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The Rising Construction Costs in 2021

Construction is a vital aspect of any society. It is responsible for expansion, be it in terms of residential, commercial, or public purposes. However, in recent years, there’s been a drastic increase in the cost of construction.

If you are interested in knowing the different reasons behind the sudden rise in construction cost in 2021, then you have come to the right page. In this article, you will learn about the different factors contributing to the rising construction cost.

The Reason Behind the Rising Construction Cost in 2021

It’s easy to say that the biggest reason why there’s a sudden spike in construction cost is because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is because it has brought significant delays in terms of logistics and manufacturing involving construction material.

Moreover, with social distancing restrictions, construction sites’ progress are falling behind their schedule. When this happens, the constructors are forced to spend more on employing people and other resources to keep the project going.

Here are the specific factors that affect the cost of construction in 2021:

●     Labor

In 2020, the unemployment rate was an all-time high in the past 10 years at 15%. However, around 220,000 and 330,00 construction jobs were vacant during this same time, which is at the same figure prior to the pandemic.

This only goes to show how difficult it is to find skilled labor in the construction industry. As a result, when contractors do find them, they have to pay their labor a premium. This increases the overall construction cost.

Besides that, the lack of manpower can also delay the construction project. The longer the project is ongoing, the more money has to be spent. Although compared to construction materials, the labor cost increase is not that quick.

●     Lumber

If you notice, one of the most basic and widely used materials in the construction industry is lumber. However, in 2021, the price of lumber will double compared to its price in 2020.

One of the reasons why lumber prices have increased during the pandemic is because there is more remodelling and residential construction. More people suddenly have more time in their hands, and the need for a bigger and more conducive space is higher because people spend the majority of their time at home.

Aside from that, the cost of lumber has soared because it reduces mill output. This is mainly due to logistic issues brought upon by the pandemic.

●     Copper

Copper price reached an ultimate high in 10 years in just the first quarter of 2021. This is a significant factor in the rising cost of construction since many materials such as water pipes and electrical wires make use of copper.

Moreover, there’s a prediction that the demand for copper will be higher in the coming years because more people will opt for electric transport and green energy technology. To give you a better context, an average home in the US alone uses about 439 lbs. Of copper, while a traditional car uses around 18 to 49 lbs. Meanwhile, battery-operated cars use 814 lbs. of copper while electric powered ones use 183 lbs. of copper.

●     Steel

In the US, the current steel prices are 70% higher compared to the global market price. Compared to China and Europe, the prices are 80% higher than how they were before the pandemic started.

The US has imposed the 2018 steel tariff. This makes it more affordable to import steel instead of sourcing it out from domestic manufacturers. However, due to border closures and logistic challenges because of the pandemic, steel importation in the US will be at an all-time low in 2021.

Since it’s difficult to procure steel due to these challenges, many contractors are forced to buy the more expensive steel from local manufacturers. By doing so, they are paying more than what they normally would for a particular project, affecting the overall cost of the construction.

Historically, there’s a pattern of steel prices increasing when there is a world economic crisis happening. This is exactly what happened in the last recession.

●     Oil

Crude oil is widely used in the construction industry since it is used to power equipment and machinery. However, in 2020 alone, the cost of crude oil increased by over 80%. The trend continued to increase throughout 2021, especially as more people are resuming pre-pandemic behaviours such as traveling.

Will Construction Cost Continue to Soar?

As mentioned, the biggest reason behind the sudden spike in construction cost is the pandemic. This is why experts believe that the prices of construction materials are more likely to go back to normal once the pandemic is contained. With how vaccination efforts are going in first-world countries, it is more likely that construction costs will be back to the pre-pandemic prices by 2023.

However, suppose the new Covid variants appear, and the vaccination programs do not go as planned. In that case, the rising trend in construction costs has a possibility to continue.

Final Words

The rise in construction cost is highly related to the unprecedented conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As of the moment, many contractors are forced to follow the prices they signed pre-pandemic, which significantly affect their profit margins. From the property owner’s perspective, starting a build right now will also be significantly more expensive.

With how things are right now, if you plan to construct a new home, you might want to wait while things worldwide settle down a bit. This is because your budget for your dream home might fall short.

The same thing applies if you are planning on building a commercial building. If you can, delay your plans for a bit because of the rising cost and how the economies are worldwide. It seems like because of the pandemic, more and more are closing instead of opening new businesses. Hence, if you open commercial spaces with plans to have it as a business rental, it might be difficult for you to find tenants.

German Property: Stable and Reliable Investment for Domestic and Overseas Investors

In the past years, German properties have proven themselves to be a stable and reliable investment for domestic and international investors. If you are interested in knowing why it is the case, then this article is for you. Continue reading below for more valuable information.

German Property Market

Ever since the recent world financial crash happened, the house prices in Germany have considerably increased. For example, in 2017, property prices in Berlin have increased by over 20%.

However, despite this, German property is still considered a stable and reliable investment for domestic and foreign investors. This is because domestic or foreign investors have a lot of incentives when investing in German properties.

Moreover, in terms of a whole, Germany offers more than just reasonable real estate prices. The country is also full of comprehensive infrastructure and highly educated employees. It also has economic and political stability and a low inflation rate.

Investing in German Property as a Foreigner

Unlike other counties, Germany does not have restrictions on foreigners buying real estate properties. You can get full ownership even if you are not a resident or even an EU national.

However, there are a few restrictions over the acquisition of agricultural properties, such as those located in urban improvement and relocation areas. The ownership of these types of properties are often subject to the discretion of public permit authorizing bodies. This is mostly due to governmental and national interests.

To give you a better idea of how much the cost of investing in Germany is, here are the prices of German real estate per square meter according to cities based on 2017 data:

  • Hanover: €2,007 for family homes and €2,257 apartments
  • Cologne: €2240 for family homes and €2,671 for apartments
  • Frankfurt: €2,500 for family homes and €3,167 for apartments
  • Berlin: €2, 32 for family homes and €3,593 for apartments
  • Munich: €4,233 for family homes and €5,839 for apartments

If you notice, there’s a slight imbalance in the prices of property in different cities. The reason behind this is mostly because there is an imbalance in terms of the supply and demand for the property. In fact, according to experts, around 280,000 new homes are constructed yearly in Germany. However, with its growing population, that amount is not sufficient.

Property Acquisition in Germany

In Germany, there are 2 main ways of acquiring property; asset deal or share deal. Asset deal refers to the direct acquisition, while share deal is when a legal entity purchases a property, then the ownership is transferred. Regardless, to make any of these acquisition methods legal, they must have a notarial deed.

The deed must include all the necessary aspects involved in the acquisition. Any other agreement or side letter that amends it both in writing or oral form may result in the acquisition being null and void.

In addition, take note that all of the real estate properties in Germany are recorded under the Land Register. Therefore, the new owner must be registered in the necessary land register to gain ownership over a property fully.

Also, take note that if you are a foreigner investing in a real estate property in Germany, you must have evidence of Existenzbescheinigung and Vertretungsbescheinigung. These are the necessary certificates that will show that your legal representative is authorized to process things on your behalf when it comes to acquiring a property.

Incentives in Investing in German Property

One of the best things about investing in German property is the tax incentives that investors can enjoy. The country offers tax incentives for investors who are putting their money on residential properties for rent. In these cases, most of the input costs will be written down. This covers the cost for notary, management fees, estate agents, and interest on loans.

Aside from that, another incentive is given in the form of 2% depreciation per annum for 50 years for physical property purchases built from December 1924 onwards. Moreover, the profit of residential investment unit sales is tax-free, given that it is owned by the investor for a minimum of 10 years.

Tips When investing in German Properties

Suppose you are interested in investing in German real estate properties. In that case, the following tips can be helpful whether you are a domestic or foreign investor:

  • Think About the Location

As mentioned, the cost of real estate properties significantly differs from one city to another. This is why before investing, research the area first. Aside from the prices, look at the public facilities available as well.

  • Research on the Cost

The cost of acquiring properties in Germany typically include:

  • Notary fee
  • Grunderwerbsteur/ Property Purchase Tax
  • Makler/ Estate Agent Fees

Other cost might be added, especially if you are a foreign investor living outside of Germany.

  • Find the Best Deal

There’s a wide range of financing options available in Germany. If you are a domestic investor, you might want to consider taking advantage of these. 100% of mortgages are offered to investors who are residing in Germany, while 55% are offered to EURO-currency countries.

To be able to make the best-educated decision possible, you might also want to consider hiring an independent mortgage advisor. They can provide you with more in-depth information about the options suitable for you.

Final Word

Indeed, Germany’s current real estate market is stable and reliable, making it an attractive place to invest in for both domestic and foreign investors. However, some areas in Germany have a growing population but are facing residential property expansion problems. Because of this, it is difficult to say whether this reliability and stability will continue in the future.

Regardless, if you are planning to invest in German properties, it is something that is still worth exploring. Just make sure to research the particular area that you are planning to invest in. Besides, if you are a foreigner, investing in Germany is less hassle since they are not so strict with foreign investors owning properties.

Can You Sell a Property with a Tenant Still Living in it?

Having a rental property can be a significant and steady source of income. Depending on the contract, an owner will receive rent payments from tenants. Over the years, the property can also increase in value. However, no matter how lucrative and thriving the income seems to be, some reasons drive owners to sell their properties.

Selling a home can already be challenging. But what if it is a rental property, will it still be hard to sell? The answer to this is it depends on the situation. What if the home is still occupied and tenants are currently living in it?

You probably have a number of questions in mind, and in this article, we will discuss a few basics about rentals and what are the things you can do if a tenant is still living on your property, especially when you have decided to sell it already.

Types of Rental Agreements

The type of rental agreement you have with your tenants is an essential factor. Identify what type of rental situation you are in first.

  • Month-to-month agreements

It will be easier if you and your tenant follow a month-to-month contract. Even if it’s occupied, you may proceed with listing and selling the home. You just have to be sure that you give them ample time and proper notice. This means that you have to inform them via mail 30 days before your target date. This will serve as your notice period, and as the owner, you have to respect the rent due date as well.

With month-to-month agreements, you do not really need a reason for terminating the contract. It’s actually one of the advantages of such contracts.

  • Fixed-term Leases

If you and your tenants are under a fixed-term lease, it requires a more complex process. You cannot just terminate the contract just because a new owner is coming.

Of course, it also means that advertising and showing the property can be quite challenging because the current tenant has his rights covered by the agreement. You also have to consider the existing law in your area when it comes to this situation.

Nonetheless, in some cases, having a tenant can be beneficial. Other interested buyers can easily visualize living in your property. At the same time, some do not appreciate the idea and can break the deal off.

What Can You Do if Your Property is Occupied and You are Under a Fixed-term Lease?

  • Check When the Lease Expires

Wait until the contract expires. You and your tenant entered an agreement, and you have to respect it, especially if they are a good tenant. However, suppose your tenant has violated anything on the contract. In that case, you can decide to terminate the lease as long as you follow the proper procedure in giving out the notice.

Here are some of the common and valid reasons that can lead to contract termination:

  • Damaging the property
  • Causing inconvenience or nuisance to neighbours
  • Violating the no-pet condition
  • Failing to pay on time
  • Conduct illegal activities on your property

 

  • Consider Cash for Keys: Pay Your Tenants to Move Out

Suppose you really need the property back because you have a buyer that made you a great deal. In that case, you can negotiate with your current tenants and offer them a settlement. Since your existing contract has not expired yet, a common strategy that landlords use is called cash for keys. It is quite an expensive strategy but totally worth it to consider.

You can help your tenant by helping them pay for the moving costs and cover half of the security deposit and first-month rental costs. This is a huge inconvenience for them so try to be as helpful as possible as their landlord. However, you have to remember that the tenant can and has the right to turn down your offer. This leaves you to wait until the end of the contract.

  • Ask if Your Tenant Might be Interested

Before going through the tedious process of selling the property and doing all the negotiations, check if the tenant himself wants to buy the property. Offer the property to your current tenant. If they agree, you can start discussing financing arrangements in purchasing the property.

However, suppose the tenant does not hold a good standing in paying monthly rentals. In that case, you can tell the tenant to look for a financing firm themselves.

Tips to Sell Your Rental Property Smoothly

  • Be Familiar With the Existing Laws in Your Area

Tenants have the rights, and so do you as the owner. Take the time to learn the laws applicable in your area to be sure you are not violating any regulations in place. Work with professionals so you can get the proper advice you need.

  • Tell Your Tenants Your Plans

It would not hurt to meet your tenants and tell them about your plans for selling the property. In this way, they can let you know about possible inconveniences and this allows you to work around those they have mentioned.

Let them know that you totally understand their side and that you will do what you can to reduce its impact on them.

  • Respect Their Privacy

The best way to market a property on sale is to allow showings. However, these should be scheduled and must have the consent of your existing tenants. Give them advanced notice, and it will be rude just to show up unannounced. Ask them for their preferred schedule and give them at least 24 hours’ notice when a possible buyer is about to view the property.

There are a lot of things to consider when selling a property with tenants living in it. Be sure to know your rights and respect theirs as well. You also have to consider many factors and be sure you do not violate anything on the contract with your existing tenant. Keep the communication between you and your tenant open and let them know of any updates. Set their expectations and avoid unpleasant surprises, which can cause inconvenience on their part.

 

Citizenship and Living in the UK

British citizenship allows you to work and live permanently in the UK without any immigration issues. However, most people automatically become British citizens either by having a British parent, birth, or being born in the UK before 1983. If any of these apply to you, then you do not have to apply for citizenship. Instead, simply request a UK passport.

But for those who must apply for citizenship, you are required to follow the following steps:

Applying for a UK Citizenship

If you plan to work and live freely in the UK, consider applying for British citizenship first. The following steps will guide you when applying:

  1. Ensure you are eligible to register for British Citizenship

Five basic requirements can make you qualify for UK citizenship. These include:

  • Age- In most countries, people are considered adults at the age of 18. Factually, the UK is no exception as you must be over 18 years to qualify for citizenship.
  • Character- You are supposed to be free of any criminal records before becoming a citizen of the UK. This includes international crimes like terrorism, immigration issues, dishonesty, among others.
  • Should Not Be Living Outside the UK- Before you can become a British citizen, it is significant to have been lawfully present in the UK for at least five years. On the other hand, foreign spouses are required to reside in the country for 3 years lawfully.

Additionally, you must not be living outside the country for more than 3 months during your last 12-month eligible period.

  • Must Present Evidence in English Fluency- Mostly, you are supposed to prove your knowledge in English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic by undergoing a B1 level test. Conversely, you can present a degree taught in English, though the evidence may not make you eligible at times.
  • Must Pass the Life in the UK Trial- Life in the UK trial is a computer-based exam consisting of 24 questions covering topics like British traditions, history, values, and everyday life. Passing the test means that you comply with all British customs and beliefs.
  1. Choose an Application Method

After checking if you meet all UK citizenship requirements, the next step will be choosing the best method to apply. There are two ways in which you can do this. They include:

  • Register Via Individual Means

Suppose you choose to apply through individual ways. In that case, you must first fill a form AN, where you will be required to provide details like proof of residency, employment, and biographical data. Moreover, it is the most convenient and simple way as it allows you to register from the comfort of your home.

  • Register Through Agents or Representatives

You can use a private company to help you with your application process. However, always check if the company is registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OICS).

Additionally, you can still use solicitors that are not registered under OICS including, Law Society of Scotland, General Counsel of the Bar, Law Society of England and Wales, Faculty of Advocates, Law Society of Northern Ireland, General Counsel of the Bar of Northern Ireland and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

  1. Provide biometrics

Mostly, you will be asked to make an appointment at UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS), where you can submit your biometrics. You are required to have a digital photo of your face and put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned for fingerprints.

However, if you applied through individual means, then you can scan the copies and upload them to your online service.

Moreover, it will cost you around 19.20 euros to provide all biometrics if you apply within the UK. However, if you apply outside the UK, then the cost will be included in your application fee.

  1. Wait for Approval

After sending all your details to the right destination, then the next step is to wait for a decision from the UK Visas and Immigration. Mostly, the approval period may take between 3-4 months. Simple applications can be decided within 2 months, while the more complex cases can take up to 6 months.

However, the decision period can differ depending on the Home Office’s caseload.

  1. Take Part in a Citizenship Ceremony

In case your application gets approved, you will be required to take part in a citizenship ceremony, where you make an Oath of Allegiance to the UK. This is to ensure that you will obey the laws, rights, and freedoms that the UK stipulates.

After, you will receive your Certificate of British Citizenship and officially become a UK citizen.

 Living in the UK

You should first send back your biometric residence permit (BRP) to the Home Office before the end of 5 working days after acquiring your Certificate of British Citizenship.

You can then register for a UK visa, which will allow you to travel to and from the UK without any restrictions.

 British Citizenship Application for Children

Citizenship applications for children will depend on your immigration route or the exact place where your child was born. Children born in the UK must meet one of the following characteristics:

  • The parent must be allowed to reside in the UK permanently
  • The child’s father was British
  • The parent joined the UK armed forces after the child was born
  • The child lived in the UK until he/she reached 10 years

For a child born outside the UK, he/she needs to have at least one British parent. But if none of the parents are British, it is recommended to first apply for your citizenship before or at the same time as your child.

Conclusion

If your application is unsuccessful, the Home Office will tell you the reasons for rejecting it. However, this will not affect your current right to live in the UK. In addition, you can try out legal motions like a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider. In both cases, it is important to seek help from an experienced citizenship attorney.

 

Why Is Limassol An Ideal City To Relocate?

Limassol is the second-largest city of Cyprus and one of the most important tourism, trade and service-providing centers. It is strategically located within the short distance between the airports, main port, Limassol Marina (the biggest one in Cyprus), seaside and the mountains.

Limassol is known as a vibrant business hub for investment & offshore companies, Forex and trading, shipping activities and international banking. Cyprus’ legal framework based on UK law and tax incentives has been a sound basis for growing business initiatives.

In conjunction with attractive tax low, another factor that encourages businesses to be in Limassol is an amendment introduced in July 2015. It specifies that any non-domiciled persons or companies who have not been a Cyprus tax resident for more than 17 out of the last 20 years are exempted from paying the Special Contribution for Defence, comprised of 30 percent interest and 17 percent dividends income.

This, in combination with around 50 double tax treaties with countries worldwide, makes Limassol a very inviting and exciting destination for the financial services sector.

Furthermore, Limassol is a business getaway between Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa with a highly educated English-speaking population.

It is well known that Cyprus’s economy has been rapidly growing with rates averaging at 4.4 %, and Limassol being a significant contributor to the island’s GDP. That performance is being driven by solid private demands in employment and expansion of the tourist sector.

The discovery of natural gas and its exploration in the waters of Limassol has been heating up more interest from foreign investors. Therefore, energy will be a new source of growth as the government plans to export gas to east-Asian markets and Europe. These plans are strengthened by the presence and interest in these developments of major oil and gas companies that are already present in Cyprus.

According to Cyprus Shipping Chambers, the Cyprus shipping industry is the third largest in Europe and 11th largest globally, with more than 1000 ocean-going vessels totalling 21-million gross tons. Most of the world’s prominent shipping-related companies have headquarters and fully-fledged offices in Limassol conducting their operations from this city.

Also, the new port of Limassol is the largest on the island. It has been recently updated and modernized by adding a new terminal, increasing the pier, expanding the harbor and putting in additional warehouses. It is by far the biggest port in the eastern Mediterranean.

At the same time, Cyprus encourages constant growth and development of the maritime industry.  There are many dedicated marine institutes focused on training and education, research, innovation and sustainability.

Limassol is also a top Forex hub with over 250 regulated Cyprus Investment Firms listed by CySEC. Most of the companies are foreign owned, but they are attracted to Cyprus because of its strict regulatory framework and solid customer protection laws.

Moreover, Limassol is the trading centre of Cyprus, that has several industrial units like dressmaking, furniture, shoes, drinks, food, prints, metal, electric devices, plastic goods, as well as many other traditional industries.

Furthermore, Limassol is a home for many Cyprus wine companies. The wineries are a very popular tourist destination, and their products of high-quality grape goods are also being exported to Europe.

The tourist sector is going strong and more options are being offered. Limassol tourist accommodation includes Luxury 5 star hotels and villas for those who want to splurge but also plenty more economical hotels and apartments for tourists that are on a budget.

Limassol has the leading role in driving the Cyprus economy up counting over 1 billion euros only from the investment projects for 2017-2019. Some of those projects are The Oval, The One, Lanitis seafront, Amara hotel, Parklane luxury collection, City of dreams and others.

One of the most exciting new developments is the integrated luxury resort casino called “City of Dreams Mediterranean.” It will be finished by 2021 in Limassol. This world-class development is the only one of its kind in Europe. According to the presentation of Consortium Integrated Casino Resorts Cyprus (ICRC), it is forecasted to attract an additional 300.000 of tourists every year with the effect of further development of the west Limassol. On its completion, the resort will provide over 4 thousand new jobs and contribute to Cyprus economy 425 million euros annually.  City of Dreams Mediterranean will offer a wide range of attractions and entertainment options beyond gaming. This pioneering project will dramatically change the tourist industry in the whole of Europe and push the growth of Limassol itself even further.

In addition, a large golf course worth 350 million euros is planned near the “City of Dreams Mediterranean.” It will be centered on ecology and sustainability, with additional property development in the housing and tourism industries thrown in for good measure.

Furthermore, a new technological and scientific park has been established in Limassol, which is anticipated to enhance business in research, technology, and innovation, as well as contribute to economic diversification.

Every year, the number of foreign highly skilled people increases, resulting in the expansion of infrastructure such as new private international schools, medical and rehabilitation centers, a wide range of services, and so on.

At the same time, Limassol has the most pristine beaches with crystal blue waters extending for 17km and a mild climate that attracts thousands of tourists. There are plenty of sites and activities to enjoy that will satisfy every taste:  The Casino, new Resorts, Skyscrapers, sporting events, extreme sports, fun activities, cultural events, extensive shopping, spa and wellness beauty salons … you name it… Limassol has it all.

Limassol is a city that merges business and pleasure and it is full of pleasant surprises. It offers a variety of options according to your mood and preferences. By investing in Limassol real estate, you will inevitably gain on capital appreciation on your property due to the upcoming trend of real estate prices going up and the popularity of Limassol itself rapidly rising.

What is more intriguing is the fact that the Real estate market in Cyprus is booming.  There are many attractive opportunities in real estate commercial and residential units that promise secure initial capital, an excellent ROI, capital appreciation, and low risk.

In accordance, overseas investors express a lot of interest in investing in real estate properties, which will qualify them in order to acquire additional citizenship through the Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Investment scheme.

Taking everything into consideration, Cyprus has all the necessary elements, making the island a competitive, attractive, flexible and friendly foreign investment state.

 

Location, Location, Location

Location, Location, Location

The term location is used to identify a point or an area on the earth surface or a place of settlement, residence or activity.

The phrase ‘’location, location, location’’ is widely used in the real estate investing world and not unfairly. In fact, it might be the single most important aspect about real estate investing. Price is nice, but location is better; it dictates everything else.

6 reasons why location is important:

  1. Location is a constant,

It determines:

  1. the supply and demand,
  2. how desirable a property will be,
  3. the optimal rental strategy,
  4. profitability,
  5. appreciation

The choice of location regarding a property depends on different factors and criteria. These factors usually depend on the industry and the nature of the enterprise. Depending on the company and its operations, the decisions regarding location might depend 100% from specific location parameters, whilst on some other cases the decisions might not be affected by any restrictions, however they have to oblige to certain terms which the investors think are critical.  Factors change over time. For instance, in recent years, factors which had previously been neglected, such as freedom from pollution, quality of life, etc. are now critical.

Why is location important when buying a house?

In a real estate purchase the importance of location is being overestimated. However, location is indeed the most important factor when investing in real estate since it translates into profitability. It creates the desire to purchase, which in turn (the desire) creates demand and demand creates a rise in price.

Location matters! Even the location inside your neighborhood will have huge impact on your home’s esteem and value. When purchasing on the low end of the neighborhood’s price range the other homes in your neighborhood will bring your value up. Also, people love water. Thus, the idea of buying a property near water is very attractive.

When the time comes a buyer is attempting to recognize the location of the property, she/he is interested in, she/he is prepared to pay up a great sum of saved capital. Thus, it is crucial to choose the correct location which makes the real estate purchase ‘tick’.

Some of the common variables for making a real estate purchase ‘tick’ are:

  • The status of the neighborhood
  • Proximity to facilities and amenities
  • Safety
  • Access to water
  • Access to major highways
  • Greenery
  • View

Without a doubt price and location are both important factors. Location eventually dictates everything else about the property. In other words, if a property is situated at a good area and prime locality it will behest a better selling price.

Have in mind that the most important factors when buying a home are location, location, location. When deciding to buy your house you must keep in mind time. Meaning; are there going to be any major changes to the area and how is locality expected to evolve over period.

To conclude, any purchase of home should be backed by a well-thought-of plan in the terms of location.

The Importance of Construction Materials

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND THEIR IMPORTANCE IN ANY INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT

It is widely known that the Real Estate Industry has faced many obstacles and has witnessed changes not only in a local, but also in a global level. However, is clear that this industry not only overcomes the encountered obstacles and changes, but it also finds new ways to take advantage of them and turn them into a win-win situation.

People are not holding back and are not afraid to invest in real estate. On the contrary, they make a great effort to ensure that this investment will bring value and comfort to them and their families.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that emphasis given on buying a property is firstly given to the blueprints of the development. This comprises the construction materials, the interior materials, the planning and other decisions that need to be taken into consideration. The major aspects are the construction and building materials.

The final form of construction will substantiate that high-quality materials have been used, and not unjustly, high-quality materials have a primary role in the real estate industry.

Why though are high-quality materials of such importance regarding the quality and safety of an infrastructure project?

  • Cost – Saving in the Long Run:

The selection of high-quality construction and building materials, even though they cost more, ensures the saving of money at a later stage. On the contrary, low-medium quality materials although might be more financially friendly, will result at a larger cost on the long run since they will gradually wear off and will need maintenance. Thus, it is crucial to choose high-quality building and construction materials from the beginning of the project.

  • Happy Investors & Maintaining Goodwill:

It is important to acknowledge that what you build today will be a home for someone tomorrow. Using the best materials will ensure that the property will be safeguarded and secure. This will in turn, lead to goodwill and happy residents.

  • Recommendations is the best Marketing Strategy:

Following the goodwill happy investors would be more than happy to cooperate again will the developer or the builder, depending on the case scenario, or they will even be willing to promote the company/developer/builder to other interested investors.

  • Time Saver:

If high-quality materials are not used since the beginning of the project, at a later stage the resident will have to deal with fixing small glitches which lead to expenses, effort and it will also be time consuming.

  • Assurance during Natural Calamities or Crisis:

Natural Calamities are unpredictable; however, measures must be taken in order to minimize the dangers which may occur from a natural calamity. High-quality materials have resilience in such natural calamities.

To conclude with, the research about high-quality materials may sometimes be a little time consuming, but it the long run it will be surely worth it. It will provide a safeguarded, secured, and high resilience project which will only gain more value over time.

Construction Materials and their Importance

It is widely known that the Real Estate Industry has faced many obstacles and has witnessed changes not only in a local, but also in a global level. However, is clear that this industry not only overcomes the encountered obstacles and changes, but it also finds new ways to take advantage of them and turn them into a win-win situation.

People are not holding back and are not afraid to invest in real estate. On the contrary, they make a great effort to ensure that this investment will bring value and comfort to them and their families.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that emphasis given on buying a property is firstly given to the blueprints of the development. This comprises the construction materials, the interior materials, the planning and other decisions that need to be taken into consideration. The major aspects are the construction and building materials.

The final form of construction will substantiate that high-quality materials have been used, and not unjustly, high-quality materials have a primary role in the real estate industry.

Why though are high-quality materials of such importance regarding the quality and safety of an infrastructure project?

  • Cost – Saving in the Long Run:

The selection of high-quality construction and building materials, even though they cost more, ensures the saving of money at a later stage. On the contrary, low-medium quality materials although might be more financially friendly, will result at a larger cost on the long run since they will gradually wear off and will need maintenance. Thus, it is crucial to choose high-quality building and construction materials from the beginning of the project.

  • Happy Investors & Maintaining Goodwill:

It is important to acknowledge that what you build today will be a home for someone tomorrow. Using the best materials will ensure that the property will be safeguarded and secure. This will in turn, lead to goodwill and happy residents.

  • Recommendations is the best Marketing Strategy:

Following the goodwill happy investors would be more than happy to cooperate again will the developer or the builder, depending on the case scenario, or they will even be willing to promote the company/developer/builder to other interested investors.

  • Time Saver:

If high-quality materials are not used since the beginning of the project, at a later stage the resident will have to deal with fixing small glitches which lead to expenses, effort and it will also be time consuming.

  • Assurance during Natural Calamities or Crisis:

Natural Calamities are unpredictable; however, measures must be taken in order to minimize the dangers which may occur from a natural calamity. High-quality materials have resilience in such natural calamities.

To conclude with, the research about high-quality materials may sometimes be a little time consuming, but it the long run it will be surely worth it. It will provide a safeguarded, secured, and high resilience project which will only gain more value over time.

Safety and Security Features to Consider Before Buying a House

There are many features that people consider before buying a house. For example, people tend to look for big and spacious rooms, quality and flawless tiles, modern kitchen fittings, and exquisite bathrooms.

However, how much attention do buyers pay to the most crucial aspect of house buying – security? While it’s indeed true that a place you intend to make your home should offer you comfort, but above all, you and your family should feel secure and safe when at home.

Because of this, safety and security features are the most crucial aspects you should consider when buying a house. After all, you and your family need peace of mind while at home.

With that said, here are some top security and safety features to consider when buying a home.

How Safe Is the Neighborhood?

Before anything, you should get yourself accustomed to the area in which you wish to buy a house. Then, take time to find out the history of reported crimes in the location. You can access these crime rate records from the nearest police station.

You can also drive or walk around the neighborhood to find out how safe it is. For example, you can determine if there is adequate street lighting in the community.

Finally, introduce yourself to the neighbors you intend to move next. This will give you an insight into the type of people you will be living with. If they are friendly, you will get a sense of security in the area.

What Are the Credentials of the Developer?

It is vital to track the developer’s history you intend to buy your house from for your legal safety. In addition, you should do a thorough check of all the documentation and approvals of the project.

You should make a close study of the past projects done by your deliver. Also, ensure that the title deed to the property is valid for you to have real legal security.

If you are buying an apartment, find out the cost of monthly maintenance costs. It will also be necessary to know if the developer allows you to rent an apartment out once you have purchased it.

Security guards, if well deployed, can help fortify the security of your new property. Moreover, you should study the history and credentials of the security company contracted to keep your neighborhood safe.

This will give a picture of how well the guards have been trained to handle security breaches and other safety emergencies. In addition, you should check the police clearance of the security guards that have been deployed in the vicinity of your property.

What Is the Quality of the Doors and Windows?

The quality of the doors and windows of the house you wish to purchase should be a top priority. The doors and the windows should be sturdy.

Additionally, the windows must be made burglar-proof while also keeping a keen interest in their aesthetic value. Finally, the choice of the locks used on the doors must also be tough to pick.

Doors and windows can give intruders entry points to your house if not given attention. Therefore, it would be best not to compromise the quality of the doors and windows.

What Were the Previous Owners/Tenants of The Property Like?

Second-hand property can have a troubled history that may cause a future threat to security. This is why you should find out information from neighbors about the previous occupants. You can also contact local authorities to inquire if there has ever been a disturbance at the address.

Suppose you still decide to acquire the premises even if the previous occupants were questionable individuals. In that case, you should do the following: Ensure that you change all the locks in the house to make it more secure.

Fire Protection

You should not concern yourself only with safety from thieves and burglars. Fire safety measures are also crucial in ensuring the security of your property.

Make sure that functional fire extinguishers are positioned strategically in the house. This will give precedence to tackling a fire before it goes out of control.  Before buying a house, check the condition of the current fire alarm system. If it doesn’t satisfy you, then you may need an upgrade.

Fortunately, there are many high-tech fire alarm systems in the market. So, it’s easy enough to install one that is functional and has been tested.

Another security feature you should employ in case of a fire outbreak is ensuring that the keys to all locked doors are easily accessible to make escaping easier.

CCTV Surveillance

CCTV surveillance should be part of your security system. After all, CCTV cameras are becoming more and more advanced, with some coming in with the live streaming feature.

This way, you can keep an eye on your property even when you are away on vacation. Go for properties that offer round-the-clock surveillance of the entire premises.

Your chosen CCTV surveillance should also be paired with burglar alarm systems. This will boost your protection and that of your loved ones.

Safety Tips for Second Hand Properties

Buying a house that has been occupied for a long time means you need to be more mindful and careful. After all, old houses experience natural wear and tear over the years. Therefore, electrical safety should be your top concern.

With that said, here is what to look for:

  • Check and note the positions of all the electrical outlets. Confirm that all are still in good working order and have been properly installed.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters(GFCIs). These devices protect appliances that come into contact with water. If GFCIs are not installed in your new home, plan to do so for your safety. You will expect to find GFCIs in kitchens, bathrooms, or other areas in the house where water is likely to come into contact with electricity,
  • Check the appliances that come with the house. You should check if the included appliances, such as HVACS, Refrigerators, and water heaters, are working correctly. Do they pose any hazards?
  • Check the lights. Test if all the lighting fixtures are working correctly. If there are any popping or sizzling sounds when turning on the lights, there may be an electrical fault.

Final Thoughts

Your security begins with you. Taking the above measures into consideration will give you a safer and more secure home. After all, it is always more relaxing to feel safe in your own house. It is also a part of wholesome living.

House Tech Gadgets That Will Make Our Lives Easier

Gadgets can definitely make our lives easier. From live feeds to automation, it is impossible to dislike the convenience those things can bring. Due to the emergence of ‘smart’ technology, more and more devices can be linked wirelessly, making hands-free activation possible.

Here are some of the best home tech gadgets that you can avail of this 2021.

Home Fixtures

  • (Outlet) ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2

This is a smart dual-outlet that can be controlled via mobile apps and digital assistants. It may lack IFTTT support, but it can be remedied with HomeKit Scenes and Automations. Also, it can monitor energy consumption.

  • (Outlet) Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug

Another smart plug, this product is more applicable to outdoors. It can handle patio lights and even pool pumps with just a smartphone. Although it won’t record any power usage, it is very easy to install and compatible with other smart gadgets.

  • (Doorbell) Ezviz DB1C Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

This is a doorbell with the capability to capture Ultra HD video and can be linked to Wi-Fi. Aside from its local storage, it can also store videos via cloud servers.

  • (Lighting) Wyze Bulb Color

As the most affordable smart bulb to date, you can have a variety of colors. With just direct wireless communication from your smartphone, you can customize its features, such as trigger stimulus and operating schedule.

Home Security

  • (Security Camera) Arlo Pro 4

This security camera has it all: high-resolution, motion detection, colored night vision, and weather resistance. You can just stay comfortable on your couch as you observe the videos captured very clearly and without delay.

  • (Security Camera) Wyze Cam V3

Another option for a security camera, this product is built to be budget-friendly. It has all the great things about video capturing except that it is not guaranteed to be weather-proof.

  • (Baby Monitor) Nanit Pro

Unlike any other baby monitors, this one has more features aside from capturing and recording videos. It can track crying noises very quickly, which is one thing that parents are concerned about. Aside from that, it can measure your child’s growth.

  • (Pet Monitor) Furbo Dog Camera

It may be a bit pricey, but this pet monitor is ideal if you have highly active dogs that can wander around inside the house or out in the backyard. Things like 1080p resolution, barking alerts, two-way audio will even look normal with this amazing feature – tossing of treats.

  • (Door Lock) August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

This is a smart lock with the capability to connect to Wi-Fi. Talk about remote security!

  • (Home Monitor) Vivint Smart Home

If you want to automate the whole house, from lights to alarms, you can have this home system installed. It is not cheap, though, but you can have total control via a touch-screen controller, a PC, or a smartphone. Everything can be taken care of by the Vivint technicians.

  • (Home Monitor) SimpliSafe Home Security System

If you want a DIY approach to installing your home monitoring and security, you can do so with this home system. It can be easy to set up, and you have full discretion on how flexible your system can be. The best part is it has an affordable option.

Home Appliances

  • (Thermostat) Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control

This has a lot of features for a thermostat aside from voice control. It has a wide range of multimedia support and can communicate upon dual-band Wi-Fi.

  • (Thermostat) Nest Thermostat

This thermostat has all that other smart thermostats have, including the setting of operation schedules. The main advantage of this product is its affordability.

  • (Air Conditioner) Midea 8,000BTU U-shaped Air Conditioner

A quiet air conditioner is already appealing enough. To add its great appeal, this unit is Wi-Fi enabled and primarily runs with a mobile app.

  • (Oven) Brava Oven

As an expensive countertop oven, it does more than baking or heating. It offers at least 10 ways of cooking, with many automated features involving ingredients. Plus, it has a built-in camera that can be accessed via smartphone.

  • (General Cooker) Anova Precision Cooker Wi-Fi

If you want highly precise cooking enabled by wireless controls, then this product is for you. Although it takes a while to get familiar, the great results will speak of themselves.

  • (Grill) Traeger Ironwood 650

With this grill, you don’t need experience barbecuing—no need to worry about flare-ups, unevenness, and even constant feeding of firewood.

  • (Vacuum Cleaner) iRobot Roomba s9+

This robotic vacuum cleaner has very powerful suction. Aside from that, it can empty its own dustbin.

  • (Vacuum Cleaner) iRobot Braava Jet m6

Another robotic cleaner, but this time, the product is more conducive for longer working hours due to its great battery life.

  • (Vacuum Cleaner) Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI

This robotic cleaner uses artificial intelligence and visual interpretation, or AIVI, technology for fast obstacle recognition. You can even view live footage of its operation as if you are navigating the cleaner.

Home Entertainment

  • (Speakers) Amazon Echo Family

This is an Alexa-powered Bluetooth speaker that can work well with a lot of smart devices. Also, it is compatible with IFTTT.

  • (Speakers) Google Nest Hub Family

Although this product has lots of similarities with the previous entry, it is powered by Google Assistant. With that being said, it is capable of syncing with other Google services.

  • (Speakers) Sonos One

If you want a generalized speaker, this product supports almost all voice digital assistants. Superior sound quality is already expected, but the compatibility with other smart devices makes it even better.

Home Fitness

  • (Cardio Exerciser) Peloton Bike+

This is much more than a stationary cycling machine. It provides a more immersive experience, with a screen and a sound system that simulates the outdoors.

  • (Strength Exerciser) Tempo Studio

Smart tech and lifting weights? Yes, it is possible with this strength training machine. It has sensors and automated features that aid your weight lifting. Aside from that, there is a large screen included to view tutorials or live classes.

  • (Weighing Scale) Wyze Scale

Not only for measuring your mass, but it also tracks a lot of important aspects such as BMI, heart rate, protein level, body fat, water percentage, and muscle mass. Also, data can be recorded in order to serve as future reference.

  • (Fitness Bed) Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed

This is a bed equipped with sensors that track your health metrics and sleep trends. That alone is already a catch!

Outdoor 

  • (Sprinkler) Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

This product makes watering your lawn stress-free. It has automated features, and it can be remotely controlled via smartphone.

  • (Lawn Mower) Worx Landroid M 20V

If there is a robotic vacuum cleaner, this product is a robotic lawnmower. On top of the similarities between the 2 automated devices, this product is cordless, which is a great advantage for outdoor devices.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that all of these devices can make your life easier at home. However, do remember to select those that have an option for manual control. Power outages and network problems are still common occurrences today. So, it is better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.