Investor Central

Welcome to the premier resource for Las Vegas investors looking to generate wealth through real estate. Whether you already own a property and need management help or you need assistance to get started, you have found the right place.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Home prices in 20 cities accelerate while Las Vegas rise slows

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 5 percent from February 2014, the biggest year-to-year gain since August. Year-over-year gains in property values accelerated in 17 cities in February compared with the previous month, while Las Vegas saw decelerated prices.

More inventory supply in the housing market will be needed to help the market accelerate after its show of inconsistent progress. With the higher real estate prices we are seeing today, more homeowners may be persuaded to list their homes for sale, thereby boosting the limited inventory.

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
(702) 823-0855 Shawn
(702) 823-0840 Kyle

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hardscape Elements – The Backbone Of Any Landscape Project

No matter if you are working with a landscape contractor to bring beauty and order to the site of new home construction or to breathe life and elegance into a bland and boring established yard, the term “hardscape” is likely to come up in the conversation.

“Hardscape” is the backbone of any landscape project and simply refers to any non-organic design element that is already in place or is deliberately introduced or constructed. The name is derived from the “hard” materials used in landscape design to create durable, long-lasting and functional elements of beauty and esthetic impact. When applied correctly, distinctive hardscape features showcase the natural beauty of the home while adding instant “curb appeal” and significant value to your property.

The Lawn and Landscape Association advises, “Overall visual quality and composition of landscapes are greatly affected by their hardscape designs. Hardscape layout and material selection should reflect both the architecture and function of the space. Detail and material combinations should have strong relationships to themselves as well as the site.”

There are many diverse types of hardscape elements used in residential landscaping including paved driveways and sidewalks, brick walkways, stone walls, cinder pathways, bricked terraces, custom fountains, ponds, decks, stairways and outdoor fireplaces. Explore the design possibilities of paving options, steps, ramps and site amenities that add safety, security, comfort and usability to your home’s landscape.

Your landscaping contractor, working with masonry experts, can create a unique outdoor oasis to fit your personal preferences and family needs.

Timeless and esthetically pleasing, hardscapes add rich natural ambiance to your outdoor space while enhancing the quality of outdoor living in your yard. Virtually any material that provides a solid, durable and weatherproof surface can be used in hardscape design.

Since the beginning of time, stone has been one of man’s most valued and often used building materials. Stone is natural, durable and readily available. The uses for stone in the home landscape are only limited by lack of imagination.

You may wish to consider custom stone planters, retaining walls or gate pillars to add vertical interest to an otherwise flat landscape or a single massive boulder placed as a backdrop to an ornamental tree planting.

If you are considering fencing your property, stone fences last for decades and become more beautiful with time. Your masonry contractor can custom-build any type of stone hardscape designed to fit your unique needs. Stone fences or retaining walls add decorative beauty as well as serving a functional purpose such as holding back different elevations of earth, control drainage and erosion or can be used to block an unsightly view or define property boundaries.

Stone is an ideal and attractive material to use to create an intimate courtyard spa setting for solitude and privacy. Perhaps you would like to add a pond, pool, water fountain or outdoor fireplace; stone is the perfect medium. Stone can be mortar set or dry laid. Expand the time outdoors by creating a three-season outdoor recreational retreat; get outside and enjoy nature. Your masonry contractor can employ stone to craft a functional, all-weather outdoor kitchen and entertainment area complete with fireplace, seating benches, counter space, built in refrigerator, sink, griddle and grill.

When incorporating stone into your landscape and home improvement projects, depend on your masonry contractor to recommend stone of a size and with characteristics that will complement your home’s architectural style and design. Local sources for stone offer materials that are beautiful and blend seamlessly with the local rock outcroppings. Selecting locally quarried stone also reduces material cost, as there is less transportation to the installation location. las vegas hardscape

Durable, natural and attractive, brick has been used to craft structures, roads and walkways for centuries. Brick doesn’t dent, rot or ever require painting. Landscape designers and masonry contractors like to work with brick as it readily blends with existing building materials and offers limitless sculptural capacities and intricate detailing. Today brick is far from boring, available in a broad palette of colors, sizes, and textures. If your home is built of brick, consider adding a matching grand arch over the entry way or covering a stained and worn concrete driveway with brick pavers.

Ceramic Tile
If the decking around your pool or the surface of the patio is buckled, discolored or otherwise unattractive, installation of a ceramic tile surface will brighten and restore the area to its original beauty. Like brick, ceramic tile is a tried and tested material for outdoor applications. Ceramic tile is normally set in a prepared bed of mortar on top of a concrete slab. Visit your tile contractor’s showroom for inspiration. Brilliantly colored tiles made of recycled materials are an eco-friendly choice.

Like stone, ceramic tile lends its self to all kinds of applications in an outdoor entertainment area. Waterproof ceramic tile never fades flakes or peels. It is easy to maintain and works well in a moist area subject to mold and mildew.

Glazed tiles can become slippery when wet. Your tile contractor can recommend a type with a non-slip surface that is rated for your climate zone.

Composition Building Materials
An eco-conscious hardscape material made from recycled plastic and wood fibers; composite decking is built to withstand the rigors of cold winters. It doesn’t warp, weather, splinter or rot. It is mold and insect resistant and doesn’t require sanding or sealing. Available in a variety of colors, widths and lengths, composition decking is a bit more costly than other material options. However, the initial higher cost is more than offset by durability, ease of maintenance and a non-slip surface that helps prevent falls and accidents. Talk to your building or home improvement contractor to design the deck of your dreams.

In the landscape, concrete curbing can be used to define roadways or flowerbeds. Concrete pillars are often used as gateposts, structure supports or pilings for a dock or pier. Concrete is frequently used in pool construction as well as poured for home driveways, walkways, and patios. Concrete doesn’t have to be gray, plain and ugly: it can be texturized, tinted, stained, stamped or embedded with decorative tiles, pebbles or glass. The National Ready Mix Concrete Association provides a wealth of information for homeowners to answer all your questions about concrete and its many diverse applications in residential construction.

Residential Uses for Concrete
Residential applications for ready mixed concrete go beyond a solid foundation. Long lasting and low maintenance concrete enhances the value and performance of our most important investment, our home.

Learn more about these applications:
  • Architectural Flatwork
  • Basement Walls
  • Concrete Homes
  • Driveways

Choosing A Hardscape Contractor
The homeowner is faced with having to make several decisions when planning a hardscape project. The first and foremost is selecting a contractor to the job right, within budget and on time. Be sure to require documentation of Industry qualifications, licensing and insurance and get all agreements in writing. Ask questions and seek clarification of any concerns and a firm understanding of a start and expected finish date.

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
(702) 823-0855 Shawn
(702) 823-0840 Kyle

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Green Roofs – The latest trend in eco-friendly construction

Green roofs are the latest building trend in the residential construction. To create more green space in urban areas, to provide energy savings and to create a more comfortable living environment for both people and pets, more and more eco-friendly homebuilders are incorporating green roofs into their innovative designs.

If you want your roof to be the talk of the neighborhood, pay for its self over time via energy savings and enjoy the satisfaction of doing your part to protect the environment, talk to your builder to determine if a green roof is right for your home.

What Are Green Roofs?
Green roofs are vegetation blankets composed of a root resistant layer or a root resistant roof as a base, a drainage layer and substrate on which the vegetation grows. Green roofs are typically planted with a variety of sedum, a member of the stonecrop family, winter hardy in United States Hardiness Zones 2 through 11.

Green roofs can also be installed over an existing roof, so they are ideal choice for home renovations. Green roofs create immense curb appeal, increase the value of the home and are traffic-stopping beautiful.

Because there are thousands of different varieties of sedum, only low growing varieties are selected. From the hundreds of low-growing varieties, your landscape professional, working with your builder or roofing contractor to select the perfect plants for your particular location; sedums that flourish in Indianapolis are a bit different from those that thrive in Phoenix. Do you want a white, yellow or pink roof? No problem. Sedum roofs can be designed around your color preference.

Why Choose A Green Roof?
Not only do green roofs provide breath-taking beauty, they are sustainable. Green roofs retain approximately 45 percent of rainfall and with their outstanding insulating effect; they affect huge savings on energy bills., the world’s largest supplier of vegetation blanket for green roofs, explains the diverse array of benefits offered by a green roof, noting:

Advantages Of Green Roofs
A lot of information has been published on the advantages of green roofs. It is said that they produce lower ambient temperatures, are able to capture CO2 and fine particles, can retain water and save energy.
  • Financial advantages
  • Insulation
  • Saves energy
  • Protection against sun, rain and temperature changes
  • Longer life expectancy of roof covering (three times longer than without a green roof)
  • Natural look
  • Added value to building
  • Rainwater retention
  • Less load on the sewer system
  • Long life expectancy
  • Environmental advantages
  • Insulation
  • Lower ambient temperature
  • Reduces so-called ‘Urban Heat Island effect’
  • Captures CO2
  • Cleaner air
  • Captures fine particles
  • Stimulates biodiversity
  • Improves/does not disturb the habitat of birds and insects
  • Rainwater retention
  • Less load on the sewer system, reducing chance of sewer flooding
  • Rainwater purification • Cleaner environment
  • Practical advantages
  • Sound insulation
  • Quieter indoor and outdoor ambiance
  • Natural look
  • Nice to look out on; greenery has a soothing and relaxing effect
  • No need for ballast
  • Less work to install roof

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
(702) 823-0855 Shawn
(702) 823-0840 Kyle

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April is financial literacy month, help educate our students!

Junior Achievement USA® (JA) and The Allstate Foundation released today surprising findings from the annual Teens & Personal Finance Survey, which was expanded this year to include parents for the first time.

The 2015 survey reveals that nearly half of teens (48 percent) think their parents will help pay for college but only 16 percent of parents (of teens) report planning to pay for post-secondary education. Junior Achievement USA has commissioned the Teens & Personal Finance Survey for the last 16 years. The 2015 study was conducted online on Junior Achievement's behalf by Harris Poll in January 2015 among 801 parents of teens ages 13-18 years old and 800 teens ages 13-18 years old.

"Based on this year's findings, it is obvious that parents and teens need to have honest conversations about money management, including paying for college," said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. "Together as a family, it is important to develop a plan for life after high school – whatever that looks like for your family. As an organization that strives to empower all young people to own their economic success, JA will continue to help open these channels."

Financial literacy programs like Junior Achievement (who our team personally supports through donations and volunteerism) can help parents and teens plan for major expenses such as paying for college, and educate them about other personal finance topics such as money management.

To learn more about the survey results and to learn about how you can start these conversations with our students, visit

Shawn & Kyle Cunningham
Cunningham Group at RE/MAX Advantage
(702) 823-0855 Shawn
(702) 823-0840 Kyle