Embracing the Family Clan, for their Healthy Financial Future

With baby boomers reaching maturity, new responsibilities can become overwhelming in a struggling economy. With parents in retirement, children growing up but staying at home or leaving, the financial burden for each can strain the whole family’s finances to a breaking point.  Certainly if one finds themselves living pay check to pay check it is easy to make an argument for change.

Yet the strategy for self-sufficient living seems to dominate the typical American’s way of thinking, that is for the most part, graduate college and go live on your own.  Certainly existing housing stock reinforces this notion. Yet in many cultures and even to an extent here in the US more people are opting to keep the family together, with grandparents, siblings and with in-laws. Financially, the strategy is sound, that is, one property supports many families or individuals.

The worry?  Someone is a slob, loud, argumentative, problematic with an addiction, or some other self-destructive behavior. In this respect one has to establish rules to govern the standards which everyone needs to comply with. For instance, all public shared spaces must remain clean, and debris or storage free. But in this respect a well designed dwelling can answer many of the needs of most people, in providing secure storage areas, efficient handling of trash, sound absorption methods that limit the distance of airborne noise, and even orientation of spaces to further isolate individual dwelling modules.  In this respect we have developed several housing prototypes as noted in previous or upcoming articles. For this article, we discuss some of the financial benefits to shared habitation.

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[architecture] Poor business decisions can cost big bucks.

[architecture] Poor business decisions can cost big bucks.

Regarding the small business owner, entrepreneur or building owner, there are things that seem simple to do but often I witness them not being implemented by people. What many don’t realize is if you make a mistake in the design of your space you will loose money.

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[theory] Helping Cities Grow: What to do.

[theory] Helping Cities Grow: What to do.

An important issue for many cities dealing with circumstances initiated by others in the past, like a blighted looking city filled with parking lot scars, etc. From my experience I’ve witnessed many cities do the wrong thing in order to encourage development. The point of this post is, if you do something, it could have a negative impact on your city, so make sure you do the right thing. Read more

Parental Control for iPhone/iPad, so your child can sleep at night.

Parental Control for iPhone/iPad, so your child can sleep at night.

Is your child going to bed with their iPhone and/or iPad and texting/chatting with friends when they should be sleeping? Are they just on the device too much during the day, and just won’t put down the device to do something else?  Did you know you can use your Mac (and perhaps your PC) to control the times Wifi is allowed to connect to the device, day and night.

The problem hit home for me when my child kept up another child who’s grades suddenly dropped. She mentioned to me that he was having a hard time at school and was always tired.  Well of course. So despite my efforts to make her understand that texting in the middle of the night might hurt her and others, I was put in a position of having to take direct action and control of the situation which had quickly got out of hand.

With the following simple step-by-step instructions, one can set time limits on a daily basis as to when all your devices can connect to the internet, thus making time for other activities, like running, jumping, laughing and family time. You’ll be able to control school night times and weekend times, giving you back the control any parent should always have. Gone are the arguments, the pleading and the rest, resulting in a new reality of a child having to think of something else to do to occupy their time.  Watch how quickly that bedroom gets cleaned up, their willingness to ‘hang out’, etc…

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[financial] Go ahead, throw your money away! (Expensive Blunder)

What do I mean by designs that are a waste?  Well, some projects waste time, money and resources.  One can imagine a project that isn’t financially successful, has wasted resources, as the longevity and usefulness of the building will be diminished.  I’ve witnessed where a renovation is completed and in 2 years, after the tenant moves out the space is re-renovated. Materials are wasted too, in this day when there are environmental concerns, what’s the point of designing and building something that gets torn down in a couple of years? Read more

[theory] Crime and Urban Blight

[theory] Crime and Urban Blight

I’m not sure how to approach this topic, because I really don’t have any proof of what I’m about to suggest, but suffice it to say that I believe that if an urban environment, home, or any place embodies a bad vibe, that it will more likely induce criminal acts. Read more

[construction] Making Townhouse Spaces the Right Size-Hierarchy!

[construction] Making Townhouse Spaces the Right Size-Hierarchy!

hierarchy |ˈhī(ə)ˌrärkē|noun ( pl. -chies)a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.  Read more