Architectural Ironmongery – What is Involved?

The word Ironmongery comes from the domain of iron industry. Iron has served as the main product, utilized in the formation of new products, used in buildings and the construction industry. “Architectural metal work,” or simply “ironmongery,” are some other terms used to refer to architectural Ironmongery.

During the construction of a house or a building, there are many steps that are involved in ensuring that justice has been done to the building. Every step is of utmost importance and should be thoroughly performed at the right place and time with the right attitude. Architectural ironmongery is the step that comes after the construction of a new house or building.

Many people are perplexed concerning the implications and significance related to the outcome of the ironmongery industry. The main purpose behind architectural ironmongery is the decoration and ornamentation of a muted and lackluster house or building. People believe ironmongery to be a tedious job and do not give it its due credit. In actuality, ironmongery, in its complex and strictest form, is very much present in almost every home and building.

Ironmongery holds a great place in home and building construction. Every iron that is present at homes and building like door handles, iron railings, and knobs are considered ironmongery. In any building, architectural ironmongery has much importance because metal work structures are easily noticed and prove to be highly attractive. With its ability to enhance the beauty along with the overall architecture and structure of the house, architectural ironmongery will surely become an integral part of every home decoration.

There has been a revival in the lavishness of the old-style hand-forged ironmongery, with strong interest being bestowed on the genuinely accurate restoration of old homes. This has lead to demand for items such as traditional iron door handles, door knobs, door knockers, letter plates, locks, hinges, hooks, cabinet fittings and window furniture.

Another interesting trend has been the renewed use of “blacksmith nails” – the four-sided hand-made rose head nails that have so much more character than its modern equivalent. This is typical of a trend that has seen greater appreciation of designs and has stood the test of time that has allowed hand-forged ironmongery to find a much wider application than use in property restoration.

More appropriately, the incorporation of traditional ironmongery into contemporary housing has been made possible through thoroughly modern techniques such as those of galvanising and powder coating to fight against an old iron enemy, rust.

Ironmongery has afforded expediency to life. It is used extensively in the making of the doorsets. These doorsets have made the construction of a house more uncomplicated and dependable. You can order whatever you desire if you have the right design in your mind; you just need to tell the ironmongers what you require, and it will be provided for. Ironmongery offers chrome and brass hinges and handles, whereas the iron locks fulfill the function of security.

3 Reasons Why Human Traffic Flow is an Important Consideration in Real Estate Investment

Retail real estate investment property is probably one of the easiest type of property to understand when considering commercial real estate investment. Anyone you ask would tell you that the shop space with the best human traffic would fetch the highest rental. This article will expand on that basic idea and explain why this statement is true and how you can apply it to your property search criteria to find a good retail real estate investment.

Before we go into the three reasons why human traffic flow is important, we want to frame this concept in a larger picture. Most people when they go to view a shop space for real estate investment purposes, usually think about what they observe but fail to appreciate the impact of zoning and development on human traffic. Spend some time talking to the real estate agent and learn all you can about the community, crime, zoning laws, highway movements and everything you can learn about the area that your retail store is going to be. You would have gotten a bargain if you purchased a zone that was slated to be redeveloped by the state as you would see an increase in rental returns and property pricing of your property.

Now that we have covered the broad picture of human traffic, the following will list three important reasons why human traffic or the lack thereof is very important when choosing a retail real estate to invest in.

Firstly, retail commercial property include shops, retail malls, short retail strips. As mentioned, places with good human traffic flow, mean more prospective customers and thus higher rental returns. But it depends once again on the type of tenants that you have. If your tenant mix is made up of convenience stores, and lots of office workers go past as opposed to residents, then the rental may not reflect such human traffic flow. Thus while the general rule that the more human traffic the better the rental, qualified human traffic is even better. Thus spending some time to scout around the neighbourhood is always better than going to the neighbourhood blindly.

Secondly, commercial prices of buildings and property is directly proportional the rental income. Thus in addition to present human traffic, as mentioned earlier you might want to consider new developments in the area and their impact on your rental prospects. If for instance a new shopping mall is opening around your building and your shop space is on the ground floor, then you will realise that you might be getting a whole lot more for your property in terms of value, or the developer might want to purchase your property at a price higher than what you purchased it for.

Thirdly, commercial real estate that enjoys good human traffic will increase the ability of you being able to lease out the place. Have you ever noticed that some places are bustling with business activity. Choose a retail property in such a place and you will be able to have tenants coming around to ask to rent your property. Banks know that a good tenancy would mean a higher chance on your part to pay their interest so would be naturally more interested. Thus it can be said that high rental occupancy ratios also leads to a perception of the banks of greater credit worthiness on your part.

In conclusion, human traffic flow is one of the key things and if not the most important factor to consider when you are thinking of purchasing a retail rental property. Spending some time to explore the neighbourhood at different times of the day would help confirm whether the real estate agent is pulling a fast one on you in terms of human traffic flow. Take your time to analyze the real estate in your area and then take massive action to generate the returns that you want to get today.

By Joel Teo 2006 All Rights Reserved

Here Is Your Complete Guide On Exploring Commercial Mortgage Refinance

Many loans’ interest rates are at an all-time low right now, so it’s so common to see people refinancing student loans, car loans, and mortgages. But many people just see the amount of money they’re saving through refinancing the loan-they, it seems, fail to evaluate the terms and conditions of refinancing loans for their businesses.

It’s true that one of the biggest money-saving methods is commercial refinance, but you should be very careful before refinancing. So if you plan to refinance your commercial mortgage anytime soon, then you should read this guide first.

Why should you consider refinancing your commercial mortgage?

Refinancing your commercial mortgage may benefit you because of different reasons. Here, we’ve listed two benefits.

This is a real way of saving money

The most common reason for refinancing a loan is to save a lot of money, and you can save this by getting a loan at a lower interest rate. Now, how do you get a loan at lower rates? It’s simple-either the interest rates must be dropped or your credit, including your business’s situation, must be improved. If you experience either of the two cases, you’ll refinance your commercial mortgage at lowered interest rates-just what you wanted!

Accessing equity becomes simple

One other factor that motivates many borrowers to refinance their existing mortgages is refinancing through a fixed-rate loan. If the loan shifts from a variable-rate loan to a fixed-rate one, you’ll access equity easily.

Here’s the one thing that you should keep in mind while refinancing a commercial mortgage

Obtaining a refinance for your commercial property will probably need you to provide a hefty amount of paperwork. The lender will always want to check your company’s credit. Also, a lender may even need to analyze your business’s financial statements such as balance sheets and cash flow statements for a specific period. Additionally, you may even need to furnish a specific business plan to give lenders a complete view of how the company will work.

So here’s where we’ll end the post. We hope to have given you a nearly complete low-down on why and how should you refinance your existing mortgage. While refinancing, you should always consider hiring a reliable commercial real estate intermediary that can navigate the complex landscape of mortgage refinancing for you. Last, if you’ve found this post useful, then it may be useful for someone else, too. That’s why we’ll urge you to share this with others and spread the word.

Top Tips For a Landlord Leasing to a New Restaurant Tenant

Every month, an average of over 90 food service licenses are issued in every state. That’s over 4,500 new restaurants going into business every month across this country.

Do you have a restaurant space that you would like to fill with a quality tenant? Certainly there is no lack of tenants out there that would be interested in your site, so how do you go about finding the right tenant? This information was created specifically for Landlords who want to find the right tenant for their property.

When a prospective tenant is looking for a restaurant space, you as the prospective Landlord should know what they’re looking for, and in this order its; a lease they can afford, a site that fits their concept design wise, visible signage space, and parking. Everything beyond this is secondary.

Yes, the quality of the location is of vital importance, but the affordability of the site is paramount. Armed with this information, you should be able to present a sales package to your prospective tenant in terms that they can understand. If you can make the location financially easy to get into, that will give your prospective tenant the extra cash to commit to the other things related to getting the new restaurant off the ground.

In order to protect yourself from an unqualified tenant, there are many questions that you will want answers to. Set your expectations with the prospective tenant upon your first initial meeting. By doing this and listening closely to the answers, you can avoid a lot of potential pain for both of you.

Six factors that can help you select the right tenant:

#1. Create an interview checklist. You will want to cover a lot of ground with your new prospective tenant, and you’ll want to ask relevant questions. Depending on your unique situation, you may have legal restrictions placed on your ability to ask questions, so you will want to review your interview game plan with your legal advisor. This information is meant to be informative only and is not to be considered legal or accounting advice.

#2. Credit worthiness. Let the prospective tenant know that you care about their prompt payment history, and that you will expect them to personally be on the lease. Few restaurateurs will want to personally sign a lease, and it will be important to deal with this matter right up front. If the prospective tenant knows that their personal creditworthiness is of importance to you, you’ll cut right to the chase every time. Are you as a Landlord willing to lease to a company with little or no operating history? Perhaps if you have a space that has been vacant for a while you’d consider it, but you will want a significant amount of financial security up front.

#3. Background check. There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “What has happened in the past is indicative of what may happen in the future”. Your prospective tenant may have a background that may not be spotless. Only you can be the judge of what you are willing to tolerate-but don’t forget that old saying. Background checks are inexpensive and can provide a lot of valuable information into the business dealings of your prospective tenant.

#4. Feasibility study. Has your prospective tenant had a feasibility study done or is one planned? This study will evaluate the chances of success of the new restaurant venture, by examining the location and facilities offered (such as: walk in coolers, delivery doors, restroom facilities, and power availability), concept, competition, niche market, financial opportunity, and the overall viability of the project. This study will give you and your tenant the security in knowing that the new restaurant may be the right concept in the right area. If the prospective tenant has not considered a study, and you like what you see from the Landlord perspective so far, you may wish to split the cost of a feasibility study with the tenant, or just pay for it yourself and bill the prospective tenant back over time. The findings are hard hitting, and factors that never may have been contemplated may be brought to light. Most importantly, the Feasibility Study will help identify and confirm the market niche that your prospective tenant is seeking to fill. This is of vital importance both to you and to your prospective tenant.

#5. Business plan. A restaurant business plan is focused on the menu, and everything revolves around it, including revenues, expenses, equipment, payroll projections and all of the other numbers and concepts that will go into a business plan. It is not realistic to think that your prospective tenant has a business plan yet, because the location issue is still unresolved, as it the seating count, and so many other variables. Want to surprise a quality prospective tenant with something great? Offer them a long term lease that includes a business plan that you are willing to pay for (and of course, include in the lease terms). This will set you apart as a caring Landlord who wants the very best for the tenant. Don’t you think this would be just the thing to close the deal? Think about how few Landlords are including a business plan with an executed lease, and you could end up being the Landlord of choice! One of the nice hidden factors in this equation is that as you have commissioned the business plan as the Landlord; don’t you now have the ability to give your input into the concept as a whole? Now, you are not only the Landlord, you have become somewhat of an informal business partner, allowing you a good view of what’s happening in your space without being surprised.

#6. Business team. A restaurant management team not only consists of the owner(s) and the managers, it’s those outside the day-to-day operation that provide advice, direction and counsel that play very key roles in the success of the new restaurant. Legal, accounting, and restaurant consultant all play unique roles and contribute to the profitability of the operation. Regardless of the experience of the prospective tenant, this team should be in place in the very early stages, and by the time this person is ready to start looking for space, it should be a red flag to you as the Landlord if this team is not together yet.

Norman Vincent Peale once said, “We tend to get what we expect”. Let’s begin expecting a quality tenant and put ourselves in a positive conducive to that goal by using these steps above. Stay focused on the goal of a long-term relationship with a profitable tenant.

Carpet Area Vs Built Up Area Vs Super Built Up Area

The terms built up area, super built up area, salable area and carpet area pop up again and again for an Indian real estate buyer. The apartment that is sold as a spacious 1500 sq ft apartment, is actually not 1500 sq ft if you count its actual covered area, or carpet area.

Definitions –

1. Carpet area – The actual area you use. The area on which ‘you can put a carpet’.

2. Built up area – Carpet area + area of walls and ducts. Around 10% more than the carpet area. A terrace is considered as half the actual area for calculating built up area. Some projects charge dry terrace same as internal rooms.

3. Super built up / Salable area – Built up area + markup for common spaces like lifts and stairs. Usually 25% more than the built up area.

Let us take an example.

This is a small apartment whose salable area, or super built up area is 892 sq ft. Let us calculate its carpet area by summing up all its rooms –

Room	          Dimensions (ft & inch)	Carpet area in sq. ft.

Living Room	        10′ x 15′-9″	         157.5 

Dining Room	        7′ x 7′-8″	               53.6 

Bedroom 1	        11′-9″ x 10′-9″         126.3 

Bedroom 2	        11′-9″ x 10              117.5 

Toilet 1	                8′-6″ x 5                  42.5 

Toilet 2	                8′-4″ x 4′-3″             35.4 

Terrace	                10′ x 5′-9″                57.5 

Kitchen	                11′ x 8′-6″	            93.5 

 

Here is the details of one of the apartments at Kumar Periwinkle in Kharadi we are talking about.

Now terraces are generally considered by halving their actual area. So, area considered of the terrace is 57.5/2 sq ft = 28.75 sq ft.

So, the total carpet area for the rooms of the flat comes to be approximately 655 sq ft. Now there is a passage area at the center of the flat, which looks approximately 11 feet by 5 feet, which adds 55 sq ft more to the area.

So, approximate carpet area of the flat = 710 sq ft.

Now, the salable area as given on the website is 892 sq ft. This is the area which is billed to you by multiplying it with the square foot rate.

This difference is what super built up area is all about. As far as I have seen, a thumb rule is to take 1.25 as the multiplying factor to calculate super built up area (i.e. salable area).

So, if we multiply by this factor, 710 * 1.25 = 887.5 sq ft is approximately the answer we are supposed to arrive at.

But this rule of 25% is no written rule, and this multiplier can vary. Ideally, this multiplier should be more for the schemes where more space is given to amenities and common areas. This area is supposed to include the common amenities that are built but are not directly charged to the customer. But there are no concrete formulas for this. The agreement that you will sign with the builder, should have all the details like carpet area in it. But you will probably see the agreement in detail only after you decide to buy your home there.

So are you getting cheated when you actually get a 700 sq ft apartment when you thought you got 900 sq ft? Not really… The key is to ask for the carpet area of the apartment you are buying, and verify it by doing a calculation as given above, and also verify the dimensions actually on the ground if possible. As long as we have open market economy, you will always have choices. So, if you find that a project has a multiplying factor of 25% for super built up area and another has 30%, the simplest thing you can do, is get the carpet area of the actual rooms and find out the per sq ft rate based on carpet area, to compare the two projects.

Apart from this, there are also several extra bills like electricity backup charges, parking charges, maintenance charges for amenities, society formation charges so on and so forth. So, you need to consider and compare all of these charges before thinking of choosing the right project to buy a property. Give a hard thought to how many of the amenities you are actually going to use, and how much you are getting charged for them. Will it be simply better to buy into a no-frills project and join a gymkhana club rather than paying maintenance charges for the swimming pool you are not going to use?

Simply create an excel sheet and put all the parameters of the property in it, like carpet area, parking charges etc. Use that sheet as your basis of taking decision and not the glossy marketing brochures they give you!

Buying Parking Lots and Parking Garages: Finding the Most Profitable Locations

There are plenty of successful investors out there, but many work so hard that it’s hardly worth the money-because they’re never freed up to enjoy the fruits of their labor! It’s far more worth it to find an investment strategy that would allow you to make considerably more money and create more time to be able to reinvest, spend that money, travel, enjoy time with family, or have fun with that “Bucket List”.

Owning a parking lot or parking garage is a great investment because they can offer you two things: free time and exponential amounts of income. Finding these gems is the hard part because most existing “cash cow” lots are sold before they are even listed. And most are purchased by other parking lot owners-they know what they have, and they want more. If you can find these potential parking lots and garages before anyone else, you can find these extremely rewarding profits too.

Think ahead

Most parking lot locations were never designed to be just that. Parking lots are built out of necessity, plain and simple. Someone would never build a parking lot and then proceed to build something that draws people who need to park; never! It sounds simple, but you need to be ahead of the building curve and search for land before it holds great value. You can do this by recalling where you would need to park a car. Think for a second: Where do people really need to park? Let’s brainstorm: shopping malls, schools, sporting events, entertainment districts, government centers…the list goes on.

Now let’s look at these ideas: malls will provide parking for customers because they want shoppers (so scratch that); schools do the same, but there always seems to be no parking at some schools (possibility here). Every time I see a concert, I end up paying to park; keeper. Last time I got a traffic ticket, it took me 30 minutes to find a parking place at the courthouse to fight that traffic ticket. Ding, ding, ding-got a good one here. Where have you needed to park? Where have you paid to park? I used the same thought process and search techniques you just practiced to purchase a one acre plot of seemingly worthless land across from a new 380 million dollar courthouse that was yet to be built. The property owner had the land for 30+ years and did nothing with it, including not reading any local newspaper that clearly highlighted the new courthouse: funding was approved, a date for the ground breaking ceremony had been set, and the severe lack of parking was already projected in the overly-crowded area!

Harness the power of Google

Seems so simple, right? After all, who has not Googled something? Google, the most popular search engine in the world, is a robust mechanism for quickly finding what you need on the web. Unfortunately, a standard Google search of “parking lot for sale” will currently return around 14.6 million results that are all but worthless to you. Words like “sale” and “parking lot” come up in a million different searches and you will never find a parking lot by trying to wade through 100 pages of mediocre results. So, put Google to work for you by mastering Google’s phrase search and terms you want to exclude. Searching for [“parking lot for sale” – “parking lot sale”] will only search the exact phrase, “parking lot for sale”, and will exclude the pesky “parking lot sale”, which we have no desire to attend. Instead of the 14.6 million search results, you now have a more digestible 262 results. Search techniques like this will allow you to quickly and effectively drill down to exactly what you are looking for (even locations) without ever signing up for a commercial listing service, or contacting a time-wasting broker. Finding commercial listings may be the easiest research to conduct, but it will give you the weakest results because some of these properties are listed by a broker – which is what you want to avoid at all costs.

Automate your search

Once you have brainstormed ideas where you and others pay to park, you can once again put Google to work for you by using Google Alerts. Enter your key words with the correct phrasing and exclusions, and set up when you would like to receive the information. You can even place location keywords to search only those geographic areas where you are most interested. Entering “new courthouse proposed in X County” will alert you to any new information with those keywords. Alerts will also email you your desired results as often as you like. I have found outstanding deals waiting for me in my inbox on many occasions, all automated from Google alerts.

“Visit” the area

Once you have found your million dollar idea by searching areas where you would pay to park (e.g., land across the street from a university that is doubling their campus buildings and parking is already scarce), you can visit the area from the comforts of your own home using Google Maps (Are you seeing a theme here?). This will show you all you need to know about the area. For example, using Google maps, I was able to visit a potential lot 1,500 miles away. I wanted to look at it because it fit my parameters (i.e., I knew it desperately needed parking from news articles and upcoming construction that I researched with the tips above). I knew a piece of land was vacant from a quick Google Maps search and clicking on the view satellite tab, but I did not know what it really looked like-as it would if I were there. Using Google Maps Street View, I was able to see that indeed the lot was empty, and the surrounding lots were packed full of cars, in-you guessed it-paid parking lots!

Find the land owner

You found your dream spot, and you are ready to buy it and retire early. Hold up, because finding and contacting the land owner can be exhausting. If you have access to anyone in the title insurance or escrow industry, they will be more than happy to run an address and find the owner on record for you (obviously hoping for the account when you pursue a purchase). If not, you can simply search the county assessor’s website for the county where the property is located. Most are automated and you can search by address, map search, or parcel numbers.

Contact the land owner

It may seem old fashioned, but once you find the contact information of the property owner, contact the owner with a hand-addressed letter dropped in the mail. Do not attempt to call, email or meet the owner; simply write a letter. If you are only looking at a few potential parking lots, you can hand write them; if you are looking at many, a printed letter will work as long as you sign it. A simple one line statement that you are interested in buying the property from them, you are not a real estate agent, and you will not waste their time seems to get the best response. Marketing research studies all agree a hand-addressed letter will be opened (and read) 10 to 1 over a computer-printed label.

At this point, you will hopefully have an anxious owner contact you and offer to sell his seemingly useless land. Land that you know from your research is going to be in high demand in the coming months or year. Crafting the deal is the topic of a different article, but now you know where to find and how to research potential parking lots and garages before anyone else. Armed with this valuable information, you will be able to reap the profits that a well-placed lot can bring. Good Luck!

Foreign National Commercial Mortgage Loan Basics

As US dollar is becoming stronger and commercial real estate values are rising by the day, foreign buyers can have a real incentive for buying an investment property-whether it is commercial or residential. Persuading foreign investors to speculate in US economy has different incentives as well.

Some facts that are worth reading

As per National Association of REALTORS┬«, foreign buyers, until March 2014, invested in excess of $99.2 billion US residential real estate. These figures continue to soar with time. So every international buyer who can afford to invest in US properties and who look forward to living abroad should invest in the country’s real estate investment market.

When problem hits foreign real estate investors

Options for an international real estate buyer to pick from can be significantly limited as they will generally have to provide a:

  • U.S Federal Tax Identification Number
  • U.S Bank Account
  • State Certified Corporation, LLC, LP, or any active company
  • Proof of residence

And if a foreigner is incapable to furnish any of these docs, then the person will doubtlessly be ineligible to get a traditional mortgage and other similar financing options. Foreign buyers, however, can pay in cash-but as interest rates are low across the United States, it is preferred for buyers to finance their investments. And that is when a foreign national loan can be of great help to any foreign realty investor.

Understanding foreign national commercial mortgage loans

Foreign national commercial mortgage loans are available to every non-US citizen who are look forward to investing in any domestic property. However, any foreign national will not find this mortgage in traditional banks. And even the terms and conditions or requirements of this specific loan will vary from one lender to another.

Generally, foreign national mortgage lenders offer this loan type at down payments that start anywhere around 30 percent of the buying price. However, the down payment can even go as high as 40 percent-that depends on the size of the loan that any foreigner may apply for.

Apart from large down payments, this loan is similar to a traditional loan. The process of securing this loan is just like the one followed to get a domestic loan. For building a borrower profile, lenders will need:

  • Their passports
  • A Tax Identification Number given by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Asset proof that is verified by any global financial institution
  • A Letter of Professional Reference From An Accountant and or Banker

Foreign borrowers will generally have to pay a higher interest rate than the ones given by US residents. But borrowers may get a commercial mortgage with an annual interest rate as low as five percent because of larger down payments and historically low interest rates.

BRIAN MALLASCH
COLDWELL BANKER COMMERCIAL