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One Appraisal Can Make A Deal Or Break It - Choose Your Real Estate Appraiser Wisely

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The following paragraphs summarize the work of Real Estate Appraiser experts who are completely familiar with all the aspects of Real Estate Appraising. Heed their advice to avoid any surprises.

Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you're fully informed about Real Estate Appraisals, keep reading.

Are you thinking about purchasing a real estate property for personal use or as an investment? One Appraisal can make it or break it, so you'll need to hire the services of a real estate investor. If you plan to finance your home through a bank or other lender, you'll more than likely need to get the property appraised first. Banks and most lenders want to know the value of the home for your protection, as well as make sure that the home they are financing is worth the total amount that you take on the loan.

In most cases, the appraisal indicates that the home does indeed meet or exceed the asking price. In some cases however, the appraisal will come back saying that the home is worth less than the selling price. If this is the case, the buyer normally has to either drop the deal or try to negotiate with the seller to get a price that meets the appraisal.

Hence, a real estate appraiser is very important. Even if you may not be financing your purchase through a lender or the bank, you should still make an effort to get the home appraised and find out the true value. It is important to make a point to find the best appraiser that you can afford. If you hire an appraiser who isn't that experienced, you'll pay for it later when you discover that the property isn't worth what you paid for it.

So, what is a real estate appraiser and why do you need to choose wisely when come to choosing one? A real estate appraiser will go through the home performing an evaluation, and then provide you with a written evaluation after he has gathered all the necessary information. Real Estate Appraisers will also take into consideration the replacement costs. They will have to very land descriptions as well. Appraisals are tedious, which is why it's so very important that each step of the process is performed correctly by a qualified real estate appraiser.

Get a recommendation from your real estate agent, however, keep in mind that this doesn't mean the recommendation is the best; it's just someone who your agent works with or know. To ensure that you get the right appraisal on your home you'll need to find yourself an appraiser who is capable of completing the job. If you take your time and search for the best real estate appraiser that you can find - you'll normally get an appraisal that is right on target.

Now you can be a confident expert on Real Estate Appraiser. OK, maybe not an expert. But you should have something to bring to the table next time you join a discussion on Real Estate Appraiser.

Go Walgreens - An In-Depth Look at the Nations First Green Drugstore

Why Waste A Ribbon When You Can Plant A Tree...

San Diego, CA- Walgreens celebrated the opening of the nations first green drugstore yesterday not with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony but with the planting of a native tree.

"We felt that planting a tree was much more appropriate then cutting a ribbon and then throwing it away" said Jamie J. Meyers, The LEED AP Project architect who was there for the celebrations.

Walgreens, the nations largest drug store chain is once again changing the landscape for the American consumer, this time for the greener. The store in question was designed from the ground up around the dual mission of efficiency and sustainability. Not only is it the first drug store in the U.S. to meet the USGBCs stringent LEED design standards but the 24-hour store also sells a host of environmentally friendly products.

By exceeding LEED requirements and integrating eco-friendly product lines into their inventory they have taken steps that cannot simply be attributed to the common corporate "greenwashing"

A Serious Commitment...

With this project and future plans for many more like it, Walgreens has made a serious commitment to sustainability. Here are just a few of the things they have built into this store on the architectural side;

-Take for instance the landscaping- They used all native plants which will require no watering whatsoever once they have adjusted to transplanting. Here in San Diego that's a pretty big deal as we are in the midst of a level two drought emergency...

-They took great pains to reduce lighting energy waste by utilizing 75% natural sunlight during daytime hours. This was achieved with the installation of solar tubes and skylights that shine down from the ceiling. This combined with LEDs in their signs and coolers reduces lighting related energy use by 50%

-They are mitigating storm water pollution from the surrounding buildings by collecting and filtering water as it flows onto their lot.

-Water use is estimated at 50% below LEED standard levels.

-75% of materials were architectural salvage from the previous structure that existed on the lot.

-A white roof was included to reduce cooling related energy use as well as to mitigate the urban heat island effect.

-There are many other green details as well, such as hybrid car parking spaces, a bike rack, and a site chosen in part for it's close proximity to public transportation.

While other companies such as Wal-Mart and Target have made token gestures to the green movement Walgreens really seems to get it. While there is still room for further improvement, the significant steps they have taken to "go green" far surpass the typical dog and pony show that passes for environmentalism these days in many companies.

At some point the question was seriously posed- "How can we make ourselves more efficient and sustainable?" And someone took the time to find some awnsers. Yet here we find the question that all modern companies will be faced with as energy prices soar and the public becomes more aware of their own effect on the planet. Whether it's the product they produce, the service they provide, or the goods that they sell companies large and small cannot escape the changes that are occurring in our environment. Those who don't respond to these changes will end up like Walgreens competitors such as Eckerd; just struggling to keep up with the pack.

A History of Steady Progress

"Walgreens is making great progress on our environmental initiatives in stores chain-wide. Were cutting our electricity and water usage, recycling tons of cardboard and shrink wrap each year and upgrading equipment for maximum efficiency" Said Walgreens Market Vice President Matt Sesto

Walgreens has never been a trendy/flashy company. Quite the opposite, they are a family run All-American company with a long history of steady progress. In many cases they have been among the first to implement innovative strategies like the switch to bar-code scanning technology, and the expansion into film development in the 1970's. They also were at the forefront of adapting a more convenient, customer friendly format in a time when drugstores were rather limited in scope. Through all these changes however they have always kept true to their identity as, "Americas corner drugstore".

So when a company like Walgreens outlines a wide ranging environmentally friendly strategy it really means something in terms of their future intentions. As mentioned by Jim Collins (Author of 'Built to Last' and 'Good to Great') in an article titled Best Beats First;

"they (Walgreens) may be slow- following a crawl, walk, run, trajectory, but when they run, they will run right over companies that believe being first is all that matters."

So when Walgreens tells me that they plan to build many more new green locations, as well as do additional environmentally friendly modifications to their 6,857 existing locations- I believe them. This store alone is saving enough energy to power 19+ homes a year- imagine what the combined effect will be!

Bringing Green Products "To Every Corner Drugstore In America"

Walgreens unique position as an a nationwide leader in their industry gives them the opportunity to offer and support green eco-friendly products in their vast network of 24 hour store locations. It also puts them in a position to persuade their competitors to do the same. That says nothing as to the opportunities available to them in terms of offering holistic, eco-friendly and organic health products. Again, in interest of fairness this is an area where steps have been taken...but there is still room for improvement. While certain green products have been highlighted and given prominent display positioning- much of their inventory is the same old landfill clogging..."stuff" that plagues America today.

This brings to mind the reason I decided to write this article.  Walgreens, like many other long standing companies today is in an awkward position. While they are struggling to wrap their strategy around the idea of sustainability they are still plagued with a long legacy of conventional, pollutant, unsustainable business practices. Unfortunately that is something which no company can change overnight. This problem can only be addressed through consistent long term efforts. No sweeping initiative or "change program" is going to make meaningful differences in behaviors that have developed over the course of many generations.

The good news however is that with pressure from retail giants like Walgreens, mainstream manufacturers (such as Walgreens own current suppliers) will naturally "follow their leed" and begin offering more green product alternatives. Here are a few of the product lines currently available in their Mira Mesa (SD) Location;

Healthy Times- Organic Baby Food- Definitely a worthwhile green product- especially if your sick of paying for water and starch! Organic babyfood should be in every grocery/drug store in America. I would recommend this product to any parent trying to get their baby off to a green healthy start. They have many options, all organic, all formulated to nurture children's skin, hair, growth and general well-being. This baby food contains no refined sugars, preservatives or artificial additives.

Biofusion- This is Walgreens own brand of hair care products that incorporates natural ingredients into the formulas. No word yet as to the sustainability or social responsibility of the manufacturing process however the formulas do rely less on chemicals with too many syllables to pronounce.

Burt's Bees- Here's an excellent example of a mom and pop cottage industry manufacturer that grew into a nation-wide success...and is now using that success to leverage environmental progress. Not only are their personal care products naturally based (beeswax) their whole business philosophy centers around supporting "the greater good" from their charitable contributions to the encouragement of their employees personal growth opportunities.

Clorox Greenworks- This is Clorox's brand of green cleaning products which use- in their words 'environmentally preferable chemistry' to achieve cleaning results similar to Clorox's toxic/harmful flagship products. Clorox also contributes to the Sierra Club in the name of this product line. (Get Coupons Here)

Natures Source- SC Johnsons green plant based cleaning products are environmentally friendly and versatile in selection. Check out their website to find out more about these products and what SC Johnson is doing to help the environment.

WaterU- Is another Walgreens made product. A reusable BPA Free water jug that comes in a variety of different sizes. It is reusable and recyclable and it doesn't contain the harmful BPA traces in typical bottled water containers.

So while green products have been made available in this location there is a distinct emphasis on the architectural end of sustainability.  I can imagine it is tough shifting away from long time distributor relationships however there is really no good reason why Walgreens can't offer more environmentally friendly product alternatives for some of their top selling items.

A Green Drugstore Is A Healthy Drugstore

An often overlooked (yet very important) part of going green are the healthy decisions we can make every

day like eating right, exercising, and picking the right over the counter health products. Consider that the medical industry a major landfill and toxic waste polluter. Just look around next time your in a hospital and it's not difficult to see why. If Walgreens can take their commitment to the next level by promoting natural and environmentally friendly health products in their stores then that would be a pretty amazing accomplishment by any environmental standard.

Going green is just as much about the lifestyle you live as the house you live it in. By extension, it is just as much about the products you sell as the building you sell them in. Sometimes that is forgotten in the world of business and industry. I hope that Walgreens is able to employ the same wise judgement in this area as they are currently practicing in the design and energy policy of their new buildings. To see pictures of the grand opening check out the my Go Walgreens article in it's entirety!

What to Consider While Choosing Camera Insurance?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cameras enable us to capture the most memorable moments of our life. This is the reason many of us have at least one. Cameras, professional or personal are expensive as well as delicate to handle. A little negligence or mishandling can damage them. Though most cameras are often covered by manufacturer's warranty, it typically expires in a year and covers only the manufacturing defects.

Hence, a sensible solution to safeguard your camera is to insure it with a right cover. As many insurance companies are offering different policies, it is necessary to understand the possible risks and the required protection for your camera. In this article, we will discuss on the things you need to consider before choosing a camera insurance policy.

Camera usage
Broadly, camera usage can be classified in to two types - personal and professional. Under personal usage, the camera is used purely for personal purposes, without any intention of making money. Even if you use a high-end professional camera, without making money, it cannot be considered professional usage. As part of professional usage, you use a camera to make money.

So, before opting for an insurance policy, be sure about your usage. Based on what kind of a photographer you are (as this determines the usage of camera) - amateur, semi-professional, or fully professional, there are different types of camera insurance policies.

Geographical/territorial limits
Many insurance companies offer camera insurance policies that have geographical restrictions. In case your camera has suffered damage outside the mentioned territorial limits of the insurance company, you are not eligible for claiming amount for the damage.

Imagine you were on a family tour. And while capturing some images, your camera fell down accidentally and stopped working. You may not bother much assuming that you have camera insurance to take care of this. But, when you call and report the same to the insurance company, their response may upset you. They may say that the insurance is applicable only if the accident happens in the city or country limits.

So, make sure that the insurance is applicable globally or at least all over the country to make it worthwhile.

What all are included in the accidental damage?
At times, the insurance policies are very tricky. Though the policy claims that it offers cover to all possible accidental damages to the camera, in reality, the companies have a certain list of accidents, only for which the cover is applicable. Different companies include different accidents.

For instance, a general damage caused because of wear and tear, repairing, cleaning, and battery leakage, may not be considered and hence, makes the claim invalid. Be sure about the terms and conditions of accidental damage before purchasing the policy.

Theft coverage
Theft coverage is one more important thing to consider. As the chances of fraudulent claims are more when it comes to theft, insurance companies are a bit tough on claims related to theft. While, some companies may completely exclude theft coverage in the policy, some may include, but with conditions. Hence, be aware of the theft coverage before choosing the policy.

Other things to consider
In addition to above mentioned things, there are a few other points that are worth considering.

• Equipment cover: This cover is applicable to professional photographers who possess different camera accessories like additional lens, cover filters, tripods, lighting, flash equipment, etc. Besides offering cover to the body of the camera, if the policy offers cover to these accessories also, it would be beneficial.

• Public liability insurance: This would again help the professional photographers who own studios or those who perform photography sessions outdoors. Public liability helps them to save costs on the legal claims made by the injured public at the studio/outdoor shooting location due to photographer's negligence. This insurance is for the studio owner and the cameraman, but not the camera.

• Equipment replacement: Camera replacement or 'old for new' are some of the schemes offered by the insurance companies. As they seem like a bait to attract the customers, one should be careful while considering these schemes. They can be considered to be useful to the policy holders, only if the terms and conditions are made transparent by the insurance company. Depending on the policy and specific conditions, the companies may replace your damaged camera with a new one.

You need to consider these points before choosing camera insurance. Approach a reliable broker to get a fair deal on your camera insurance policy. As he is a professional in this field, he understands the industry specific terminology and helps you choose the right policy.

Real Estate Career Not Just About Sales

Monday, February 25, 2013

Easy money, flexible schedules, and being your boss seem to be the buzzwords with those considering a career in residential real estate. Sales was intentionally left off the job title. Real estate is moving away from being a sales career to being a resource for consumers that are buying or selling a home.

Mark Nash author of Starting & Succeeding in Real Estate and three other real estate books and a regular columnist for RealtyTimes.com shares the inside story on how begin and prosper in today's transitioning real estate market.

-Pre-license education will provide you with knowledge about the applicable real estate laws in your state, but will not prepare you to be successful in residential real estate.

-The first office you choose to hang your real estate license in will greatly influence your success or failure in the business. Visit at least three offices and meet with the managing broker before making a decision.

-Technology skills are a must. Over seventy-percent of all home buyers start their search on the Internet before contacting a real estate agent. Web site development, text messaging, virtual tours are the bread and butter of real estate today.

-Savvy consumers search out full-time agents. Real estate is not a part-time business, no matter what you have heard.

-Understand that successful real estate agents work fifty to sixty hours a week, many times at odd hours and holidays. You have to be available when clients want to see properties or list their home, which is after normal business hours.

-People oriented personalities thrive and succeed in residential real estate. Patience, level-headed, and pleasing agents are the top producers.

-You're an independent contractor. Many new agents think their broker will build their business, you are a business within that brokerage business. Think like a sole-proprietor and develop a business plan.

-Look and act like a professional. Many new agents are too casual in their demeanor and dress and this spells failure. Consider that home buyers and sellers are dealing with their largest asset when dealing with you, is their accountant or doctor showing up at appointments with them in flip-flops or tennis shorts?

-Real estate is not about sales, it's about being a resource and developing relationships. In the go-go days of the real estate market, many new agents were order-takers. Now with a transitioning market, you need to provide clients with information and strategies. With less motivation and energy in markets, building relationships over the long-haul positions you as a real estate resource.

-Join clubs, organizations and non-profits. Networking is how your grow your relationships. Meeting new people who know other people with a real estate purchase or sale need will grow your business. You won't meet new people holed up in your real estate office or your living room.

-In takes money to make money in real estate. Many new agents are tapped out financially by the time they pay for pre-license education. Factor in start-up costs such as errors and omission insurance, Board of Realtors(R) and Multiple Listing Service dues, and business marketing costs. Health insurance is available through national real estate association. Plan on no income for 6-9 months.

-Find a coach or mentor. Beginning in real estate can be lonely as you'll soon realize that you have a minimal support system. Find a mentor within the business and a coach outside it to help organize and plan your business.

Putting The Boomers Out To Pasture

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"The Baby Boomers will be more remembered for the problems they left behind as opposed to anything they accomplished during their tenure."

- Bryce's Law

As we all know, the Baby Boomers are regarded as those people born following World War II, I believe it is from 1945 to 1960. This generation has seen a lot: the space race, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the USSR, and eleven U.S. Presidents, just to mention a few. In the area of Information Technology, they actively participated in the transition from mainframes to client/server computing, the Internet, and an unprecedented number of technological developments, including cell phones, cable, video enhancements, etc. They were there during the MIS movement of the 1960's and 1970's, they helped invent the packaged software industry, and spearheaded e-commerce.

As they are entering their 60's, the Boomers are now approaching retirement, and we are already seeing them rapidly fade from view in I.T. departments. For example, I.T. is now considered a young person's game dominated by workers in their 20's and the manager (the "old man") in his early to mid 30's. In contrast, Boomers are now generally regarded as dinosaurs who are slowly being put out to pasture. They haven't completely left yet as they still possess valuable knowledge about legacy systems and are blessed with certain skills required to maintain such systems, e.g., Systems Analysis, Technical Writing, COBOL, ISPF, CICS, TSO, IMS, ROSCOE, MVS, etc. They are hardened veterans who still enjoy their work but are growing weary of the changes in the corporate landscape, such as short-term planning, outsourcing, and the development of disjointed systems by the spirited younger workers. Inevitably, the Boomers are often asked to clean up the mess left behind by such projects.

The transition from the "Greatest Generation" to the Baby Boomers in I.T. was relatively smooth, with the veterans mentoring the Boomers and guiding them on their path towards succession. However, the transition from the Boomers to Generation X (those born between 1965-1976), Generation Y (1977-1994), and Generation Z (those thereafter) has been much more turbulent. I attribute this to three reasons:

1. The change from mainframe to PC based computing - the technologies were perceived as dramatically different and, as such, companies left one set of workers behind to tend to the mainframes, and hired a new generation oriented to the PC's. Regrettably, there was little common ground between the two. Whereas the two groups should have been working together all along, a polarization of the two groups ensued instead.

2. Changing socioeconomic conditions which affected family dynamics, such as having both husband and wife working full-time jobs and letting family responsibilities slip through the cracks. This led to changes in our morality and other cultural differences whereby the younger generation doesn't have the same set of interests or priorities as the Boomers.

3. An increasingly competitive global economy which has forced a change in the pace and priorities of business.

This has all resulted in several changes in orientation and perspective. For example, instead of long-term planning, quick and dirty solutions are now considered the norm; e.g., if something cannot be done in 30 - 90 days, its not worth doing. This emphasis on speed versus craftsmanship has led to questionable quality, poor service, and repetition in work effort (which is why systems and software produced today are considered "disposable"). These changes in orientation also created a spirit of competition as opposed to cooperation, independence as opposed to teamwork, and a decline in corporate loyalty. Such attitudes are not limited to I.T., and can be found throughout a business as well as our society in general.

So what will be the Boomers' legacy? A rise or fall in our standard of living? Viet Nam or the war on terror? Our growing dependency on foreign oil? Our fascination with gadgets? What?

Frankly, I believe their legacy will be the generation gap they helped create. I consider this rather ironic since they liked to grouse about the gap between their fathers and themselves. But the "Greatest Generation" did a better job of transferring the reigns of power than the Boomers ever did. The divisiveness between the Boomers and Generation X/Y/Z is so substantial, that even if the Boomers tried to coach or mentor, Gen X/Y/Z probably wouldn't heed their advice. This has led to a major hiccup in the transference of management and systems knowledge. Consequently, Gen X/Y/Z is much more reactive as opposed to proactive in their management style, which will be felt for years to come. How many 9-11's or Hurricane Katrina's do we need to suffer through before we learn how to plan and adapt to changing times? For example, the patchwork systems being implemented by companies today will inevitably lead them to lose their competitive edge tomorrow. Executives are only now beginning to realize how weak their corporate systems are and how ineffective their companies will be in the years ahead. This is what has triggered the latest attempts to reinvent systems theory, but I fear it is too little, too late.

So, as the Boomers begin to ride off into the sunset, do we thank them for their efforts or do we open an express lane for them?

Why Businesses And Enterprises Need Certified Financial Planner

Generating revenue is important for an individual or organization. But most of us loose much of our hard earned money simply because we don’t have much knowledge about the science of money. Those who are acquainted with law of economics will be able to manage the inflow and outflow of money in a much better way compared to those who don’t have much knowledge about it. Certified Financial Planners are those people who are well-acquainted with the laws of economics and are expert in the field of managing funds. Hence, if you are willing to manage your fund in a scientific and lawful way you need to hire these individuals.

These individuals and professionals who are called as financial planners earn their designation after going through a rigorous training. They usually had to pass a comprehensive two day 10 hour exam. The exam is an extensive and comprehensive one and usually includes topics from subjects like Tax Planning, Financial Planning Process, Tax Planning, Employee Benefits, estate planning, insurance and investment management, employee benefits and retirement planning.

Before offering services to clients and prospects they usually need to get certified that they are serving clients in this field for at-least three years. They are also need to prove that they are well-experienced in financial counseling skills and financial planning. One of the major needs in the field of business and finance is that your inflow and outflow of money has to be managed and tackled in a Smart way. Means everything should be managed in such a way that it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time driven. And these could be achieved only when you have someone who has scientific knowledge in the field of money.

These individuals and professionals make extensive and comprehensive plan about how you should invest your money for maximum returns, do you need to invest your money in stock market and which stock should you buy. They also gauge how much you can afford to lose and what you ought to do in extreme cases. This is why people should hire professionals that could offer you advise on how you should invest in a diversified portfolio that is made up of a mix of taxable and tax free plans so that you receive maximum returns even when the market is volatile.

These people could guide you about how you can get cash in case any emergency arises. They will also guide you how to could you get fixed income after your retirement and all those things. The bottom line is that if you want to invest and manage your cash flow in a scientific and profitable manner Certified Financial Planners could help you in many ways provided you choose the efficient and capable professionals who is acquainted with every ins and outs of financial planning.

Real Estate Lead Generators; Business Building Ideas Are All Around You

Saturday, February 23, 2013

When I first got licensed to sell real estate I was about as clueless as they come, but what I lacked in knowledge and ability I made up for in desire to learn and willingness to learn. So, I went to school after finishing real estate school.

No, not a school with a sit down classroom, but school in the sense that I started asking questions of veteran agents and watching what they did and said. I turned off my mouth after a while and opened up my eyes and ears and learned more doing that than I did while getting licensed.

For example, I learned that Real Estate Lead Generators abound, and everyday I was presented with opportunities that had I not been tuned in to pay attention to would have gone overlooked.

Here's a case in point with respect to business cards. I don't remember exactly how many business cards came with my first order, but I vaguely remember it being 500-1,000 cards. A year later I still had most of them. It was the craziest thing that I could have done!

Think about it! Instead of making it a point to give them away as fast as I could I was actually rationing them out like I didn't want to unload them.

Don't make that mistake! Business cards are great real estate lead generators and should be given out as freely as you would a glass of water to a thirsty person. And that's just what real estate prospects are. Thirsty to make real estate transactions with real estate agents sharp enough to recognize the opportunities.

Admittedly, I wasn't too sharp back then, but as I got smarter I realized the value of handing 3-4 business cards to everybody I came in contact with-and I mean everybody; my kids teachers, my doctor, your doctor, the school crossing card, my mechanic, dentist, etc.

And then there were the scores of counter tops that I encountered everyday. Grocery store counters, dry laundry counters, fast food pickup counters, counters where I paid the cable bill, bought computer stuff, book counters, etc.

Oh, and less I forget I must have passed by hundreds of billboards without placing one business card, real estate flyer or anything else on it. My stomach still knots up when I think of all the money those wasted opportunities cost me.

But like I said, I'm a lot smarter now (okay, so maybe I'm just older) and can pass on some pearls of wisdom to you so that you can avoid some of the mistakes I made. For example, some other real estate generating ideas include:

Real Estate Leads from Contractor and Home Builder Shows.

Real Estate Contractor and Home Building shows are becoming extremely popular among folks who are looking to build their home or are considering having one custom-built themselves. Getting Real Estate Leads from them is a great a strategy that's easy to implement.

Real Estate Closing Gifts; Small Gifts That Lead To More Referrals and Sales.

Many Real Estate Agents think of real estate closing gifts as something that should be given to the home buyer by his or her close family and friends. The gift serves as an accolade for the person's accomplishment. You can design them yourself if you're the creative type, or simply go out and buy one from your local shopping mall.

Free Website Content; Using Free Content To Generate Leads.

Everything you need to know to build a realtor web site and generate leads is available on the Internet, much of it free to little cost-including website content! In fact, some of the best real estate information I've read has been free, and although locating quality free content for publication and turning them into HTML to publish on your web site each week involves a great deal of time and effort it can be worth the effort.

I could go on and on, but it all comes back to the notion that real estate lead generating ideas are around us all day, everyday. If you pay attention to them you can work them to your advantage, but if you impose your will with them you can dominate your market like no other agent in your community.

Debt Consolidation: Marginalizing Your Irritating Debts

Friday, February 22, 2013

The pile of your debts has increased to such an extent that you do not have the required money to repay them. To consolidate all debts you are looking for a financial support. Thus, with debt consolidation you can fulfil all your purposes related to debts.

Debt consolidation provides financial solutions to borrowers to settle their debt related issues. The main objective of debt consolidation is to consolidate your debts and all debt related matters. You can solve the various debts in a single loan.

Debt consolidation can be obtained in secured and unsecured form. In secured form borrowers have to place their property as collateral for approving the loan. The applicant can use any of his valuable assets like home, car, or valuable papers as collateral against the loan. But unsecured loans are approved without demanding any collateral from borrowers. Both tenants and homeowners can approve the amount and repay the debts with the advantages of unsecured loans.

Though rate of interest in debt consolidation is low, applicants will find the variation in rates from lenders to lenders. Moreover, the rate of interest is depended on various factors such as, loan amount, repayment terms, equity of collateral etc. For a level-headed rate of interest compare and collect the quotes of different lenders. The lender can also collect quotes through online medium which provides instant details. The application and approval of debt consolidation has become easy and saves applicants precious time when used online.

Debt consolidation is calculated to serve people irrespective of credit score. Bad credit holders can settle all his debts indebted to various creditors which might help him to restore his financial credentials.

The benefits of debt consolation help the borrowers to get rid of the irritating remarks of creditors and also instead of paying to different lenders they have to pay to a single lender.

Consumers Guide To The Pros And Cons Of A Reverse Mortgage

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Before tapping into one’s home equity, seniors should carefully consider both the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage. While these loans benefit many borrowers, it is important for seniors to consider all of their different options. To help determine whether a reverse mortgage might be in a consumer’s best interest, potential borrowers can review these reverse mortgage pros and cons.

The Disadvantages of Reverse Mortgages

To cash-poor seniors, a reverse mortgage might seem like the best way to utilize their home equity. However, when discussing the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage, many seniors get stuck on the price of these loans. While reverse mortgages carry many of the same costs of conventional mortgage loans, borrowers who want a federally-insured loan, or HECM, must also pay mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs).

The Disadvantages of Reverse Mortgages
Depending on the loan product one chooses, borrowers will pay an upfront MIP of 2% or 0.01% of their claim amount, plus an annual MIP equal to 1.25% of the loan balance. While this might seem expensive, mortgage insurance is what guarantees borrowers that they will never owe more than their home is worth. Without this insurance, many seniors would end up owing thousands over the value of their home. Also, like all other fees, MIPs are financed into the loan, which eliminates any out-of-pocket costs to the borrower.

When considering the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage, it is also important to remember that borrowers must follow a few guidelines to keep their loan from becoming due. To keep a reverse mortgage in good standing, borrowers must make all necessary home repairs and maintain the condition of their home. Borrowers are also required to pay their property taxes and keep homeowners insurance. If a person cannot afford these costs, the loan will become due prematurely.

Reverse Mortgage Pros and Cons: Focusing on the Benefits

While it is important to consider both reverse mortgage pros and cons, many seniors focus on one very important fact: reverse mortgages allow seniors to stay in their homes while eliminating their monthly mortgage payments. Depending on a borrower’s age and amount of equity, he or she might also be eligible to receive additional cash. Because loan proceeds are not considered taxable income, borrowers get to keep their proceeds tax-free. For the same reason, a borrower’s Social Security and Medicare benefits will remain unaffected. Of all the reverse mortgage pros and cons, this is the benefit that tends to resonate with seniors.

Reverse Mortgage Pros and Cons
However, reverse mortgages do not just eliminate mortgage payments; they also allow seniors to defer payment until both borrowers pass away, sell the home, or vacate the residence. If both borrowers decide to move into a nursing home, they will be given up to 12 months before the loan becomes due. Other types of mortgage loans simply do not offer this benefit.

Because reverse mortgages allow seniors to defer payment and repay their existing mortgage balance, these loans help to keep more seniors in their homes. Seniors who are in danger of foreclosure or are otherwise ineligible for a conventional mortgage loan might still qualify for a reverse mortgage. While consumers should weigh both the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage, one fact is abundantly clear: these loans provide seniors with an invaluable benefit--their financial independence.

How Consolidation Loans With Bad Credit Can Rescue Your Finances For Good

Monday, February 18, 2013

Keeping on top of debts is not easy, especially in the modern world where buying on credit is such an essential part of living. The problems that so many Americans have in juggling their credit card bills, loan repayments, and even everyday expenses, means bad credit is extremely common. Getting a consolidation loan with bad credit can be the best solution.

The logic behind turning to a consolidation program is that it provides a constructive way in which to clear the slate and adopt a more effective debt management structure. It is better than bankruptcy because it does not damage a credit reputation since all creditors are repaid in full, and lifts the pressure because the repayment structure is easier.

But can a consolidation loan really rescue your financial situation for good? Understanding how consolidation works, and what terms to look for, is the key making sure it does.

Consolidation: An Explanation

Simply put, consolidation is all about gathering together the existing individual debts and paying them off completely with a single loan. Securing a consolidation loan with bad credit does depend on meeting some criteria, and accepting less than ideal terms, but the overall benefits are too much to ignore.

Most people have 4 loans to repay, as well as an average of 3 credit cards. This can create a major headache in terms of meeting repayments on the agreed due dates. What makes consolidation such an effective debt management structure is that it simplifies the task of meeting the debt by replacing multiple balances with a single loan, and multiple payments with a single payment.

But to make a consolidation loan truly effective, there are some terms that need to be addressed. For example, the repayment period should be as long as possible. This means the repayment due each month can be kept low, which also frees up extra cash for other financial obligations. Some lenders grant terms of up to 30 years.

Meeting Consolidation Program Requirements

Qualifying for a consolidation loan with bad credit is fairly straightforward. In fact, lenders are quite open to accommodating bad credit borrowers. After all, the purpose of the program is to get to grips with crippling debt.

The normal criteria when applying for any kind of loan relates to age (over 18), citizenship (US citizen) and employment, with most lenders stipulating applicants must have been employed full-time for at least 6 months prior to application. Having a reliable source of income is obviously necessary for any effective debt management program.

Also required is a large enough income to be able to meet the repayments each month. However, it is the excess income that really matters, with the debt-to-income ratio dictating only 40% can be used to make repayments, including those for the consolidation loan.

Securing the Best Program

There is no doubt that the Internet is the key resource when seeking the best terms for a consolidation loan with bad credit. Online lenders are less costly than traditional ones, charging lower interest and providing more flexible repayment terms.

As recognized experts in bad credit lending, they are your best bet when looking for an effective debt management program that is also affordable and flexible. However, when the debt is extreme, it may be better to secure the services of a debt consolidation company.

Be sure to check the reputation of any prospective company before agreeing terms on a consolidation loan. So, use the Better Business Bureau website to see how trustworthy they are.

A Guide to Investments in Indian Real Estate

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Real estate has traditionally been an avenue for considerable investment per se and investment opportunity for High Net-worth Individuals, Financial institutions as well as individuals looking at viable alternatives for investing money among stocks, bullion, property and other avenues.

Money invested in property for its income and capital growth provides stable and predictable income returns, similar to that of bonds offering both a regular return on investment, if property is rented as well as possibility of capital appreciation. Like all other investment options, real estate investment also has certain risks attached to it, which is quite different from other investments. The available investment opportunities can broadly be categorized into residential, commercial office space and retail sectors.

Investment scenario in real estate

Any investor before considering real estate investments should consider the risk involved in it. This investment option demands a high entry price, suffers from lack of liquidity and an uncertain gestation period. To being illiquid, one cannot sell some units of his property (as one could have done by selling some units of equities, debts or even mutual funds) in case of urgent need of funds.

The maturity period of property investment is uncertain. Investor also has to check the clear property title, especially for the investments in India. The industry experts in this regard claim that property investment should be done by persons who have deeper pockets and longer-term view of their investments. From a long-term financial returns perspective, it is advisable to invest in higher-grade commercial properties.

The returns from property market are comparable to that of certain equities and index funds in longer term. Any investor looking for balancing his portfolio can now look at the real estate sector as a secure means of investment with a certain degree of volatility and risk. A right tenant, location, segmental categories of the Indian property market and individual risk preferences will hence forth prove to be key indicators in achieving the target yields from investments.

The proposed introduction of REMF (Real Estate Mutual Funds) and REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) will boost these real estate investments from the small investors' point of view. This will also allow small investors to enter the real estate market with contribution as less as INR 10,000.

There is also a demand and need from different market players of the property segment to gradually relax certain norms for FDI in this sector. These foreign investments would then mean higher standards of quality infrastructure and hence would change the entire market scenario in terms of competition and professionalism of market players.

Overall, real estate is expected to offer a good investment alternative to stocks and bonds over the coming years. This attractiveness of real estate investment would be further enhanced on account of favourable inflation and low interest rate regime.

Looking forward, it is possible that with the progress towards the possible opening up of the real estate mutual funds industry and the participation of financial institutions into property investment business, it will pave the way for more organized investment real estate in India, which would be an apt way for investors to get an alternative to invest in property portfolios at marginal level.

Investor's Profile

The two most active investor segments are High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs) and Financial Institutions. While the institutions traditionally show a preference to commercial investment, the high net worth individuals show interest in investing in residential as well as commercial properties.

Apart from these, is the third category of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). There is a clear bias towards investing in residential properties than commercial properties by the NRIs, the fact could be reasoned as emotional attachment and future security sought by the NRIs. As the necessary formalities and documentation for purchasing immovable properties other than agricultural and plantation properties are quite simple and the rental income is freely repatriable outside India, NRIs have increased their role as investors in real estate

Foreign direct investments (FDIs) in real estate form a small portion of the total investments as there are restrictions such as a minimum lock in period of three years, a minimum size of property to be developed and conditional exit. Besides the conditions, the foreign investor will have to deal with a number of government departments and interpret many complex laws/bylaws.

The concept of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is on the verge of introduction in India. But like most other novel financial instruments, there are going to be problems for this new concept to be accepted.

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) would be structured as a company dedicated to owning and, in most cases, operating income-producing real estate, such as apartments, shopping centres, offices and warehouses. A REIT is a company that buys, develops, manages and sells real estate assets and allows participants to invest in a professionally managed portfolio of properties.

Some REITs also are engaged in financing real estate. REITs are pass-through entities or companies that are able to distribute the majority of income cash flows to investors, without taxation, at the corporate level. The main purpose of REITs is to pass the profits to the investors in as intact manner as possible. Hence initially, the REIT's business activities would generally be restricted to generation of property rental income.

The role of the investor is instrumental in scenarios where the interest of the seller and the buyer do not match. For example, if the seller is keen to sell the property and the identified occupier intends to lease the property, between them, the deal will never be fructified; however, an investor can have competitive yields by buying the property and leasing it out to the occupier.

Rationale for real estate investment schemes

The activity of real estate includes a wide range of activities such as development and construction of townships, housing and commercial properties, maintenance of existing properties etc.

The construction sector is one the highest employment sector of the economy and directly or indirectly affects the fortunes of many other sectors. It provides employment to a large work force including a substantial proportion of unskilled labor. However for many reasons this sector does not have smooth access to institutional finance. This is perceived as one of the reasons for the sector not performing to its potential.

By channeling small savings into property, investments would greatly increase access to organized institutional finance. Improved activity in the property sector also improves the revenue flows to the State exchequer through-increased sales-tax, octroi and other collections.

Real estate is an important asset class, which is under conventional circumstances not a viable route for investors in India at present, except by means of direct ownership of properties. For many investors the time is ripe for introducing product to enable diversification by allocating some part of their investment portfolio to real estate investment products. This can be effectively achieved through real estate funds.

Property investment products provide opportunity for capital gains as well as regular periodic incomes. The capital gains may arise from properties developed for sale to actual users or direct investors and the income stream arises out of rentals, income from deposits and service charges for property maintenance.

Advantages of investment in real estate

The following are the advantages for investing in Real Estate Investment Schemes

• As an asset class, property is distinct from the other investment avenues available to a small as well as large investor. Investment in property has its own methodology, advantages, and risk factors that are unlike those for conventional investments. A completely different set of factors, including capital formation, economic performance and supply considerations, influence the realty market, leading to a low correlation in price behaviour vis-à-vis other asset classes.

• Historically, over a longer term, real estate provides returns that are comparable with returns on equities. However, the volatility in prices of realty is lower than equities leading to a better risk management to return trade-off for the investment.

• Real estate returns also show a high correlation with inflation. Therefore, real estate investments made over long periods of time provide an inflation hedge and yield real returns

Risks of investment in real estate

The risks involved in investing in real estate are primarily to do with future rental depreciation or general property market risk, liquidity, tenancy risk and property depreciation. The fundamental factors affecting the value of a specific property are:

Location - The location of a building is crucially important and a significant factor in determining its market value. A property investment is likely to be held for several years and the attractiveness of a given location may change over the holding period, for the better or worse. For example, part of a city may be undergoing regeneration, in which case the perception of the location is likely to improve. In contrast, a major new shopping center development may reduce the appeal of existing peaceful, residential properties.

Physical Characteristics - The type and utility of the building will affect its value, i.e. an office or a shop. By utility is meant the benefits an occupier gets from utilizing space within the building. The risk factor is depreciation. All buildings suffer wear and tear but advances in building technology or the requirements of tenants may also render buildings less attractive over time. For example, the need for large magnitude of under-floor cabling in modern city offices has changed the specifications of the required buildings' space. Also, a building which is designed as an office block may not be usable as a Cineplex, though Cineplex may serve better returns than office space.

Tenant Credit Risk - The value of a building is a function of the rental income that you can expect to receive from owning it. If the tenant defaults then the owner loses the rental income. However, it is not just the risk of outright default that matters. If the credit quality of the tenant were to deteriorate materially during the period of ownership then the sale value will likely be worse than it otherwise would have been.

Lease Length - The length of the leases is also an important consideration. If a building is let to a good quality tenant for a long period then the rental income is assured even if market conditions for property are volatile. This is one of the attractive features of property investment. Because the length of lease is a significant feature, it is important at the time of purchase to consider the length of lease at the point in time when the property is likely to be re-occupied. Many leases incorporate break options, and it is a standard market practice to assume that the lease will terminate at the break point.

Liquidity - All property investment is relatively illiquid to most bonds and equities. Property is slow to transact in normal market conditions and hence illiquid. In poor market conditions it will take even longer to find a buyer. There is a high cost of error in property investments. Thus, while a wrong stock investment can be sold immediately, undoing a wrong real estate investment may be tedious and distress process.

Tax Implications - Apart from income tax which is to be paid on rental income and capital gains, there are two more levies which have to be paid by the investor i.e. property tax and stamp duty. The stamp duty and property tax differ from state to state and can impact the investment returns ones expected from a property.

High Cost Of Investment - Real Estate values are high compared to other forms of investment. This nature of real estate investment puts it out of reach of the common masses. On the other hand, stocks and bonds can now be bought in quantities as small as-one share, thus enabling diversification of the portfolio despite lower outlays. Borrowing for investment in real estate increases the risks further.

Risk Of Single Property - Purchasing a single - property exposes the investor to specific risks associated with the property and does not provide any benefits of diversification. Thus, if the property prices fall, the investor is exposed to a high degree of risk.

Distress Sales - Illiquidity of the real estate market also brings in the risk of lower returns or losses in the event of an urgent need to divest. Distress sales are common in the real estate market and lead to returns that are much lower than the fair value of the property.

Legal Issues - While stock exchanges guarantee, to a certain extent, the legitimacy of a trade in equities or bonds and thus protect against bad delivery or fake and forged shares, no similar safety net is available in the property market. It is also difficult to check the title of a property and requires time, money and expertise.

Overall keeping an eye on market trends can reduce most of these risks. For instance, investing in properties where the rentals are at market rates, also, investing in assets that come with high-credit tenants and looking for lease lock-ins to reuse tenancy risk are simple guidelines to follow.

Future Outlook

The real estate market is witnessing a heightened activity from year 2000 both in terms of magnitude of space being developed as well as rational increase in price. Easy availability of housing loans at much lesser rates has encouraged people who are small investors to buy their own house, which may well be their second home too.

High net worth individuals have also demonstrated greater zeal in investing in residential real estate with an intention of reaping capital appreciation and simultaneously securing regular returns.

In the wake of strong economic growth, real estate market should continue to gain momentum resulting in falling vacancies in CBD areas and more development in suburbs; it is unlikely that commercial property prices will rise or fall significantly, beyond rational reasoning.

As the stamp duty on leave and license agreements has been further reduced, it should further attract to deal in this manner encouraging the investors and the occupiers.

With current budget focusing on infrastructure, it will attract quality tenants and add to market growth. Heighten retail activity will give upward push for space requirement.

Further, the proposed introduction of REMF (Real Estate Mutual Funds) and REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) will boost these real estate investments from the small investors' point of view. These foreign investments would then mean higher standards of quality infrastructure and hence would change the entire market scenario in terms of competition and professionalism of market players.

Looking forward, it is possible that with evident steps of the possible opening up of the REMF industry and the participation of financial institutions into property investment business, it will pave the way for more organized investment in real estate in India, which would be an apt way for retail investors to get an alternative to invest in property portfolios at all levels. Overall, real estate is expected to offer a good investment alternative to stocks and bonds over the coming years.

Constable's Haywain

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Haywain by John Constable is one of the most important landscape oil paintings in history and marks the pinnacle of the career of this famous British artist who left a great legacy within British art. John Constable helped turn landscape painting into a respected art form when previously it had been derided by academics who preferred portraits and religious depictions that have now become to appear dated in the modern day. This article examines Constable's The Haywain oil painting and also considers where it fits into the artist's overall career.

John Constable was an artist who remained fully committed to landscape painting and was never interested in attempting other avenues of creativity, other than the occasional pencil-sketch self-portrait which have recently been attributed to him. To find an artist so behind an art genre which at the time was not viewed with respect shows someone with a huge amount of self-confidence and innovation and these types of artists have been crucial in the overall development of European art since the middle ages.

The Haywain has long since been accepted by academics and the art public alike as John Constable's finest work. This alone makes the painting an extremely important title within British and European art. The scene found within Haywain is classically English both in the natural green scenery and also the farming components to be found in the foreground. The English countryside has become regarded as a fantastic opportunity for landscape artists and it is people such as Constable who helped promote this reputation.

Constable and Turner

John Constable and fellow landscape artist JMW Turner are arguably the most influential painters in the history of British art where European art has normally been centred in other countries such as Italy, Germany and Netherlands with France also proving important within the last 150 years.

Despite having careers of exceptional depth and quality, Constable and Turner have become best known for one painting each, as is the case for so many other influential artists. Whilst JMW Turner is remembered for his Fighting Temeraire seascape classic painting, Constable is always linked most to his Haywain painting above all others from his long and prestigious career which actually lasted from 1776 to 1837.

Famous John Constable Paintings

Although the Haywain dominates the media coverage of Constable's career in the modern era he did produce many other exceptional paintings such as Dedham Vale, Landscape: Ploughing Scene in Suffolk, Boat-building near Flatford Mill, Golding Constable's Kitchen Garden, Wivenhoe Park, Essex, Flatford Mill, Weymouth Bay, Hampstead Heath and Stratford Mill.

John Constable never truly experienced financial wealth from his career despite the qualities of his oil paintings and it was only in later generations that the importance and brilliance of his art was truly recognised by both the art public and academics alike.

In conclusion, The Haywain is a classically British oil painting set against the beautiful natural landscape of the Suffolk countryside where skilled artist John Constable was so passionate with his work that he would never differ from this passion to the native surroundings that were so close to his heart.

Denver Home Mortgage Rates – Tips On Selecting The Best Package

Are you looking for a trustworthy mortgage lender in Colorado? There are many companies that offer low rates of interests and various Denver home mortgage rates. It is necessary to research the internet and check out the websites in order to find the best Denver mortgage loan rates offered in the area. It is advisable to take time to find the right company and not be in a hurry to select one. After all, you love your home and you are doing all you can to save money to pay up for the loan so that one day it will be yours.

When looking for the best interest rates, keep in mind that there are other charges involved such as re-pricing, penalties and so on. If you are not in the business, these configurations of mortgages can be confusing. The financial jargon used may not be easily decipherable to a lay person. The Denver home mortgage rates are generally paid long-term and many of the provisions stipulated in the loan contract are variable as well as time-bound. You can opt for fixed rates for the entire duration of the loan or you can find provision that allow you to change the fees and penalties. It is therefore advisable to consult a financial advisor and find out the best loan packages before making a selection.

Let the Denver mortgage loan rates be the focal point when you plan your package as you will have to pay a large sum over a period. You can opt for the fixed rate where the interest rate is determined when you sign the loan agreement. You will have to abide by the terms unless you plan to repay the loan earlier. However, the rate can be changed if you prefer the package that allows for an adjustable rate. You have the option of prepaying and avoiding penalties when you opt for this package. You can decide to pay the interest or pay as much as you can after the initial closing period as you have both options open. You can use the option of flexible payments when you choose this type of package. If you decide to take a 30 year mortgage, you may pay up nearly three quarter of the payment towards interest in the early five to six years. This may get you very low interest rates.

In order to get the best out of the situation, try to select a reputed mortgage company that can solve your problems and help you make the right choice. We are aware that nearly 98% of all home purchase is possible because of mortgage loans. You should look into making large payment early in the loan term if you have the means as this will lessen the amount of interest you pay in the long term. Try to use online software programs to keep track of your finances. Try to put the extra money stashed aside towards the mortgage to pay off the loan early and cut down the loan length.

Florida Real Estate Agents

Friday, February 15, 2013

Access to easy mortgages has encouraged a large number of people to buy their own property rather than live in a rented house. People who earn well and are able to pool in their own finances also prefer to purchase property as an investment venture. This aggressive consumer behavior has been a boon for the real estate trade.

It is sensible to hire a Florida real estate agent when considering the purchase, sale, lease, of a property. Most real estate agents are trained professionals who understand the intricacies of the trade and have mastered the art of real estate trading. They possess first hand knowledge regarding most properties they deal with. They are also aware of several legalities involved with Florida real estate deals. Florida real estate agents can clarify doubts related to property costs, evaluation, and reason of sale. They are knowledgeable about size of property, maintenance charges, and limitations regarding specific deals.

Prospective clients may contact a Florida real estate company and set up an appointment. It is important that agents and customers meet and talk about property facts wherein customers may be able to put forth their requests. It also helps agents to short list properties suitable to their client's requirements.

Florida real estate agents provide details about mortgage types in case of outright purchases. They may also propose names of neighborhood financial institutions that could provide ready loans upon presentation of documents. Florida real estate agents work through an extensive network and are competent of taking clients in all areas of Florida. They function as a contact between buyers, sellers, and rental agencies. Real estate agents are empowered to complete the deal in case one of the clients lives outside Florida.

Real estate trade follows a pattern in which only authorized agents can deal with property issues. Most real estate firms hire agents as salaried employees. Apart from this, they receive commissions for completed deals. Commissions are realized through service charges paid by clients. This sum is fixed and made known to clients in advance. Payments made to agents are proportionate to the volume of business.

National Park Service and it's Legacy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Artist George Catlin has been credited with presenting the notion of a governmental organization to protect our wilderness and wildlife. His essays reflected anxiety toward the continuing development and its effects of the westward expansion over the natural wonderland. George Catlin expressed the theory of creating a policy or agency to protect the wilderness. The lands of Yellowstone and Yosemite received protection under specific preservation laws in the mid 1800's. Later the National Park service had begun to be established.

The potential for a booming tourism market inspired many keen investors to band together and lobby for the creation of a National Park service. Most importantly supportive conservationist lobbying began for the preservation of wildlife and natural resources. President Woodrow Wilson officially signed legislation for the creation of the National Park Service on August 25th 1916.

Congress created the national park service as a chapter o the United States department of the Interior. The national park service has since grown to employ over 100,000 people and boast many thousands of volunteers. As a cabinet office to the executive branch of government the National Park service is run by a secretary elected by the president. The national Park service receives a yearly budget of over 2 billion dollars.

The national park service has been actively involved in caring for American monuments, historical properties and parks since 1916. National parks are a place of beautiful picnic spots equally dedicated to the conservation of local wildlife. National parks are available to the public providing spectacular natural scenery and a place to enjoy healthy family entertainment for a lazy afternoon or the whole summer long. The chief duty of the national park service is a commitment to the conservation of historical properties, scenery, wildlife and properties contained within a national park. The national park service promotes public education in reflection of the American landscape. Receiving millions of visitors to over 391 units per year the national park service is a flourishing society.

Yellowstone national park became the world's very first national park under the National Park Service. Yellowstone was previously privately managed with sometimes uncertain success. Yosemite received some protection as a state park originally but was soon to join in under the protection of the National park Service with others soon to follow. Mount Rainier, Glacier, Crater Lake, and naturally, the beautiful Sequoia, all thankfully receiving protection and conservation under the care of the National Park Service.

It was soon recognized that parks not in the western states should also benefit from the care of the National park Service and Acadia National Park in Maine was also included. Philanthropist John Rockefeller Jr. was among others who assisted in the gradual acquisition of eastern lands. In 1926 the Great Smokey Mountains, Shenandoah and Mammoth cave were all to be included for protection from the National Park Service. In fact later the eastern states with their many historic sites such as battlefields and war memorials became an even larger area under protection from the National Park service.

The National park Service has sustained continual growth and expansion over the past few decades. Presidents agreed to the importance of protecting the American heritage and supported laws even including additional laws and clauses. The National Park service protects living history and educational opportunities as a legacy and shall continue to care and protect the environment for many decades to come by order of their mission statement. To "Conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

Information Technology Insurance to Safeguard Your Business

What is insurance?

The importance of insurance is felt in every sphere of life. Life involves risk and while it is often unavoidable, you can certainly take steps to minimize its effects. Many individuals opt to buy insurance to protect their needs. Insurance is a contract between an insured and the insurer where the latter agrees to compensate the former against potential future losses upon payment of premiums.

Who needs Information Technology (IT) insurance?

Information technology services involve the provision of both products and advice and yet the purchase of appropriate insurance is usually the last decision a business will make. Typical IT insurance protects the firms from claims arising out of professional negligence or failure to perform professional duties. IT insurance firms also covers errors and omissions that result in loss or client data, system failure, claims of non-performance or careless overselling of services.

Professional Liability Insurance

The basic idea behind professional liability insurance is that it provides protection against Claims arising from third party loss i.e. settlement is not made to the Insured, but to the third party who has suffered the loss. Any act, error or omission that results in a direct financial loss to a third party client may result in allegations of negligence against the company which can result in both financial loss and also damage to reputation and good will. In the event of a Claim, some insurers also agree to pay defence costs as well as any settlement amounts up to the limit of indemnity taken under the policy.

The provision of information technology services includes computer consultancy, database management, hardware networking, web design and development and internet services.. Companies providing internet services can also be subject to substantial claims resulting from allegations of copyright and trademark infringement or the effects of computer viruses. Web designers may inadvertently use copyright protected materials while conducting their professional services which may result in substantial fines and penalties..
General Liability Insurance

The General Liability section of an IT insurance policy ensures the company's physical assets and equipment are covered, in addition to providing cover for any product damage that a third party may suffer as a result of the company's professional services. The insurer provides protection against fire, theft, flood and accidental damage. General liability insurance does not cover damages incurred as a result of mechanical failure, virus attacks or equipment left behind in public transport or public places. If equipment is stolen, or the damage is beyond economic repair, the insurer may consider providing the insured with replacement equipment.


However, it is important to note that most Information Technology liability policies are written on a 'claims made basis'. This means that you must have an IT insurance policy in place at the time a Claim is made against you, rather than the time the alleged act, error or omission is committed. Therefore, the policy in place at the time a Claim is made against you is the policy that will respond to that Claim, rather than a policy in place at the time of the alleged act, error or omission.

Real Estate Agent Salaries

The real estate business can be a lucrative job option. However, the job of a real estate agent may not be a full-time career option for a large number of people. Real estate agents earn a cut whenever they successfully close a deal. They do not necessarily have to follow regular office hours, as business opportunities arise when clients approach them. Real estate agents may work as individual entities or collaborate with brokers or real estate firms. In some instances they are hired as salaried employees who receive a pre-determined pay irrespective of targets.

Freelance estate agents are not likely to earn regular paychecks. Most of them may be already earning a fixed salary elsewhere and earnings from real estate deals could be a source of additional income. Such dealers earn in proportion of the amount of income generated through their service when working with a broker or firm. Most single agents are free to decide their service charges based on the type of services provided when they are working independently.

Real estate agents earn commissions based on their business volume. Their commission amount is a set percentage of the money that transfers hands when a deal is made. Such deals revolve around purchase, sale, and rentals of real estate. For this reason, it is easy to understand why agents who are involved in high volume transactions earn a proportionately high income too. Commissions earned from certain exclusive and highly valuable property could equal the sum of several regular deals. It is difficult to put a figure on the amount of money agents earn, as it is dependent on their skill, luck, and commitment to the trade.

It is possible to earn more in bigger cities in comparison to smaller townships and cities. However, gradually real estate in small townships is also boasting of an increase in business volume. Real estate jobs continue to grow at par with other job opportunities since it is an established profit-making venture that brings in profits comparable to salaried jobs.

Real Estate Internet Marketing Is The Future, And The Future Is Now

Monday, February 11, 2013

Have trouble sending and opening email? How about downloading zipped documents? Okay, here's something a little more challenging. Do you know what html is, or how to write it?

Now that I have your attention let me say this! If you're computer/Internet challenged, but are serious about your real estate career you should hot foot it to the nearest computer class and get some skills!

Why? Because the Internet has changed the way real estate is being transacted, and you're either onboard as an active participant, or a passive observer as it flashes by you at warp speed.

Here are some things to consider about real estate internet marketing.

Real Estate Marketing Reports

One of the most effective ways to market real estate on the Internet is by offering real estate and mortgage related marketing reports in exchange for the recipients' email addresses. Informational reports can make lasting impressions.

You can offer the reports via Ecourse lessons, web site pages, special reports, flyers, letters, etc. The manner in which you deliver the reports is only limited by your imagination.

In exchange for providing this information you gather the email addresses from the people requesting information from you. And once you have them you can continue plying them with your marketing messages until you convert them to paying customers.

You'll learn, if you don't already know, that it takes 4-7 communications to convert a prospect into a paying customer. Having their email addresses enables you to do this by providing information that they have requested. Your messages will be welcomed, appreciated and in many instances actually anticipated.

Finally, as noted below, there are effective ways to do this automatically! Meaning, it's easy and cost effective to market to them until you get the desired response, which is often times a sale, or listing!

Web Sites

A real estate agent without a website is like a bird without wings. Unless the bird is a penguin it is seriously handicapped, as are agents without web sites!

Agents without sites are out of the loop, and are mostly unknown to many real estate customers. Therefore, they are not even a consideration for their business. If you're not online you are not accessible by the millions of online real estate prospects looking to buy, sell, rent, or exchange real estate. Arguably, your real estate license is near worthless if you don't have a web site.

Auto responders

An auto responder is an email system that enables you to provide real estate related information to prospects... automatically! It's the online version of the Ronco cooking machine; once you set it you can forget it.

Once you program it with the information you want it to deliver, and specify the frequency in which the information will be doled out you'll have a virtual secretary that works for you 24/7, 365 days a year! And it'll never ask for a day off!

Instant Gratification

Buyers and sellers want information when they want it, which is usually "now" and will gravitate towards agents who can respond quickly to their interests. If you can do this you can get a slice of this huge, lucrative niche market. However, if your computer and Internet skills are sub par, you will be at a serious disadvantage to your competitors.

Real Estate Internet Marketing Is the Future, and the future is now! Online real estate marketing is booming. Increasingly, buyers and sellers begin their real estate related interests searching for information on line before their first contact with agents.

So, if you want to be a serious contender in the online real estate marketing industry you must be proficient enough with a computer to navigate the Internet, send and receive email messages, attach, send and open email documents, download zipped files, send zipped files, etc. If you don't have the skills, get them. A class is often just a shopping center complex away!

Chicago Real Estate

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Chicago real estate market is one of the most dynamic and diverse real estate markets in US. Buying a piece of property in Chicago, residential or commercial, is not an easy task, as the market environment is quite challenging. There are many real estate firms and attorneys available here to help you in completing the transaction. There are specific real estate laws that govern these transactions. At times, these laws are amended. For a buyer or seller of real estate it may not be possible to keep track of all these developments, so it is better to seek professional help and advice in such matters.

Useful information about the Chicago real estate market is available online as well as offline. If you need a mortgage, there is a list of mortgage brokers you can chose from.

If one is planning to buy or sell real estate in Chicago, the transaction can be completed in five steps. The first step is to deal with preliminary matters. Then one hires a broker or real estate agent. The broker or agent negotiates the contract for the buyer or seller (whoever has hired him/her/it). Then, pre-closing matters such as mortgage issues are settled. The final step is to close the deal.

Some of the biggest real estate firms in Chicago were able to cross $700 million mark in revenues in 2005. There are many small real estate firms also. Dealing in real estate is a lucrative business in Chicago, as thousands of properties are always available for sale or purchase throughout the year. There are firms which specialize in residential or commercial real estate transactions. There are other firms which provide services for buyers or sellers of both kind of real estate. They could always make available a piece of property that suits your budget.

How To Find The Best Company For Taking Colorado Home Loans

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Are you planning to purchase a home? Investing in a home is not a simple proposition. There are many factors that should be carefully considered. One of the main points to consider is mortgage and taking the best Colorado home loan. Since companies offer different terms and conditions, it is necessary to spend time researching and selecting one that meets with your budget requirements. It is wise to remember that bank loans are very high and nowhere near what you would pay when you take a flexible mortgage loan.

Since there are various types of loans available, it is necessary to make the right decision when it comes to sourcing out finance for purchasing your new home. Take a mortgage loan against property which you offer as security or collateral when you guarantee loan repayment. One of the types of options that you can choose is to opt for a fixed rate. This should be determined when signing the loan agreement and this will not change unless you plan to renegotiate the credit or complete the payment of the loan earlier than agreed upon. Make sure that you can meet the schedule in accordance with your income.

Many people opt for the adjustable rate though there is a risk that you may not be able to continue paying variations in the future. If the adjustable rate is “capped” you may not have to deal with unpleasant surprises and extend deadlines. There is another option of paying the interest only as they can control the payment during that particular time period. If one is able to get low rates of interest, it will prove beneficial as you pay three quarters of the payment in the first six years if you have a 30-year mortgage plan.

Since there are several points to consider and you may find it confusing, it is necessary to select the best mortgage company in the area. One of the best suggestions is to read the reviews online as you will be able to judge if the company you have in mind offers the lowest Colorado home loan rates. Try to find a reliable mortgage company such as Beacon Financial who are trustworthy and will guide you on the right path when it comes to Colorado home loans. Try to understand the option available and take advantage of the latest technologies offered by them to help you make the right choice. Do not hesitate to ask questions and learn more about mortgages and interest loans.

Since the movements in the interest rate change in the mortgage industry regularly, borrowers may end up paying more than anticipated. Read the financial news to be abreast of the latest Colorado home loan rates. Save money when you deal with reliable companies such as Beacon Financial and use the money for other home renovation, medical or credit card payments. Keep a close watch on the mortgage rates of other companies and try to pay up the loan within the time specified. Make sure the mortgage company offers you guidelines and advice when you need them

The History of Landscaping - Quite a Story

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Up until about a hundred years ago, the average person didn't have a lawn to worry about. They were too busy going to work, putting food on the table, and trying to educate their children. It was only when people started leaving the farming life for the life of the cities and suburbs that single-family houses sprang up in droves, and people had the money to spend on such luxuries as landscaping.

Which is not to say that landscaping is a brand new profession. As early as the 1800s, the wealthy of practically any country were able to employ professional artisans to build gardens and landscape their homes. Of course, they weren't average people, but nevertheless it's fun to learn about the forerunners of today's landscape designer.

The most famous is the British landscape designer, "Capability" Brown. His real name was Lancelot Brown, but it was his habit to look at a piece of real estate and say, "It has capabilities," and t hat is how he got his nickname. Brown has been called England's "most famous gardener." He was born in 1716 and died in 1783, and yet over a hundred years later his legacy lives on. Over 44 of his gardens are still in existence today (he designed over 170). Of course that's because he designed these gardens for the "landed families", or nobility, who were not about to sell their mansion every ten years and move up to a bigger one.

Prior to Capability Brown, the landed families had huge "formal gardens." Brown changed all that, encouraging his clients to make use of a more naturalistic design, with compositions of grass, clumps of trees, and pools and lakes.

England has Capability Brown, the United States has Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted was born in 1822 and died in 1903. He went to Yale and studied agricultural science and engineering.

In 1853, the New York legislature decided that they'd have to create a park in the middle of the city, for their many inhabitants. They held a contest to decide who would design it, and Frederick Olmsted and his partner, English architect Calvert Vaux, were awarded the contract, to create a "greensward," as Olmsted termed it. " The park was not created on barren land, however - many poor people and free blacks were evicted from their homes under eminent domain so that the park could be placed there. (Not that that was Olmsted's fault - that's where the legislature wanted the park, and that's where they were going to put it regardless.)

Olmsted went on to make a career out of creating city parks - indeed he conceived the system of parks and interconnecting parkways. Two of the best examples are the park system he designed for Buffalo, New York, and the system for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Olmsted and his partners also designed over 355 school and college campuses.

So as you walk through your city and see all the greenspaces and landscaping, spare a thought for the landscape architects who brought all this beauty to you. Studying the history of landscape architecture is fun and informative.

How To Find The Very Best No Win No Fee Solicitor

There is no way that you can predict when an automobile accident may occur. When such accidents occur you may end up acquiring injuries that could result in time loss from work, or that result in immobility that could cause drastic changes to your lifestyle. If the accident that you faced resulted in injury and the accident wasn’t your fault you should immediately file a claim so that you can acquire compensation for your injuries.

Most people are aware that if they are driving a vehicle and end up in an accident that is not their fault that they can file a claim. However, many people are not aware that if they are the passenger in a car that is involved in an accident that they too can file a claim. Either way you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim following an accident.

With that in mind you will immediately want to consider your options when it comes to acquiring a Solicitor to handle and file your claim for you. This is not something that you can trust in the hands of just anyone. Chances are that you want to acquire the money that you are entitled to in the fastest amount of time possible with the least amount of hassle. Therefore you must be very selective when choosing a Solicitor.

Another thing that you want to consider is the amount of money that each Solicitor may charge you to file your claim. Many Solicitors charge you a fee up front for their services regardless of whether you win your accident claim or not. If you want to avoid paying this fee you will need to acquire a Solicitor that offers a no win no fee strategy. That way you are not required to pay anything up front and don’t have to pay anything unless you win your case. This is generally referred to as a no win no fee compensation offer.

Apart from finding a Solicitor that has a no win no fee offer, you will also want to focus on the level of experience that the firm or individual you hire has. It is imperative that you don’t get caught up in focusing on no win no fee compensation offers and overlook the experience of the individual that you are hiring. If you want to ensure your success then you must take your time and focus on learning about the credentials and training that anyone you are hiring has.

Additionally you need to focus on the expertise that each firm or individual that you are considering has. If you are involved in an automobile accident then you must focus on those firms or Solicitors that specialize in these types of claims and that have a track record for winning their cases.

If you keep these ideas in mind you will easily be able to find the very best Solicitor to handle your case. Just take your time and be sure to focus on cost, experience, and expertise.

Biblical Wealth Strategies With Real Estate

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I've heard the statement many times. "You know, I've been wanting to get into real estate, but..."

How do you finish that sentence?

"I don't know how or where to get the money."
"It's too risky."
"Is it biblical?"
"It would take too much time."
"What if it doesn't work?"
"It seems like real estate investors take advantage of people."
"What about a real estate bubble or a market downturn?"
"I'll start when I get in a better financial situation."
"I don't want to deal with clogged up toilets in the middle of the night."

These thoughts and many others can prevent us from achieving God's best for our lives and realizing our full potential.

Whether your desire is to quit your job and get into real estate full-time, or you just want to add some appreciating assets to help in your retirement, or restart in real estate because you did it the wrong way, I believe everyone should have some form of real estate in their portfolio!

We know that real estate investing is one of the best avenues to create wealth. God created real estate, and it's valuable because He is not making any more of it!

And it is interesting to note that if you study the lives of some of the wealthiest people in the country, past and present, you will find that even though there is a diversity of investments and businesses, one common thread in almost every one of them is real estate.

I mentioned in the first session, about how many of us have thought at one time or another, "Man, why didn't I buy that piece of real estate back when?" What makes us think that things will be different ten years from now if we don't act and start buying real estate now? I believe ten years from now, we'll be wishing we had bought more real estate when "prices were so cheap."

Most of the time, we don't take action because we don't know how or where to get the money. Maybe you believe that real estate investors take advantage of people. Maybe you're afraid of a real estate bubble or a market downturn. All of these reasons boil down to one thing: FEAR!

Perhaps you have heard the "horror" stories of people who tried real estate investing, and they had a bad experience with "problem tenants" or "maintenance headaches." They don't hesitate to tell you all the reasons why real estate doesn't work. These are the people who usually just dived headlong into the world of real estate investing without educating themselves. Some of these well-meaning people will consider themselves experts since they have bought a house or two, but chances are they did not buy it right, they did not finance it right, they did not market it right, they did not manage it right, and now they are blaming everything but their own lack of education. I've made some mistakes in my real estate businesses, but I've learned from them and I move on!

Most people simply buy real estate rather than first investing in learning about real estate. With the real estate materials provided to you through EPIC Wealth Strategies, you can be on your way to learning the correct way to invest in real estate - with excellence, honesty, and integrity.

The Scriptures are full of references to God's commands of possessing land. In Deuteronomy 1:8, God says, "See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land." Similar verses are Deuteronomy 3:18 and 4:22. Psalms 37:22 says, "Those the Lord blesses will inherit the land." Psalms 37:29 says, "The righteous shall inherit the land." Psalms 135:12 says, "And He gave their land for a heritage." I Chronicles 28:8 says, "Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendents forever."

In fact, "land" is mentioned in the Scriptures over 1,700 times, so apparently God places quite an importance on it. In today's terms, you can substitute the words "real estate" in the place of "land" (sorry, the word "real estate" wasn't translated from the original Greek and Hebrew). God created real estate, and He created it as a good investment. We've seen the world latch on to the idea of real estate investing, especially in recent years. But as Christians, we can't back down from something God said is good just because the world has latched onto it. As with the story of the talents in Luke 19, God expects us to make a good return on His investments, and you can do that in real estate.

This entire series is based on Multiple Streams of Income, with real estate being one of the three main asset classes you should invest in. But even within real estate itself, there are ways to diversify your property portfolio through various property types, locations, and buying/selling strategies. Later, we'll look at the many ways you can diversify your real estate, even through various commercial property types, but before we do, let's look at some of the reasons why real estate is one of the best investments you can make...

Constable Prints

Sunday, February 3, 2013

John Constable in a very important British painter who helped bring landscape painting into the forefront art the art world, when previously it had lagged behind portrait and religious painting in terms of popularity of critical acceptance. This article examines Constable prints and considers why the artist's prints and paintings are so popular with art buyers today, at a time when so many other works are available of this type.

Constable paintings are best as art prints, particularly framed ones which give the original a classic look which is suitable for his style of work. Some consumers prefer canvases stretched and unframed, but this would be better on paintings by more contemporary artists, such as Kandinsky, Picasso or Malevich. As well as these tapestries and giclee prints are also available and also are well worth considering.

Constable and Turner spearhead the achievements of British artists up to the last century thanks to the legacy of their careers in inspiring further art movements which themselves now dominate the art world, including impressionism most notably. The emotional styles and love of landscape painting was new at the time of Constable, and was only later to become the norm thanks to the qualities of his paintings. Their romanticist techniques encourages further development by artists in light and colour, leading to the French artists that later developed this onwards.

A clear conclusion to draw is that Constable prints are an ideal choice for those looking to add countryside landscape paintings of Britain to their own homes, as this was the artist's true passion and his only real subject from an extensive career which firmly refused to bow to traditions. Other great artists that stand alongside Turner and Constable in British art are few and far between, but would probably include Thomas Gainsborough, George Stubbs, Joshua Reynolds and Edwin Landseer in terms of influence, ability and popularity today.


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