Things to Consider when Buying Commercial Property

March 15, 2013

Starting your own business and purchasing your office is a very exciting time but you should be careful when purchasing commercial real estate because it could result in the loss of a large amount of money if it is not done in a proper manner. These are some tips to consider while buying commercial real-estate.

  • Stability Of Your Business

This can be defined as a monetary or as a steady business. Determine whether you really need to buy/lease a commercial building , if you can run your business with one person or if you can afford to hire more staff. Maybe you have 2 or 3 people on the staff and need to buy/lease that first business front. Choosing a building that fits your requirements and budget can be challenging. However, being financially stable and having a steady monthly income to cover expenses and operating costs is vastly crucial to be sustainable in a commercial sense.

  • Costs

Determine whether you are able to afford the payments and costs involved. The less the monthly payment, the more you increase in your profit margins. Try to choose an optimal location that offers the best location for the best price. Set a budget for the business for building expenses to cover rent, payments and bills. Consider new employees, raises and where you are with what you decide to sell. Also, find out how much a bank or lending institution will lend you before looking to buy a property in order to ensure finances.

  • Lease or Buy?

Consider both options as it might be better financially in the long run to lease rather than buy. If you are certain about buying in the future, then look into both sides of it. Save buying for later on when your business is steady and established.
Renting has its drawbacks such as having to deal with a landlord but you are ensured that your building is repaired and maintained. Either way there are advantages and drawbacks and it is wise to make a list of pros and cons before you make your decision.

  • What to Look For in a Building

Try to find areas that are visually appealing with a plenty of parking. For instance, if you are looking to start a restaurant, ensure it has a full kitchen or the ability to easy add one. For an office make sure it has enough room for a good reception area, conference room…etc. Make sure ventilation and electricity wiring is done properly and check for leaks, damages or anything out of the ordinary.

  • Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Having a qualified person on your side is crucial. Agents are trained and have experience and understanding of contracts and the process. Try to choose agents and lawyers who hold a good reputation, plenty of experience with contracts to help you could and also help in preventing law suits in the future.
Thanks to:

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Useful Tips on Designing a Home Office

March 15, 2013

There are many of us who prefer working from home and need an office space in our house. The office space is a place where you would be spending a considerable amount of time daily. Hence, it is necessary to make this section a pleasant, safe and well designed area. Here are some tips to consider when designing your home office.

1. Good Lighting

Good lighting is essential and it is wise to have as much daylight as possible. If the area has a window, it will increase lighting. Daylight is the most evenly balanced source of white light and it will vary based on geographical locations. If no daylight is available, you will require general and task lighting and a high quality task light is required for cloudy weather or dark environments. Get daylight replicating light sources that are energy efficient.

As lighting is crucial for a work environment, a yellow-cast illumination is best as it is the color of brightness. Furthermore, to avoid glare, do not place overhead lighting directly above computers and also do not place the light source directly in front of the screen as it will create eye strain. The most critical aspect of lighting is the ability to control the intensity and brightness.

2. Comfortable Chair

As you spend hours parked in the office chair, it is wise to get one which is comfortable, ergonomically correct and stylish.

3. Choose an Awesome Color

Pick a color that gets your work juices flowing. For some people, this might mean bright, cheery colors such as red, orange or green. However, others need calm shades such as sea foam blue or botanical greens. Find out what colors suit you and paint according to how it benefits your mood.

4. Give yourself an Interesting View

Locate your desk near a window or where you can stare at something more interesting than a blank wall when you glance up from your computer. If you are in a windowless space, hang a good painting above the table or position your chair in a way that it faces the door.

5. Accessorize

Choose accessories that give a cozy and comfortable look to make your office space more homelier. For instance, having a pretty mug as a pencil holder, sticky note pads and decorative waste baskets. You can also try wrapping bulletin boards in gorgeous fabric materials and hide bookshelves behind curtains. Hanging paintings, kids drawings is also a fun way to make it look homely.

6. Organize vertically & Horizontally

Use your space efficiently by hanging floating shelves on to wall and get papers, office equipments off the desk. Also, use vertical file folders on the desk to keep crucial documents within arm’s reach. Furthermore if you tend to make piles, make a basket to organize your papers.

7. Find Inspiration

Place something that inspires you around the workplace. This can be a meaningful poem, or a piece of art or a special photograph; something that motivates you to achieve your goals and helps you to channel your inner muse.

image courtesy:

How to Baby Proof your Home

March 8, 2013

Do you have a newborn or children in your new home? If yes, then you have to baby proof your home after you buy or rent a house. Below is a guide on how to go about doing so in different areas of your home.




  • Turn down the water temperature of the heater. Keep it at 110° to avoid any burning.
  • Install toilet lid locks.


  • Use doorknob covers so that kids do not open them.
  • Put decals on sliding-glass doors to avoid running into them.


  • Tie up chords or blinds so that they don’t get tangled up in them.
  • Install safety glass in low windows and French doors so that they do not shatter if a child falls into them.
  • Install glass guards and adjust windows so that they cannot open them more than six inches. Sometimes children tend to fall out and this might be very dangerous.
  • Do not place furniture or anything that a child can climb near a window.
  • Do not place a playpen, crib, bed or high-chair anywhere near blind chords.


  • Cover all electric outlets with safety covering and use safety plugs that snap into outlets.
  • Check for exposed outlets behind furniture.


  • Purchase a fireplace hearth cover to avoid risk of falling into a fireplace. Home-made cushionary devices that go around the hearth also can be useful to avoid harm.


  • Install gates when they start crawling. If you are concerned that they might get out of the bedroom, put a gate on the doorway.
  • Do not put a gate on top of the stairway as children might climb up and fall down.
  • Place a safety latch on the side of the gate away from your child’s reach.
  • Do not place any toys or clutter on the stairs as you can trip while carrying your baby.


  • Fasten bookcases and tall furniture pieces to the wall so that your child cannot pull them down.
  • Keep drawers closed.
  • Put away rickety furniture your baby could pull over.
  • Keep cleaning products and medication safely locked away.


  • Never leave a boiling pot unattended on the stove.
  • Use back burners for cooking.
  • Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the back of the stove or the counter.
  • Instruct your children that the oven is hot and not to touch it.
  • Keep plug-in appliances such as can openers and toasters out of reach of children.

Double check around the house in a child’s view and pick up anything that they could swallow. Vacuum and clean off all dirt around the house. Baby proofing changes with their age as they develop new capabilities, there are new threats and dangers. Therefore, as their age changes, make sure to reconsider your safety options and apply them accordingly.

Thanks to: webmd

Image: © Media Bakery / Mysmasken

Few Facts for Foreign Property Buyers

March 8, 2013

Making a great investment is always something we need to mull over for a while. There are so many options to choose from, so much of things to consider and coming to a solid conclusion might not be that easy.  Therefore, it is wise to learn a few things before you consider buying land in Sri Lanka. Below is some basic knowledge for foreign buyers who want to invest into purchasing real estate properties in Sri Lanka.



  • ELIGIBILITY:  As a foreigner, you are eligible to legally purchase freehold property in Sri Lanka.
  • VISA : You do not need residence VISA to buy land or property. You could spend up to six months for reference on a basic tourist visa. If you wish to extend and stay back, you will need a residence visa.
  • TAX : If a non-resident wishes to buy property, there is a 100%  tax of the property value. However, you could reduce this to a 5% stamp duty by forming a private limited company here in which you own 100 percent shares and are sole directors. This way you can acquire the property under your company name in order to reduce this tax liability. This is a legal method used by a majority of foreign buyers.
  • SAFETY : Records of all properties are stored with the Land Registry Department and before buying a property a lawyer will do a thorough inspection of the title deed with the Land Registry Department and offer a title report. This is done prior to the purchase and only after checking if the vendors claim to ownership can be clearly substantiated by Land Registry records with no encumbrances to the title, the lawyer will advice on purchasing the property.
  • DURATION : Normally it takes about 4 weeks for the process.
  • COST : Your buying costs will be 11% of the purchase price plus 1,080 USD approximately; see cost breakdown below:
    • Formation of Private Limited Company & Opening of Bank Accounts: 1,000 USD
    • Lawyer Fee: 1% of the Purchase Price.
    • Surveyor Fee: Approx’ 80 USD for most properties. However, for large estates of say twenty acres, the fee can be around 400 USD.
    • Stamp Duty: 4% of Purchase Price.
    • Stamp Duty Related to Issuing of Shares for Private Limited Company: 1% of Purchase Price
    • Agency Fee: 5% of Purchase Price.

In the most tax efficient manner, a private limited company will be formed if you choose so. By law, a chartered accountant has to file company reports and accounts to the relevant Government departments and this can be done at an appx. of 500 USD per annum to handle the administration of a property owning non-trading company. However, property tax is not levied in non urban areas of Sri Lanka, and in rare cases where it is levied, it does not tend to increase more that 10 USD per annum.

  • POST SELLING & LEASING TAX : There is no taxes levied while selling or leasing your property. Sale and rental income can be gained tax free.
  • CONSTRUCTION COST: Approximately 56 USD per sq ft (600 USD per sq m), including materials, labour and project management. This price considering  that the materials used would be of the highest quality including the installation of European kitchen fixtures & bathroom materials.

thanks to:




February 26, 2013

Tips on how to hold a successful garage sale

In order to hold a profitable garage sale, you need to work together with a group and prepare well. Complete the preparations so that you can interact with customers, make them happy while generating profits. Below are a few tips on how to hold this successfully:


  • Schedule your sale in advance and place an advertisement. Hold it on a holiday, on a weekend when the weather is pleasant.
  • Explore your home for stuff to sell. Include all the items you want to get rid off and that will be useful to others.
  • Spread word of mouth. Ask for family and friends for items they want to include, you can take a small commission percentage for selling other peoples stuff.
  • Clean up everything you want to sell, if there are items that require a small fix up in order to raise the price, you can fix it.
  • If you are expecting a large crowd, get friends and family to help you out. You can offer the a free meal in return.
  • Print fliers and posters to advertise your sale, you can put these up in coffee shops, laundries and neighborhood hang outs.
  • Put up clear signs around the neighborhood just before your sale in order to direct customers.
  • Put clear labels on your items. Use tables or boxes to save time and categorize similar items with the same price. Remember to leave room to bargain down.
  • Hang clothing items on makeshift racks. Put pleasing items in front to attract people. You can also have a very cheap ($1) to encourage people to browse further.
  • Set up your cash counter near the entrance, have a ledger book, plenty of small change, boxes, bags, newspapers to wrap, cello tape and a tape measure.
  • Make sure you’ve got parking space, you can relocate your vehicles if needed.
  • Be friendly and cheerful and encourage bargaining. People might be hesitant to bargain initially but it will be fun once they begin.

Garage sales are a fun way to make some extra cash and get rid of your junk. It is also a way to make friends and interact with your neighbors in a friendly active environment. You will find that after a successful sale, it helps in creating a pleasant neighborhood for your home.


imagecourtesy:  flickr/lilsoak

DIY Guide: How to Lay Carpet

February 26, 2013

Did you rent / buy a house that needs a floor makeover?  Are you looking to cover brand new floors with a sexy carpet? Worry not! Here’s a simple guide on how to lay carpet yourself without having to pay someone else a bunch of money that you can save!

Before the project, get an installation kit with a utility knife, tucking tool and a knee kicker. Also get a sandy or woodsy shade in a 50/50 wool/synthetic mix or optimal wear at a good price.


Supplies You will Need:

  •  Underlay
  •  Gloves
  •  Staple gun
  •  Smooth edge carpet gripper
  •  Suitable carpet
  •  Gripper trim to hold carpet at doorway
  • Installation kit (Utility knife, knee kicker and tucking tool)

Now that you have gathered all this items, its time to lay your carpet!

Step 1

Wear gloves, rip up old carpet and prise up old gripper. Pull out nails and remove staples. Be careful as barbs are sharp. Sweep and vacuum floor. After you are done, measure room for carpet and underlay. Allow 100mm extra to trim it all around.

Step 2

Nail new gripper strips following the wall around the room to let you stretch the carpet and hold it to the floor. Then nail the strips 6-10mm from skirting or wall with barbs pointing towards the wall.

Step 3

Roll out underlay against gripper in a corner and cut at far end to overlap gripper there by 50mm. Then run the underlay back to the other way while making certain that the seam between two is closed. Thereafter, cut in doorways so its flat. Staple it to the floor, making sure that the seams stay closed. Use double-sided tape on concrete floors.

Step 4

Using the inside edge of carpet gripper as a guide, trim the underlay to the same size. The underlay should finish the inside strips.

Step 5

Roll out the carpet and trim so that it laps up each wall by 50mm. Stretch the carpet between opposite walls using kicker about 75mm from the wall. Kick the kicker using knee at a slight angle to the wall as you work, whilst pressing the carpet on the gripper spikes with a hammer as you go. Work as far into the corners as possible and then do the same with other walls. Keep kicking until the carpet is smooth with no wrinkles.

Step 6

Press the carpet into a corner and cut a small V shape into the carpet to just above the floor level so it will be flat. Slit the carpet to fit in doorways and use the kicker to work onto gripper at these places. Keep doing this around the room and fit carpet into each corner.

Step 7

Bend the carpet back and use the utility knife to trim carpet while leaving 15mm in excess.

Step 8

Utilize the tucking tool to push in excess carpet into gaps between the skirting or wall and carpet gripper to leave behind a clean edge.

Stand back and admire your new carpet floors. Feels really good, doesn’t it?



The Real Estate Mantra: Location, Location and Location!

February 15, 2013

Why location is so important and tips on choosing the right one

You can strip down a house and remodel it down to every minuscule detail, making it look extremely different and renewed but what you cannot do is change its location. Thus, the real estate’s top three rules and mantra is defined as: location, location and location. I am sure you’ve heard this more than once, making this very familiar. Now let us take a look into why location is important and the factors to consider while choosing a property with the right requirements.

Location not only affects the pricing of properties, but also contributes to its desirability. There can be properties that are exactly identical in its features but vastly differing in their value based solely on its location. In a real estate investment standpoint, it is the most crucial investment, both currently and for the future when you choose the right location. Here are some Yes’s and No’s while choosing the right one.


  •     Among Top- rated educational institutes

find a property located in a highly desirable educational district because this is important for families with kids or even businesses. Also properties in these areas are high in value and people are willing to pay more.

  •   Among nature and close to recreation

Homes that are on a beachfront or near lakes rivers…etc, provided they don’t belong to a possible area of a natural hazard, people are willing to purchase or spend more for these peaceful and beautiful settings. However, be careful to get rid of insects and bugs in these types of settings.

  •   Close to shopping centers and entertainment

Walking distance to clubs, theaters  restaurants and shopping malls are worth the value due to the fact that people like walking close distances to places like nightlife entertainment bars, clubs
… etc rather than having to drive very far.

  •   A fantastic view

Properties with a fantastic view is always welcome and these ones sell quickly for a high buck because it’s capable of taking your breath away and easing your worries. The most sought views include greenery stretch, beach fronts and sweeping panoramic city views.

  •   Near transport, offices and hospitals

People always find it easier to stay close to health care in case of emergencies and no one likes having to drive hours being stuck in an annoying amount of traffic just to get to work every day. Therefore, it is wise to choose a place where all these facilities are in close reach.

  •        In the heart of the block

Most people find properties located in the center of the block or the city due to higher sense of security and also the close proximity to all services and places.

  •    Economically stable neighborhood

These are folks that want to be proud of their properties and for it to be evident. People choose elite areas for their homes because it represents an elite lifestyle and also the value of such an investment is much higher due to the fact that it belongs to such vicinities as well.

  •      In conforming areas

People feel more welcome and comfortable in areas that share their values, traditions and also similarities in the physical structure of buildings.


  •    Near Railroads, under Flight Paths and Freeways

Who needs a constant racket in the middle of the night, early morning and all through the day. The deafening sound of honks will just drive you nuts.

  •      Economic depression

Owners do not really look after or maintain homes in such areas and if the overall picture is dirty and evident of poor landscaping or maintenance, you will think twice before moving in. It is wise not to take chances on such areas as they may very well belong to a bad neighborhood in other aspects as well.

  •      Crime ridden areas

Safety is the most sought out feature while choosing the right dwelling. If you notice fishy business and police cars frequently this might indicate high crime.

  •      Close to hazards

Nobody wants to live near a nuclear power plant or a factory emitting dangerous gases and pollution. Always be careful to study the background of the area and be careful not to choose one close to anything that might be harmful to you.

Has the Cockroach Paid Rent?

February 2, 2013

Who else has been living in your house, snacking on your food, damaging your stuff, spreading all sorts of disease, having babies and on top of all; not paying any rent?The Cockroach.

Cockroaches are one of the longest living pests, having been around for over 350 million years and avoided extinction. They are known among the most disgusting critters and sometimes can be really impossible kicking them out of your home.

Let us consider some simple steps to get rid of this vile pest and keep them from coming back for good!

STEP ONE – Find out where they hide
You may need to do a little following and investigating. Check around for holes and cracks where they may come out from and seal them. However if they are residing through drains and vents, then this option will not be possible.

STEP TWO - Mass Murder

Try one or all of the following methods to kill them all!

Leave Bait: Make one part powdered boric acid, one part white sugar and one part white flour. The sugar lures it, the flour makes it stick and the boric acid kills them. Mix these ingredients together and place them in places until you are rid of them. In case your dog eats it, boric acid is not highly toxic but since it is only for external use place it carefully and away from your pets and kids. Also foil trays may be needed since it cakes in humid environments.

Insecticide Spray: Get an effective spray with a cute picture of a cockroach somewhere on the label and spray obvious areas. Be careful not to spray on your kids, pets, family members and food while doing so.

Cockroach bait: This can be applied as a gel or placed in a childproof case and contains a slow working poison mixed with cockroach food. The suckers fall for it and bring the poison back with them to the nest where it eventually kills them all. Keep them in obvious places where they will find it.
Use liquid concentrate: Although they were only for professional exterminators, now it’s out for public. It is a poisonous chemical diluted with water and sprayed to any surface. It can give protection as it usually keeps them away for 2 weeks or more from re infesting.

Go simple with soap and water: Easy and simple, mix soap into water and splash it on the roaches. No need to give them a full bath, even with a few drops it can kill them. Make sure the water gets in contact with the head and lower abdomen.

STEP THREE - Prevent Re-infestation
A cleaning per day, keeps the cockroaches away.
- Keep the kitchen area clean and free of crumbs and spills, wash dirty dishes and cover food properly.
- Empty trash regularly.
- Fix drips and leaks.
- Keep naphthalene balls in corners, Cockroaches can’t stand the smell.
- Get rid of logs and debris.
- Seal cracks.
- Use professional products and spray.

Sri Lanka, Back on the Real Estate Map

January 29, 2013

With the 30-year war ended, the cloud has shifted from the real estate industry and Sri Lanka is seeing a boom in property investment and prices.

This is also in line with the refined government policies for infrastructure establishment, investor attraction, property development including the leisure sector. After a sharp industry decline during 2008-2009, it has expanded by 8% throughout 2010 and 2011.

With Lonely Planet naming Sri Lanka as the #1 destination for 2013, the Sri Lankan Tourism Board predicts 2013 tourist numbers are expected to rise from 500,000 to 2.5 million. To accommodate this rise, tourist villas and hotels are in even greater demand than ever.


The South, revamped

The southern part of the island of Sri Lanka is going through a major phase change. With the new highway opened up, and a major harbour and an international airport to increase accesibiliy, The southern province of Sri Lanka is strengthening its tourism and economy. beachfront villas, Hotels, restaurants, large colonial houses, plantation-style estates and bare land plots for development are up in the property meter. Along the west coast from bentota to the popular sandy beaches of Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna, the scenic city of Galle and further south at Dondra Head, Tangalle, property prices are being steadily risen.

But at an investment point of view, the southern part of the island is a pay-off. With the tourism booming and coasts being a favourite holiday destination among foreigners and locals alike, development in this region is a bankable option. With limited or below standard accommodation already sprouting in the place, doors are opened for a better and international level of standards.

As of June 2010, the indicative prices along the southern coast were,

Location Price per perch SLR Price per perch US$
Galle Fort 3 – 4.5 million 26 – 40,000
Talpe Beach 508 – 734,000 4,500 – 6,500
Weligama 225 – 275,000 1,990 – 2,430
Dikwella/Tangalle 90 – 175,000 1,106 – 1,548
Inland Galle 50 – 400,000 From 442
Koggala Lake 75 – 175,000 663 – 1,548

Finding the right property and quality establishment development can increase the job market in the region. With support services, hotel management, guiding and commercial opportunities, the south is definitely on the way of becoming a true paradise in the pearl of the Indian ocean.
Thanks http://

Image courtesy of  -Jérôme Decq-



Finding the Right Neighborhood

January 26, 2013

If you’re looking to buy a property, a land or a house, a good neighborhood is of vital concern. Granted, it may depend on your personal priorities, but here’s a set of crucial considerations for your dream neighborhood that might save you some hassle later on.



Convenience brings happiness both to your mind and your wallet. Having a shopping center nearby, a post office, a gift shop where you can pick up a last minute gift and especially a pharmacy will definitely come in handy for a time to come. It also saves a huge deal of money for gas considering how many trips you will save for running errands. Another great convenience factor is your commute to work. Would you mind moving into an area which doubles your commute time and add to your stress?


Factors like Electricity, telephone, internet, roads, water boost up the value of a property. Having solid Infrastructure, with no dropping calls, frequent power cuts or slow internet access, with paved roads and drinking water supply makes a neighborhood worthy of the price you pay.

Future plans:

Neighborhoods change over time, city councils change their plans for the city, and roads get laid out, new housing projects rise. Although a perfect prediction is never made, finding out what immediate and long term plans the council has for the neighborhood is worth your effort and time so that you won’t face any irritable surprises.

The smells and the sounds

Everyone has different tolerance to smells and sounds. Some desire absolute tranquility, some takes a liking to the occasional noise. Whatever your preferences may be, inspecting the area before you commit is of vital importance. Troublesome neighborhoods noises where families tend to fight often, dogs are always loud, train tracks that run just beyond the next rise may not exactly turn out to be pleasant after a while. The same goes with unpleasant smells.

Low crime rate

Crime is virtually everywhere. Certain neighborhoods have a knack for high crime rates. Nobody wants to lose their hard accumulations over the years by settling down in a high crime area. The security of your neighborhood is a serious concern any day.

Good Schools

If you’re a family with children or a couple expecting, having good schools in the neighborhood is a definite plus. If not, they may boost the sales values if you decide to sell someday. Unless you are without children and simply looking for temporary renting, picking a neighborhood with good schools may only add an undesired cost.


Cultures are different even in the same country, same province, same housing blocks. Culture is a personal flavor of life, of how you perceive it, how you interact with your community, how you engage yourself in it. If you have a Victorian taste in both etiquette and architecture, a hip modern cultured neighborhood may not go well with your tastes. Ultimately our lifestyles are shaped by our surroundings and vice versa.

Finding the right neighborhood is simply an initial step in either buying or building your dream home. Before committing yourself into a deal you may need to go over certain other aspects of real estate concerns.



Thanks www. howstuffworks .com