Monthly Archives: February 2016

Get Cost Consultant Before Starting ConstructionIn planning, designing and constructing a project, cost is of key importance. This is factual today more than ever due to rapid growth and due to increase in population around the world. Construction cost consultants can be hired for constructions like home, offices, buildings etc. So what does Construction Cost Management really cover? They have an experience in giving you the wanted results as per your budget. They will also let you know how to cut your project cost in terms of material, work force involved and the most important one is dedicating time line to each and every process which will give a clear idea regarding the project scope and work involved. Below are some of the services in which cost consultants can help you.

Preparing Cost Plans:

Cost plans is one of the core competencies of cost consultants, it is a system which is designed to control the costs during the process of designing and construction of a certain project. Cost plan progresses through the project life it becomes more accurate and cost consultants can develop it in more detail when they get brief about the nature of the design after that prices should be given to them from various suppliers, contractors & specialist contractors. This service could be availed by both commercial and residential users.

Conducting Feasibility Studies:

The main reason behind it is to make a company realize about their strengths, weaknesses, resources and capabilities. These studies are being done in early stage before starting the project to check the viability of the project and identifying feasible options in project completion. It is mainly conducted for large and complex projects. They should be prepared in a structured way with some options so that client can select best possible option as per his requirement and strength.

Risk Management:

A successful construction project relies on how well project managers have evaluated future and current risks before starting the project. It requires a lot of efforts and a wide experience in doing risk management. It is defined as allocating, monitoring & calculating the risks and hazards which a construction project management could face in the future. It is the very important aspect in construction project planning it could only be done with the help of professional cost consultants. Few major risks which a construction project could face are:

• Poor record of completion to cost and time.

• Poor documentation.

• Disputes and litigation.

• Low return on investment (ROI) and profit risk.

• Poor safety and health record.

• Pressure to produce a high return on funds invested.

• Pressure to save time and money.

• Ignoring health and safety provision.

Project Budgeting:

A budget should be set by client and it should be distinct from the and it has to be set as early as possible, it gives a clear road map to the project and project goes according to the need of the client. There are different aspects on which a client’s budget may depend like construction cost, approval fees, financing cost etc. A budget could be made by comparing similar projects, assessment of funds available, analyzing project income and the expenses involved in the total project life. This feature is very important for both residential and commercial users they can construct their constructions more accurately by setting a dedicated budget to their project and work accordingly.

Condo In Makati1. Location: Work

The biggest headache of working people today is traffic. People dream of a time when we do not have to wake up very early to avoid traffic and arrive in the office relatively fresh and ready for work. The perennial traffic made this impossible. Every morning, thousands rush to Makati to go to work or transact business. Makati is the financial center of the Philippines. As such, we need agility of mind, proper attire and ready physically. These will be yours if you have a condo at the center of Makati.

2. Location: School

For those with children of school age, finding the right school near your condo is of primary concern. In the Philippines, the 'right' school means private schools and preferably run by catholic priests and nuns. In Makati, there is a proliferation of private schools and several well known colleges and universities; including the International School; where celebrities, diplomats, politicians and financial moguls send their children. For pre-schoolers, there are condominiums that offers day care facilities for their tenants. It would be a plus factor if the day care facility also offers Kindergarten and Preparatory levels of schooling.

3. Location: Church

If you are a member of a religion, you would require a condo to be near your place of worship. This is of utmost importance if your day of worship falls on a regular day. Makati boasts of places of worship for most religions. Almost all are within a kilometer radius from the center of Makati.

4. Avoid maintenance headaches.

Just like owning a car, owning a house or a condominium means a never ending rounds of maintenance and repair. However, condos have tenants association or management company that handles it all. It means you enjoy condo living without the worry.

5. Security

Unlike detached houses, security in condo buildings are similar to hotels. Security guards are present 24 hours 7 days a week. Visitors are screened at the lobby and loitering in the hallways are usually frowned upon. In some condos, closed circuit TV cameras are employed to help ensure safety of tenants. There are even elevators that can only be activated by the tenants key-cards.

6. Available Playground and Day Care

Parents usually finds it extremely difficult to look for playgrounds for their kids. For those working couples there is the added problem of finding a day care center where they can leave their children while at work. Most condos today offer day care centers and indoor and outdoor playgrounds for kids of tenants. This is one of the attractions of condo living.

7. Free Gym and Swimming pools

Today’s' yuppies are extremely health conscious. Going to the gym is a necessity. However, with the better gyms come high fees. Condo living therefore is very attractive where a fully equipped gym is always part of condo amenities. There are some condos who even offers massage and sauna facilities.

8. Affordable Function Room

Children's birthday parties are expensive. Nowadays, you hold it in fast food outlets with function rooms. For tenants of condominiums, multifunction rooms are available for occasions like birthday parties, Christmas gatherings, meetings and even weddings. Usually, rental of condo function rooms are affordable; and they don’t even have to leave the vicinity of the condo.

9. An Investment

Buying a condo unit while under construction is a wise investment. It yields a higher return on investment than those offered in banks and money market. Usually, at the start of construction, prices are very low. As the condo starts to take shape, prices are incrementally increased. Construction takes 3 to 4 years to finished. And when they do, prices are its peak.

10. Rental Income

When you are not using your condo unit, you can allow it to be rented. The condo's brokers are responsible for renting it out for you. Part of the beauty of condo unit ownership is that you never have to bother finding tenants or dealing with them. Today, there are investors that own strings of condo units for rent as a business.

11. Enjoy Luxury Accommodations

Condos by expectations are normally first-class and extremely luxurious. Some condos even house five star restaurants and other establishments that caters to the discriminating taste of the tenants. They are developed by the best, most respected names in the real estate business.

12. Free Vacation

Condos are designed with the intent of giving tenants an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment. Amenities usually includes swimming pools, playgrounds, gyms, cabanas and other facilities comparable with some vacation resorts. Living in a condo unit is just like living in a resort where you can enjoy a free vacation.

13. For US Citizens: A Surprise Bonus

Most US citizens are not aware that retirement savings can be used to purchase real estate; inside and outside the US. IRA's, Roth's, 401K's can be invested to acquire your luxurious condo unit.

14. For Overseas Filipinos: An Easy Necessity

Filipinos working overseas usually saves money in the bank at a low interest rate. Not anymore, buying a pre-selling condo gives the owner/investor the advantage of higher interest rate and the opportunity to enjoy condo living in Makati. Prices of condos in the Philippines are ridiculously low compared to those abroad. For some Overseas Filipino Workers whose salary is in US dollars, just the overtime pay is enough to cover the monthly amortization of a new condo unit.

15. For Retirees: A Warm Haven

Temperate climate is harsh for the elderly. The bitter cold of winter is a punishment that they do not deserve. For some it is a life of constant pain and physical discomfort.

Condo living in Makati means living in a tropical land with facilities for the elderly like elevators, escalators and wheel chair ramps. First class hospitals are just around the corner; and if needed, a private nurse can be available anytime.

The warmth of the sun is always available 24/7.

The best argument for condo living in Makati is still the Filipino people: warm, ever smiling and courteous.

Truly, condo living in the Philippines sounds like paradise.

Village Life In The Loire ValleyAre you thinking of buying a property in the Loire Valley of France? If so, where? There are lots of potential villages and departments you could choose. About 6 years ago, I chose the village of Lucay Le Male in the department of Indre. What made me choose this location and what is it like?

The small village of Lucay Le Male is situated in the heart of the beautiful Loire Valley in France. It has a population of approximately 1800 people and is a thriving community. It is the home of a historic railway and a 12th century church. Indeed, the church is at the centre of the village and is surrounded by quaint businesses and commerce.

Located in the village you will find two bakers offering beautiful pastries, cakes and of course a variety of different breads; a butchers with delicacies of the region, several bars, post office, florists, newsagent and a mini mart.

Other amenities include the mayors office, a doctors, insurance office, local garage, the sale de fete (community hall) and sports field. There are many clubs and community events in which you can take part in, and a quarterly newspaper from the mayors office highlights many of these events and clubs.

There is also a quite social ‘learn French club’ where English speakers come together with the aid of several French people from the village to help one another gain more knowledge of the language. The French even learn and expand on their English too making it an enjoyable experience for all.

On every Friday afternoon, there is a market in the afternoon where you can buy fresh veg, fish and other delicacies from the region. The community seems to come together and many meet up to enjoy the afternoon together.

Although this region of France is predominantly flat, Lucay Le Male actually stands on top of a hill, with the village centre on the plateau, although a lot of the houses surrounding this are built on the hillside. None of the slopes are particularly steep, however.

Overlooking the village is the chateau. This chateau allegedly has tunnels from it going underneath the bar Le Dauphin and across the road from this to the church. It was apparently used for the nobles to reach the church in the old times and there are also stories of it being used during the second world war by the resistance. How true all of this is difficult to ascertain, but it certainly adds to the charm and nostalgia of the village.

Although quite a small village, it offers the advantage of being just outside the so called ‘tourist trap’. This advantage provides anyone wishing to settle there a quiet, peaceful life and the ability to experience life in a real French village.

This location also means that the ‘tourist trap’ is nearby, meaning travel to visit the many chateaux of the region (the Loire Valley has more chateaux per square kilometer than any other region of France) is very easy and that there are plenty of other things to do and see in the immediate vicinity.

The village of Lucay Le Male has a very active community, but if your French isn’t that good, then don’t worry because there are quite a few English speaking families in the village or nearby. English speaking settlers have come from the world over to live in Lucay Le Male, from such countries as England, Scotland, Ireland and from further afield America and even Australia.

So, a quiet, peaceful and authentic life can be enjoyed in this lovely picturesque Loire Valley village. Not to mention its central position meaning the whole of France is never any more than an 8 hour drive to its extremity in any direction.

Commercial Real EstateConflicts are never welcome. They not only affect productivity, but also give rise to numerous secondary problems. Yet, they are unavoidable in many cases. In fact, surprisingly conflicts are quite common between a landlord of commercial property and a tenant. A landlord and a tenant might run into conflict for multiple reasons. It might be serious issues like eviction, rent irregularity, subletting etc. or smaller concerns like noise, cleanliness, damages etc. Whatever the reason, conflicts can take very little time to escalate into legal disputes.

A legal dispute is seldom worth the hassle, especially in the case of landlord-tenant disagreements. It is always a good idea to resolve theses problems with negotiations out of the court. This can be done through transparent dialogue or mediation by a reliable third party. Several property management services take up the role of mediator and help the parties to reach a suitable compromise.

Here are five reasons why landlord-tenant disputes should be settled out of court:

1. Expense

Legal proceedings are always accompanied with a large unwanted costs. The fee of the lawyer, the expense of the legal tools and notices, the opportunity costs of court dates and other time consuming activities etc. might even exceed the amount of money at stake in the primary dispute. A settlement, on the other hand, always tries to ensure a win-win situation for both the parties.

2. Time

Legal disputes can be extremely time consuming. Both parties generally take their time finding suitable attorneys; and once the case starts, the subsequent appeals and re-appeal from both sides can prolong the case interminably. A settlement keeps the clock from just ticking away precious time.

3. Stress

Needless to say, a legal dispute is never peaceful. Visits to the courtroom are not particularly enjoyable. It can be a source of added mental stress to both the landlord and the tenant at the cost of their health. A non-court settlement helps both parties stay stress free.

4. Professional relationships

Business is all about relationships within the industry. A legal dispute has the potential to ruin several professional relationships. Which is why a non-judicial settlement is the best way to keep professional relationships from souring in the long run. Moreover, a negotiation sends a positive message within the industry and helps people look upon you more favorably.

5. Record

A legal dispute scars the records of both the tenant and the landlord. Who wins the case is immaterial; the tenant might find it difficult to get a good property for rent. Similarly the commercial property for lease might gain a reputation and miss out on good tenants because of it. A settlement nullifies this possibility and ensures that both parties can move on from the dispute with the least consequences.

The best way to prevent legal disputes is to ensure a detailed lease contract incorporating all the clauses and define all areas clearly. It is also the duty of the commercial real estate management to make sure that both parties have understood the clauses well, thereby, reducing the chances of misunderstandings in the future. Indeed, a healthy landlord-tenant relationship not only benefits both but also goes a long way to enhancing the value of the property.