Investment Guide Investment Guide Copyright by en Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:28:07 -0500 5 Ways Technology Is Changing The Real Estate Industry There’s no doubt that the real estate industry has had a serious comeback from the housing crisis of years ago. More people are willing to relocate for a better home, and commercial properties help attract potential residents to certain neighborhoods.

Technology is a major reason why real estate is such a buzzword today. Consumers can use apps to place furniture in a home long before they signed paperwork, and real estate agents can show off property like never before. And that’s just the tip of the real estate iceberg. Here are five different ways technology is (and will continue to) shape the real estate industry:

The Ability To Demo Unfinished Projects

One of the biggest challenges realtors and property developers face is selling uncompleted projects. For example, the majority of banks and finance firms won’t provide development loans unless a percentage of the property has been sold, even before construction is complete. Up until recently, the only way to demonstrate unfinished projects was to use miniature models, mockups, and similar subpar tactics.

With virtual reality, investors, lenders, and potential buyers can better see what a property will become. To put this into perspective, Azad Abassi runs a company that produces 360-degree videos and used virtual reality to let prospects view an unfinished building in Montreal.

The technology here is layered and complex. In an interview with Forbes magazine, Abassi said, “We mixed different types of mediums within the virtual experience, using 360-degree photography, video footage and 3D renderings. The photography was used at the beginning of the experience to set the tone, with inserts like picture-in-picture and stop-motion graphics.”

Getting The Bigger Picture With Drones

A decade ago, drones were barely a footnote in tech conversation, and today, they have entire magazines dedicated exclusively to their vast capabilities.  Drones make it easier for agents and owners to effectively market a property, and for buyers to get an authentic feel of what the property holds. Whether a buyer is searching for commercial properties for lease in Denver or searching for residential property for purchase in Colchester, drones can shed the best light on any property.

Real estate is just one industry poised to leverage all that drones have to offer. Today, there are drone companies that focus exclusively on real estate, and their talents are uncanny. The portable tools can show off properties from an aerial perspective in ways regular photos cannot achieve. This is especially useful for large properties.

It can also capture videos and photos of the surrounding area, which can be instrumental in helping buyers understand proximity. If a property is next to a major attraction or beach, for example, a drone will be able to give prospects a bird’s eye-view of the property in relation to it.

To give you an idea of what we mean, take a look at how drones captured this beachside property in Santa Cruz with a combination of aerial footage, interior shots, and time lapse footage.

Tailored Real Estate Search Results

Artificial intelligence is everywhere, even when you don’t realize it. Take Netflix, for example. The more movies and shows you watch, the more the platform learns about you. It learns what you enjoy most based on what you view and what you’re searching for, and shows you suggested titles based on what is has learned.

The same technology applies to real estate. In the future, artificial intelligence and bots will ensure that your real estate search is highly relevant to your needs. It will combine data from a variety of sources based on your previous search history, clicks, average duration on certain listing and pages, and much more. For example, if you were searching for family homes in Chelmsford with gourmet kitchens, you would continue to get results that fit criteria that was most important to you.

Property Management Made Simple

Prospective renters and buyers aren’t the only real estate subgroup expected to benefit from artificial intelligence. Property managers will get their share of tech convenience, too.

Existing technology like Zenplace are already pioneering the AI property management frontier. Advanced machine learning will help property managers discover new tenants, locate vendors, and manage maintenance tasks. On the same token, tenants will be able to report issues online, submit payments, and receive automatic chat bot assistance on common issues.

Rise of The Virtual Tour

Virtual tours allow prospective buyers to make better decisions about a property. New 360-degree cameras and drone technology complement one another to create a complete package and streamline the viewing process for everyone. By creating an immersive experience, prospective buyers and renters are less likely to feel as though a space looked different in photos––a major time-waster in real estate.

There’s little doubt that virtual tours can actually sell a home. Because of virtual tours, buyers and agents will spend less time visiting properties that are less promising. They’re able to narrow down options that are best suited for them and properly depicted through visuals.

Real Estate Investing Editor Mon, 12 Feb 2018 22:23:24 -0500
The Top Questions to Ask Yourself to Determine if You Need a Contract Packaging Provider

There are now many outsourcing solutions which businesses can take advantage of, one of which is contract packaging. Contract packaging is a worthy solution to any business seeking to improve its packaging as well as its brand recognition and overall marketing and promotional strategies. With contract packaging services, you can meet your business goals when it comes to the proper packaging of your products, and you can easily pave the way for your business expansion. For some, contract packaging has been the answer they have been looking for – but you need to consider certain factors as well before you decide to have a contract packaging partner. Here are the top questions you should ask yourself to determine if you really need a contract packaging provider.

  1. Does your product volume over-employ or under-employ your manufacturing line or process? Does this affect your business only in the short-term, or does it have an effect in the long-term as well?
  1. Do you have a specific requirement, particularly in the short-term or during seasonal demand, which can be better serviced by more advanced or updated equipment or experience which you do not have?
  1. Do you require a short- or test-run for a new product, a new gift item, or a product which comes with a seasonal request? Would you need new or additional packaging machinery or equipment for this?
  1. Are you seeking to promote your product with a more popular and trendy kind of packaging, or packaging which doesn’t come as standard? Would you like to make use of inserts in your packaging which require unique machinery or equipment or additional manpower?
  1. Do you regularly deal with deadlines or are dealing with a new business which cannot be handled solely by your own staff? Do you need extra staff to supplement your own staff’s efforts?
  1. Do you have the need for new packaging machinery or equipment for a particular product but do not have the means to invest in new machinery?
  1. Do you need to test new packaging before releasing it to the general public?
  1. Do you require a significant investment in order to meet environmental or regulatory requirements and compliance?

If you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, then a contract packaging partner would be the solution you need. Contract packaging services can address all your packaging concerns from the beginning right through to the end.

When choosing a packaging company, however, take note of certain considerations, such as the packaging provider’s location, their experience, their cost, their size, and their quality and know-how in regard to the latest packaging solutions. Good luck!

Image courtesy of

Financial Guide Editor Thu, 08 Feb 2018 10:44:00 -0500
Should Your Business Be on the Move? Being a business owner means you were different hats.

With that in mind, one of the bigger decisions to make over time is if you are in the right location for business?

Being in the best locale means your commercial property is getting the most exposure.

Will Your Company Get Noticed?

Now, certain companies don’t always need top-notch exposure with a physical location.

If you’re an office that gets no customer foot traffic, you don’t have to worry as much where you are. As long as your employees can make it with ease to work and do their jobs, you are pretty much set.

That said don’t go for some out of the way office even if you primarily sell goods and services over the Internet. When in a location where consumers and other businesses see you, you stand a good chance of growing.

On the flip side, let’s say you run a small restaurant.

Being buried in the back of some shopping center far from a main road is a pre-cursor to potential disaster. In these cases, you want prime real estate. With that prime real estate, your brand will be in a much better position to attract and keep businesses.

So, should your business be on the move?

Turn to Experts for Business Locations

In wondering where your best location would be, turning to the right investment firm is key.

Whether you opt for reit investing or other such options, make the right call the first time around.

The same is true if you are not looking to place your specific business, but rather invest in property. With the right experts to help you, you can be moving towards better deals and in all hopes more revenue.

So, in looking at where best to move your business or invest in commercial property, keep these keys in mind:

  • Price – Will you likely be getting a good return on your investment? Sure, that may be hard to decipher early on. That is why it is a good idea in having investment pros helping you make the best decision possible. With their experience, you can feel better about where your investment dollars go.
  • Neighborhood – You would not buy a house etc. without looking at the neighborhood. The same is true when it comes to moving your business or investing in commercial property. Even if you can’t get a good view of the prospective neighborhood first-hand, look at pictures. It is also a good idea to learn about the history of the area and any issues that may be in play.
  • Growth – Is there potential to grow your business or if you want to invest in added properties nearby? Do your best to avoid a situation where growing the business or property is not an option.

In determining whether it is your business to be on the move, get valuable input from the experts.

That sound advice is at the end of the day your business.

Financial Guide Editor Fri, 26 Jan 2018 01:20:59 -0500
Preparing for Property Valuation is Essential

You don’t just wake up one day and realise that you want to sell your property. Although there are property surveyors whom you can easily call and set an appointment with, you still need time to prepare the property.

Rushing the process will most likely lead to a lower property valuation. You definitely don’t want this to happen. You might not even want to let go of the property. If you do, you want to at least get a lot of money for it.

Before asking a surveyor to come over, you should be prepared, and do any necessary improvements first, so you are fully prepared for the valuation inspection.

Decide what to renovate

You need to research about what the best renovations are. Not all home improvements will increase the value of your property. Some of them won’t have any impact at all. As long as the renovations will make the property more functional, and not just aesthetically appealing, the changes should be worth doing.

The outdoor areas are definitely worth investing your money in. There is a growing trend among homeowners these days and that is to have a wonderful outdoor living area. Keeping any outdoor areas at your property clean and functional will surely increase the value of the property. Most families want to stay in this type of place since it makes them feel more relaxed.

Find out how much nearby properties are worth

It also helps if you try doing research on nearby properties. There might have been properties sold recently. Understanding their value will make it easier for you to make a comparison with your own property. You will know if your property has been poorly valued or if the results are acceptable.

Search for quality surveyors

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to their search for a property surveyor is that they think that those who can give the highest valuation are the best. The truth is, it’s preferable to have a surveyor who provides the most accurate valuation. It doesn’t help to put a high price tag on your property when it doesn’t deserve such a value. It could just scare buyers away. On the other hand, a more accurate price tag is highly reliable and this could increase the number of potential buyers.

Take your time

Once you have found the best surveyor to do the job, such as Essex surveyors, you should prepare for the big day. Take time to prepare the place; clean it thoroughly. Make sure that it looks perfect. Be there during the valuation, and be prepared to answer any questions the surveyor has. Just be honest with your answers.

Once the report is delivered, keep it and use it if there are potential buyers in the future.

Image via (iamaea)

Real Estate Investing Editor Mon, 06 Nov 2017 07:21:17 -0500
Buying Property in Colchester? Is it a good idea?

Only an hour away from London by train, Colchester is an excellent choice for commuters to purchase property. And since typically people who work in London receive higher than the national average salary, there is a tendency for property prices in Colchester and Essex to be extremely buoyant. But, is buying property in Colchester a good investment long term?

Colchester properties valued 16% higher than the UK average

Currently, average Colchester property prices are around £257,000, compared to the national average of £223,000. Colchester ‘selling prices’ increased by a little more than 12% last year! Rents also increased over the same period by around 9%. So, if you’re considering investing in property, according to several local mortgage brokers Colchester offers, the town certainly has appeal, and a promise of solid returns.

What are the long-term prospects?

Considering that the national average house price rose by 4.9% last year, the growth experienced in Colchester certainly shows promise, and there’s no indication of this growth slowing. But, in the interest of balance, Colchester suffered along with most areas across the country following the recession, although no worse than the UK average decline. The good news – Colchester property prices rebounded much faster than many other areas across the UK. House prices in Colchester are currently around the 2007/2008 peak levels. Based on this, Colchester seems to have plenty of potential for further long-term growth. This applies to both rental prices and purchase prices for property in the area.

Are there still bargains to be had?

The current buoyancy of the property market in Colchester might make finding heavily discounted properties somewhat of a challenge. You should also bear in mind that not all areas within or around Colchester may be as appealing in terms of purchasing property for investment, and specifically for profit, in the long term. There have been some cases in which cash investors have made losses on investment properties, having seen little or no real growth in prices in the last ten years or so.

Be smart - get professional advice

Buying your home, or investing in property in Colchester, is appealing, provided you do due diligence and careful research, supported by local insight from experts in the property market. For investors looking to purchase student accommodation to rent out, or possibly renting out new build properties to young London executives, there are plenty of options. Market data would suggest that a yield of 7-8% could be expected, and there’s always the potential for greater yields if you choose the best locations and properties.

So, overall, based on historic data and current trends in the property market, Colchester offers plenty of opportunities, both for those looking to purchase a home, and investment property.

Real Estate Investing Editor Mon, 06 Nov 2017 07:05:03 -0500
Do I have to buy my static caravan insurance from the site's provider? This question is very commonly heard and has at times in the past been controversial.

The issue

If you own a static caravan, your relationship with the site’s owners is likely to be a professional and hopefully amicable one.

Both parties will have responsibilities that are a mixture of legal, contractual and to some extent, common sense obligations. In the vast majority of cases this relationship works well.

However, things can sometimes go wrong and lead to friction. One such example is that arising from the subject of insurance for your static caravan. 

The reason why this can flare up is relatively simple. Static caravan owners may wish to source their own static caravan insurance from an established provider of such. They may have taken considerable care in finding a suitable policy and above all, one that’s cost-effective too.

Unfortunately, some site owners may then have indicated that a condition of site usage is that the static caravan owner takes the site provider’s approved cover. That cover might not be as cost-effective or comprehensive as the policy that the caravan’s owner has found and wishes to use.

An issue has arisen and this has been known to generate dispute and ill-feeling.

The reality – a summary

In what follows, please remember that this is general and not specific legal advice for your circumstances because individual situations may be complicated.


  • static caravan insurance might provide many benefits but one of those will typically be “third party liability” cover – sometimes also known as “public liability cover”. That means that if someone is injured or has their property damaged as a result of your caravan or your activities, then you have cover in place to deal with any court awards against you;
  • it is not unreasonable for the site owners to require that caravans on their site are covered by the above static caravan s insurance. In fact, in some cases, they may be legally or contractually obliged to do so;
  • as such, they can legitimately ask to see and examine your static caravan insurance. It might also be reasonable for them to make a small administrative charge for doing so (photocopying etc.);
  • the conclusion here is that typically, the site owners do not have the legal right to insist that you use their static home insurance provider. There are though, some relatively unusual exceptions that should be noted - as below;
  • in some cases, the deeds of sale of a static caravan might include an obligation to use the site owner’s (landowner’s) approved static home insurance solution. If you have signed a legally binding contract of this sort, then the conditions written into the deeds will oblige you to conform.

What to do

If a concern arises relating to the site owner’s requirement, it’s important to stay calm and discuss the position rationally with them.

They may be perfectly free to try to persuade you to take their cover. Typically, you’ll also be perfectly free to review it against your own cover and to reject their suggestion if you’re happier with your own solution.

In such circumstances, it would typically be potentially illegal for them to attempt to coerce you by taking measures such as bullying or withdrawing site services in full or part.

However, you should look carefully at any deeds that were included in your unique caravan and/or land purchase to be sure that you have no legal obligations from that source.  You should also carefully examine any purchase agreement for the caravan you signed to be sure there are no related insurance obligations contained within.

If you’re in any doubt, you might be advised to see qualified legal advice.

Financial Guide Editor Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:39:03 -0400
Three Things I Love about My Award Plaques Collection There is something really satisfying about winning something or getting recognition from doing something we love. That was exactly what I felt when I got my first award plaque. I couldn’t stop staring at it for months and I made it my life goal to get even more plaques.

I put my first plaque on my desk and soon one turn into two and the number just kept growing until there was no spaces any longer on my desk. My parents finally bought a display case where I could keep all my award plaques. When I was young, I simply looked at the materialization of my achievements that is the plaque only to encourage me to work harder. But as I grew older, I couldn’t help but pay attention to the details of my plaque collections and here are some of the things I love from them.


I really love it when I receive brass plaques. I’m always a fan of everything that looks timeless and that is exactly what brass plaque is all about. But lately, I rarely receive plaque with this kind of material again because it seems like people have moved to more modern looking materials like stainless steel or marbles. Personally, I don’t really like stainless steel but marble plaque is my new jam. Just like brass, it is classic but with a completely different vibe. Besides, I also really like it because I don’t have to keep polishing it to keep its shine.


Another best thing that I really love about my plaques is the design. As a matter of fact, every single time I won something, I eagerly anticipated how the plaque will look like. Once, I did a volunteer work for a national youth conference and I received pretty photo plaques. Yes, there is the picture of my smiling face on the plaque and I’ve never felt so appreciated like that before. I also love observing the variety of plaque designs in my display case.

The Writings

Last but not least, I love it the most when I find my name written on the plaque. I rarely got custom plaques from competitions, but I often got it from volunteer works. When I see my name written on the plaque, I feel like it really belongs to me. Furthermore, reading the personalized writings on the plaque also make me feel really grateful to participate in such events and make everything becomes more memorable when I look at those plaques again.

Financial Guide Editor Thu, 26 Oct 2017 10:19:47 -0400
Where Can I Find Houses for Sale in Chelmsford?

Buying a house is the best investment in life. However, you should take your time to ensure you make the best investment. You can choose to live in a modern and well-designed house, flat or apartment. As a first-time property investor, you may not know where to start your house search. Here is a guide to help you find the right house for sale.

Classified sites online

Most property owners place adverts in newspapers and in sites offering online classifieds. Such adverts are convenient if you don’t want to find a property through an agent. This way has its own merits and demerits. Make sure that you verify the existence of the classified property before attempting to purchase it. You can also get a cheap house for sale by bargaining with the owner. The best way to find a property through classified sites is to visit the sites regularly. Nevertheless, be very careful; don’t fall for online fraudsters as it’s difficult to determine the legitimacy of some sellers.

Ask family or friends

You can also ask friends or family member about available houses for sale. Do you have a friend in Chelmsford, or near the area? He or she could be of great help if you want to find a house in Chelmsford. The advantage with asking friends and family is that you are dealing with someone you can trust.

Consult a trustworthy agent

Another effective way to find a house for sale is by involving a real estate agent in Chelmsford. There are many estate agencies in the area. However, you need to consult a legitimate agent, and avoid fraudsters. First, check whether the agency is registered to offer property for sale. You can also consider the agency’s experience and reputation, based on testimonials from past clients. For years, has been one of the best property agents in Chelmsford.

Buying through an agent is different. You will deal directly with the agent, not the owner. Involving an estate agency has a lot of advantages. First, agents have a long list of available houses for sale. You’ll have a wide range of properties to compare before settling on the best one. Secondly, agents offer tips and advice on buying property. They will also take you to visit the property before purchasing it.

Buying a house or apartment is a serious investment, so you should be extra cautious before purchasing any property. It is also important to consider how you will pay for the property. There are agencies that will help you find a mortgage to finance the property purchase.

All these are useful tips to help you find, and purchase, your ideal property in Chelmsford.


Real Estate Investing Editor Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:58:07 -0400
4 Tips for Successfully Selling your Property

The right preparation is the key to selling a property successfully. Whatever time of year you are selling, start to put everything in order. With the majority of property owners entrusting real estate agents to handle the sale, choosing the right one is crucial, as you will be dealing with them for weeks. The right agent can help you get the best price in a short time. Here are tips to help you have a stress-free selling experience.

  1. Decide between sole or multi-agency

Choosing a sole agent to sell your property means having only one agent exclusively selling it. Typical sole-agency agreements are for about 8 to 12 weeks. During this period, you should not switch or speak to other agents or you might end up paying more than one commission. For multi-agency agreements, there is no fixed term and no restrictions on the number of agents you can instruct. Several agents may market your property simultaneously, and you eventually pay the one who sells it. A sole-agency agreement is cheaper compared to a multi-agency agreement.

If you go with a sole agency, you don’t have to choose a long agreement, as you can always renew the contract. If you prefer multi-agency, go with only three agents, and choose those which are based far away from one another, so you cover a wider area.

  1. Negotiate on price and fees

Get a good idea of your property’s worth before dealing with agents. Check out the internet or your local newspaper. Speak to at least three estate agents to value your property. Ask the one who appraises it higher if he has a buyer who will buy it at a higher price. If they have different commission rates, you can always negotiate, because they are likely to reduce their original rate. Avoid disclosing your preferred selling price for your property, or previous valuations, until an agent has finished their appraisal.

  1. Be sure the property is available for viewing

Ask your agent regarding their plans for managing viewing. You can alternate viewing schedules, just make sure the property is presentable. If you are not always available, give your agent spare keys to show your home when you are not around.

  1. Negotiate the offer

It is good practice for agents not to disclose a buyer’s offer to other buyers, because this can create an auction scenario that could result in overstretching, and then having to renegotiate later. Ask the buyer for their final offer, and then confirm other details such as the breakdown of financing, or details of a chain, whichever is applicable.

Sell your home quickly and smoothly at the best price by making your home the best it can be, and getting your paperwork in order. You can choose to work with online estate agents to potentially save money. To search for one, just enter “sell my home” in the search box.

Image via phanlop88

Real Estate Investing Editor Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:35:12 -0400
Free Chat And Day Trading Ideas The American workforce is filled with dreamers and misfits. Those who are going to their jobs as burger flippers or car salesman as marketing executives or stockbrokers as middle school teachers or paralegals. But they are unfulfilled. Little do they know that they could achieve financial freedom and fulfillment with a free chat session about day trading. Day trading can bring profits and control back to the life of a career stagnated. The only thing needed is discipline and the willingness to put in the work to become a good day trader.

Free chat can be a great place to start to learn about day trading. Interacting with other traders that in the same boat as you, learning all the complicated terminology in real time, with context clues and watching other traders swap tips and tricks, can be an exhilarating introduction to the world of day trading. You need to go on to study online trading videos, read detailed breakdowns of strategies for finding hot stocks and practice in a trading simulator, but it is a start. And a way to get acclimated to day trading.

When you are searching for free chat for day trading, it helps to find a room that has veteran tradings livestreaming their desktop screens. That gives you a bird’s-eye view of the way that the traders looks at the market, what kind of patterns they are looking for and how they enter into a stock. Those are all very valuable lessons right out of the gate. That adds to your screen time. Screen time is vitally important to becoming a good day trader.

Once you spend time in a free chat room, the next step is taking online day trading classes. That is where you can ingest momentum day trading strategies that will teach you how to take advantage of volatility in the market. The key to day trading is volatility. You can’t make money without it. Stocks need to go up and down throughout the day, providing ample opportunity for profit. Being able to see that and discern the patterns in real time is extremely valuable for a day trader.

Watching those patterns is the first step. The next step is learning how to enter those stocks at the time right before the share price rises 20-30% and then get out right before it drops back down. Finding the winners, getting as much out of them as possible and then getting out at the right time is the essence of day trading. There is no buy and hold in this game. It is all about finding opportunity where you can and seizing that opportunity.

Traditional investing calls for extensive research of the fundamentals, make sure the business is sound and viable long-term, understanding the effectiveness of the management team. It takes a lot of work and entails some risk. Day trading is very much the same, in that it takes a lot of work and involves serious risk. But there is not real examination of the underlying business or industry. What you need to do is to learn how to read the market, see the patterns and trade effectively.

That is how you get to the next level as a day trader.

Investing Basics Editor Sat, 14 Oct 2017 22:18:41 -0400
Everything you need to know about life insurance Understanding everything you need to know about life insurance is sometimes complicated and overwhelming. However, with this useful quiz, you'll learn more about life insurance policies and how they work so you can make a more informed decision about the right policy for you.

Some of the multiple choice questions in the quiz will teach you what a guaranteed-issue life insurance policy is and who benefits from one, along with when you should buy a life insurance policy and who receives the benefits from the policy when you pass away. Learn more about what factors contribute to higher life insurance premiums, why you might need a medical exam for your policy, how to find out if your insurance carrier is stable, and the biggest disadvantage of getting a life insurance policy from your employer.

Another beneficial section of the quiz will help you understand the difference between term life and whole life insurance, the biggest benefit of whole life insurance, whether term life or whole life insurance has a lower monthly cost, and what happens if your term life policy expires while you're still alive.

The quiz won't take you long to complete, and you'll get a detailed explanation after each question to help further your understanding. When you finish the quiz, you'll also have the opportunity to read more articles about life insurance to answer any other questions you might have.

Take this quiz today to learn what you need to know about life insurance policies. With the information you find out, you can decide which policy is right for you.

Health IQ: Term Life Insurance Quotes for the Health Minded>Quiz>Life Insurance>Getting Life Insurance While Young

Financial Guide Editor Sat, 26 Aug 2017 01:58:21 -0400
Top Tips for Buying a Home That Will Keep its Value The thought of ending up in negative equity is enough to bring even the calmest person out in a cold sweat. Buying a home is a big commitment, and most people are happy to accept that they'll end up staying in their home for a few years, but ending up trapped in a house that has lost a significant chunk of its value to mysterious market forces is not something that anyone wants to happen.

It would be nice if it were possible to guarantee that your home would keep its value even a recession, but that's just not possible. What you can do, though, is try to pick a home that has several of the following positive traits which will make it more likely that it will hold its value even if the housing market crashes:

1. A good location

A home that's close to a school, is served by good transport links, and is in a crime free neighbourhood isn't as likely to lose its value as one that's in a generic housing development that doesn't have as much to offer.

2. Well maintained

A well-maintained home with solid wooden doors, double glazing, and freshly painted walls should fetch a higher asking price than a run-down property. Even when there's a recession on, people like to do their bit for the environment, so selling points such as insulation, reclaimed doors, and low utility bills are all positives.

3. A good kitchen and bathroom

If you already own a house, and are looking to sell it, the first rooms you should spruce up are the kitchen and the bathroom. If your kitchen looks like it was designed in middle ages, or your bath is chipped and scuffed, the house won't sell. A house with a gorgeous bathroom and stylish, functional kitchen will be much more likely to turn viewers into buyers.

4. Privacy and sound proofing

Nobody wants to be kept awake at night by partying neighbours or the sound of passing traffic. If you have double glazing, solid wooden doors, and some nice shrubs to hide your windows and give you privacy, then buyers will feel more confident about your property.

5. Understand the area

Local knowledge is always handy when it comes to buying a new home. All the features in the world won't help you if your home is in an area that's traditionally been considered a "bad neighbourhood". On the other hand, homes close to schools, religious buildings or leisure facilities tend to retain their value pretty well.

Nobody can guarantee that the value of a home will go up or down, but you can protect yourself a little by making a wise investment, and there are always things that you can do to increase the value of your home when you've bought it. Even small changes such as replacing countertops, fitting reclaimed doors, or installing a new bath can add to the value of your home, and make it more pleasant to live in while you wait for it to sell.

Jon Platy is behind most of the content for Principal Homebuyers. Based in the UK they offer a wide range of services for home owners to sell their homes quickly. 

Real Estate Investing Editor Tue, 04 Jul 2017 22:39:36 -0400
Building Wealth While Paying Off Your Debts In financial matters, building wealth and paying off debts are treated as two different matters. It’s easy to follow this logic since the two require relatively different approaches. But as you will soon learn, the line that divides them is quite thin.

Before diving deeper, it would be well to underpin the essential role played by credit counsellors and financial advisers when it comes to this subject matter. They often have more insight in dealing with money and the way to make it work for you regardless of the goals you are aiming for. A cursory look into these individuals will reveal how differently they think of money. And their reviews will reveal how good a success rate they have. For instance, Think Money Reviews will help you to understand the process of creating wealth and getting rid of debt.

On debt

When it comes to building wealth, debt management features as one of the foremost steps. The argument is that the only way you can have more is by giving out less. It follows then that if you hope to amass a fortune in life, you first need that clear, unremitting resolve to deal with your debt. Allow yourself to get tired of your financial situation and let the desire for prosperity fuel your journey going forward.

It’s important to ensure that you don’t get into any more debt. The idea is to break the cycle of needing to borrow. This can be achieved by making some hard decisions, such as reducing your monthly expenses by forming a habit of frugality. Learn to live below your means by practicing restraint and strictly saving for the needs you want to meet. On saving also, regardless of how difficult your situation is, put aside some amount every time money comes in. This will prevent you from borrowing for an unprecedented emergency.

Formulate a plan

After you have listed all your debts, ensure that you will make repayments for each one without fail. As you pay the minimum amounts required, pay off more for the smallest loans, or the one with the highest interest. If unsure of where to start, explore the different debt relief options that might be at your disposal.

On building wealth

To accumulate at such a time is challenging, but nonetheless possible. Your ability to save a little, and pay regularly will be the first true sign of your changing financial fortunes.

Adopt the mind-set of a producer

This means rewriting your entire belief system of how it is you make money. You need not stay shackled to employment because for all the security it provides it does limit your ability to grow. By thinking like a producer, you will be able to eschew whatever gratifications material things give that are never lasting.


If are unable to start your own venture, settle for working a little harder, for a little longer to increase your base earnings. As you make more, think seriously about investing in both the short and long terms. From stocks to real estate, there are many investment vehicles that you can use with little sums of money.

Remember to celebrate your achievements along the way, such as when you clear your first debt. It motivates you to keep going. And eventually you will realize that in many ways freeing yourself from debt is in fact building wealth.

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Investing Basics Editor Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:52:08 -0400
Steps to Take Before Investing in Real Estate  

There is no denying that a real estate venture is a step in the right direction when it comes to investment opportunities. While it is a lucrative endeavour, it is important to take care of the important details before you sign that final check and hand it over. This is the only way to ensure that you are making the right financial decision and will be getting your money’s worth. If you are still not entirely comfortable with such deals, there are some things that you should know before you make your next investment. Here are some important pointers:

Understand Current and Future Potential

When looking to buy property, one of the first things you will do is determine just how much that piece of real estate is worth. This is often done by examining the current value of the property, the surrounding properties, and various other aspects of the immediate neighbourhood. Now this will help you to understand just how much that land is worth now. This, however, is not enough of an investigation. You should be able to predict how much the property will be worth several years from now. Will the prices remain stagnant, plummet, or move up in value. Ideally, you want the property to be worth more later on. Therefore, you should look at any public or private developments that may be coming to the area. Will these help to boost traffic into the neighbourhood or will it be driving people out?

Make an Informed Decision

This is certainly an instance where you do not want to be caught unawares. It is vital that you know precisely the situation that you are getting yourself into, especially financially. The best way to have all of the details that you need is to conduct a land title search. This will provide you with an absolute wealth of information. It will tell you all that you need to know about the current owners of the property. This includes whether or not they are the true titleholders of the real estate as well as specifics about the mortgage. It is also a good way to minimize your risk and make sure that no fraudulent activities are taking place.

Be Aware of Tax Costs

The last thing that you need is not pay the taxes that you owe. Prior to purchasing real estate as an investment, however, you need to know of all the costs that lie ahead of you. This will help you to prepare beforehand and not be blindsided when the time comes to settle your dues. In most instances, you will be required to pay a stamp duty on the property that you wish to buy. The final cost of this will be decided depending on the overall value of the property. It will also be calculated according to the state in which you are making the purchase. In addition, you will be required to pay an annual land tax as well. This, too, will change according to where you have bought the property.

There is a lot to do before you actually purchase a property. By taking all of the above things into consideration, you will make the process a lot easier for yourself. Not to mention, you will avoid any unwanted surprises and ensure a much more simple investment process for you and everyone else involved.

Real Estate Investing Editor Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:50:55 -0400
Easier to get quick loans online Online payday loans have gained a lot of popularity in the recent past. In order to get a loan people used to wait for days after filling the form, now it has become easier to get quick loans online. Also with instant loan approvals the competition among the lenders has increased a lot. In case you are a genuine borrower and have repaid your loans in the given time period then there would be plenty of lenders ready to give loan proposals to you.

Now the best thing about such loans is that you get instant loan approval and cash in case of a crucial cash crunch. The procedure of getting such loans is rather simple. If you provide all the details precisely then the process will be steady and quick. Through payday loans online you can get small loans. However they charge very high interest rates due to which you have to pay nearly double of the amount that you borrowed. The only advantage is that you get the loan amount deposited in your account within 24 hours. These loans work as a temporary finance to handle any sudden or unexpected financial issues.

Providers of quick loans online do approve your loans easily but they have extremely strict rules if you fail to make the repayment in time. In case you feel that you are going to default on your repayments then you can talk to the lender and come up with an instalment plan. Although this may increase the amount of interest to be paid but in the end you would be able to pay off your debt without disturbing your monthly budget. The best part about quick loans online is that you can complete all the needed documentation by sitting in one place. In case of any doubts you can have a live chat with someone from the customer support of the lender. You can finish the form submission online within seconds, and the best part is that you can do it at any time you want to.

You might feel awkward while going to the bank to get loans for small amounts; online loans have resolved this issue. You as the borrower get an advantage as you can compare the interest rates from multiple lenders while sitting in your own home. You can select the lender who matches your needs. These loans are just perfect to get rid of any temporary money problems. If you are going to apply for quick loans online, then collect your employment and contact information so that you can save some time when filling the form. For example a recent salary statement may answer most of the questions asked in the loan application. Also you would have to submit the details of an active bank account where the approved loan amount can be deposited. Mentioned below are some advantages of quick loans online:

  • Instant loan approval – the automated method of filling application makes it easier for the lender to process your application hence enabling them to approve it within five minutes or less. The application asks for your contact details, source of income and account details. These lenders do not check your application on the basis of your credit score or any other financial factor. Instead they need you to have a consistent job and a functioning verified bank account. Once your application has been verified and approved, you get an approval notice and related information in order to complete the information. After which the requested loan amount is deposited directly into your bank account.
  • Speedy and paperless process – with such loans you need not drive across the town in order to apply for a loan. This process is paperless hence you need not fax multiple copies of your salary statements and other details of your bank accounts.
  • Automatic payment deduction system – the loan repayments are also done online. On each due date of repayment the instalment is deducted automatically from your account. Also you have the option to select if you want only the financing charges to be paid, some part of the principal or your entire loan amount. Majority of quick loans online companies have a flexible repayment plan making it easier for you to get rid of your debt.
Financial Guide Editor Tue, 14 Feb 2017 01:24:49 -0500
Would you Sell or Rent your House out before you Travel?

If you are a homeowner and are intending to travel for a long period, then it is highly likely that you are faced with the dilemma of whether you should sell your home or simply rent it out.

Well, in most cases it is recommended that you sell your house ahead of your voyage so that you do not have much to worry about while you are away. While this may seem reasonable, it is not necessarily the ultimate solution.

However, you need to look at it from a personal finance point of view so that you do not end up with regrets. Here are some of the things you need to consider:

Advantages of selling your house to travel

According to fast house sale company Ready Steady Sell here are two major advantages of selling your house before you travel. They are as follows:

  • Extra cash – When you sell your house to travel, it is likely that you will get a huge chunk of money especially if you bought it for a lesser price. You could use the proceeds from the sale to finance your travel or invest the money elsewhere like a portfolio of stocks that pay dividends. This way, you can be sure to generate money despite having sold off your investment.
  • Peace of mind – When you sell your house before travelling, you will not have to worry about having to make mortgage payments as you will already have made alternative arrangements with your mortgage lender.

Disadvantages of Selling your house before travel

Although the advantages of selling your house before travelling the world are clear and enticing, there are also disadvantages that are associated with this same move. They include the following:

  • Monetary loss – If you are selling your house at a time when the market is not performing well, chances are that you will lose money.
  • The process is time consuming – When selling your property on the open property market, you may have to wait for a longer period before finding a suitable buyer for your house. This might essentially affect your travel schedule especially if it takes long to sell and it is likely to, you may have to conclude the process while you are away. However, this can be nerve wrecking compared to if you had done it before.
  • Re-settling – If you are keen on coming back to live in the same area, you need to put in place proper resettlement plans. That is, determine if you will rent or buy another house.

Overall, you need to establish your next move after before embarking on travel. That is, you must take time to interrogate both the benefits and disadvantages of selling or renting your house before travelling. This will ensure that you have a good continuity upon your return.

Real Estate Investing Editor Tue, 31 Jan 2017 08:11:52 -0500
5 Ways Accountants Can Make You Audit Proof Except for Scientologists, nobody will ever win a fight against the IRS. Going through an audit is awful and what specific factors to look out for isn’t certain. But there are things you can do to lessen the likelihood of interacting with the IRS.  Here are 5 of those things.
5. Be ready to defend your deductions
The IRS is well aware that people will put deductions where they can. A good rule to follow is you should be comfortable defending your deduction if asked about it. Even if you are questioned about it, if you can reasonably prove why you listed it then it should not be a problem.
4. Get help
With a professional on your side to help you fill out your taxes, your paperwork should be solid and better organized. A professional is more familiar with the rules as well as location specific laws that apply to your situation.
If you don’t want to go all-in and hire a accountant or tax professional, you can get tax software to help fill out your taxes. Tax software will make things faster as it will do your calculations and offer helpful suggestions. You don’t even need to follow through and submit online if you don’t want to, you can simply print it out.
3. Disclose only what you need to
Giving out all the possible details can actually hurt you rather than help. You should keep things as simple and as clear as possible. If you need to append explanations, keep it concise and accurate. No need to include bank statements or sales contracts unless requested by the IRS.
2. Double check your math
With all the paperwork and tediousness of preparing your taxes, it’s understandable that a person slips and makes basic math errors. Simply checking if the math is correct is easy and can avoid trouble. The IRS will contact you if you make mistakes in your math. This is standard procedure and will not normally lead to an audit but it is in your best interests to keep interactions with the IRS to a minimum.
1. Keep track of all your 1099 forms
There are different types of form 1099. Here are a few examples:
  • Form 1099-R for pensions
  • Form 1099-INT for interest
  • Form 1099-DIV for dividends
  • Form 1099-G for tax refunds
  • Form 1099-MISC for miscellaneous income
Form 1099-MISC will see the most use. Be sure you organize and keep track of all the forms you have. Those who paid you will also submit forms related to you and these will be cross checked with your form 1099. Failing to account for something is a big red flag for the IRS.
On a final note: here are some known red flags that will definitely increase your likelihood of being audited:
  • Tax returns with very large deductions e.g.  You report an income of $35,000 and claim $30,000 in deductions.
  • You claim several deductions with travel, ,entertainment and debt with poor documentation.
  • You report long time recurring business losses. The IRS is suspicious of businesses that consistently lose money over the years and still stay in business.
Financial Guide Editor Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:26:34 -0500
5 Types of Homes You Can Buy in Launceston, Tasmania The riverside city of Launceston in northern Tasmania, AU presents wonderful opportunities for relocation. If you are looking for a home in the area, you have numerous possibilities, new and old. Below, you can have a look at the types of homes currently available to buy at advantageous prices.

  1. Rural homes + land

In Launceston, rural and urban life mix together rather seamlessly, due to the relaxed atmosphere of the city. It is fairly common to find house and land combinations across Tasmania, and Launceston suburbs are no exception. Space is no issue here hence anyone will find it easier to invest in a home that also has land attached to it. It can prove suitable to a slower paced life or simply give you the opportunity to have more space of your own and therefore more tranquility. The land may have additional constructions on it, such as old warehouses that can be converted to suit a modern lifestyle.

  1. Multiple-bedroom family houses

A significant number of properties on the market belonged to long-established families. Old style homes are very pleasing to the eye and can be found in the city center, as well as in its suburbs. The relaxed style is highly attractive to families and couples of any age. House builders Launceston have followed the pattern when developing new and modern family homes. Such dwellings can range from Georgian and Victorian styles to contemporary. The median house price is estimated at about $300,000.

  1. The charming townhouse

Townhouses in Launceston usually have historical features but also recent refurbishment work. If you are a fan of inner city living, you will find such homes to be equally suitable and charming. Multiple-story houses offer varied possibilities for living. While rear decks provide excellent relaxation spots, ground floors can be used for business, as it's often the case. Townhouses have much potential and have well adjusted, realistic prices.

  1. Veranda homes

It comes as no surprise that Launceston offers plenty of homes with lovely verandas. Its rolling hills landscape offer amazing views and thus many home constructors have taken advantage of this aspect. Who wouldn't want to live in a home with splendid views? Veranda homes sell well and many are also up for rent. The houses come in any size – you don't need to opt for a lofty mansion to enjoy this feature.

  1. Kit and modular homes

Tasmania developers create steel kit homes as well as modular houses, which can be some of the most affordable housing solutions. Such homes are made in factories and then delivered to the chosen site. They're easy to assemble and can be made as small or large as desired. These constructions blend well into the environment as they have a natural, beautiful finish. All such units meet the standards set by the latest 6-star energy rating. Under-floor insulation ensures good heating and no waste. These homes are a result of listening to what people are looking for and therefore an expression of ideal modern living standards.

If you are a student or young professional looking for a home or investment in Launceston, there are numerous spaces for rent to choose from, both new and old. The city caters well to young and mobile workforce, too.

Real Estate Investing Editor Mon, 10 Oct 2016 01:21:23 -0400
How To Start an Office from Your Home You love being at home. You’ve carefully and slowly created a comfortable, cozy home that makes you feel good. You’re proud of your home, and happy to bring company over to show them how nice you’ve beautified your home to be. It’s not easy to do, it takes the right eye and a lot of patience to get a comfortable place going. But, once you’ve gotten to the point where you just absolutely love being at home isn’t it a bit of a let down when you have to leave the majority of the day to go to the office? All that effort to beautify your home and now you don’t even get to use it.

Well, we’ve come up with one solution. If you don’t want to have to leave the comfort of your home from Monday to Friday when it’s time to go to work, well then make your home your office! How do you do that, you ask? Well, by starting your own business! When you start your own business and become your own boss you can stay at home while you work. It’s an often overlooked benefit of being a business owner, and being the boss of your own time. If you want to enjoy your home to the max, well work from there! If you start a business that you can run from a computer, making your comfortable the home base is not hard at all.

When you start your own business these days, having a digital presence is almost a necessity. You almost cannot have a business without having your own website. So, if you want to try this method of starting your own business to enjoy the comfortable you’ve built then you are going to have to start a website. You’ll have to start with a web hosting service, like Wordpress, Squarespace, or iPage. IPage is an excellent option because they offer web hosting services and some web design as well. It’s a great place to go to if you need to start your own business, you should really check it out. Web Hosting services can get pricey though, so make sure you use these Groupon Coupons for iPage so you can control the budget better. Starting your own business is a great way to enjoy your own home, so what are you waiting for!

Investing Basics Editor Thu, 01 Sep 2016 11:29:21 -0400
5 Investments You Will Never Make Money On Investing can be a fickle thing. On one hand, it seems that investing your money is always a smart use of it. On the other hand, there is always risk involved. Some investments have a much greater risk than others, but they are also tend to have a much greater reward. When investing, it really comes down to the individual. How comfortable are you with the risk you are taking?

A lot of investments will net you at least some form of return. The key is netting a return that is greater than the increase of inflation. Options such as a 401k, IRA, Roth IRA, stocks, bonds, and more offer one way to invest your money. You can also invest into property or land. Property investors can choose from residential or commercial property to invest in. Land investors often choose between vacant land, farming land, hunting land, or more.

Despite popular belief, investments do not always make you money. In fact there are some that you might never make money on or make very little money. To preface this list, let’s start by saying “never say never”. In the theoretical world of finance, almost anything is possible but the probability still says unlikely. With that caveat, let’s look at some of the investments that you are bound to lose money on.


Timeshares seem like such a magical thing. You can potentially partially own a vacation home in whatever tropical destination you would like for a portion of the year. Unfortunately, you have almost every investment factor working against you. For starters, the resale of a timeshare is almost always lower than the original investment. So if you are purchasing directly from the developer of the timeshare, you can almost be certain that if you choose to sell your timeshare, you won’t make back your money. If you are dying to buy one, buy a resale timeshare which can sometimes be half of what the original was.

Timeshares also have maintenance fees that could be thousands per year. This needs to be factored into the overall investment cost. If the fees are high, you might be better off just paying for the vacation each year. Speaking of vacationing each year, the timeshare is only useful if you do plan to use it each year.

Penny Stocks

It’s only pennies right? Wrong. For those unfamiliar with penny stocks, they are stocks priced under $1 per share. The trading volumes are so low on these stocks that the prices are easy to manipulate. The people who make money in penny stocks are the ones promoting them. Sure, you could get lucky and invest in a penny stock that has a large appreciation but with that logic winning the lottery isn’t too far-fetched either.

Higher Education

Before the pitchforks come out, understand that not all higher education is a bad investment. In fact, the majority is a good investment. However, just like the stock market, there are bad and good choices.

Higher education is an investment in your future. You take out a whopping student loan with the mindset that your future career will pay this back and then some. Unfortunately, there have been a handful of poor higher education establishments that don’t provide any significant advantage. These educational institutions accept everyone and leave graduates with no upper hand when entering the real world. These “degree mills” have been under scrutiny as of late because of multiple lawsuits.

Additionally, there are poor majors to choose from. Not going into detail, it is important to determine what career options are available for individuals who graduate with a certain degree. More students should view higher education as a financial decision rather than a “it’s what I’m supposed to do” decision.

A Car

For young adults, purchasing their first car may seem like the first “grown up” purchase they get to make in life. While it is an exciting time, it also happens to be one of the worst investments you can make. The second that the car is in your hands and leaves the lot, it drastically depreciates in value. So you are now making consistent payments on an asset that is losing value every day.

In addition, owning a car also means additional fees such as car insurance, state registration, gas, and maintenance. You are literally pouring money into an asset that will provide you with no return upon sale.

Buying a car is often a necessity though, so it should be seen as a necessity, not a luxury item. Purchase a car within your means and forgo the charm of a luxury vehicle. Remember the purpose of your car is to get your from Point A to Point B. It is a good idea to check with Kelley Blue Book to see what the resale value of cars are. It is smart to find a car that holds its value and remains in-demand for years to come. It’ll be much easier to sell it for a higher margin down the road.

Any Investment You Don’t Understand

One of the absolute worst investments you can make, is one that you don’t understand. This applies to any investment product that seems complex or investing in a stock that you aren’t familiar with. Doing your due diligence is half the battle when it comes to making money on an investment. If the investment product requires fees or work and the terms aren’t clear, avoid it. If you can’t figure out how a business makes their money, don’t invest in their shares. That is how investment legends such as Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch have made their living; avoid the unknown.

Investing Basics Editor Fri, 19 Aug 2016 23:04:49 -0400