Getting Creative With Your Cardio at Home or at the Gym

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Cardio exercises are a must when it comes to being fit or shedding fat, but that does not mean you do not have options. Cardio does a lot for your health in general, it increases your metabolism, burns fat, makes your heart and blood vessels healthier, decreases your blood pressure, increases your stamina, improves your sex life and the list goes on.

With all that I have stated doing the same thing day in day out might bore you so much that you could forget the benefits of cardio, so I’m going to give you other alternative ways to do your cardio that are not the traditional, steady pace jogging or cycling that everyone associates with cardio.

What most people think is that the longer you do an activity such as jogging the more you will get out of the workout, which is not true but may be true if you are talking about steady pace cardio. Doing something like jogging for a long distance is also time consuming and if you do too much cardio or too long of a distance you might find that it holds you back in terms of muscle gain, if that is what you are after.

How to get creative with your cardio:

First thing you can try is to change your traditional cardio workouts into more fast paced, interval sessions. What I mean is you can train in short intense intervals by timing yourself on a bike or treadmill and increasing the intensity in each interval. This would not require a lot of time and you would have one hell of a workout. In fact you will be burning calories long after you have worked out, but your time spent working out would be less than if you did the traditional steady pace stuff.

You could try doing sprints which is another form of interval training, running between cones. Taking short breaks and doing it again and increasing the distance and trying to run as fast as possible, short break again increasing the distance a little and go at it hard again, you get the idea. This would be a short intense and fun workout, obviously its short because it takes more effort and we can’t sprint for long distances or long periods of time. The cool thing with sprints is that you get the benefits of traditional cardio and you built lean muscular legs, you have noticed that sprinters are jacked compared to long distance runners.

Other cardio exercises you could try includes martial art such as MMA, Kick boxing, karate etc. You could also play sports if you have time such as soccer, tennis, hockey or any other high activity sport. You could try swimming if you love the water; swimming is one of the better forms of cardio since it has less impact on your body and joints because the water supports your body weight.

There are a lot of alternatives to traditional cardio, it’s up to you to find the ones that you like best, most of them are just fun and most people do not even know they are doing a cardio exercise. Just think of dancers they do cardio and have fun the same time. So go out there and find what works for you, no more excuses and no more boring cardio sessions.

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Source by Eugene Madondo

How to Start a Pet Transportation Business

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Pet Transportation Services are needed as the number of pets in the U.S. has grown tremendously over the past few decades. According to the U.S. Pet ownership and Demographics sourcebook, there are an estimated 60 million dogs and 70 million cats in American homes today. Apart from that, households which own pets have been recorded to spend 36% more in 2001 as compared to 1996. With this, owning a business that caters to the pet market, including a pet transportation service has lots of potential for healthy growth.

This is due to the fact that many Americans move around the country yearly and thus would require pet transportation services to move their pets as well. On a smaller scale, pet transportation services can also cater for local residents who require these services to transport their pets to and from the vet, within a local area or even to the crematorium for pets which have died.

Start Up Costs and Financing Sources:

Starting a pet transportation business really depends on the scale that you want your business to be. If you want to start on a smaller scale, all you really need is probably a pickup truck that has been modified to be safe and suitable for the transport of animals. Of course, you will need to set up an office or operate from your home with just a telephone, email and a fax machine. All of these will cost you less than $20,000.

On a larger scale, especially when you are considering cross border transportation, you will probably need to invest on a larger truck that can accommodate a few pets at the same time. Apart from that, the insides of the truck will need to be made suitable, safe and clean for pets, with adequate ventilation and cleaning facilities. In order to make this business viable, you may need to quickly expand your business to include sales agent offices in various locations. This way, you can build up business volume in order to increase profitability. All of these may cost you anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000 in initial start up costs.

Financing can be obtained from investors who may be interested in the potentials of such a business. Other than that, lending institutions such as banks can be approached to obtain a loan for the business. As with any business start-up, an impressive business plan must be developed for potential investors and financiers, indicating the potential growth as well as the estimated annual costs and revenue of the business.

Pricing Guidelines for Service:

The pricing strategy for a pet transportation service business fluctuates based on the fixed and variable cost of the business, as well as the nature of the service provided. Local transportation services may start with a minimum charge of $20 to $40 for the first 20 miles and an additional $10 for every 10 miles after that.

As for interstate transportation or transportation between cities, the distance between the origin and the destination will be the major price determinant. With this, prices may range from $100 and up, depending also on the size of the animal and the pet carrier.

Advertising and Marketing:

As you are targeting pet owners, the best marketing approach would to advertise in locations where pet owners would go. Reading material for pet owners as well as events that are attended by the same target group. Placing brochures within pet stores and probably awarding pet stores with commissions for every customer they recommend to you would be a good idea. Advertising in pet magazines or getting a write up on your services would be helpful. Of course, classified ads in the Yellow pages are a must in order to make it easy for customers to locate you.

Other channels of promotion would be participation as a vendor in dog shows or exhibitions. Doing this will help increase awareness on the existence of the business. Additionally, working with associations such as the American Kennel Association would create and improve visibility to pet breeders and pet store owners. Especially when you participate in events organized by these associations.

Launching a website and allowing potential customers to get instant price estimates from your website would also be a great idea.

Essential Equipment

This business requires a fair amount of equipment, in which the most important would be the vehicle that is used to transport the animals. Apart from that, other equipment such as crates, kennels and carriers may be required as some customers do not have these items with them. The size and usage of these crates must be according to the guidelines set by the Independent Pet and Animal Transport Association (IPATA).

Handlers and drivers will need to be employed to care for the animals while they are in transit. Other equipment required would be built-in sinks within the vehicle to allow for easy cleaning and water refills.

Recommended training, experience, or needed skills:

There is no extensive training required for a pet transportation service business. However, good and responsible drivers and animal handlers need to be engaged. It would be best if you have a background and experience in handling animals during travel so you can train your staff and ensure that they are handling animals in the correct manner. Apart from that, your staff must also know what to do if they encounter problems during the journey, and should also be equipped with the latest kennel and vet location information in case of emergencies.

Apart from that, the business owner must be well informed on all legal requirements pertaining to pet transportation. For example, there are IPATA guidelines on the size of crates and wire crates that are required by law. Moreover, all pets must be accompanied by an inter-state travel certificate that has been certified by a veterinarian.

Income potential:

The income potential of this business is dependent on how large the business grows to. A larger business with multiple offices and destinations will be able to sustain a higher sales volume. With this, the pet transportation business will be able to generate at least a six- figure income each year.

Target market:

Pet owners, pet stores and animal breeders.

Success tips:

A pet transportation business requires investment and a passion for welfare of animals in order for it to be successful. As it is also a niche market, lots of marketing and advertising need to be invested into the business in order to create the awareness of the services.

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Source by Randy Wilson

The Business of Running a Bed and Breakfast

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Running a Bed and Breakfast („B&B“) sounds great at 5pm rush hours in the streets of Manhattan during the cold of winter. The fact is it can be a real job. Let me give you a taste of what it’s like in the life of a typical B&B owner.

Imagine it is 8pm on a Friday in the middle of summer at your lovely B&B. You just finished clearing out the dining room, in which your guests recently indulged in some light fare and beverages. You’re tired. It’s been a long day. You’re about to begin to do the dishes, which will take you an hour or so, and the phone rings. It’s John Smith, a late arrival guest, who was to check-in at 9pm. He tells you he will be there no later than 10pm.

It’s now 9pm, you’ve just finished the dishes and now you are tossing the dirty towels into the laundry and gathering up new towels, to replace the old ones in the bathrooms. This takes you another hour or so. You check your watch. It’s 10PM, no John Smith. „Where could he be?“ you wonder to yourself. You check the phone for any messages, none. At 10:30pm the phone rings. It’s John Smith. He is on the Garden State Parkway at exit 117. He should be there in about ½ an hour. At 11pm John Smith finally arrives. You check him in, show him his room and at 11:20pm you rush to your bedroom to hit the sack because you promised early riser, Julie Murphy, you would have fresh coffee and a continental breakfast for her at 6am. If you’re lucky you pass out from exhaustion at 11:45pm and squeeze in just over five hours of sleep.

Welcome to the tranquil world of B&Bs. Not your typical day, but you get the idea. My point is this, managing a B&B not as easy as you would think. It can, however, be everything you thought it would be as long as your thoughts are anchored in reality.

The level of your attention to detail, along with your B&B’s location, can make your B&B a real success or a real nightmare. During your B&B’s busy season (primarily May-September in the Northeast) you are always on the go. Your hours are dictated by the hours of your guests. A late arrival can keep you up late and an early riser might require that you wake up at 5am.

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes a B&B? Generally speaking anything larger than 5 rooms is considered an Inn and anything less is considered a B&B.

How do you know if your B&B is successful? 100 nights, out of a year, filled to capacity, is a good year.

Can you make a living running a B&B? In most cases you will need about six rooms to make a living at it. Anything less is just supplemental income. If a host wants to make a living at a B&B they must open an Inn.

What are the biggest problems facing B&B hosts? Typically, it’s the attention to detail required of a well run B&B and last minute cancellations or guests just not showing up.

Should you list your B&B with a reservation service agency („RSA“)? If this is your first B&B and you are just starting out, the answer is a definitive yes! Here’s why. A good RSA provides a number of valuable services. First and foremost they can drive business to your B&B. Many RSAs provide brochures to state-run Welcome Centers. Some RSAs reach out to local businesses and special-events coordinators. When a potential guest takes one of those brochures and calls the RSA they will provide the prospect with B&Bs that meet their geographic and personal needs. Other advantages of joining an RSA include valuable advice about how to run the B&B. Many RSAs will usually come to your B&B to see if it has the right set up for accommodating guests.

They typically bring along a checklist and go through a type of inspection process. Soon you will find out just what strengths and weaknesses your B&B has. Oftentimes, this service is offered free of charge, as an initial consultation, The RSA will do this as a way of determining if your B&B meets their minimum standards. This inspection helps flesh out the problems inherent in your B&B. If you pass the inspection, the RSA will be interested in listing your home. Typical operational services an RSA provides, beyond those mentioned, include answering phones, e-mail/mail inquiries, screening and matching guests with hosts. They will send confirmations to guests who make reservations. Some even send out regular newsletters to hosts and help hosts with record keeping and tax preparation. All of these services, of course, come at a cost. Generally, an RSA’s commission will be between 20-25% of the rental income from the guests they book.

How much should you charge per room per night? Most B&Bs charge a minimum of $100 per night for a double occupancy room. Depending on your geographic location this amount could be significantly higher or lower.

What kind of costs/expenses can you expect to incur in your B&B? Expenses in running a B&B include food, beverage, coffee filters, soap, shampoo, facial/toilet tissue, cleaning supplies, cleaning help, laundry, new sheets, paint, repairs, linens, bedding, towels, fresh flowers, new mattresses, advertising/promotion, office supplies, dues/subscriptions, business cards, reading lamps, telephone, internet access, commission to your RSA, membership fees to local business organizations (i.e. Chamber of Commerce), insurance, utilities, accounting fees, legal fees, income tax, real estate tax and mortgage interest,.

What type of accounting or bookkeeping system is needed in a well run B&B? Accounting for a B&B does not have to be that complicated. Your options are a manual accounting system or a computer-based one. A manual accounting system could be as simple as a checkbook, accordion file and some envelopes. The accordion file should have twelve compartments for each month. Include envelopes for your main expenses in each compartment and place your expense receipts in each expense envelope. For those expenses that do not fit neatly into any one category, include a „miscellaneous“ envelope. At the end of the month tally up your expenses on a control sheet which lists the expenses on the left and a column for each month on the right. Subtract the month’s total from your receipts for the month and you will know how much money you made or how much you lost. A computer-based system should be one that is simple to use. I recommend QuickBooks as it is one of the easiest accounting software programs to learn and use on the market. A few hours with your accountant, learning QuickBooks, can save you many more hours of trial and error, not to mention frustration and stress, down the road. If you feel that you don’t have the attention to detail in keeping even a rudimentary accounting system then use your checkbook as your accounting system. Make sure every expense you incur, however, is run through your checkbook or a specific credit card is used only for business purchases, if you are not good with keeping receipts.

Should I organize my B&B as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or LLC?

This is not an easy question to answer. Before we get to that answer let me touch on how the B&B should be owned. I would recommend that the B&B be owned personally. The reason is that there are tax advantages to owning the B&B personally. One major tax benefit is the personal residential exclusion of any gain of up to $500,000 ($250,000 for single taxpayers) on the personal residence portion of your B&B. Another reason is that this direct ownership better facilitates the use of a tax advantaged sale of the B&B using a like kind exchange, which allows the seller to defer taxation of any gain from the sale of the B&B, as long as like kind property (real estate) is acquired within six months from the date of the B&B’s sale. With a direct personal ownership structure you could lease the B&B to the legal entity that will be running the business. In no case would I run the B&B business as a sole proprietorship, since a sole proprietorship has unlimited liability.

My first choice would be a corporation in which an S election was made. The S corporation offers the best limited liability protection, even better than an LLC or a partnership. Here’s why. In an LLC your personal liability is limited, in the case of a lawsuit for some type of negligence, but only if you did not personally cause the negligence or injury (i.e. an employee was responsible for the negligence or injury and you did not direct that employee to perform that act). If you had something to do with the negligent act, you and all of your personal assets can be at risk. In a partnership, as a general partner, you may be held personally liable for any negligence or injury, even if caused by an employee. In a corporation, only the corporate assets are at risk. Your personal assets are safe. Personal liability at the corporate level would require „piercing the corporate veil“, something that is very hard to do given the long history of corporate case law precedence limiting this. In an S corporation, any net income or net loss and certain other tax items will flow through to your personal income tax return, as an S corporation is a pass-through entity.

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Source by Thomas Corley

Help, I'm Scared – I Just Read My Home Inspection Report – Is The House Falling Apart?

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Oh My Gosh … pipes are leaking, roofing shingles are damaged, the furnace isn't working properly, there are electrical issues, the deck needs attention …. gheesh … What do I do now? Is this house, the house that I've fallen deeply in love with, falling apart?

Well … maybe so and maybe no. There is no perfectly constructed or perfectly maintained house … at least, I've never inspected such a thing nor do I expect that I ever will. Nevertheless, be assured that there are homes out there that are just plainly in very poor condition. Chances are, though, that the issues identified in a Home Inspection report are typical issues for a home of any given or particular age. While this isn't always the case, the issues are very likely able to be repaired. Most anything can be repaired. Even more serious items eg structural issues, water intrusion and resultant damage, heating and air conditioning systems that need to be replaced etc., are able to be repaired. Once issues have been identified, irrespective of their severity, it then becomes a matter of whether or not they are going to be repaired, how and by whom they might be repaired, how much those repairs are going to cost, and what party is going to be financially responsible for those repairs.

First … and in my opinion … the details of what a Home Inspection is, and of how a Home Inspection report is typically used in a real estate transaction, should have been fully explained to the buyer by their real estate agent prior to the Inspection period. Then, at the beginning of the Home Inspection, the Home Inspector should explain to the client what they can expect from the Home Inspector, and from the Home Inspection report. The Home Inspection report, and again in my ever so humble opinion, shouldn't be considered as an all-inclusive list to be used to beat the selling party severely about the head and shoulders. There will likely be … will almost certainly be … items in the report that, while required to be reported by the standards governing the Home Inspection, may not fall within the scope of the Real Estate Offer To Purchase Contact as items that are able to be asked to be repaired by the seller. That determination, or interpretation, is best left to a real estate agent or to an attorney. The issues identified in the report, in their totality, is information … information provided as part of the basis upon which to make an informed purchase decision. That's why you had an inspection in the first place, right? You paid for a professional evaluation of the home to make a more informed purchase decision.

Second … take a half-step backward, take a deep breath or two, and re-read the report. I promise that the world hasn't come to an end as the result of the report. If there are numerous individual items to consider, then try to itemize those issues in the order of their importance to YOU. The report may categorize the issues to some degree but the Home Inspector cannot decide what importance YOU should place on any given item. Neither should the Inspector be advising you as to whether or not you should purchase the home; such advice or guidance is simply outside the scope of a Home Inspection. There are two questions that I, personally, have never answered. The first is "Would you buy this home?" and the second is "How would you rate this home on a scale of 1–10?" There is too much that a Home Inspector just simply doesn't know to be able to answer such questions. Sure, they know a great deal about the physical condition of the home by the time the inspection is complete, but that's only part of the equation. They don't know how much the home is worth, they don't know the clients financial condition, and they don't know what the financial arrangements might be. I suggest, too, that they shouldn't want to know.

Third … set about gathering yet more information. Information … accurate information … and the resulting knowledge gained are your most dear of friends. You need to associate a dollar value with the needed repairs. Are the repairs going to require a structural assessment by a licensed Professional Engineer? Are the needed repairs such that they will require implementation by a licensed General Contractor? Can any of the items be corrected by a handyman who specializes in general repairs? Seek out and obtain estimates from the contractors that will be performing the repairs. Use all of the resources available to you to attain information and make good decisions. Your experienced, professional real estate agent, assuming you've retained that service, is in an excellent position to assist you in this endeavor. The typical professional real estate agent has, at their disposal, a vast wealth of knowledge and resources about how to go about dealing with the contents and issues of a Home Inspection report. That's part of what they do in representing their clients during a real estate transaction.

Your success in your real estate transaction is at least partly dependent upon gathering appropriate information, processing that information, and making informed decisions based upon that information. Doing so in a calm, direct and straight-forward manner … with as little involved emotion as possible … will likely be contributory to a positive outcome.

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Makler Heidelberg


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Source by Gary Gentry

Cheap Home Appraisals – 2 Ways You Can Get a Free Home Appraisal

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If you are looking for a cheap home appraisal, or free home appraisal, then read this article. I will show you two ways to get your home’s value for free. In today’s real estate market you need to know the true value of your home before you list it for sale. If you are buying a home you need to know how much that home is really worth in a declining market.

Real Estate Agents – Using a local real estate agent you should be able to get a close estimate of the value of your home or property. Real estate agents have at their fingertips many tools that will give a fairly accurate estimate of your home’s value. What will this cost? Usually it is free. So what’s the catch? Well, most realtors will do this for you in hopes of getting your business. Should you let just any real estate agent do this analysis? I say no. You want to select a real estate agent that is familiar with your subdivision or area. You also want an agent that understands how the features in your home will either increase the estimate or decrease the estimate. Once you receive an home value estimate, then you should use the next method to verify that the estimate is correct.

Home Appraisal Websites – I like using some of the free online home appraisal websites, like HomeGain. HomeGain will give you a fairly descent estimate within a few seconds. All, you have to do is supply your address and a few details about your home. Click the button, and within a second or two you will have a free home appraisal. There are other sites on the internet that do this type of appraisal but many are not free. I suggest that you get at least two estimates from an online source and then compare it with a real estate agents estimate. This should give you a fairly good idea of how much your home is worth.

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Makler Heidelberg


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Source by Jordan S Ashton

Understanding Commercial Real Estate Leases

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When you list a property to sell or to lease you need to understand the type of lease that you are dealing with. There are definite differences in leases at all levels and hence a lease must be read fully before proceeding.

Leases are the foundation of property performance. The best salespeople understand the leasing process and the high value that it brings to the future sale. A good lease can enhance a sale price when the time comes.

As mentioned, there are many different types of leases, but there are some rules and common basic elements which will allow you to understand the lease or the potential lease that you can apply to a property. It’s all about interpretation of the lease document and that means that you must read the document.

Professional Property Services

After many years of working in the industry, I have seen the best people set the foundations of success around the leasing process. This means that they have grounded themselves with investment skills and knowledge by leasing property for a few years. So let’s now look at how you can move down this path of skill development regards leasing.

The better you negotiate and the more fully that you interpret a lease, the more professional you are and you appear to the people that you work with or serve.

You can and should add strategic value in the client in every lease that you negotiate. A lease is not just a document to allow a tenant to occupy premises; it is a tactical cash flow that can attract to or detract from the property.

The way that leases work for the property investor will solidly impact on the property and its performance for the duration of the lease. As you work with tenants or buyers for the property, the type of lease that applies will also impact on the negotiations. Let’s look at the main lease types and expand on some of the most relevant issues for you.

Gross Lease:

Under a gross lease the tenant pays a full rent that includes a component for outgoings and the building owner will pay all building operating costs (also known as outgoings). This means that the lease itself will have rent review provisions that escalate the gross rent only.

In a lease of this type the landlord needs to know that they can maintain the building outgoings to predictable levels over the lease term as the landlord holds all the risk of paying the outgoings. The levels of rent review escalations in the lease must be expected to cover or exceed the escalations in the level of outgoings over future years otherwise the landlord will loose money.

Gross leases are common in retail and office property. Your choice in using this rent and lease type should be balanced against the predicted levels of outgoings costs and future changes for the subject property.

Obviously an older building will have steady escalations in outgoings above that of a building that is younger. As a building ages and deteriorates, the gross lease method becomes less attractive and more risky for the landlord.

Semi Gross Lease:

In this type of lease the landlord is initially setting a gross rent which is paid by the tenant and is reviewed over the term of the lease, however the landlord also gets paid some regular money for outgoings that increase under a specific calculation. This is how it is done:

The landlord specifically recovers the escalation in outgoings above a nominated outgoings base year. This base year is selected at the start of the lease and is usually the last reconciled outgoings year prior to lease commencement, which is usually the previous financial year to the start of the lease (because it is fully reconciled and known as a set value).

As the new semi gross lease proceeds through its term, the tenant has to pay the escalation of the outgoings above the nominated base year. For example, if in a lease the base year for outgoings purposes was set as the financial year 08/09 and the known level of outgoings for that year was $85m2 pa, then in the financial year 09/10 when the outgoings escalate to $97m2, the tenant will have to pay outgoings of $12m2pa. As the lease ages and in the financial year 12/13, the outgoings could be $108m2, and in that case the tenant will need to pay $23m2.

In this type of lease the base year is set and the outgoings ‚gap‘ will likely increase significantly as the lease gets older. This type of lease is good for the landlord with younger properties, in that it protects the landlord against the escalation of the outgoings above the base year yet still allowing the landlord to use a gross rent as the foundation for rent charge and collection.

It is common in this type of lease for the base year of outgoings to be updated at the time of any market rent review during the lease. Market reviews in this type of lease would be undertaken if the lease was lengthy (over 3 years) and so the market rent review would occur say each 3 or 4 years.

It is not necessary to do a market rent review at any particular time in a lease as the matter is negotiable at lease commencement, however be aware of the fact of re-setting the base for outgoings and the impact it will have on the landlord.

As a further interpretation of this type of lease you should look at the type of outgoings that are recovered in the calculation. It is not unusual for ‚lease savvy tenants‘ such as the government or large corporations to nominate the type of outgoings to which the base year escalations will apply.

Naturally it is better for the landlord to recover the escalation in all outgoings in a building above the base year, however the government and corporate tenants are well known for limiting the calculation to rates and taxes escalations.

Clearly a lease is a product of a negotiation, but you need to understand what can be done and then get the best lease deal possible for your client.

Net leases:

The term net lease is firstly generic; hence you should be aware that there are 3 types of net leases within the category. So let’s look at them.

Net lease: In this lease the tenant pays some or all of the rates and taxes for the property or premises.

Net-Net lease: In this lease the tenant pays the rates and taxes as nominated in the ’net lease‘ method but they then also pay for insurance premiums for the property and premises.

Net-Net-Net lease: In this lease the tenant will pay for the rates and taxes, the insurance of the premises, and they will then also pay for repair and maintenance costs associated with the premises.

So what lease type is the best for the landlord? In most cases the Net-Net-Net Lease is the way to go, however it is a matter of if the tenant will accept and sign that type of lease.

As a point of negotiation it would be wise in any Net Lease, or a Net-Net Lease to have a higher start rent for the landlord and better rent review provisions that offset the lesser outgoings recovery for the landlord.

Net-Net-Net leases are common on properties that are fully occupied by one tenant. This is method of lease structure is widespread in industrial property and office property.

Percentage lease:

This type of lease is more commonly seen in retail property as the calculation of rent is linked to the trading figures for the tenant. In most leases of this type the tenant firstly pays a fixed base rent that is geared to some rent review method, and then the tenant also pays additional rent that is calculated from their turnover or sales. As the tenant improves its trading, then the rent escalates.

An essential part of this lease structure is to obligate the tenant to give you accurate and regular audited turnover figures. The lease has to support and enforce the audit process for the landlord. Monthly turnover figures are the best way to go in this, with the tenant providing the audited figures to the landlord by say the 7th of the next month. The landlord then charges the turnover rent to the tenant based on the audited figures.

This type of lease is also seen in new shopping centres as new tenants stabilize levels of custom and sales, in supermarkets for the same reasons, and in hotels or motels. The basic strategy with turnover rent is to give the landlord some cash flow from the establishment of a base rent from the start of the lease, and then to collect additional rent as the property and the tenancy becomes more successful in generating sales and customers.

Spell it out

In all leases, the recovery of rent and outgoings must be clearly set out to avoid debate and disagreement with the tenant. As you can now see, the selection of the lease type that you are to use on a property will significantly impact on the future for the landlord. It will also impact on any sales situation.

It pays to know what is going on in the market regards lease and rent types so that you do lease deals that are similar to or better than the rest of the market. The right lease structure, document, and rent will help sell properties at better prices.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


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Source by John Highman

What Annoys Real Estate Agents

Immobilie bewerten, Immobilie Wert, Immobilienrechner, Verkaufsrechner, Immobilienwertermittlung Tel: 06227-399170 Handy: 0176-2116-9990 eMail: info@heidelbergerwohnen.de Internet: www.heidelbergerwohnen.de

Real Estate Agents, like anyone else in the sales profession, have their fair share of job related ‚pet hates‘. Due to the nature of the work where one is dealing with clients who, in most cases, are selling or purchasing the biggest investment of their lives, a lot of emotions are involved. These emotions are often portrayed as indecision, insecurity and ego. Of course an Agent would like their work to be as simple as listing and selling properties and while this is exactly what goes on most of the time, more than most professions, a large portion of an Agent’s best efforts are often wasted. Most Agents work on a commission basis only and can not really afford to waste resources in an effort to please awkward and unreasonable clients, but nevertheless they often do. As someone who has worked in the field for over a decade and from my own perspective I will try to cover some situations that I endured and that Agents continue to endure as a part of their daily work. I would say that the following would rate among some of the most annoying issues that Agents have to face on a daily basis.

Users – These are the home owners in an Agent’s canvassing area that the Agent has spent years building a professional relationship with and given a courtesy call at least once a month for years, who then list and sell their property through another Agency. The Agent may have been called upon to do property assessments (estimating a property’s value by means of market related statistics) for the home owner’s portfolio of properties. The Agent may have been called upon often to offer info and advice on property taxes or property law but then the seller goes and lists and sells through a rookie Agent, new to the area and who has done no more than drop a leaflet in the seller’s post box!

Time Wasters – I recall arriving home late one Sunday afternoon after a camping trip. I had just pulled into the driveway when my mobile phone rang. It was a chap in my neighbourhood who said that he wanted to sell his house urgently, it could not wait, I had to go see him immediately! I quickly unpacked the car, changed and went to see the seller. On arriving there, I saw that he was having a braai (barbeque) and a few beers with some friends. I had printed a valuation report which I presented to him and after a short discussion he signed a Mandate for me to proceed with the sale of his property, despite his girlfriend’s objections. The next morning he called to say that he wanted to change his mind about selling as he did not feel ready yet!

About five weeks later he called once more and with a beer in his left hand he signed a new mandate with me. I placed his property on the market, sat a show house and was able to get him an offer at a value that he originally said that he would agree to. He turned the offer down and said that he would like to take his property off the market until he could get even more for it. Once more I obliged.

When he called me around three months later to sell his house again, I referred him to an Agent in the area who I did not like. I realised that this seller only wanted to sell his house whenever he was drunk!

Staying on the same subject, I would say that buyers who are too relaxed can be very unreasonable. I would say that Agents are let down frequently by prospective buyers who do not make it to appointments to view properties. Often I would call a few sellers to set up the required times for when I could bring my prospective buyer through to view. I would then arrange to meet the buyer at a neutral spot such as at the local service station. After waiting in the hot sun for 15 or 20 minutes I would call the buyer to see where they were and often they had just left the office on the other side of town, in peak hour traffic or had totally ‚forgotten‘ that they had another appointment. A timeous courtesy call to an Agent would make a big difference, but often a relaxed buyer simply does not get around to it. Many a Friday afternoon I would call to see where the buyer was only to be told they had forgotten the appointment while the background noise clearly indicated that they were in a pub.

Other buyers can simply not make up their minds on what they are looking for. An Agent will drive some buyers around to see all twenty of the listings on their books that seem to be within the category of what the buyer is looking for. The buyer will either dislike everything he sees or, even worse, love everything he sees but still not commit to making an offer. Often, after the Agent has spent around four full days driving the prospective buyer around, the buyer will go and buy a property through another Agency that is totally different to what he said he was looking for.

Cheapskates – Buyers who really like a property often want it for next to nothing even though there is value in the property. Despite any advice to make a decent offer, they will make a ridiculous one which is hardly worth putting down in writing but that the Agent is obliged to present to the seller. When the predictable happens and the offer is rejected, then they will counter offer by such a small amount that it would hardly make a difference. When the counter offer is rejected, the average cheapskate (who can afford more) will often ask the Agent to call them if they get another offer and to tell them how much the other offer was for. A decent Agent should not disclose any figures but can say that they received a higher offer. This is usually not good enough for a cheapskate who only wants to offer ten cents more at most and so these buyers are usually not worth pursuing.

Complainers and Bulldozers – I group complainers and Bulldozers together as they are often one and the same. This group usually feels that everyone must jump because they are parting with their cash. They often request to see the property again and then complain about things that they were okay with at the time of signing the Offer to Purchase. All of a sudden they are no longer happy with the colour of the paint in the rooms that they want to use for their children and the rooms must be repainted before they move in because the kids cannot possibly breathe in paint fumes. The re-painting is something that the seller needs to do as they have already offered so much for the property that they could have bought the ten bedroom mansion two blocks down for the same price. Any opposition to such a request is usually met with a threat to cancel the whole deal.

I once had a buyer who wanted investment property, he looked over a small house that I had listed before completing an Offer to Purchase. He said that he would like the back wall by the kitchen repainted. I noted this under ’special conditions‘ on the Offer to Purchase document and thought that this would be covered once accepted by the seller. The seller repainted the back wall and then the buyer asked to see the vacant property once more. On seeing the property for the second time he said that he wanted the whole outside of the house repainted otherwise he would, surprise, surprise… cancel the whole deal. The seller refused to budge and instead of the deal being cancelled the buyer got his Attorney involved and threatened to sue everyone. After two weeks of haggling, the issue was finally resolved when the sellers reluctantly agreed to paint the whole outside of the property.

Nibblers – This is a group that I personally find most stressful. These are buyers that move in and then start to want additional repairs done to add value to their purchase. They go through the property like Sherlock Holmes with his magnifying glass and make four pages of bullet points about everything that is wrong with the house. Everything from the flaking paint on the back window ledge to the chip on the corner of the guest bathroom window pane is noted. They whine and complain about the seller needing to repair everything and if they are paying occupational rent before transfer then they also usually threaten to cancel the whole deal or to stop paying occupational rent.

Lazy Sellers – Some sellers agree to carry out repairs as part of the Sales Agreement. They never do despite numerous reminders. The buyer understandably becomes agitated and the Agent gets caught up in the middle of the whole mess. It often takes prolonged intervention from the Transfer Attorney to resolve the issue.

There you have it, so next time you query your Agent’s commission, bear in mind what they often have to endure. It is hard enough for Agents to get Mandates in the first place and then a lot of sales fall through and Mandates are lost due to issues such as a buyer not being able to secure a home loan.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
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Source by Steve M Egan

List FSBO’s With Real Estate Letters That Offer Good Advice

Immobilie bewerten, Immobilie Wert, Immobilienrechner, Verkaufsrechner, Immobilienwertermittlung Tel: 06227-399170 Handy: 0176-2116-9990 eMail: info@heidelbergerwohnen.de Internet: www.heidelbergerwohnen.de

Trying to list FSBO’s? Here’s what your marketing needs to stress.

You know why home sellers are trying to sell without your help. They think they’re going to save a lot of money. And to be absolutely honest, those who know what they’re doing, have nerves of steel, and who don’t need to go to a job every day can come close to doing what you can do.

As for the rest of them… your marketing needs to gently point out that they simply don’t know what they’re getting into!

No, you can’t say that. Making a would-be client look or feel foolish is definitely not the way to earn their business. So you need to be gentle in your presentation.

You need to offer some help in the form of tips, or perhaps clue them in about the various disclosure forms they’ll need. You might offer some advice about how to steel themselves against the insults they’ll hear as buyers try to push the price downward. (I used to laugh to myself about the comments buyers made to me. Sometimes I wanted to ask why they wanted to buy the house since they hated it so much.)

And of course, you need to remind them that buyers will try to point out that they’re not paying a Realtor so naturally they can sell the house for less.

Before embarking on do-it-yourself home selling, homeowners should ask themselves:

• Do I know how to determine their home’s value in today’s market?

• Am willing to work with and pay a buyer’s agent?

• Do I know how to market my home and get it in front of enough buyers?

• Can I deal in a civil manner with people who severely criticize my home?

• Am I willing to demand that buyers reveal their financial situation before I take my home off the market to negotiate with them?

You should touch on all these points when you’re talking with FSBO sellers, and you can incorporate them into a special report or a series of real estate letters to mail to them. If you enjoy writing and have a few extra hours you can create letters that are uniquely yours.

If you don’t enjoy writing or don’t have extra hours, you can buy pre-written real estate letters and just get busy sending them.

Either way, real estate letters written in this manner are a soft-sell technique that will position you as a non-pushy, non-threatening agent who knows how to sell homes. With each letter you’ll become more of a trusted adviser, so that when they do decide they need help they’ll naturally turn to you.

But how do you first contact these people?

One way is to offer the special report on your website. Visitors opt in to get the report and their addresses are automatically entered into your auto responder to receive the letters.

You could write down addresses and try to locate the names to go with them, or (Please, no!) write to Dear Homeowner. I personally think you should use an opt-in on your site even if you take the hands-on approach… which is to get out there and meet the people.

I know – that can be a little bit scary. But if you decide what you’re going to say ahead of time, and practice it, it will get easier.

Write a script that sounds natural to you. Something along the lines of „Hi, my name is Sally Jones from ABC Realty. I see you’re offering your home for sale by owner and I stopped by to ask if you were willing to let buyer agents show it to their customers.“

If you say it all at once, they won’t have a chance to say „I’m not listing“ and slam the door on you.

Some of them may not have thought about the fact that some buyers want agent representation, so at this point you may need to explain the procedure. If you have a buyer list you mail to, you could mention it. If you use a one-time / one-party listing agreement, do mention that as well.

If they say yes, they’re willing to work with buyer’s agents, do ask for a tour and do take notes. You could even snap a picture to go with the notes.

The important thing is that you don’t ask for the listing at that time. (Not unless they throw themselves at your feet and beg you to take over this horrible job they got themselves into. In that case you must be a good samaritan and help them. )

If they say they don’t want to work with buyer agents, be polite and friendly and say „OK, I’ll let the others in my office know so they won’t bother you.“ You might also throw in something complimentary about the house and tell them that if they change their minds to let you know, because you’d sure like to show it. Give them your card, of course.

Before you leave, tell them that you have a special report with tips for owner-sellers and you’d like to send it to them. That gives you the opportunity to ask for their names. You probably should also ask if the house address is their mailing address, since some people do prefer post office boxes to home delivery. Mail the special report as soon as you get back to the office, and enclose a nice little handwritten note thanking them for talking with you. If you can come up with something more personal to add, do it. For instance, if they were about to leave for a child’s soccer game, say you hope their team won. That’s just to show that to you they are more than just a house address – you noticed who they really are.

Be sure to enclose another card just in case they tossed the first one the minute you left.

Then, every few days send along a new real estate letter with a new bit of advice that will be useful to them. Do end each letter with an offer to help should they decide against doing this on their own.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
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Source by Marte Cliff

Flipping Real Estate or Flipping Paper?

Immobilie bewerten, Immobilie Wert, Immobilienrechner, Verkaufsrechner, Immobilienwertermittlung Tel: 06227-399170 Handy: 0176-2116-9990 eMail: info@heidelbergerwohnen.de Internet: www.heidelbergerwohnen.de

Flipping real estate properties is not for everybody but it is the fastest way to make a buck in the real estate business. Most everybody has heard of someone buying a „run down“ house for a good price well below market value, fixing it up and selling it at a fair market price. Flipping a „fixer-upper“ is definitely one way to turn a reasonably quick profit. I know some people who do it this way but they are more into the contractor and renovation business than they are of the investor mindset.

Some of these „fixer-upper“ properties are in need of extensive repair and will involve electrical work, carpentry work, etc. If the investor gets involved and does some or all of this work then there could be enough profit there but if the investor farms out the required labour, profits could get eaten up quickly. For these types of flipping real estate investments, the purchase price needs to be at a huge discount and normally would be found somewhere in the foreclosure stage.

For the person that is in the mindset of investing rather than being in the renovation business then flipping real estate will only involve flipping the paper contract of the property without even taking possession of it. You can flip by entering an agreement to buy a property then sell the contract to another investor before close of escrow.

Using this technique won’t even require you to put your name on the title. Profits will generally be less than the fixer-upper investor but involves much less work and the whole process is much quicker. A fixer-upper investor would not be happy in making a profit of a few thousand dollars for a few months work on renovations but an investor that can just flip a contract for a few hours or days work would be.

Avoid disclosure of your profits to the new buyer by using a double closing.

After making a sweet deal and flipping a contract involving a juicy profit you may not want all these details to be revealed to your buyer. The solution is a double closing, transferring the property to you initially and then reselling immediately at the same lawyer’s office just an hour later to your buyer.

There is a drawback here and that is a double set of closing costs so you would have to weigh it out to see if it’s worth it to your particular situation or not. Further, you can use a title insurance company for the actual closings. For the issuance of the title insurance policy, the title insurance company will prepare the closing documents and close the transaction usually without an addition charge.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
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Source by Johnny Ferreira

Property Management Fees Explained

Immobilie bewerten, Immobilie Wert, Immobilienrechner, Verkaufsrechner, Immobilienwertermittlung Tel: 06227-399170 Handy: 0176-2116-9990 eMail: info@heidelbergerwohnen.de Internet: www.heidelbergerwohnen.de

When you hire a property management company to serve as the liaison between yourself and your tenants, you want to be sure you’re getting the best possible property management services for the money. The services a property management company provides can range from ala carte to an all-in-one inclusive package. Along with that comes an array of fees for each. There is no set in stone fee structure we can provide you. But we can educate you on what common fees to expect and what each is commonly for. In the end it will be up to you to compare company fee structures and choose the best one that fits within your budget. Below are some of the most common fees and what service they provide.

Commission

This is an ongoing monthly fee charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for the responsibilities of overseeing the management of their property. This fee can vary from as little as 3% to over 15% of the monthly gross rent. In place of a percentage some managers may charge a flat monthly amount which again can vary from $50 to over $200 per month. All property management companies generally charge this fee.

Lease-Up or Setup Fee

This fee is charged to the owner to compensate the property manager for their initial time invested and resources used in setting up an owners account; showing property and/or other activities resulting in tenant placement. I guess you could look at it as a „finders fee“ for placing a tenant in your property. Once a tenant has been placed and first rent income comes in, the property manager will deduct this fee from the rent proceeds. Some property managers have been known to require this fee upfront prior to tenant procurement. Usually this fee is non-refundable once the property manager has started the process of tenant procurement or any legwork has been initiated with the property. This fee can vary from none to as much as the first months rent, and usually is a one-time fee per tenant.

Lease Renewal Fee

This fee is charged to the owner when a property manager renews a current tenants lease and covers the costs of initiating paperwork or communication involved in implementing the new lease document. A property manager may also justify this fee if they perform a year end inspection of property. This fee can vary from none to $200 or higher, and may be charged every time a lease renewal is implemented.

Advertising Costs

Depending upon the property management company’s contract, either they will pay the advertising costs or the owner or they could split the costs. If the manager is willing to cover this cost, most likely they will charge the lease-up or setup fee as outline above. If the management company covers this cost make sure to find out what type advertising or marketing of your property is included. If it’s placing your listing on their own web site and other free online classified sites you may not be getting your monies worth. They are many good rental or tenant resource online web sites that bring in qualified tenants for a reasonable fee and you will want to consider these. And don’t forget about print media, yard signs, listing on the MLS or even an open house. Nothing is worst than having your property vacant, bringing in no money only because you or your property manager skimped on advertising.

Maintenance Mark-up Charges

This is one of those costs you may never really of known about or had it disclosed to you. A „Mark-up“ is a charge over and beyond the final bill on maintenance and/or repair work done to your property initiated by your property management company when using their vendors or in-house maintenance staff. This should be disclosed in your Manager/Owner contract which usually will state the markup as a percentage above the final invoice from vendor. For example, your manager had to call a plumber to replace the dishwasher in your rental property. Total charges for completing the job: $400. If your property manager contract states you will incur a 10% markup on all maintenance work the actual cost to you will be $440. Just one of those things to be aware of as these all eat into your profits.

Early Cancellation Fee

The dreaded „3 months and no tenant“. Your property manager insist he or she’s doing everything they can to find you a tenant. But here it is 3 months and still no tenant; what do you do. Well, look at your Manager/Owner contract and that might be your deciding factor. I am not a fan of this fee, and believe it to be an unnecessary fee and for you manager out there this could be the deal breaker. I’ll tell you why; if a property manager is doing their due diligence and keeping the owners in the loop as far as decision making, market conditions and communication lines open an owner will not be second guessing his property managers abilities. The odds of this scenario happening is unlikely but you must be prepared for it. A cancellation fee can range from none to over $500. To be fair, some managers legitimately deserve this fee especially if they have pocketed advertising costs, incurred lots of legwork and time invested in your property.

„You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me“ Fees – These are ones I have personally had the pleasure of running into.

  • Your property is vacant, but we still will charge our monthly commission or a small flat fee.
  • „A For-Rent Yard Sign Fee“. I believe this was $25/mo.
  • „Preventive Maintenance Fee“. This was to cover the „just in case“ and changing out A/C filters. If „just in case“ never happens they still pocket the money. I believe this was $20/mo and I still was charged for filters.

In Summary

Read your Manager/Owner contract, understand what you are signing, ask lots of questions and know what the fees will buy you in services. A good real estate lawyer can help in negotiating the terms in a contract that suit both parties. These contracts are not set in stone. If your property manager will not negotiate, there are other property management companies that are eager to earn your business.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg


Der Immoblienmakler für Heidelberg Mannheim und Karlsruhe
Wir verkaufen für Verkäufer zu 100% kostenfrei
Schnell, zuverlässig und zum Höchstpreis


Source by Karen McDaniel