Condos Minneapolis | Condominiums Minneapolis | Minneapolis Condo
December 2014

ICE Can Save Lives

December 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Everyone knows that ice can make a drink cool or reduce swelling, but if you put it on your cell phone, it might just save your life.

The concept is simple. Make a contact record in your address book with the name “ICE”, which stands for In Case of Emergency. In the note section of the record, you would list your name, blood type and medical conditions along with prescriptions and physicians. You’d also list the people and their phone numbers that can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Several years ago, a British first responder came up with the idea when his emergency unit responded to a call where the victim was unable to communicate due to illness or trauma. The victim’s wallet didn’t indicate specific persons to be notified in an emergency. The fireman went through his cell phone to try to identify a relative and wasn’t successful.

That’s when he came up with the idea of a universal entry into the address book for ICE where the necessary parties and special information could be kept. The story received a considerable amount of publicity and spread across the pond to the United States and into many other countries.

While it isn’t recognized everywhere, it is becoming increasingly more popular. Even if emergency technicians didn’t find it, the slight possibility that they would find it and it would make a difference would justify the few minutes it will take to create it. Click here to download a card to carry in your wallet or purse.



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Don’t Consider Appreciation or Tax Savings

December 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Appreciation and tax savings are legitimate contributors to an overall rate of return on rental real estate but what if you didn’t consider them at all. If you only looked at one or two, very conservative measurements, you might decide to invest especially knowing that there are more benefits that will accrue to your investment.

If we bought a property for cash, collected the rent and paid the expenses, the amount left would be called Net Operating Income. In the example below, if would generate $7,200 a year which would be a 7.02% cash on cash rate of return which is considerably higher than the current 10 year treasury rate of around 2.3%.

If we place a mortgage on that property, the rate of return actually increases due to leverage. After the principal and interest are paid, the net operating income obviously decreases but the cash on cash rate of return increases to 9.10% because the borrowed funds means less cash invested.

Another contribution to the investment’s rate of return occurs with the mortgage due to amortization: the principal reduces with each payment made which increase the investor’s equity. In this example, the equity build-up divided by the initial investment yields a 5.25% rate of return in the first year.

Single family home for rental purposes offer the investor high loan-to-value mortgages at fixed interest rates for long terms on appreciating assets with tax benefits, reasonable control and an opportunity to earn higher than normal rates of return. Call if you’d like to talk about what kind of rental opportunities are available.



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Being a Good Neighbor

December 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A good neighbor might be characterized as someone who’ll look after your home when you’re out of town by picking up your mail and watering your plants. You’d most likely reciprocate for anyone who’d be so generous toward you.

In some cases, you might only be able to name one or two of your neighbors who would step up to that level of service. Wouldn’t it be nice if more people on your street would be happy to make that offer?

The solution may just start with being a better neighbor first. The following suggestions go a long way to improving your neighborhood and making new friends at the same time.
• Meet your neighbors and exchange phone numbers and email addresses. Agree with each other that you’ll let them know if you see something strange going on at their home.
• Slow down when driving through the neighborhood; it will make it safer and everyone will appreciate it.
• Control your dog: keep it on a leash; pick up after it; don’t let it bark too much.
• Don’t park in front of your neighbor’s home.
• Notify your immediate neighbors when you’re having remodeling done and ask them to let you know if any of the contractors cause damage to their property.
• Let your neighbors know when you’re having a party and that there will be more cars on the street than usual.
• Maintain your home and yard so that it adds to the beauty of the neighborhood.
• Put your garbage out for collection on the correct day and bring the containers back in promptly.

In reality, it is fairly obvious; you just have to think of the things that you’d want from your neighbors. Be friendly; don’t be noisy; offer a helping hand when available and respect each other’s boundaries. Having a sense of community and that you all share the neighborhood can be underlying principles that will guide your behavior.

A good neighbor would be aware of suspicious activity and would call their neighbors and the police if warranted. This might be something you can discuss with your neighbors. Click here for a template to record your immediate neighbor’s contact information and keep readily available if needed.



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Condos Minneapolis | Condominiums Minneapolis | Minneapolis Condo