Finding a New Office Building

First-time Property Owners: 3 Things You Can Learn from a Pre-purchase Strata Inspection Report

Buying real estate units comes with a variety of excellent amenities. These amenities include pools, saunas, and spas, playing courts, steams and function rooms. This is the beauty of communal investing, which make it easy to pool resources and set up certain amenities that would be expensive when you do them alone. However, such communal investing comes with many obligations and it is important that you understand the provisions before you get into a purchase agreement. A pre-purchase strata inspection report can help you understand the obligations that you will have to fulfill when buying property communally. Here are the important things you will learn from the report: Financial Status of the Property What is the financial status of the building and other amenities? Are they mortgaged property that require periodic payments? You need such details on the financial status of the building to assess whether you will be able to shoulder those costs. You will also learn about the period within which you are supposed to give a notification to the other owners in case you are unable to fulfill your financial obligations. In this way, you will avoid hefty penalties imposed on you whenever you fail to honour your financial obligations. Management Rights Pre-purchase inspection reports also provide details about the management of the property you are buying. This includes the process of appointing or electing the property manager and the period within which the property manager will serve. In case of a problem, the report also enlightens you on the procedure you should follow to launch a complaint against the management. You also learn what you must fulfill for you be considered eligible for a property management position. Lastly, the report also details the various contracts that you will sign with the management regarding payment of subscription fees among others. Insurance Report Considering the huge investment you pump into the purchase of the property, it is important to insure for indemnity in case of any possible damage. A pre-purchase strata inspection report is prepared in conjunction with your insurer to provide key details about the insurance plan of the property. This includes the amount of money you pay for insurance premiums, co-insurance arrangements (if you have more than one insurer for that property) and the specific perils covered by the insurance policy. This will help you make a wise investment decision and go for property that you […]

Sound Security | 3 Clever Strategies To Install Better Security In Your Rental

If you rent a home, then you’ll need to get your landlord’s or property manager’s approval for pretty much everything, including getting locksmiths to install a new security system or even basic locks. Follow these clever strategies to install better security in your rental.  Ask Your Landlord To Install Deadbolts On Your Front Door And Backdoor Before Moving In The front door is the most likely access point for burglars, so you’ll want to ensure that it is properly secured with deadbolt locks. But do not forget to check the backdoor! This also serves as a potential entry point for criminals. If the door doesn’t have one already, be sure to ask your landlord to install them before you move in. A deadbolt can only be opened using a key instead of the spring action and is one of the most secure locks available today. Most landlords will oblige this request since it means added security for the home’s interiors. You could even offer to pay for half the labour cost of locksmiths to ensure that you get a deadbolt installed in your rental for added safety.  Get Written Permission To Install A Wireless Security Alarm You obviously don’t want to lose your security deposit by installing devices beyond the rental agreement, but security is a vital aspect of a safe home. Ask your landlord or property manager for written permission to install a wireless security alarm that sounds off when an intruder is around your home. The important thing to remember here is to get permission in writing because your landlord can easily back out of a verbal agreement and you will end up losing your security deposit with no proof to back your claim. To get a wireless security alarm installed, you will need to hire qualified locksmiths that specialise in alarm systems. Ensure That The Windows Are Locked Apart from front doors and backdoors, windows are popular entry points for burglars because they are often the weakest link in the security chain. Make sure your windows lock completely when you shut them using latches and key-locks. You can also install halfway locks that enable you to leave the locked window half open when you’re in the middle of some chores. This halfway lock prevents the window from being pried open completely, so a burglar will not be able to fit through it and get into your home. Keep […]

Five Tips for Including Your Cleaning Crew in Your Asbestos Management Plan

If you have asbestos in your facility, an asbestos management plan helps you ensure that the asbestos is not a threat to the people who use your facility. Ideally, everyone should be on board with your plan and understand their responsibilities under it. Even your cleaning crew should be aware of your asbestos management plan. Here are some tips to guide and protect your cleaning crew. 1. Label asbestos risks clearly. If you have any building materials that contain asbestos in areas that are not frequently accessed by staff of visitors, your cleaning crew may access those areas. For example, imagine you have exposed asbestos insulation in a boiler room that your staff cleans occasionally. Those materials should be labeled, and if you have any safety instructions, they should be clearly posted as well. 2. Review risks of asbestos and identify potential risk areas. In addition to boiler rooms, crawl spaces and other areas that are not accessed frequently, other areas of your facility may have asbestos, and the management techniques vary based on the type and location of the asbestos. For example, if you have old asbestos flooring, it will not release asbestos into the air if it is covered by new flooring. Similarly, if you have asbestos in the walls, it is contained as long as there are no holes in the walls. Your cleaning crew should be advised about these areas and their risks, and while cleaning, they should keep an eye out to make sure these areas have not become dangerous. 3. Establish a clear chain of communication. If your cleaning crew notices an issue, they should know exactly to whom they must report the information. For example, imagine that someone who wasn’t aware of the asbestos management plan tried to hang up a picture on a wall filled with asbestos insulation, and your cleaner notices the hole. The cleaner should immediately stop what they are doing, and notify the appropriate person so that you can take action. Similarly, if they notice that new flooring over old asbestos flooring is peeling, they also should notify the right person.   4. Do not clean the area. If your cleaner find an area with asbestos in it, they should not try to clean up the mess. For example, if there is dust or asbestos fibres coming out of a hole in the wall, the cleaner should leave it. […]

4 Factors to Consider when Designing and Building a Double-Storey House

One of the most exciting aspects of constructing a new house is choosing the floor layout that places everything exactly where you want it. Selecting your home design is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, and it must be done with appropriate consultation with experienced professionals, bearing in mind your changing needs over time. Below are the most important things to know and consider if you intend to build a double-storey home. 1. Age of occupants It’s important to remember that no matter how young you are now, you won’t always be that way. Mobility becomes a problem as you grow older, and you may not appreciate having to deal with staircases deep into your sixties or seventies. However, this is no reason to simply throw out double-storey and settle for single-floor plans. Talk to your architect about putting the most important rooms downstairs within your easy reach. For instance, you can have the master bedroom on the ground floor and children’s and guests’ rooms upstairs – giving you additional privacy as an advantage. If your budget allows it, there’s technology to install a lift to move between floors – you can ask the architect to make provisions for the lift so you can install it later once pressing financial matters are out of the way. 2. Block size The amount of space you have to build a house definitely plays a huge factor on the design of your home. You want to leave adequate space to have a small backyard where children can play, or you can have a pool or plant a small vegetable or flower garden as a hobby. You won’t be able to do this with single-floor plans, which occupy more ground space. Moving a few meters into the air allows you to maximize on the ‘free’ space above you, and do more with your property. And if you’re not building a house for yourself, you can place more units within your space by expanding upwards, increasing your returns once the project is paid off. 3. Location Location is definitely important because it determines the soil conditions of your prospective home area, and by extension the amount of work needed to build a stable home on your lot. If you’re still looking for a location, look at the homes built around an area to get an idea whether the lot can hold a two-floor […]

Importance of thermal imaging to prospective property buyers

Probably you have come across what you refer to a dream house. You can envision your family residing in apparently perfect property. However, are you certain whether the property is a duff or a steal? Only a home building inspection report performed by a certified home inspector can give you the assurance and make sure your dream house doesn’t become a nightmare. Remember, a home is a large investment so you don’t want any nasty surprises in the future. While there’s no assurance that nothing will be overlooked during a visual inspection, thermal imaging brings you a lot closer to not missing anything during home inspection. To potential home buyers, this begs the question: do you prefer to hire a home inspector who offers thermal imaging or take the risk of going with one who doesn’t? What’s thermal imaging? Simply put, thermal imaging involves inspecting and recording real surface temperatures and anomalies witnessed at surfaces including ceilings, walls, floors, pipes, ducts and so on. Consider it as a thermometer attached with a television. Rather than mercury rising up and down the marks, the temperature is converted into a visual photograph. With the use of a high resolution camera or thermal imager, the home inspector can see and interpret surface temperatures to ascertain what is happening in areas that cannot readily be inspected without invasive assessments. This is time and cost-effective. Importance of thermal inspections All objects and surfaces release energy in heat form. Thermal imaging helps the home inspector to observe this energy and read into the findings or the irregularities observed. Without help from this technology, it’s almost impossible to see the important information available from the surface temperatures. By seeing these surface temperatures, home inspectors can accurately detect a wide range of property problems unseen to the naked eye, such as: Moisture invasion in the construction exterior Water leaks nearby doors and windows Plumbing leaks in the house around sinks, pipes and toilets Faulty electrical systems Air leaks Poor insulation in walls and ceilings Poor insulation on air conditioning ducts Pest infestations Through thermal imaging technology, inspectors (like those at Safe House Property Consultants) can accurately identify problematic areas within the house. As a potential buyer, thermal imaging inspection reports will help you ascertain the real value of the property prior to parting with your hard-earned cash. Additionally, it may help you negotiate a price reduction should the house […]

Could Your Dirty Carpets Be Making You Ill?

There is a real focus on health and well-being in society today. People are beginning to migrate from junk food and consumerism back to more healthy ways of living. Life has become so complicated that often the more traditional and simple things are the most attractive. With the majority of individuals being more aware than ever of the dangers of chemicals and the overuse of cleaning products in the home, it’s no wonder that there is a real lack of awareness of how to keep your carpets clean and, most importantly, healthy. My carpet looks clean, so what’s all the fuss about? A carpet can look clean but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is clean! You wouldn’t eat your dinner from dirty plates or lie in bed at night on filthy sheets. Why would you then be lackadaisical about the cleanliness of your flooring? So what’s hiding inside my carpet? It might surprise you but just vacuuming your carpets isn’t nearly enough to protect your family from all the nasties which can gather there. Over the years, carpets can accumulate irritants, fungus and bacteria as well as toxins from cleaning products, paints and more. So even though your carpet can look clean and smell pretty fresh, regular and professional cleaning is something which should never be overlooked. Symptoms which can arise from dirty carpets include Skin rashes and itching Watering and irritated eyes Red eyes Wheezing Sneezing Runny nose Congestion. A dirty carpet can be the cause of: Respiratory irritation. Old skin flakes and pet hair can play havoc with your chest and dirty carpets are particularly bad news for people suffering from asthma. In fact the condition is often triggered by the build up of dirt, dust and toxins around the home! Allergies. So many people suffer from pet dander and dust mite allergies. Frequent vacuuming helps; however, a deep clean every so often comes highly recommended. A list of reliable and reputable cleaning services in your area can be found via a simple Internet search. Eye and skin conditions. If you wear your outdoor shoes on your indoor carpet you’re asking for trouble. Bacteria and fungus from shoes often causes all manner of skin and eye conditions. So if you or a family member is suffering from one or more of the issues above and are at a loss as to why, it could be that it’s […]

Why Hire a Professional Company for Commercial Property Maintenance?

If you own a commercial property of any sort, it’s always recommended that you hire a professional company for its overall maintenance and management. You may assume you can save money by taking care of the maintenance of the property yourself, but this can be a mistake for a number of reasons. Consider why it’s good to hire a professional company for commercial property maintenance, no matter the type of business or size of the property.  1. Local laws Very often there are local laws that affect the maintenance and management of a building, and these can sometimes be detailed and difficult to keep up with on your own. These laws might dictate how soon after a snowstorm you need to start clearing the parking lot, the color of reflective paint you need to use on your parking lot fire lanes, and so on. A professional maintenance or management company will keep current with these seemingly minor laws and ensure your building and property are always compliant. 2. Liability Along with keeping current when it comes to local laws, you want to protect yourself from liability. A commercial property management company may know how to do this in ways you may overlook; for example, you may not think of how often you should repaint a metal railing outside your building, but if the paint is chipped or rusted, this could cause injury to someone using the railing. A building owner may overlook small details like this, whereas a professional property maintenance service will usually have a checklist of items to inspect and maintain regularly. Investing in their services can be cheaper in the long run, if it means protecting you from liability claims. 3. Workforce Trying to keep maintenance personnel on staff can be a challenge, as workers may easily go to another company that can offer them more money, better hours, and the like. However, a professional maintenance company will usually have access to personnel. They may work with an agency who can supply them with workers at the last moment, or they may be able to bring workers in from another property to temporarily cover the work to be done on your property while new, full-time workers are interviewed. This ensures that your property is always maintained as it should be and eliminates the time and effort you would need to invest just to keep maintenance personnel on […]

Home Purchase: Inspection of the Residential Building

The cumulative price of purchasing a residential structure is high, but the investment is worthwhile if you select the right building. Therefore, it is important to engage real estate professionals to provide expert assistance during the process. You can choose a buyer’s agent to act on your behalf during the property search and the actual buying process. This will limit the amount of time that you will spend viewing and comparing different homes. Alternatively, you can look for the property yourself and only hire an expert during the conveyance of the property. Regardless of the method, you must commission pre-purchase inspection before the ownership transfer of the building. Here are the main elements that you should ensure are scrutinised when buying your new home. General Inspection A general pre-purchase assessment of residential property is intended to identify most existing and potential problems in the entire setup. In simple terms, the inspector will visually examine the structural features and connected utilities and determine apparent problems. This process is not thorough because of the scope, but the inspector will be able to recommend repairs and improvements on any element that is out-dated or not in compliance with the building code. Common aspects that are evaluated during general inspections include plumbing, electrical, insulation and roofing. Foundation Inspection The foundation of the building is designed to provide support to the entire residential structure. Therefore, if this element is faulty, your home will experience premature failure, especially when the local region is exposed to inclement weather. The building inspector should make sure that the base of the house is not moving. If the soil around the foundation is loose, the structure will slide eventually and result in instability. The assessment should also confirm that there are no cracks in the foundation material because the cost of repair will be high. Pest Inspection Pest infestation can cause significant financial losses in property damage, and the process of removal and rebuilding can be expensive. One of the important pests that you should ensure are absent in the property is the termite. The insect feeds on wooden materials, so they will cause damage to timber decks, siding, sheds in the property, doors and wood flooring. The inspector will look for evidence of pest presence and any risk factors in the property. Moreover, they should also be able to identify past damage by the pests that compromises building value. […]

Property Management | 3 Strategies To Mitigate The Perils Of Dealing With Tenants With Pets

Opening up your rental property for tenants with pets is a great way to expand your potential tenant pool and earn a little extra pet rent, but it also comes with certain added home-protection considerations. Whether you manage your rental home on your own or work with a property management company, here are some strategies to mitigate the perils of tenants with pets. Ask For Previous Landlord References Just like you need to screen tenants for criminal and financial backgrounds, you will need to screen them for the way they handled their pets in previous rental apartments. It’s always a good idea to call up previous landlords to get information about your applicant’s pet. Some pet owners may have well-trained dogs while others may not. Some pet owners may be poor housekeepers and don’t clean up well after their dogs. The best thing you can do is to call up previous landlord references to find out about the applicant. If you’re managing the property on your own, you will have to undertake this task. Otherwise, your property manager will do this for you. Charge A Pet Deposit Along With Added Rent When it comes to renting out your apartment to tenants with pets, you have the liberty to charge a pet deposit and additional rent. By allowing pets into your home, you can afford to charge a rental premium, which most pet owners are willing to pay. The pet deposit and pet rent will go towards repairing any damage in the home caused by pets. For example, the cost of repairing soiled carpets, stained walls or torn furniture should all be considered in the pet deposit and rent. But take care not to overcharge your tenants with excessive pet fees because they will end up going elsewhere. If you’re working with a property management company, get their professional advice on suitable pet deposits and added rents for tenants with pets. Be Specific About Type Of Pets Allowed In Your Home Your pet agreement should be specific enough to identify the type of pets that can be allowed into your home. For example, some landlords only allow domesticated animals like dogs and cats, while others are willing to extend their homes to guinea pigs, fish, birds, hamsters, small reptiles and rabbits. Being specific will help you avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings about your ‘pet-friendly’ property later. Your pet agreement should also include […]

3 Kinds of Moving Price Quotes You Should Know About

When planning to relocate to another city or town with the help of a removalist, it is important to first learn about the complexities of the moving industry, especially getting moving estimates. Yet, many times, potential movers hardly ask for an estimate, which constitutes a serious and costly mistake. To avoid paying over the odds on the actual moving day, you can have the removalist come to your home, evaluate your possessions and settle on a price in writing. Here are the three types of moving price quotes that you are likely to obtain from removalists. Non-binding price quote As the name implies, this price quote isn’t binding, which means it is uncertain and only a rough estimate of what the relocation process might cost you. Therefore, on the actual moving day, what the removalist predicted might be lower or higher than this sum. When working with a rough estimate, you should take into account additional costs or expenses to avoid surprises come the moving day. Binding price quote Unlike the non-binding estimate, which is ambiguous, obtaining a binding estimate offers you a more exact figure of what you can expect to pay for your move. With this price quote, the cost of your relocation will not go past the quoted price, even if on the actual moving day, the removalist finds out the real weight of your possessions is higher than what they estimated. On the other hand, if the weight of your belongings is lower than the estimate, it doesn’t change the fact that you still have to honour the initial contracted price. Generally, a binding estimate affords you a rather accurate figure of what your relocation will cost, allowing you to easily plan your relocation and budgeting. Binding not-to-exceed price quote Regarded as the ideal price quote to obtain, a binding not-to-exceed price quote is popular with consumers. With this estimate, even if your final weight exceeds the original written price quote, you still part with the amount of the quote. However, if your final weight is below the estimate, you are expected to pay a lower amount that the estimate, based on your actual weight multiplied by the set amount per pound. Therefore, the only way for a binding-not-to-exceed price quote to go is downwards, much to your delight. Irrespective of whichever price quote you obtain, be sure to inform the removalist of every single asset that you […]