Finding Opportunities for Real Estate Development

People often think that in order to be a real estate developer you have to stick a shovel in the ground. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What land developers do is make some change to the real estate that will increase its value. Real estate development potential exists where the parcel can be transformed in some way so that it will appeal to more types of buyers. Two of the cardinal rules in the land development business are that the value of land is always relative to how (or if) the property can be used, and the value of the land parcel increases when the property can be used by either more buyers or additional categories of buyers.

In reality, opportunities for real estate development are all around you because there are several ways of developing land that don’t involve building. It is true that sometimes development through change involves building, such as modifying an existing structure or demolishing it and building a new one. But many more real estate development opportunities exist where the change to the property is invisible.

For example, suppose you find a residential property located on a street that takes a lot of traffic. The appeal (and therefore, the value) of the parcel is limited because the only potential buyers are people who wouldn’t object to living in a house on a busy street. Chances are, the highest and best use of this property is something other than straight residential. So you would want to determine if there were alternative uses possible to expand the market for this property and increase its value. How would you find this out?

The first thing you should do is determine what uses of the property are allowed under the current zoning by reviewing the zoning map and ordinance available at the municipal office. Once you locate the property on the zoning map, you will see what zoning district the property is in. Then you would read the provisions in the zoning ordinance for that district. These would deal with several issues: uses permitted “by right” (meaning that no use approval is necessary), special uses permitted only when approval is given by a municipal board, and dimensional requirements, such as the minimum lot size and width, building setbacks and the height of structures. (You should review the entire ordinance because there may be other provisions elsewhere in the book that would also apply to the property.)

The particular zoning classification might permit single-family detached houses on the specified lot size by right. But it might also allow the property to be used as a school, church, or day care facility when authorized by the municipality so long as the property satisfied some specific conditions. These might require that the total land area of the parcel be a certain minimum size (e.g., at least 10 acres), the property be serviced by public utilities, or that the building and paved areas not exceed a certain percentage of the total land square footage of the parcel.

Next you would review the municipality’s comprehensive or master land use plan. This document might say, for instance, that the local government wanted to encourage professional office uses in the area where your property was located. This would indicate that the municipality might be open to either a change of the zoning classification for the property or allow it to be used for professional office by granting a “use variance.” A variance does not change the underlying zoning classification of a property, but essentially permits the property to “violate” some provision of the zoning. In this case, a use variance would allow the property to be used for something other than a single family detached home, church, school or day care. However, the municipality would likely impose some conditions and restrictions in exchange for the variance, such as preservation of the existing structure or limitations on the total amount of building square footage that could be built.

If you could develop this property by getting a change of use approved, the property would certainly be worth more than as a home. You could then sell it to buyers who wanted to construct an office building to either lease out the space or sell the property once the office facility was completed.

New Home Interior Design – Plan Ahead

By failing to plan properly well ahead of time for your new home interior design, you could end up feeling too overwhelmed with other work to actually plan out how you want your new home to look. In addition, by the time all your belongings are moved into the new home, planning for the new home interior design will be close to impossible with all the clutter lying about.

Getting Started

When planning for your new home interior design, begin first by spending time in your new home and taking a good look around. Keep in mind that it is much easier to plan for a new home interior design when the house is still empty and bare. Visit your new house at least twice before you begin to lay out plans for your interior design.

Make sure that you visit at least once in the morning to see how the light plays around the rooms during the early morning. Then visit again in the afternoon to see how the rooms look and feel in the afternoon light. Remember that your new home interior design will work better if it is designed to harmonize with the light to achieve that warm, sunny and homey feeling.

When visiting your new home, take along a sketch pad and pencil with you. Never mind if you cannot paint or draw. What is really important here is that you note down all of the important parts of the house and then take the time to plan out what you will do with it. For instance, you will want to get the dimension and shape of the living room.

You will be taking measurements for drapes and window coverings. And if you intend to buy new furniture, you need to select pieces that will not look overly large for the space nor make the area look crowded. By jotting down the exact size and shape of the room and home interior design, you will be able to determine the types of furniture and fixtures needed in order to make that room look like your own, containing your own special touch.

Home Interior Design Tips on Decorating Your Space With Wall Art

How to Decorate your Space with Wall Pictures

If a room in your house lacks character, by simply placing some fine art prints on the walls can actually make quite an impact. Wall pictures are a necessary accessory in your home and are great to tie in with the room’s style and color accent. Before you go off to buy some new pictures for your walls there are a few things you need to plan and decide upon. Here is a home interior design guide on how to decorate your space with wall art.

Shop for Wall Art by Room

The kind of home you have and the mood, ambience and style of decor you create, should be perfectly designed to suit your lifestyle. Deciding on a style for your room should be determined by the lifestyle you choose and not by what’s the latest home interior design trend.

Whichever room you are wanting to decorate, whether it be your bedroom, living area, kitchen or office space, you need to decide what you want to get out of that space. For example:

  • do you want to hold dinner parties or entertain?
  • do you want a quiet retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle?
  • Is this an area for the kids to play in?
  • Is this a room for your hobby?

Once you have decided what you want to use the room for, you can now choose a color theme to suit the function of the room. For example, mellow greens and neutrals for your ‘quiet retreat room’, lively yellow for the kids room, or pale tranquil blue for your office space.

So far we have established the function and color of the room in question, this then gives us the basis on choosing the right art prints for the area.

For example:

  • bright colorful cartoon pictures for the kids room
  • mellow pastel floral pictures for your quiet retreat area, or
  • tranquil landscape and scenic pictures for your office space

Choose your Style

Like paint color, artwork can immediately establish or change a room’s mood. Not only can it pull the room together, but you can use it to create a style uniquely your own.

  • traditional & classic
  • modern
  • contemporary
  • fun & entertaining
  • casual
  • romantic

The style of the room is totally dependent on your own personal taste and this is the time when you can inject your own personality into the room through artwork and textured accessories.

Suggested art picture styles:

Fun & Entertaining: Pictures can include bright colors both in the print and on the frame. Fun and entertaining pictures can include kittens and puppies, or comedian actors such as the Three Stooges or Laurel & Hardy.

Modern: With the strong black accents in the framed iron-work and the tapestries, striking black and white photos are a natural choice for a modern and sophisticated look.

Calm Retreat: To reinforce the mood of a nestled, cozy retreat, use artwork with neutral, earthy colors and a horizontal landscape subject.

You can even mix and match different styles to create a unique style of your own. For example, frame traditional black and white photo prints in a modern black iron frame.

Arranging and Hanging your Pictures

In order to get the maximum effect of your wall pictures in terms of adding character and a focal point to the room, you need to decide where and how you want to hang them.

Here are some suggestions to help you decide how to get the best effects from your pictures:-

Modern Gallery Look: To create a modern art gallery feel, particularly nice in hallways, lobbies and stairwells, give each piece ample breathing room. Stand at the center of the first piece and take one swift, or two small steps along the wall. This is a good center for the next piece.

Above a Sofa: When placing art above furniture such as a sofa, you need to hang the picture about six to nine inches above the sofa, or at eye level.

Cluster Arrangements: Tightly group an even number of pictures together to give a statement or a focal point. This works on either large or small wall spaces, depending on the look you want.

In a row: By placing an odd number of pictures in a horizontal line to each other gives balance and the sense of space. This works well in hallways or stairwells.

By deciding where and how to hang your pictures, whether it be a tight cluster or a single print above a sofa, you can then determine the size and shape of the pictures you need to buy.

When you have decided on the room’s function, color and style, you are in a much better position to go shopping for wall pictures that fit in with the overall theme.

Summary

Wall pictures are an underestimated home interior design accessory. This is probably because most people do not know what to do with their pictures in order to get the maximum effect in a room. Before you go hanging up your pictures make sure you plan ahead what you want to get out of that room. Decide on the function, style and color of the room first before you buy your artwork. By doing this you are in a much better position to buy the right type of art picture to fit in with the theme and color accent of your room.