Landlords: These Are the 4 Types of Insurance You May Need

What Types of Insurance Do Landlords Need?

The basics of becoming a landlord are straightforward: Buy a property in a promising neighborhood, fix it up, find tenants, and start charging slightly more than you’re paying in regular costs. But if you want to protect your assets and ensure you’re following every applicable law, things get more complicated. Consider insurance. The right insurance […]

View the full article: Landlords: These Are the 4 Types of Insurance You May Need on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Richard Meier-Designed Masterpiece Owned by Norma Kamali on Market for $4.35M

Step into this Richard Meier-designed house, in Mount Kisco, NY, and you’ll see the interiors are a stylish match for the white and glassy-walled architecture.

It’s no surprise to find the owner is the iconic fashion designer Norma Kamali. Yes, that Norma Kamali, the one who created the sleeping bag coat, and the red bathing suit worn by “Charlie’s Angels” star Farrah Fawcett in what may be the most famous poster of all time. The memorable ’70s look was immortalized with the donation of the one-piece swimsuit to the Smithsonian Institution.

The designer made headlines herself when she unveiled the new look of the interiors of her weekend home, located about an hour from Manhattan. The property combines a stone cottage with the modernist addition. Built in 1972, it’s now available for $4.35 million.

The artwork, furniture, and finishes were showcased in a spread in Town and Country magazine. Kamali told the publication, “’There is a blurred line between architecture, design, and fashion.’”

Richard Meier-designed home from 1972

Great room with fireplace

Media room with stone wall

Walls of glass

White kitchen

While the clean lines can be tracked to Meier’s more recent projects, such as the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the sleek and chic interiors are all Norma, notes listing agent Muffin Dowdle of Ginnel Real Estate, who noted that the newest resident has owned the place for about five or six years. “The greatest thing is Norma Kamali bought it and renovated it,” she says. “It has her pizazz, her sense of style. Everything she used is top-notch.”

The 6,044 square feet include four bedrooms, five baths, and an infinity-edge pool on almost seven wooded acres.

Details include a dramatic great room with a vaulted ceiling, fireplace, grand floating staircase, and a casual eating area. The gleaming white kitchen is filled with Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Bosch appliances.

A media room contains a wet bar, and features walls of stone and glass. The sun-filled master suite is graced with a window wall, fireplace, dressing room with walk-in closet, and master bath with a freestanding tub.

The upper level also sports a gym with a sauna and a bath. 

Although Kamali “adores it,” the 73-year-old designer isn’t using the home as much as she’d like and has decided to move on , Dowdle notes. The next owner can take advantage of the the stylish space, inside and out. 

Meier, whose modernist designs include the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and San Jose City Hall, has taken a leave of absence from his firm after allegations of sexual harassment were detailed by The New York Times. 

The post Richard Meier-Designed Masterpiece Owned by Norma Kamali on Market for $4.35M appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Here’s the One Renovation Joanna Gaines Can’t Do-and You’ll Never Guess Why

Fixer Upper: Behind the Design

Jennifer Boomer / HGTV

Joanna Gaines has a lot of freedom when deciding how to design homes, yet on the latest “Fixer Upper: Behind the Design,” we learn there’s actually one renovation she can’t do-at least not this time.

In the episode titled, “The Ballas Loft,” Joanna is renovating a condominium in a multiunit building for her dear friend Catherine Ballas, a fitness instructor. The only problem: This building’s board has strict regulations forbidding certain alterations. Bummer!

“The biggest challenge is having to work within the guidelines of the actual complex,” Joanna explains, adding that there are certain features in the home “we can’t touch, because it would affect the exterior.”

Like? Jo learns she’s not allowed to paint her friend’s front door (at least not the side that faces out into the hallway for all to see).

Many reno shows (Jo’s included) recommend painting the front door in a cool color, since it’s a budget-friendly way to make a place stand out. Granted, we can see why condos might want all doors the same hue, but suffice it to say that Joanna and her husband, Chip, rarely work under such heavy restrictions. So, that’s definitely a big adjustment for them.

Another challenge this time around that throws Jo out of her comfort zone? Ballas wants her loft to have a “modern industrial” vibe-which is a far cry from the farmhouse look Joanna can do in her sleep.

“I’ve never done a modern industrial loft,” Joanna admits.

Nonetheless, despite these limitations, Joanna musters up some genius design moves that loft owners and others will love and want to try too. Look and learn!

Expose the inner workings

The first thing Joanna does is rip out the dropped ceiling, to see what’s up there. As she suspected, there’s a sprinkler system, pipes, HVAC conduits, etc. By removing the dropped ceiling, she gains a couple of feet overhead, and will use all the pipes as design features.

Fixer Upper: Behind the Design
Joanna removed the lowered ceiling and used the pipes and ducting as design elements.


Don’t go too raw

There is some strange colored tape and insulation overhead, where the ceiling used to be, and Joanna doesn’t like the ramshackle look of it all, even if it is ultra-industrial. “We want it to look very purposeful, but also refined and clean, and that’s a very tight balance,” she says. She has the high ceiling above the industrial elements painted white (rather than leaving it cement gray) and spiffs up all the piping, vents, and ducting by painting them black and polishing the galvanized steel.

Balance out a black-and-white kitchen

Joanna says Ballas “loves the contrast of white and black,” so she makes sure to add plenty to the kitchen.

“White cabinets and white countertops ground the space and keep it from feeling too heavy,” says Joanna. She adds black, in the form of handmade backsplash tiles, and a black stove hood and pipe that reaches up to the other black pipes near the exposed ceiling. Then she warms everything up with brass hardware. It is indeed the perfect balance.

Add an industrial island

“Industrial” and “island” might not seem to be a match made in heaven, but Joanna comes up with a stainless steel rolling chef’s table on black casters that can be moved around to any point in the loft. And it looks fabulous.

Fixer Upper: Behind the Design
A stainless steel island and bronze hardware look great in this modern kitchen.


Triple-purpose the second bedroom

Ballas wants both an office and a place for guests to stay when they come to visit, but Joanna doesn’t stop at a guest room/office. After building in a loft-style, “floating,” queen-size bed, accessible by a ladder, she installs a quaint and cozy reading nook below, with built-in bookshelves, that help support the bed. Genius!

Fixer Upper: Behind the Design
An office with a queen-sized bed in a loft space overhead, and a reading nook below.


A novel closet feature

The loft also has an elaborate and spacious closet, Joanna’s first big custom closet job. She wants it to be a real show closet that looks like a boutique, so Ballas can display all her shoes and hats. For this, Joanna comes up with great open shelving. And, upon realizing that the laundry room happens to be on the other side of a closet wall, she creates a waist-high pass-through cabinet, with a laundry bin on rollers. That way, when it’s full, Ballas can simply push it through the pass, and voilà! It’s in the laundry room.

This is one of Joanna’s cleverest moves yet.

Smart home features add a whole new level of cool

When Jo takes a moment to explain the newly renovated condo’s many virtues, she says, “This apartment is a little too smart for me. I don’t even know how to talk smart.”

Of course, she’s not referring to her own intellectual capabilities. She’s talking about the way her team has added a number of “smart home” features to the place.

“You can control everything from a phone,” she explains. “Whether it be the thermostat, the lights, the music, the T.V., the blinds…” All of which add to the loft’s cool modern feel.

The post Here’s the One Renovation Joanna Gaines Can’t Do-and You’ll Never Guess Why appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

The Average Living Costs in Colorado Springs

Living Costs in Colorado Springs

If you’re planning on moving to Colorado Springs, CO, it’s important to first find out what the cost of living is and whether you can afford it. Located approximately 60 miles south of Denver and 85 miles south of Boulder, Colorado Springs is surrounded by nature but includes all the benefits of a major city. […]

The post The Average Living Costs in Colorado Springs appeared first on Unpakt Blog.

Picture This: How to Pack Pictures and Paintings for Moving

How to pack pictures for movingThe framed art pieces must be one of the reasons why you love your home so much. Precious framed pictures around your house or apartment tell all kinds of stories and bring back dear memories of special occasions from the past. Valuable framed paintings on the walls show your impeccable artistic taste, your masterful skills as an artist, or both.

While it’s true that framed artwork can turn an ordinary residence into a special place, it’s also true that packing picture frames for moving will not be the easiest task in your packing and moving calendar. The reason? Framed artwork is fragile.

Regrettably, various types of problems may ruin your mood when you start unpacking your framed art pieces in the new home: cracked or broken picture frames, shattered glass elements, damaged pictures, torn photos, ripped canvases, and so on.

Read on to learn how to pack pictures when moving from one home to another, and specifically – how to pack framed pictures, canvas paintings and other framed art you have in your home.

What packing materials will you need to pack your pictures and paintings?

One thing is clear: you don’t want to find any of your framed photos and paintings ruined upon arriving in the new home. Sure, the way you pack your framed art pieces is fundamental for the success of that particular packing task, but you should also keep in mind that you can’t do it right without proper packing materials.

Looking for a good way to pack your picture frames on your own will mean that you must have decided against hiring professional packers to protect your items. Nevertheless, the great thing about hiring a full-service mover is that the packers will arrive in your home not only with high-quality packing supplies, including specialized picture boxes, but also with the skills to complete the delicate task quickly and safely.

Here are the packing materials you’ll need to protect your framed art during the actual move:

  • Cardboard boxes of the right size. Or better yet – specialized picture moving boxes (see below for more details);
  • Clean pieces of cardboard. These cardboard pieces will be used to protect the fragile glass sections of your framed photos and paintings. The good news? They should be easy to find with all the packing boxes in the house.
  • Packing paper. You’re going to need plenty of soft packing paper to make sure your easily breakable art pieces stay intact throughout the house move.
  • Bubble wrap. The secret to wrapping pictures and paintings for moving is the ample usage of bubble wrap. Do not make the mistake of skimping on the best protective material when packing up your home, especially when it comes to packing fragile items for a move.
  • Packing boxes for large pictures

    Flatten out some cardboard boxes to make good picture boxes.

    Painter’s tape. Get a couple of rolls of painter’s masking tape simply because it can be removed cleanly and easily from the glass surface of your framed photos and paintings without leaving any adhesive residue. Why exactly do you need masking tape? Read on to find out.

  • Packing tape. Of course, you’ll also need regular packing tape when packing and moving picture frames and paintings. Make sure you purchase enough rolls of high-quality tape as you’ll soon be taping, securing and sealing too many boxes as well.
  • A permanent marker. Finally, get a hold of a permanent marker so that you can label properly the boxes and the bundles after you’ve packed them with your valuable photos and paintings.

Do you really need picture boxes?

Before we show you the detailed steps to packing pictures and paintings for a move, let’s say a few words about the specialized moving boxes for paintings and pictures known as picture moving boxes or just picture boxes (sometimes referred to as mirror boxes as well).

Picture boxes offer a number of advantages over ordinary cardboard boxes:

  • Picture boxes are made of stronger and thicker cardboard, and that fact alone will provide a better protection for your art pieces.
  • Picture packing boxes are made up of four individual cardboard pieces that fit together to create an adjustable hard protection for the picture frames and the painting frames. This way, you won’t have to worry whether your framed photos and paintings will fit in the boxes or not.

As you can imagine, those boxes for moving framed pictures and paintings cost more than plain cardboard boxes. A standard Mirror & Picture Box (37” x 4” x 27”) costs around $5, while a larger Mirror & Picture Box (49” x 5” x 33”) will be approximately $7. So, here’s a piece of advice that will help you save money: use specialized picture boxes ONLY for really valuable and expensive framed pictures and paintings.

Where to buy picture boxes for moving? You can order such framed art shipping boxes online, at truck rental agencies (UHAUL, for example), office supply stores and home improvement stores. Don’t worry if you don’t have any specialized artwork boxes – simply use the following steps to creating DIY cardboard picture boxes from ordinary moving boxes.

How to pack quickly for a move

How to pack pictures and paintings for a move: Step-by-step

Now that you have the necessary materials to pack your pictures and paintings, it’s time for the actual step-by-step packing process. Interestingly enough, your framed photos and paintings can be one of the first things to pack when moving house simply because you can do without your fragile framed artwork until after the move is over.

Here’s the best way to pack pictures for moving:

Step 1. Gather all pictures and paintings for packing

Packing pictures for a move

It’s good to know what you’re up against before packing up your framed pictures for the upcoming move.

Go around your home and take down all photos and paintings that are hung on the walls. Be careful not to drop any framed items as you’re removing them from their spots.

Also, gather all framed pictures and smaller paintings that are on display on various nightstands, desks, tables, dressers, and other pieces of furniture around the home.

Take all of the fragile items to the room you’ve selected as your packing station.

Step 2. Set up a packing station

Designate one room as the place where you’ll complete the packing task, and then look for a large table where you’ll feel comfortable enough packing your pictures and paintings.

Clear out that table and then cover its surface with a thick (moving) blanket to be the soft protective layer you’ll need during the actual wrapping process.

Remember that picture frames can be rather fragile and may not survive the house move intact unless you add some extra protective measures.

Step 3. Get the stack of packing paper ready

Position the stack of soft packing paper in the middle of the already padded table.

If a frame happens to be larger than the size of the packing paper, then place several sheets of paper so that they overlap, creating a paper area that’s sufficiently larger than the size of the picture frame, or the painting frame.

Step 4. Secure the glass pieces of the frames

Some picture frames will have pieces of glass on the front, while some of them will have thin plastic sheets that will protect the photo or the painting from dust, moisture and so on. One of the key steps of packing pictures for shipping is to make sure those extra fragile frame elements stay perfectly safe during the haul.

The glass protection task consists of two separate steps:

  • Make an X. Use the painter’s tape and make a big X on the glass or plastic face of the framed picture or painting – diagonally, from corner to corner. The tape should prevent any glass pieces from damaging the photo paper or canvas in case the glass did break or crack during the move.
  • Use cardboard. For extra security, place a piece of cardboard over the breakable glass front, then use tiny pieces of masking tape to fix it in place. The size of the cardboard piece should be roughly the size of the frame.

Step 5. Wrap the picture frame

Position the framed picture or painting in the middle of the paper stack with its glass side facing down, and then cover it in two sheets of paper the same way you would wrap a birthday present. Finally, use pieces of packing paper to secure the edges of the newly-formed paper bundle.

Make sure you don’t leave any unprotected areas of the frame. If the painting is too big, use as many sheets of packing paper as necessary.

Step 6. Remember: safety comes first

Pack pictures and paintings in bubble wrap

Bubble wrap is indispensable when packing valuable and expensive pictures and paintings.

When packing pictures for a move, you shouldn’t worry too much about how nice the paper bundles look in the end. The sole purpose of packing your framed pictures and paintings is to keep them safe until you reach the new home, so safety has a higher priority here than appearance.

Using packing paper and tape, make sure the bundles get as tight as they can be and the frame is not shifting inside, not even an inch.

Step 7. Add bubble wrap for valuable framed artwork

When packing pictures and paintings that you value a lot, or ones that cost too much, then you must add an extra outer layer of bubble wrap to keep your valuables safe.

Simply cover the paper-wrapped frames with one extra layer of bubble wrap, then use packing tape once more to secure the new bundle. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

IMPORTANT: Bubble wrap should never get in direct contact with a picture or a painting because it can ruin that artwork. Use bubble wrap only when the picture or painting is protected by glass covers.

The best packing tips for moving

Step 8. Prepare the picture boxes

If you’re using picture boxes to move your large pictures and paintings, then boxing the protected artwork pieces is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is position two box sections and slide them into one another to create a custom-sized closely-fitting box. Place some bubble wrap into their joined corners for extra protection and support.

Do the same thing with the other two box sections until you’re left with two cardboard halves that will be interconnected and snugly fitted around the big photo frame or the large painting frame.

Step 9. Make picture boxes out of regular boxes

If you don’t have any specialized picture frame packs, you can try and create makeshift picture boxes. To do this, you’ll need to flatten out two standard cardboard boxes.

Take the first flat box and use plenty of packing tape to seal one of its two open ends. Then, do the same with the other cardboard box, thus creating the second cardboard sleeve that will be fitted around the large picture frame. The main idea is to interconnect and then telescope the two pieces into one another.

Don’t forget to introduce sufficient padding into each box corner – use crumpled paper or a few sheets of bubble wrap.

IMPORTANT: Original picture boxes or DIY ones work best when packing large frames of pictures or paintings. When packing small framed photos and paintings that are not too valuable in any way, then it’s best to transfer them into medium-sized moving boxes after you’ve wrapped them carefully in packing paper and even in bubble wrap.

Step 10. Transfer the packed frames into the boxes

Here’s how to transfer the already packed frames into their cardboard containers:

What's the best way to move picture frames?

Thanks to our solid packing tips, your framed pictures and paintings have survived the house move.

Small pictures and paintings

Transfer the already protected small frames into medium-sized boxes and arrange them vertically on their ends, NOT flat. This packing method is used to avoid excessive pressure on the framed pieces that remain on the bottom.

Large pictures and paintings

  • Cushion with paper or bubble wrap the bottom and edges of one of the two sections of the picture box, then place a large framed piece into it.
  • Press down gently. If there’s enough room, you can pack more than one picture or painting, just make sure there’s a good level of protection between them.
  • Then, place the second section of the picture box over the frame, adjust the size and then press down until the two halves meet and interlock.
  • Finally, use packing tape to secure the two segments of the picture box.

Step 11. Label the picture boxes

Use a black marker pen to label your boxes once you seal them shut using plenty of packing tape. Mark the content, destination room (if applicable), and of course – write down FRAGILE and HANDLE WITH CARE in big letters.

How to label moving boxes like a pro

Step 12. Use the gained knowledge to pack mirrors for moving too

It’s important to note down that the above steps for packing picture frames can also be used to pack mirrors for moving. Just use more bubble wrap than you would normally do.

When packing your pictures and paintings for a move, it’s fundamental that you recognize your limits as a self-packer. If you do happen to own really expensive framed art, then don’t take any unnecessary risks – hire a full-service mover and have the smooth relocation you’ve wanted ever since you knew you were going moving house soon.

Professional packers guide: All you need to know

The post Picture This: How to Pack Pictures and Paintings for Moving appeared first on The Moving Blog.

Buildium cyclists raise over $100,000 for MS research in 2018 Bike MS Ride

Everyone knows someone affected by multiple sclerosis. So every summer, Buildium’s Bike MS team rides from Boston to Provincetown to raise funds for MS awareness and treatment.

This year, donations from our corporate sponsors and the fundraising efforts of more than 60 Buildians brought in over $100,000 (and rising!). We wanted to take a moment out of our day to thank the many people who helped us to reach our fundraising goals this year.

Bike MS Ride 2018:

Buildium’s Generous Sponsors

We couldn’t have done it without the help of some extraordinary people. There are so many to thank, starting with our generous sponsors.

Our Bike MS Ride 2018 Sponsors:

Borislow Insurance


Forte Payment Systems

K1 Investment Management

Mintz Levin



Price Intelligently



Warehouse Bar & Grille

Wells Fargo

Bike MS Ride 2018:

Buildium’s Fearless Riders

The Buildium team pedaled for 150 miles through intense 90-degree heat to earn the donations it raised over the past several months. We even had multiple family members, friends and one of our very own customers join our team this year.  Without each of you, we wouldn’t have been able to raise so much money for MS research–and we definitely wouldn’t have had as much fun along the way!

Bike MS Ride 2018:

Buildium’s Incredible Support Team

We wanted to say a special thank you to everyone who volunteered their time, stopped by our fundraising event at The Warehouse, bought raffle tickets, contributed a few dollars, or just talked to somebody they know about the importance of MS research. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to make it to the finish line in support of such an amazing cause.

In addition, special thanks goes out to The Warehouse in Boston for hosting a great fundraiser for our team. Thanks also to the Buildium creative team for our amazing jerseys this year. Last but certainly not least, thank you to Mary and the rest of the Buildium team for your support at the Bike MS finish line.

And once again, a big thank you to our thoughtful sponsors. Your support made a huge difference and will go a long way in supporting multiple sclerosis research.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and we hope to see you at Bike MS in 2019!

The post Buildium cyclists raise over $100,000 for MS research in 2018 Bike MS Ride appeared first on Buildium.