Reinforcing Structural Stability of your Properties

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges facing our cities or to the housing crisis, but the two issues need to be considered together. From an urban design and planning point of view, the well-connected open city is a powerful paradigm and an engine for integration and inclusivity.” –Richard Rogers. However, a well-planned city starts with structural stability of our own properties first. Structural stability usually refers to the strength and durability of the “skeleton.” This skeleton includes all the walls, beams, pillars and foundations that is responsible of weight bearing. They should be looked thoroughly because taken for granted issues can lead to irreparable damages. Thus, planning to improve your home’s structure will save time and frustration in the long run.

To start with, ensure that foundations are waterproof. Apparent leaks can ruin the entire home’s structural stability. With that being said, one can use rubberized polymer spray membrane which is cost-effective and performance-proven. In addition, look out for pests and termites that can also inflict damages to the foundation. Maintaining or digging drains is also important in structural stability. A good quality drain strengthens the structure by directing the water away. Lastly, checking the roof of your properties especially after thunderstorms should be a habit. If you shingled roof, it is recommended to replace it with a metallic one.

In a commercial setting, the roof is also of prime importance because it works as a protection from natural calamities such as blizzards, fires, hail, and even earthquake. The roof is always exposed to changing weather and other elements that may be instrumental to deterioration. Having a roof that ensures optimum protection starts with design, materials selection, and installation at the time a facility, building or home is built or remodeled. In line with this, you may consider a guardrail freestanding system that has proven counterbalance design to achieve exceptional stability on all roof surfaces. Nevertheless, regular inspection, maintenance and repair should be part of one’s operational planning to prolong the roof’s life.


Signs of roof problems include water stains on ceilings, which may be due to a crack in the roof. It is important to take note that even small leaks can indicate big trouble in the future. If the facility also has unexplained mold or odors, it is also an indication of a roof leak. Also, over time the plastic domed panels can become brittle and very susceptible to cracks.


Proper maintenance is designed to prolong roof life. The frequency of ocular inspections for maintenance routine really depends on several factors such as age of the building, weather changes, foot traffic and the roof materials. A normal ocular inspection is done every six (6) months to effectively combat roof decay while not hampering regular operations that much.

However, after a severe windstorm or hurricane, immediately inspect your roof for damage, as to ensure roof strength. It does not mean that if a roof survived a storm, it is sturdy enough to survive the next coming storms after that. Moreover, remove any accumulated debris. Moisture of this debris can speed up roof decay as well. A clean roof also reduces risk of roof igniting during fires. Keep trees away from roofs as well to prevent branches from touching the roof.  

Furthermore, consulting a professional roofing contractor is helpful if you have concerns regarding maintenance review. The contractor can also help to determine the overall condition of the roof and estimate the life span of it. In hiring the roofing contractor, make sure to ask to see certificates of insurances and licenses are up-to-date. Also, discuss, verify the warranty information. This will make it easier for you to track future inspections, maintenance, and repairs.

Remember that a little but consistent maintenance can result in a lot of savings, especially when compared to the cost of damage from a small, undetected leak that can lead to catastrophic roof or building failure.  

Is Private Mortgage Insurance a Good Idea?


Private mortgage insurance, commonly referred to as PMI, is insurance which borrowers have to pay in case they cannot afford to pay a 20% down payment. As a borrower, it will cost $50 to $80 monthly. Mortgage insurance reimburses the lender if you default on your home loan. However, it can sometimes become a burden for the borrowers, especially if they do not proceed carefully. As it is based on a percentage of the mortgage loan, borrower is expected to pay each month, it varies depending on borrower’s credit risk and the size of his home loan.

2 Types of Private Mortgage Insurance

Private Mortgage Insurances can be classified into 2 broad categories – Borrower-paid PMI and Lender-paid PMI.

Borrower-paid Private Mortgage Insurance

This type of PMI is where the borrower has to pay insurance premium. Usually, borrower is required to purchase this insurance policy when he is unable to afford the 20% down payment on his home loan. It is also known as Traditional Mortgage Insurance.

Lender-paid Private Mortgage Insurance

The lender-paid PMI is the type where the lender pays the PMI premium cost of PMI but the borrower must bear the premium cost. Most lenders tend to add the extra expense of premium cost to the mortgage loan interest. Lender generally buys the lender-paid PMI policy for high loan-to-value mortgage.

Advantages of Private Mortgage Insurance for the Borrower

It has been established that there are risks associated with private mortgage insurances for the borrowers, which will be discussed in details in a later section. However, there are some up-sides of these insurances as well. One of the biggest reasons why borrowers choose this is because it allows the low income borrowers or borrowers who are in need for large amount of fund the opportunity to buy a home.  Even when the borrowers can pay only a small percentage of the total cost, they can but the home.

In addition to providing shelter, this also helps build equity. They are able to enjoy all benefits as homeowners.

Disadvantage of Private Mortgage Insurance and Ways to Avoid Them

While is seems like a great idea for both lenders and borrowers, there are some downsides associated with PMIs. As a borrower, you may have to pay for a longer period than expected. Some lenders may require you to maintain a PMI contract for a fixed period of time. So, even after you meet the 20% threshold, you may be obligated to continue paying for the insurance.

These insurances are hard to cancel and eliminating the monthly burden is not as easy. The lender might want you to to draft a letter requesting to cancel the PMI. Depending on the lender, the process may take a few months.

Ways to Avoid Risks of Personal Mortgage Insurance

Even though the risks are evident, more and more people are getting personal mortgage loans. They cave in to their financial needs. There are 3 main ways to avoid the risks associated with personal mortgage insurances. They are:

  • Make a down payment which is equal to minimum 20% of the home’s purchase price.
  • Rely on a piggyback mortgage
  • Get a lender-paid mortgage insurance

It is true that Private mortgage insurances are expensive. If you are not confident that you will be able to get 20% equity in the home in a few years, it is suggested to either consider a piggyback loan or give a larger down payment. piggyback loans might be riskier than traditional alternatives but they are tax deductible.  

Before making the final decision, assess both the positives and negatives of getting a Private Mortgage Insurance.