Tips for New Residential Construction

The process to entitle lots can take more than five years and is expensive. The cost of parcel maps for five lots or less is $100,000. Tract maps for more than five lots can cost more than $500,000. The number of lots and the potential size are determined by biology, health-department regulations, slope, and the zoning and general plan. Included in the cost are engineering, processing, and regulatory fees and various reports and studies.

Reports and studies include conditions of approval costs, storm-water treatment, anthropology and archeology, soils, biology, noise, and traffic. When a map is approved and recorded, there are additional fees that include, but are not limited to the following:
• Potential greenhouse gas studies
• Retention and drainage basins
• On- and off-site mitigation land
• School fees
• Parks and recreation fees
• Physical secondary access
• Fire fees
• Annual bonding fees.

Politics comes into play when obtaining the required approvals from county boards, city councils, and planning commissions. The level of public opposition or support affects hearings completion. They can be completed in as little as four months, or take years and cost over a million dollars. Property owners have three courses of action to take into consideration.

1. Entitlement and sale of the property ‘as is’ – This option brings the lowest price, but costs the least and requires the shortest time for property disposal. Under rare circumstances, the land is worth more when it is unentitled.
2. Enter into a long-term agreement – The agreement is made with a home builder who incurs the expenses of processing a tract map. This option is the most utilized. The process could take up to five years. The buyer is required to release nonrefundable deposits periodically to the seller after approving their contingencies. Escrow closing typically occurs after tentative or final map approval.
3. The owner incurs the entitlement costs – Much of the process is like option two. The difference is the owner has full control of the mapping process and bears all expenses.

The ramifications of each choice should be weighed carefully before making a decision. Owners, who have chosen not to seek advice, have made the decision to process a map and found out later the number of lots was not financially feasible. A competent engineer can determine the optimal number of lots that can be obtained and approved. Smart growth design principals call for buildings with a variety of materials, texture, and color and individuality; well-defined open space; a building and street relationship; mixed uses; and high-density development. Contractors, who specialize in residential subdivisions, can give realistic cost estimations.

The process of entitling residential property to higher densities is costly, complex, and cumbersome. Many factors must be taken into consideration. The leading concerns that communities have about increased density are the quality of life and increased costs.

There is a need for new affordable housing to reduce recent overpayment and overcrowding. There is also a need for high-density housing that supports economic recovery, accommodates new workers and their loved ones, and economizes the costs of infrastructure. It is quite a balancing act. Open spaces need to be conserved and the distance between new jobs and new homes reduced.

Property Management Fees: A Necessary Investment To Cater Problems

Giving house or a portion of the house on rent is one of the common practices followed by mankind from the years. It can also be said that giving property on rent is the source of earning extra income by sitting at home. Going through this practice lots of people either extend the portion of their existing house or construct extra houses forgiving on rent. All these activities in the beginning seem quite simple to them and they exhibit their properties proudly in front of their known ones, but their happiness is not less than a bubble that vanishes in the span of few seconds.

From vanishing I do not mean that their property vanishes or collapses, but I mean the problems which they face before and after giving property on rent smashes their dreams of earning substantial earnings from property within the short period. This is mainly because of complications related to the property giving on rent, because giving property on rent is not stagnated to allowing someone to stay in your house and pay you the asked rent to you. There are lots of formalities which being as a landlord is expected to be followed by you, with this you also have a plethora of responsibilities towards your tenants to which are expected to be accomplished by you on demand.

Anyhow, all these problems can be realized only by the person who has constructed additional property only for the purpose of giving it on rent, because generally if someone has given a portion of his house for rent he can easily look after the matters related to tenancy. But, if a person has developed some additional property, then there are chances that he will definitely realize that managing a property giving on rent is everybody’s cup of coffee.

So how to get rid of this problem is the matter of concern among such landlords or property owners. Interestingly, with an objective to provide remedy to such landlords for their problems today there are various property management firms which look after towards all the matters related to giving property on rent. These groups or firms are mainly constituted by the group of experts having knowledge in dealing with the issues related to the property given on rent.

Types of Property Management Fees: Although property management fees refer to the amount charged for looking after the property given on rent, but depending upon their requirements the property management firms charge the fees in different formats. Some of them are referred below:

1. Monthly Management Fees: It is self understanding term and refers to the payment made to property management firm every month for the services rendered by it. This payment is made for the varied services offered by the group, including receiving rent from the tenants, regular inspection of property, property maintenance, attaining the complaints received from the tenants during odd hours, etc. The amount of this fee mainly varies from 7% to 10% of the monthly rent received from the tenants.

2. Leasing Fees: This fee refers to the investment made for advertising the property, showing the property to your prospective tenants, screening tenants and checking their previous credit score, getting all the legal documents prepared accordingly and various other tasks. This is generally one time fees and mainly varies from 75% to 100% of the rent for the first month.

3. Maintenance Fee: It mainly refers to investment made by the company for maintaining the condition of your property. As a general practice this type of fee is mainly charged on terms and conditions determined between the property management company and the landlord. If the landlord takes the responsibility of looking after the maintenance of property no fees is paid to the group, but in case if the responsibility is handed on the shoulders to the group. Then, depending upon the terms, conditions and maintenance fee is paid to the group.

4. Late Fee: If the tenant is not able to pay the rent on the determined date, in that scenario the management firm might opt for collecting the full portion of rent or certain percentage of rent depending upon the mutually agreed conditions.

5. Eviction Fee: There might be circumstances when the landlord might wish to get his house vacated before the end of the contract. In that scenario the management company can help him in getting the tenants evicted from the house either through mutual agreement or via court. Depending upon the efforts and time, the property management company can charge the necessary fees for the same.

In return for their service the payment which they charge in simple words is known as property management fees. By charging these fees these experts agree to take full care of your property on your behalf and look after all matters starting from searching of tenants for renewal of their rent contract to solving their complaints and getting the property vacated from them after accomplishment of the contract.

Green Homes for Sale

If you were looking at real estate ads and saw one that stated “green homes for sale”, you may at first wonder why anyone would a listing stating the color of their home. This is not what this type of ad means. It is just stating that the homes for sale are earth friendly and energy efficient. Green homes for sale are being built in an effort to less the carbon footprints we leave behind.

When you purchase a green home they will contains all or some of the following features that are earth friendly.

• Fiber cement siding
• Alternative power system like wind and solar
• Recycled building insulation
• No VOC stains and paints, which stands for volatile organic compound. It is any compound that is carbon-based and will vaporize at standard room temperatures. Some of the more prevalent ones are formaldehyde, acetone, and methane.
• Solar powered hot water heating

Even if you do not live in a green home, there are things that you can do to increase your energy conservation. It will even help contribute to saving our environment. Making your home a green home can help to reduce global warning and save the homeowner money. It will significantly better the environment and require little effort for the homeowner.

Making a green home

• Instead of using the standard incandescent light bulbs start to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). When you switch to the CFL’s you can save per year over a hundred dollars. You can find these lights in the same aisle as your regular bulbs but they are little more expensive. In the United States, if every house switches the type of light bulbs they were using to CFL’s there would be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of one trillion pounds.
• Install a thermostat that is programmable-with this type of thermostat the homeowner can program the thermostat so that the air conditioner or heater is off when homeowners are not at home. The programmable thermostat can be programmed so that it will cool or heat your home shortly before the homeowner arrives home. This change could save the homeowner ten percent or more on cooling and heating costs
• Plug air leaks-this will help the homeowner save money and practice conservation. You can do this by installing weather stripping, keep the temperature in your home from rapidly fluctuating, and caulk windows correctly to stop air drafts.
• Energy Star® rated appliances-these reduce the amount of electricity that is needed to operate them so they have less of an impact on the environment. They will also save on your energy bill.