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Real Estate 101: Should you buy or lease?

The decision to buy or lease comes up often in my discussions with clients.

You should buy if (a) you have sufficient equity for the down payment; (b) the debt carry of principal + interest is lower than lease rates; and (c) your business is “solid,” since liquidity for real estate assets takes time for disposal.

You are better off leasing if (a) the interest rates for buying are high (as they are now); (b) landlords are hungry for your business and offer deals (as they are now); and (c) the flexibility to grow or shrink fits your business operations.

– Steve MassellMassell Commercial Real Estate, The Georgia 100

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Real Estate 101: Persistence wears down resistance

The sale begins when a customer says “no.”

Whether I’m pitching a listing or submitting an offer, I’m often challenged by those two letters.

As a broker, my job is to be a problem solver. A client may need to sell or buy for a variety of reasons (company growth, partnership changes, tax-deferral, investment goals, family reasons, etc.). I need honesty as to why we’re speaking in the first place.

Share your real estate problems, and I’ll bring forth Strategic Space Solutions. How may my extensive skills benefit you and your business? Let’s connect at to find out.

Steve Massell, Massell Commercial Real Estate, The Georgia 100

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Thinking of buying lake property? Here are a few tips.

Buying lake property requires extensive homework. I know one fella who looked for five years before finding a great lakefront house of his dreams. During the search, he considered some of his priority items that included privacy, a location adjacent to national parkland, deep water dock positioning, high water levels and any potential lake drainage issues.

Take a few tips from me. Get in a boat and view your options from the water. Buy at the end of the selling season and take advantage of “cold” listings where you can really negotiate a strong purchase price. And be patient.

Steve Massell, Massell Commercial Real Estate, The Georgia 100

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Landlord insurance vs. renters insurance

Feeling confused by the different types of insurance available? You’re not alone. Here’s a primer on what kind of insurance is right for you.

Property owners who rent to others want landlord insurance. This policy typically:

• Protects the property from fire and other natural disasters.

• Covers you in the event tenants cause damage.

• Provides insurance against slip-and-fall accidents and the like.

Individuals who don’t own the dwelling in which they reside want renters insurance. This policy typically:

• Provides reimbursement for personal property/belongings.

• Covers alternative living expenses should your rental become uninhabitable.

Be prepared by reading more in our blog.


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Tips for investing in commercial real estate

Location, location, location. Over my 35 years’ of experience, I have seen time and again the old adage “location, location, location” play out in spades. Buying land in the path of growth allows an investor to get in and likely realize long-term high profits when exiting.

“Commercial Corners Create Cash” almost always holds true, even when road takings and widenings occur. Savvy buyers might follow where the nationals go (Starbucks, Publix, Walmart, etc.) as they do extensive research and forecasting. Sometimes they err, but usually the surrounding land increases substantially in value and often creates barriers to entry for competition.

Steve Massell, Massell Commercial Real Estate, The Georgia 100

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Simple household pest control methods

Seal off access points – Check weather stripping around your doors and windows, and ensure all vents are covered with screens. This includes in the eaves around your roof, as attics are common homes for pests.

Store food properly – Seal food in pantries, especially pet food, and invest in quality stories containers and resealable bags. 

Use natural deterrents – Before chemicals, try planting some natural pest deterrents, such as mint, basil, and lavender.

Know when to call the professionals – With wood borers, such as termites and carpenter ants, time is of the essence to prevent damage.

For more tips, read our blog.


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Landscape maintenance tips for your yard

There are plenty of tasks you’ll need to complete in order to keep your yard looking its best over the years, including:

Trim large trees. This maintains tree health and prevents wayward branches from scratching against your house or roof, potentially causing damage.

Clean your gutters. Debris-laden gutters can lead to water pooling that damages your eaves and roof over time. Clean them out at least once a year, though you may need to do so more often in heavily wooded areas.

Keep plants and clutter away from your house. Distance between landscaping and the home prevents pests and exterior damage.


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Rental property insurance basics

What does rental property insurance cover? 

Like a homeowners policy, it pays for repairs or rebuilding after a fire, vandalism and most natural disasters. But rental property insurance also covers everything inside the home that’s not owned by a renter, like appliances, furnishings, carpeting and window treatments.

It also covers elements of being a full- or part-time landlord that are not included in a conventional homeowner policy. Like if a tenant causes serious damage so you can’t rent out to others, your repairs and loss of income are repaid. 

Liability situations including injuries, wrongful eviction and discrimination are often covered too. 


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Deal timelines are doubling, requiring more planning

I used to love closing real estate deals in less than four months. Not anymore.

It takes twice as long these days. This is due to interest rate hikes, inflation and so much activity in the market. Plus, everyone is so busy. A 30-day survey now takes 90 days. A 30-day appraisal takes 120 days. A 60-day environmental investigation now takes 120 days. All the vendors are booked solid and this has added three months to deal cycles.

We now have to pre-book these services as soon as we begin negotiating for a property – well before a contract a signed.

– Steve Massell, Massell Commercial Real Estate, The Georgia 100

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Upgrading your windows: How to choose what’s best for your house

Planning to upgrade your home’s windows this spring? You’ll have a wide range of options to choose from, so it is important to evaluate your options:

Types of windows – Know  how you’d like your windows to open, i.e. casement windows, single-hung, double-hung or slider windows, or bay windows if they don’t need to open.

Types of glass – Next, you’ll need to decide whether you want standard or double-paned glass. Standard glass is typically more affordable, though double-paned glass is more energy-efficient.

Additional features – Finally, consider the overall security needed for your new windows.

Read our blog for more details and tips.