Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Efficiency Apartment

August 1, 2013

William asks…

How does real estate investment trusts work?

What are real estate investment trusts or REITs and how do they work. Is there some law that give these trust some tax efficiency status and how can investors invest in these REITs. With the real estate market in the US the way as it is, is it a good time to invest in the property market through real estate investment trusts. What kind of people manage these funds or trusts and what are their typical return on investments?

Administrator answers:

A REIT buy’s skyscrapers, shopping malls, apartment complexes, office buildings, or housing developments. Rather than investing directly in real estate, investors of REIT’s invest in a professionally managed portfolio of real estate.

REIT’s trade on the major exchanges, just like stocks. REIT’s make their money from the rental income, profits from the sale of the property and other services provided to the tenants. REIT’s also receive special tax considerations; they do not pay taxes as long as they pay out at least 90% of their net income to investors. Thus, successful REIT’s can offer investors high yields, current income, and moderate growth. But, while these tax considerations benefit the REIT, the investor still has to pay tax on the growth just like a share of stock.

There are several types of REIT’s:

There is a equity REIT. It’s main objective is buying, renovating, managing, maintaining, and selling real estate. This is the most common type.
There is the mortgage REIT. It makes loans or invests in existing mortgages.
Hybrid REIT’s do a combination of both.
Then there are UPREIT’s and DownREIT. These were developed in the early 90′s to provide tax benefits to their shareholders.

Advantages:

All REIT’s are governed by strict regulation. REIT shares are more liquid than investing directly in real estate. The REIT’s are professionally managed. Open up investment opportunities that may not be available to the average investor. Provide annual income. Disadvantages:
Supply and demand imbalance. Booms and busts can impact office space activity. Rising interest rates. This increases borrowing costs and impact bottom line. This could also slow down rentals and purchases if interest rates increase. Subject to risks associated with the general real estate market including possible declines in the value of real estate, decline in economic conditions, and possible lack of availability of mortgage funds. Use as a tax shelter is limited. REIT’s are not allowed to pass losses through to their investors. So, if the REIT loses money, you won’t be able to use the loss to offset other investment gains. Dividends paid from a REIT are taxable as income. A portion of a REIT dividend may be taxed an a lower capital gain rate. For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2003 and before January 1, 2011, qualifying dividends paid to individual shareholders from domestic corporations (and qualified foreign corporations) are taxed at long-term capital gains tax rates. For tax years prior to January 1, 2003, however, stock dividends were taxed at ordinary income tax rates, generally resulting in significantly more tax due. Absent further legislative action, stock dividends will again be taxed as ordinary income beginning in 2011.
Capital gain tax liability may occur when you sell your shares. If you sell the share for more than you bought it for. Just like stock.
When looking to invest in a REIT, you can do the same research as you would have done in researching a share of stock. Because they are publicly traded companies you can look at their earnings, both past performance and potential for future growth, dividend yield, payout ratio, and price-earnings ratio. By keeping an eye on the real estate market you may be able to detect certain shifts in the market, overbuilding, current buildings where office space is sitting empty, or where certain types of business are closing because of economic situations. This way you can more to another type of REIT that may work better in a certain kind of market.

You can go the Forbes magazine REIT gold list to see different REIT companies, what they are invested in, and what the performance is. Http://www.forbes.com/2008/02/20/reit-perfomance-grades-biz-cx_dp_0220reit_table.html

Carol asks…

How do I maintain my gsxf 600 in winter?

Hi, can anyone help or point me in the right direction? I have a gsxf 600. I live in a ground floor apartment,I have anchored it to the wall outside my window it is alarmed and data tagged and i intend to use it as much as is practice during the winter. What storage/ maintenance tips? I’m already keeping it under a blanket to absorb moisture then putting a storm proof cover on. Any help would be appreciated.
I will be using the bike to commute at least 3 times a week and to run the odd errand. Will I still need to remove battery?

Administrator answers:

1 the bike is alarmed… It uses the bikes battery to keep the small alarm battery topped up, removing the bikes battery will cause the alarm to continually sound until its internal battery is flat, so don’t remove the bikes battery.
2 the bike is outside… It is not in a controlled environment, the use of a domestic blanket will only retain the moisture around the bike and so it will encourage the corrosion process. Use only a proper soft lined bike cover or a moisture repellent under cover .
3 Fuel, tank should be kept as full as practical to prevent the formation of condensation in the tank which will cause the bike to run rough and the possibility of rust forming in the tank.
4 Run the bike regularly, for more than a few minutes, if you don’t run it long enough to annoy the neighbours then you are not running it long enough to charge the battery to the point of recovering from the demand of starting the engine. A 30 second starter turn takes approx 30 minutes of running to recharge. If you cant achieve this then invest in a battery maintainer. If you do not have access to a mains supply for a mains powered charger then you will need wall space for a minimum of a 5 WATT RMS solar panel, the little 1.5 watt peak output solar panels are not worth bothering with in weak winter sun ( though you could use a number of them in parallel)
5 maintain the tyres, use the main stand and get the wheels up off the ground, if you do not have access to bike stands use a suitable length of wood to prop the front frame to support the front wheel off the ground as well as keeping the back wheel off the ground, maintain tyre pressures as the change in temperature from the summer will effect the STP of the tyre and its internal pressure
6. If leaving the bike like this for a prolonged period use a suitable wooden wedge or a lever to push the brake calliper cylinders back into the callipers. Separate the brake pads from the disk to prevent them sticking. Remember to pump the brakes before riding to return braking efficiency. Rear drum brakes should be backed off by releasing the pull rod from the brake arm. Replace before use and adjust.
7. Adjust your riding style If you leave the bike parked up for any length of time over winter your perception will change. Think a little about what it was like to start all over again, this will avoid any return to biking woes and likely offs due to excess confidence

Lisa asks…

How Can I Stop My Window Air Conditioner From Dripping Water On The Outside?

I live in an apartment on the third floor and I just got a brand new air conditioner yesterday. We noticed that it started leaking outside and it was hitting our neighbors window who lived below us. It is very hot about 100 degrees and we need our air conditioner but we can’t have it dripping water on our neighbors’ window. I know that its normal for it to happen, but how can I stop it from dripping on their window or divert it someplace else. Thank you in advance.

Administrator answers:

Most window units have a drain that may be either plugged or a hose connection attached. You will notice a little bag that came (or should have come) with the unit that has these two parts in it. One is a little right-angle piece with a flange on on end and as serrated connector on the other. One is just a little plug about 3/4″ in diameter.

Install the latter on the outside of the unit. There is a hole for in the metal frame (usually on the bottom right of the outside as you face it – but this varies by makers). What happens in this case is that the condensate as it fills up the now blocked bottom pan of the unit is caught by the cooling fan and ‘flung’ over the hot condensing coil which (presumably) evaporates it rather than letting it drain. This is actually a designed function and even very slightly increases the overall efficiency of the unit by pulling heat off the coil. BUT – and there are several:

a) Condensate that does not evaporate or drain (standing water) can become a harborage for mold, mosquitoes or bacteria (Legionnaire’s Disease comes to mind), so you will have to put an inhibitor tablet into the unit several times per season to prevent this.

B) Standing water will increase the chances for corrosion on the sheet metal, the fan blades, the condensing coils and so forth. However, this is unlikely to be severe enough to greatly shorten the life of the unit anyway – assuming a +/- 8 year life-span.

C) You will have to clean your coils every season as small amounts of salts and dust will build up on them because of the water which will accumulate over a full season. This is good practice anyway so you may not see this as a disadvantage.

Or, you can use the right-angle connector and a few feet of plastic hose to direct the water away from your neighbor’s window. However, note that some municipalities prohibit AC drains onto public thoroughfares. And some actually enforce this. So you might check.

Jenny asks…

I found mold or mildew in my apartment. How bad is it to be around it?

My husband and I are not always home so we didn’t notice it before. I think its coming from the apartment upstairs. There is black mold inside and behind the top cabinet in our kitchen. It has a weird smell.. I’ve heard people get sick from inhaling this stuff

Administrator answers:

If it is black mold; Move if at all possible. If not here are some solutions that may will keep you safer.

Solution to Mold in the House from 5 hidden dangers.
Sorry yahoo wouldn’t let me copy the link so this was the best I could do. Don’t you just love the new! Improved! Yahoo

Use a non-ammonia cleaner or dishwashing soap and water to remove mold. Wear gloves, long sleeves, pants, eye protectors, and a respirator to protect yourself from spores. After cleaning the mold, use a HEPA (high efficiency particulate absorbing) vacuum or air cleaner to eliminate any mold spores in the air. For large areas, hire a professional cleaner. Discard carpet, drywall, insulation, and other items if they have been wet for more than two days.

Joseph asks…

What are eco friendly ways to save money around the house?

I am interested in hearing things that you do that not only save money for you (e.g. power bill), but are also great for the environment. For example, a few things that I do to knock down the energy bill and that are good for the enviro:

1- Turn off the A/C when I leave my apartment
2- Use a drying rack instead of the dryer for my clothes
3- Keep almost all lights turned off
4- Don’t leave appliances on

A few other random things that I do that help save me money and are good for the environment are things like catching the bus to school, recycling (hehe, although doesn’t really save me money), trying to minimize driving, taking showers instead of baths, and that’s about it. Any other things you do around your house to save on the money and help the environment?

Administrator answers:

Here is a list with something for everybody
Everybody is different with different lives here are a 101 Ways To Live More Ecologically,may be you find something that applies to you

1. Avoid disposable in favor of reusable
items.
2. Avoid drying rags in a clothes dryer.
3. Avoid power appliances when handpower works.
4. Avoid highly processed foods.
5. Avoid using styrofoam—it can’t be recycled.
6. Avoid watering driveways and sidewalks.
7. Be responsible and creative with leftover foods.
8. Buy in bulk goods to reduce wasted packaging.
9. Buy energy efficient electric appliances.
10. Buy foods without additives.
11. Buy foods without preservatives.
12. Buy food and goods from sources you trust
13. Buy large quantities to reduce shopping trips.
14. Buy living Christmas trees.
15. Buy locally grown food and produce.
16. Buy organic, pesticide-free foods.
17. Compost your food scraps.
18. Discover and protect watersheds in your area,
19. Don’t burn trash or other smoky materials.
20. Drain cooking grease onto paper bags, not paper towels.
21. Drive a fuel-efficient car.
22. Drive less: walk, bicycle, carpooland use public transportation.

23. Eat foods low on the food chain; avoid meat.
24. Eat more natural, nutritious foods.
25. Educate elected representatives on ecology.
26. Exercise regularly.
27. Explore and learn about your bioregion.
28. Grow your own food, even a small amount.
29. Hang dry some or all of your clothes.
30. Heat your home less and wear warmer clothes.
31. Heat your home more with renewable energies.
32. Hold a potluck dinner to discuss local ecology.
33. If you use a dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle.
34. Install a water-conserving device in your toilets.
35. Install a water-conserving showerhead.
36. Insulate your home to maximum efficiency.
37. Invest for social responsibility as well as profit.
38. Invest in solar power, where practical.
39. Invest in well-made, long-lived clothing.
40. Keep hazardous chemicals in safe containers.
41. Keep appliance motors well adjusted for efficiency.
42. Mend and repair rather than discard and replace.
43. Oppose meddling in ecological balance.
44. Oppose private development of special areas.
45. Oppose roadside use of defoliants.
46. Organize or join a neighborhood toy exchange.

47. Pick up litter along streets and highways.
48. Plant native trees and shrubs around your home.
49. Plant trees throughout your community.
50. Plant your living Christmas tree.
51. Practice preventive health care.
52. Practice responsible family planning.
53. Prepare only as much food as will be eaten.
54. Protect your favorite distinctive natural areas.
55. Purchase goods in reusable/recyclable containers.
56. Put a catalytic converter on your wood stove.
57. Put toxic substances out of reach of children.
58. Recycle aluminum.
59. Recycle glass.
60. Recycle newspaper.
61. Recycle old clothes.
62. Recycle plastic.
63. Recycle used motor oil.
64. Recycle your unneeded items.
65. Re-use paper bags.
66. Re-use plastic bags for storage and waste.
67. Save up for full loads in clothes washers.
68. Save up for full loads in dishwasher.
69. Shop by phone, then go pick up your purchases.
70. Speak out about your values in community groups.
71. Support efficient energy sources in your bioregion.
72. Support elected representatives on ecological issues.
73. Support energy conservation in your bioregion.

74. Support global ecological improvement efforts.
75. Support local credit unions.
76. Support local merchants before large chains.
77. Support neighborhood food cooperatives.
78. Support proper waste water and sewage treatment.
79. Support the cultural diversity in your bioregion.
80. Support the plants and animals in your community.
81. Take shorter showers.
82. Teach your children ecological wisdom.
83. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater.
84. Turn off the lights when not needed.
85. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
86. Use biodegradable soaps and detergents.
87. Use cloth diapers.
88. Use cloth table napkins.
89. Use less tapwater whenever possible.
90. Use non-toxic pest control.
91. Use only medications you trust/understand.
92. Use rags or towels instead of paper.
93. Use rechargeable batteries.
94. Use the second side of paper for scratch paper.
95. Use water from cooking vegetables to make soup.
96. Volunteer for work in a community garden.
97. Volunteer to maintain local parks and wilderness.
98. Wash clothes in cold water.
99. Wash dishes in still, not running water.
100. Weather-seal your home.
101. Work to unlearn poor ecological habits.

Http://www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/1996/ip960321…

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