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April 2022

How To Create The Ultimate Home Cinema

1000 500 Sam Radbil

The pandemic has taught a lot of us that the things we used to enjoy outdoors, can also be enjoyed at home. For example, people started working out in their own homes while gyms were closed, and some preferred it so much that they didn’t return when the gyms re-opened. Another recreation that people brought home was that of the cinema.

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More online streaming services began offering new movies to rent as well, so you didn’t even have to leave the comfort of your own sofa to watch the latest releases. If you’re wanting to up your movie night game, keep reading and find out how you can create the ultimate home cinema.    

Start With The Basics

Before you get ahead of yourself, you need to make sure that you measure the space you wish to use and ensure that it’s big enough to cater to your ideas. You’ll also want to consider how you’re going to heat the room because you want your home cinema to be comfortable and inviting. A great way to heat a large space is with type 22 radiators as these are slightly larger.

Keeping your home cinema at a toasty temperature will make the room cosy and relaxing, unlike the normal chilly cinemas.  

Decide On A Screen And Sound System

Next, you need to think about what you want to watch your movies on. Do you want to go all out and invest in a top-of-the-range television that covers the entire wall? Or you might want to go old school and opt for a projector. Projectors don’t have to be loaded with film anymore either, as many of the new ones work digitally so you can connect it to whatever streaming device you like. Whichever screen you decide on, make sure it fits the room and the style that you’re going for. 

Different screens will also have different sound systems, and some may need them to be purchased separately. You want the sound to be loud enough that you can easily hear your movie, but you don’t want it to be booming and producing the same noise level as an outdoor festival. If you’re ever unsure, speak to the experts and they’ll be able to guide you in the right direction.   

The Perfect Seat

One of the most important things you’ll need for your home cinema is good seating. If you’re going to be spending lots of time sitting down, then you want to ensure you go for seats that provide you with maximum comfort.

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You could go for state-of-the-art home cinema seats that have drinks holders and controls for the screen in the armrest, or you could go for something simpler like a large, plush sofa. You could even mix it up and throw a few bean bags in to give the viewers plenty of choices. Just make sure when buying your home cinema seats that you can imagine yourself sitting in them for hours at a time. If not, then they aren’t the right ones for you.  

Add Lighting

Although you may have the lights off in your home cinema, you’re still going to need some form of lighting. Try opting for lights that give a subtle, warm glow as opposed to a harsh white light. Home cinemas are supposed to be relaxing and cozy, so try to reflect that in your lighting choice. 

Little Extras

Now that you’ve got the essentials sorted out for your room, it’s time to think about any fun extras that you’d like to include. You could have a snack station that has all your favorite cinema snacks, or an iced drinks machine so you can treat your guests to fruity slushies. You might want to add a bin too so that all the rubbish can be chucked, and you don’t end up with a popcorn-covered floor! 

Bringing the cinema to your home can be a brilliant way to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy all the latest flicks without having to leave the house. You don’t have to spend a fortune either. If you’ve only got a small spare room, just scale down the furnishings and you’ve still got your very own movie theatre. Make your home cinema unique to you and you’ll soon want to spend every evening there!      

How To Get Started in Passive Commercial Real Estate Investing

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Commercial real estate investing can be much hairier than residential. This we know. Permits, zoning issues, equipment, and material headaches, contractor disputes–it can be a lot to deal with. Thankfully, commercial real estate investing returns are normally much higher than residential real estate investing returns, making the slog to selling a property worth it in the end.

But, commercial real estate investing doesn’t need to be an active, all-encompassing part of your life. You don’t have to necessarily deal with all the paperwork, problems, and people associated with purchasing and managing a commercial property. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, let me tell you about passive real estate investing.

What is Passive Real Estate Investing?

As an active real estate investor, you may be buying and rehabbing properties, managing tenants, handling maintenance, collecting rent, or any number of duties associated with managing a property.

As a passive real estate investor, though, you do little more than move money along from investment to investment. In passive investing, you do not actually work with the property you invest in, much in the same way people buying Coca-Cola stock do not gain employment at one of their bottling factories.

Passive real estate investors simply buy into a property as a silent partner. A real estate syndication company (more on them in a bit) handles the property, including selling, renting, and managing tenants. Passive commercial real estate investing, then (obviously), is passive investing principles applied to commercial real estate. 

Why Passive Real Estate Investing?

If you believe that time is the most expensive thing in the world (i.e., you can spend it but never get it back), then passive real estate investing may be the strategy for you. 

With passive investing, you do not have to: slog through hours of permit paperwork, deal with unruly tenants, rush to find maintenance men capable of fixing a leak, or deal with contractual issues regarding a property’s structural capabilities. The only thing you have to do is open your wallet in the right direction.

That doesn’t mean you can be hands-off with your investment strategy. Investors still need to practice due diligence when aiming for the right property. This means asking the right questions to the right people. 

Another reason you should consider investing in passive commercial property is the high cost to enter. Commercial real estate is pricey, and if you’re simply one individual attempting to purchase a property, you may find your money isn’t long enough to play the game. 

In this case, it’s almost essential to partner with a commercial real estate syndication company. These companies pool groups of investors just like you into one massive investment fund to purchase a property you usually couldn’t get on your own.

Additionally, if you have little knowledge of the housing and commercial real estate market, a syndication company may be a great way for you to dip your toes in the waters of commercial real estate investing. 

As an outside investor, you won’t be able to make major decisions regarding renovations and rental policies, for example, but you’ll be privy to the syndication company’s strategy. You’ll get inside baseball on what works and doesn’t work. Consider this your MBA in passive commercial real estate investing. 

Real Estate Syndication Companies 

A real estate syndication company is funded by a group of investors, like yourself, who pool their money together to purchase a commercial property. The real estate syndication company manages the commercial property, and the investors act as the silent partners.

There are several types of real estate syndication companies. It pays to understand the differences between them before deciding which fits your lifestyle and budget better. 


Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are specialized syndication companies. These trusts are not taxable at the entity level. That means that you’re taxed at the individual level at a much lower rate. If you invest in REITs, you reap the added caveat of tax benefits as long as the company complies with the requisite IRA rules.

There are two types of REITs: publicly and privately traded. 

  • Publicly traded REITs can be bought and sold by any investor with a brokerage account. The minimum investment is the cost of one share. These REITs are coveted by investors for their liquidity, low minimums, good returns, and passive income ability. 
  • Privately traded REITs offer the same tax advantages as publicly-traded REITs, but only “accredited investors” are welcome to purchase them. Accredited Investors must meet a minimum income, and net worth requirement before access to share purchases is unlocked.

Private Equity Commercial Real Estate Investments

Private equity firms are similar to REITs in that they pool investor resources to purchase commercial properties. But, they do not have the same tax benefits as REITs. Private equity firms also are not responsible for distributing a high percentage of income and profits. 

There are two kinds of private equity commercial real estate investing groups:

  • Funds are contributed to by investors, but that’s where their input ends. The private equity company decides what property to buy while investors stand back and hope for the best.
  • Deals are different than funds in that they include the input of the investors. Investors decide on the property first, then pool together their resources for the sole purpose of a commercial property purchase. 

Strategies for Passive Commercial REI

Here are a few tips and tricks for exploring a passive income commercial real estate investing strategy using a syndication company:

  • Utilize Facebook & Meetup. Facebook Groups & Meetup are great places to find real estate syndication groups. Peruse top posts, rules, and past meetups to get a sense of each group’s flavor. Once you find one you vibe with, connect with the group’s leadership to ask how you can get involved in future deals.
  • Try public records. CoStar public record lookup is a good resource for finding companies that own properties you prefer. Once you find the companies, you can Google their names to vet the list for companies you’d rather do business with.
  • Attend networking events and conferences. Networking events (online and offline) are great ways to find like-minded investors already locked into a syndication company. Pick their brains on which company is best for you or jump into their shared fund and start reaping the rewards. 
  • Ask questions. Some of the questions you should be asking your potential real estate syndication company:
    • Do you have testimonials from previous investors?
    • Have any syndication deals underperformed and why?
    • What class of properties do you deal with?
    • What is the average ROI (return on investment)?
    • How many years of experience in underwriting commercial properties does the company have?
    • What is the company’s investing model, and why?
  • Watch for warning signs. There are a few red flags you should be on the lookout for when vetting syndication companies:
    • Comps are unreasonably distant from property
    • Set aside reserves are not budgeted
    • Decrease of population growth
    • Decrease of rental growth
    • Absorption rates are low
    • Revenue growth is unnaturally over 2% to 3%
  • Compare offerings. When studying the “offering memorandum” of each company, compare fee and profit return structures. These vary from company to company. Asset Management and Acquisition fees should fall anywhere between 1% to 5%. Compare offerings, choose the company that best fits your pocket and financial personality, and off to the real estate races you go. Godspeed, young investor. 

4 Most Impactful Ways to Upgrade Your Home This Spring

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A lot of people focus on aesthetics when they think of home renovations, but what about making the home more functional and pleasant to live in? You can always make a house look good, but changes can also take away from its livability. This is something we often see with kitchen renovations, for instance. 

Too many people fall in love with design ideas, but don’t realize how fast the initial excitement of having a pretty room wears off when it brings frustrations. This is why you should focus on impact when making renovations and adjustments. Let’s take a look at a few impactful ways to upgrade your home this spring.

Add Triple Pane Windows

Triple pane windows are one of those things that you can barely notice in a home, but they can have a huge impact. They will help you reduce your energy bills by allowing you to harness solar energy and reduce energy loss. They are also great if you’re in a busy area and you need additional sound protection.

Attic Transformation

You could also transform your attic if it isn’t already. You could transform it into an extra bedroom for the children, a game room, a study, or a breakout room. It can also be a great place to build a cellar or a home office. 

Be very careful when undertaking this kind of project, however, as there are many rules and regulations you’ll have to abide by. And, if your goal is to make a good ROI on a sale, try to be sensible with your design choices, especially when it comes to things like flooring. You could go with floating floors instead of permanent hardwood floors, for instance. Using a brick veneer could also help you make the room more rugged without breaking the bank.

Get a New Mattress

Getting a new mattress might be the single most impactful purchase you could ever make. The quality of your mattress will have a direct impact on the quality of your sleep, and the quality of your sleep will affect the quality of your health and life.

If your mattress is approaching 10 years of age, then you have to at least consider getting a new one. The good news is that mattresses are becoming cheaper by the day thanks largely to online retailers. If you want to find a good mattress on the cheap, we suggest you check out reviews for the best mattress to buy online. A good review site will have all sorts of mattresses for every type of sleeper and budget, and you should find one that will be perfect for you in no time.

Smart Additions

If you are reluctant to make your home smarter, you shouldn’t be. You don’t need to have the whole house connected to the internet and you can start with minor additions. You could get a smart doorbell with a camera, for instance, and smart lights. These are largely risk-free smart additions and you’d be surprised at how much more convenient they will make your home.

A smart doorbell is great if you receive packages often. It will allow you to see when someone is at the door from anywhere on the globe as long as you have an internet connection. 

Many of these doorbells will also have two-way speakers that will allow you to speak to anyone who’s at the door. You could even use the doorbell with your smart lights and have them signal you whenever someone is ringing the bell. This is great if you often miss people ringing at the door because of noise.

These are all upgrades and renovations you could consider if you want to make your home a better place to live in. Look at all these options and think about functionality first before making any adjustments.