Austin’s choice

October 22nd, 2014


Austin, Texas-based Rick Black Architects is a partnership between husband and wife Rick and Cindy Black. A 2520-square-foot artist’s residence-cum-studio situate in Long Branch Valley was completed this year. Also upcoming is the Volkshaus, four upcoming single family houses with shared carports, also in Austin. Each residence is envisioned to achieve a five star Green Building Rating. Aside from houses, Rick Black Architects also works on buildings and commercial establishments, drawing on Rick Black’s experience with Frank O. Gehry and Associates. The residence they designed for a graphic designer and a choreographer was featured in the March 2008 edition of dwell magazine.

CityLiving housing loans

October 15th, 2014


The CityLiving Home Program is a project jointly sponsored by the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. It gives homebuyers a chance to buy, build or renovate a property with a below-market-rate mortgage loan. It is limited to first-time homebuyers whose income and property price are below the set limits, except if the house is within the target area specified by the city. Limits may be increased if the home to be purchased is in the target area, the household is is at least five persons, the loan includes improvement costs, or the property is currently vacant. Interest rates vary, depending on the Down Payment Assistance Grant, which can be up to 4% of the mortgage amount.

Swimming Pool Security

October 8th, 2014

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Put extra locks on the windows and doors of your home leading to the pool area which cannot be reached by small children. Use a removable fence inside the permanent one if you need another temporary layer of protection like for example while the children are still young. Stick an alarm to the side of the pool so you are alerted if someone is in the pool when no one is supposed to be there. Or you can also use an alarm that floats. Let a safety professional put a safety cover compliant with industry regulations and remove it completely before using the pool to prevent somebody from being trapped underneath.

What to Look for in Buying Real Estate

October 1st, 2014

nullYou have watched the real estate market in a few years, and now you are ready to take a plunge into home ownership. Do you know what you are looking for?

It might be tempting to make your offer on the nicest houses in the block, but this is a big mistake. If you buy the most expensive house, you will no longer be able to add equity through home improvements. If for example, the homes around you are selling for $300,000, you will not get much above this. A better approach would be to buy a home with horrible landscaping, cracks in the driveway, peeling paint, etc. because cosmetic problems are the easiest to fix, and you actually save money in doing so.

Eliminating Risks (Part 1)

September 24th, 2014


Many people believe that there are already safeguards when entering or investing in the real estate industry. But this is where they are wrong. There may be a load of benefits in investing but there are still some procedures that require attention so as not to cause unnecessary consequences.

The author shall then discuss in the following articles about the possible ways on how to eliminate or avoid risks. This especially goes for amateur investors who are just about to purchase a home of their own. Intuition or feelings alone are not enough in this industry. You have to know and be sure so as to avoid jumping into a pit of trap.

Heritage Preservation Commission

September 17th, 2014

2.JPGFormed in the year 2000 as the body that is tasked to oversee the implementation of the City’s Heritage Preservation Ordinance, the Heritage Preservation Commission through the ordinance can provide various tax incentives for historic property owners (residential and non-residential properties).

There are also Federal Tax Credits (10% to 20% of restoration costs) that are given to restoration efforts of property owners depending on the historical significance of the property. Administration is done by the Texas Historical Commission in coordination with the National Park Service. Funding of restoration projects can be done thru a low interest financing that is offered by the Citizens National Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas or Vintage Bank.

Cool House Tour 2008

September 10th, 2014


The Texas Solar Energy Society invites you to cool houses in Austin on Sunday, June 22nd, from noon until 6pm. The eighteen sites that are part of the tour are models in energy efficiency and green building practices. A variety of homes using combinations of solar energy, rainwater collection systems, green building materials, energy-saving climate control, and water-saving techniques will be open to visitors. To join the tour, purchase the guidebook online or from the Austin Central Market (starting June 1st). The guidebooks contain directions and the features of each site. Visitors also get the chance to talk to the designers, builders and owners of these homes.

Mall Properties Collapse – Chilling Truth of Economy

September 3rd, 2014

Malls collapsing cannot be a good sign and it isn’t looking good for the many distressed commercial properties that dot metro areas. It also gives clues to the overall health of the consumer’s buying will power, that seems to be on hold at the moment. These malls have been suffering well before the markets collapsed, victims of less consumer spending as people saved as much as they could when the financial market collapse became apparent. Most of these malls close due to huge debts, accumulated from previous years as their owners buffered their properties hoping the economy was going to get better, it didn’t and there was nothing else they could do more that close shop.

Perks of living in Coral Springs Real Estate

August 27th, 2014

nullCoral Springs was ranked as the 10th safest places to live in the U.S., according to the 2005 research of Morgan Quitno Press. Aside from being safe, it is also one of the most planned communities that were ever built in Broward County. This city is now 40 years old, and several times has been awarded as the premier South Florida community.

Since 1993, this city began to use a business model that considered data analysis and customer input as one of the initiatives in mapping its business and strategic plans. The managers of the city helped develop the process improvements while comparing the results to top local governments and Fortune 500 businesses.

Best Cities in the World to Live In

August 20th, 2014


There are different factors to consider before a city becomes a good place to live in. This is because there are some cities in the world that are declared as cities yet do not possess the real city setting. A good city to live in should not be overly populated. It should also be safe and ensures that the crime rate does not overflow. It will help you decide to settle down especially when you are bringing a family with small children with you. Vienna, Austria is among the 5 top cities in the world. It has good standards of quality living, cultural activities available and clean environment to live in. However, the cost of living in Vienna is also high. Zurich, Switzerland is also considered a good place to settle down. It is financially stable where good and stable jobs are abundant. Auckland, New Zealand is also included in the best city to live in list. This is because of low crime rates with great public officials serving the city.

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