Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!

Leveling a House – Everything You Need to Know

Leveling a House Basics

Leveling a house can become an issue whether you live in a brand new house or have been residing in the same home for years – the foundation of your home can shift once it’s done settling. And because not all homeowners are aware of this – sooner or later they find themselves with sinking floors in their homes.

Thankfully, leveling a house can be done through foundation repair.

house leveling, San Antonio, Foundation Repair Pros

If you are looking to get your home’s foundation back in order – here’s everything you need to know about house leveling.

What Does Leveling A House Mean?

Fun fact: Did you know that a home that is need of a foundation repair can sink in multiple places? That’s seriously like everyone’s worst nightmare.

Thankfully, there’s such thing as leveling a house. This consists of a process where a home is lifted in order to return to its original state.

Unless you hire an expert, a process like this seems impossible. Think about it. How do you move a whole house without breaking mom’s fine china?

With the help of installation piers, braces, and important chemicals – the soil underneath your sagging, damaged flooring can be made stable via a foundation repair specialist.

What Can You Contribute To Shifts In Foundation?

There’s not necessarily anything you can do to prevent this. Causes like foundation erosion, poor drainage, and unstable soil conditions can all be contributing factors to a damaged foundation.

Water and soil can be the primary cause of this kind of damage. Tag teaming, these two can create such a powerful force that it causes walls, floors, and tiles to crack.

Additionally, a house that goes through uncontrolled heaving is bound to go through unwarranted shifts in their foundation. These kinds of shifts emphasize the structural problems associated with the house’s build.

How Would You Know Your House Needs To Be Leveled?

There are plenty of symptoms that can occur when foundation repair is required. Here’s what to look out for:

Have you noticed any cracks in the walls and/or floor tiles?

This is going to be a huge indicator that house leveling is going to be something you want to look into. Homeowners who have inquired about home leveling have first noticed various cracks in one and/or multiple places of their homes.

Are your doors shutting properly?

Of course, sometimes this could happen because of change in temperature, but if you find that your doors are failing to close properly and/or are sticking – this can be a sure sign that foundation repair should be done.

Looking To Fix Your Home Foundation? Let Us Help!

We understand that foundation repair might be an unexpected/unplanned repair, but avoiding it can only lead to even more costly damage. Here at Foundation Repair Pros San Antonio, we’re all about repairing your damaged/failing home foundation before it gets worse.

Don’t let the fear associated with home improvement costs prevent you from protecting your home. Take advantage of our 100% guaranteed financing and get your foundation restored with the perfect solution.

Commercial Real Estate Made Easy With These Expert Tips

Commercial & Industrial Realty Made Easy With These Professional Tips

Dealing commercial real estate could be a lot more traumatic compared to buying and selling domestic property, as the value of the residential properties as well as the laws entailed make the cost of a wrong action extremely high. There are methods to browse the metropolitan forest of business realty deals, nonetheless, and this article is here to assist.

Merely due to the fact that you’re a commercial property novice doesn’t indicate you need to get an apartment! Instead, think about office buildings, strip malls, industrial parks, empty land, and even other household types like trailer camp. There are a lot of different options readily available that you should evaluate them all equally.

Mixed-use city preparing is a realty growth method that could add considerably to a residential property’s value. A residential property located in a community planned for combined usage will have shops, services and public jobs located close by. In a mixed-use development numerous steps are required to enhance the neighborhood’s local character and also reduce the homeowners’ dependence on autos. A house in such a neighborhood could be useful – and positive to live in!

When it involves commercial real estate, that you understand is extremely vital. Lots of homes are marketed without also being specified, for instance, and the broader your network is, the more probable you are to hear about such residential properties. Make sure you take the time to get to know the pertinent gamers in the area.

To actually generate income in real estate you have to make it the day you buy the property, not rely on the cost going up with time. As the last few years have actually revealed, rates can drop along with rise. But locating a strong residence that doesn’t need a lot of repairs will become paid for and can be cost the equity.

When shopping for commercial real estate, using a residential property broker will save you a lot of cash and time. The broker will certainly do a good little the dirty work for you and will certainly be able to broker a better offer for you as they have a better competency regarding the market as well as even more details about it.

When acquiring a financial investment home, do not forget to assume smartly. If a bargain really is to great to be true if it appears that way. Make certain you have all the realities and also understand the info you’re offered entirely. Do not rush with a procedure without totally recognizing what you’re entering, as well as fitting with it also.

Purchasing industrial property can be an extremely helpful financial investment to make. Think about acquiring an apartment building with much less compared to five systems to avoid the required business financing that can be rather challenging to get and an inconvenience to do so. This will generate sufficient cash in many cases to pay the mortgage that you have and in a number of years, that will all be revenue.

Commercial property is a multi-billion dollar annually industry, and if you know just what you are doing, you could make some serious money in this market. If you put the tips in this post to make use of, you can additionally reduce the quantity of stress involved in acquiring or offering the industrial building for your business.

Where are we in the latest real estate cycle?

Where are we in the most recent property cycle?

With the present financial expansion moving ahead in 2016, the key issue for real estate is: will the normal partnerships in between overall financial activity, demand for room, increasing needs for money, and rising levels of residential property advancement dominate as in previous cycles?

Or will be unusual curt flooding of funding into real estate markets create various cyclical outcomes?

In the regular business cycle, as the economy moves out of recession into expansion, growing degrees of company task increase need for both cash and also business room. These increases placed upward pressure on rates of interest and also tenancy levels in business area. Rising rates of interest, plus existing high openings rates and lower rental prices, continue to prevent brand-new business building construction. Likewise, investors are drawn away from real estate financial investments into contending property kinds such as stocks of successful firms.

These problems produce just steady absorption. Openings are falling and also prices are secure or increasing, but neither holding much enough to warrant a new growth, particularly given that interest rates increase together with other competing financial investments.

With the increasing general growth, boosted competitors for existing room drives openings reduced and also rates higher. At some point, these changes stimulate designers to start a new building tasks, despite greater interest rates. This starts the development phase of the cycle. Brand-new jobs start equally as the overall business cycle optimals. After that with the development of offered area, integrated with an economic stagnation, the outcome is an additional overbuilt phase just as the economic climate slips back right into a recession.

Presently most commercial markets remain in the gradual absorption phase, with high levels of vacancies decreasing and also rental fees maintaining. Midtown workplace vacancy prices have dropped a little while nationwide commercial job rates continue to be the same. However, vibrant workplace and also industrial jobs are more than double the reduced prices they had in late 2000.

Consequently, new workplace building handed over. New commercial development additionally landeded on. However, the need to acquire well-occupied homes of all types continue to be really high because of the flood of cash entering real estate financial investment.

A lot of professionals anticipate this circumstance can not last. Some case swiftly increasing rate of interest will certainly make a real estate much less appealing to buy as well as create some worths to fall. Others think with a lot cash still aiming to buy property that rising rates of interest will certainly not dampen financier interest.

Still others think that the demand for residential property will certainly not hand over unless the stock market makes dramatic boosts. Sufficient unpredictability stays about world economic problems to prevent investor interest to obtain back into stocks. On top of that, underlying market problems are gradually enhancing, sustaining positive financier mindsets toward real estate.

The flooding of money has not promoted a large move right into brand-new residential property growth which in the past would certainly have occurred if funds were available so effortlessly. Likewise, the capacity of realty to pay money incomes that are much above most stocks or bonds make building progressively eye-catching to pension plan funds that are encountering rising payouts and retiring infant boomers in need of great revenues.

Therefore, there may not be a close to future call apps of real estate values other than in some condominium housing markets were speculative getting could possibly bring about sudden shrinking of occupancy. Today’s massive investor appetite for residential properties make this an excellent time to sell property. However these conditions will not last for life.

Rates of interest will certainly increase in the near future with the Federal Reserve’s wish to raise rates integrated with an enhancing expansion in the general economy. If current desirable loaning conditions proceed, a lot more designers will certainly be lured to begin building new jobs that result in another boom. That would threaten improving market problems, as it has in the past, as well as might wet capitalist need for properties.

The moral: when the sun is radiating, you better make hay.

Good luck to you,.

Important Tips About Commercial Real Estate

Essential Tips About Commercial Property

Capitalists acquire commercial or industrial real estate for the purpose of creating revenue. Earnings produced from a commercial realty building is rental based, as it is leased to others that pay a  fee for making use of the property; or funding based, as it is sold for funding. If you want to take part in the commercial market, the pointers in this post will assist you.

When choosing a home, it is essential to check out the region’s tax rate. As the closing expenses consist of a prorated property tax, it increases the funds you need to close the deal. The higher the tax obligation price the even more cash you should shut escrow and you will certainly pay more tax obligations over the years.

Mixed-use metropolitan renovation is a real estate growth method that could add considerably to a property’s worth. A property located in an area prepared for mixed use will certainly have shops, homes and public projects located nearby. In a mixed-use growth project, many actions are required to boost the neighborhood’s regional character and also decrease the residents’ dependence on cars. A residence in such an area can be valuable – and also enjoyable to live in!

When trying to find possible homes to buy for rental earnings, assume big. Why get a 10 system home if you can get a twenty? By raising the variety of systems you could supply, you additionally raise the variety of clients who will pay you lease, there by increasing your earnings possibility.

Before buying a commercial realty home, you may want to consider composing a checklist of your wants as well as requires ahead of time. This way, when you go building searching, you could inform your realty representative precisely what you need. This will certainly assist you to obtain your commercial realty residential property quicker.

If you have actually determined to become a landlord, join an organization of landlords in your area. Having the added assistance can be exceptionally beneficial. Things likely will fail with your rental buildings and when they do, you’ll require advice and also sources to look to.

When you purchase business realty, assume huge and also take full advantage of revenues. If you will purchase a small apartment complicated, as well as they make you buy a business real estate certificate, it could be rather a headache as opposed to a revenue. Consider acquiring a home that allows and also optimizes your possible profits in comparison to cost.

When purchasing a financial investment property, ask great deals of inquiries. Also if you are a seasoned financier, there is no other way you can know everything. Having all the information you need will assist you making clever buying, negotiating, and selling choices. Never hesitate of a concern, due to the fact that no question is a bad inquiry.

As stated before, capitalists use business realty making an earnings through rental or capital means. You could make use of the tips in the article to aid you get going as a capitalist in the business real estate market and aid you gain profits from whichever method you choose.

Is Your Chimney Leaning

Is Your Chimney Leaning or Cracked?

The chimney serves a very vital function in a home. However, many homeowners would only think about their chimneys during winter. In the real sense, it is critical to ensure that the structural integrity of your home’s chimney is in perfect condition throughout each season. Most people would tend to think about the condition of the chimney’s interior or even the brickwork. However, the real issue comes from the fact that the foundation of the home may not be stable enough. One of the most common issues with chimneys is leaning. A leaning chimney can spell disaster, not only to the chimney but to your home as a whole.

leaning chimney

If you realize that your chimney is pulling away or leaning, the best course of action would be to seek for the services of a professional foundation repair company. There are various reasons that would make the chimney detach from the rest of the home. The most common among these is that the home has been built on unsteady ground. This would tend to cause the heaviest part of the house, which is the flue, to detach as the base begins to settle. This occurrence causes the vent to become very unstable, thus posing a possible safety hazard.

There are various solutions to chimney leaning that one can go for at home. One of these is to use metal bars or even cables. The contractor may give a suggestion to strap the flue to the rest of the house in order to make it stable. This is a process that involves attaching the flue to the rest of the home by use of a strong material like a metal strap.

Since this method may work on a temporary basis, many professional contractors find it a short term measure. This is because ultimately strapping the flue to the house does not really resolve the root problem to the leaning chimney. It is therefore advisable to go for the permanent and reliable options for leaning chimney.

In order to determine the right method to deal with the leaning chimney, the contractor will need to determine the main cause for the leaning. For chimneys that have little foundation damage, the best means to deal with it is through insertion of pins or a flue. This will help strengthen the chimney and thus making it stable.

The other solution for a leaning chimney is the installation of a device known as a helical pier under the chimney. This is not only simple but a long term solution that would help fix your chimney. In other cases however, there would be need to rebuild the chimney completely and reconstruct the fireplace. This would ensure that no future problems are encountered.


Basically, it is advisable to keep checking on the chimney in order to ensure that it is in good condition. Sometimes, it may not be possible to see the lean in the chimney since it may not be obvious. It is always important to pay attention to the joints where the chimney itself meets the home in terms of gaps or cracks.

Chimney leaning with gaps or visible cracks is almost always a sign of foundation failure. It is best to consult with a local foundation repair company for a complete evaluation. These companies usually offer a free inspection service.

5 Year Drought Effects on Your Home Foundation

It is important to understand that the drought conditions that have plagued Dallas for the past 5 years (starting in 2011) can take a toll on landscape plants, lawns and crops. In addition to this, extended dry periods can also cause cracking or shifting in your home’s foundation. This can be a major problem for most homes in the Dallas – Fort Worth area.

drought effects foundation

Effects of Drought on Home Foundations 

According to experts working in academia and foundation repair companies, you should also water the foundation of your home. This theory has even been backed by numerous environmental specialists and other experts from related industries.

Experts also believe that dry soil problems can be often slowed down by using a high quality soaker hose. This provides a consistent water source to your soil. However, it doesn’t cause any flooding. You should make sure the soil surrounding your home’s foundation is watered consistently.

When you want to achieve best results, you should place your soaker hose around the house’s perimeter. It should be placed about 8 to 18 inches away from your home’s foundation. Experts believe that shifting ground can often crack the foundations, especially during some serious drought conditions.

Damage occurred due to droughts can often show up as separations or cracks around windows and doors or even the brick veneer. Before you use a soaking hose, it’s important to properly inspect the exterior side of your home’s foundation. You need to look for existing cracks. All the cracks should be properly cleaned, and carefully filled with foundation waterproofing. This material is available in most lumber yards and hardware stores.

Due to the droughts in DFW, cracks may also appear in the cement slab of your garage or carport. In case you notice any cracks in your home’s carport area, you should assume that the cracks have spread further. In this case, consulting a Dallas foundation repair company will be your best choice.

Through a small crack in drywall or brick does not always mean there is a major problem, you should be alarmed if the cracks begin to form a gap or shift further. Foundation cracks can often result from the basic seesaw effect in the rainy or winter season. This is followed by drought-like conditions in the summer.

When the soil surrounding your home’s foundation is very wet, it can expand and lift the foundation. In case the soil becomes too dry, it contracts and the foundation may sink. Drainage in rainy months is very important. You should also keep the soil moist in the summer season. This reduces the impact of droughts on the foundation of your home.

The clay soil in Dallas can absorb lots of water. This can cause it to expand. When the water evaporates, clay soil can shrink and form cracks. These extend many feet further and damage the foundation.

Hire Professionals

In case you experience any such problems, it is important to consult a reputed and experienced foundation repair company. This makes sure your home’s foundation remains in prime condition and does not cause a loss in home value.

Micro Real Estate Development

As more sophisticated investors get involved in local real estate markets around the country, a relatively new term has cropped up, namely “micro real estate development.”  These folks are also referred to as microdevelopers.

The basic idea is to purchase abandoned or foreclosed properties (buildings or vacant land) at extremely attractive low prices, and then restore or develop to rent or sell at a profit. The idea, of course, is not new…buy it, fix it, sell it.

What is a much newer concept is the trend of people investing in the older neighborhoods within which they desire to live and work. Many have preservation in mind, not just profit.

The following is a great article from the New York Times which examines the trend in a Buffalo neighborhood:

It was the proverbial melting pot, festive, aromatic and polyphonic. There were young hipsters (identifiable by their wool caps and archaic facial hair) and local homesteaders, along with settlers from Myanmar, Bhutan, Pakistan and Africa, to name just a few of the cultures represented at this once-blighted city’s annual auction of foreclosed properties. Would-be homeowners and property moguls huddled over the listings for more than 4,300 parcels of vacant lots and houses, their hoped-for choices highlighted and starred.

Bernice Radle and Jason Wilson, both 27, brandished their own sheaf of marked-up listings. They were clearly old hands, hopping up to greet friends and mingling as if at a cocktail party. “Last year was so intense,” Ms. Radle said, “we had to go home and take a nap afterwards.”

This was their second auction; at their first, they bought a vacant lot ($500) and three century-old houses ($66,000), holdings to which they later added an 1870s cottage purchased directly from the owner for $1 after convincing him that it would be cheaper to let them assume his debts and fees (about $5,000) than to spend triple that amount razing the place.

row housesPassionate and preservation-minded, Ms. Radle and Mr. Wilson both have degrees in urban planning and are emblematic of a particular wave of development here. Buying on a small scale, they and their peers are perhaps best described as microdevelopers, rehabbing derelict properties to rent and perhaps eventually sell in an attempt to save houses from demolition and preserve a neighborhood or two. In so doing, they are attempting to shore up the city’s long, slow decline since the population and jobs began leaking away more than a half-century ago. One group, the Farmer Pirates, bought 22 vacant lots that they turned into farmland and a composting station.

  1. Frits Abell, 41, an entrepreneur who has worked in Boston and New York City, has bought three properties on the same street and plans to open a coffee shop and a branding agency. (He has already started a successful art fair called echo.) Countless others are buying one or two properties and wrestling them into a habitable state, no joke when your capital is mostly sweat equity and optimism.

As Mr. Abell said recently: “The rents are too low, and the numbers don’t really add up. It’s a labor of love.”

These activist microdevelopers are different from the slumlords and absentee owners who buy properties in bulk, rent them to vulnerable communities and spend nothing on refurbishment or services, compounding Buffalo’s woes.

The city’s vacancy rate is still above 15 percent, as it was in 2000, the highest in the nation for cities with populations of more than a quarter million, according to the Partnership for the Public Good, extrapolating from the 2010 census. Since 2007, the city has been pursuing a policy of demolishing the thousands of abandoned houses here, nearly 70 percent of which were built before 1940, making Buffalo’s housing stock the oldest in the country. But this barren and still lovely landscape, with its Olmsted-designed parkways and wide, radial streets gap-toothed with lone, crumbling houses, is appealing to young urbanists like Mr. Wilson and Ms. Radle.

Mr. Wilson, who grew up in a suburb nearby and is the director of operations at Preservation Buffalo Niagara, said: “Our generation never saw the decline. We don’t remember the old restaurant that used to be on some corner. We see a vacant lot, and we see opportunity.”

Ms. Radle added, “We see bocce!”

Bocce is tactical urbanism, she explained to a puzzled reporter: “It introduces people to the neighborhood; it doesn’t cost a lot of money or need much infrastructure. It’s not too loud.” She and Mr. Wilson plan to put a bocce court on the vacant lot they bought last year.

The couple met two years ago, when they were organizing competing events for young professionals during a conference that the National Trust for Historic Preservation held in Buffalo, and discovered in each other a kindred spirit. “Jason said, ‘I want to buy houses,’ ” Ms. Radle recalled. “And I was like, ‘I want to buy houses.’ ”

Buffalove Development is the name of the limited liability company they’ve formed as property owners. For fun, they spend weekends with other members of Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, a group Mr. Wilson founded a few years ago, doing what they call “board-and-seals” of abandoned properties: boarding up windows and cleaning out refuse, mowing lawns and tar-papering roofs.

real estate micro developmentThey have held workshops and tours in their own properties to illustrate the process by which others can buy abandoned houses. Last month, when Ms. Radle spoke at TEDxBuffalo, she held up a heart-shaped poster that read “Preservation Is Sexy,” as she explained the manifesto (preservation as social activism) that drives her and her peers. Perhaps inevitably, they are being courted by the producers of television reality shows.

For Ms. Radle is nearly irresistible. She is now a project manager at Buffalo Energy, a green-energy consulting firm, but one day she hopes to run for mayor. “I’m determined as hell,” she said.

Mr. Wilson shook his head. “I never thought I’d fall in love with a politician.”

Speaking at an energy conference last year, Ms. Radle so impressed Martin Dunn, a developer of affordable housing in New York City, that he lent her and Mr. Wilson the money they needed to rehab their properties, about $60,000. (The catch with Buffalo’s derelict housing, particularly if you buy at auction, is that no bank will give you a mortgage.)

Mr. Dunn said: “I encouraged them to be more ambitious. To think more broadly of how they could pick a neighborhood and get some economies of scale and have a broader impact.”

This year’s auction was held in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, in a garishly lighted room redolent with the scent of the attendees’ breakfast choices and punctuated by the whir of the currency counters. Winning bidders paid 20 percent of a property’s price in cash or certified check. The balance is due in December, and they should receive the deeds in March — a schedule that had severe consequences last year, Mr. Wilson said. “The owner turned the power off in one of the houses we bought, but not the water, so the pipes froze and burst. There were mushrooms. It was horrible.”

This year, he and Ms. Radle were tentatively interested in a few properties, if they stayed below $25,000, which they didn’t. Prices seemed to be up by a third over last year, Mr. Wilson estimated. But mostly they were there to buy the vacant lot next to their cottage, which they hoped to make their home. Happily, the lot was unchallenged, and they won it quickly for $500.

It was time for a tour. On Massachusetts Avenue near Chenango Street, there were the meticulous properties of Push Buffalo, a community organization that creates affordable sustainable housing. Across the street were spiffy clapboard houses painted in bright pink and yellow, one sprouting an elaborate Victorian porch that had been salvaged from a house lost to arson in another neighborhood.

Joseph Galvin owns these and seven other properties. Mr. Galvin, who is 57, was one of the first to start rehabbing in this neighborhood. It was more than 25 years ago that he bought his first property, the yellow house on Massachusetts, which was then a boarded-up wreck owned by a bank, for $13,600. “At first it was necessity — I just wanted a place to live,” he said. “There were a lot of drugs and prostitutes and criminal elements. We’d call the police, and they’d arrest someone, and then there’d be someone else to take their place. What I decided to do was to buy these houses and renovate them and try and save a neighborhood that was in decline.”

He added: “I was a lone soldier for a long time, dodging bullets and drug dealers and baloney. Lo and behold, now I have nine properties. We missed the whole rust-belt revival that cities like Cleveland had. Now it’s our turn. Now the young kids like Jason and Bernice are just coming out of the woodwork.”

On Chenango, Mark Legeza’s front yard was still a riot of greenery, with Japanese wisteria climbing up the porch. Mr. Legeza, 29, is a health physicist for the Army Corps of Engineers. (He is overseeing the cleanup of radioactive materials from the Manhattan Project, not a job you hear about every day.) In 2009, he bought his house for $70,000. It was in good shape, though it had been neglected. But his block had its challenges, including two rowdy drug houses, he said, which he bought in 2011 for $30,000 and $25,000, using a home-equity loan for the first, and a high-interest loan for the second. The renovation, which cost about $36,000, he did himself.

“The cops were there all the time,” he said, “and the only way I could figure out how to get rid of these people was to find the owners and buy the houses.”

Now he rents them out. Ms. Radle, who helped him scour one of the houses of its debris and cockroaches, has been a tenant. The taxes Mr. Legeza pays on all three properties amount to $1,000.

Back on Massachusetts, Ms. Radle and Mr. Wilson’s houses were two skinny clapboards sitting side by side, with a third behind them. Mr. Wilson chose the paint colors: raspberry, orange and teal. He recalled the brutal cleanup after the pipes burst, which they were able to do with help from 15 or so friends, a familiar crew with whom the couple has stabilized other properties during weekend board-and-seals.

Recently, Mr. Abell, who grew up in Buffalo but left after high school, recalled what brought him home a few years ago and has kept him enthralled. “What’s drawn me in deeper,” he said, “is the D.I.Y., roll-up-your-sleeves community-building ethos that has taken over the entire city. Everyone has three charities they’re working on. I’ve never seen a group of people who give more of themselves.”

Describing a board-and-seal at an old factory building, Mr. Wilson said: “There is strength in numbers. The consequence of preservation is you get addicted. There’s a cascading waterfall effect of doing one good deed and then another.”

Ms. Radle added, half teasing, “We want an empire.”

Aaron Bartley, the executive director of Push Buffalo, is guardedly supportive of small developers like Mr. Abell, Ms. Radle and Mr. Wilson. But he worried, he said, about gentrification and waning opportunities for other communities that have also helped to stabilize the city.

old buffalo house“There are a multitude of microdevelopers operating throughout the city of Buffalo and coming at it from totally different angles and experiences,” he said, ticking off a few of the communities that have put down roots: Bhutanese, Burmese, Caribbean, Puerto Rican and African. “On the west side of Buffalo, we have these very fragile communities, refugees from some of the most war-torn parts of the world. In some places, you can hear 42 languages. It’s hard to talk about diversity and not sound like a cliché, but the beauty of microdevelopment is that it is something people from different walks of life can enter into, and we want to keep it that way. So many have struggled here for so long. We want them to keep being part of this transformative process.”

Mr. Dunn — Ms. Radle and Mr. Wilson’s mentor — has built affordable housing for some of New York City’s most challenged neighborhoods, including East New York. That’s the one, he said, that Buffalo most reminded him of. And he concurred with Mr. Bartley, up to a point.

“Having lived in Greenpoint and seen what happened there,” he said of the Brooklyn neighborhood, “I’m sensitive to it. But in Buffalo, I think a little gentrification would be a blessing.”



Related:  Buying properties wholesale

Slab Foundation Repair to Protect Your Investment

The Fundamentals of Slab Foundation Repair

slab foundation repair victoria txThe requirement for slab foundation leveling and repair service is regrettably, a common issue in the Dallas, TX location. In fact, some quote that there is more foundation repair work done in Texas each year than all the other states combined!

Beginning in the mid-1950’s the slab on grade foundation design has ended up being the standard for almost all residential structures in the area. A couple of custom contractors will set up basement designs with pier and beam internal supports, but that is the exception.

There are 3 kinds of basic slab designs; nevertheless, most builders today install the monolithic pour as the standard in our location. Newer homes can consist of prestressed concrete strategies in the design to increase the strength of the concrete and better control the separating of cracks. But don’t be misled by the age of your home– according to Customer Reports, about 14 % of brand-new homes have foundation concerns too!

Fractures and Gaps Are the Indications of Slab Foundation Settlement

Fractures will certainly appear at high anxiety points … search for these hints:

Visible cracks, especially seen in brick houses

Wall cracks typically noticed adjacent to windows and doors

Sloping or bouncy floors

Visible spaces or gaps between the floor and adjacent wall

Concrete floors with variable sized fractures

Reasons for Slab Foundation Failure

The engineering design of slab foundations is based on the distribution of the weight of the structure straight to the dirt underneath the foundation structure. The crucial reason numerous of the Victoria location foundations split and fail is the result of the soil below is or ends up being unstable. The soil moves laterally or vertically past the design specs causing unequal motion of the concrete foundation

Why does the dirt end up being so unstable?

Severe cycles of wetness: wet-dry cycles

Do you remember the Texas weather pattern in 2011? It was the year the Victoria area had its worst dry spell in recorded history, according to the U.S. Dry Spell Monitor. This trend has only increased in 2013 and 2014. As the dirt beneath the house dries and shrinkage occurs, gaps begin to form. The weight of the home is no longer supported and lots of homes throughout the State experienced serious foundation damage as a result.

The opposite condition occurs when the soil beneath or adjacent to the slab foundation ends up being filled with water. This triggers our expansive dirt’s to swell and heave which can also result in lateral and vertical movement of the foundation. High stress points and gaps are created resulting in foundation failure. See the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Standards for Piping Bursting report.

Excessive water can originate from different causes– leaks from plumbing (sewage and water drains), COOLING AND HEATING leaks, rainwater downspouts (usually the lack of them), and ponding. Water leakage detection and drainage management is the apparent answer to these usual problems. At Foundation Repair Pros Dallas, we make this concern the very first priority; we will identify the presence of these problems as part of our free, onsite assessment of your foundation.

Slab settlement can also happen in circumstances where the structure has actually been built on improperly compressed or poorly drained fill product. In either case, the slab foundation will certainly fail as the underlying dirt’s reduce and settle. The concrete cracks as it settles into deep spaces.

Residence Leveling and Repair for Slab Foundations.

Identification of the causes and locations of your slab foundation failure is the key to an effective repair process. Lots of choices are readily available, depending upon the site certain problems determined at your area. Potential repair service methods consist of the following:.


Steel Push or Resistance Piers

Pilings or Pushed Piers

Helical Piers

Concrete Pilings

Concrete Piers

Drilled Bell Piers

Each of the techniques has pros and cons depending on the unique situation found at each home. Foundation Repair Pros Dallas will certainly examine your situation very carefully and truthfully to suggest the very best and most cost effective solution to your foundation trouble. Our options are always based on verified, patented innovations, materials or systems to insure a solid solution.

Related:  Guide to house leveling

A Review of Concrete Repair Techniques

Concrete Repair Techniques

Concrete slabs and the foundations may over time become damaged because of poorly prepared under-surface together with water penetration. If the soil of subsurface of a concrete is not well compacted, this soil can move causing minor and major cracks and sometimes even the foundation may move. Repairs to such faults can simply be done by the owner but some need a professional contractor to fix.

Small Cracks

Concrete repairs of minor cracks can be done by the home owner. Such a crack has to be chiseled out. This crack has to be kept wet for 24-hours. After this, slurry of concrete mist is wiped on walls of this crack and heavier paste-like mist then poured into the cavity. This repair has to be kept moist and well covered for a 5 to 7 day time period. This allows your concrete to slowly cure.

Patio areas and pool decks can then be finished with an attractive stamped concrete design. This is often the best solution to achieve the desired appeal of the home.

repairLarge Cracks & Uneven Slabs

This form of fault is in most cases related to the under-surface of slab settling or even washing away. Basically, the slab is removed, new bed of the gravel is laid & fresh slab is then poured.

A technique known as slab jacking is used to repair the uneven slabs. Holes are cut into your slab in the parts that have to be raised. Such cores have to be carefully removed for later use. After this, some wet mix of thick concrete is then pumped under your slab via the holes. As your pressurized concrete occupies the space, the slab is actually raised (jacked) into place.

Plugs that were originally removed are then replaced into these holes using a good concrete adhesive. The linear cracks in this slab are also repaired in the same way. The repaired cracks can even be walked on just after the repair, while the heavier duty traffic needs to be withheld until the concrete is cured. Typically, this repair takes between 3 and 7 days to cure.

Foundation Repairs

Foundations may experience drastic’ settling or sometimes water washout. Such foundations need to be repaired by installing some metal ground jacks. First, deep holes have to be drilled into the surface. The holes can have a depth that ranges from 10 feet – 50 feet. Metal pipes are placed into these holes. Plates made using angle- iron are secured to this foundation.

Some powerful hydraulic jacks are used to raise this foundation to correct level. Pipes have cut to certain length and then welded into the right place on this angle iron. After this, proper drainage trenches are installed alongside foundation walls to eliminate any settling water. The form of repair can sometimes be costly, but it’s actually cheaper compared to jacking the entire house up and then replacing the whole foundation.

Concrete Resurfacing

This is a process designed to repair concrete to give it a better new top layer while still leaving the foundation layer intact. This method does not repair some concrete flaws like cracks. However, concrete resurfacing can give a new concrete slab a new life or even make it a more artistic and integral part of home design.

When preparing for this process, ensure your concrete is totally clean. Start by cleaning all the soils, dirt, grease, sealers and paint. This is because; the new layers of concrete cannot bond to such surface materials. If your surface layer is damaged, you can strip off the top layer of concrete instead.

Once the concrete is clean, prepare a cement mixture to use for the resurfacing layer if you wish to restore this concrete to its original condition. Start by applying a layer of cement paste to your stripped layer; this helps the new layer bond more with the old foundation. Keep the mixture smooth, the more smooth it is, the better. After this, mix 3 parts sand with 1 part cement. Add enough water to make this mixture thick.

overlay (1)Alternative types of concrete resurfacing can create beautiful designs of your concrete. Stamped concrete and decorate color is quite common. The process is performed through acids or pigments. Acid etching is a process where the top layer is stained and then sealed to keep the stained color from leeching out. The process can be performed on old concrete layers but actually works best on a fresh layer. Pigments are mixed with the concrete to alter the color throughout the new layer.

Those in the Dallas Fort Worth area can rely on Concrete Solutions for expert installations of decorative stamped concrete, concrete repair and new concrete construction.

Recommended:  Concrete slab project

House Leveling: A Quick and Easy Guide

House Leveling Can Save the Value of Your Home

house levelingAs a homeowner, realizing that you may need house leveling and repair can be unsettling. You’ve probably heard that having a home leveled or having your foundation repaired will cost you a small fortune, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Having your foundation repaired might be less costly than you think, particularly if your home features a pier and beam foundation. Regardless of cost, however, having your foundation issues resolved is essential. Luckily, understanding a little more about having your home leveled can make the process less intimidating and can help you make the right decisions in regards to maintaining and repairing your home.

What is House Leveling?

Over time, your home’s foundation can begin to fail. This can be due to a lot of things, such as excess moisture or soil-related problems, a foundation that wasn’t really designed to effectively support your home’s weight and more. Ensuring that your house is on a sturdy foundation is essential, however, to prevent costly repairs and other issues. Fortunately, companies that focus on foundation repair can resolve these issues for you; not only can they repair your foundation, but they can also point out the causes of your problems and can help you fix them. This will help ensure that your home has a level foundation and that you don’t have to worry about the many issues that can go along with foundation failure.

However, it’s very important to do your due diligence and select the best foundation repair company to do the job.  Here’s an example of what can go wrong when hiring a shady operator:

Why is a Level Foundation So Important?

Your home’s entire weight sits on its foundation. As you can imagine, houses are pretty heavy, so ensuring that they sit on a solid foundation is imperative. This is true for any home but can become even more of an issue with two-story houses.

Foundation failure can cause more problems than you probably realize. Although it can be easy to ignore these issues at first, they can begin to get much more serious over time. As your foundation continues to fail, your home can sink and sag significantly. Both interior and exterior damage can occur and become increasingly serious, and your repairs can get even more costly.

Does Your House Need Leveling?

You might have noticed what seem like clues, or you could just be concerned about the structural integrity of your home. Luckily, it’s possible to identify whether or not your home has foundation-related problems. There are a few signs that you can look for if you’re unsure of your home needs to be leveled. Here are a few clues to keep your eyes open for:

-Have you noticed cracking in your walls? These cracks can be small or quite long, and you might spot them in one or more areas of your home.
-If you have a brick home, you may have noticed cracks in your chimney, exterior walls, near your windows and doors and in other areas.
-Are your doors sticking or otherwise failing to shut properly?
-Are there gaps between your floors or ceilings and interior walls?
-Does your home seem to be sinking, shifting or sagging?
-Have you noticed issues with your floors? For example, are they sagging or bowing? Have you noticed that they are softer or bouncier? Do they seem to be uneven?
-Does your home appear to be uneven or unlevel when you look at it from the outside?

If you have noticed any of these problems, it is essential to have your foundation looked at by a professional as soon as possible. The right contractor can take a look at your home, assess the damage and tell you whether or not you need house leveling and what the cause of the problems could be. This will allow you to move forward and make necessary repairs to your home, and it can also help you become proactive to help prevent these issues from occurring in the future.

How are Pier and Beam Foundations Leveled?

If your home has a pier and beam foundation and a dirt crawl space, you’re in luck. These foundations are generally much easier to repair because there is much easier access. Plus, the materials and tools that are used aren’t as costly.

There are a few common methods that are used for house leveling with pier and beam foundations, including:

-Installing new piers along with a new concrete base and heavy-duty steel or block supports
-Leveling the girders and joists beneath the home with SmartJacks
-“Sistering” fresh, high-quality lumber to any damaged or rotted joists and girders
-Using steel I-beams to retrofit any damaged beams

Along with using one of these proven methods, it’s essential to get to the root of the problem. For example, if your foundation damage has been caused by moisture-related issues, it’s essential to solve these problems by fixing any leaks and potentially installing a new water drainage system. In many cases, moisture is the true problem for foundation damage with homes that have pier and beam foundations. Another problem could be that your foundation simply wasn’t adequately designed to support your home, such as if the piers are spaced too far apart. Fortunately, having a professional install more piers can fix this problem and make for a sturdy, permanent foundation that you can rely on.

How are Slab Foundations Leveled?

Slab foundations have been becoming increasingly common since the mid-1950s. Even though these foundations are popular, they can fail as well. Foundation damage with most slab foundations is generally due to the soil; in many places, especially here in Texas, it is common for soil to go through periods of extreme moisture and extreme dryness. This causes soil to expand and contract, which can cause your home to shift. Over time, this shifting can cause cracks and other problems, and there could be the need for professional repair.

Here are a few ways that your home’s slab foundation could be repaired during the house leveling process:

-Helical Piers
-Drilled Bell Piers
-Concrete Pilings and Piers
-Resistance or Steel Push Piers
-Pressed Pilings and Piers

Many homeowners are overwhelmed by the idea of having their foundations repaired, but this process is critical if you want to maintain the structural integrity of your home. Luckily, working with the right foundation repair contractor will allow you to determine the causes of these issues and can help ensure that your home is safe and stable into the future. Additional benefits can be gained by hiring a professional structural engineer who can offer an independent evaluation of your home and make suggestions on the best approach to fixing your foundation.

Related:  Slab foundation repair project

5 Tips for Making a Smart Fixer-Upper Investment

The Smart Fixer-Upper

Buying real estate is a great way to turn over a profit and build your collection of investments. If you don’t have a lot to spend or simply want to increase your profits, it isn’t a bad idea to look for a fixer-upper investment. Not all fixer-upper properties are good options, but these five tips can help you make the right decision.

1. Don’t Spend Too Much

Some fixer-upper properties are worth more than others, but you should never spend too much on a property that is in need of serious repair. When choosing a property to invest in, total up the estimated charges for making repairs, and add this number to the cost of the property. Then, make sure that you will be able to make a comfortable profit after all of these costs.

2. Have a Professional Take a Look

Some issues with fixer-upper investment properties can be more serious than they appear. If you don’t have a good eye for potential damage, such as structural issues, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look. Although you will have to pay for an inspection, you can actually save a lot of money in the long run by knowing exactly what condition the home is in.

3. Pay Attention to the Location

Homes can be repaired and made to be worth much, much more than their current value, but the location isn’t something that can be easily changed. Along with looking for a house that you can restore to make more valuable, you should also pay attention to the neighborhood that it is in. Look for a safe neighborhood with reasonably high property values for best results. If you do choose to invest in a fixer-upper that isn’t in the best of areas, you should keep that in mind when determining how much to spend.

4. Hire the Right People to Do the Work

fixer upperA lot of repairs can be very costly when you factor in the cost of materials and the cost of labor. By finding the right people to do the work, you can save a lot on these repairs and therefore turn over a higher profit. If possible, it’s a good idea for you to do some of the work yourself; this is one of the best ways to get the work done right while still saving money. If you don’t know much about making these repairs or don’t have the time to handle them, you should shop around for a repair company that will handle the job for a reasonable price. All of the costs that you can cut during the restoration process will add to your bottom line later on.

5. Make the House a Home

Make modern repairs, and make sure that the home is structurally sound. Ensuring that it looks great and is safe before selling is the best way to make a nice profit off of your fixer-upper investment.

Buying properties, restoring them and selling them for more than you paid for them is an excellent way to turn a profit, and following these five tips will help guarantee your success.

Related:  Buy Fix and Flip Properties

5 Important Components of Subdivision Development

Subdivision Development Considerations

Developing a nice subdivision is a great way to turn your land into something great, but you have to go about it the right way. Starting a subdivision without a plan in mind is like setting yourself up for failure, but keeping these five important components of subdivision development in mind is a great way to help ensure success.

1.  Where is the Subdivision Located?

One of the first most important components of subdivision development is choosing the right location, but builders do choose different locations for different reasons. For example, it’s a nice idea to set up a subdivision in the suburbs or near a military installation, but subdivisions can also do well in areas where there aren’t many single-family homes. Regardless, it is essential to choose an area with a healthy population or that is growing relatively quickly.

2.  How Much Space is Available?

When developing a subdivision, it is essential to make sure that there is enough space for the neighborhood to really grow. Along with making sure that there is ample space for the beginning plans and to make sure that each residence has a large enough lawn, it isn’t a bad idea to invest in a bit of extra acreage; this will allow for a bit of breathing room if the neighborhood really takes off.

3.  What Types of Homes Will Be Built?

subdivision developmentDetermining what type of homes will be built is one of the essential components of subdivision development. Failing to have a plan in mind can cause you to end up with a neighborhood that doesn’t have a cohesive look and feel, or the neighborhood could go in the wrong direction. For example, you will probably want to determine an average size and price for the homes in the subdivision; although they all won’t be exactly the same price or size, they should have something in common. You might even want to opt for homes in a certain style, or you could choose that you want all of the homes to be brick or to have something else in common aesthetically.

4.  What Amenities Will Be Offered?

Since there are a lot of different subdivisions out there, you have to add enough amenities to make people want to call your neighborhood home. For example, you might choose to offer a swimming pool and a small park for the kids to play in. Or, you could opt to plant beautiful gardens. You don’t have to have everything, but you will want to have a few things to offer that will make your subdivision different from the countless others that are out there. When planning these amenities, however, make sure that you put them in your budget; not only do you have to worry about initial costs, but you also have to think about maintenance and upkeep as well.

5.  How Will the Subdivision Be Developed?

Who will be in charge of the subdivision development? For example, are you planning on having the homes built to your specifications and then sold, or will you be selling lots with restrictions? Also, will there be a homeowner’s association?

Related:  Development Strategies

The Basic Real Estate Development Process

When it comes to real estate development, there are a lot of different aspects of the business one can delve into. In the broadest terms, it refers to anything involving land and the construction or renovation of structures. And developers are the ones who serve as coordinators and overall head of the project.

While the work of developing real estate can be complex and daunting, it the whole process may be simplified into a basic model.

One way to look at it is that development involves scoping the market for properties with potential, purchasing the lot, developing the area or structure and selling it at a profit.

While a lot of work also goes into looking for that perfect property and finding a buyer, real estate development is mostly about the rehabilitation or reconstruction of houses or buildings.

You can go through the process by starting immediately with the purchase.

Once you have a piece of land or a house or an old building you would want to improve and sell for a higher price, you should start creating a plan.

What exactly are you envisioning for the place? If it’s a piece of land, are you aiming for a residential or commercial building? Will it be a stand-alone house or a row of townhouses?

real estate developmentThere are a lot of possibilities but you should be choosing the one that would allow you to reap the greatest rewards. Many factors come into play when it comes to real estate development. You should consider the area. If it’s a commercial area, it won’t be a good idea to build a house. Perhaps an apartment complex would be better with the first floor reserved for shops. This will raise the value of the property because it could be rented by a large number of people and not just one family or one shop. The same rule applies when renovating a house. Will the renovations increase the property’s value?

The next step after finalizing the real estate development plan is getting your team together to start the construction.

Yes, as a developer you need a team. If you are just a small developer, you just need a handful of people to help you coordinate and lead different aspects of the work. You should have a broker or property specialists who will help you find properties and sellers, as well as estimate the value of your developed property.

Next is your contractor who will lead the day-to-day operations of the renovation or construction of your property. But while everything should be left to his capable hands – it is assumed that you hire someone who is experienced and trustworthy – a developer should from time to time monitor the daily construction work.

In real estate development, being hands-on is a good thing. It enables you to ensure that everything is going as scheduled and the quality of the renovation or construction is at par with your standards.

The construction process may vary, depending on the work needed to be done. It could be as easy as repairing and refurbishing an old home, most likely foreclosed or mortgaged. Or it could be as challenging as replacing parts of a house or installing major features such as a pool or a second floor.

Just make sure that you have the necessary papers and that the rehabilitation is within budget.

At this point, a developer should be regularly computing the costs of the renovation and check if there is still room for a good profit. Know when and how to adjust. There are times in real estate development where the plan cannot be followed completely. When that happens, you either have to stop and make do with what you have already because of a shortage in the budget or you can push through with an alternative and cheaper plan.

Eventually, you will have to be knowledgeable and well-versed in construction. You will have to make decisions as to what kinds of materials should be used and what particular features would help you raise the value of the property.

Renovation and real estate development may last for months. Keep the timeframe as short as possible since you would most likely want to be able to sell as soon as possible. That is, after all the purpose of house flipping. Extending the days of your operations will only result in added costs and erode your potential profits.

Once the real estate development is finished, you can start advertising your property. You can do it yourself through advertisements posted in news paper, buy and sell magazines or websites. Or you can tap a broker or property specialist to help you find a perfect buyer. Remember also that there are different buyers – some looking for their dream home, others looking for a good investment. Learn what kind of customer your property caters to and brainstorm how you can reach your perfect buyer.

Related:  Components of Real Estate Development

Strategies for Real Estate Development

When it comes to real estate development strategies, there’s no one way to do it. There are multiple strategies to consider, not to mention varying factors.

But there at least three real estate development strategies being followed by successful investors today.

The first is the bargain purchase which means you were able to buy the real estate for at least 20 percent below its current market value. How do you make such a real estate investment? Easy. Buy foreclosed houses or those in a pre-foreclosure short sale.

These are actually easy to come by if you know where to look.

The first place to look for such an opportunity is at the classified ads. Look for banks with scheduled foreclosure auctions. Banks are often at the receiving end of mortgaged houses and regularly sell these at auctions. They will usually come out with advertisements with a couple of details about the property and the minimum bid.

If you are not able to find such advertisements, you can go directly to the bank or check their websites. They usually have this kind of information available in document form with the listing of all properties up for sale.

foreclosure REOYou can also look for brokerages specializing in selling foreclosed homes. Often there are companies that cater to such. They buy the properties from beleaguered owners who cannot pay their loans anymore or whose houses are already about to be foreclosed.

These houses are then included in their database listing all the houses up for sale.

Before making your first real estate investment by buying a mortgaged house, make sure that there are no problems with the property’s documents. The companies selling you the property will most likely detail the issues or problems surrounding the property.

The second way to make a real estate investment is through the increase-value strategy. Under such a strategy, you purchase a property even if its cost is the current market value. Just make sure that it has some unrealized potential you can tap into once you renovate the place. This can be a house in the suburbs that you will turn into a commercial area or a simple bungalow with a large lot and a nice view of the sea. Play up on the property’s potential and you may find yourself with a gem of an investment.

However, time is of the essence with such a real estate investment. You must be able to increase its value by at least 20 percent within six months for the investment to be worthwhile.

Under this strategy, you can also buy lots and build townhouses or other kinds of infrastructure. Just make sure that the end result will give you a profit and not a headache.

Finally, the most common real estate investment strategy followed by even those not interested in home flipping and development is buying a property and waiting for its value to increase in the market.

These are mostly done by long-term investors. But others tend to look down upon such a strategy because it’s mostly based on speculation. Some buy properties near the cities, hoping that in five years or so the demand for such places will increase, and so will its value or market price.

While a handful had become wealthy because they followed this strategy, it does not fit in the flipping industry that requires you to sell your property as soon as your acquire and repair it.

Remember that while a real estate investment usually needs time to mature, in the home flipping business you are the one that makes sure that the property appreciates in value, not time.

In fact, you will be always running against time because the costs of upkeep and operations will start to pile up. You don’t want to spend on the maintenance of a home you’re itching to sell. As days pass by without you making a sale, the costs of upkeep will erode your profits and you might eventually end up breaking even or worse, selling on a deficit.

There are some home flippers who actually sell before buying a property though this is rare. They do this by striking a deal with the owner of the property and the potential buyer. The buyer might be interested in the house but would not bother to repair or renovate it by himself so he’ll rely on the flipper.

To be able to do this, you should be really experienced in the industry and have made a mark and a lasting reputation. Clients who are willing to buy into such a scheme would have to truly trust you, either because they know you personally or you had already done it for one of their friends.

In the end, it will all depend on your ability to spot a great real estate investment, the property’s potential, and the needs of your market.

Related:  Buying properties wholesale

Home Inspection of a Property Prior to Purchase

One of the complicated tasks in purchasing a house is the assessment of its physical condition. Since repairs to structural and mechanical systems are usually costly, a preliminary home inspection can help you avoid them, or at least anticipate the cost and factor it into the buying price. Even if you are looking for an old home that you want to renovate, you’d be in a better position to sign the purchase offer by pricing it right considering the current condition of the property after doing a home inspection.

home inspectionA home inspection requires some technical knowledge on structural and mechanical systems. Shown in this article are some important technical considerations when looking at a property for sale.

Home Foundation

This is probably the most important feature to look into when doing a home inspection. A house might be built over a basement, a crawl space or over a concrete slab that lies flat on earth. Whatever the base of the foundation is, it is important that this part of the structure is able to support to whole weight of the house above it and that it is evenly distributed to the soil below. Lateral forces of the earth that tend to push the foundation inwards should also be covered to avoid leaks and cracks on the foundation. For areas prone to very cold climate, make sure that the concrete slab which serves as the main foundation is covered in walls well below the frost line. Home foundation repair can be an expensive item and should be checked out completely during the pre-purchase inspection.

Building Materials

From the foundation to the roof, houses can be made of different materials and a varying composite of these building materials. For the foundation, poured concrete and concrete blocks with metal reinforcements are the most common building material used. Both wood and concrete are resistant to moisture penetration and when properly placed offer a good foundation for a house to be built on. When doing a home inspection, the materials for the foundation may be hard to inspect as they can be hidden beneath layers of dirt. Look for exposed part of the masonry foundation for cracks. While it is not possible to diagnose foundation problems with cracks alone, it can be an indicator of a potential problematic condition. Also, check if the gutters and downspouts are in good shape. If they are not, chances are rainwater has run down the foundation walls and has caused damage to the foundation. Further, it is prudent to really test by digging through the pile of dirt.

The main part of the house is the easiest to see when doing a home inspection. However, it could be made of a composite of different building materials. Wood is usually durable and may last for a long time. Keep an eye on the glass components such as the windows, doors and partitions. Broken glass can lower the value of a property. While they are easy to replace, they are most often costly. Plastics and other materials that may tear with use or go out of style should be noted.


The floors of the house can have multiple purposes. One is that it is used to support the walls and the roof. When on a home inspection, floors at all levels should be inspected. Make sure that it is sturdy enough to support the weight of the people and furniture that you are planning to utilize within the property. Look at the ceiling joists that support the floor in the higher levels. Test for signs of decay. A soft wood can be an indicator of moisture damage or insect infestation.  A home with a crawl space (pier and beam foundation) can experience sagging or settlement from damaged support structures beneath the floors. These two factors can seriously affect the floors and the whole area damaged. Floor surfaces should also be examined. Most floors in old houses may have a need for refurbishing. A tile may have cracked or a carpet soiled and stained. These needs thorough attention in the home inspection.

Walls and Partitions

The exterior walls also functions as a support to the roof. In doing a home inspection, never forget to see if these load – bearing walls are sturdy and in good condition. Otherwise, replacing or repairing these walls can be very costly. Interior partitions might be less costly. However, check to see if the placement, design and décor are to your liking or can easily be adjusted to suit your test. A major renovation can again cost you a lot.  Also, be wary about dismantling inner partitions as they might also be load bearing. It is always wise to consult and engineer or architect for these types of repair work.


Lastly, check the roof of the property. This can be the easy part in a home inspection. Problems with the roof can easily be detected with a visual inspection. However, make sure that the materials used are not the banned types such as asbestos or others that are made of hazardous chemical components. Otherwise, you will end up replacing the whole roofing system at a gargantuan cost.

For more on home inspections and appraisals check out this site: http://www.raredaily.com

Related:  Fixer Upper Investments

Buying Properties at Wholesale Prices

One of the safest and low-risk investments for your hard-earned dollars is in the real estate market.  This type of investment does not depreciate easily, and the land where structures are built upon appreciates through time. Thus, these investments usually entail a high cost. That is why a lot of people are on a look out for a bargain when it comes to local real estate investments. Here are some secrets of successful businessmen who made it big in the real estate markets by buying properties at wholesale prices.

Study the Market

This is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to make big bucks with a real estate investment. Since prices in different areas and types of real properties may vary, it is good to arm yourself with the knowledge of the price levels of properties in your locality. Check the newspaper ads and property listings. These will pretty much give you an idea on how much real properties are valued in a specific area.

Take it Slow

When planning on making a investment, do not rush. The price differentials can be caused by the time element. The longer a property is listed at an auction, the bigger is the chance that its price will go down. Unless you have very competitive buyers around, take your sweet time in negotiating the deal. Eager sellers will likely agree to a lower price if you do not appear to be in a rush to grab the property.

Also, inspecting the property, and checking for ownership and tax compliance may take time. You should appear to know all this so the selling agent or broker would know that you mean business and would be careful not to overprice their offers.

Fixer-Upper Properties

Foreclosure properties are often in various states of deterioration. Smart investors are on the look out for fixer-upper houses in decent neighborhoods. One type of repair that is especially attractive to the professional investor is a failing home foundation. The cost to repair foundations is easy to calculate with a little experience, but scares off the average investor. Here’s a quick overview from a foundation repair contractor:

Bank Hunting

Look for investment properties from banks and mortgage institutions. They often have properties that they foreclosed from their mortgage holders. Most often, they hold auctions and price the properties wholesale. Remember, these institutions are not really into the business of real estate buying and selling. All they want is to liquidate such assets so they can use it in their core business operations. While some may be careful to price the properties at their real market value, most banks and mortgage companies base the price on the amount they need to recover. And because more often than not, their valuation of the properties at the time the mortgage was made is only around 60 to 70 percent of the appraised value, these properties generally valued lower than the mainstream real estate market.

Buy in Bulk

If you have a deep pocket, you can get a price lower than the published rate if you buy more than one property from an agent or a broker. So it is good to plan how you want to diversify your real estate investment and buy at once. It can be a commercial district building, a residential property and a beach side lot with glorious white sand. If you buy this much, the bank would be very happy to give you a generous discount.

This is applicable when you are into the business of real estate investment. Buying a mix of properties doesn’t only serve to diversify your investment. This also gives you a portfolio that would offer a wide array of potential customers.

Make Friends

It is common knowledge that agents and brokers make a killing with just a single property. Thus, when planning on making a major real estate investment, look for friends in the industry. If you do not have one, make friends out of the existing agents and brokers. It would not hurt their pockets to help you obtain a generous discount for the sake of friendship.

Organize a Group

Persuade your friends to make a real estate investment as a group. Then, you can buy properties from a seller, agent or broker together at wholesale prices. This might be hard to do, unless you have really wealthy friends but it is worth a try given the hefty price tags of most real estate properties.

Go Online

Buy and sell websites abound nowadays and their list of properties sold include investment opportunities in real estate. The main feature that these online stores boast of is the fact the property owners themselves are the ones doing the transactions. Taking the agents and brokers out of the equation would certainly bring down the price tag drastically. Thus, this is equivalent to buying at wholesale prices.

There are precautions to take when transacting online, though. First, because there are no agents to pre-screen the validity of the offer to sell, much less the legal papers that are needed in the real estate investment transaction, you can be duped in the process. Thus, it is important to make sure that everything is done legitimately.

There are also possibilities that the estates for sale do not really exist. Therefore, it is essential to make a visual inspection of the properties in question before making a purchase offer.

Recommended:  Buy Fix and Flip Properties

How to Buy, Fix and Flip Real Estate

Home flipping or real estate flipping is an old revenue-generating strategy. It involves the purchase of land or property, its development through construction of infrastructure or repairs made on the building and the resale at a much higher price; buy, fix and flip real estate.

Before an individual decides to get into the business of home renovation and development, he must ensure that he is ready for what lies ahead. As with every endeavor, going into real estate development involves a vision, planning and ability to overcome challenges.

Before dipping your hands into the industry, you must first study the sector and get as much information available. It would be advisable to start part-time at first and grow your business from there, as you continue to learn more about flipping property and other aspects of real estate development.

Remember that the idea is to buy low or at an affordable price and sell the property at a profit. To be able to do this, you should be familiar with the real estate market. How much is low and how much is high? What kind of property would be sold faster?

Many of those already making a profit in fixer-uppers and flipping would most likely suggest that you start networking with other real estate professionals, especially brokers who can teach you a thing or two about prices and location.

Attend workshops, forums, and events where you meet these people. And not just real estate professionals but also contractors and other people who would help you do home renovation and turn properties around.

Once you’ve met your prospective team – one way or another you will have to bring together a group of people to help you in the flipping business — you must then brainstorm on where to get the funds to buy your very first property.

Some people use their own savings as capital while others rely on loans.

If you don’t have enough capital to buy land or property, you can try borrowing from friends or relatives. You can even turn them into business partners and bring them with you whenever you embark on a renovation project. Or if you are willing to, you can borrow from a bank and include the finance interests in the overall costs.

You may want to start small for your first development project. Among the best buys would be foreclosed houses sold at very low prices. Buy one, preferably in a saleable area, and start the home renovation to see what repairs are needed.

By this time, you should already have a broker or real estate professional in your team who can help you identify a potential property. They will be the most knowledgeable on what areas are good for home flipping.

Nowadays, lists of houses for sale are available from brokerages and banks that also do their own repairs, detailing the condition of the houses in their reports. Banks often offer foreclosed houses. Always be on the lookout for such events, published or announced through newspapers or websites.

Experienced brokers will also be able to help anticipate sales and later on help you sell you repaired or developed property.

When you are going through the home inspection process, be sure to bring your broker and contractor to the property. They must see the place first so they can give an estimate on how much it should sell when repaired and how much the repairs or renovations will cost (be sure to include an inspection of the home foundation). This must be carefully factored in your computations.

Once finished with the inspection, analyze the deal first before giving the green light for the renovation or repairs. First list your total acquisition cost including the closing costs. Then factor in the estimated cost of repairs. Definitely, the sale price should be higher than the two combined. Don’t forget to factor in the commission of your broker, as well as the interests to be paid for the loans.

After you come up with the final amount including your preferred profit, check if it matches or is still within the price range of similar properties in the market. You should always do this before buying the property and again after you have completed the home repairs.

As a businessman, you should be hands-on, especially in the rehabilitation process of the structure. You are still the one in command, directing your contractor what repairs to do and how much to spend.

The initial inspection checklist should have helped you get an idea how long the renovations will take to complete. Watch how your workers manage time. Check if the quality is within your standards. Make sure your contractor is not wasting your precious time and money.

Finally, when everything is done, sell your property. Again, ask the help of your broker and have him invite prospective clients for a home inspection. Don’t settle with an average selling price. Always aim high. If your calculations were correct upfront, you should have a very nice net profit. Buy it, fix it, sell it: Profit!

Related:  5 Fixer Upper Tips

Development Tips

Welcome to Real Estate Development and Investment Tips.  Our purpose is to provide you with the best advice on real estate investing including development strategies, wholesale investments, property inspection and appraisal. Intended for the new and experienced investor in residential and commercial properties.