Category Archives: Real Estate

Considerations When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Man smiling while holding on to his laptop and bookThere are many things that you can successfully do on your own. But selling your property without the help of another party is not among them. Real estate agents have specific skills and information that you may lack, and, if you want to increase your chances of selling your property fast and at your asking price (or even beyond), you should look for the input of these professionals.

There are more than a handful of these real estate agents in Auckland, New Zealand, but there are particular factors you should consider to determine which agency will meet all your property selling needs satisfactorily. Here are three of the essential ones:

Price Negotiation

Home sellers may be emotional in the selling and negotiation process. That, however, is never the case when working with a real estate agent; they negotiate impartially and use their negotiation skills to your benefit. They could bargain much better than you when it comes to the asking price of the property.

Customer Reputation

Seek to know what past customers say about the services they received. You will also want to confirm whether they received the full payment of the agreed amount. Trustworthiness is an element you should not ignore.

Industry Experience

Lastly, check how long the real estate agency has been in the industry, and whether they have a reputation that will help you sell or buy property. Only then can you tell that they can project future property market prices quite precisely.

For many homeowners, how fast they sell their property in Auckland will depend on the real estate agent they choose to represent them. Experience, skills, and expertise count, but it’s only trustworthiness and reliability that will help you complete the process.

Questions to Ask When Looking for Office Furniture

Modern Office InteriorModern furniture pieces in Christchurch-based offices come in a wide range of style and design. You can find minimalist items and also elaborate pieces, depending on the look and feel the company wants to exude.

If you are searching for brand new furniture to revamp your office space, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

What (specifically) do you need?

Think about the most basic needs of your employees for them to be able to do their work more efficiently. Consider their different work styles and the amount of space you have in your workplace before you head to a furniture store. This way, you can be smart about your finances and avoid buying items you do not really need. Learn to prioritise.

What is your style?

Typically, modern offices feature a clean design – with clear lines, simple colours and well-defined areas. Choose furniture pieces that correspond to your corporate image and branding.

There is no rule requiring modern corporate spaces to stick to the traditional ideas of professional design. Many corporate environments nowadays veer away from strictly formal options in order to make the company’s base more pleasing and inviting.

Will everyone be comfortable?

Do not also forget to consider the comfort of your employees since that affects their productivity at work. Ergonomic design, for instance, has proven to be beneficial, as it boosts the productivity and motivation of office workers. These characteristics of office furniture, however, are often neglected for aesthetic purposes. Do not make this mistake and risk the well-being of your workforce.

Apartment Rents in the U.S. Become Cheaper Due to Rich Tenants

An Apartment BuildingMore rich Americans joined the tenant population between 2012 and 2015, which led to a fewer number of households that are struggling with high rental fees, according to a report from New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy.

The 2017 National Rental Housing Landscape report showed that the percentage of rent-burdened households in 53 cities fell from 48.9% to 47.7%. It defined a rent-burdened people as those who spend more than 30% of their income for monthly payments.

Wealthier Occupants

Sewin Chan, the report’s co-author, suggested that the entry of rich families into the rental population may be causing a spike in rents. This allowed property landlords to increase fees on units without risking payment defaults. In 2015, there were 21% of households that earned at 120% of the area median income — that's up from 15% in 2006.

However, the recession’s impact still lingers as renters who wish to own homes continue to struggle in buying their first property, according to Alanna McCargo, co-director of Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute. In addition, the National Low Income Housing Coalition said that more than 7 million affordable housing units remain unavailable for the poorest Americans.

Rental Investments

Several foreclosed homes from the recession have been converted into rental properties, such as a Section 8 real estate investment. Wealthy renters are not eligible for Section 8 housing, as it caters to low-income tenants.

However, one of the benefits of this type of investment includes regular payments since the vacancy rate is often quite low. Tenants are also required to maintain the property, which protects your asset in case you decide to invest in Section 8 rentals.

Rental prices may have fallen, yet demand for low-income housing still remains high in the U.S. This situation presents an opportunity for real estate investors to unlock growth opportunities in the rental property sector.

 

4 Simple Ways to Create a Classy Office

An Office SpaceThe office is the heart of every business, yet many offices still maintain a rather drab and uninspiring ambiance. The same dull workspaces from decades ago still feature prominently in many companies, today.

If you’ve been looking for ways to revamp your office, here are simple tips how to go about it.

Upgrade your furniture

Those old, stiff chairs are doing you no good. Industry experts at Online Office Furniture point out that ergonomic chairs not only look better, they are better for your employees’ health. Your team members spend a good chunk of their day sitting in their chair. It would be great for you to make office life easier for them by ensuring their comfort. There are a variety of options and ergonomic selections of office furniture, online, at reasonable prices.

Revamp your waiting area

Keep in mind that your clients, even when they visit you, have got other businesses to handle. That means that the waiting area needs to facilitate their businesses and keep them comfortable. Spruce up the area, and provide such services as Wi-Fi. Also, invest in a large-screen TV to keep visitors and clients engaged as they wait to be served.

Be creative with lighting

Few things can transform a space like creative lighting. A brightly lit office can help employees work efficiently.  If you are still used the same old, dim light fixtures you did five years ago, it’s time to go for something modern and appealing.

Consider new décor

The items in your office determine the overall mood of your workers and clients. Select items that create a good ambiance. An aquarium in your waiting room, for instance, contributes to the cheerfulness of the atmosphere besides creating a lasting impression on your visitors. A well-placed lamp brings a nice, cozy feel while improving your lighting.

The best way to know whether your office is an inviting place for your customers and your staff is by putting yourselves in their shoes. By doing just a few simple upgrades, you can make your workspace a more appealing one.

4 Ways to Protect Company Data

Data SecurityIn an era when companies around the world are becoming more reliant on computers to do everything in their processes, data protection is becoming more important. If the data gets into the wrong hands or gets deleted from the company’s resources, it could mean the end of the company as you know it. To start protecting your data, check out the following tips:

Use APC UPS battery for power equipment

Many data losses in companies happen because of unexpected power interruptions. Avoid this by integrating an APC UPS device in your power system. This way, power surges and power interruptions will not affect any data, as the device will be able to regulate power that flows to the computer system. If the APC UPS is starting to fail, You can simply replace your APC UPS battery for it to work effectively once again.

Draft a company data policy

Your company’s data policy will be the guiding framework of your company operations, and if ever a security breach happens. Every company must have them, and that includes yours.

Limit access to certain files

There are company files that should only be accessible to those who directly work with them. Due to this, access to files must be limited to a certain segment of the company. If possible, they should no longer be able to use it once they're done accessing it.

Get insurance

The risk of losing important data can be taken care of by insurance. An insurance will be able to protect any company that may be affected by the data breach.

The protection of computer data should be a priority for any company. These data are usually proprietary or sensitive, which means they should not be in the hands of other people.

 

3 Things You Should Do After an Attempted Break In

Burglar entering to house trough balcony window

Burglar entering to house trough balcony windowIn a 2016 report, figures showed that the burglary rate in New Zealand went up by 12 percent in the past year. This means you should be extra careful when it comes to home security.

If you experienced a break in or an attempted one in your home, here are some of the things you should do:

Call the police immediately

It is important to report the incident to the police immediately for two reasons. First, you get help immediately—police coming in and combing the area. Second, it officially puts the incident on record. If you want to retrieve your belongings when the police find the thieves, reporting it is extremely important. Moreover, you need a police report for insurance claims. Even if it is just an attempted one, you need to call the police and file a report to put it on record.

Improve your home security

The next thing you should do is to change all your locks. You can call mobile locksmiths in Auckland for quick lock replacements on all your doors and windows. Do not wait until thieves make a second attempt. If you do not have security cameras at home, have them installed immediately. The same holds true for alarms. These are all simple but effective security measures you can do right away to improve your home security and ensure your family’s safety.

View the break-in footage

If you do have security cameras already, view the break-in footage. First, you have to prepare yourself emotionally and mentally. Some footage can be extremely disturbing. In fact, it might be better to take the footage to the police and watch it there with the officers. It might be helpful in catching the thieves.

Do not wait until it is too late to safeguard your family and secure your home and belongings. Keep these things in mind if ever you encounter a break-in or an attempted one.

A Unique Alternative to Your Conventional Wedding Cake

A Bunch of CupcakesWedding cakes are a masterpiece on their own, an element of the wedding that seems to get almost the same level of effort as the bridal gown or the floral centerpieces. In recent years, wedding cakes have turned into unique, personalized works of art, along with the wedding venue décor, the invitation, and the event video. But while they are awesome, not all cakes are convenient, affordable or edible.

Since there are no rules on wedding cakes, you and your would-be spouse are free to choose an alternative, such as wedding cupcakes. Here are xx things that make wedding cupcakes a great alternative to regular-sized wedding cakes.

Design Flexibility

Like wedding cakes, you may design your cupcakes in many ways. But unlike regular-sized cakes, you get more flexibility with cupcakes. You could use them like puzzle pieces that all fit to create one large design, or you can simply have them designed individually. You can adopt a separate design and color for each tier of the display. You may even have personalized cupcake wrappers made to add more design elements to your dessert.

Variety of Flavors

Cupcakes can have a combination of flavors and fillings. With wedding cupcakes, you can mix and match flavors, allowing your guests to take their pick. It works best when you have guests with special dietary needs or preferences. You can have a special batch of cupcakes made for them. You could even take it up a notch by adding donuts, cake pops, cookie bars, macarons, and even ice cream cake cups!

Affordability

Sometimes, tiered wedding cakes are not entirely edible. This is because the fully edible ones are expensive. With cupcakes, you can be sure they are all edible and they still wouldn’t cost that much.

Faster Service

In weddings, having to wait for the cake to be sliced and served often takes time. With cupcakes, the service is quicker. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to serve cupcakes – guests can just stand up and get them.

Perfect for Cocktail Receptions

If you’re holding a cocktail reception, cupcakes will be easy to eat while standing. Moving from table to table to chat with family and friends is also easier when you’re only holding a cupcake instead of a plate. 

Deciding on Where to Live in the U.S.

Couple bought a house
Looking for a place to relocate in the U.S. should be an exciting time for you, as there is practically no end to the list of places you can choose from. As with any other buying choice, however, you have to consider the merits of the items on your list. Here are some of the criteria you may want to use:

Cost of real estate, cost of living

Some of the lists you’ll find in the best places to live in the U.S. include areas popular for the low or reasonable cost of living. For example, Saint Louis homes for sale are reasonably priced and the area promises low expenses for basic necessities. Even if you have the money to choose a house in a wealthy city, it’s difficult to say no to a bargain when the area offers everything else you need anyway. This is especially attractive to families.

Available features

The area you choose must coincide with what you value the most. For instance, if you are looking for a graduate school, the quality of education in the university or college you choose will likely dictate where you should live.

Keep in mind that if you are looking for a balanced life, you can’t pour everything into that. If you look hard enough, you’ll find a place with good schools and other features that matter to you, such as support for business or perhaps some facilities for healthy living like parks and gyms.

Neighborhood values

This is one of the most important factors you should never ignore. If you are a friendly person, you may want to spend a bit more time visiting areas where there is a strong spirit of community. If you prefer keeping everything to yourself, on the other hand, you may want to live in a neighborhood where people value privacy and quiet more than block parties

The good news is, whatever your interests are, there is a place in the U.S. where you can enjoy them and even get support for them. Do your research, talk to realtors, surf the Web, ask people you know about their neighborhood, and visit the places on your shortlist. If the place you want isn’t there, make another list. Do this until the features you value the most match the features of your options.

5 Smart Ways to Pay Less on Your Brisbane Home Insurance

Model House On PalmUnless you inherited the home or bought it in cash, you need to apply for a mortgage from a bank. Before you can take up a loan, though, you should get a home insurance policy, which shall cover the duration of your mortgage.

Depending on the value of the home and its contents, as well as the kind of home insurance you have, the annual premium in Brisbane is $1,376. If that’s too much for you, there are ways to bring your payments down:

1. Provide an accurate estimate of the house and the contents.

Stop guessing the value of your property. If you don’t know how much it’s worth, hire an appraiser. As for your contents, give your best estimate. You can lower the premium by insuring only the most valuable items in your home such as your jewellery and pricey furniture.

2. Improve the security.

Invest in technologies that improve the safety and security of your house such as a fire detector and BFT remotes from remotepro.com.au, which can be used in gates. The gears will make it painfully difficult for thieves to force open. Besides, these will surely provide you with peace of mind.

3. Be wise with multi-policy deals.

Multi-policy provides protection to different assets in single coverage. For example, your policy may extend to cars or watercraft. Although you seem to get discounts when you choose these deals, it may end up a waste of money if you can’t make the most of them.

4. Go easy on renewal.

The older the home gets, the higher the premium tends to be. To ensure you still enjoy the best deal, shop around before the policy expires.

5. Increase your excess.

Excess is the amount of money you pay before you can make a claim. In other words, it comes from your personal savings. The higher your excess, the lower the premium.

You may not get away from paying home insurance, but you can be smart about it. Decrease your premiums with these handy tips.

A Realtor’s Secret: 3 Ways They Attract Single Home Buyers

Single Home Buyer in North ShoreIn the past, buying homes was often a ‘tag team’ activity. When people say they wish to buy a home, others would assume they are married or considering marriage. To others, the idea that a single person wishes to purchase a family-sized house sounds ridiculous.

Today, however, that is no longer the case.

Making your property more attractive to single people is the new business move for today’s realtors. North Shore property managers focus on enticing single individuals not just to rent, but to buy a home for their supposed future.

But how do they do it?

Focus on the Lifestyle

Single people who buy their own homes have a particular lifestyle in mind. Couples with small children often think way ahead every time they visit a site. Single people, on the other hand, focus on the lifestyle they want to have.

Get to know the buyer at a professional level, but also pay attention to their interests. If your property has a small garden and the prospective buyer has a green thumb, point out the green lifestyle.

Highlight the Neighbourhood​

Families who buy homes focus on the neighbourhood, but what about single parents?

The proximity to schools, supermarkets and parks matters to those who work. Everything should be within their reach, and a neighbourhood that promotes easy parenting wins.

Real estate agents know that convenience is key. If the property is close to transport hubs or the central business district, it becomes more attractive to prospective buyers.

Make the Property Ready for Moving in

In this millennial age, single homebuyers want to move in as fast as they can. They do not have time for major renovations. They want to buy a property that they can move into immediately. From the fresh coat of paint to the necessary features, real estate agents ensure the homeowner will have everything they need when they move.

Real estate agents want a diverse market and today, singles are dominating the search. With these tricks, they easily reel singles towards their property.