International: An Overseas Adventure

SPECIALTIES IN BRIEF: International and Property Management. The latest news on your real estate niche.

February 1, 1996

BOCA RATON, Fla.---Looking for an overseas adventure? Robert Hall, founder of the Hallmark Group, a consulting firm, says Argentina is one of the most promising areas for overseas development.

With their wide-open areas of developable land, "Chile and Argentina are like California a long time ago, only at opposite latitudes," says Hall.

He also likes the stable, developing economy of Costa Rica, as well as the Bahamas, where a relatively new government has put a stop to corruption.

To expand overseas, you'll need enough capital to get the project going, Hall says. "It's also important to have a local landowner participate so that you'll have land to develop over time," he adds.

Property Management: Check Those Sprinklers

CERRITOS, Calif.---Everyone knows sprinkler systems save lives and property. But even the best systems won't save a thing if they're not functioning properly.

Property managers performing inspections should include the sprinkler system on their rounds, says Steve Hart, director of the Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board of Southern California. Check that the control valves are open. Most have an arrow on their stem to indicate whether they're open or closed. If the system has an outside stem and yoke, the stem and valve have to be out. Also, be sure no one has closed off sprinkler heads, say by painting over them, Hart says.

Next, look for items stored too close to the sprinkler head that could block the water spray. And since different sprinkler systems have different pipe sizes and water capacity, you need to know what type of materials your sprinklers are protecting.

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