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Decor & Design

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Flooring and kitchen

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Renovation

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Green Remodeling for Architects and Interior Designers

A “green” building, also known as a “sustainable” building is a residential or commercial structure that is designed, built, renovated, operated or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner.

As homeowners become more conscious of indoor health issues, increasing energy costs and their own impact on the environment Green Remodeling is becoming more popular. Every indication points to the continued growth of the Green Building and Remodeling market. It is not just a fad or passing curiosity. It is here to stay and eventually will be the only way to build.

The goals of Green Remodeling are straight-forward and the benefits are tangible. The use of environmentally safe products is one of the most important goals in any green project, but this is especially true in a residential remodeling project.

The use of environmentally safe products is one of the factors leading to better indoor air-quality and thus better overall health of the occupants. Another is the use of improved, more efficient ventilation systems and the use of non-toxic building materials, paints and finishes. Indoor air-quality is affected by pollutants brought in from the outside, toxic chemicals inside, and the pollutant-producing activities of the occupants. It is the goal of Green Remodeling to reduce and mitigate these factors.

Improved energy efficiency and lower energy costs is another prime goal of Green Remodeling which emphasizes the use of energy efficient appliances and lighting, and the use of programmable thermostats and tank-less water heaters. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that $ 20 billion less energy could be used each year if current buildings were green-improved.

Reducing the amount of construction waste generated from a remodeling project is another important goal. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, construction waste accounts for 20% of the waste in landfills, or about 136 million tons annually. Green Remodeling aims to reduce this waste by recycling as much of it as possible from the job site and using products made from recycled materials whenever possible.

In general, Green Remodeling focuses on reducing operating costs by increasing the efficiency of systems; reducing emissions from toxic materials and improving the indoor air-quality; and using environmentally safe building materials and ecologically sound building practices. These aspects can greatly affect the value of the building and the overall health and productivity of its occupants.

Green Remodeling differs from Green Building. Although the principles that govern Green Remodeling are shared with other green design and construction projects, there are a few aspects that are unique. The first noticeable difference is in the range of projects that constitute a remodeling project. Whereas the design and construction of a new structure generally entails everything from site work to mounting door hardware, a remodel generally entails only certain systems or rooms. While in new construction most everything about the building is known, having been designed and built from scratch, in remodeling there are always existing conditions, some of which are unknown, to deal with. The need to stage sequenced projects around the client’s need for certain things to be completed before others is another fairly unique aspect of remodeling, as is the fact that most of the work is of a custom nature.

Green Remodeling is not just about product selections. It is as much about the process. Synergies are created when the approach is directed at integrating systems into a “whole-house” philosophy. Green Remodeling requires the same professional coordination and integration at all levels as does new green construction. Good design and construction are the cornerstone of any green project. And while you can have a quality project that is not Green, you cannot have a Green project that is not also of high quality.

Because the remodeler must adhere to standards and apply techniques which enhance the sustainability of the project Green Remodeling is more of a challenge than run-of-the-mill remodeling. This is not to say that every Green Remodeling project must encompass every system, room or finish in the structure. Green Remodeling can be accomplished in small, individual ways, choosing the elements that fit the situation. Toxic paints and sealants can be removed and replaced with non-toxic, environmentally safe products to increase indoor air-quality. Programmable thermostats and additional insulation, especially around pipes, can be installed to reduce energy costs. Older, inefficient appliances can be replaced with more energy efficient models. Natural flooring materials or rugs made from natural fibers and fabrics can be used in place of synthetic coverings to reduce out-gassing of noxious fumes. Lighting fixtures can be replaced with energy efficient, dimmable fixtures to reduce energy waste. Green Remodeling can be as simple as purchasing locally-made products so as to reduce the emissions caused by shipping products from other regions.

Green Remodeling represents a major component in the overall push to “go green”, and is a topic of further study by not only remodeling contractors but architects, interior designers and engineers as well.

How to Choose the Best Floor for Kitchen Rooms

Irrespective of how small or big your budget might be, there are several high quality, cost-effective types of floors that are considered for use in kitchens.

Choosing Materials

Many options for materials exist with regards to kitchen floors. Picking the best material for kitchen floor rooms might be a case of appearance and style preferences, along with budget concerns. Normally, floors use hardwood, or a variety of tiles.

Tiles

The best tile for kitchen floor rooms needs has to be robust, durable, quick to clean, easy to maintain and suitable for use in high foot fall rooms. Tiles are made of several materials, thus there are lots of choices to contemplate.

Natural Stone Flooring

The feel and appearance of natural stone can give warmth to a room and offer a rustic, yet new look. The texture and color of stone brings a natural element into a house. Choices include marble, granite, travertine, limestone, slate, etc.

Vinyl Tiles

These tiles are a perfect alternative to costly materials, such as natural stone. Homeowners can pick a vinyl tile design which appears and feels the same as materials such as stone and wood, while avoiding the high price tags.

Porcelain Tiles

These tiles are a form of ceramic and extremely tough. They are water-resistant and are not damaged easily by moisture. This is the reason these tiles are used in bathrooms and regarded as the best floor for kitchen rooms.

Wooden Floors

The best wood floor for kitchen rooms use hardwood for longevity and to withstand prolonged footfall. In order to find the best hardwood floor for kitchen rooms, there are several elements to consider.

Choosing the Wood Species

Maple, oak and cherry woods are all excellent choices for floors, as they are the toughest species. Particular wood grains (like oak) hide stains and dents in the floor better than others.

Choosing the best possible Finish

Before a wooden floor that is suitable for a kitchen can be used, you need to treat the wood with a transparent finish. You can reapply an water based finish on the entire floor, or use it to touch up particular areas when required.

Cohesive Appearance

For cabinets made of particular types of wood, it is better to attempt to match it. If not, then you should pick a grain of wood that complements it. Think about the amount of natural light that your kitchen gets during the day, to get a realistic idea of the way the floor will appear after fitting.

Use Crown Moulding To Decorate Simple Homes

If you want to decorate your home with beautiful architectural designs, you can choose crown moulding. These decorations have intricate designs and can be easily installed on the ceiling and the walls.

Different Designs Available

In traditional homes, decorations for the ceiling and walls would be made out of wood. Such items are very heavy and difficult to install especially at the ceiling. Nowadays, intricate ceiling medallions and wall decorations are available in lighter materials which are easy to fix. You can check on the internet for manufacturers of different home decoration items. By installing ceiling decorations and crown moulding, you can make your plain and simple home look exquisite. You can check the website of the manufacturer for the different designs available which make ordinary homes into special ones.

There are a wide variety of designs and colors available, so you can choose an appropriate decoration as per the size of the room. The color of the room is important to select an appropriate wall and ceiling decoration. It is a good idea to choose decorations for the walls according to the ceiling decoration. The wall decorations are available in the form of strips which can be easily fixed on the wall where it meets the ceiling. The decorations have to be fixed with the help of a strong adhesive. You can choose crown moulding with floral designs or geometric patterns as per your choice.

After selecting an appropriate design, you can place an online order for the decorations. You can choose both ceiling and wall home décor items if you want your home to look ornate. Otherwise, you can install only wall decorations along the ceiling on all four walls to beautify the interiors of the room. Generally, homeowners select ornate home furnishing only in special areas of their home like the sitting or dining area. Such decorations help separate the area from the rest of the house and also give the space a special touch. It is important to consult an interior designer who can suggest the right size, color, and design of the ceiling and wall decorations so that room looks beautiful. You can pay for the selected item online by your credit or debit card or via PayPal online payment.

Items are Easy to Clean and Maintain

The company takes the responsibility of shipping crown moulding to the desired location for which delivery charges have to be paid by the client. If there is an outlet of the company in your city, you can ask the dealer to deliver the item at the desired address. Especially, bulky items like decorative columns which are used to make the balcony and porch look attractive are easy to deliver from nearby outlets. Although these home decorations are bulky, they are not as heavy as wooden columns and ceiling decorations. Also, the costs of fiber decorations are less than their wooden counterparts and are easy to clean and maintain. You can check the costs of the different decorations displayed on the site and choose an exquisite design which is suitable for your home and budget.

By selecting crown moulding and other home decorations, you can improve your home interiors at reasonable costs.

Select the Right Roofing Company for Your Home

Introduction

The average lifespan of a roof is 30 years – provided it was well-constructed with quality material. Roofs are however, prone to weather damages because they are the most exposed part of a house so more often than not, roofs require repairs in some parts.

Caring for your roof is essential. Doing repairs when necessary prevent leaks in rainy weather. Leaks lead to the development of moisture that can damage the wooden structure of the house. Not waiting until it is too late to have repairs done will also save you lots of money.

For many DIY people, the most obvious thing to do is to repair the roof themselves. But roofing repairs, it must be noted, can be quite tricky and unless you are a roofing contractor yourself, you must come to terms with the fact that you might need to hire a professional roofer.

In the following short report, you will find out practical reasons why roofing repairs must be left to the professionals only, the benefits of hiring a roofer and the 5 essential things you must know before calling the local roofing company.

Should You Do It Yourself?

Many people opt for DIY repairs because it saves a lot of money, and it can be fun sometimes. However, there are simply some projects that must be handled only by professional contractors and roofing repair is one of these.

There are lots of mistakes that one who is not well versed in doing roof repairs can commit… And these mistakes can be really costly and even life-threatening!

The following are the most common mistakes DIY people commit when it comes to roof repairs:

They ignore safety precautions

Roofing repairs and installations is one of the most dangerous occupations of all time. There are a lot of hazards involved in it such as falls, tool hazards, injuries like puncture wounds and cuts, electrical and fire hazards and natural dangers like strong winds, ice and lightning. Is it worth it to lose limb or life just to save a small amount of money?

1. Fasteners end up in the wrong place

Just one fastener out of place can cost you hundreds of dollars plus more repairs. This mistake is easily avoided if you know what you’re doing or if you hired someone who does.

2. They buy the wrong roofing systems

A poor choice in roofing system increases the risks already associated to roof repairs. Metal roofs become slippery with the slightest amount of moisture and asphalt roofs require a certain slope to prevent leaks. Speaking of slopes, there are requirements that must be considered and only a roofer understands these.

Mistakes in roof repairs or installations will lead to the necessity of replacing the system again, thus the need to spend more cash. Additional expenses can be avoided by hiring a reliable roofing company.

Why It Is Best to Hire a Professional Roofer

Aside from the avoidance of mistakes and unnecessary expenses, there are other benefits to hiring a professional roofing contractor:

• The right type of roofing system is used. Since there are many different types of roofing materials (metal, steel panels, wood shakes, asphalt shingles, clay tiles, rubber slates, etc.), choosing the right one can get confusing. By hiring a roofing contractor, you are spared from making mistakes that you’ll soon regret.

• The old roofing material is properly disposed of. Majority of roofing contractors will cover everything from removing the old roofing, replacing it and disposing of the old material.

• Expert installation. You are sure that the roofing system is installed securely and weather tight.

• Damage to the roof system is avoided. Roofers have scaffoldings that they use to repair or install roofs without inflicting damage to other parts of the roof or house.

• Your roofer will help you decide if a new roof needs to be installed or if some repairs are all it takes.

• Get advice on the side. Good advice on roof care is a bonus you get from your roofing contractor. A professional roofer can tell you ways to care for the most exposed part of your house and ensure that it will last as long as it can.

Roof repair is not as simple a task as many might think. There are lots of tiny details that must be considered if you want your roof to become good as new. A reliable contractor can help you figure out what needs to be done and how much everything will cost you.

The 5 Things to Know Before Hiring a Roofer

Now that you know the benefits of hiring a roofer and the risks involved to doing the repairs or installation yourself, there are still a few things you need to understand before picking up the phone and calling your local roofer.

Upon deciding to hire a professional roofer, your first thought will naturally be to call the nearest contractor and get a quote. Not all roofers are the same and if you want to get the best service for your money, there are things you need to consider. There are bad roofers and there are the reputable ones. Of course like any sane homeowner, you’d want to make sure you deal only with a reputable contractor.

Here are some of the things you must know prior to hiring a roofer that can help you identify the best contractor to hire:

1. Know Exactly What You Want Done

Before you make that call, it is but sensible to have an idea of what the problem is and what you want done exactly. It’s not as simple as deciding the roof needs fixing and calling someone over to fix it. When talking to a contractor, he will likely ask you a lot of questions concerning the project. And if you have not prepared or have no idea what you want done, you can be swayed easily into believing that there are more problems than there really is.

You must know the extent of the damage so you can tell your contractor exactly what needs fixing. Are there holes? Are there shingles falling off or missing? Does the flashing need to be re-aligned? What about the drainage, is it working fine?

Knowing exactly what must be fixed will also save you money. When discussing the project with your contractor, you can tell him everything that must be covered; he will make the assessment then give you a quote. Anything you forgot to tell him will cost you extra.

2. Know the Signs of a Bad Roofing Contractor

There are rogue contractors who will only rip you off so you must be careful.

The following are signs that a roofing contractor is far from trustworthy:

- Not fully licensed, bonded and insured. Do not trust the contractor’s word: Verify it or simply call Phone (800) 321-CSLB = 1-800-321-2752.

- When asked about cost, they do not discuss it in an open, clear or comprehensive manner. If you deal with such a contractor, expect additional costs to spring up along the way.

- They have a bad history of unresolved complaints from other clients. Check with the BBB for any unresolved issues or complaints. Review the reviews on Angie’s List; check their information on the Contractor’s License Board. Always call a couple of previous customers. Feel they are real and not paid. Even the best contractor cannot please everyone. There always someone who just can’t be pleased. But a lot? That is an indication there is something wrong with the contractor’s work or service. Stay away from them.

- You don’t feel comfortable about hiring a contractor. Sometimes, you get this gut feeling that you and the contractor cannot get along properly. If you feel that way, it is best to keep looking.

- The contractor’s rates are cheap, in fact way too cheap compared to others. When it is tempting to go for the lowest rate available, you must be wary because most roofers who have really low rates will end up charging for more than you are prepared to pay. Cheap contractors also rarely redo a project for free so if there’s a problem with the workmanship, they might ask you for additional payment before they fix it.

- They do not send a qualified estimator. A reliable roofing company will always send someone over to consult with you, make assessments, do actual measurements and discuss roofing materials with you.

3. Know Your Options

One thing you must understand before hiring a roofer: there are lots of fish in the sea.
You have a lot of options so don’t settle for the first contractor you find or hire the one that offers the cheapest rate. By speaking with several other contractors, you can determine which one is most suitable for your needs and who you can easily work with.

For many homeowners, the first consideration is always the price. This is understandable because we all need to save money. However, the cost should not be the deciding factor. You must weigh other factors too prior to making a choice. Keep in mind that you can’t always expect a good job from someone offering a cheap rate and the costliest rate doesn’t always mean the best service.

Speak with at least three different contractors and make comparisons. By doing this, you avoid paying for the highest rates in the industry as well as get to know more reasonable rates. Aside from being able to compare prices, interviewing several contractors will also let you know their relevant experience, specialties or whatever special offers they might have.

The best way for you to know your options is by doing your research. Go online and search for roofing companies and contractors near you and compare them. Find out each one’s work history and see how customers find their services. Ask relatives, friends or neighbors for their recommendations, they might know a good contractor you can check out or a company you must be wary of.

While researching, you should also take the time to learn some bits about roofing because basic knowledge can help you avoid getting scammed by unscrupulous roofers.

4. Know the Terms of Their Insurance Policy

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners commit when hiring roofing contractors is not bothering to ask about the company’s insurance policy and warranties.

When there are a few roofing companies that automatically include insurance in their package, there are many that don’t, so you need to ask to make sure.

The insurance should cover both client and worker so that in case an accident happens while the repair or installation is going on, you won’t be held liable. The roofer’s insurance can help cover you against anything unexpected. Ask for the proof of insurance and make sure that the policy is in effect through the duration of the project.

Warranty is also very important. You should know if the warranty covers only the roofing material or only the labor or both. Roofing material manufacturers offer warranty for their products and their conditions and limitations might be different from the contractors. Some of the things you must know pertaining to warranty are the dollar limits, whether or not it is prorated over the life of the roof, the life of the warranty, provisions that might void the warranty, etc. Only certified roofers would offer you certain additional warranty from the manufacturer.

The contractor must provide at least 2 years workmanship warranty and clearly discuss the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty. Don’t forget to get a copy of the proposed warranty.

5. Know What Should Be Included In the Written Agreement

Securing a copy of a written agreement is necessary because this will ensure that there will be no surprises along the road. It will provide you with a clear view of what is to be done.

The agreement, signed by you and the contractor, should clearly state the following:

- What materials are to be used
- Expected completion date
- Pricing details
- Payment schedules

Conclusion

The roof is the most neglected part of the house, yet it is the one part that takes the most beating. Any damage to the roof that is not properly repaired can affect the whole house, costing you more money and headache.

When it’s time for roofing repairs or replacement, choose to hire a trustworthy roofing company. You want someone reputable working on your roof, people who know what they are doing, are honest and can deliver as agreed.

Take note of the five things to know before hiring a roofer as these will help you locate a contractor you can trust. As a bonus, here are a few other things to consider when looking for a roofer:

- A website is not enough; the contractor must have a physical office, landline, business license and tax ID.

- Ask for references; a reputable contractor should have a lengthy list of customers who are satisfied with their work

- Find out if the contractor belongs to any regional or national industry associations which is an indication that they are indeed professionals

- A reputable company is financially stable and should be able to provide current financial information when asked

- Ask the contractor to explain quality control and their supervision procedures. Find out how many workers are needed and get the name of the person in charge of the project.

- Opt for the contractor that has the right experience, shows professionalism and gives importance to quality workmanship.

You don’t want your roof to come crashing down your head so seriously consider hiring a roofer when the time comes for repairs or replacements.

You might want to tackle the project yourself, especially if you are skilled in repairs but keep in mind that roofing repairs have special considerations and there are hazards involved. It is still best to go to a professional for help and with the tips you just received, finding a good contractor that won’t rip you off and give value for your money has become a lot easier.

Easy Ways to Find Finance for Your Home Renovation

The burning question on the minds of many Australian homeowners is – will I “Renovate” or “Relocate”? So, if you are one of these home owners, you may have also realised that the high cost of purchasing a new home and selling your current home far outweighs the challenges of renovating your current home. However, you should only renovate if the renovations will:

>> Add value to your home

>> Result in an improved standard of living

>> Be used to perform emergency repairs or full home extensions

Do Lenders/Credit Providers impose Restrictions on the Type of Renovations?

Subject to their credit policies and lending guidelines, most lenders/credit providers will let you borrow the funds to improve the value of your home for any worthwhile purpose, such as if you need to:

>> Add another bedroom, or any other room

>> Renew/update your bathroom or kitchen

>> Add a pergola and outside recreational area

>> Install a swimming pool

>> Extend your garage from a single garage to a double

>> Construct a secondary dwelling on your existing property

>> Any other structural or non-structural construction

What Methods of Finance can I choose?

Here are some examples of the popular methods to ensure easy home renovation:

Home Equity Loan – This financing arrangement is perhaps the most common way for Australians to finance their home renovation projects. A home equity loan works where you borrow the money against the value of your home. To illustrate this I have provided the following example:

>> The example assumes your home is worth $700,000, and

>> Your mortgage loan is $300,000

From the example illustrated above, you will have $400,000 equity in your home, which you can use to fund your renovation project.

The recent rise in-house prices has resulted in many Australian homeowners having acquired considerable equity in their property, this can make getting a home renovation loan easier for these people and reduces their need to dig into their own cash reserves.

Personal Loan – This financing arrangement is a suitable option for you to consider if:

>> You do not have any equity available in your home, or

>> You only have to complete some minor renovations

By choosing a short-term personal loan, you will find that:

1. The personal loan interest rate is much higher than a home equity loan, and

2. You may be limited to the amount you can borrow (e.g. from $5,000 to $50,000)

Construction Loan – This financing arrangement is available for you to complete large-scale renovation projects that require council approval and the services of a licensed builder. The lender/credit provider will impose the following restrictions when they are considering a construction loan for home renovation:

>> The lender/credit provider will not fund the full loan amount upfront to you

>> The lender/credit provider will release the money to you only in stages as the renovation progresses

Can I afford to Re-build my Home if it was destroyed?

You should already have normal home and building insurance in place, but you need to increase your building insurance to cover the costs associated with your home renovation project. So, if you cannot afford to rebuild your home if it were destroyed by damage from fire, or from any other natural disasters, you should ask yourself the following questions:

>> Do you have building insurance?

>> If you have building insurance in place:

1. Is the amount of insurance cover adequate?

2. What does your building insurance plan cover?

3. Does your insurance plan include Total Replacement cover or Sum Insured cover?

Don’t Delay and Take Action Straight Away

So, if you are thinking of renovating your home without any stress, you should seek advice from a professionally qualified and expert home finance broker who is a specialist in home renovation loans and, has helped numerous home owners when they had considered renovating their property.

He/she can arrange finance for your renovation project. A loan broker will provide you with a wide range of finance options and products after creating a budget for you. But, remember that you should be clear about your future plans as it will help you in choosing the right finance option.

Now that you have read this article, I sincerely hope it will help you to understand the easy ways of renovating your home with a professionally qualified and specialised finance broker.

What to Expect During Your Home’s Roof Replacement Project

Replacing your roof is an essential part of maintaining your home. A damaged or improperly maintained roof can cause thousands and dollars in damage to other parts of the home. Repairs only go so far, and eventually it will be time to replace your roof entirely. Replacing your roof can seem like a daunting task for the first time homeowner. Choosing between hundreds of professional roofing contractors can be confusing. Thankfully, the project of getting a new roof is not too complicated, and it helps to know what to expect.

The first step in any roof replacement project is obtaining estimates and choosing a contractor. It’s a good idea to research several companies. Make sure they have good reputations and are licensed in your state. Be sure to obtain estimates from several contractors before signing a contract, as roofing estimates can have a wide range. There are many factors that can influence the cost of a roof replacement. It’s good to know a little about them before you get too involved.

The size and slope of the roof, the materials being used, and the region of the country can all affect the final cost of the project. A roof that is particularly steep and slippery will cost more to replace than a roof that is more easily accessible. The height of the roof matters as well. Roofs on two-story homes are more expensive to replace than roofs on ramblers or ranchers. This is simply because it’s easier for the workers to access a roof that is closer to the ground. Also, like almost anything, prices vary depending on where you live. Roof replacements cost more in places where the general cost of living is higher. The frequency of roof replacements differs depending on the region of the county as well. Roofs in the Midwest generally need to be replaced more often than roofs in other parts of the country due to extreme weather. Likewise, homeowners in Southern California replace their roofs less often since the weather is usually mild year-round.

There are several different types of roofs you can have installed. The materials can range in price anywhere from $1 to $40 or more per square foot. The most common roofing material is asphalt shingles. These are relatively inexpensive and are usually guaranteed to last anywhere between 20 and 30 years. They come in may different colors to compliment the exterior of your home. Another form of roofing is wood shake, which usually costs $6 to $9 a square foot. These roofs are usually made of cedar and can last 12 to 25 years, but they require almost constant maintenance. Metal roofing such as copper or aluminum can cost $15-$20 a square foot. Tile roofs, such as terra cotta, are generally used in southwestern architecture and cost $6 to $9 a square foot. (Tiles are not recommended in areas with frequent rainfall, as they have a tendency to leak.) A slate roof is the most durable, though it is also the most expensive, and can cost up to $40 a square foot ($120,000 to replace a 3,000 square foot roof). Slate is generally used on upscale homes and can last up to 200 years or more depending on the quality.

Along with being inexpensive, asphalt shingles require little maintenance, making them the most popular roofing choice for American homeowners. While asphalt shingle roofs are often designed to last 25 or 30 years, the actual life span of your roof can vary depending on where you live. High speed winds, hurricanes, heavy storms, blizzards, and dramatic temperature fluctuations decrease the longevity of your roof. Estimates for replacing an asphalt shingled roof can range from $1,500 to $9,000 depending on the size of the roof as well as location.

The cost of a roof replacement project varies depending on where you live. A roof replacement costs less in the Midwest than it does in the Northeast. In places where the general cost of living is higher, roof replacements will cost more as well. If you live in the Midwest, you will need to replace your roof more often. High speed winds, tornadoes, blizzards, and ice storms will all wreck havoc on your roof. Temperature fluctuations can also damage roofs. In the desert the temperature can be over 100 degrees during the day and drop to 50 or 40 degrees at night. 20-year asphalt shingles in Arizona and New Mexico last on average only 15 years, due to sustained damage from temperature fluctuations. Homeowners in regions with mild weather can get away with more moderate roof repairs, putting off full replacements for longer periods of time.

Roof replacement estimates may vary depending on all of these factors (location, materials, etc.). The final cost once the work is completed may be higher than the initial estimate, as your roof may have some unforeseen damage that will add to the final cost . Underneath the shingles, your roof could be rotted or have water damage. Replacing the roof support system can add thousands of dollars to the bill, depending on the extent of the damage. This is a good incentive to keep your roof properly maintained and have it replaced on time.

When you’re choosing your roofing contractor, ask for references. You’ll definitely want to see examples of their work on local homes. When giving an estimate, a contractor will come to your house to inspect your roof. He’ll come up with a number that factors in the cost of materials and labor, including the cost of stripping and throwing away the old shingles. The estimate should include the cost of removal and disposal of the old roofing material. If not, ask about this to avoid surprises. There is a chance that there will be some unforeseen costs in the project, so it is good to avoid as many of these as possible. After the visit, they will send you a written contract. A contract from a roofing company should include a description of what is to be done, as well as when it is to be done and a schedule for payment. Having it all in writing can protect the homeowner later on. Be sure to shop around before settling on a specific contractor, as prices can vary considerably.

Once you’ve chosen your roofing materials and your contractor, it’s time to set a date for the project. The actual work of replacing the roof can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the roof. You should plan to have someone at home while the work is being done. If they have any questions or discover any additional problems with your roof, it helps that you are home to discuss things with them.

Before the workers arrive, it’s good to remove any items that may get in the way of their ladders. Climbing on roofs can be dangerous, even for professionals, so it’s best to stay out of their way. First, the roofers rip out all the old roofing shingles and replace any rotted or damaged wood in the roof. Next they lay a base, and then they lay the shingles. Roof work is noisy. Expect to hear a lot of hammering as well as people running around all over your roof. It’s not really an invasive home repair. You won’t have workmen coming inside your house. As long as you don’t mind the noise, it’s not much of a hassle.

When the old shingles have been stripped, any un-shingled portions of the roof should be covered with a tarp overnight to protect your home in case of rain or overnight storms.

Once your new roof is completed, make sure the workers have cleaned up all the debris that has fallen. When a roof is replaced, the workers usually toss the pieces of the old roof onto the ground or into a dump truck as they’re working. Once the bulk of the old material is disposed of, responsible companies will clean up after themselves to ensure customer satisfaction. They usually have a magnetic broom that picks up all the nails and other materials that can be hazardous as well as unsightly. You may find a shingle or two in your yard afterwards, which is perfectly normal.

When you have roof work done, you should never pay anything up front. You always pay after the job is completed. This is standard procedure. All reputable roofing companies operate this way.

How to Do a Sales Pitch in Commercial Real Estate

In commercial real estate, you will undertake a variety of presentations, in a variety of circumstances. Most of them are business-like in nature, focusing on the needs of the tenant, the property buyer, or the property seller.

Get to the core issues

Each of these groups has unique property requirements and points of focus. It is their needs which must be identified and clearly addressed in the sales pitch or presentation. Many successful commercial real estate agents will have a preliminary meeting with the client or customer so that they can identify key issues and concerns. This allows the commercial agent to return to the client or customer in a few days with a well structured proposal that addresses the needs of the customer or client.

It’s all about THEM, not YOU!

When you design an investment or commercial property proposal for presentation, the document should be 90% regards the property and the client. Frequently you see this rule disregarded or broken with the proposal document being largely regards the agency and the personnel.

Rarely is the property transaction a simple matter of the property rental, the property price, or the physical elements of the property. In most situations, it is the combination of these things which must satisfy a fundamental equation of need that the customer or client has. In getting them to this fundamental need, you will identify an element of pain that the customer or client is experiencing. This is what you focus on.

They are Experienced

It is interesting to note that many clients and customers in commercial real estate are reasonably comfortable in circumstances of business negotiation. This means they may not tell you the total big picture or all the elements of a transaction until they are ready. Conversation and connection in the presentation process should be biased towards the client or customer using well selected questions which allow the agent to interpret the body language coming from the client’s response.

When you believe you have identified the element of clients pain related to the property transaction, you start to magnify the problem in terms of today’s market, then offering stable and logical solutions that your real estate agency business can provide to the client or customer. Invariably, the commercial real estate transaction in today’s market centres on financial matters such as:

High vacancy factors
Other property choices and chances are available
Underperforming leases
Unstable cash flow
Unstable tenancy mix
Tenanted conflict
Escalating building operating costs
A shift in demographics which exposes the property to a unstable future
Mortgage payment pressures
Age of the asset
Needs for refurbishment or extension
Competition properties attracting tenants away from the subject property

This type of information and interpretation requires your intimate knowledge of the local region. This is by both property type and by location. This is the higher value that you bring to the customer or client. Being able to distinctly define local market awareness is a major advantage in any commercial real estate presentation or sales pitch. You must be seen as the best knowledgeable solution to the problem.

From Experience

After many years working exclusively in the commercial real estate industry, I found that my unique skill was in market knowledge and the display of that in any formal presentation to the client. Being able to talk about market trends and financial performance in a solid and sound way will help the client understand that they need your services. Coupling that with your extensive and relevant database of enquiry clearly shows the client that they need you.

A fantastic commercial real estate presentation is a function and balance of lots of things. Things like:

A well established pre-planning process is a strategic advantage for every commercial real estate presentation. Strategy is everything in commercial real estate. Every property presentation requires planning.
Making sure you are asking the right questions of the client or prospect. Plan your questions relative to the subject property so that you help the client think about opportunity and changes that are possible.
Using your market knowledge and giving good answers. Have a variety of market facts and trends available to call on. Feed them into your presentation; facts are always useful. They can also be used as a channel to direct the discussion when the client is forcing you to justify your approach or your experience. Confidence and control must be the basic rule of your property presentation. When the client takes control of the presentation you have lost.
Using your experience in the marketplace so that you are telling relevant stories of success in similar properties. Stories of other properties will always interest of the client.
Making sure your personal presentation is optimised for the connection in the presentation. It can be that you are using a combination of the proposal document, the marketing document, and computer slide presentation, samples of your database, photographs of the subject property projected on to slides, and photographs of comparable properties projected on to slides.
Choosing the placement of people at the table or strategically positioning them in the room is always important. Much has been written about where you should sit relative to the client. The basic rule is adjacent to the client rather than across an area of barrier such as a table. Being within arm’s reach allows you to pass documentation to the client at the appropriate time. Documentation should not be provided to the client until you are ready for them to review it; otherwise it is a distraction of their attention.
Make sure that your proposal is simple and yet well directed with a clearly defined outcomes of sale or lease. Many proposal documents in commercial real estate are much too wordy so the main messages are lost and not clearly defined. The best proposals are less wordy and more illustrative. The best balance of a commercial real estate proposal is a mixture of 25% words, 25% pictures, 25% graphs, and 25% white space. This becomes a document which is clearly read and understood.
Combine good illustrations and photographs of the subject property into the proposal or presentation so that any lengthy descriptions or paragraphs are broken up. This will keep interest of the client in your documentation.
Make sure that your marketing package is value for money, and yet reaching the target market that the property serves or needs to attract. All too often, we see examples of generic marketing by the commercial real estate agent to the broader and less specific marketplace. Showing the client that you clearly know and will attract best the target market will always help your conversion to a potential listing. Be very specific about the target market and how you will reach it.
Ensure that your commission costs are fair and reasonable for the location. In most circumstances, discounting your commission should not be an option as it will make you poor and remove or detract from your enthusiasm for the sale or lease. ‘Cheap’ means ‘cheap and without focus’ and the client needs to know this. The property deserves better. You are not cheap because you are the best and you do a great job. A fair commission is always paid for a positive property outcome.
Always provide testimonials that are relevant to the property transaction. When you combine relevant history and details of happy customers into your presentation you will make the client feel more comfortable.
Always display clear and sound market knowledge that impresses the client relative to their property. This will include extensive awareness of comparable properties that compete with the subject property. You should be able to talk solidly about property prices, comparable rents, rental growth, returns on investment, changes to the future demographics of the area, and properties in the immediate precinct of relevance. In many cases, it pays to walk around the local area just prior to any property presentation so that you bring immediate and clear pictures of the precinct to the discussion. Many times this has been of significant advantage in my presentation processes. Talking about neighbouring properties localises the client and their thought processes.
Come up with a variety of ways to serve the client. Innovation and relevance will always impress. In today’s market, this is relatively easy considering the marketing opportunities and tools provided by the internet & technology. Be proactive in your property promotion processes so that the listing for sale or lease stands uniquely different in its marketing campaign from the others in the area. This does not have to be expensive to the client or to your office, given that the internet and electronic technology is historically cost effective. In today’s market, the traditional methods of publicising the property in the property pages of the local paper, is becoming much less important in the marketing campaign. Most commercial property buyers and tenants research the market from the Internet first and foremost.
Almost every property agency will say that they have excellent communication and connection skills to support the property promotion process. From experience, this is largely incorrect and typically the average commercial salesperson or leasing person will exercise ordinary communication channels with the client. Put yourself in the shoes of the client. They expect and deserve frequent updates on the promotion of the property even when nothing is happening or when the adverts are producing little response. When a property campaign is not producing the results, it is important that you act or adjust with alternative recommendations and strategic changes to the promotional campaign for the client to consider. Rarely would you get to the property campaign correct in the first week. It is in this time that you must consider fine tuning the promotion process so that the target market is being reached in a timely and effective way. This means that every property enquiry generated from your promotions must be tabulated so that you understand what channels of marketing work most effectively with the property in question.
When addressing the client or the client group in a formal property presentation, the answers and information you give must be delivered well and provide relevant solid property knowledge, in a practiced and professional delivery. Any sales or presentation tools relative to the property must be relevant and you should know how to use them with exceptional skill. Fumbling and faking information is not tolerated by the client.

So there you have it. These are some of the key skills to use in a commercial real estate presentation. Whilst many real estate agents think that they are the best alternative in the market to promote sell and rent commercial property, the reality is they do not get the message across when it matters most in front of the client.

To be the best commercial real estate agent in your area, you must show that you are just so, and you do this in the first 10 minutes of the time that your presentation takes. The client will have formed an opinion by then.

Be prepared to walk away from any demands for discounting that the client or customer demands. In this market they need a great commercial real estate agent providing a great job; discounting is not an option. Show pride in your services and walk away when the client demands discount in marketing or lower commissions.

Stuck In A Rut – Enjoy These Home Improvement Ideas

Well, you’ve decided to improve your home. Good for you! However, there is so much information that you may not have a clue where to begin. Don’t worry, home improvement tips are here! Listed below are some tips that will help you get started and organized so that you can become a home improvement expert.

New wallpaper can transform a room. Before you add wallpaper, you need to find out what type of wall is under the existing wallpaper. Usually walls are either drywall or plaster smoothed over lath. You can figure out what kind of wall you are dealing with by feeling the wall, plaster is harder, smoother, and colder than drywall. You can also try tapping the wall, drywall sounds hollow while plaster does not.

If you are looking for home improvement, don’t forget the outside areas of your home too. If you love fish, you may want to consider putting in a Koi pond. They look beautiful, and they can be customized to match the look of your backyard or be made the focal point.

If you have a small bathroom and not enough space to store your items, you can easily create some space yourself. Buy some wooden shelves and install them on your bathroom wall. Display your lotions, perfumes and other beauty items on the shelves as well as your smaller towels or toilet paper rolls. This will not only give your bathroom a decorative boost, it will also organize it.

Before beginning a home improvement project, make a list of the actions you think will need to be taken from start to finish. Obtain a second opinion from a trusted source to see if there are any steps you missed or anything you didn’t take into account. Plan to set aside plenty of time for your project, as it might take longer than expected.

The shingles on your roof will at some point need to be replaced. As asphalt shingles get older, they start to lose the bound granules and curl up on the corners of the sheets. If you are experiencing leaks that have gone through the ceiling, then it is definitely time to lay down a new roof. Otherwise, if your roof has lost several shingles, this is a less drastic but firm indication that it’s time to replace the roof.

When you are getting ready to deep clean your deck, make sure you have all of your materials ready before hand. Some of the things you will need to get together are a pressure washer, a nice sturdy scrub brush, commercial deck cleaner, a hose, and a hefty broom you can use outdoors.

Before beginning home improvements apply for the appropriate building permits. Any home improvement that involves plumbing, electricity, or structural changes can require a permit. Check your local laws. If you proceed without a permit then you can be fined or it could make the house harder to sell in the future.

When it comes to home improvement, be sure that you are not causing your home to awkwardly stand out from the rest of the neighborhood. This will ensure you will be able to resell it and also, that you will not receive scorn from your neighbors. Be creative, but try to lean toward conservative with colors. With additions, keep your the total size of your home somewhat near that of your neighbors.

If you live in an older home with a wooden floor that is beyond sanding and staining, add a few coats of oil-based paint over the planks. Choose a paint that is intended for outdoor use on decks or porches; this ensures that it will be able to withstand the occasional wet spill and light traffic. It can also hold you over until you have the resources to replace the floor altogether.

If you want to make your house shine then look to the curb appeal. First impressions are important with people, and they are just as important to your home. Consider repainting if your color is fading or is dated, and choose colors and other details that fit into the era of your house.

You should feel better after reading those tips when it comes to home improvement. That was a lot to think and read through, but at least you should have an idea of what to do and where to begin with improving your home safer and smarter. In addition, you can always come back to this list.

Choosing The Right Home Improvement Company

Everybody desires to make his/her home attractive and unique. They want their home to be perfect in all aspects. For that, they are paying more attention on the interior as well as exterior of their houses.

However, if you wish to enhance the beauty of your house, make sure that, you choose a reputed and genuine home improvement service. Selecting an experienced home decor service can surely renovate your house in all aspects. In fact, now you can also find many home decor services on the Internet.

By spending some time on the Internet, you can easily select the best service that suits your budget. With the help of a price list next to design, you can choose any design that matches your house and budget. However, for renovating your house, Toledo home improvement service is perfect, because you will be provided with a wide variety of both exterior as well as interior designs.

Moreover, you will be provided with different painting options, so that you can choose your favorite colors. This will help renovate your home with total modern accessories. You can really make your investment successful by choosing this service for your home. However, if you desire to renovate your home by yourself, then you may suffer from loss. Therefore, opting experienced services such as Toledo home improvement can really help you save a lot.

The home decor experts of this service can easily solve all your problems regarding home improvement. With the help of these experts, you can easily renovate your home without spending much. Thus, taking the help of professionals can really enhance the beauty of your home. Toledo home improvement service will renovate your home through systematic. Firstly, your new room has to be perfectly designed, so that it looks unique. You can also replace modern accessories with older ones for giving a unique look to your bedroom.

In fact, you can also improve your bathroom, bedroom and kitchen with the help of these services. There are many things that you can replace and improve in your home. Thus, proper planning can surely help you in terms of home improvement. With the help of this service, you can also improve your garage, building, chimney and garage. Your home interior and exterior has to be stylish and unique, so make sure that you improve all those things with the help of a reputed expert. Hence, with Toledo home improvement service, you can easily improve your home.

Home Buyers and Sellers Real Estate Glossary

Every business has it’s jargon and residential real estate is no exception. Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home shares commonly used terms with home buyers and sellers.

1031 exchange or Starker exchange: The delayed exchange of properties that qualifies for tax purposes as a tax-deferred exchange.

1099: The statement of income reported to the IRS for an independent contractor.

A/I: A contract that is pending with attorney and inspection contingencies.

Accompanied showings: Those showings where the listing agent must accompany an agent and his or her clients when viewing a listing.

Addendum: An addition to; a document.

Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM): A type of mortgage loan whose interest rate is tied to an economic index, which fluctuates with the market. Typical ARM periods are one, three, five, and seven years.

Agent: The licensed real estate salesperson or broker who represents buyers or sellers.

Annual percentage rate (APR): The total costs (interest rate, closing costs, fees, and so on) that are part of a borrower’s loan, expressed as a percentage rate of interest. The total costs are amortized over the term of the loan.

Application fees: Fees that mortgage companies charge buyers at the time of written application for a loan; for example, fees for running credit reports of borrowers, property appraisal fees, and lender-specific fees.

Appointments: Those times or time periods an agent shows properties to clients.

Appraisal: A document of opinion of property value at a specific point in time.

Appraised price (AP): The price the third-party relocation company offers (under most contracts) the seller for his or her property. Generally, the average of two or more independent appraisals.

“As-is”: A contract or offer clause stating that the seller will not repair or correct any problems with the property. Also used in listings and marketing materials.

Assumable mortgage: One in which the buyer agrees to fulfill the obligations of the existing loan agreement that the seller made with the lender. When assuming a mortgage, a buyer becomes personally liable for the payment of principal and interest. The original mortgagor should receive a written release from the liability when the buyer assumes the original mortgage.

Back on market (BOM): When a property or listing is placed back on the market after being removed from the market recently.

Back-up agent: A licensed agent who works with clients when their agent is unavailable.

Balloon mortgage: A type of mortgage that is generally paid over a short period of time, but is amortized over a longer period of time. The borrower typically pays a combination of principal and interest. At the end of the loan term, the entire unpaid balance must be repaid.

Back-up offer: When an offer is accepted contingent on the fall through or voiding of an accepted first offer on a property.

Bill of sale: Transfers title to personal property in a transaction.

Board of REALTORS® (local): An association of REALTORS® in a specific geographic area.

Broker: A state licensed individual who acts as the agent for the seller or buyer.

Broker of record: The person registered with his or her state licensing authority as the managing broker of a specific real estate sales office.

Broker’s market analysis (BMA): The real estate broker’s opinion of the expected final net sale price, determined after acquisition of the property by the third-party company.

Broker’s tour: A preset time and day when real estate sales agents can view listings by multiple brokerages in the market.

Buyer: The purchaser of a property.

Buyer agency: A real estate broker retained by the buyer who has a fiduciary duty to the buyer.

Buyer agent: The agent who shows the buyer’s property, negotiates the contract or offer for the buyer, and works with the buyer to close the transaction.

Carrying costs: Cost incurred to maintain a property (taxes, interest, insurance, utilities, and so on).

Closing: The end of a transaction process where the deed is delivered, documents are signed, and funds are dispersed.

CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange): The insurance industry’s national database that assigns individuals a risk score. CLUE also has an electronic file of a properties insurance history. These files are accessible by insurance companies nationally. These files could impact the ability to sell property as they might contain information that a prospective buyer might find objectionable, and in some cases not even insurable.

Commission: The compensation paid to the listing brokerage by the seller for selling the property. A buyer may also be required to pay a commission to his or her agent.

Commission split: The percentage split of commission compen-sation between the real estate sales brokerage and the real estate sales agent or broker.

Competitive Market Analysis (CMA): The analysis used to provide market information to the seller and assist the real estate broker in securing the listing.

Condominium association: An association of all owners in a condominium.

Condominium budget: A financial forecast and report of a condominium association’s expenses and savings.

Condominium by-laws: Rules passed by the condominium association used in administration of the condominium property.

Condominium declarations: A document that legally establishes a condominium.

Condominium right of first refusal: A person or an association that has the first opportunity to purchase condominium real estate when it becomes available or the right to meet any other offer.

Condominium rules and regulation: Rules of a condominium association by which owners agree to abide.

Contingency: A provision in a contract requiring certain acts to be completed before the contract is binding.

Continue to show: When a property is under contract with contingencies, but the seller requests that the property continue to be shown to prospective buyers until contingencies are released.

Contract for deed: A sales contract in which the buyer takes possession of the property but the seller holds title until the loan is paid. Also known as an installment sale contract.

Conventional mortgage: A type of mortgage that has certain limitations placed on it to meet secondary market guidelines. Mortgage companies, banks, and savings and loans underwrite conventional mortgages.

Cooperating commission: A commission offered to the buyer’s agent brokerage for bringing a buyer to the selling brokerage’s listing.

Cooperative (Co-op): Where the shareholders of the corporation are the inhabitants of the building. Each shareholder has the right to lease a specific unit. The difference between a co-op and a condo is in a co-op, one owns shares in a corporation; in a condo one owns the unit fee simple.

Counteroffer: The response to an offer or a bid by the seller or buyer after the original offer or bid.

Credit report: Includes all of the history for a borrower’s credit accounts, outstanding debts, and payment timelines on past or current debts.

Credit score: A score assigned to a borrower’s credit report based on information contained therein.

Curb appeal: The visual impact a property projects from the street.

Days on market: The number of days a property has been on the market.

Decree: A judgment of the court that sets out the agreements and rights of the parties.

Disclosures: Federal, state, county, and local requirements of disclosure that the seller provides and the buyer acknowledges.

Divorce: The legal separation of a husband and wife effected by a court decree that totally dissolves the marriage relationship.

DOM: Days on market.

Down payment: The amount of cash put toward a purchase by the borrower.

Drive-by: When a buyer or seller agent or broker drives by a property listing or potential listing.

Dual agent: A state-licensed individual who represents the seller and the buyer in a single transaction.

Earnest money deposit: The money given to the seller at the time the offer is made as a sign of the buyer’s good faith.

Escrow account for real estate taxes and insurance: An account into which borrowers pay monthly prorations for real estate taxes and property insurance.

Exclusions: Fixtures or personal property that are excluded from the contract or offer to purchase.

Expired (listing): A property listing that has expired per the terms of the listing agreement.

Fax rider: A document that treats facsimile transmission as the same legal effect as the original document.

Feedback: The real estate sales agent and/or his or her client’s reaction to a listing or property. Requested by the listing agent.

Fee simple: A form of property ownership where the owner has the right to use and dispose of property at will.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loan Guarantee: A guarantee by the FHA that a percentage of a loan will be underwritten by a mortgage company or banker.

Fixture: Personal property that has become part of the property through permanent attachment.

Flat fee: A predetermined amount of compensation received or paid for a specific service in a real estate transaction.

For sale by owner (FSBO): A property that is for sale by the owner of the property.

Gift letter: A letter to a lender stating that a gift of cash has been made to the buyer(s) and that the person gifting the cash to the buyer is not expecting the gift to be repaid. The exact wording of the gift letter should be requested of the lender.

Good faith estimate: Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, within three days of an application submission, lenders are required to provide in writing to potential borrowers a good faith estimate of closing costs.

Gross sale price: The sale price before any concessions.

Hazard insurance: Insurance that covers losses to real estate from damages that might affect its value.

Homeowner’s insurance: Coverage that includes personal liability and theft insurance in addition to hazard insurance.

HUD/RESPA (Housing and Urban Development/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act): A document and statement that details all of the monies paid out and received at a real estate property closing.

Hybrid adjustable rate: Offers a fixed rate the first 5 years and then adjusts annually for the next 25 years.

IDX (Internet Data Exchange): Allows real estate brokers to advertise each other’s listings posted to listing databases such as the multiple listing service.

Inclusions: Fixtures or personal property that are included in a contract or offer to purchase.

Independent contractor: A real estate sales agent who conducts real estate business through a broker. This agent does not receive salary or benefits from the broker.

Inspection rider: Rider to purchase agreement between third party relocation company and buyer of transferee’s property stating that property is being sold “as is.” All inspection reports conducted by the third party company are disclosed to the buyer and it is the buyer’s duty to do his/her own inspections and tests.

Installment land contract: A contract in which the buyer takes possession of the property while the seller retains the title to the property until the loan is paid.

Interest rate float: The borrower decides to delay locking their interest rate on their loan. They can float their rate in expectation of the rate moving down. At the end of the float period they must lock a rate.

Interest rate lock: When the borrower and lender agree to lock a rate on loan. Can have terms and conditions attached to the lock.

List date: Actual date the property was listed with the current broker.

List price: The price of a property through a listing agreement.

Listing: Brokers written agreement to represent a seller and their property. Agents refer to their inventory of agreements with sellers as listings.

Listing agent: The real estate sales agent that is representing the sellers and their property, through a listing agreement.

Listing agreement: A document that establishes the real estate agent’s agreement with the sellers to represent their property in the market.

Listing appointment: The time when a real estate sales agent meets with potential clients selling a property to secure a listing agreement.

Listing exclusion: A clause included in the listing agreement when the seller (transferee) lists his or her property with a broker.

Loan: An amount of money that is lent to a borrower who agrees to repay the amount plus interest.

Loan application: A document that buyers who are requesting a loan fill out and submit to their lender.

Loan closing costs: The costs a lender charges to close a borrower’s loan. These costs vary from lender to lender and from market to market.

Loan commitment: A written document telling the borrowers that the mortgage company has agreed to lend them a specific amount of money at a specific interest rate for a specific period of time. The loan commitment may also contain conditions upon which the loan commitment is based.

Loan package: The group of mortgage documents that the borrower’s lender sends to the closing or escrow.

Loan processor: An administrative individual who is assigned to check, verify, and assemble all of the documents and the buyer’s funds and the borrower’s loan for closing.

Loan underwriter: One who underwrites a loan for another. Some lenders have investors underwrite a buyer’s loan.

Lockbox: A tool that allows secure storage of property keys on the premises for agent use. A combo uses a rotating dial to gain access with a combination; a Supra® (electronic lockbox or ELB) features a keypad.

Managing broker: A person licensed by the state as a broker who is also the broker of record for a real estate sales office. This person manages the daily operations of a real estate sales office.

Marketing period: The period of time in which the transferee may market his or her property (typically 45, 60, or 90 days), as directed by the third-party company’s contract with the employer.

Mortgage banker: One who lends the bank’s funds to borrowers and brings lenders and borrowers together.

Mortgage broker: A business that or an individual who unites lenders and borrowers and processes mortgage applications.

Mortgage loan servicing company: A company that collects monthly mortgage payments from borrowers.

Multiple listing service (MLS): A service that compiles available properties for sale by member brokers.

Multiple offers: More than one buyers broker present an offer on one property where the offers are negotiated at the same time.

National Association of REALTORS® (NAR): A national association comprised of real estate sales agents.

Net sales price: Gross sales price less concessions to the buyers.

Off market: A property listing that has been removed from the sale inventory in a market. A property can be temporarily or permanently off market.

Offer to purchase: When a buyer proposes certain terms and presents these terms to the seller.

Office tour/caravan: A walking or driving tour by a real estate sales office of listings represented by agents in the office. Usually held on a set day and time.

Parcel identification number (PIN): A taxing authority’s tracking number for a property.

Pending: A real estate contract that has been accepted on a property but the transaction has not closed.

Personal assistant: A real estate sales agent administrative assistant.

Planned unit development (PUD): Mixed-use development that sets aside areas for residential use, commercial use, and public areas such as schools, parks, and so on.

Preapproval: A higher level of buyer/borrower prequalification required by a mortgage lender. Some preapprovals have conditions the borrower must meet.

Prepaid interest: Funds paid by the borrower at closing based on the number of days left in the month of closing.

Prepayment penalty: A fine imposed on the borrower by the lender when the loan is paid off before it comes due.

Prequalification: The mortgage company tells a buyer in advance of the formal mortgage application, how much money the borrower can afford to borrow. Some prequalifications have conditions that the borrower must meet.

Preview appointment: When a buyer’s agent views a property alone to see if it meets his or her buyer’s needs.

Pricing: When the potential seller’s agent goes to the potential listing property to view it for marketing and pricing purposes.

Principal: The amount of money a buyer borrows.

Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI): The four parts that make up a borrower’s monthly mortgage payment. Private mortgage insurance (PMI): A special insurance paid by a borrower in monthly installments, typically of loans of more than 80 percent of the value of the property.

Professional designation: Additional nonlicensed real estate education completed by a real estate professional.

Professional regulation: A state licensing authority that oversees and disciplines licensees.

Promissory note: A promise-to-pay document used with a contract or an offer to purchase.

R & I: Estimated and actual repair and improvement costs.

Real estate agent: An individual who is licensed by the state and who acts on behalf of his or her client, the buyer or seller. The real estate agent who does not have a broker’s license must work for a licensed broker.

Real estate contract: A binding agreement between buyer and seller. It consists of an offer and an acceptance as well as consideration (i.e., money).

REALTOR®: A registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS® that can be used only by its members.

Release deed: A written document stating that a seller or buyer has satisfied his or her obligation on a debt. This document is usually recorded.

Relist: Property that was listed with another broker but relisted with a current broker.

Rider: A separate document that is attached to a document in some way. This is done so that an entire document does not need to be rewritten.

Salaried agent: A real estate sales agent or broker who receives all or part of his or her compensation in real estate sales in the form of a salary.

Sale price: The price paid for a listing or property.

Seller (owner): The owner of a property who has signed a listing agreement or a potential listing agreement.

Showing: When a listing is shown to prospective buyers or the buyer’s agent (preview).

Special assessment: A special and additional charge to a unit in a condominium or cooperative. Also a special real estate tax for improvements that benefit a property.

State Association of REALTORS®: An association of REALTORS® in a specific state.

Supra®: An electronic lockbox (ELB) that holds keys to a property. The user must have a Supra keypad to use the lockbox.

Temporarily off market (TOM): A listed property that is taken off the market due to illness, travel, needed repairs, and so on.

Temporary housing: Housing a transferee occupies until permanent housing is selected or becomes available.

Transaction: The real estate process from offer to closing or escrow.

Transaction management fee (TMF): A fee charged by listing brokers to the seller as part of the listing agreement.

Transaction sides: The two sides of a transaction, sellers and buyers. The term used to record the number of transactions in which a real estate sales agent or broker was involved during a specific period.

24-hour notice: Allowed by law, tenants must be informed of showing 24 hours before you arrive.

Under contract: A property that has an accepted real estate contract between seller and buyer.

VA (Veterans Administration) Loan Guarantee: A guarantee on a mortgage amount backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Virtual tour: An Internet web/cd-rom-based video presentation of a property.

VOW’s (Virtual Office web sites): An Internet based real estate brokerage business model that works with real estate consumers in same way as a brick and mortar real estate brokerage.

W-2: The Internal Revenue form issued by employer to employee to reflect compensation and deductions to compensation.

W-9: The Internal Revenue form requesting taxpayer identification number and certification.

Walk-through: A showing before closing or escrow that permits the buyers one final tour of the property they are purchasing.

Will: A document by which a person disposes of his or her property after death.