Tips and Tricks to Make Your Portable Air Conditioning Unit More Efficient

Portable ac units have come a long way in recent years. They are more efficient than ever, but it is almost always possible to get a little more efficiency out of them.

Better air flow through the portable a/c means better efficiency. The easiest and most effective way to achieve better air flow is to replace filters regularly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to how often to replace the filters. Washable filters are great because they can be washed every day for maximum air flow at all times.

Turn the unit on before it is needed. Don’t wait for it to get hot. This may seem like a waste, but it is actually more efficient, says MovinCool. The unit can get a head start on its job this way, and it will not have to struggle and run constantly to reach and maintain the desired temperature later. This tactic is used in schools, offices, churches and other larger buildings with much larger HVAC units.

Close off the area that is being cooled. Portable air conditioning units are meant to cool smaller areas, such as living rooms. It makes sense that the room should be closed off, but this simple way of boosting efficiency is often overlooked. Keeping the room closed off as much as possible will keep the cooled air where it belongs and reduce the load on the unit.

Style Tips for Modern Patio Furniture

Modern living on the patio has evolved, becoming an extension of the home and a favorite gathering place for friends and family. With more time being spent outdoors, creating an outdoor friendly, modern design with your patio furniture. Just as your sofa seat cushions should be comfortable and inviting, so should the cushions you use outside. Nothing modernizes your look like bringing it up to date with modern colors and patterns.

Selecting Cushions

Outdoor furniture cushions have evolved to meet the demand of high end users so there are more fabric textures, materials, colors and designs available than ever before. Once you select your cushions, you can match a durable outdoor paint and update your rusty patio furniture. This simple act can elevate the look of your modern patio and give it a homelike feel.


Modern patio umbrellas have also exploded in the number of patterns, colors and sizes too. An oversized, stand alone Umbrella can be used to keep the sun at bay while making a statement. Selecting a bold yellow umbrella set next to your outdoor chaise lounge of Caribbean blue creates a sophisticated look with contrasting colors. Just be careful your seat cushions aren’t mismatched, as it may throw off your entire color scheme.

Adding outdoor accents like tiki torches, outdoor fireplaces and water features make your outdoor area much more inviting. Of course no patio is complete without an umbrella for the table. Accent pieces for your patio also include planters, outdoor throw pillows, outdoor lighting and outdoor dinnerware. With careful selection, and these tips from The Foam Factory, drab patios can be transformed into sleek, modern masterpieces of the stylish outdoor living.

The Hidden Advantages Of Owning Apartment Houses Vs Single Family Houses

One of the first money making reasons to hold apartment houses and not single family houses is because there is loads of cash flow to be made in apartment investing. Apartments are always in demand – no matter the economy – so if cash flow is important to you then will generate it quickly. When you invest in apartments, your income has no cap. It’s solely based on your expectations and actions.

You can invest in apartment houses part time and eventually quit your job and live better. Serious apartment house investors spend their time finding more profitable deals. Once those deal are found and closed, they employ experienced property management companies who will carry out the day to day activities associated with maintaining an effective business. The purpose of the management company is to free the owner of the apartment building so he or she will have time to do the leisure activities that they enjoy most.

There is less competition in apartment investing verses single family home investing. Only a few investors know how to do it right, and are willing to talk about it. There is little written on the subject of apartment investing and those who do know want to keep it a secret.

There is a lot less risk when buying an apartment building. You don’t lose all of your cash flow if you lose a tenant, as you would with a single family home. Consider this – you can cut your risks by 2 with a duplex and by 4 with a quadplex. So imagine if you have more units under one roof, it will become even easier to absorb tenant turnover.

Apartment investing provides you the benefit of tax-deferred money. Your profits can be tax free (or at least tax deferred) though refinancing. This principle is called 1031 tax-deferred exchange. Performing a 1031 tax deferred exchange basically allows you to defer capital gains taxes on real estate bought and sold for investment purposes.

Economies of scale are realized when investing in apartments. Owning six units in one apartment building is better than owning six single family homes. The cost to maintain them is a lot less. Most importantly, other people pay your mortgage and expenses.

Apartments provide you with a fast price rise in an “up” market cycle and lower price fall in a “down” market cycle. Real estate markets are cyclical meaning it has cycles and phases. Each cycle is different and it depends on the economic environments. Knowing how to buy apartment buildings in each market cycle can lead to tremendous gains as well as avoid long term loss.

Apartment home investing is a ground-floor investing opportunity. Not many people are investing in apartment houses. It’s is a great time to invest in apartments because the economies of affordability of single family housing forces many to rent. The greatest demand for apartment homes is being created by the Baby Boomers children, who are called the Echo Boomers. In addition, lifestyle changes and elderly preferences are swelling the ranks of renters.

Multi Family Loans

Buying into an investment property for yourself and your family is a good way to get started in real estate. Whether you are looking to expand later on, or simply want to secure a future for your family, buying a multi-family residence is a great way to provide this need. Here are some things you will need to know about getting a multi-family loan for the apartment building of your choice.

A multi-family residence basically means that the building has more than one apartment in it. Applying for a loan for a multi-family dwelling is generally based on the number of apartments that the building has in it. For instance, if it has between two and four apartments, then you would need to get a residential loan. This type of loan is much different than your would need for a larger apartment building.

When you go to buy an apartment building that has more than four apartments in it, you will need to get a commercial loan. This article will focus on what you must do in order to get a commercial loan for your multi-family apartment building.

When you apply to a direct lender for your multi-family loan, it becomes necessary to get documentation on a number of things about the apartment building. In fact, the focus of the information will be on the apartment building itself – and not on you.

Documentation Needed

The first thing that will be needed is documentation about the renters themselves. It is possible that the government may fix some of the rent prices because one or more renters may receive government assistance. This means that their rent may not be increased without approval. Other things that will need to be discovered are how many renters are now in the building compared to how many apartments there are available.

It is important to note that the amount you can borrow on a multi-family loan is partially determined by the number of renters you have in the building compared to how many you could have. In fact, if there are currently no renters at all, then you probably cannot get a multi-family loan, but you would have to get a bridge loan first.

Other documentation required is that there be a complete income and expense statement provided for the last two years. This will be used to help determine the profitability of the building in relation to its regularly scheduled maintenance and projected costs.

Renters Needed

The amount of renters that are currently in the building in proportion to the apartments will determine just how much of a loan you can get. The more renters there are the better deal you receive.

Percentage Available

A multi-family loan will often provide up to 75% of the value of the building – some may go a little higher. The reason for this is because there will always be at least one vacant apartment from time to time, and this means a loss of income.

Necessary Profit Ratio

In most cases, the books for the multi-family building will need to show that there has been a ratio of profitability. This ratio is determined by income versus expense. Many lenders will go down to 1:1.1, but most may require a ratio of 1:1.2. They may also look to see that there is some reserve money available to cover emergency expenses and vacancies.

Loan Terms

Your multi-family loan may come with varied terms, but you can usually get your commercial multi-family loan for up to 25 to 30 years. Loan amounts often start around $250,000; others will start around $500,000.

Just in case you think you might feel safer if you had a way out – or at least an easier way out than losing the building, a way can be supplied. Multi-family loans can come with an assumable feature, making it easier to buy and sell the property.

Other Charges That May Apply

Commercial loans for multi-family dwellings will require an appraisal, title search, etc. In addition, though, there may also need to be an engineering report given, and an environmental report may be needed, too.

Key To The Best Deal

Remember that you can get the best deals by putting down a large down payment. This will reduce your interest rate and may also allow you to get some better features.

There is one final thing that will enable you to get the best deal possible – assuming that everything else looks good. If you and your family actually live in one of the apartments, you can get an even better interest rate. When you make the investment personal, and live in it, the lender likes this idea enough to give you lower rates.

The simple reason is that, if you live there, you are less likely to not make the required payments – even if things get a little rough financially. Since your own residence now is at stake, the lender feels more comfortable and has greater confidence that you will make the payments.

Apartment Property Managers Focus On Water Conversation Through Sub-metering

Water conservation is a growing trend among municipalities, townships and through-out the multi-family apartment industry. In a three year study by the National Multiple Family Submetering and Allocation Billing Program”, the potential savings in the apartment sector from requiring residents to pay for their water consumption separately from their rent, found that billing residents for their water usage by direct metering could reduce annual water consumption by an average of 15 percent. This latest research supports the apartment industry’s known fact that people always place greater value on things that they pay for. Not only do residents use less water when they are paying for it, but it also makes them more aware of the importance of immediately reporting plumbing leaks. A balanced and well implemented utility billing program is one of those rare issues that water companies, regulators, water conservation groups, property management companies and apartment / condominium owners can all be united. American Accounting and Billing Service (AABS) a nationwide full-service utility billing company with the reputation for the lowest billing fees and highest-rated customer service department has compiled a few benefits of why apartment owners and property management companies should install automated meter reading (AMR) water metering systems.

Water sub-metering immediately increases property value and cash flow more than any other ancillary service or comparable capital investment.

A water submetering system provides for the fair allocation of the property’s water and sewer utility costs among its tenants (Allocation or Ratio Utility Billing do not always allocate fairly, according to the USEPA) so residents are happier. Tenants billed for actual water usage will be able to directly affect water consumption and utility costs by becoming more knowledgeable and responsible users.

Water submetering has been shown to decrease water consumption by as much as 8,000 gallons per unit per year according to the USEPA, when compared to non-metered properties thus conserving one of our nation’s most valuable resources.

Water and sewer rates and other utility rates are rising as much as 10% or more per year on average. Some areas of the country have seen water rates double in the last year. A water submetering project will protect the property owner from the rising water and sewer utility costs.

The property owner can increase the NOI immediately because payback is fast and monies formerly allocated for water and sewer utilities can be reallocated for maintenance and or renovation, a project which further increases property values.

These benefits are achieved without increasing the workload on the property’s staff and without the associated liability and costs of monthly visits by a utility meter reader.

Implementing a third party water sub metering billing program helps to conserve water and energy and protect the environment.

There is no question that our business has grown steadily for the past five years because owners are now realizing that water and sewer costs can be avoided by putting in place a successful third party billing system” says Sam Kordares, AABS President. We here at AABS are now expounding on the notion of water conservation through water submetering to include tapping into the municipality and township sector” Kordares says. Having everyone responsible for their own water usage is the first step to conserve one of earth’s most precious resources.

The Logistics Of Obtaining Commercial Loans For Apartment Buildings

Getting a commercial loan for an apartment building is considered one of the easier loans to get with respect to other investment properties. This is due to the fact that commercial lenders focus primarily on the subject property as the repayment source with the borrower being a secondary repayment source. As apartment buildings have historically been a very stable asset class, they typically can get some of the best lending terms.

Many property investors focus on single family homes, rather than apartment complexes, because it is often easier to manage. Financing can be difficult to obtain from the commercial lenders for single family homes, and it can be difficult to get the business off the ground. However, many investors recommend that when borrowing from commercial lenders, you take the focus off yourself, as it is with single family homes, and put it on the property, like an apartment building.

Often, even with little capital, a loan will be approved, because of the high return on apartment buildings, and the low risk from defaulting on a commercial loan. Before you go out and try and purchase an apartment building, you should know what qualifies as an apartment building under commercial loan guidelines. One to four family dwellings are usually not considered commercial loans; this would include duplexes and fourplexes. However, if there are five or more units in the building, this would be considered a commercial loan.

Apartment buildings can have tremendous profitability if managed correctly. For example, if you have a gross income of $100,000 from rental income on a building, and you deduct $60,000 for operating expenses and vacancies, you still come away with a $40,000 profit off of it. Dividing by a 7 percent cap rate, will give you an estimated value of the property, which would come close to $570,000. Often commercial lenders will look at statistics, like this, to determine the cash earning potential on apartment complexes. Naturally, it is not hard to see why these types of loans are approved so quickly and easily.

Now, just because it can seem relatively easy to get a commercial loan for an apartment building, this does not mean you should not do your research. Going to a commercial lender with a detailed plan of action for the apartment building, along with your own cash projections, will make the process move much quicker. Doing your research can also benefit you. For example, if you are going to fix up the apartment property, you will therefore increase the value greatly. A property with a high vacancy can have the greatest upside potential; however it will probably require that you put more money down that you would have to with a stabilized property. This is because most lenders underwrite to a debt service coverage first and a high vacancy can limit your supportable loan amount. As with any loan, researching and being prepared when meeting with the lender, will only benefit you and help your business become more successful.

Passive Income From Apartment Buildings

Passive income is a subject that is often thought or talked about in commercial real estate. The passive income is the income from rental activity, with limited business interests or other activities in which the investor does not materially participate. In other words, this is what apartment investing is all about. It requires buying a commercial real estate property and getting it to the point where it takes none of your funds to run or to pay any of its expenses.

Instead of laying out additional money for the building, you are gaining a steady profit from it. It can be done easily with apartment building investing, multi-family properties and even with single-family houses. But, it will take more years to gain passive income from single family homes than it will from apartment investing or multi-family properties. This is because with these types of dwellings you have more total rental units, with your tenants paying the expenses from the start. Single-family houses are dependant on the house being rented. If the house is without a tenant, there is no income from this property and it may take longer until it is paid off. This means it will be longer before you have the deed in hand and a passive income.

Multi-family properties are the fastest way to have passive income in your portfolio, with the exception of a large apartment building. With these properties there are enough tenants that if one unit is empty, it is not going to affect the profit from the apartment investing. Nor will there come a time when you will need to place any of your income into this property, as there will be enough tenant-generated income to pay for any expenses.

This passive income is why apartment investing and commercial real estate and multi-family properties is so coveted. These properties have little more in the way of upkeep than do single family houses, but there will be higher profits. With more units to rent, any upkeep can come from the tenants rent, and still you will still have a steady income.

Passive income will do much for your portfolio, which you will need when it is time to do more apartment investing or to buy multi-family properties. Banks will look at you more favorably with a strong portfolio. There are also different tax breaks that will be available to you. There are many more incentives when you have passive income from commercial real estate, leading to more properties that will bring in still more passive income.

Best Professional Moving Company in Santa Monica, CA

Moving is a hard task for most families. The physical process of moving from one location to another is a big job, and doing it right takes precise planning and execution. If you’re looking for a professional moving company, you will want to do a little homework ahead of time. While there are plenty of home moving services out there, not all movers are created equally. By taking the time to shop around and do some research, you can find a mover that makes the process of relocating as easy, and affordable as possible.

Moving a home or office requires a lot of planning and the most integral role throughout the process is that of the moving company. Getting a good bargain on the moving company can make your whole move easier without burning a hole in your pocket. You can talk to your friends and relatives who might have found a professional moving company to find a reliable one.

Moving your business to a new location usually means that despite the overwhelming odds and pressure, you’re growing. You’ve made your investment, it’s beginning to pay off, and now you’re expanding by moving your company to a new office or shop with the intention of growing further, so that’s why you need a professional moving company to figure it out.

If you live in Santa Monica or nearby the city and you are going to plan to move to another home, Move Pro LA in Santa Monica, CA can serve all of your commercial moving needs. They offer Local Santa Monica Movers And Packers. They are the best professional Santa Monica movers working in your sunny place do their job for many years and love it. The staff of Santa Monica movers is well-trained, healthy, sporty men, living in your area or in its suburbs. You might know some of them as your neighbor or even a friend.

You can also get the Ultimate Moving Checklist From Home Depot. When you’re planning for a move, keep in mind that almost everything will take longer to do than you expect. The best way to keep on track is to plan ahead and stay organized. This site is filled with helpful resources so you can do more and save more.

Remember that moving company should have the proper licensing, bonding, and insurance, in addition to performing extensive background checks on employees before allowing them into your home. Finding a professional moving company gives you peace of mind and allows for an easier relocation whether it is an office or home furniture and household items. Call today or visit City of Santa Monica website to get a promotion online.

The Benefits of an Apartment & a House

Apartment living is convenient for many families, but not always the most cost-effective home choice. Although renting is not a long-term investment, it provides a suitable temporary home while you shop for or build a house. If you are considering a move, weigh the pros and cons of houses and apartments to determine which choice is best for you and your family.

Family Apartment

Apartments are a convenient choice for people who cannot afford monthly home loan payments. With an apartment, you don’t have to worry about homeowner’s insurance or home maintenance. Plumbing, electrical and other common household problems are your landlord’s responsibility and won’t cost you a dime to repair. You’ll also not have to worry about lawn maintenance and driveway repairs. You’ll only have to notify your landlord, who will take care of the expenses for you.

Apartments with monthly rent lower than home loans generally have much less square footage, resulting in a cramped space that doesn’t provide enough room for an entire family. Apartments also frequently don’t have access to a yard, balcony or any other private, outdoor area. Other disadvantages of apartment living include the close proximity to neighbors, maintenance rules provided by the landlord and the need to ask permission before updating lights, painting or remodeling.

Purchasing a home helps you save money in the long run. Although renting is usually less expensive than buying up front, you will never get back all the money you give your landlord. However, when you buy a home, you will see a return on your investment when and if you decide to sell, even if you want to sell before you get the home paid off. By owning your own home, you can decide when and if to make repairs, when to upgrade to new appliances and when and how to remodel your kitchen, bathroom or even add new rooms when your family grows.

Although you’ll see an investment return when you sell your home, buying a house means you are responsible for all expenses, including insurance, repairs, maintenance, upgrades and property taxes. If you decide to buy, you will be responsible for taking out home loans and coming up with any necessary down payments – financial responsibilities not necessary when renting.

Renting an apartment is not always cheaper than buying a home. Consider the square footage of each, and think about the cost per square foot, you might find that some small homes are much easier to afford than a penthouse apartment. Prices often depend on location. If you welcome the idea of country living versus urban dwelling, you may find much larger homes in rural areas, offered at prices lower or equal to apartment rates within city limits. Create a budget list to compare your income to your monthly expenses to determine how much money you have available and decide which housing option best fits your finances.

Preparing an Apartment for Your First Baby

Getting everything ready to bring home your sweet little bundle of joy can be a daunting task. While the first question on your mind may be about the pending delivery, your approaching due date is also an indicator that it is time to prepare your apartment for your newborn. After shopping for all the necessary supplies, use your remaining time to create a cozy nest for your new family.

Apartment for Your First Baby

Pregnancy is an excellent time to make your apartment spic-and-span from top to bottom with non-toxic, environmentally-friendly cleaners. Family-friendly cleaners are readily available at stores, or you can make your own with simple ingredients. Make an all-purpose spray with distilled water and liquid castille soap to clean most surfaces, or create specialized cleaners for kitchen, bath and laundry with basics like borax and vinegar. Scrubbing with items such as baking soda and vinegar can clean stains and grime from counter tops along with killing mold and eliminate soap scum.

Before bringing your newborn home to your apartment, address any safety concerns that you may have. For example, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends setting your water temperature to 120 degrees to reduce the risk of scalding your baby with hot water. Place a carbon monoxide alarm in the apartment near where your family sleeps to prevent CO poisoning and install smoke detectors if your landlord has not already done so. Install baby gates on the stairs, put child-proof latches on drawers and the toilet seat, and cover all electrical outlets to keep little fingers out. You should also anchor large or heavy furniture to the wall to prevent it from toppling over.

Prepare a place in your apartment for your little one to sleep peacefully (hopefully!). The safest place for your newborn to sleep, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on its website Healthy Children official website, is in the room where you sleep, in his own bassinet or crib, on his back, without any extra pillows, blankets or stuffed animals. A firm mattress, well-fitted crib sheet and a sleep sack are all your newborn will need for a safe night’s sleep. The AAP recommends considering giving your baby a pacifier at nap and bed times to reduce their risk of SIDS, so consider having a couple available near your baby’s crib.

Baby bath tubs can make bath time easier, even if your apartment bathroom has a tub. Parents can place a baby tub in a large sink, on the counter, or in the larger tub to give baby a safe bathing place. If space is a precious commodity in your apartment, a separate changing table may not be necessary — consider placing a changing pad with safety strap on top of a dresser or simply change the baby on a portable changing pad on the bed or floor. The months before baby arrives is an excellent time to stock up on daily necessities, such as diapers, wipes and diaper rash ointment, and find a convenient place to keep them all. Creating a cozy place to feed your baby, such as a rocking chair in the nursery, can also help you feel ready for the day baby comes home.

Many parents find bouncy chairs to be almost as useful as an extra set of arms. They offer a convenient, comfortable, safe place to put your baby when necessary. And since they are small, lightweight and portable, they are ideal for apartments since there is no need to designate a particular place for them. Buying at least one bouncy chair is almost essential to preparing for your newborn.