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Differences Between Buying a Condominium and Renting an Apartment

When selecting a place in which to stay, people have to look at all the options available. There are houses, apartments, townhouses, and condominiums. Each one can be more suitable for a given person’s situation than the others. An apartment rental, for instance, presents a world of difference from a house. A Manila condo is also very different from an apartment or house. These details can be just as crucial as location, accessibility, and price when selecting a place to call home. Understanding these differences can make it easier for someone to make an informed choice on what to buy or rent.

An apartment is essentially space in a building that is rented from the owner. This involves monthly fees that may include basic utilities, depending on the terms of the agreement. The apartment rental terms entitle the tenant to use of the common facilities of the apartment complex, as well as a number of rights to the use of their own rented space. Unlike a Manila condo, an apartment is not the tenant’s property. There are varying degrees of freedom with regards to renovation rights, but for the most part, tenants are not allowed to make any major changes to an apartment. Apartments are also much less costly in the long-term than townhouses or condominiums.

People who buy a condominium may quickly realize that it shares many similarities with an apartment. Indeed, just like an apartment rental, the living space is within a building complex that houses similar units. Both also allow for the use of a number of common facilities in the building, as well as common areas. The primary difference is in ownership. The unit becomes the property of the tenant, rather than the developer. However, while they are free to make changes as they see fit, these renovations must first be agreed upon by the other tenants in the association. Maintenance, security, and luxury costs are also split between the people living in a condominium, as opposed to being handled solely by the owner of the building, as in the case of an apartment rental.

A third option is the townhouse. Those who want a Manila townhouse can feel secure in owning both the physical structure itself and the land upon which it rests. This is in contrast to a condo, where the land still remains the property of the developer. Like an apartment or condo unit, a townhouse allows its owners limited use of common luxury areas along with other members of the association. The new homeowner still must pay for the utilities and still has his share of other fees to keep in mind. The main benefit is that the new owner is free to make any changes to their townhouse as he sees fit without having to consult the members of the association for approval. The only limitation is that the renovations do not cause changes or damage to adjacent properties.

All three of these potential properties have similarities and differences. These can make one option more appealing than the other for certain situations. An apartment rental may be more suitable for someone with a limited long-term budget, but a townhouse is more family-friendly. Take into account what the situation warrants and what resources are available to make the best decision.

Your House Number Numerology Profoundly Influences All Aspects of Your Life

Are you planning to move house soon? Or relocating to a new city? Or hunting for an investment property? Are you undecided about which house to choose? Then let numerology be your guide. Your house, apartment or unit number interacts with the frequency of your own personal numerology to determine whether you live in harmony or discord. Your lifestyle and personality traits are affected by the vibrations set up by particular house numbers.

Love, relationships, health, money, happiness and general abundance aspects of your life are all impacted by your house number. The experiences you will have in your home can be predicted by your house number – the good, the bad and everything in between. While no one house number is best or worse, there are numbers you should try to avoid in a home address. House numbers can be interpreted and tell of opportunities and challenges as they relate to your personal life, be they in your personality or life path.

The numerological transformation of house numbers is straight forward. Indeed there are many online calculators and resources giving general numerological meanings of the nine base house numbers. However, the real skill lays in the psychic reading and interpretation of your house’s number. To transform your house or apartment number, take the individual digits and add them. Then keep repeating this process until you arrive at a single digit. This is then your house’s special number. For example, say your home number is 672. First add 6+7+2 to get 15. Then add 1+5 to get your base number of SIX. Often units and apartments have more than one number (for example Unit 272, Number 87 Happy Road). The more unique number is the most important, in our example, the unit number ’272′ – but your numerologist will be interested in both.

Business and work place addresses work the same way as house and apartment numbers. Ask your numerologist to figure out your house number and also to look at your work place number for its meaning to build a more complete picture of your numerology.

Even though the mechanics of determining a dwelling’s base number are reasonably easy, it takes a gifted and well practiced numerologist to interpret this number and determine the interactions with your personal life stage numerology.

What happens if my numerologist doesn’t like my house number? Do I have to move? Well not necessarily, as with anything there are degrees of harmony between you and your house or apartment number. It is more a case of being aware of dissonance and compatibilities between your house and you. Your numerologist may recommend adding a complimentary number to the inside of your front door or letter box to modify the house’s base number and restore harmony.

Eventually, you will move into another phase of your life when the incompatibility will go away anyway. For example, if you are young, single and carefree you may be best suited to a house with a base number of THREE. Later, when you have settled and growing a young family you may be more interested in security which can be found in houses with a base number of FOUR.

Better still, if possible get you numerologist to examine your potential house street number before you buy or lease the house in the first place. If all else fails you can of course move house to find a more compatible house number, but this should be last resort. Bear in mind that some house numbers are harder to sell than others. Selling a FOUR house can sometimes be problematic. The natural extension of this last point is that house number numerology has a big impact on property investment. Also, if the house or unit is an investment property, you need to consider the impact of the numerology of the house number on the potential tenants. Are they going to be compatible with the dwelling and live there happily?

I hope you can see now that the number of where you live interacts with your own personal numerology to impact on the all aspects of you life. If you are looking for a new house to buy or apartment to rent then consider the numerological implications of the house, apartment or unit number. And don’t forget that even if you’re house numerology in not favorable – all is not lost. There are things an expert numerologist can recommend to neutralize and overcome the negative connotations of your house’s street number to reinstate harmony in the dwelling. While it is a simple arithmetic task to calculate your house’s base number, it takes a gifted and professional numerologist to decipher the interactions between your own personal numerology and that of your place of abode.

My name is Roz Huxtable. I have been practicing Numerology for over thirty years. I practice the advanced Egyptian Numerology system of birth date and name chart analysis and reading. My readings have proven to be profoundly accurate and have greatly enhanced the lives of many people. Using Egyptian Numerology I can help you understand your own unique self and your role in this World.

Everything You Need to Know About Section 8 Housing

For years, you’ve worked persistently for long hours yet your pay is just not enough to take care of your expenses. Health care, utilities and rising food prices are barely covered by your wage. Pretty soon, your take-home pay won’t be able to keep up with your family’s growing expenses.

This distressing scenario plagues millions of American families today. Their salaries just can’t be stretched enough to adequately provide for housing expenses. If you are a legal United States resident and don’t earn enough money to cover rent or mortgage payments, you may want to consider applying for the federal government’s Housing Voucher Program, which is also referred to as section 8.

What is Section 8?

The Housing Act of 1937 provided for financial aid to be paid by the federal government to local housing agencies or LHAs to make the living conditions of low-wage earning families better. Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937, usually just referred to as Section 8, mandates the payment of federal housing assistance to landlords for the benefit of about 3.1 million families with low income. It makes housing assistance possible through various programs, with the Housing Choice Voucher program being the largest, which subsidizes most of the rent and utilities payments of about 2.1 million families.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manages and funds the Section 8 programs. There are about 2,400 public housing agencies (PHAs) that administer the program locally.

A Brief History of Section 8

Section 8 housing had its beginning during the Great Depression. The passing of the U.S. Housing Act by Congress constituted the start of federal housing assistance in the country. It furnished the money to build quality yet affordable low income housing apartments for financially-challenged wage earners. These units are administered and maintained by local authorities.

The U.S. Housing Act was revised in 1961 to give way to the Section 23 Leased Housing Program which allowed low-income earners to take up residence in private low income housing apartments leased by local authorities. Tenants agree to pay a certain percentage of the rent, while the difference between the tenant’s payment and what the landlord would have normally received in the open market. Building maintenance were also performed by the local housing authorities.

In 1974, the Act underwent another revision which provided for the creation of Section 8. Rather than build and manage public housing, it aimed to assist low-earning tenants who were allotting the greater part of their earnings on rent payment. Federal funds were now used to pay a portion of the rent in housing units chosen by the renters on the open market. Since then, several more legislations were passed to amend and refine the Section 8 program.

The Critical Need for Housing Assistance

The 2005 HUD report to Congress stated that the almost 6 million renter families in the country who don’t benefit from public housing assistance suffer from worst housing needs. A huge bulk of these families have undergone “severe rent burden” which HUD describes as paying in excess of 50% of the wage-earners income for rent. Other households made their homes in second-rate buildings.

Groups being given priority by Section 8 are composed of low-income households with children, senior citizens and handicapped individuals. Likewise, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have a Section 8 program called the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) which distributes a number of housing vouchers to qualified homeless U.S. armed forces veterans.

The Housing Voucher Program

The main Section 8 program is currently engaged in the housing voucher program. Housing choice vouchers are locally distributed and managed by public housing agencies or PHAs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provide federal funds to these PHAs to manage the voucher program.

A voucher can be project-based which means its use is confined to a particular apartment complex. PHAs may appropriate up to 20% of their vouchers for this. A voucher can also be tenant-based where the tenant can freely choose any housing that passes the criteria of the program and is not restricted to units within subsidized housing projects.

The tenant may choose to rent a housing unit in the private sector, is not confined to any particular apartment complexes, and can choose to live anywhere in the U.S as long as the total rent meets the standards established by HUD. This can include living in Puerto Rico which has a Section 8 program managed by a public housing agency.

Under the housing voucher program, households or individuals who are eligible for Section 8 funding are given a voucher which allows them to find and rent a unit where they will be responsible for paying 30% of the rent. The housing voucher will pay for the remaining 70% of rent and utilities.

Most families pay for section 8 housing using 30% of their adjusted income, which is a family’s total earning less the deductions for dependents below 18 years old, senior citizens, handicapped individuals, full-time students, as well as medical expenses and disability assistance.

The voucher program is currently subsidizing the rent payment for nearly 2.1 million households in the United States. What’s more, these vouchers can be used at times by low income households to pay the mortgage or purchase a house.

Prioritization of Housing Voucher

In many instances, your local public housing agency will receive more applications than it can afford to approve vouchers for, and will as a result create a waiting list of applicants. PHAs can move certain applications forward or put them way back of the waiting list, and may choose to grant priority to households who are presently without a home or are residing in second-rate housing, wage-earners who spend more than half their income in rent, or individuals who are displaced against their will. Know more about prioritizing by inquiring at your local public housing agency office.

Since section 8 isn’t actually an entitlement benefit, people who become eligible for a housing voucher cannot be 100% sure that they’ll get one. According to the latest figures, only 1 out of about 4 households who qualify for housing assistance receive it. Waiting lists can take long to be processed. In several places, eligible applicants fiercely compete with other applicants for vouchers. Due to the huge volume of demand, some LHAs have entirely ceased taking in applications.

For instance, in New York where rents are exorbitant and oftentimes beyond reach of low-income earners, many households set their sights on section 8 vouchers. Today, as the country teeters toward the reality of the sequestration cuts to the federal budget, it seems that New York City may miss out on up to 6,000 section 8 vouchers that were intended to be made available this year.

In Chicago, more than 2,300 households are on the waiting list. Recipients are picked out of the list by a lottery held every month. Only when the list is exhausted will the application process resume.

Requirements to Qualify for Rent Assistance

Putting these realities on one side, if you belong to a low-income bracket and you require rent subsidy or other support provided by the voucher program, you first need to make sure that you have what is financially required to qualify for Section 8 housing. Whether you qualify or not is dependent on certain factors which include your total household income, how much rent you are paying, the members of your household, the average income in your locality, and your assets.

Income requirements differ from place to place, but as a rule you will need to have a total household earning of not more than 50% of the average income in your locality. The program is open to all U.S. citizens and people with legal immigration status.

Another criterion is the number of your household members. Your Section 8 income limit gets lower as the members of your household gets fewer.

Other factors are also put under consideration by HUD and its local agencies when checking an applicant’s qualifications. Generally taken into consideration are homelessness and other factors that are linked to a particular location like involvement in a local welfare-to-work program. Other criteria that may help you get considered for assistance are:

presently living in a homeless shelter
working over 42 hours each week
being a veteran of the U.S. Armed Services (widow or widower)
suffering from disability
being a senior citizen 62 years old and over
having children

LHAs should also give priority to very low-income households whose total earnings don’t even amount to 30% of the average income in the area. 75% of the new applicants that get qualified for housing assistance each year must be near or at the lowest-income level.

If you think you have every reason to qualify for a housing voucher, you must go and get in touch with the public housing agency in your locality. You can get all the information you need on the HUD website including local office address, toll-free phone numbers, and email addresses.

Don’t get yourself fooled by professional con artists. There are fly-by-night agencies that will promise to help you to get all the Section 8 paperwork done for a certain fee. You can get all the help you need to apply for a housing voucher at no cost just by visiting your local public housing authority or your federal HUD office. Bear in mind that no person should ever ask you for money for a low income housing assistance application. Anyone who charges you for a voucher or an application can be arrested for fraud.

Obligations

Since a public housing authority approves the housing unit of a qualified household, the landlord and the family head sign a lease agreement. At the same time, the PHA and the landlord sign a contract for housing assistance payments that will run concurrently with the lease. This demonstrates that the PHA, the landlord and the tenant all have roles and obligations they must fulfill under the program.

1. Tenant

Expect some delays before you receive the final decision on your application. Many applicants can be on the section 8 housing waiting lists for months, or possibly even years.

If your application gets approved by the local PHA and you have received a housing voucher, you have to be absolutely sure that your present or future living situation meets HUD safety and health requirements. If you are renting, you’ll be asked to sign a one-year lease with a willing landlord who will be obliged to provide you with safe quality housing and fair rent.

The landlord may require the tenant to pay a security deposit. After the first year, the landlord can draw up a lease renewal contract or allow the household to reside in the unit on a monthly lease.

Know how much rent you’ll be paying. Section 8 housing requires you and your household to pay 30 percent of your monthly adjusted gross income on rent and utilities. The voucher you received will cover the rest of the cost. Visit your local PHA if you need help in determining how much you need to allocate each month.

When the household has moved into the new home, each member is expected to abide by the lease and program rules, keep the housing unit in good condition, pay the percentage of rent promptly, and inform the PHA of any changes in family composition or income status.

If you need to, you can move to another area without losing your eligibility to Section 8 housing. Just be sure to inform your local PHA ahead of time, terminate your lease according to its provisions, and look for another housing that will comply with HUD safety and health criteria.

2. Landlord

The landlord’s responsibility in the voucher program is to provide tenants with a suitable, sanitary and clean low income housing unit with a fair rent. The living space must meet the HUD’s housing quality criteria and must be kept up to those criteria for as long as the landlord receives housing assistance payments. What’s more, the property owner will extend the services that were agreed upon as was mentioned in the lease signed with the tenant and the contract signed with the public housing authorities.

The landlord cannot charge the tenant any extra money except that of the reasonable rent and cannot accept any amount of payment that is outside the contract.

Although required to follow fair housing laws, landlords are of no obligations to take part in the housing voucher program. Therefore, some landlords can refuse to accept Section 8 tenants. This may be due to several reasons such as:

Not desiring the government to get involved in the landlord’s business, as in conducting a full inspection by government workers of the premises for HUD’s housing quality standards and the probable redress that may follow.
Concern that the tenant or members of the household will fail to keep proper maintenance of the unit.
Finding that the program’s rent price is below the landlord’s expectation.
Not willing to take matters to court to evict a tenant. According to HUD requirements, judicial action is required to evict section 8 tenants, even if there were other legal procedures allowed.
Depending on state laws, it may be against the law to refuse to accept a tenant just because they have Section 8. Landlords have only past eviction, credit, criminal history and other general means of disqualifying a potential tenant.

Other landlords, however, seem to have no beef against accepting Section 8 tenants. This could be because of:

The long waiting list can provide a vast reserve of potential tenants.
Generally on-time payments sent by the PHA for its share of the rent.
Tenants are motivated to take care of the low income housing unit to avoid paying for damaged property. Owing a previous landlord money can be ground for a tenant to be disqualified from the program.

3. Public Housing Authority

The public housing program manages the voucher program locally. It provides a qualified household with housing subsidy that allows the family to look for a decent housing unit. The PHA signs a contract with the landlord promising to provide regular housing assistance payments for and on behalf of the tenants.

Should the landlord fail to comply with their lease contract obligations, the PHA can immediately discontinue sending assistance payments. The PHA will re-assess the household’s income and composition for any changes at least once a year and must conduct an annual ocular inspection of each unit to make sure that it complies with HUD quality standards.

Research appears to suggest that the section 8 program has yielded a lot of happy and productive results. It helps millions of households live above poverty level, have more money to spend on food and health care instead of rent, and improve their quality of life. It has helped families to move into safer neighborhoods and has reduced the number of homeless people. As a result, it has also lowered the incidences of anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional problems.

Apartment Bathtub Refinishing – Apartment Bathtub Re-Glazing in a Recession

Apartment bathtub refinishing or apartments bathtub reglazing is saving apartment owners and property managers money in their bathroom renovation. The bad economic climate is hampering owners from making the needed maintenance on their property including bathroom renovation. Although apartments have trailed the broader REIT sector so far this year, “we believe prospects for continued slowing growth and potential risk of a recession place further pressure on the multifamily sector,” according to reports to clients by UBS analysts.

The UBS report adds: “While we believe the housing fallout will be a net positive for apartments as defaulted owners become renters in the longer term … we see the dampening effect on fundamentals in the near term as the market digests this glut of housing.”

Apartment property managers and owners, like most of the country are feeling the recession and, when it comes to cutting costs, many owners and managers prefer to cut maintenance and renovations citing a tight budget. While many owners think they can save money by postponing bathroom renovation and other important maintenance, they are actually making their units less attractive to potential tenants. Those apartments that keep up with their maintenance will survive the competition and the recession.

Bathtub refinishing saves up to 80% of the cost of bathtub replacement.
Using bathtub refinishing, many property owners are saving up to 80% of the cost of a tub replacement since all work is done in the bathroom. By having all work done in the bathroom, there is no mess to going to the landfill. The refinishing process involves cleaning the old tub of soap scum. After the bathtub is cleaned of soap scum and grits, the surface is sanded to roughen up the surface so that a primer can bond to the surface. After a primer is applied, about two or three coats of top coat is applied. This gets the tub looking like new. The whole bathtub refinishing process takes about 5 to 6 hours to complete. The tub can be used the next day. The cost of refinishing a tub is $250 to $450.

On the other hand, bathtub replacement is an intense project. You may buy a new bathtub for less than $300.00, but it costs a lot more to remove the old bathtub and put in a new one. If the size of the old bathtub is not the same as the new one, the contractor will tear out the walls,(required), removing the existing tub, install a new tub, install vapor barrier, concrete backer under-layment, install new control valves and drain plumbing, including a shower stand pipe, and re-tile the walls. In addition, you need to be aware of any electrical wiring that could be behind the walls you are working with, and also be mindful of the plumbing therein. Importantly, it takes about a week or more to complete the renovation. Adding together all the sub-contractors to be paid, the cost of replacement can go up to $2000.00

Why bathtub refinishing is better than bathtub replacement:

o Save up to 80% over the cost of tub replacement and the mess of renovation
o Tubs look good in just days, not weeks.
o All work is guaranteed by trained and licensed professionals.
o Tub can last up to 15 years after they are refinished.

What fixtures can be refinished?

o Bathtubs
o Sinks
o Countertops
o Tiles on walls and floors.

If the recession is hampering your bathroom renovation, now is the time to consult a professional bathtub refinishing company to save you money and time. In fact, bathtub refinishing is your best green remodeling alternative to replacement.

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