Buyer Beware: Furnaces Can Fail

Word Of Advice: Get The Furnace Inspected Before You Close

At coffee last week with a group of fellow property owners, one fellow Mike described an brownstoneearly learning lesson he had after buying a Brownstone in the late 1990’s.

Seems that within a few months of owning the building several furnaces within the complex failed and he had a much quicker than anticipated repair bill that stretched his finances at the time.

The brick and mortar of any building are key elements to check and recheck upfront when investing in real estate for your own occupancy or as an investment.

As important are the mechanicals that heat and cool the property. This includes the furnace or boilers, the hot water heaters and air conditioning systems.

Too often, we assume these machines to continue to work, because they are currently working.  Just as a roof has a 20 to 30 year life expectancy these critical mechanicals have their own.  A standard home furnace may be 20 years, a hot water heater 8-12 etc.

Just where they are on their life cycles can be tricky to determine.

Annual Furnace Inspections are Recommended
Annual Furnace Inspections are Recommended

Home owners in many areas will have a “Truth in Housing” or other inspection required by local ordinance, but that seldom extends to rental housing.

And even for homeowners, the depth of inspections by these generalists may not detect much more that that the furnace is currently working.

A new development is some parts of the country are independent specialist who focus strictly on inspection and certification of furnaces, boilers and other mechanicals.

In our opinion, getting a professional furnace inspection prior to buying an investment property just makes good sense.


Condo Security Starts at the Door

Get Professional Help for Maximum Security

When you are moving into a previously occupied Condo, Apartment or Home, you do not know with whom the prior occupant shared keys.  Or who returned keys after making a copy of their own.

The best policy is to get new locks installed. But first ask yourself if your locks will keep the Burglars out.

Best Door Locks: Will Yours Keep Burglars Out?

For most of us, security is a top priority when selecting door locks for our homes, followed by cost, style and fidoor-locksnish. Choosing the best door locks for your doors depends on whether a door is interior or exterior, because each type of door requires completely different locking mechanisms. For example, it would not make sense to install a deadbolt on a bathroom door or a push-button privacy lockset on a front entry door.

Read more here about the three grades of door locks:

The lock is the first thing people think about but it is only part of the mechanism. We learned this from Fast Eddy of Fast Eddys Keys Express in Minneapolis.

He points out that the door latch and plate are as important.

See this video he made.

For our money his recommendation for the maxi plate and long screws makes a lot of sense.  For just a little more, you can vastly improve your security.

Dead Bolts

I almost hesitated to include this as the need of dead bolts is so well recognized. However just to be sure I post what consumer reports had to say…

To be safe and secure, Consumer Reports recommends you do the following:

  • Use a lock with a 1-inch-long dead bolt and a reinforced-metal box strike.
  • Install the lock with 3-inch-long mounting screws to lodge in the framing beyond the doorjamb.
  • Do the same with the door that leads from the garage into the interior of your house.
  • Any dead-bolt lock is better than the common key-in-knob variety, which can easily be opened with a credit card.

    Usage: CR June 2011 Story: Door Locks Brand: Medeco Model: Maxum 11WC60L CU: 06515-0012 Photographer: John Walsh
    Usage: CR June 2011
    Story: Door Locks
    Brand: Medeco
    Model: Maxum 11WC60L
    CU: 06515-0012
    Photographer: John Walsh

The dead bolts we tested are single-cylinder and operate with a thumbturn. High-security locks have hardened cylinders, unique pin configurations, and other defenses. Our testers spent weeks prying, hammering, picking, pummeling, and drilling.

A little time and money spent in prevention is well worth avoiding the devastating impact a home invasion may generate.

Portland Ave Minneapolis Condos

New Construction is underway on a new luxury condo building in Minneapolis, MN

Welcome to Portland Tower

New luxury condos under construction in downtown Minneapolis at the corner of Portland and 8th St. – Occupancy in Summer of 2016!

The Portland Tower is downtown’s newest luxury condo development is designed to set a new standard in downtown living. Featuring outstanding floor plans, quality features and upscale amenities, these exquisite new condos are tailored to your individual preferences.

Close to work but not far from play. Vibrant nightlife, extraordinary dining, shopping and immediate access to sports, recreation and entertainment. It’s the best of Minneapolis at your door.

Completely customize your unit! CLICK for examples…5 models now being finished for viewing SOON!


The Portland Tower is located at 740 Portland Avenue South, at the corner of Portland and 8th Street. There is a sales trailer across the street that is staffed daily, in addition to a Sales Center in the Bridgewater Complex on Washington and 11th Avenue. We invite you to say hello and watch our progress!

For more details go to:

The construction is just another part of the exciting work being done in downtown Minneapolis revolving around the new Vikings Stadium.

Portland Avenue in Minneapolis Closed Until June 30 for Construction

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: 03/16/2016 10:25 AM
Created: 03/13/2016 4:08 PM
Portland Avenue from Third Street to Fifth Street in Minneapolis will close to traffic beginning March 14.

According to city of Minneapolis officials, that stretch of road will close until early summer to allow for construction of the Downtown East Commons. It’s estimated that the stretch of road will reopen by June 30.

Drivers are asked to follow detour signs and find alternative routes into, and out of, the downtown area. The posted detour takes you from Third Street, to Fourth Avenue, and Sixth Street.

US Bank Vikings Stadium

US Bank Vikings Stadium

Photo Credit:—March-2016/bfb94f09-5524-4382-9339-b9d63563068e

The property valuations in the Minneapolis Central Business District are clearly being strengthened by the new construction, and the new amenities being developed in this already vibrant city.

Real Estate Appraisal for Accurate Real Estate Transaction!

Real estate appraisal, also known as property valuation involves a process of counting and developing value for real property. It is a detailed report sharing limelight on the market value of a particular property. Wondering why is it even needed? Well, a real estate appraiser figures out the prevailing market value of the property which comes handy in instances like home equity loans, financing a property, refinancing an asset and other situations relevant to the lines of credit.apt 1

Primarily there are three means of appraising real estate – the cost approach, income-capitalization method and sales-comparison approach. All these three methods are put in practice when determining the market value of a property. However, based on the type of real estate in question and the current scenario, every method earns its own share of glory. Let’s dig deeper and understand what these approaches actually signify!

  1. The Cost Approach – Earlier in time, it was also known as the ‘Summation Approach’. To truck on with this method, it is crucial to have an in-depth knowledge of construction costs and material expenses. Wondering why? Well, this approach determines how much a property would cost with improvements after cutting-down the accrued depreciation rates. Improvements here refer to new construction costs and replacement costs.

Are you heedful about the term accrued depreciation? It refers to the abated value of property over a long period of time due to destruction or usual wears and tears.

When reckoning the value of an old construction, using cost approach may not be ideal. On the contrary, it delivers effective valuation on newer constructions.

  1. Sales-Comparison Approach – In this method, valuation of properties is calculated on the basis of price per unit area after comparing and learning about the neighboring areas in the vicinity. Typically, this approach involves picking properties of similar characteristics in the same apt 12market area that has recently been sold. A real estate appraiser then compares both, cuts down value for comparative deficiencies and adds value for the amenities present and finally comes up with a final valuation.

Mostly, if the investor is keen on conventional financial, the method of sales-comparison is put to use.

  1. Income-Capitalization Approach – This is indeed the most used and easiest real estate appraisal approach. An investor examines and calculates the income of the property in comparison to similar other properties. Also, if the appraiser on job is already aware of the capitalization rates prevailing in the market for the concerned property and similar types, breaking-down the income of the property based on the capitalization rate and coming up with the market value of the same is easier than thought. Wondering what are income-producing properties? Well, apartments, duplexes are all examples of properties that generate income.

And in the Portland Oregon area one of the top rated Appraisers to call is   And in my home town of Minneapolis, I have used and trust Clarke Goset of Minnesota Real Estate Aprpaisal Services

-Nancy Williams