The benefits of online tenant screening

October 8, 2017 by · Comments Off on The benefits of online tenant screening 

Female real estate agent giving keys to new property owners

If a landlord does a full screening of their potential tenants, the chances are that the tenant they choose will be a well-rounded tenant who will pay their rent on time and take care of their property. With more and more people being time poor, online tenant screening has become popular as they provide details of a potential tenant quickly and accurately. Here are some other benefits of using an online tenant screening service.

Better predict evictions – Most sites provide eviction predictions, that will look at a tenant’s credit information and provide predictions on evictions.

Immediate screening – Sites now offer you the chance to enter limited details, that will allow landlords to start the screening process immediately.

Full credit, criminal and eviction reports – To receive a complete view of a tenant it is important to receive full credit, criminal and eviction reports. Sites also provide filters and industry best practices to receive superior coverage.

Compliant process – Tenant Screening Services, LLC says that it is important that tenants are screened as per federal and state regulations. Reputed sites are often regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and are designed to be compliant.

Easy process – Screening applicants at a landlord’s convenience allows the landlord flexibility to view and enter details using a computer, phone, or tablet.

Payment – Screening websites are upfront about their fees and memberships, which provides the landlord the chance to choose the services they require.

The basics of construction claims

June 15, 2017 by · Comments Off on The basics of construction claims 

Summary: Construction claims cost all parties’ time, money and resources. A claim is between the contractor and owner and involves monetary compensation. Understand the different types of claims and evaluate your options, before you proceed with a claim.

One of the biggest causes of delays in construction are construction disputes or claims. These claims cost time, money and resources for all parties involved since work grinds to a halt until there is a resolution to the satisfaction of all the parties involved. Here we look at the basic elements of a construction claim:

What is a claim?

The basic definition of a claim is when there is a demand asserted by one party on another for services specified in a contract. The most common claim in construction is for payment or non-payment for completed work. The claims are always monetary with one side seeking compensation from the other.

Who are the parties?

The two parties in such a claim are usually the contractor and the owner. A contractor might claim compensation for changes to the work schedule, the amount of work, duration, acceleration, etc. The owner might claim from the contractor for failing to finish work by stipulations in the contract.

How do you deal with a claim?

All the parties should understand that a construction claim is a complex process that requires the thorough knowledge and understanding of the facts, the details of the contract and the wording of the law. Before you proceed with a claim, gain a thorough understanding of the details and guidelines of the different types of construction claims.

Article submitted by Lyle Charles. An expert in construction claims analysis for commercial and residential construction.

How to choose a general contractor

February 12, 2017 by · Comments Off on How to choose a general contractor 

Written by Lyle Charles

It is important to get the assistance of a construction consultant when handling medium to large construction projects. Usually, general contractors will take the responsibility of completing a project for a bid price. This means that your contractor will hire the subcontractors and therefore you will only have to communicate with the contractor directly.

Since your entire project is in the hands of your contractor, it is vital that you choose one that processes the right experience, knowledge, and integrity required to handle your project. It is important that the cost is not the main reason why you choose one contractor over the other. As these benefits can quickly evaporate if the project faces delays or modifications.

It is best to assume that there will be problems with any contractor that will have to be handled as and when they happen and instead look at a person who you can work cooperatively for the duration of the project.

The responsibilities of a general contractor are;

Estimating and bidding the project

Negotiating a contract with the owner

Hiring subcontractors

Obtaining permits and scheduling inspections

Requesting payments based on work progress

Negotiating, ordering and issuing material to and from suppliers

Schedule workers, subs, and deliveries

Understanding plans and specifications

Supervising and coordinating the work

Troubleshooting problems

The contractor should provide you with clear updates on the progress of the project and inform you about any foreseen delays. However, if there are issues that cannot be solved and those that have caused delay and other claims, it is advisable to speak to a lawyer or go through construction mediation process to resolve issues.


Construction already costs a ton without factoring in the costs of litigation, which is becoming more common by the day. According to Lyle Charles Consulting, construction turnaround services can help cut those costs and provide a fair resolution to disputes that commonly arise.

Polyurethane Foam is Used More than You Think

January 5, 2016 by · Comments Off on Polyurethane Foam is Used More than You Think 

Polyurethane-Foam-is-Used-More-than-You-ThinkvFlexible polyurethane foam is one of the most commonly used products in today’s world. Known for their strong support and flexible usage, they are used in a majority of the things that we use on a daily basis. They support your back on those long drives, make furniture a bit more comfortable, and even keep you warmer than usual on those cold nights. Polyurethane is used in places that we don’t see with the naked eye but feel through its’ contributions.

What is Polyurethane?

Polyurethane comes from a large family of polymers or plastics. They can have an open-celled structure to them or they can also be rigid, mimicking a closed-cell type of foam. This is why this type of foam is so diverse and useful for everyday applications.

By reacting both polyols and diisocyanates, you make polyurethane foam. These two chemicals are derived from crude oil and then processed in a way that is similar to bread rising to create this foam. Certain amounts of additives are then added to the foam which increases its quality, depending on what it’s used for.


Polyurethane foam has many uses to it. From household applications to construction use, it’s become one of the foundations for practicality.

If you’re stuck in traffic, the polyurethane foam sheets are the things that are keeping your back from slumping all the way in the middle. They are also used in packaging as well. Businesses need a reliable buffer between the thin sheet of cardboard and the product and polyurethane does an efficient job at protecting it.

Bio: Foam Factory, Inc. is a high-end distributor of polyurethane foam in Canada.

The History of Restraint of Trade

July 10, 2015 by · Comments Off on The History of Restraint of Trade 

Restraint of trade was used throughout the 1700s as a means to enforce restrictions on the practice of businesses in order to protect intellectual property. To understand how restraint of trade came about, and some of the implications of this important legislation, one must take a trip through time to 1711.

A baker from St. Andrew Holborn, named Reynolds, decided to rent his business out to another man named Mitchel for a length of five years. The two men agreed to a small bond, which would become void if Reynold continued baking in St. Andrew Holborn.

 photo restraint-of-trade_zpso9bfmeu3.jpg

Reynold, understanding the terms of the bond to mean that he could not practice his trade in St. Andrew Holborn, took his baking to another town and attempted to prosper. Mitchel, the man who had rented Reynold’s business, decided to sue on the grounds that the bond had been voided.

The court ruled in favor of Mitchel, and here is why. Reynold had more to his name than just the brick and mortar store. His name, his reputation and the customers that came because of those qualities would presumably follow him to whichever town he chose to set up shop. Because the basis of the transaction was for Mitchel to rent a profitable business and build it up, moving to the next town over defeated his premise.

The court decided this restraint of trade was useful, because Reynolds was the product. Not the business, even though the business was the basis for the transaction. What Mitchel rented was not so much the business, but Reynold refusing to participate in the market.

How NASDAQ Was Able to Compete with NYSE

June 4, 2015 by · Comments Off on How NASDAQ Was Able to Compete with NYSE 

By Phin Upham

A stock exchange is a place where multiple sellers are able to come together and exchange equities. Two components are necessary: a buyer and a seller. In today’s markets, there are two major exchanges, both based out of the United States: the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.

It’s important to understand that location played a large role in the development of both exchanges. NYSE was able to flourish because of its proximity to importing locations like the pier. The constant movement of goods made New York a prime center for commerce, and Wall Street was close enough to the action.

The traditional image most people have of people standing in a crowd, throwing papers and yelling, takes place at NYSE. The Exchange has a physical location on Wall Street.

NASDAQ, on the other hand, relies on computer trading done over a network. There is no trade floor, and the transaction is very different in nature. NYSE charged exorbitant fees to list and manage trades, and they were largely able to get away with it until the NASDAQ offered investor-to-investor transactions that lowered the costs of money.

NASDAQ relies on electronically connected computers to move its transactions, which means there are no costs maintaining a physical location.

Another way of viewing these differences is to say that NYSE is an auction market while NASDAQ is comprised of individual “market makers.” Using NYSE, sellers are auctioning shares such that the lowest asking price is matched with the highest bidding price.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or LinkedIn page.

Edwin Cannan: Author of “The Wealth of Nations”

May 5, 2015 by · Comments Off on Edwin Cannan: Author of “The Wealth of Nations” 

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Edwin Cannan was an economist from Britain who wrote “The Wealth of Nations.” The book, published in 1904, helped to set the tone for what economists today call “the tragedy of commons.”

Cannan was a professor at Oxford who inherited a fortune that allowed him time to be something of a professional philosopher. He dabbled around London, learning how the economy worked and how its individuals invested and profited from those workings.

Cannan’s work didn’t draw much scrutiny during his lifetime. He’d attempted criticisms of Marshall and Keynes, but neither had really fallen on enthusiastic ears. He’d also written a host of works, none of which were well-received.

The trouble was that Cannan’s ideas were not very popular, almost stinging in their honesty. Cannan articulated an idea first put forth by Garret Hardin. He argued that when people acted according to their own self-interest, they could have catastrophic effects on the group. Except that Cannan’s version put a twist on this idea. He argued that the higher an area’s land values, the more public works that area was likely to have and therefore the lower quality of the workforce that area was likely to attract. If taxation is high, there is more money left over for subsidies. This distorts the value of a location. Are taxes high because the city has high property values, or are values high because the city requires higher taxes?

Cannan was considered a classical liberal, something akin to a modern day libertarian. He might not argue for smaller government, but he recognized the benefit of allocating public money.

Samuel Phineas Uphamis an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Samual Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.

Jamie Dimon’s Rapid Ascension Through the Banking World

March 27, 2015 by · Comments Off on Jamie Dimon’s Rapid Ascension Through the Banking World 

By Phineas Upham

Born in New York City in 1956, Jamie Dimon was a third-generation stock broker who began his career working for Wells Fargo. It was at Wells Fargo that he worked under Sandy Weill, until personal differences drove the two apart. Dimon left Fargo to join Bank One, which would eventually merge with the firm known as JP Morgan Chase. Dimon’s ascension through the ranks of choice would culminate with position as CEO and as chairman of the board.

Dimon was instrumental in a few important mergers and acquistions that have shaped the financial industry today. He helped integrate Smith Barney with Travelers Group. Dimon also helped in the merger of Travelers Group with Citicorp, which resulted in Citigroup. The company would go on to become a massive banking giant, and it would have done so with Jamie Dimon at the helm had personal tensions not developed with Sandy Weill. Weill resented Dimon’s stature and growth in the industry, and Dimon resigned in 1998.

Dimon left Citigroup and is said to have told a coworker that he would never work for anyone else again. The next job he took was as Chairman and CEO of Bank One, so he’d stay true to his word. Dimon repaired Bank One’s ailing finances and managed to merge it with JP Morgan Chase. He took on the role of president at that point, and then as CEO in 2006.

Dimon was leading JP Morgan Chase during the crisis of 2008. He mostly avoided huge losses, acquired Bear Stearns for pennies on the dollar, and played an important role in the crisis and recovery thereafter.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.

Porsche and the War Economy

March 9, 2015 by · Comments Off on Porsche and the War Economy 

By Phineas Upham

Porsche began as a motor vehicle development and consulting firm. Established in Austria in 1931, the company got its first big start helping to design the first Volkswagen car. Namely the Volkswagen Beetle, a design the company still uses today. In fact, the Beetle design was so groundbreaking that Porsche reused some of its components in designing the 1939 Porsche 64.

When Volkswagen production shifted to the war economy, Porsche followed suit. He helped design heavy tanks, but his designs were never incorporated into the final product. Instead, the government settled on Henschel & Son’s Tiger I and Tiger II designs. Porsche did design the chassis for the tank, and two prototypes for a super-tank that was set to be produced by the end of the war.

Volkswagen’s factory fell to the British after World War II, and it was during that time that Porsche’s son designed a car. He was driven by a need to buy a car, but he couldn’t find one on the market that he liked enough to pull the trigger. He built the first model of what was to become the Porsche 356 in 1947.

Aside from the Porsche 360, the Porsche 356 was the first car to be mass produced and sold by the company.

The Porsche logo resembles a coat of arms because it is based off of one. The Free People’s State of Wurttemberg formally of Weimar, Germany was the foundation for the logo. The antlers from the head of the stags form the ivy pattern on the logo, and the coat of arms of Stuttgart (which proudly features a horse) is emblazoned in the center.

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Facebook page.

How to Install Artificial Grass

August 21, 2013 by · Comments Off on How to Install Artificial Grass 

Believe it or not, installing artificial grass is not a very difficult process.  It can actually be a successful DIY project with the right equipment and knowledge.  Make sure to take all of these steps to get the best looking lawn possible:


  1.  Clear old grass or other plants: You will want to spray a weed killer or another product that will block natural grass form growing.  This is a great step to do days before installation.  You want to remove all weeds out of the way.  This process requires a weed barrier that will last anywhere from 15-25 years.


  1.  Install and level the base: You need to first select a base as they can be made from various materials including decomposed granite, crushed stone or pea gravel among others.  It’s crucial to make sure that the base is level.  The turf will go directly on top of the base so it needs to be smooth and even.  The base is also what helps with drainage, so it can be helpful to have a bit of a slope.


  1.  Measure the area and cut the turf: Make sure to get the exact measurements correct between both the area that you’re filling and the residential artificial grass.  In some cases, it’s important to lay the turf so that all of the grass blades are pointing in the same direction.  Once you have measured everything, you can cut the turf to fit the area exactly.  It’s best to use a standard carpet or box knife.  Seaming pieces of turf together can typically be a hassle, so it’s best to cut as few pieces as possible.     


  1. Attach the turf to the base: This is a very important process because you want to make sure that your turf is attached correctly so that it’s secure.  It’s best to attach the turf and the base using 6” galvanized nails.  The nails should be inserted about a .5” to 1” from the edge of the turf and every 4-6” along the perimeter of the turf. 


  1. Add infill material: Before adding the infill material, it’s best to “fluff” the grass with a rake or broom.  Then, you want to add an infill material which can be made from different materials including sand, rocks, stone dust and compounded earth.  This material will help to keep the blades of the grass both rooted and lifted up.  It’s recommended to use about 2 pounds of infill for every square foot of the turf.  Artificial grass suppliers will carry all the materials that you need.


Guest post is provided by Artificial Turf Supply.  If you’re interested in artificial grass wholesale, you’ve found the               right distributor!  Check out their website for more information.

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