Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Low Income Housing Projects

July 24, 2013

Helen asks…

Are there any grants available for low income families to help with housing?

My family and I are in desperate need of assistance.
We have a 21 month old daughter and are wanting to move back up to Indiana (currently we are living in KY with my mom and step dad which is proving to be a really bad situation.)

I am a full time college student and my husband has been laid off since April of 2009.

I can not afford to pay for some stupid website to “find” a grant.

Administrator answers:

There aren’t any grants, you have to work and pay for your own house.

In your situation the only housing assistance available would be homeless shelters, one for women and children, another for men.

In order to receive other housing, like a project or section 8 both you and that great provider you married have to be working at least 35 hours a week, each.

As you are a college student you can use student loans to pay for housing.

Ruth asks…

What kind of education do I need to be an architect?

What kind of college education. How many years? How difficult will this be? How much will I be payed? Oh and I have to ask will the salary be enough to buy a decent house and a new and old BMW M5? Old- $20-$50,000 New-$45-$85000. I am single so keep in mind this money is only to support me.

Administrator answers:

From the Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos038.htm

Median annual earnings of wage-and-salary architects were $64,150 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $49,780 and $83,450. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $39,420, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $104,970. Those just starting their internships can expect to earn considerably less.

Earnings of partners in established architectural firms may fluctuate because of changing business conditions. Some architects may have difficulty establishing their own practices and may go through a period when their expenses are greater than their income, requiring substantial financial resources.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

There are three main steps in becoming an architect. First is the attainment of a professional degree in architecture. Second is work experience through an internship, and third is licensure through the passing of the Architect Registration Exam.

Education and training.

In most States, the professional degree in architecture must be from one of the 114 schools of architecture that have degree programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. However, State architectural registration boards set their own standards, so graduation from a non-accredited program may meet the educational requirement for licensing in a few States.

Three types of professional degrees in architecture are available: a 5-year bachelor’s degree, which is most common and is intended for students with no previous architectural training; a 2-year master’s degree for students with an undergraduate degree in architecture or a related area; and a 3- or 4-year master’s degree for students with a degree in another discipline.

The choice of degree depends on preference and educational background. Prospective architecture students should consider the options before committing to a program. For example, although the 5-year bachelor of architecture offers the fastest route to the professional degree, courses are specialized, and if the student does not complete the program, transferring to a program in another discipline may be difficult. A typical program includes courses in architectural history and theory, building design with an emphasis on CADD, structures, technology, construction methods, professional practice, math, physical sciences, and liberal arts. Central to most architectural programs is the design studio, where students apply the skills and concepts learned in the classroom, creating drawings and three-dimensional models of their designs.

Many schools of architecture also offer postprofessional degrees for those who already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture or other areas. Although graduate education beyond the professional degree is not required for practicing architects, it may be required for research, teaching, and certain specialties.

All State architectural registration boards require architecture graduates to complete a training period—usually at least 3 years—before they may sit for the licensing exam. Every State, with the exception of Arizona, has adopted the training standards established by the Intern Development Program, a branch of the American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). These standards stipulate broad training under the supervision of a licensed architect. Most new graduates complete their training period by working as interns at architectural firms. Some States allow a portion of the training to occur in the offices of related professionals, such as engineers or general contractors. Architecture students who complete internships while still in school can count some of that time toward the 3-year training period.

Interns in architectural firms may assist in the design of one part of a project, help prepare architectural documents or drawings, build models, or prepare construction drawings on CADD. Interns also may research building codes and materials or write specifications for building materials, installation criteria, the quality of finishes, and other, related details.

Licensure. All States and the District of Columbia require individuals to be licensed (registered) before they may call themselves architects and contract to provide architectural services. During the time between graduation and becoming licensed, architecture school graduates generally work in the field under the supervision of a licensed architect who takes legal responsibility for all work. Licensing requirements include a professional degree in architecture, a period of practical training or internship, and a passing score on all divisions of the Architect Registration Examination. The examination is broken into nine divisions consisting of either multiple choice or graphical questions. The eligibility period for completion of all divisions of the exam varies by State.

Most States also require some form of continuing education to maintain a license, and many others are expected to adopt mandatory continuing education. Requirements vary by State but usually involve the completion of a certain number of credits annually or biennially through workshops, formal university classes, conferences, self-study courses, or other sources.

Other qualifications. Architects must be able to communicate their ideas visually to their clients. Artistic and drawing ability is helpful, but not essential, to such communication. More important are a visual orientation and the ability to understand spatial relationships. Other important qualities for anyone interested in becoming an architect are creativity and the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Computer skills are also required for writing specifications, for 2- and 3- dimensional drafting using CADD programs, and for financial management.

Certification and advancement. A growing number of architects voluntarily seek certification by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Certification is awarded after independent verification of the candidate’s educational transcripts, employment record, and professional references. Certification can make it easier to become licensed across States. In fact, it is the primary requirement for reciprocity of licensing among State Boards that are NCARB members. In 2007, approximately one-third of all licensed architects had this certification.

After becoming licensed and gaining experience, architects take on increasingly responsible duties, eventually managing entire projects. In large firms, architects may advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Some architects become partners in established firms, while others set up their own practices. Some graduates with degrees in architecture also enter related fields, such as graphic, interior, or industrial design; urban planning; real estate development; civil engineering; and construction management.

Donna asks…

Could it be true that where the housing market is right now is what houses should really be worth?

The actual people that built the house are averaging in the $10 per hour range. It doesn’t take that many hours or people in all the different trades. The rest of the people involved are just a bunch of vulters making a mark up off of other peoples hard work in the form of unjustifyable income. In the end the expenses are extremely inflated.

Administrator answers:

Your question addresses 3 points: 1.) the real estate market 2.) the cost of building a house 3.) vultures profiting on real estate; and all within an emotionally charged statement

Regarding the “housing market” which is an average of several Bear and Bull real estate markets, there is a larger percentage of down markets then up so all assume the world is in turmoil. No two markets are the same. For example: Reading, PA home sales rose 6% while Miami, FL homes sank because of mortgage defaults and Los Angelos, CA homes fell because building costs couldn’t keep up with Sale prices. I think in your questions you are asking if there was a “natural correction” in the market as a result of over priced real estate. The correction can be attributed to poorly underwritten loans and derivitive schemes. Real Estate prices, like securities, are based on supply and demand. With strong demand = strong prices. Now the cost of building and profiting from home building is entirely different issue.

The process of building houses, as with many businesses, incompasses the allocation of scarse resources. Normally a developer buys a large tract of land at so many $10,000′s per acre. They then pay for water, sewer, electric, roads, and storm water managment. This can cost additional $10,000′s per acre. After they get zoning approval and permits to building and subdivide (and spend more money) then have a aquisition and development cost basis that is pretty high. The Developer enlists a builder (a General Contractor) to come in and building the homes and charges a fee to manage all the sub contractors and allocate the proper resources and negotiate lower mark ups on materials (sticks and bricks) the labor is a small portion of the cost and alot of times is much higher then $10 / hour unless it is large scale construction or temp labor. So in all a $15,000 1 acre lot of land could be $150,000 to develop and build and everyone would want a profit to make the project worth undertaking thats where your new home price comes from…why spend a dollar if you can’t make 2?

Market valuation is derived from finding “comps” which are similiar properties sold in a similiar area. The developer and building hope to acquire, develop, build the house for less then the market price and make a profit.

If builders are taking losses then I would say no the “market” is not really where it should be.

Again, each market is different… Some houses are over priced but every one needs to profit so things make sense

Questions for you: the people making $10 / hr… Who is going to manage them? Who is going to fund the project? Who is going to insure against a mechanic’s lien? The mark up’s are entirely justifiable. If I spend 4 years getting my degree in land development and constrution I want a return on my education and hardwork.

Take care

Donald asks…

How did Obama’s involvement with low-income housing in Chicago improve the lives of his community?

Administrator answers:

NO——It is kind of like a bucket of water (The community) and you put your or his (Obama’s) hand in it and stir it up and make it spin! As soon as you remove the hand, the water starts to calm down and soon it right back to the state it was before you put the hand in it!

When you go nto the community and fix it up with other peoples work and money then as soon as the fixers leave, the community will go right back to where it was because that is where it wants to be! (OK Thumbs down galore on this, go ahead) If the Community really wants the change then they will work had to make it change, they will pledge their own work and money to get it done along with a little help. If it is done this way it will stay because that then becomes the natural state because they changed it, not an outsider! In the Case of Obama, ( It is late, after midnight so I won’t look up the exact details for you) He worked to use tax money to clean up a very notorious park in the Chicago area and I understand they done a great job! Oh but they then went on to another cleanup project, and the park went right back to it’s same state of Drug dealers, users and prostitutes!

I have seen to many times where new housing is built and given to the “Less Fortunate” and 5 years later it is a slum! You must understand that most, not all, of these folks are “less fortunate” because they don’t really want to work, at least, not at a hard job. They done poorly in School for the same reasons. Those that were willing, worked their way out of the Projects and are now hated by those that are still there. It is the Crab syndrome. If a Crab tries to climb out of the basket to escape certain death, the other crabs pull it back in with them.

A short answer without the editorial is “no it did not improve the masses in the long run”, maybe for a few that were able to escape the Crab syndrome.

Go ahead with the downers but this is not racists, just facts as I see them and have lived among them. No I am not African American or Hispanic but I did grow up “Dirt poor” and My Brother and I both pulled ourselves out with hard work! I done so even though my High School Superintendent told me I could not and would not. But I did with no help from anyone! I worked for it, I got it and I appreciate it every day!

From reading many of your posts “Aural” I think you did as well or better even though the Circumstances were much different and you appreciate what you have today with an appreciation and joy that few will ever know!

Funny thing, The harder you work, the luckier you get”!

It is very late 12:50 AM so Good night and have a good one

Proud Vet

George asks…

How do you evaluate a rental property?

What is the proper way to determine the aquisition price for a rental house? Is it projected monthly cash flow? If so, what’s a reasonable cash flow per month? $50, $200, $500? Or is it better to buy based on some discount from retail or appraised value? What discount makes an attractive deal? 10%, 25%, 50%? I think it’s a good time to build a rental portfolio, but I’m not sure how to pick the best properties.

Administrator answers:

The way that I have purchased ALL my rental properties is very simple.

The TOTAL mortgage payment (PITI, HOA) NEVER!!! Is more then 50% of the gross monthly income.

The other 50% IS NOT profit, but this is my cash flow to cover other expense, etc.

How do you get this to work. Either make a great deal with the seller on price OR put enough down payment to keep the payments low.

CASH FLOW is the most important thing.

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