Apartment Insurance Can Minimize The Owner’s Risk

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By Tony Freeman

For most people, apartment ownership means a big investment with special risks. Buying an apartment is a big undertaking and as an owner you need to make sure that you are adequately protecting your investment.

You’ll want to make sure you have coverage for your property, your liability and loss of rents. The main components of an apartment policy include: the building, business property, business liability and loss of rents.

The building provides coverage for accidental loss to the building and other structures attached to it like a garage or wall. If there are detached structures on the property, make sure to clearly define their use. If the structures are used for commercial, manufacturing, farming, or if your tenant decides to use them for any of these purposes or other business purposes, a standard apartment policy may not cover losses arising from these activities.

Property Management Software Advice

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Software Advice, a web site that advises software buyers about which property management software to buy, just released the results of their 2009 Property Management Technology survey.

The survey garnered responses from 70 property managers from around the country and came up with some very interesting conclusions.

Among them:

• What technology a growing property management company uses;
• How prevalent social media use is;
• How property management specific software allows companies to manage more units per employee; and
• How companies are struggling to track leads that come from the Internet

Electric Cars, Upgrading Vacant Units, and Water Heater Problems

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Dear Maintenance Men:

I’m exited about all the electric cars coming into the market starting at end of 2010. I plan on owning one myself!  My question is:  How do I make my apartment building electric car friendly?  I believe this will be the future and I want to have a leg up on the competition.  If I can rent my vacancy faster and for more money, I’m in!   What do I have to think about to convert my existing garages or parking areas to accommodate the electric cars of the future?  George

The Importance of Business Plans When Buying Investment Real Estate

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By Chris Miller

The importance of creating a business plan for investment real estate doesn’t get much press.  I have seen that some people who deal with real estate for a living do not even use them.  Whether you are a sophisticated real estate investor or only own one rental property, spending a little time on a business plan can save a lot of headaches in the future.
I have had this exact conversation with at least two real estate brokers over the past decade:

Chris: “While reviewing this property, I noticed that the lease runs for 75 years, and has no rent increases.  How do you expect to sell this property for a profit?”

Broker: “Real estate always goes up in value, right?”

Wrong!  I have always reminded my investors that real estate’s value is tied to the income it produces.  Rising income is needed to realize rising property values.  At the same time, flat income does not lead to stable value.  In fact, due to the influence of inflation, it leads to declining value over the years.  Why buy real estate that will slowly decline in value over the next 50 years?  People do every day.  These investors don’t mean to do that but, because they lack a business plan; that is exactly what happens.

Apartment Owners Beware!

Written by jordan on . Posted in Blog

Upon the wings of Mother Nature’s tropical climate, rides the swarming invaders, “Termites!”

In huge gatherings, they escape the confines of their underground nests (as in the case of the subterranean termites). The queen termite initiates this activity, when the colony can no longer maintain itself, with the large numbers it supports. Thus, new infestations must be created, and the ominous spread of these destructive villains commences.

No over the counter elixir or concoctions will eliminate the onslaught. Professional help is needed to identify the species, and make the proper diagnosis. In some cases, your attempt to treat activity can worsen the situation by driving the termites deeper into their channels or concealing the necessary evidence that a trained professional looks for.

Security Principles for Apartment Managers

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by Michael Hodge

Safety and security of employees, residents, and guests should always be a concern for Apartment Managers.

It’s actually the law! As most Courts find where there is a foreseeable risk of harm, those who control such properties have a duty to place “reasonable” measures to prevent such an occurrence.

Risk Analysis
Risk or threat analysis is the first step in the security process.  This process entails an examination of many factors, and subsequently determines appropriate measures to implement.  Some of these factors include:

• Level of crime in and around an area
• Apartment Industry education and awareness
• Proximity of property to major thoroughfares
• Existing security features

Technology on the Rise, the Future of Flat Roofing

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There is a movement in the roofing industry toward what is referred to as “single ply” roofing for flat roofs.

This energy efficient roofing is like a big (usually white) rubber roof. It lasts longer than hot tar roofing and is much superior across the board. This product has been around since the sixties or so and has been upgraded and changed and re-invented. It now is a standard in the industry and becoming more popular as people get introduced to it.

How to Effectively Screen & Qualify Tenants In 5 Easy Steps

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by John Nuzzolese

I always say that “95% of your tenant problems can be eliminated in the screening process.” If you’re like me, you probably find it difficult to relax when you have vacancies. So getting it rented is the main idea, right? Well, from now on, lets say “getting it rented to a properly qualified tenant is the main idea.”

El Nino Possibility Could Mean Wet Winter

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By David Gale

Just as residents in Southern California start adjusting to life with lawn-watering restrictions, there are signs California’s drought may be coming to an end next winter.

Climate scientists say conditions are ripe for the formation of an El Nino over the Pacific Ocean, an intermittent weather condition that brings wet winters to the southern United States.

That means there is a good chance Southern California will get above-normal rainfall next year.

Mortgage Lending Slowdown Continues

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MBA Survey Shows Continued Slowdown of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Lending in First Quarter 2009

Commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations continued to drop in the first quarter of 2009, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations.  First quarter originations were 70 percent lower than during the same period last year and 26 percent lower than during the fourth quarter of 2008.  The year-over-year decrease was seen across all investor groups and most property types.