Saturday, September 30, 2017

Some tips for first-time homebuyers

First-time homebuyers might find themselves in a bit of a situation if they jump into the real estate market in search of their dream house without carefully planning several aspects of the purchase, including the obligatory assessment of and reflection on one's pre-purchase condition. The desire for independence or the sudden urge to finally heed the advice of friends and family to make that leap and consider buying one's own place instead of throwing away money on monthly rentals is not enough to go with the flow without considering a few things. 

Image source: pixabay.com

Whatever it is that drives potential homebuyers to make this all-important decision, one has to make sure the purchase is contextualized in a structure containing all other goals, considering how this new acquisition is related to and going to affect other plans. For example, finances should be assessed to know one’s loan and mortgage qualifications, savings, and available liquid money for advanced costs. A first-time homebuyer must acknowledge their financial limitations to avoid frustrating conditions in the future. The kind of home should suit one's needs and future plans. The size, neighborhood amenities, and features of the house must all coincide with the buyer’s vision of a home that will be a dwelling place for many years. 

It might be an exciting venture, even a highly personal one for that matter, to go through the entire process without anyone there to help manage the situation. But having an agent can be extremely helpful (not to mention a wise decision) for first-timers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a professional to guide one through every step. There are still a number of technicalities with offers, paperwork, and whatnot that a newbie might miss if a real estate agent is not around. 

Image source: pixabay.com

Eugene Bernshtam is a real estate developer at Avalon Holdings, LLC and its affiliated entities. Born in Eastern Europe, he graduated from the Loyola School of Business with a bachelor's degree in finance and earned both series 7 and 63 certifications to sell investment securities. To read more about the real estate industry, visit this blog.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Safeguarding collector cars during a hurricane

With hurricanes beating down on various locations, car collectors should be alert because their prized possessions are susceptible to Mother Nature’s wrath. There are safety measures that they could take to ensure that their investments are safe and sound. 

Image source: dgdoors.com


  • Be updated on the weather forecast to allow ample time to prepare for a hurricane and strategize where to park the cars long before the storm hits. 


  • Park the cars on the highest and driest ground possible to prevent flooding and protect the car from intense wind, flying debris, and even falling trees or posts. 


  • Garage door needs to be barricaded as it is almost always the most vulnerable part of a garage, as well as the largest entry point in the place. Temporary braces can be used to fortify the door. 


  • Disconnect the battery to ensure that electronics receive minimal electrical and corrosion damage. But be sure to avoid having the negative and positive ends of the cable touch as it harms the engine or even causes injury. 


  • Anchor heavy objects and machinery to the wall or floor and as far away as possible from the cars. Even tools should be stored at a safe distance. 


  • Store all documents pertinent to the vehicles in a waterproof container. 

Image source: superchevy.com


Eugene Bernshtam is a car enthusiast, collecting classic vehicles and holding membership in both the Ferrari Club of America and the Lamborghini Club of America. He is also heavily involved in auto restoration. Follow this Twitter page for more discussion on cars.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What The Ferrari Brand Really Means

A lot of people have different opinions on which car manufacturer is the greatest in the world. However, throughout all the discussions, one brand is spoken about with more reverence, more respect, and more admiration than most. For over 75 years, the reputation Ferrari built has never been eclipsed. Such is the legend of the name.

Image source: car-brand-names.com | Eugene Bernshtam | Ferrari

The company was founded in 1939, and the first Ferrari automobile was assembled a year later. It took another seven years though before the company was known as a car manufacturer. Fiat purchased 50 percent of the company in 1969, and another 40 percent in 1988. The company was restructured in 2014 by Fiat Chrysler. It was now a holding company for the Ferrari group.

As far as brands go, many people have chosen Ferrari as the world’s strongest brand. In fact, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO holds the record for being the most expensive car in history, selling for $38 million at 2012 auction.

Over the years, people have seen the prancing horse logo of Ferrari in pop culture and sports. It has been the choice of car for many action heroes on film. On the racing circuit, however, Ferrari rules many leagues. It has been the most dominant force in Formula One, just as it has ruled the automotive industry since its birth.

Image source: topspeed.com | Eugene Bernshtam | Ferrari

Eugene Bernshtam is an avid car collector who loves restoring classic cars. He is a member of the Ferrari Club of America. Eugene is also a real estate developer at Avalon Holdings, LLC. Learn more about his passions here.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Real State Of Small Apartment Buildings

Residential properties being constructed right now consist mostly of single-family homes and high-rise buildings (such as condominiums or apartments.) However, this was not historically the case because small apartment buildings used to be a staple of city neighborhoods, particularly heavy residential areas.

Many urbanists have been bemoaning the scarcity of new small apartment buildings, as it has proven to be the most cost-effective options for residents.

Image source: halifaxbloggers.ca
Based on affordable housing nonprofit organization Enterprise Community Partners and the University of Southern California, the residence type that gives renters the lowest price is an apartment building with two to nine units. For a nation that is comprised of more than 45 percent of millennials still living in their childhood homes, cheaper rents are a welcome development.

Unfortunately, for this same reason, developers have ceased building these small-sized and midrise buildings—- they have not yielded profits. The latest zoning rules have made it more favorable for developers to either put up, as mentioned above, single-family constructions or apartment buildings that have dozens to hundreds of residential units.

Image source: help.openstreetmap.org
Building codes are being written, though, to encourage and incentivize the development of smaller apartment structures, or what experts have begun to call as the “missing middle.”

Eugene Bernshtam is the head of real estate development company Avalon Holdings, LLC, and its affiliated entities. He specializes in apartment buildings and mixed-use properties. Visit this website for more information about Mr. Bernshtam.




Monday, April 10, 2017

Cars: The Passion And Commitment

Men love their cars. It’s one of those objects of bonding between a father and his son and between friends. There’s something about cars that just ignites interest. There are as many reasons men adore their roving machines as there are men. But what is it about cars that consumes them?

Image source: cnbc.com
Is it because the car will never leave? According to some, one reason men find cars special is that, unlike girlfriends or wives, a car won’t leave. They will stay and this is very important. Also, there’s this sense that a car understands whatever it is a man is going through and the car will unquestioningly go where he will go. It can seem juvenile but that sort of personification is part of it.

There was a time young men rushed to get their licenses and find ways to get their first cars even if it meant getting an after school job. They poured their time, energy, and whatever material wealth they had into these machines, partly because they were a way to impress women but also because they allowed a means of self-expression. A car was a means to get out of the house, find like-minded individuals, and hang out.

Image source : bloomberg.com/asia
The car is an exterior manifestation of who the man wants to be or how he wants to be seen. Forget the fact that he’s far from looking like Mad Max. He has his mechanical steed and he’s out looking for an adventure.

Cars constitute a passion for Eugene Bernshtam and he’s gained a reputation for his efforts in restoring cars and for collecting these powerful machines. Visit this LinkedIn page for more about cars.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Different Levels Of Auto Restoration

Those looking to restore classic cars should decide what level of restoration they aim to pursue to determine expectations and the budget needed. The four different levels commonly used are the following:

Driving restoration

Restoring a classic car to driving condition focuses on making the vehicle functional and operational. Non-working parts under the hood and by the chassis are replaced, while there are minor cosmetic upgrades done to make the car look decent enough and make sure it can be legally driven on the road.

Image source: pinterest.com

Street show restoration

For a classic car to be in street show condition, it should be in good, working condition, while major cosmetic changes are made. There is a 100-point universal system in rating the state of a classic car, and for a restored auto to be in street show level, its rating should have at least 80 points.

Show car restoration

Whereas street show restoration centers on making a classic car to look good, show car restoration has an objective of restoring the car to its former glory, making the car appear like it used to when it was released off the production line. On the said 100-point rating, professional judges would rate the car in the 90 to 95 range.

Image source: youtube.com

Concours restoration

The highest level of restoration is the concours condition. Most of the time, the cost of a concours restoration would be higher than purchasing the same car when it was brand new. Apart from the replacement of functional and aesthetic parts, other works are done, such as upholstery and additional body or mechanical works. These vehicles are not meant to be driven.

Eugene Bernshtam is an avid car collector and is heavily involved in car restoration. He is also the head of real estate investment and development firm, Avalon Holdings LLC and its affiliate entities. Read more about him by accessing this LinkedIn page.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Commercial Real Estate: To Buy Or To Lease?

Without a doubt, a part of succeeding in business is contingent on where it's located, so there are many things to consider when it comes to selecting facilities. One such concern is whether it's more prudent and beneficial to buy or lease the commercial property.

Image source: Wikipedia.org

Buying property will mean a higher upfront cost compared to getting a lease. Some may also argue that the money one may put down for a mortgage could actually be better put to use reinvested in the business. Leasing also gives the business owner peace of mind in as far as having to maintain the property – property management and maintenance typically falls to the landlord although it's the renter's duty to report any issues that may come about during the lease period. It's also worth thinking long-term; is the business expected to expand and may therefore require the company to transfer somewhere else later on? These are some just some points that make leasing a better option for a business owner.

On the other side of the spectrum, despite the bigger initial cost of buying a facility, doing so will be cheaper if the company plans to stay in the same location for a long period. Owning one's place of business may also prove beneficial to those who want more control over how their commercial property is used. For instance, one may want to renovate the space or extend operating hours that other landlords may not agree to. Buying a property is also a good investment if the purchase comes at a good time, and within a location where property values are increasing.

Image source: Wikipedia.org
However a business owner wishes to proceed, it's always best to consult with an expert both in the business one hopes to succeed in and in the real estate industry to learn how to maximize the benefits of leasing or buying a property.

Eugene Bernshtam is a real estate develop with years of experience and head of Avalon Holdings, LLC and its affiliates. Learn more about the real estate industry by visiting this blog.