with his buyers was for them to pay the taxes and insurance, but neither was paid as soon as the buyers defaulted.

He had suggested that he rent options with buyers. The difference is that the buyers would be tenants and could be evicted using their lease and their Option to Pay would be irrevocably lost. The Option Consideration is not a deposit, so do not even refer to it as such or you could end up having to return it later.

I have discussed this strategy numerous times, but the eviction process simplifies the removal procedure for a defaulting buyer. The property can be rented over and over again if required, even in a declining market. Some of the most important aspects of this type of contract (without going into great detail) are:

1. Make the lease and option two separate documents,

2. Make a breach of the lease related to the cancellation of the Option Agreement.

3. Do not allow the potential buyer (Option Holder and Tenant) to have the ability to file a Notice of Interest in the public record.

4. Make the lease payment at least as much as the mortgage payment when the buyer finances in the future,

5. Make the tenant responsible for any repairs under $ 2,000,

6. Make the time required to remedy a breach reasonable (as required by local laws), and

7. Charge more rent than would be possible by giving the buyer a credit at closing for the surplus; If you close, otherwise you can keep the surplus.

In short, buyers do not like lease options because they lack control of the property if they fail to meet their lease payments. Remember, if they can’t get financing to buy your property, they have no choice but to go elsewhere. The best thing for you is to find another motivated buyer who wants your property. Always consult with a local attorney about the ramifications of a land contract or lease option for your particular situation.

Real Estate

Which Shark Deterrent Should You Choose?

Well, with so many shark deterrents on the market, it’s hard to pick one that you can feel safe with. Obviously, if you are spending more than $ 100 or more, you need to compare the pros and cons of all the products available in the market.

So in order to help you, we at Shark Bio Barrier have listed all of the most popular and best advertised shark deterrents to make it easier for you to make an informed decision. We hope that our competitors don’t get too upset with our findings. And remember there is no foolproof shark deterrent on the market today or the US Navy would use it in conjunction with all other navies and coastguards around the world.

Number one is the “shark banz”, which is quite popular and is on the Internet. It consists of rare earth magnets encased in a plastic wrist strap that can also be worn on the ankle. The shark banz themselves are quite colorful, which is a drawback in itself because a shark’s food that is fish is also colorful. But the company is appealing to the human to buy the product and not to the shark that needs to be deterred. Shark Banz’s claim is that the powerful rare earth magnets will disrupt the shark’s electrical sensory organs and confuse it, which is an interesting theory but impossible to recreate all the time. There is also a video of a shark actually eating a shark banz, so if it were attached to one hand, it could pose a serious problem to the user.

The disclaimers on your website pretty much indicate that an attorney was in the room with the web designer. Magnetic waves can and will disrupt a shark’s electrical sensory organ, but the shark can and will learn that magnetic waves are not a threat after repeated encounters and will learn to ignore them. Since the product is shipped outside of Amazon, I can only assume that your product is made in China and that Amazon takes care of its fulfillment. Another thing to consider is that not all rare earth magnets are the same and they are not the same in their magnetic properties and their ability to retain their magnetic properties over time.

Number two is the “shark shield”, which is an electronic device manufactured in three different models. According to its website, as stated and copied for your benefit, “Shark Shield consists of two electrodes which, when both are submerged, emit a three-dimensional electronic field that surrounds the user. When a shark approaches within a few meters of the Shark Shield , the strong electronic pulses emitted by the device cause the shark to experience muscle spasms. This does not harm the shark in any way, but simply causes it to experience a high level of discomfort. According to tests, the closer the shark is to the shark Shield field, more spasms occur in the sharks’ snout, causing it to deviate from the electronic field, thus protecting the user ”.

Big claim, but the shark can and will learn that this field will not harm it and perhaps the shark will become more agitated due to its effects on its electrical sensory organs. And all models for surfers, snorkelers and snorkelers are very expensive. Not only is that one thing they overlook and refuse to mention and it is the corrosive effects of salt water. If it is electronic with things that can malfunction when wet it will eventually fail and after a couple of years the company will replace it free of charge? Not likely! And back to the US Navy, again, this product is not being used by them because they obviously feel the reliability is suspect.

Number three is the “shocking shark” that also uses rare earth magnets to deter sharks. It comes in a bracelet containing the powerful magnets described as “five rare earth neodymium magnets” according to their website. There are different grades of this type of magnet and I again assume that this product is made in China. Same claims as shark banz with little real evidence that this product will work to effectively deter sharks when sharks are exposed to it more than once …

Number four is the “shark plug,” which is an acoustic device designed to repel sharks. It sends out an acoustic mix of sounds along with the sound of the killer whales, which are killer whales and the sharks will supposedly hear the sounds and disperse. It’s all very well if the sharks in question have ever taken care of orcas because these types of whales are only found in the Pacific Ocean. Sharks around the world do not have the experience of dealing with Orcas, therefore they will not react to acoustic noise from Orcas. As well as the fact that this is an electronic currency that will eventually fail in salt water. This is a very expensive product and how durable it is, is a question that all consumers should ask themselves before buying it and the sharks will learn that the sounds will not harm them and thus the product will become ineffective.

Number five is “shark repulsion technologies,” which is a cream that is rubbed onto the skin to protect itself from sharks. The main ingredient is cupric acetate mixed with cupric sulfate, cupric acetate, propylene glycol, methylisothiazolinone, triethanolamine, methylparaben sodium salt, diaminetetraacetic acid sodium salt, complex emulsifier, crylate copolymer and water. Acetate is a toxic substance and the US Navy has shown it to be inconclusive in preventing shark attacks many years ago.

Number six, this product is called a “shark ban” and is a sunscreen that supposedly not only repels harmful ultraviolet rays, but also deters sharks from biting you. The supposed science is that the semiochemicals found in the product will deter sharks. It’s your decision, but the claims are too much to take seriously. The problem I see is that the semiochemicals are encapsulated in the lotion, which makes it difficult for sharks to detect the chemical from a distance, which means that it has to be very close to you to be able to detect the nechronome, which are extracts from the dead. rotten shark meat. The semiochemical consisting of necronomes has been effectively tested against reef sharks and small bulls, but not true man-eaters!

The number seven is “shark tec”, which is a spray can containing necronomes that are supposed to repel sharks. It is made up of dead shark semiochemicals that are extracts from rotting shark meat and appears to repel live sharks. When activated, the spray disperses the chemical and creates a cloud. His research appears to be focused on reef sharks and small bull sharks and it seemed to work for a time based on the results of his tests. These types of sharks do not really pose a true threat to humans and testing should target true predators such as adult bull sharks, tiger sharks, ocean whitetip sharks, and of course the Great White, which are known to be predators. ambush, which means you won’t notice the shark until it’s too late. Another issue to consider is the prevailing water currents, water depth, frenzied feeding behavior, and other factors that make the shark a highly unpredictable predator. The other thing to consider is where the necronomes that are dead shark meat come from. How are these sharks caught and how many are needed to maintain the production of the essential chemical extract? It seems counterproductive to have to kill sharks to collect a chemical extract that repels them!

Number Eight, is chillax surf wax which is a beeswax-based wax that is infused with essential oils including eucalyptus, chili, cloves, cayenne pepper, neem, tea tree oil, citronella, and coconut oil. The theory is that if you don’t smell like a shark, you won’t see it as food. The problem could be the fact that essential oils are encased in beeswax, which can affect their release into the water. Nice concept, but where does the surf wax go? Below or above the board? If used as a regular type of surf wax, the response is excellent, which means that essential oils cannot be dispersed or detected by sharks.

The number nine is the “biological barrier of sharks”, a liquid compound that consists of more than forty essential oils and a passive magnetic mineral known as magnetite. Essential oils include neem, tea tree, bell pepper, eucalyptus, camphor, citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, and thirty-two most powerful natural oils. It should be noted that vegetable oils contain amino acids that can be detected by sharks. The mix is ​​packaged in canisters with a built-in brush so you can brush the shark biological barrier onto fins, tanks, swimsuits, surfboard bottoms, sandals, and anything else you can think of. Essential oils mask their odor and also create an unpleasant odor that sharks will detect and which combines with the passive magnetic mineral that helps disrupt the shark’s electrical sensory organs. Nothing is a perfect deterrent for sharks, but this natural product is effective and a good option based on reliability and cost, plus it comes with a thirty-day money-back guarantee. No other company offers any kind of guarantee!

Real Estate

The power of self-directed IRAs

The Self-Directed IRA allows investors to buy (i.e. buy and hold / fix and sell) property with tax-free dollars within a traditional IRA and collect rent or investment earnings, tax-free, until they are make distributions upon retirement. The Roth IRA allows earnings and rentals to remain tax-free for life. Once Roth IRA distributions are made upon retirement, only earnings after distributions are taxed. The power of tax-free dollars provides tremendous growth potential for your personal real estate investment portfolio and typical returns of 10% to 14%, including asset appreciation.

A self-directed IRA allows you to invest your IRA savings in what you know and understand. Some examples include, but are not limited to: Rental Properties, Cash Loans, Wholesale, Buy-Fix-Flip, Mobile Homes, and Auctions. These are just a few examples of real estate investments that can greatly increase the purchasing power of your IRA.

What is a traditional self-directed IRA?

Depending on the amount of any contribution you make to your IRA, you can deduct that amount from your earned income. These contributions are tax-free until the time you withdraw those funds, generally starting at age 59½ to avoid early withdrawal penalties. You can convert your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA at any time, but you must pay taxes on the amount of the conversion.

What is a Roth Self-Directed IRA?

A Roth IRA contribution is an after-tax contribution to your IRA. However, any gains made within a Roth IRA are tax-free for life. An example would be rental income from the purchase of a rental property (which was purchased using Roth IRA contributions) would be tax-free as long as that property remains within the Roth IRA.

Are there investment restrictions on IRAs?

Yes, they are called Prohibited Transactions which include:
1. Life insurance premiums
2. Collectibles such as: works of art, antiques, stamps, etc.
3. Conduct business transactions and / or combine assets or services with a “Disqualified Person”

Who is a disqualified person?

Virtually everyone in your or your spouse’s vertical family tree: parents, grandparents, children (and your spouse’s) and grandchildren (and your spouse’s).

This opportunity is for everyone, just take the first step

Many people are well versed in exchanging, selling and renting properties. However, there are those who would like to invest in real estate but hesitate to take the first step. A recommendation for these people would be to contact a wholesaler who will work with you both in investment projects (flips) and in the purchase of rental properties. They must also provide property management services, usually a fee of 10% of monthly rental income, and can work with your IRA management group. I work with Alpine Capital Solutions in Indianapolis.

So, look at your current returns on your IRA and ask yourself if I can do better. Choosing to control your own investments through real estate could significantly increase your retirement savings and provide more opportunities to enjoy those golden years.

Real Estate

The cost of building a house in Cyprus

Building a home today is a decision that entails high costs, financing and construction problems, delays in delivery and quality problems, titles, delays in construction permits, etc. Building a house is an investment decision, which must be studied carefully, since most families have built a house once in their life and the final decision in most cases can be irreversible. Below are some general guidelines that could help the homeowner evaluate the cost of building a home, as small items that could add to the cost of the home are generally ignored.

Building plot cost

Before the beginning of the construction of your own house, at least the plot must be, or almost, paid. This will certainly give you a head start with financing the cost of building the house and is a prerequisite for all financiers. For the transfer of ownership of the parcel, a government transfer fee of 7% -8% (on average) over the market value (not necessarily what you paid for) of the parcel is required.

Mortgage cost and finances

To register a mortgage, a fee will be paid to the Land Registry Office of approximately 1% on the amount of the Mortgage. Typically the mortgage amount is the actual loan% 2B 20% on top. You will have to pay stamp duty and other bank charges, which could take the form of a bank charge once and for all (say, on average CYP1000). If you borrow from a bank, there is an additional charge of approximately 1.5% -2.0% per annum in addition to the legal base rate of 4.5%. Today, there are many alternative housing schemes including life insurance financing, cooperative financing, etc., that span 25-40 years and contribute approximately 20% (usually through term life insurance) .

Cost of architectural drawings

It is imperative to use a qualified Architectural Office who will have responsibility for the work performed. You should not compromise on this, as the architect is the most important person in the entire process of building your home. Yes, go to different offices and discuss the rate levels and then make your decision, but always use a qualified architect. Rates are normally around 5% of the total cost of the building and include design and supervision. Some architects are around 6% -8%.

You will also need to hire a civil engineer to carry out the structural design. This cost, with supervision, is approximately 1% of the cost of the building.

The cost of the aforementioned building includes all the elements, but not the fees paid to the Authorities and the decorative elements. So clarify the matter with the architect, engineer, etc., what is included is the total cost of construction.

Construction license cost

The Town Planning Department charges for issuing the license will cost you around £ 300 and for the building license an additional £ 150- £ 200.

Surveyor and M / E Engineer Cost

If you want to hire a surveyor for the building, a fee of 1% of the total cost of the building is required. The cost of a mechanical engineer (for large buildings) is approximately 3% to 5% of the cost of the electrical and mechanical budget. Although the use of the above is optional, it is recommended for large and complicated buildings.

Building cost

Below you will find a guide to construction costs:

Normal quality house

  • CYP500 per square meter for the covered area
  • CYP150 per square meter for uncovered terrace
  • CYP250 per square meter for basement

Good quality house

  • CYP550-CYP650 per sq. meter per area covered (depending on quality / facilities)
  • CYP180 per square meter meter for open area

Plus the cost of a garage (£ 3000), water well (£ 1500), fences and garden (£ 3500- £ 4500) for normal size pitches.

Costs for other authorities

Additional costs must be paid for connection to the Office of Water, Electricity, Telephone and Land Registry (demarcation, issuance of title, etc.) estimated to be around £ 1000 in total.

-Total cost / m2. for a house (250 square meters)
-House 250 sqm at £ 550 / sqm £ 138,500
-Fees and licenses £ 9,000
-Interest on the loan (say) £ 6,000
-Other authorities £ 1,500
-Garden, etc. £ 3,000
-Other miscellaneous expenses £ 4,000
-Total cost £ 162,000 gold (£ 745 / m2)
-at the top add 15% VAT

The purchase of equipment and the cost of installing the central heating is an addition and costs approximately £ 20 / m2. and for the air conditioning system, an additional amount of approximately £ 40 / m2.

Large numbers of people act as their own construction contractors, outsourcing all construction work and supplies. In cases where the owner is capable, has sufficient knowledge and has the time to perform the supply and coordination function, there could be a potential savings of 8-10% on the total cost. Going further, if “weekend housing” (whereby all family and friends offer themselves as workers, skilled and unskilled) is implemented, then the cost can be reduced by 12% -15% . Obviously, in both cases there is a strong danger that the quality suffers and the completion time is prolonged.

In recent years, with the introduction of VAT and rising labor costs, we have experienced a 7-10% annual increase in construction cost, a level higher than inflation. This has made building a house much more difficult. A house can take approximately 18 months to complete.

A last item that can cost between 5% -8% in addition, is the right of the Contractor to request an increase in labor costs and material prices during the construction period. Therefore, a certain amount for unforeseen costs must be included in the final cost estimate.

Unfortunately in Cyprus we have not reached any prefabrication stage, so sections of the house, windows, doors, kitchens, etc. are prefabricated. so that there is a reduction of costs. Furthermore, the shortage of skilled labor has created a certain indifference towards the quality produced and must always be watched.

The problems related to the construction of a house and the related delays have caused the market to turn its interest towards ready homes (a circumstance that did not exist 7-9 years ago). We expect this trend to continue with a positive effect on the value of homes listed.

Real Estate

Real Estate Investment Opportunity: How to Locate a Property to Buy

Looking for a profitable commercial real estate investment opportunity? Below are some helpful tips for finding commercial property to buy.

Before starting your search, you must decide the type of property you want. Determine the size, type, and location of the commercial property you want to purchase. You may be looking for a multi-tenant office building rather than a small single-user office building. In such cases, make sure you are clear on these distinctions before beginning your search.

Once you have the property type clearly in mind, there are several sources you can use to locate that property:


The internet is a great platform that can be used to locate a real estate investment opportunity. There are several commercial real estate industry sites that provide you with detailed descriptions of the properties being offered for sale, as well as videos and other statistics that can be a useful supplement to your search. Additionally, there are websites hosted by professional commercial real estate agents that will display listings of commercial properties for sale.

Another good resource to use on the Internet is to connect with user groups and real estate forums that can help you in your search.

The only downside to the internet is that it can be restrictive, especially if you are looking for local commercial property. Most local areas do not have a multiple business listing service for commercial properties like the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for residential properties, so the properties listed are not available for research.


Networking is another good technique used to find properties. All you have to do is visit your local real estate investment group and discuss your needs, clearly stating the details of the type of property you are looking for, as well as the financial requirements.

The same approach is valid in the meetings of the Chamber of Commerce. You can also join groups of apartment owners, building owners, and shopping center owners associations.

Professional Commercial Real Estate Agents

Last but not least, you can seek the help of professional commercial real estate agents. Good commercial real estate brokers can be a great help in your search for commercial properties. They will not only assist you, but also help you find the most suitable property for your specific investment plans.

Sellers are typically represented by brokers, and as a buyer, it is in your best interest to have your own professional representation in any transaction you make. If you are concerned about the real estate agent fee, it is usually paid by the seller and therefore you do not have to bear any expenses.

In short, homework is important if you want to find a commercial property that meets your needs. So do your homework and get professional advice from a commercial real estate broker who will look out for your best interests.

There are many financially lucrative real estate investment opportunities on the market. Good luck with your hunting!

Real Estate

Real Estate and AMT: Rental or Investment Property

The Alternative Minimum Tax is a very important consideration for taxpayers who own real estate because almost all the tax rules that apply to real estate are different for the AMT than they are for the Regular Tax. This article on real estate and the AMT will address those situations where the person owns the property as an investment, usually as rental property. The differences in tax treatment between the Regular Tax and the AMT can be significant.

Interest expenses

The interests paid on the mortgage contracted to acquire the property are fully deductible, both from the Regular Tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. Unlike itemized deductions that allow a tax benefit for personal expenses, tax law generally allows all deductions that a taxpayer must make to earn business income. Therefore, the limitations discussed in the previous article on home mortgage interest do not apply.

However, if the value of the rental property is used as collateral for an additional loan, such as a second mortgage, the taxpayer must analyze how the proceeds from that loan are used to determine the interest deductibility. If the proceeds are used for a car loan or to finance a child’s education, for example, then the interest is non-deductible personal interest. If the proceeds are used to improve the rental property, the interest is deductible.

Tip: Taxpayers better keep personal loans separate from business loans. Mixing the two creates record keeping challenges and can result in disputes with the IRS.

Property taxes

Property taxes paid on rental or investment properties are allowed in full for both Regular Tax and Alternative Minimum Tax purposes.

Planning idea: If you have the opportunity to pay your property tax bill either this year or next, do so in a year when you have enough income from the property not to result in a rental loss. This strategy can help prevent the passive loss of activity limitations described below from activating.

Example: In Florida, property tax bills are mailed in October and paid according to the following discount schedule: November – 4%, December – 3%, January – 2%, February – 1%. If you have a property loss in 2010 but expect to generate income in 2011, don’t pay your bill in November or December; Waiving that small discount could help you avoid the stop-loss rules.


Depreciation of property held for investment is allowed. The part of the cost attributable to the land is not depreciable, but for the building itself and the furniture, appliances, carpets, etc. you can take a deduction for depreciation.

Real property (this is the legal definition of the house or other building) held for rental / investment can only be depreciated for Regular Tax purposes under the “straight line” method, over a useful life of 27.5 years. Therefore, a property with $ 275,000 allocated to the building would depreciate at a rate of $ 10,000 per year.

Personal property (this is the legal definition of things like furniture, appliances, carpets, and the like) can be depreciated for regular tax purposes under an “accelerated” method over a useful life of five years. An accelerated method allows for a higher deduction for depreciation in the early years, in recognition of a factor of obsolescence or decline in value seen in new properties (automobiles are a good example).

However, for AMT purposes, personal property can be depreciated only using the straight-line method. Therefore, an AMT article will be generated in the first few years if the expedited method is used.

Planning Idea: For personal property, consider choosing the straight-line method for regular tax purposes. While forgoing a small tax benefit for the higher depreciation in the early years, it could mean avoiding paying the AMT.

Active / Passive Investment Rules and “At Risk” Rules

A taxpayer who is not “active” in investment property management cannot use rental property losses to offset other income such as wages and salaries, dividends, interest, capital gains, and so on. Instead, these losses are deferred until the taxpayer sells the property or generates passive income from this or other sources of passive investment.

Similarly, the risk rules deny the use of this type of loss to the extent that the taxpayer has acquired the investment with borrowed money and has no personal liability for the debt.

Planning idea

If these loss limitations apply, consider the planning ideas mentioned above to minimize the losses that occur each year. Anyway, they are not doing you any good.

Property sale

Several different AMT issues can arise in the sale of rental / investment properties. One is that your profit or loss may be different for the AMT than it is for regular tax purposes. This would occur if different depreciation methods were used. For example, if personal property was depreciated using an accelerated method for regular tax purposes, then the basis in that property when figuring the gain or loss on sale would be different because the straight-line method had to be used for minimum tax purposes. alternative.

Gains from the sale of investment properties are generally capital gains, although some of it may be treated as ordinary income depending on the accelerated depreciation method used. Capital gains per se is not an element of AMT, but can nonetheless result in payment of AMT. This is because the AMT exemption amount is phased out for taxpayers at certain income levels, so this additional income may result in exemption reduction, which in turn increases taxable income for purposes of the Alternative Minimum Tax.