Category: Candea Development

Converting Existing Buildings to Revitalized Living Spaces

Candea Development says that by bringing new life to the forgotten, commercial real estate development companies are finding lucrative reasons for buying out underutilized or old properties (old office spaces, worn down hotels, and the like), and refurbishing them. The developers are turning forgotten buildings into something entirely new, and more importantly, a place better utilized.

This reimagining of properties is something that many have come across without even noticing, but the impact that these renovations have on the housing market, architecture, and more is palpable.


One of the most noticeable effects that COVID-19 had, outside of personal health, was its impact on businesses around the world. The unfortunate reality is that some of the only companies and corporations that were able to survive a sudden shutdown were major chains, leaving smaller businesses and “mom-and-pop” stores to close up shop for good.

These empty buildings littered the streets, many of them unlikely to be bustle with customers again. However, repurposing them into homes not only fills these empty buildings purpose but brings life into cities that may have been on the decline.

Architectural Uniqueness

For some businesses, the repurposing of older buildings, especially those with architectural uniqueness, could make all the difference in terms of customer base and revenue. Statistically, people tend to flock to establishments with unique qualities, such as refurbished fire houses or train stations.

The setting of a business, especially when it preserves the heritage of the location, can add an air of quirkiness and novelty – making a location so unique that it brings value to a once defunct building.

Some of the truest examples of architectural distinctiveness are the Foundation Hotel, which used to be a fire department, The Steel Yard which was a steel company and is now an arts district, and more.

Candea Development

Community Impact

Those involved in the repurposing of a building, developers, architectural team or housing district, will see the effects their project has on the community. This is especially true if the area of the project is in has historical significance, whether it be a landmark, or built in a time of architectural distinction.

The preservation of these areas, especially the exterior, raises customer interest in the location, and is likely to drive more business to the area – harvesting an air of community, regardless if the project is a shopping center, living establishment, etc.


Clearly, if efficiency is of the utmost importance, the utilization of an old space helps speed up the time of the project tenfold. Not only do construction workers not have to worry about the planning of the location, but if the framework of the building is in good condition, there are only minor tweaks needed in order to get a building open to the public.

Aside from timeliness, projects of this nature also cut the costs of starting production, raising the likelihood of construction getting the green light from the city.

7 Recruitment Strategies for the Construction Industry

Armand Candea

Worker shortages is one of the biggest problems of the construction industry. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 81% of construction firms have trouble finding skilled laborers or specialized craftsmen. Armand Candea reports that these recruitment strategies can help a construction firm find and retain the right talent for the job.

Communicate your company image and strengths

Recruitment is a two-way street: companies are looking for the best workers, but the best workers also want to find companies that are stable and reputable.

Since most workers now use the Internet to look for jobs, companies must communicate strengths clearly in a well-written website. Make sure that it has:

  • Clear vision, mission and values
  • A portfolio of companies and projects.
  • Employee and client testimonials
  • Career opportunities page
  • An easy way to contact the HR department or submit a resume online

Through this, anyone who is looking for a job in the construction industry can quickly check the company background and apply.

Encourage employee referrals

The best recruitment strategy starts with the employees you already have. Announce job openings in the company newsletter or emails. Encourage employees to spread the word to their peers, and give incentives (like bonuses, gift cards or extra days off) to reward any qualified leads.

Provide training incentives

According to the Home Builders Institute, the construction industry needs 61,000 new hires each month (or a total of 2.2 million new hires from 2022 to 2024) to make up for the loss of workers caused by retirement or change in careers.

Unfortunately, these new workers won’t have the same level of skills and experience. That’s why companies need to offer free training programs or apprenticeships. They attract new workers, and also prepare them to take on bigger roles and jobs in the company.

Highlight job perks and company culture

For specialized and senior positions, it’s essential to give competitive packages. If it’s difficult to offer high salaries and bonuses, focus on other benefits such as disability and life insurance.

Be sure to highlight the other non-financial benefits and perks—such as clear work hours, training, and positive aspects of the company culture.

For example, a small construction company can talk about the close-knit teams, and management’s “open door policy”. Larger construction companies can highlight its industry reputation, opportunities for promotion, or the latest technology.

hiring in construction

Use LinkedIn to find experienced or specialized workers

Job boards will limit your recruitment search to people who are actively looking for work. However, LinkedIn allows you to find construction professionals and view their work experience, then invite them to apply.

This is ideal for positions that have very specific requirements, or for recruiting talent in another country or region.

Consider recruitment firms

For job vacancies that need to be filled right away, recruitment firms may be the fastest option. These firms will already have a talent pool, and can take care of pre-qualifying the leads, checking references, and setting up job interviews.

Connect to local schools

For entry-level jobs that doesn’t require prior work experience, consider tapping local schools. Offer summer jobs, apprenticeships, or part-tine/per-project work opportunities. You can also partner with the school to provide on-campus training workshops, which can provide interested students with basic skills and nurture an interest in the construction industry.

What is Connected Construction?

Candea Development

Connected construction uses technology to improve the efficiency, speed and cost of complex construction projects. Candea Development explains that while there are many different applications, these generally share one goal: to connect teams, information and processes across the project life cycle.

Benefits of connected construction

  • Provide real-time updates of projects. Project management tools ensure that all team members have the latest plans, RFIs or other critical updates. They can adjust their work and timelines accordingly. Managers can also track the project’s progress and make faster and more accurate decisions.
  • Seamless communication. Before, teams and suppliers would use different tools and platforms to store or analyze their project data. Sharing information took time, and often led to duplication of tasks and human error. Connected construction provides a centralized hub for easier and faster communication and collaboration.
  • Lower project costs. Connected construction aligns different teams and stakeholders on the project goals and requirements. This minimizes unnecessary costs from conflict, rework, mistakes and miscommunication, and delays. Managers can also track spending in real time and troubleshoot areas that can go overbudget.
  • Faster completion. Many construction projects stall or get delayed because of late materials, poor coordination, or missed details. Because of better coordination and transparency, even large and complicated projects with teams in different regions can pass through one phase to another with minimal issues.

Examples of connected construction

Here are some examples of connected construction technology, and how it can improve project speed, safety and quality.

Predictive analytics

Powerful software can gather and analyze historical data to predict outcomes, calculate risks and even lower costs. For example, it can identify the idle time of trucks, or which subcontractors are always behind schedule. It can also pinpoint the areas or phases where changes can have the most impact in operational efficiency.


Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras can conduct site surveys and render interactive 3D maps or give safety reports. This is faster, more accurate and safer than sending a ground crew—especially in hard-to-reach areas.

Internet of Things

Sensors that can detect abnormal vibration, motion or noise in a site can help identify malfunction equipment or dangerous areas in a site, and thus minimize accidents. These can also be embedded inside concrete to monitor compressive strength, or at different areas on the site to monitor temperature, humidity, water levels, and soil conditions.

Maintenance systems

Software can monitor machine downtime, and wearables can help track worker movement and do work analysis, so the project leader can get a “daily update” even without being on site.

Augmented reality

This new technology can be used to create 3D models, or to perform safety trials and site walkthroughs.

3D Data

Designers and engineers can use 3D data to create building profiles or components in real time. This allows project managers and teams to see how the structures progress across different construction phase. Through data aggregation in a digital dashboard, all team members can give timely status updates.

The future of construction

Connected construction empowers teams with the information and the tools to work more efficiently. As a Deloitte study said, “Investing in digital and connected technology construction firms can realize throughout the project life cycle.”

Design Trends for Outdoor Spaces

It’s early 2022, yet we’re already seeing notable yard and outdoor trends that will last throughout the year. From urban zen gardens to dressed up balconies, there’s a style trending for literally anyone with any type of outdoor space to work with.

Below, Armand Candea of Candea Development puts the spotlight on five of the top design trends for this year:

Armand Candea on outdoor design trends
  1. Urban Zen Garden

Taking inspiration from the timeless Japanese garden look, this trend takes classic meditation-style fixtures updated with more contemporary and angular shapes. So, instead of traditional curvy, soft architecture, expect sharp landscaping contrasting with soft planting.

The zen trend is also renowned for its sustainability and can be used in any outdoor space to bring unique pops of color and culture to your property. It doesn’t matter if you have a small balcony area or a large, open garden with decking; you can incorporate your own urban zen style to make it your own with just a few small fixtures or even a small pond.

This style also works really well in pool houses, as you can almost create your own tranquil spa space.

  1. Balcony Garden

If you’ve got a terrace or a balcony, this is the year you should give it a makeover. Try adding potted plants and foliage to give it a greener look, or even get your art attack on and paint a mural.

Trends this year include minimalistic designs and natural colors to exude a calm, tranquil feeling and vertical gardening (plants going up the wall) to add more structure and nature (especially if you live in the city).

  1. Contemporary Country Garden

Can you tell there’s a bit of a theme going on here? In 2022, it seems like contemporary is the new vintage. This trend takes inspiration from country cottage gardens but adds an urban twist. You’ll still achieve a rustic look but with angular features rather than soft, curved pieces.

To achieve this appearance, start growing unusual and new plants in your garden. Some particular favorites from this trend include blue and white Delphinium, Echinacea, and Digplexis.

You’ll also want to add a water feature and floor lighting to spotlight your fixtures.

The best part is you don’t need to have a large garden to create this space – you can achieve this traditional yet contemporary look on small terraces, decks, and balconies too.

Topical outdoor design
  1. Tropical Escape

After 2021’s palm tree craze, this year sees the tropical garden take on a more sophisticated turn. By planting tropical bamboos, blooming vines, and subtropical evergreens, you’ll create your own vacation destination in your backyard. And it’s not just about imitating holiday landscapes, either. This look also allows you to explore rare and exotic plants and learn about the different vegetation from around the world.

  1. Deck With a Bar

If you needed an excuse to create a bar on your decking, it’s the ‘in’ thing to do in this year. As well as being an alternative place to host get-togethers in the summer, it also provides more storage.

2022 bar trends include Tiki-style structures, Greek taverna influences, and rustic old-school dive bar vibes. The latter works really well if you’re into BBQing! And if you want to go the whole hog, you can introduce a cover or gazebo to keep the party going into the evening.

Bring Your Backyard Into 2022

If you’re ready to create your dream oasis, these 2022 design trends should give you a bit of inspiration. Whether you want to bring nature to your urban property or update traditional ideas with a contemporary twist, there’s so much you can do with your outdoor space. Start planning your renovation now so that your outdoor space is ready for guests to enjoy by spring.

Rents is Expected to Soar This Year in These Key Markets

Rent Soaring in key markets

You can’t kick a good apartment while it’s down.

After a downturn in sales largely blamed on COVID-19’s impact on average affordability, Candea Development reports that rental prices have quickly rebounded — highly.

Both rental and home prices are skyrocketing throughout the country, as COVID restrictions ease, working from home largely becomes the norm, and families and individuals find that they can no longer break into a hot housing market through buying a place.

Instead, they’re turning to the even hotter rental market. In fact, in many places rent is rising even more quickly than home prices. In December, the median rent nationally for a one-bedroom was $1.651, a 19% rise over 2020.

Also contributing to the rise in rent is the continuing shortage of properties to buy. predicts a 7.1% rise in rent growth in the United States in 2022, with ongoing inflation keeping housing prices across the board extremely high.

If you live in the following markets, 2022 may be a tough time to find housing, especially if you’re looking to rent and not buy.


About 673,000 apartment units were rented in 2021, up 66% from the previous high in 2000. Many of those apartments were rented in Florida and other areas in the Southeast.

Rents in Florida markets including Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale, were among cities seeing at least a 20% rise in rental costs from November 2020 to November 2021.

In Tampa, there is an estimated 6.9% rent growth anticipated for 2022, the fourth highest in the nation. In Miami, the median rent of $2,850 in December 2021 is a nearly 50% rise compared to 2020.

Arizona and Nevada

Which cities are expected to experience the highest rent growth in 2022? Phoenix, Arizona, tops estimates by Freddie Mac, Reis, and RealPage, with rent growth of 7.6%, followed by Las Vegas, Nevada, at 7%.

Tucson, Arizona, is also high on the list, as is Grand Canyon States cities such as Chandler and Mesa. Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas, also ranks in the top 5 of rent cost rises between 2020 and 2021.

But Phoenix is particularly robust, A rental report released in November found that Phoenix ranked in national rent increases year-to-year, with a whopping rise of 26.4%.

Phoenix Rent

Major Tech Hubs

America’s largest tech-hub cities, such as Austin and New York City, experienced some of the steepest declines or stalls in rents during the height of the pandemic.

Now rent amounts and rent growth are surging again. Average rent grew nearly 10% in the United States’ 10 biggest tech cities, with Austin (22.3% rise) and Denver (15.5% rise) topping the list.

Cities that are new big tech hubs, like Fresno, California, are also experiencing rental booms. The cost of a one-bedroom in Fresno rose 17.5% in 2021.

No matter the market, though, there’s another reason why rents are soaring. For many Americans, going the rental route is so popular because in 2021 it took a full year longer for a first-time homebuyer to save for a typical down payment of 20%. And that’s compared to just five years ago.

Armand Candea Shares What Home Features Buyers Want Most

Within the past year and a half, the real estate market has changed drastically, not only in terms of housing prices but in what features are most desirable in a home. Since the start of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the time Americans spend at home has increased by close to five hours, causing many Americans to reconsider what features they most desire in their living/working space. Armand Candea of Candea Development, the Chicago-area real estate development firm, has seen these changes first hand and today will share what American buyers most desire in a home’s features in 2021. 

Laundry Room 

Expected Costs: Between $1,500-15,000 

Percentage of home buyers interested in this feature: 87% 

Out of any home feature, homeowners have noted an interest in a dedicated space for laundry where they can wash/dry clothes, iron shirts and pants, and keep dirty clothes out of the living space. According to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB), this feature tops the most-wanted features list of a majority of home buyers. As the average time homeowners spend at home continues to increase, it has become more important for homeowners to keep an organized home and a dedicated space for laundry. 

Concrete Patio 

Expected Costs: $1,700 to $4,500

Percentage of home buyers interested in this feature: 82%

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a stark uptick in the interest of buyers in functional outdoor living spaces. Homes with wood/ concrete patios, outdoor kitchens, built-in grills, and fireplaces have received much more interest from prospective buyers in 2021 than homes with grassy yards. To increase the value of a property, Armand Candea of Candea Development recommends homeowners invest in a dedicated outdoor living space. 

Walk-In Kitchen Pantry 

Expected Costs: $600-$2,000 depending on the scale of the project 

Percentage of home buyers interested in this feature: 81%

According to the most recent NAHB report, a walk-in pantry is home buyers’ second-most desired kitchen feature, just behind a double sink. Most homeowners would agree that a kitchen pantry’s additional storage space is essential to avoid overcrowded shelving and can help create a more enjoyable cooking experience. With new trends in organization, a kitchen pantry’s ability to store clear food storage containers and canned goods also has another level of appeal.

What Drives Down Property Values?

One of the primary reasons real estate is considered such a great investment is its rate of appreciation. Today, the national average for appreciation has risen to just over 14.5% year over year of 2% per month. However, while most homes’ values will only go up, certain things can drive down a property’s value. Armand Candea, co-owner of the Chicago-based property development company Candea Development, has worked within real-estate development for the better part of 15 years and understands the nuances of property value. In order to better help first-time homeowners and aspiring property developers, Armand Candea of Candea Development will share within this blog the biggest factors that drive down a property’s value. 

Poor Exterior Paint Quality

For all Candea Development properties, Armand Candea and the Candeateam ensure that only high-quality exterior paint is used for the home’s façade. This is largely due to the fact that a home’s exterior condition greatly impacts its value. A home that has a faded, cracked, or peeling exterior can drive a home’s value down significantly. In addition to port quality paint, the color of paint can also impact a home’s value. For this reason, homeowners should consider painting their home neutral colors such as beige, white, or gray before putting their home on the market. 

Proximity to Certain Facilities and Businesses

Before settling on a new location for a housing development project, Armand Candea and the Candea Development team will research the neighborhood and see if their potential location is close to any sites that may drive down the property’s value. Unfortunately, a home’s proximity to a number of locations can significantly drive down its value and reduce the chances of it being sold on the housing market. Some sites that are associated with major drops in property value include: 

A Poor Scoring School (22.2 %)

Strip club (14.7 %)

Homeless shelter (12.7 %)

Cemetery (12.3 %)

Funeral home (6.5 %)

Power plant (5.3 %)

Shooting range (3.7 %)

Hospital (3.2 percent)

Neighborhood Foreclosures

If a home forecloses close to your development property, it can hurt that property’s value. This is because home appraisers compare all selling prices within a neighborhood when estimating a single home’s value. Foreclosure homes can sit vacant for years without selling, driving down the price and the prices of homes in the surrounding neighborhood. For this reason, if more than one home forecloses in your neighborhood, it could significantly impact your development property’s selling price. 

Armand Candea Talks About How to Increase Value in a Neighborhood

Armand Candea expert in real estate development in the greater Chicago area, knows the importance of real estate development, the ability to create community between neighbors, and increasing value within the neighborhoods. When it comes down to creating properties that are unique and stand out from the norm, it is important to also keep in mind that the idea behind these developments is to increase the value in the neighborhood. So, what does increase neighborhood value? One way to increasing the value of your neighborhood is to bring in owners rather than renters. Renters are wonderful, but they simply do not have the same investment in the properties and neighborhood that owners do. Also, it is important to develop a relationship with the real estate agents that are working in your neighborhood.

Make sure you are keeping your neighborhood clean. Who wants to look at trash around the area? It makes your neighborhood look dirty and cheap. Whenever you see any sort of trash, you should grab it and dispose of it properly to create a clean neighborhood for everyone.

Visitors that come into your neighborhood cannot see inside your home, so to give a first good impression, you need to focus a lot of your home improvement efforts into your landscaping. If you do not have a green thumb, no problem- you can always hire a landscaper to help detail out your yard and put in the right trees and bushes to make your yard look amazing.

Push for infrastructure, if you have a neighborhood that is filled with potholes and cracks in the sidewalks, you need to get them fixed. Having dog paths or bike paths will also bring a nice feature to your neighborhood. If you can get a decent number of neighbors together to lobby the city council for street repair in your area, then you can get the funding for infrastructure maintenance that will help to boost your neighborhood’s value.

The bottom line is to work together. No matter how spirited you are in improving your neighborhood, it is hard to do it alone. You will need the help of your neighbors to make the change happen and that means you need to be willing to not just meet your neighbors but create relationships with them. When you work together, you will see property prices increase, and you will all gain the rewards of a more valuable neighborhood as a group.

Trends in Chicago Real Estate

Located in northeastern Illinois on the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is the third-most crowded city in the United States and the fifth-most crowded city in North America. Chicago city has been called by many nicknames, but it is mostly known as the “Windy City.” The city was rated as one of the most balanced economies in the United States, and this was due to its high level of diversification. Today, the Chicago city is recognized as the fourth-most important business center in the world. Interested in investing in the Chicago real estate market in 2021? Candea Development talks about the real estate trends that are currently going on in the Windy City. Since Chicago has seen a rise in real estate prices and a lower-than-average job growth, this might not seem like a good place to invest in real estate just yet.

According to Candea Development, the housing market trends show that the Chicago real estate market prices are still affordable.

  • In the Chicago neighborhoods where Real Wealth members invest, the median purchase price was only about $130,000 in 2020, which estimates around 49% more affordable than the national average.
  • This shows us that real estate in Chicago is still more affordable than many other areas in the United States. In the surrounding areas where Real Wealth members are investing, property values are even more affordable.

The Chicago rental income is strong.

  • In the neighborhoods where Real Wealth members invest, average homes rent for a median $1,600 per month, which is around 1.23% of the $130,000 median purchase price. This is about 81% higher than the national average.
  • This shows us that, in some Chicago neighborhoods, there is a solid opportunity to generate cash flow at a significantly higher rent-to-purchase ratio than many cities across the nation today.

Chicago offers equity growth potential.

  • Since 2010, Chicago’s population decreased by 0.13%. During the same time, the national population grew by about 6%.
  • In the past year Chicago lost over around 330,000 jobs due to COVID-19, which calculated to be an annual job loss rate of 7%. This is just above the U.S. annual job loss rate of 6%. This shows that Chicago’s diverse economy is keeping the job market somewhat stable.

Markets everywhere are still trying to come back from the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses all over the world have suffered a loss in money. In the real estate market prices have risen for potential buyers, but for the seller’s profit is looking good.

Armand Candea Explains the Top Mistakes in Real Estate Investing

Real estate investing is an excellent way to build wealth. With low interest rates, the Internet, and YouTube videos, it has become more popular than ever. But these things have also led people into making huge mistakes. Armand Candea, with Candea Development knows that without a plan, it is easy to slip up and make a mistake that can affect everything. So, before you decide to invest in real estate, it is wise to understand the pitfalls. Here are the most common mistakes real estate investors make and how to avoid them.

First mistake is not having a strategy.You are excited to dive right in an buy your first property, but without an investment plan it could lead you anywhere. Avoid this mistake by making a business plan before investing in real estate.

Second mistake is neglecting to do research. In a hurry and eager to begin, that is great, however not doing research can be a costly mistake. Avoid this mistake by doing your due diligence. Do your research to know if the property you are wanting to invest in is actually a good investment. Getting a home inspection is an example of doing your research to see if the home has mold, leaky roof, legal issues to name a few.

Third mistake is choosing the wrong financing. Some loans make it easy but with high interest rates, short terms, or penalties, avoid this mistake by understanding your loan terms. The best financing is a conventional, fixed-rate mortgage (or paying cash).

Mistake four is underestimating costs. Armand Candea explains a big part of real estate investing is estimating income and expenses. However, any miscalculations can make or break any deal. Underestimating costs reduces profit. Avoid this mistake by figuring all your expenses. A basic list of these expenses looks like this:

  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Mortgage payment
  • HOA fees
  • Maintenance
  • Property management
  • Marketing
  • Realtor commissions
  • Rental income
  • Vacancies
  • Renovations and repairs
  • Closing costs
  • Market value and after repair value (ARV)

Mistake number five is working alone. Armanda Candea says working alone is time consuming and can lead to expensive mistakes. Avoid this mistake by working with real estate professionals that will help you achieve your goals.

Mistake number six is expecting fast and easy results. Do not dive right in and invest just because you see someone else build significant t wealth through investing. Avoid this mistake by looking at the big picture and investing for long-term. Focusing on long-term will make your expectations more realistic. Choose deals that make sense for your business and focus on long-term equity.

Mistake number seven is waiting too long to invest. Some new investors wait for the perfect new property to invest in, but this is not necessarily realistic. Avoid this mistake by lowering your expectations.

Mistake number is eight failing to screen tenants. Do not think that just because you have a rental property that you can escape vacant and tenant problems. Avoid this mistake by establishing a written rental agreement. Screen and check for references to keep issues at bay.

Mistake number nine is not having a saving buffer. Most investors make all the repairs right away when they buy a property, but what they fail to know is that problems might pop up. Avoid this mistake by saving an emergency cash buffer to cover unexpected expenses and damages.

Mistake number ten is no exit strategy. New investors do not plan for things to fall apart, things do not always go as planned. Avoid this mistake by planning your exit strategy. If things do not go as planned when you invest in a property, have more than one alternative in place.

Real estate investing is not always easy, it is not a get rich quick strategy. Now that you know the most common mistakes in investing in real estate, you will be better prepared to not make these mistakes. Take the right steps to make the best investment decision that is right for you.