Archives - 2021
By Stefaan Gheorghe • Apr 2, 2021
For a successful and peaceful living arrangement, it is very important for a tenant and the landlord to be in sync and respect the expectations they have of each other. A landlord looks for an honorable tenant who is responsible and financially stable and likely to be able to pay rent on time.
But these expectations must be met both ways. For the prospective landlords out there, it is important to understand the needs of the renters and provide them with comfortable standards of living that attract trustworthy tenants and makes the whole transitioning into the role of a landlord, much easier.
What are the tenant’s expectations from a living space?
In advising any landlord for developing a lucrative rental property, we must understand what appeals to a tenant. These are some of the major features that a tenant seeks out in a rental property.
A prime location is always sought after. It can often justify a higher rental quote and attracts better quality tenants. Proximity to a place of employment is primary in choosing a living space. Therefore, it is wise to develop a property with rental intentions, near a concentration of offices and work districts. The location should also ensure easy access to markets, grocery stores, departmental stores, hospitals, pharmacies, restaurants, malls, theatres and other day to day necessities, entertainments and luxuries. Long commute for daily access to any of these institutions, could be a deal-breaker to many tenants.
In building rentals for familial use, one must be able to guarantee the ease of access to school districts and healthy community space with parks and recreational pools. These properties attract young families and make for a relaxed homey living environment for prospective tenants.
Homeowners can also be liable to receiving insurance if their property undergoes destruction in case of any natural disaster. Homeowners should get their property insured in order to prevent their time and resources from getting wasted. However, before signing up for insurance, you should also be careful of the terms and conditions in the same as you might often be tricked by the insurance companies. In case you want to know more, you can get greater insights from here.
Safety and security
Location is very closely linked with safety. A safer district is more likely to motivate a desirable clientele for the landlords. Guaranteeing safety is one of the primary responsibilities that falls upon the landlord and there are several measures that can be taken to ensure the same.
Gated property and hiring security personnel is the foremost step in a safe community building. Researching crime statistics of the area where one intends to develop the property is crucial in making the right choice. In an existing property, steps can be taken such as installing efficient alarm facilities to alert in case of burglary or even fire. Installing CCTV surveillance is also of prime importance. When a tenant feels safe in a living environment they are more likely to be loyal and cooperative clients.
Move-in ready conditions
Tenants most often look for properties that are ready to move in. Rentals are usually temporary living options brought about by migratory needs and there is always a time crunch associated with finding a desired rental property. Tenants cannot be expected to wait out a time-consuming renovation project or completion of the property and are likely to lose interest and move on. It is very vital to ensure that a rental living space is fully equipped to accommodate tenants immediately before it is put on the market.
Inclusion of appliances and services offered
Not all rentals come fully furnished although furnishing a rental space may attract a larger group of younger tenants, like students or young employees, who are not equipped to undergo the hassle of furnishing and designing the living space themselves. However, furnished or not, it falls upon the landlord to ensure the availability of the basic essential appliances like a well functioning electrical design and water systems. Proper lighting and 24*7 water supply aside, it is key to ensure adequate power sources and electrical outlets on switchboards for the more digitally reliant tenant base. Adding washing machines, microwaves, oven tops, gas-lines, dish-washers, can be a great incentive for high-paying renters. It is also important to assure the quality of appliances to avoid and coordinate repairs.
As for services, tenants expect a few basic ones like parking facilities, adequate storage, elevator access, communal laundry, availability of employable labour to tend to house needs like cleaning, gardening, and so on.
Age of property, upgrades, and renovations
Tenants want to avoid the hassle of daily repair, therefore it is crucial to ensure a sturdy if not a brand new property. Timely upgrades and repairs or even undertaking dramatic renovation projects (read: Snazzy modern apartment replacing 1960s shop) help a landowner to ensure the property remains relevant and lucrative in the renting market.
Perhaps the most important thing a landlord can offer their tenants is cooperation and compassion. To keep good tenants, a landlord must hold up their end of the bargain and provide swift and efficient service, in addition to desirable living conditions. These are some of the things to keep in mind while developing a property for renting.
Down into the idyllic town of Margrethausen in the Albstadt district in Germany, we find a beautiful home that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and neighborhood.
Designed by architects from Dietrich and Untertrifaller Architekten, the house is built with sustainable materials and beautifully integrates in with the surroundings. Yet, we find there’s something futuristic about the place, mostly thanks to the glass walls, the soft lights, and the design.
The built of the house was done with concrete at the base, but the structure is all timber.
As you enter the house, you meet more wood – wooden ceilings, wooden paneling on the walls, and wooden floors. The design is simple and stylish and the huge windows are a big statement.
The outdoor space carries on the same wooden floor we saw inside, with a huge deck. The extended roof offers some coverage as you enjoy lunch outside.
The furniture inside is also minimal – simple table and chair set, airy chandelier, massive kitchen island, and some comfy and fun poufs which offer a colorful accent for the room.
The upper floor offers a wide-open concept with lots of storage on the sides and more floor-to-ceiling windows. The covered terrace also offers more ways to enjoy the outdoors.
Wall dividers offer a lot of storage room, as well as some privacy. The owners added some curtains to the glass so you can get some privacy from the neighbors.
The vertical wooden slats on the windows for the bathroom provide extra privacy and shading.
The floor plans show how open the plan of the room is, and how you do not need a lot of things to have a beautiful home.
Photos: David Matthiessen
When you live by the lake, you need to mix in the useful with the beautiful. This striking home made sure to do just that by doubling as a boathouse.
Located in Lake Joseph, Ontario, this one-story wood-clad home by Akb Architects, is absolutely stunning, blending in with the surroundings. Douglas Fir timbers, cedar and torrified ash were the main materials used for construction.
With its own dock area, the house makes it easy to jump in for a swim or take off in your boat.
The house is made out of three pods which encompass four bedrooms, four baths, and a huge common living area. The boathouse is set at water level, offering this home that something “extra.”
Inside, the home features more wood paneling on the walls, while the floors are made of stone. It’s all built not just for beauty, but also for functionality, as the home needs to withstand the harsh seasons in Ontario.
Beautiful spot to admire nature and perhaps read a book or enjoy a cup of coffee, no matter the season.
The vast living room features a full kitchen and minimal furniture. Yet, it’s enough to entertain lots of people.
The bedroom also features floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering views to the surrounding property.
The rocky outside make for an impressive view from this particular spot.
You can notice the separate pods of the house here, and how well it blends in with the surrounding nature.
The living area allows residents to huddle up around the fire as they cozy up on the couches.
Photographer: Shai Gil
By Gabriela Vatu • Mar 25, 2021
In the heart of Hanoi, Vietnam, lies the Eurowindow building, a fabulous tower with glass windows that’s full of little gems like this eye-catching apartment.
Originally built with a different layout, the owner wanted something different, something with a little bit more flow, something that allows for more enjoyment of the main area of the apartment while also making room for plenty of privacy.
Designed by the architects at DaoHo Studio, this 146 square meters apartment start off with an entryway in muted colors and natural wood furniture.
The entryway gives way to the open space that encompasses the kitchen, dining, and living areas. The star feature of this space is the unique kitchen island in chrome shades. Off to the side, the spacious dining table is simple yet impressive.
We have a small bedroom behind the kitchen, and another lies to the right side of it.
The room has a unique flor to it, especially given the large open space area. The floor to ceilings windows also allow lots of natural light, while the white curtains provide some privacy.
The bedrooms have all they need – storage room, a comfy bed, lots of light, and privacy.
The master bedroom is the special area where it’s clear that the owner put a lot of time and effort in. The bed is slightly up on a platform as the whole room dips.
The master bedroom features a massive master bathroom and a dressing area. The areas are perfectly split with a massive wall with this extremely interesting nook.
At night, the living area and the bedroom flow together beautifully, allowing lots of soft lights – nothing too bright.
The bathroom also features the same mirror motif we saw earlier, stylish black accessories, and muted tiling. The wooden elements in the show offer the room that little something extra.
A wonderful transformation that makes the most of the available space on this high-rise apartment in Hanoi.
By Gabriela Vatu • Mar 22, 2021
Perfectly nestled in the hills of Selfoss, Iceland, this holiday home is breathtaking. Private, environmentally-friendly, masterfully blended in with the surroundings, this home is inspiring.
Built in 2020 following plans by architects from Krads, this beautiful home covers 170 square meters. The home uses lots of wood and other natural materials as it seeks to take nothing away from the magnificent views of Lake Þingvallavatn.
Not only does the home use lots of wood paneling, but the roofs are also covered in local greeneries and moss.
Architects were careful to follow the local landscape, creating the house’s concrete foundation in three staggered planes that seek to imitate nature. This creates the wonderful slopes of the home in tandem with the hill.
The home’s insides are also filled with wooden paneling – on the walls, on the ceiling, and on there’s wood present in the floors too. Plus, the furniture perfectly blends it all together – simple, yet efficient.
In the living area, you can even take a dip while you take in the wonderful views of the lake.
This hallway also features a huge window which alows us to look into the terrace that overlooks mountains Jórutindur and Hátindur.
From higher up, you once more enjoy the view of the lake while relaxing with a cup of coffee or tea.
The living area is also breathtaking, while the muted colors of the furniture make it so nothing detracts from the floor to ceiling windows and the view it offers.
This may be a vacation home, but it could very well be one that you do not with to ever put an end to. The landscape was preserved as pristine as possible, making room for the home without disturibing the surroundings. Since you can easily stand on the roof here, it’s easy to see how architecture can be done right to allow the perfect balance between the needs of humans and those of nature.
Photographs Credit: Marino Thorlacius
By Stefan Gheorghe • Jan 21, 2021
Natural latex has become a popular material choice for organic mattresses, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s antibacterial, antifungal, and resistant to dust mites. It’s breathable, comfortable, soft and springy, but still provides the support you need to wake up feeling refreshed and not stiff or in pain. If you buy the right kind of natural latex mattress, you can avoid synthetic chemicals altogether and improve your family’s health in the long term. And, it lasts forever compared to conventional mattresses.
So, will you make your next mattress a latex mattress? Let’s take a closer look at why you might sleep better if you do so.
Latex Mattresses Are Healthier
You spend a third of your life in bed, and that’s really a conservative estimate that doesn’t account for weekend lie-ins or illness. So it’s understandable that you want to be sure your bed is a healthy, safe place to be.
Conventional mattresses often can’t provide that healthy, safe sleeping environment. That’s because they’re made with synthetic materials, like synthetic foams and rubbers, that have been found to off-gas volatile organic compounds (VoCs) into your home. That means that while you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep, or recover from a nasty flu, or stay on bed rest during a difficult pregnancy, you’re breathing in dangerous chemicals that could cause short- and long-term health problems.
The natural latex in latex mattresses is made from all-natural materials — specifically, it’s made from the sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. So the foam in your new organic latex mattress is made only with natural plant materials, and has no synthetic chemicals to release. When you’re shopping for a latex mattress, look for the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) seal of approval, which signifies that the latex is at least 95 percent organic in origin, and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) seal of approval, which speaks to the sourcing of the cotton and other textiles in the mattress. GOTS recognizes two standards: “made with organic,” which means the textiles are at least 70 percent organic, and “organic” which means that they’re at least 95 percent organic.
Of course, it’s not just the chemicals you have to worry about with a conventional mattress. Conventional mattresses are also more amenable to the proliferation of dust mites, bacteria, and molds and mildew inside the mattress. Natural latex is naturally resistant to dust mites, mold, mildew, and bacteria growth. So, between your natural latex mattress and your mattress protector, you can sleep soundly knowing that you’re not resting in years of accumulating dust mites and bacteria (dead and alive) and their waste products, some of which have been found to trigger allergies in humans.
They’re Comfortable, Supportive, and Breathable
If you’re looking at foam mattresses, you’re probably in the market for a mattress that relieves back and joint pain by providing better support for painful pressure points while you sleep. Latex mattresses are extremely comfortable because they’re springy and soft, but firm enough to provide support for the spine and joints. You’ll sink into the mattress, but still feel supportive, and wake up feeling well-rested and without pain.
Latex mattresses have a reputation for sleeping hot, but that’s often undeserved. For one thing, many so-called latex mattresses on the market are actually made with synthetic latex, which does sleep hotter than natural latex. Natural latex has an open-cell structure that makes it breathable, and additional pin holes are added to the foam during molding to improve the foam’s breathability. Choose a latex mattress with a breathable, organic cotton cover to help regulate your sleeping temperature.
Latex Is the Most Sustainable Mattress Material You Can Buy
When it comes to sustainable mattress materials, latex is the final word. It’s made from tree sap, and the rubber trees need to be carefully stewarded so that rubber farmers can continue to make a living from their product. Harvesting the sap doesn’t kill or harm the trees, but in fact they need to be kept alive and in good health in order to produce. So buying natural, organic latex encourages sustainable farming practices, and the latex itself is an all-natural, chemical free product.
Once you’ve slept a few nights on your new latex mattress, you’ll wonder how you ever managed with your old, conventional inner-spring bed. Latex mattresses are healthy, sustainable, comfortable, and supportive — they’re the perfect choice for your bedroom.
In recent years, many households have started thinking about their respective carbon footprints. With climate change ravaging the globe and its effects becoming impossible to ignore, a growing number of families have begun taking active measures against needless energy use. As the primary dining and congregation area in many homes, the kitchen consumes a fair amount of unnecessary power and resources. So, if you’re currently mulling a kitchen remodel, you’d be wise to make energy-efficiency one of your top priorities. When setting out to create a greener kitchen, the following tips are sure to serve you well.
Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
Your kitchen is home to many of your household’s most essential appliances. From refrigerators to dishwashers to ovens, the kitchen is essentially a collection of appliances that no modern household can live without. Unsurprisingly, these devices can also account for a large portion of your monthly energy costs. So, in the interest of reducing your family’s carbon footprint and keeping your power bills in check, consider making the switch to energy-efficient appliances.
As the name suggests, these appliances are designed to use as little power as possible while performing their respective functions as efficiently as possible. Upon upgrading, you’re likely to see a noticeable decrease in your power bills. However, since energy-efficient appliances often come with higher price tags than traditional ones, many homeowners are hesitant to make the jump. While it’s true that the upfront cost is higher, the amount energy-efficient appliances will save you in the long run should prove well worth the additional expense. As an added bonus, high-end energy-efficient appliances stand to boost the resale value of your home.
Purchase a Home Warranty
Replacing major appliances prematurely can be frustrating on a number of fronts. For starters, these devices should be viewed as long-term investments, and the earlier they kick the bucket, the lower the ROI. Additionally, since high-end appliances don’t come cheap, replacing them well before they’ve completed their expected lifespans represents a considerable expense for most households. In many cases, appliances break down as a result of homeowners allowing small issues to become much larger ones. Since they want to avoid spending money on repairs, a “wait and see” approach is often favored over calling in the pros. Given how expensive major appliance repair can be, not wanting to spend money on them is understandable – but ill-advised. The longer a newly-emerged issue is allowed to linger, the more likely it is to get worse.
Anyone looking to alleviate massive economic anxiety in response to major appliance problems should consider investing in a dependable home warranty. The right home warranty will provide comprehensive coverage for your kitchen’s most important appliances and help you avoid making a dent in your savings every time an essential device requires repairs. Fortunately for savings-conscious households, home warranty cost is readily affordable on virtually any budget.
Install Low-Flow Faucets
To call most kitchens prime spots for unnecessary water usage would be an understatement. When cleaning dishes, washing our hands and carrying out other essential tasks with kitchen faucets, many of us inadvertently waste a fair amount of water. This is where low-flow faucets are likely to come in handy. These faucets can help reduce water use in your household by up to 50% and save you a bundle in water costs each year. Best of all, it only takes a couple of fixtures to start making a considerable difference. So, whether you’re actively looking to upgrade your faucets or you simply wish to conserve water, you can’t go wrong with high-quality low-flow faucets.
These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find an area that hasn’t been affected by climate change in one way or another. Even people who were once staunch global warming deniers have begun to see the writing on the wall in recent years. Although it doesn’t receive nearly as much media attention as it warrants, climate change is arguably the most important issue of our time. Fortunately, many households have taken notice of this fact and are actively striving to reduce their environmental impact. When looking for areas of your home that could stand to be more energy-efficient, you’d do well to start in the kitchen.