Old Trends Becoming New Again in Today’s Home Interior Designs

Do you want to know about new home interior trends for 2009? Maybe you’re preparing your house for sale, having a new custom home built, relocating to a different office complex, or simply desire a change of scenery. There are a lot of different styles, themes, and tastes when it comes to interior design. Now that builders are offering their clients so many customizable options, there are some clear trends emerging. Open floor plans continue to be popular, along with energy efficient designs, and practical ideas that are tasteful.

Homes during the 1800s and into the early 1900s were special. Large family homes were actually designed to section off the house into separate distinct areas. For one example, the house would have servant’s quarters located on the bottom floor near the kitchen, while the family’s quarters were all located upstairs. Just off the parents’ master bath was an en-suite bathroom, while a powder room was located downstairs. Oftentimes, the children’s quarters were located down a hallway in their own separate area of the house, to allow the parents some degree of privacy and reprieve. There might have been a carriage house for guests or in-laws. This home interior trend is popular again for 2009, with two or three bedroom suites and extra bathrooms being more popular. Most buyers prefer that children’s bedrooms are on one side of the house while parents and in-law rooms reside on the other, allowing a space favorable for restful refuge. Located in an isolated part of the home are the secondary suites, usually 300 to 400 square feet in size and containing full bathrooms and occasionally sitting rooms.

Family spaces will continue to be popular through 2009, according to experts. Rear living, meaning that the family room and kitchen are located to the back of the house, is gaining in popularity. This allows the parents to prepare food and still keep an eye on the kids playing in the family room or entertain guests and still be able to take care of things in the kitchen. A lot of modern designs have less walls in common rooms with an “open concept” feel. Conjoining rooms with half walls are good for kitchens, dens, and dining rooms. Moreover, Americans began to adopt the European idea of outdoor living areas; so today we find houses with their own outside kitchens, pizza ovens, fire pits, chandeliers, artwork, and comfortable furniture on a covered patio.

Home interior designers usually look to create a sense of timelessness. Blue and greens are popular in rooms like bedrooms because they offer a calming feeling. As the center of the home, the kitchen often gets bright hues, from designers, like startling splashes of yellow, red, and orange. There is a lot of versatility in living rooms; you can go with dark and elegant or modern and white. Bath design often seeks to create the feel of a “home spa”, incorporating crystal blocks to allow light in, using rich browns accented with pastel colors and tiled flooring in relaxing shades. A custom design will pull all of the rooms together for a unified feeling.

The 4 Principles of Securing Real Estate Development Finance

Unless you’re one of a very privileged group of people and you do not need to seek Real Estate development finance, getting the cash you need is probably one of the most influential aspects of whether your real estate venture will succeed. That said, even if you don’t need to borrow money for a development, it usually makes business sense to borrow at least some of the cost anyway (that point is for a different article!).

Make no mistake, like all investment – real estate involves an element of risk to a lesser or greater degree. And like all businesses, risk should be managed. However, it could be said that ‘risk’ allows profit (or loss) to be made. If a real estate Investor or Developer has no appetite for risk, they may as well stuff their mattress with cash rather than putting it into Property. If there were no risk involved, wouldn’t everyone be a Property Speculator?

So it could be said that Risk is nothing to be intimidated by, but that it should be monitored so you don’t lose the shirt off your back (and with property, it’s possible to lose an awful lot of money in a short space of time if ridiculous mistakes are made). A philosophical attitude to this is quite important, because the truth of the current situation is that banks would really prefer the customer to shoulder as much of the business and project risk as possible. Let’s face it banks are in a powerful position, they have the money that the Developer wants…they call the shots. If you haven’t got the nerve to take on the risk, the bank will lend the money to another Developer who is prepared to take the risk.

I personally don’t think that this is a bad situation. It could be argued that the current/recent financial crisis who due in part, to excessive lending to people who should have been subject to greater scrutiny.

The 4 (very) basic rules to consider before approaching banks for Real Estate Development funding are:

1. Make sure you have access to people with experience! It is often said “never invest in anything you don’t truly understand”, if you are a novice Developer you should not be attempting to learn everything my your mistakes….they will be too costly. Speak to people with experience. The bank will insist upon you having good and regular access to appropriate professionals such as Architects, Structural Engineers, Realtors/Estate Agents or Building Surveyors.

2. Don’t expect to borrow too much against the project! As a general rule, a bank will expect you to put up at least 25% of the combined total of initial project purchase and build/development costs. You should also include a contingency fund of around 5-10% of the total build cost figure. It’s also a good idea to have enough working capital to be able to fund the initial stages of the individual build stages just until the bank releases funds in a staged-payment arrangement.

3. Don’t use a Limited Liability Company when you are starting out! The primary purpose of a LLC is to limit the personal risk of the company owner(s), this is not what the banks want to see. They will want to ‘facility’ to pursue you to recoup losses if it all goes wrong. This may sound dramatic, however I am talking worst-case-scenario! In reality, banks would far rather work with you to sort out problems than immediately enforcing their agreement covenants.

4. The CV of the individual Developer. When you begin to establish a good track-record in property development, the banks will tend to be far less nervous about lending you money. It’s never a good idea to take on a huge project that the banks knows will challenge you. It’s far better to gain experience by carrying out light work (such as modernisation and redecoration) rather looking for a substantial rebuilding project as one of your first attempts. ‘Easing yourself’ into the field of Property Development is the way all very successful professional developers have done it. It’s not a way of life that should be entered into on a whim; if a Developer gets in ‘above their head’, they are far less likely to continue in the field. Completing a Real Estate development is a very satisfying thing, it’s much more sensible to complete several ‘quick refurbishments’ than jumping straight into a substantial project requiring specialist structural work.

To conclude, banks are willing to lend at the moment. they have simply become more scrupulous with who they lend to. If you have prepared yourself properly to begin your venture (and you’re creditworthy), then you will find that the banks are far more likely to accommodate your requirements for Property Development Finance.

Real Estate Development – Applying For a Property Development Permit!

The development permit is one of the keys to a successful real estate development project. Problems getting a permit approved can cause major delays and result in increases in holding costs. We like to do everything possible to ensure in advance that our development application will be approved smoothly and quickly.

Once we secure control of a site, we assemble the project team that will design and document the proposed development in accordance with the requirements of the Local Authority, the design brief and development mix.

Depending on the complexity of the project, our real estate development consultant team usually consists of:

– Property Accountant
– Property Lawyer
– Architect
– Town/Land Planner
– Civil/Hydraulics/Structural Engineer
– Land Surveyor
– Landscape Architect
– Quantity Surveyor
– Finance Broker

Other possible team members, such as acoustic and traffic specialists, may also be required by the Local Authority to submit a detailed report with the Development Permit Application.

To minimise the risk of disputes, we create a written agreement with each consultant. The agreement we typically use describes, among other things, the basis on which fees are calculated, the fee structure and services to be provided at each stage and the method by which we agree for the consultant to proceed to the next stage.

The architect will draw up plans for submission to council (these aren’t the detailed plans required for construction) that fit in with the planning regulations and the local authorities development guidelines, using a contour survey prepared by the land surveyor. The town/land planner is often involved at this initial stage, providing advice on the overall planning policies of the Local Authority.

Today most architects use sophisticated 3-D CAD software to compile drawings as it allows for ‘virtual’ buildings to be created. This system has the added benefit of creating fly-throughs and 3D images (also useful for the sales process and submission to Council) as well as documentation of the building for the Development Permit Application and for Construction by the Building Contractor.

We normally tailor our designs and standard of finishes slightly above the requirements of our target market, so they stand out from other developments on the market. This way our projects have the potential to attract a premium rental and sale price plus it makes it a lot easier to sell, if we need to.

The Local Authority will assess the submitted Development Permit Application for its impact on the neighbours, local community and the environment, typically including:

– Privacy for neighbours
– Traffic generation
– Overshadowing of neighboursAdverse impacts on air, water, and noise levels
– Amount and type of waste the project will generate
– Other areas of concern include historic districts, parks, open space, trees, and wildlife habitats

If the consultants have all done their jobs well, most of these concerns will all be addressed to the satisfaction of the Local Authority within the development application, and approval should be given within a reasonable timeframe.

The actual development approval process will obviously vary between areas, and it is continually under legislative review, so up-to-date information should be obtained from the local authority and/or the Planning consultant on your RED Team.
After a Development Permit Application is lodged with the local consenting authority or Council it would typically follow something similar to the process below:

– Initial Review
– Expert Referral
– Advertising and Notification Period
– Assessment
– Outcome

Several factors can delay the development application consent process which can end up becoming costly to a property developer. Here are some of the most common assessment delays:

– insufficient information
– non-compliance with development rules
– poor designs creating unacceptable impact on the neighbourhood
– objections from neighbours or other groups
– unsatisfactory impacts on trees
– complexity of assessment reports
– external referral delays

It’s not necessarily the end of the process if Council has refused the development permit application. An experienced architect and planning consultant can greatly assist in challenging a planning decision.