Duplex vs Penthouse: Which is better?

Duplex vs Penthouse: Which is better?

As real estate prices are going down, some people are buying homes as an investment option, hoping the value will appreciate. If you want to buy a home to live or invest, you should consider buying a penthouse or a duplex.

What is the difference between a duplex and a penthouse?

Essentially, a duplex is a building with separate living units which can be side-by-side to each other or separated by the ground and upper floor where each unit has its own entrance. On the other hand, a penthouse is a residential unit placed on the uppermost floor or floors of a building. Penthouses are differentiated from other types of residential units by luxury features.

Which is better between a duplex and a penthouse?

Advantages of owning a penthouse

  • Unobstructed Views

One of the most alluring features of a penthouse is the unhindered scenic views. Since most of them are placed in high-rise buildings, they cannot be obstructed by other buildings.

  • Quiet

Penthouses are placed high above the busy streets. So, residents are away from the traffic and other loud noises. Residents of penthouses live in a more peaceful environment.

  • Natural air

Other buildings do not obstruct penthouses. As a result, there is plenty of natural light that flood the property.

Drawbacks of a penthouse

  • Long way up

For those living in a penthouse, a lift is not a luxury but a requirement. Therefore, the lift must be functioning at all time in order to reach the unit. If the lift is not working, residents will have to climb the stairs.

Advantages of a duplex

  • Affordable

Compared to penthouses, duplexes are located in affordable neighbourhoods. If you cannot afford a penthouse unit, a duplex is an excellent option.

  • Earn income

In a duplex, you can live in one unit and rent out the other. This could be appealing if you took a loan or a mortgage to buy the house. The rent collected can be used to repay the mortgage or loan.

Drawbacks of a duplex

  • Getting the right tenant

It is very difficult to get the right tenant to rent out the other unit.  A wrong tenant can cause disputes or compromise your privacy.

If you are looking forward to buying a property in Dubai, you should consider Emaar off-plan projects in Dubai. Here, you will get a variety of property types at favourable prices and terms. Alternatively, you can also consider City walk apartments for sale in Dubai or the rich selection of apartments for sale in Downtown Dubai too.

From Mortgages to Home Inspection Costs: Getting your First Home

From Mortgages to Home Inspection Costs: Getting your First Home

Souce: Flickr

The dream of owning a home is something that still motivates many Americans. Owning your own home isn’t simply about having somewhere to live for as long as you want, it is also about making what could be a profitable investment in your family’s future.

And even though younger generations of Americans have seemed more reluctant than their parents or grandparents to join the ranks of homeowners, studies have shown that the vast majority of millennials still expect to own their own home at some point in their life.

But for those who are embarking on home ownership for the first time, the process of finding and buying a first home can be intimidating. Here are some key things to remember if you are thinking of taking the plunge and becoming a homeowner.

Financial Self-Assessment

The starting point to the home-buying process is to make sure that your finances are as strong as they can be. To start with, take the time to run a credit report on yourself, and analyze the results. Doing what you can to improve your credit rating, such as paying off credit card balances, can help when it comes to taking out a mortgage, and if your credit rating is likely to take a few months to improve, then it is worth taking this time out before beginning the house buying process.

Prepare Financially

Once you’ve done a little financial housekeeping, the next step is to assess how much money you can afford to spend on a house. This includes the level of deposit you will be able to afford, and the approximate amount you will be able to pay in mortgage payments, taxes, interest and insurance, along with an allowance for future maintenance costs.

Home Inspection Costs

Another expense that you should prepare for is the cost of the home inspection. There are plenty of resources online to help you find out more about home inspections, but essentially this is a report that you have to carry out later on in the process, after you have found a home and made an offer. Some home buyers make the mistake of overlooking this home inspection cost early on and may not have funds available to compete the inspection report, so make sure you put money aside at the start.

Realtors and Mortgages

The next stage is to find a real estate agent that you feel you can work with as you start your home search. A good agent will not only work with you throughout the process, they will also help you to get in touch with the different specialists, including financial advisors and home inspectors, whose help you will need to buy your property. And it is a good idea to go through your mortgage options with a financial advisor at an early stage. A key aspect of choosing the right mortgage is to work out how much money you have to put down as a deposit, but beyond this factor, there are many types of mortgages from conventional loans to FHA loans and VA loans, and a good financial adviser will take into account your circumstances and financial history to help you find the right one.

Starting Your Search

Whether your agent is sending you potential properties, or you are doing the searching yourself, start by narrowing down the areas in which you would like to live. If you are unable to find anything suitable within that area, be prepared to expand it. Then it is simply a matter of taking the time to visit the homes you are interested in, asking as many questions as you can think of and being prepared to make further visits as required, until you have found the best home for you.

Securing Your Home

Making an offer and having it accepted is only the start of confirming the purchase. There will still be many weeks and a lot of paperwork to get through, including the home inspection report mentioned earlier, before you are able to sign contracts. Don’t forget to put some money aside to cover additional closing costs, which can often amount to as much as five percent of the sale price. You will also usually have a final chance to look around the place before you move in, to make sure that there have not been any significant changes since you made your offer. And with all that complete, you are ready to take ownership of your new home!

Buying your first home can be a stressful process, but by making sure that you plan thoroughly and leave as little as possible to chance, you can keep the stress to a minimum and achieve your dream of home ownership as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Important Considerations Before You Buy Your Next Home

Important Considerations Before You Buy Your Next Home

Buying a new home is a very exciting milestone in your life. It’s a huge decision that requires a lot of your time and energy. You have to do your homework to find the right property for you and your family, and hope that what you’re moving forward with is the right choice for everyone involved. Before you uproot your entire life, though, you need to first ask yourself a series of important questions. Not only can this fill you with confidence, but can also bring excitement to a new chapter in your life.

Can You Envision Your Style?

Before you purchase any furniture, you need to determine your new home’s overall theme. If you like everything vintage, then see if your house matches that style. However, if you prefer a more timeless and classical approach that matches any house’s interior or exterior, then looking for a seller that deals in contemporary furniture is ideal. Start with each room and picture what furniture you’d like to include. If you want a modern bedroom, then stylish modern beds from Lumens can be the centerpiece of your bedroom. If you want a contemporary living room, then hang statement lights that act as art but are also functional.

How Much Work Will You Need to Put in?

Take a look around and understand the condition your potential property is in as it stands. Read through the inspection papers and make sure you’re clear on what needs fixing and what can wait. Talk with your spouse and agree on what projects you’re willing to do yourself and which ones will require you to hire a contractor. Remember that it’s not only money, but also your time and energy that’s going to be spent in redecorating or renovating this house.

Do you like the Neighborhood?

Although you like the house, consider if the neighborhood is a good fit for you and your family. Walk around, go to the stores and drive through the areas outside of your specific neighborhood. Talk to people you see on the street and do research into how the schools are rated. You have to immerse yourself in the scene to get a true feeling for what you’re getting yourselves into. Don’t let your love for the house sway your decision one way or another. You have to evaluate the neighborhood on its own and decide if it’s a good fit.

Is there Space to Grow?

You might love the way the house you want to buy looks and feels. However, determine if it’s going to meet your needs as your family grows and matures over the years. Think about whether you want to have any more kids and how much stuff you’ll need to store as the kids grow older. It may not be a smart move to purchase a place that barely fits you and your family if you’re looking to expand.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying a house, whether it’s your first or fourth, you need to think clearly and carefully about the property in question. Rather than rush into such a move, consider the questions listed above and make a logical decision with your whole family in mind.

Bodybuilding On a Budget: The Best Affordable Supplements

Bodybuilding On a Budget: The Best Affordable Supplements

If you’re a body builder on a budget, then we’re here to help! Check out this awesome list of the best affordable supplements out there.

What are your fitness goals?

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle or improve your performance, supplements can help you along the way.

Nutritional supplements have several health benefits. Unfortunately, they can also be very expensive. You don’t have to shell out on endless amounts of pills and powders to get results.

In this post, we’ll tell you how to supplement the right way. Read on to find out which affordable supplements you should be taking.

5 Affordable Supplements You Need to Try

Don’t waste money on useless, ineffective supplements. These 5 products are all you need.

1. Whey Protein

For many fitness enthusiasts, whey protein is a staple of their nutrition and training program.

The amount of protein you need will depend on your bodyweight as well as how often you exercise. No matter what the figure is, it can be difficult to achieve through your standard three meals a day. This is especially the case for those with busy lifestyles.

If you struggle to consume enough protein through your usual food intake, whey protein is perfect for filling the deficit. It’s a fast, convenient and effective protein source, which you can carry with you to the gym and take immediately after your workout.

It’s also a great way to get the right amount of protein without any added calories or fat. Most protein powders have around 20 grams of protein per serving, with very few added ingredients.

If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, you can still enjoy the benefits of protein powder. There are plenty of plant-based versions available, including pea protein, soy protein, quinoa protein, and more.

Lots of powders contain extra amino acids, too. There are thousands of different products on the market for you to try. Read more about the different types of whey protein available and find the best one for you.

2. Creatine

If there’s one supplement you can’t do without, it should be creatine.

Unlike many other affordable supplements elsewhere, it’s backed by solid science. Creatine is scientifically proven to increase muscle mass and improve performance.

It helps your body to produce more ATP so that you can workout at a higher intensity. If you use it correctly, you may find that you’re able to sprint faster, jump higher, or complete more reps in the long run.

Creatine is also one of the most affordable supplements because you don’t need to take the same amount every day.

When you first begin supplementing with it, you start with a loading phase. This usually involves taking up to 25 grams of creatine a day for five days in order to saturate your muscle cells.

After those five days, you can reduce your intake. From there, you only need to take 3-5 grams a day in order to maintain your creatine levels.

You don’t need to consume scoop after scoop of creatine to feel the benefits. Just a small amount every day is enough to keep you going and produce results.

3. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

You need more than just protein in order to build muscle.

Your body needs other ingredients, too. That’s where branched chain amino acids come in.

BCAAs are the building blocks of protein. They stimulate muscle synthesis, which helps your body make the gains you’re working for.

They also help with your recovery, too. If you take BCAAs during your workout, you’ll have less muscle soreness than usual. You’ll also become less fatigued, as your body won’t use up so much glycogen.

Taking BCAAs is easy. Simply mix one or two scoops of powder into your water, then drink it while you’re working out.

You don’t have to worry about the taste. Most supplement manufacturers add flavorings to make their BCAAs taste great. There are hundreds of different products available, with different fruity and refreshing tastes.

The recommended dose is 5-10 grams per day. For most products, this amounts to no more than $1 per serving.

4. Glutamine

You can’t build muscle without glutamine.

It’s one of the most important products for athletes and bodybuilders. It’s also one of the most affordable supplements out there.

This valuable amino acid draws water and glycogen into the muscle cells, making it more readily available to use.

As well as providing energy for muscles, it also does the same for the immune system. Frequent, rigorous training can take a toll on your body, and if you don’t take the right supplements, you could leave yourself more susceptible to illness.

Glutamine keeps your body in tip-top condition, so you can feel your best for every workout.

This essential supplement doesn’t break the bank at all. A bottle of glutamine capsules should only cost you around $10. If used correctly, that will last for a whole month.

5. Fish Oil

Fish oil isn’t just for old people. Every athlete and fitness enthusiast should be taking it, too.

This is because the Omega-3 fatty acids it contains are vital to the body. The body can’t make these fatty acids on its own, and it’s difficult to get enough in your diet.

Even if you eat a lot of fish, nuts, and avocados, you still may not get all of the Omega-3 fatty acids you need.

These acids decrease muscle breakdown and increase protein synthesis, making it easier to build muscle mass. They also improve your heart health, so you can be a better athlete overall.

Be Healthier and Happier

Exercising regularly is a great way to live a healthy and balanced life.

As well as working out, you need to keep your diet in check, too. This doesn’t just mean cutting treats out of your diet and counting calories. It also means eating the right foods in the right amounts at the right times.

Supplements can help you do that.

As well as these affordable supplements, there are other products you can use to help you get in shape. Find out more about how natural weight loss supplements can help you.

What to Look for in an Investment Property: A Beginner’s Guide

What to Look for in an Investment Property: A Beginner’s Guide

Investing in real estate isn’t just about finding the best deal, there’s many other factors to consider. Read on to learn what to look for in an investment property so you don’t waste your money.

If you’re considering buying an investment property, it can be incredibly confusing to figure out where you should start.

From setting a budget to finding a real estate agent and trying to figure out how to finance remodeling projects, it’s easy to get overwhelmed before you even begin!

However, it’s no secret that investing in real estate can become lucrative fairly quickly. Especially if you’re interested in mastering the fine art of passive income, buying a rental property is an incredible opportunity.

Of course, if you don’t make smart, measured choices, buying investment property is also an excellent way to lose a large portion of your savings seemingly overnight.

In this post, we’ll tell you what to look for in an investment property.

Read on to feel confident about the decision you’re making when it comes to your first ever real estate investment.

1. Take a Hard Look at your Finances

Before you figure out what to look for in an investment property, the first thing you need to do is examine your personal finances.

In today’s world, the average American household is over $137,000 in debt.

If this describes you, then you need to think long and hard about whether or not now is truly the right time for you to buy a rental or investment property.

Take a look at your financial future, as well. Even if your debt levels are under control, what sort of upcoming expenses do you have coming up?

Are you nearing retirement? Do you have children you’ll soon need to put through college? Are you in over your head when it comes to your student loans? What about your medical expenses?

Make sure all of these things are manageable to avoid a financial disaster.

Further, you need to understand that the cost of a down payment on your investment property will likely be a bit more expensive than a traditional home buying experience.

In most cases, buying a rental property will require you to pay about a 20% down payment up front. Ensure this is a sum you’re comfortable with before you make any final decisions.

2. Don’t Forget your Expenses

When you’re buying an investment property, it’s also essential that you take the time to figure out what your operating expenses will be.

This can help you to have a more accurate understanding of how large your profit margin will really be — and help you to determine a good rental price.

You’ll need to consider:

  • Property taxes
  • Heating/electric bills
  • Water bill
  • Unexpected repairs
  • Garbage collection
  • Insurance
  • Maid/cleaning service
  • Any property management fees

Another important thing to think about when you’re calculating your operating expenses?

How much interest you’ll need to pay each month on any money you borrowed in order to finance the purchase of your investment property.

This is why it’s always a smart idea to shop around with several different lenders before you make a final decision.

Remember, it’s always better to go for the option with the lower interest rate. Yes, even if those with high interest rates off you more money.

3. Resist the Fixer-Upper

We know that, when you’re trying to understand what to look for in an investment property, it can be tempting to go for the fixer-upper.

After all, you’re getting the home at a great price, you’re able to start work on it sooner, and it has an easier closing process than most. Not to mention, you’ll also have a fun and exciting project to work on over the next few months.

Here’s the reality check that you need: home renovation costs are skyrocketing.

In fact, they can quickly run to over $50,000 depending on the size of your home and the kind of renovations you need done.

Don’t be fooled by the seemingly “cheap” cost of run-down fixer-uppers. Especially if you’re new to the world of real estate investing, it’s simply not the place you want to start.

Plus, keep in mind that the overall timeline of the renovation projects will make it difficult for you to turn a profit quickly. You won’t be able to start renting out your property until all of your renovations are complete.

And even if you’re able to set a firm deadline with contractors, things like poor weather, a lack of the required materials, and even worker injuries can slow down the process — and end up costing you even more money.

4. Consider the Neighborhood

When you’re buying a rental property, one of the most important things to take into consideration is the neighborhood that the apartment or home is situated within!

After all, no one wants to live in an area where they feel unsafe, or where they can’t get the things that they need.

Look for a space that’s located somewhere near the center of town. Walkability and access to central transportation hubs is especially crucial if you’re more in the market for short-term or vacation renters that don’t really know the area.

Of course, you should also make sure that there are plenty of things for your renters to actually do in the area where your property is located.

Be aware that your neighborhood will also be a huge influencing factor on the type of people that are most likely to rent out your property.

So, if you’re concerned about a bunch of college kids renting out your property and causing thousands of dollars in damage Then you might not want to buy a property that’s close to a university.

You should also look into the rules surrounding rental properties in the areas that you’re interested in. Remember that you may need to pay additional fees in order to rent out your space, or meet with community board members to ensure that you’re on the same page.

5. Consider the Long-Term Investment

When you’re trying to learn how to buy investment property that will appreciate over time, it’s important to consider how you think the area will develop in the future.

You don’t want to end up in a neighborhood that’s trendy right now, but might become too overcrowded in the future.

Take a look at your city’s development plans and try to determine how they might impact the overall value of your property in the future.

For example, if a large factory is slated to go up in the area you’re considering buying within? You can expect to lose some money when you try to sell it.

Also take a look at things like parks, nearby school, malls, and other kinds of amenities. These are all things that could certainly have a positive impact on the overall value of your rental property in the future.

6. Work with a Professional

In some cases, buying an investment property just isn’t something you can — or even should — attempt to do on your own.

From finding the perfect location to managing your property when you’re away or preparing it for a future sale, getting help is always a smart idea.

High Return Real Estate’s process is explained on this website.

Essentially, this company and others like it work to help you find the perfect property for the best possible price. Then, they take care of the renovations in order to ensure you can start renting or selling your home as soon as possible.

They even offer property management options, so that it’s easier than ever for you and your family to collect a passive income — without having to worry about the hassle of maintenance.

Then, they mail a check to you every month. Talk about taking the guesswork out of real estate investment properties in your area!

You Know What to Look for in an Investment Property

We hope that this post has done an excellent job of laying the foundation of what to look for in an investment property.

Remember to first make sure that now is truly the best time for you to invest in real estate. Pay down your debt, consider your operating expenses and interest rates, and make sure you can actually afford the down payment on your property.

Also, when buying a rental property, consider the neighborhood, the long-term growth potential, and whether or not you could benefit from professional help.

Looking for advice on how to upgrade your property? Need design and maintenance help? Want to pay down your debt so you can buy?

Check out our website and blog for tips on how to make all of this — and more — happen for you.

Randy Benderson Looks at Why Sarasota Is Such a Good Commercial Real Estate Market

Randy Benderson Looks at Why Sarasota Is Such a Good Commercial Real Estate Market

Source

Sarasota is found on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is a beautiful part of the country and many people from places as close as Tampa Bay or as far as Phoenix have wanted to move here. However, Randy Benderson has recently picked up a significant news scoop that there has been a shift in the real estate market in Sarasota. Today, it seems investors are becoming more interested in commercial and retail properties.

Randy Benderson on Changes in the Sarasota Real Estate Market

The commercial real estate (CRE) market in Sarasota is very interesting. There are resorts and hotels, investment properties, retail units, industrial warehouses, office blocks, and more. It seems that, in the past five years or so, this market has boomed in the area. Sarasota is still like a little piece of heaven on earth as well, which means it is also very attractive for residential people.

Realtors are becoming increasingly interested in the CRE market, however. There are now also a lot of real estate developers, who are creating different strategies to make sure the area provides the functionality that is expected of a major 21st century city, while at the same time retaining its old town charm. To do this, Randy Benderson completed a study that demonstrated that what people look for in Sarasota is both a strong economy, and a fantastic view.

The market is becoming increasingly interesting, and there have been some significant offers available, whereby investors could purchase commercial properties here for as little as 80% of what their actual value is. And, since this raised interest so much, a lot of business shares also started to grow, bringing even more money into the economy as a whole. Within just a few years, some people were able to earn a significant amount of money, and they pumped this straight back into the Sarasota economy.

Benderson also noticed that there was a change in the labor market. A lot of CRE professionals, real estate professionals, financial experts, project managers, and accountants suddenly started to come to the area. The result of this is that the economic future of Sarasota started to increase as well. Unemployment rates have dropped significantly, and this has changed the face of the town. In the past, it was very much a retirement community, but it is now attracting young talent as well.

Although the economy is never 100% stable, it seems that making investments in the Sarasota market is a pretty safe thing to do. Additionally, starting a business in that area is also a very good idea. While, again, there are never any real guarantees, the economy is strong, the labor market is thriving, money is growing, investments are being made, and experts all over the country are keeping their eye on Sarasota. Whether you are thinking of starting a business, moving to somewhere nice for your retirement, or simply investing in property, it seems this once little Gulf town is the way forward.

What You Need to Know About Starting a Real Estate Business

What You Need to Know About Starting a Real Estate Business

If you enjoy selling real estate, then you already understand the types of profits you can make. Yet, it can be difficult to split your profits with several agents.

It can be such a disappointment when you hear you are receiving a $300,000 commission but splitting it with five other agents. Now, you are still getting a nice payment, but only a fifth of the full amount. Plus, you have to deal with the personalities of four other agents who probably think they know the best way to sell the house. It can be chaotic.

This is why successful real estate investors choose to own their own brokerage to help structure real estate investments in the best way they see fit.

Start with Saving

You will need money to open and run a business. Items to consider include:

  • Renting or buying a space
  • Website design
  • Logo design
  • Insurance
  • Office signs

Financing

Then, you need enough money set aside to cover operating costs. If you want your business to succeed, you need to keep the lights on and the Internet working. You also need your phones to work.

Moreover, if you plan on hiring anyone, you need to have enough one hand to pay their salaries for several months until the sales start coming in.

Legal Configuration

You want to ensure your business is a business. This all depends on what type of tax status you need. In general, many real estate brokerages are set up as LLCs. This means owners can legally separate themselves from liability and increase protection over personal property and finances if ever faced with a lawsuit.

It’s not difficult to create an LLC.

All you need to do is file articles of incorporation with state agencies and ensure your company maintains good standing. Nonetheless, it helps to seek out the advice of an attorney who specializes in real estate issues.

You may also want to discuss your plans with a financial advisor to ensure you are spending your money wisely.

Marketing

You also must decide how you will get leads. You need a plan that will keep your inbox filled and your phone ringing. If you don’t have leads, your business will dissipate rather quickly. So, you must have a marketing plan and a marketing budget.

Even if it’s a few reams of flyers, you must start advertising. Some strategies work better than others. The point is: you need to make money to stay in business.

Hiring

Now that you have a real estate business, you need to hire agents to bring in multiple streams of income. Who you hire depends on what type of business you can attract. The best agents will work for firms with the potential for many good leads. So, it is your job to provide that. Easier said than done, but it is necessary for getting the best agents available.

In Conclusion

Starting a real estate brokerage is a good idea for seasoned agents with a plan for success. Huge profits won’t come in overnight, but they will happen with the right strategy and implementation.