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A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a specialty corporate entity that owns and operates real estate to generate a profit. Several types exist. An Equity REIT typically generates income by leasing and managing income-producing property. The type of property makes no difference -- commercial, multi-family residential, retail, office, industrial, or a mix of specialty developments, including medical facilities and retirement communities.
Shares are sold to individual investors, who then receive a steady income based on operating earnings. According to some estimates, at least 225 publicly-traded REITs exist in the United States, all traded on a national securities exchange and regulated by the SEC. Public, non-traded REITs also exist, and are SEC-regulated. Private real estate investment trusts are not registered and not publicly-traded, offered instead only to a select group of investors. Picking the right type for individual investment goals can involve extensive homework.
Internal Revenue Service regulations are strictly applied. They stipulate that an REIT must be a taxable corporation, and derive at least 75% of its income from real estate sales, rents or mortgage interest. The corporation must then return at least 90% of taxable income to shareholders on an annual basis. There are additional requirements, in addition to holding at least 75% of assets in real estate, U.S. Treasury bonds or cash.
An REIT can provide important liquidity to an investment portfolio, with a typically steady annual income stream, although there may be little capital appreciation. The yield from different types of REIT can vary substantially. Equity REITs own and manage real property, while Mortgage REITs deal in financing products and mortgage-backed securities; both can be affected by the market, interest rates, the economy and consumer confidence. In addition, dividends paid to investors are treated as regular income by the IRS.
As with any form of investing, it's important to investigate the pros and cons, not only of REITs in a general sense, but the performance over time of a specific investment trust. On the plus side are the ability to diversify an investment portfolio, and the relatively secure potential of a steady return and low risk in tandem with the transparency that comes from regulatory oversight.
On the minus side are the low potential for actual growth in value, the REIT's reinvestment and expansion potential which is capped at 10% annually, and the unknown effect of real estate market volatility over the term of the investment. High management and transaction fees can also affect the financial return.
Investing in an REIT, however, is a viable way to gain knowledge and establish a presence in real estate, especially in currently hot segments of the market. Especially for a beginner, REIT investment can represent a path to future growth and security, leading to additional real estate options over the long term.
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You may be surprised to learn just how much a little DIY storage bench in your entryway can save you in time and money. Storage benches offer children a place to sit while they remove snowy or muddy shoes. That's less time spent mopping your kitchen or steam-cleaning the carpets.
Save hardwoods from years of damage and wear.
On top of that, a bench can double as storage. Never again will you be racing around your home trying to find your mittens, scarves, rain boots and other outdoor essentials on your way out the door. It's now all in one convenient place.
You can even store backpacks and lunch bags on the weekend -- whatever makes sense for your family.
You might think that making an entryway storage bench is complicated. But we'll show you the easy way to build your bench in less than a day.
What you'll need
*Pro tip* Borrow tools that you may never use again before buying. If you find you want to take on more new projects, you can buy one then.
How to build a DIY storage bench for your entryway
Here's your guide.
Gather materials & supplies
The amount of material varies by the bench size you choose the make. Be sure to measure twice and cut once so that everything fits perfectly.
Frame your bench
Your frame becomes your guide for the project. Cut your 2X4's the desired length of the bench. Then cut more for the height. Find the studs. And use that hammer drill to attach the 2X4s to the back wall. Build out from there.
Construct the front and sides
Now build around your frame, using your plywood. Be careful with any tools you use. Just take your time to get it right.
Add the hinges
Measure and drill for your hinges. Then simply screw them in.
Place the lid on the ground and drill holes for hinge screws. Then connect the top to the other side of the hinge with screws. You might need a partner hold the lid steady while you to screw in the lid.
Add your finish of choice
You can stop with a basic box. But while you're at it, it won't take much more effort to add some trim and paint it. Then place some hooks above for coats and backpacks.
And now, you have a beautiful DIY storage bench. For more helpful tips on home maintenance and improvement, follow our blog.
An accent wall is a great way to add interest to your home’s interior. Accent walls allow you to personalize your space. They can also highlight or complement unique furniture and accessories around your home.
Introduce Color: When planning for an accent wall, choose a color palette that works well with the other elements in your home. Many accent walls use bright or bold colors to command attention. However, accent walls do not need to introduce extreme contrast to be impactful. For a more subtle look, paint your accent wall a similar but deeper color than the rest of the room. If you’re having trouble deciding on a color, look to a favorite piece of furniture, pillow or curtain or use the ocean, the mountains or another favorite location for inspiration.
Introduce Pattern: Many patterns and designs work well on accent walls. Stripes and chevrons are simple, modern additions to your space. Patterns can be added through painting techniques but also through wallpaper, tiles or paneling. If you opt to paint, be sure to use a ruler and tape to ensure your lines are straight and well-spaced. To add interest to a wall without introducing more than one color, install a grid using wood paneling. Opt for mosaic tiles if you’re looking for a colorful, more complex look.
Introduce Texture: You can also use wallpaper, tile and wood to introduce texture into your space. Some wallpaper is flocked with a velvety finished or embossed with designs you can feel. These can include monochrome floral patterns or more modern geometric elements. Wall tiles are also great for introducing texture. You can purchase options that resemble brick, stone or even wood. However, if you like the look and warm feeling real wood surfaces offer, consider installing a plank wall. These can be built with rustic, reclaimed pallets or glossy new material, whatever may match your home’s interior.
Accent walls help you to customize your home and introduce design elements that compliment your interior. Ask your real estate agent for recommended contractors in your area if you need assistance with your improvement project.