Saturday, 22 February 2020

Top Reasons to Consider a Duplex Home

People have various options to choose from when it comes to the type of home they would like: a single-family home, a townhouse, a condo, etc. Amongst so many choices, one is, of course, a duplex. Owning a duplex in several countries offers you several perks, mortgage advantages and tax benefits. You can rent out a part of it or put it up for homestay on platforms like Airbnb to earn a handsome amount consistently. The benefits are not limited to just this, we have few more reasons as to why you should consider a duplex home.

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  • Mortgage Benefits
If you need help with mortgage, investing in a duplex is a wise decision. It lets you create equity quickly depending on the situation. Let’s say building a duplex costs you $500,000, once it is subdivided, each piece can be sold at $300,000 giving you a profit of $100,000 within a year or two. These extra bucks let you pay your mortgage quickly.
  • Rental Income
You can pay a mortgage not only by selling other parts of the house but also by renting it out. This way duplex gives you a high rate of return. You can rent out one portion to a tenant while you continue to live in another portion. By this not only do you earn money you also live near your property and continue to take care of it. So, if you think that an extra portion will cost you money, think again. The rental income that you generate from it will cover the cost.
  • Source of Cash Flow
From both the above points you must have evaluated that a duplex is a source of income. But there is one more way to generate cash from a duplex and that is by making it available for vacation rental sites such as Airbnb. In other words, generate revenue by way of a homestay. In fact, you might be able to make more money this way than by renting it out the traditional way!
  • Use It for More Than Stay
If you don’t have the burden of a mortgage or you don’t like tenants living next door, a duplex is more than these opportunities. If you work from home, you can make it your workspace. It can be used as a guest house when your family or friends visit you for get-togethers or parties. 
  • Stay Close to Your Family
If you have elder members or your child’s family living with you, they can live right next to you while everyone continues to enjoy their privacy. This way you will stay close to each other and help each other in case of emergencies. You can also provide other kinds of support as and when required and give them some much-needed company. Elderly parents can live with you and the need for a retirement village or nursing home is eliminated.

Furthermore, duplexes are affordable too as they are usually not located in pricey neighbourhoods.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Popular Green Building Trends to Look Forward to in 2020

Green buildings are not a new concept. We might not have been incorporating all the aspects of a green building but elements of it have been in use for the past few years. Green roofs and solar panels are the most common examples of popular green building trends if we talk about the last decade and their popularity will continue in the coming future. 

However, what about the new decade? What are the trends that are going to be a part of an energy-efficient, eco-friendly and sustainable building? Let’s dive in further to find out.




        Biophilic Hypothesis Interior Design

There is a connection between people and nature, a fact proved by scientists. Biophilia is not limited to green walls and indoor plants, it encompasses a genuine relationship between human soul and pattern, texture or rhythm of nature. Further, it offers other advantages like enhancing the decor, bringing positivity into the indoor environment and it makes the building look inviting as well.

       LED Lighting and LEED Certified Buildings

Reducing energy consumption is the next most promising sustainability trend. LED lighting and LEED-certified buildings are the most sought-after under this category. They have a great impact on how we consume energy. In reality, LED lights are less of a trend and more of a necessity as they consume 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional lighting (like CFL and incandescent). Similarly, buildings that have been certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) save 25 to 30 percent energy as compared to conventional buildings.

       Renewable Energy Tech

Solar panels have proven to be an effective source of energy for home and office buildings. There are other renewable sources of energy as well in the market from which people have high expectations like wind turbines and geothermal sources. The trend of micro-generation of electricity using renewable energy technology seems to have a bright future. Moreover, the best thing is, it is quite affordable and installation costs are less. 

       Photo-Reactive Chemicals and Radiant Heat

More than 50% of the building's total energy is dedicated to cooling, heating and ventilation. Therefore, these have become the focal point in the industry. When it comes to cooling (HVAC), air purification is a patented area. Ultraviolet light along with photo-reactive chemicals technology is used which is similar to what occurs in the earth's atmosphere. Therefore, such tech-driven buildings reuse internal air facilitating reduction in heating cost.

        Green Insulation

We all know how important insulation is as a well-insulated building saves energy, lowers operating cost and makes people comfortable. And if the insulation method is green, the savings are multiplied. Polystyrene is a great green insulator despite being plastic. It creates a seamless wall and doesn’t allow air to penetrate. No insulator works like icynene, which when sprayed on walls, creates a thick layer like paint. Recycled denim insulation, cellulose insulation and fiberglass insulation fill walls and ceiling cavities effectively.

       Self-Healing Concrete

Cement contributes to global carbon emission but cement is what is used the most to provide strength & durability to a building. Further, it demands continuous maintenance and instant repair of cracks. All these factors have contributed to the need for finding eco-friendly concrete. Dutch and Belgian scientists have introduced the ‘living bacteria’ method. In this method, the bacteria lie dormant until and unless exposed to moisture. Moisture leads to germination and the spores feed on the calcium lactate found in the cement. As a result of this, limestone is produced filling gaps & cracks and allowing the concrete to self-heal.

All of the above green building megatrends aim at energy efficiency, judicious & maximum use of renewable energy and all play an important role in saving the environment.