Old House? New House? Weighing Your OptionsWritten by Neda Dabestani-Ryba
Old House? New House? Weighing Your Options
By Neda Dabestani-Ryba Prudential Carruthers REALTORS
Maybe it has something to do with a childhood home we fondly remember. Many of us long for old homes built with solid construction, quality craftsmanship and beautiful details. We wax poetic and wistfully recall hand carvings, plaster walls and eyebrow dormers of homes we’ve known. On other hand, how do old homes we admire compare with newly minted models—and what should we consider before deciding which to buy? Location. Typically, old homes sit on generous plots of land in or near town. The neighborhoods are established and usually more central to schools and shopping. Mature trees and plantings provide shade and beautify property and neighborhood streets. New homes are generally found in new developments outside of town and homeowners who buy into an early can expect to contend with dust and construction sights and sounds as remaining phases are being built. Landscaping may be skimpy or nonexistent, but a buyer has opportunity to design décor from scratch. Layout. New homes tend to have a more spacious functional layout with higher ceilings, bigger windows, family kitchens, walk-in closets, and family rooms. Some even have media rooms and come pre-wired for cable and computers. On other hand, older homes were designed for a more formal lifestyle, which is reflected in formal dining and living areas and many cozy rooms, including small bedrooms, closets and bathrooms. Energy efficiency. Those eight-over-eight single pane wood windows add character to an old home, but even with storm windows, they’re not nearly as energy efficient as modern dual-glazed or thermal windows. While most old homes lacked insulation in outside walls and attics, homes built today insulate against high heating and cooling costs. Although bigger windows, higher ceilings and larger rooms, common in new homes, can also cause high utility bills.
Have you fixed the broken window?Written by Martin Day
Left alone it doesn't take long for a building with a single broken window to rapidly become a building with many broken windows. Fixing problems when they are small will prevent them from developing into larger problems.
The same is true when considering level of employee satisfaction Dissatisfaction spreads like wildfire and in a surprisingly short period of time you’ve got morale problems of kind that are notoriously hard to fix.
Ensuring your employees are happy is mostly about being tuned into what their problems are and, importantly, dealing with them early on. Keeping initiative is really important and secret is that it is better to give a little and often.
This turns out be a virtuous circle. Fixing problem when it’s small is also when it’s easiest and when it’s cheapest. And taking initiative without being prompted puts manager in a position of strength, which also suits employees. Staff like strong, confident management and this approach generates respect not least because someone has taken time to understand some of employees’ issues.
Compare that with managers who are out of touch. They arrive late at a problem so they are on defensive, and with their credibility eroded they have to concede to demands which in turn leads to further and less reasonable demands. It’s not big and it's not clever.
The issue, then, is how to go about monitoring morale of a company without a big budget and without much spare time?
The first port of call should be an online survey. They’re quick, easy to use, and a low cost solution. Surveys can be created in minutes and deployed in seconds, with results compiled in real time; and by using email and websites they cost nothing to disseminate.