Tips for New Residential Construction

The process to entitle lots can take more than five years and is expensive. The cost of parcel maps for five lots or less is $100,000. Tract maps for more than five lots can cost more than $500,000. The number of lots and the potential size are determined by biology, health-department regulations, slope, and the zoning and general plan. Included in the cost are engineering, processing, and regulatory fees and various reports and studies.

Reports and studies include conditions of approval costs, storm-water treatment, anthropology and archeology, soils, biology, noise, and traffic. When a map is approved and recorded, there are additional fees that include, but are not limited to the following:
• Potential greenhouse gas studies
• Retention and drainage basins
• On- and off-site mitigation land
• School fees
• Parks and recreation fees
• Physical secondary access
• Fire fees
• Annual bonding fees.

Politics comes into play when obtaining the required approvals from county boards, city councils, and planning commissions. The level of public opposition or support affects hearings completion. They can be completed in as little as four months, or take years and cost over a million dollars. Property owners have three courses of action to take into consideration.

1. Entitlement and sale of the property ‘as is’ – This option brings the lowest price, but costs the least and requires the shortest time for property disposal. Under rare circumstances, the land is worth more when it is unentitled.
2. Enter into a long-term agreement – The agreement is made with a home builder who incurs the expenses of processing a tract map. This option is the most utilized. The process could take up to five years. The buyer is required to release nonrefundable deposits periodically to the seller after approving their contingencies. Escrow closing typically occurs after tentative or final map approval.
3. The owner incurs the entitlement costs – Much of the process is like option two. The difference is the owner has full control of the mapping process and bears all expenses.

The ramifications of each choice should be weighed carefully before making a decision. Owners, who have chosen not to seek advice, have made the decision to process a map and found out later the number of lots was not financially feasible. A competent engineer can determine the optimal number of lots that can be obtained and approved. Smart growth design principals call for buildings with a variety of materials, texture, and color and individuality; well-defined open space; a building and street relationship; mixed uses; and high-density development. Contractors, who specialize in residential subdivisions, can give realistic cost estimations.

The process of entitling residential property to higher densities is costly, complex, and cumbersome. Many factors must be taken into consideration. The leading concerns that communities have about increased density are the quality of life and increased costs.

There is a need for new affordable housing to reduce recent overpayment and overcrowding. There is also a need for high-density housing that supports economic recovery, accommodates new workers and their loved ones, and economizes the costs of infrastructure. It is quite a balancing act. Open spaces need to be conserved and the distance between new jobs and new homes reduced.

6 Steps To More, And Better Real Estate Listings

Since a real estate agent, must sell, and/ or list houses, in order to generate commissions, and make a living, it might be a good idea, to review and examine, some sort of system, to potentially, get more and better listings. This article will, therefore, attempt to, briefly discuss, one approach or system, to achieve these objectives, successfully and consistently. I refer to this process as the RICH IDEAS 6 Steps to More, and Better Listings.

1. Get the appointment: What will you do, in order to assure, you are able, to get in the door, to, at least, present, why, a homeowner, considering selling their house, should choose you, as their agent and representative? How much time, effort and attention, will you focus and commit, in order, to gain additional personal exposure, demonstrate your unique assets/ approaches, and why you should be chosen? How will you get more appointments? Do you have a personal marketing and branding approach/ system, which will positively distinguish you, and attract others, to you? Will you perfect, the techniques, and methods, which properly prepare you, to convincingly, address and answer any and all concerns and objections?

2. Listen before you speak: One must be careful, to make the presentation about the needs, concerns, priorities and goals, of the homeowner, rather than the tendency, to make it, all about you! Will you ask the right questions, and consistently focus, on what, might, best impact, the homeowner? Never assume you know, or have, all the answers, but, rather, be willing to listen effectively and thoroughly, before you speak!

3. Relevant presentation: When you present your listing presentation, how will you know, you are articulating, a relevant, meaningful, effective message? Will you merely discuss features, etc, or will you effectively communicate and articulate, in a benefits – based manner?

4. Make your presentation about them, not you!: How will you know, if you are addressing, the issues and concerns, which are most important, to a specific homeowner? Will you listen far more than you speak? Do you understand, for most people, their favorite sound, is the sound, of their own voice? You have two ears, and only one mouth, for a reason, so take advantage of this, and listen, at least, twice as often, as you speak. Explain thoroughly, slowly and completely, until you are convinced, and they acknowledge, they understand and agree!

5. Answer their questions and concerns, but don’t open up a Pandora’s Box!: Never assume you know what might concern someone, and never answer an issue, you perceive, as a concern, until it is asked! When you presume a concern, which doesn’t exist, you might create, problems which don’t exist! Always answer every question/ concern, however, thoroughly, completely, and to their satisfaction!

6. Close, and get the listing: Never fear discussing the commission, you feel you deserve, but, rather, emphasize, why you are worth it, and how you will best, provide meaningful, relevant, meaningful service! Realize, if you want the listing, you must take the time, and close, the deal, effectively. Provide the quality of service, which makes you distinct, real, and better!

Become a more successful real estate agent, by using these 6 steps, to more and better listings. Never abandon your commitment to absolute integrity, and focus on how you will best serve your clients!

Choosing the Best Green Home Builder

Today many people are “going green”, which means that they are becoming environmentally friendly in how they live their lives and minimizing the harm done to the earth. When some people decide to build their home from the bottom up, they decide to have a green home builder build their home. This contractor would build their home with low environmental and energy efficiency in mind. To find a green home builder you should talk to the contractors in your area. Some that will travel to your area to build your home but their services will add more expense to the cost of your home.

To ensure that you will have the best green home builder ask them what type of building material they will use. You should also inquire about their disposal methods to make sure they are in compliant with sustainability practices. The materials that they should use are non-toxic when possible, and environmentally friendly. They should also be materials that come from renewable sources, or sustainable material. This can include materials from homes that have been knocked down. This material can include old doors, cabinets, some of the wood to accent the home such as using the material for ceiling beams, and more. They should try to avoid using plastics and choose their wood carefully. You should ask to see examples of the green projects they have completed. Their construction philosophy should focus on green building. It should not just focus on using green techniques as a secondary technique. Make sure that the contract you sign states that it will be constructed from sustainable and green material.

A home builder may tell you that they are using green building techniques but it could be easy for them to start using less environmentally friendly techniques and designs to save money on materials so they can put more money in their pockets. This is why you need to be sure that they are a reputable home builder and have good references as a green construction company. They need to be knowledgeable about green techniques and processes and committed to green construction and design. If you want your new green custom built home to be built using unconventional techniques make sure the home builder can demonstrate they understand the techniques you want and can do them correctly.

Before you choose a green home builder, you should educate yourself on what constitutes a green home and the process to build one. This will help you to determine a good green home builder and to know if they are cutting corners using non-environmentally friendly material. Having a green home can save you money on heating and cooling costs, and if sustainable material is used it can save these materials from being disposed of improperly.