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With the Current Stock Market Malaise, Investment in Phoenix Real Estate Makes Even More Sense

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Phoenix residential real estate market represents a great opportunity to individuals, families, and investors who are weary about the stock market and are realizing that their investment portfolios are too exposed to fluctuations in Wall Street. By now, the reality has sunk in with most people - the stock market's decline has hit 401K and other retirement investments hard. As a result, this is a critical time to for individuals, families, and investors to rethink diversification of their portfolios again. Portfolios need to be more highly diversified than ever before.

And it's time to rethink real estate as one component of your diversification in the future in addition to stocks, bonds, commodities, international investment, and low-risk savings instruments, to name a few.

Wall Street, Main Street, and My Street, and Real Estate

There is no doubt that the goings-on in the real estate industry are intermingled with the market challenges that Wall Street is facing, which in turn impacts Main Street and "My Street." But the issues with real estate largely emanated from the many corporations that make up Wall Street combined with lack of government oversight and inaction. Lack of personal discretion also contributed to the problem.

Having said that, here is why real estate should be a component in your investment portfolio once again, and why the Phoenix real estate market is an excellent choice for investment to help you diversify that portfolio.

First, due to the wave of foreclosure-related properties, prices have declined to 2004 and even 2003 pricing levels. This is pricing that is pre-run up. Though there is a risk that prices may drop further, the extent of a further decline may be limited in the short term while the long term outlook gradually gets stronger.

Second, real estate can prove to be a more reliable investment in a normal market environment. Prior to the run-up in home valuations in the second half of 2004 through 2005, annual home appreciation in the Phoenix residential real estate market averaged 5%-6% . Playing the long game as investors should, holding a property for 5-20 years could yield a solid return.

Long term is key here. The investor has to be committed to a lower but steady return on their investment when it comes to real estate. The Phoenix housing market will not likely experience a meteoric rise in valuations like it did again. That's not to say that there won't be some opportunities to turn properties fast (whether through acquisition at a foreclosure auction or wholesale, or a flip), but this model will have the high risk that most investors will and should shy away from.

One note here. At least in the Phoenix area, investors have to weigh the merits of investments in homes and real estate by several components to get a true picture of the return on a property. These factors are growth in appreciation, rental income and offsets, tax benefits, and equity paydown and buildup.

Third, real estate is real. You can see it. You can touch it. You can check up on it (if you buy locally). And it will always hold some intrinsic value no matter what happens. If you have a home in Chandler, it is easy to get across the Phoenix area, to check up on an investment property in Glendale. Or, perhaps the investment property you choose is right next door to your home in Tempe.

Fourth, under certain circumstances, real estate taxation on capital gains growth can be minimal. The same cannot be said of many other investment vehicles.

Fifth, an investor has much more control in determining the value of the property. Smart improvements and renovations combined with effective property management can increase the value of the property substantially.

Sixth, the Phoenix area continues to grow. The Valley saw a 2.8% increase in the number of residents here last year. This trend will continue as Phoenix and surrounding areas are perceived as a stable, optimum climate to live and to work. With the decline in real estate prices, this perception will also be reinforced by a sense that Phoenix and surrounding areas are once again affordable.

Finally, real estate can serve a dual investment/personal objective. For instance, an investment in real estate can serve as a later gift for children. Or, it can be utilized as a sort of savings plan for children's college tuition as a complement to 529s and Coverdell plans. The investment could be a retirement property for later in life. Real estate investments can also be used to create income streams to live off of (when rents and equity buildup eventually turn the property cash-flow positive).

There are numerous reasons to invest in real estate even beyond this list.

Real Estate Has A Role to Play in Your Investment Portfolio

The difficult truth about the stock market is that over the past eight years, the U.S. economy has seen two major disruptions or recessions that were severe enough to have rippling effects for all Americans as seen by the decline in 401K and other retirement savings values. As a result, further diversification of investment portfolios is needed across many different asset classes with a regional focus as well.

Real estate should be one of those classes. Given real estate has seen real substantial pricing declines over the last three years to levels seen before the run-up period, one has to consider that there are real deals in the marketplace for real estate. Coupled with the right long-term outlook and commitment to investment fundamentals, real estate can have a more effectual, countervailing purpose in investment portfolios that can help Americans better weather substantial market disruptions in the future. For investors looking for specific markets that may be worthwhile to investigate, real estate in the Phoenix area is a compelling choice.

Borrowing Money With Bad Credit

Monday, April 29, 2013

How To Hassle Free Borrow With Job Earnings

It you have a job and need to borrow money for a short term emergency, you can use your salary as "collateral" to a bank or lending company and they will let you borrow the money you need. When borrowing money with bad credit you need to be creative. Payday loans are the most common loan of this type that accept people with bad credit but if your income is high enough you can use it to qualify with a regular bank for more traditional borrowing.

With a job pay advance loan you must provide a post-dated check and lender will deposit the money you borrow into your checking account, repayment will draft automatically when you receive your due paycheck from employment. Payday loans are very popular because of their flexibility, near instant funding and easy approvals, with millions of dollars borrowed each and every month.

Near Instant Money Funded Direct Into Your Account
No Credit Check - Bankruptcy OK, Foreclosure OK, Repossessions OK
Quick, Easy Online Application Process - Fill Out A Quick Form To Borrow
Loans Borrowed Are Unsecured - No Security Needed

Attaches To Your Bank Account
Expensive Borrowing Costs
Paycheck Deductions Mean Smaller Paycheck Come Next Payday
Typically Short Borrowing Repayment Periods

Have you heard about the dangers of borrowing payday loans? Well there is truth in what is said, borrowing too many payday loans at once can lead to a bad situation in which all the payments are deducted from your paycheck leaving little left for you come next payday. As you can imagine, not an ideal situation that can lead to financial trouble, but if you know how to manage payday loan borrowing effectively, it can be a powerful financial tool in a pinch.

Learn How To Easily Borrow With Creative Security

If you are cash strapped, broke, in need of money fast, the first avenue many turn to is to use a pawn broker where you can pawn personal items of real value to the store. These stores will accept personal items like jewelry, watches, gadgets, musical instruments and even personal computers.

The pawn broker will assess the value of your item and the money will be given to you in exchange for your personal items as security for the loan. If you fail to meet the repayment obligations the pawnshop will keep what you put up as security for the money.

Instant Funding of The Money You Borrow
No Credit Check - Bankruptcy OK, Foreclosure OK, Repossessions OK
Simple Borrowing Process - Typically a Short Form To Fund
Very Flexible Acceptance of Security Items

Requires Security Deposit of Something Valuable
You Can Only Borrow A Small Portion of The Securities Actual Value
High Borrowing Costs

Most pawnshops will keep the items you have for a month or more with interest. If you are not able to pay to redeem the loan in a month, you can renew the pawn agreement effectively extending the terms paying only interest. It will go on until you get your item back. If at any time you stop paying the monthly interest on the money you borrowed, your personal item will be forfeited, put on sale or auctioned off. The monthly interest rate is high too. Not necessarily the ideal solution to borrow money with bad credit, a pawnshop loan offers an option that can be considered in an emergency.

How To Quickly Borrow Against Your Car Title

Another method for borrowing money with bad credit is to use your car as collateral. Most title loans for bad credit people will not require a credit check and use the car to secure the money you borrow.

Additionally you can consider borrowing using a refinance of your car loan, in which you borrow in excess of what you currently owe. In lieue of a title loan check out our recommended bad credit car loans for a possible refinance, in some cases you can quickly reduce what you pay in bills and free up additional money. Both borrowing options require a certain minimum value in your car and or the equity you have in the car. The amount you can borrow is based on your autos value.

The lender will ask to assess your vehicles value which as you would suspect includes factors such as the vehicle model, its condition and the year it was made. Borrowing with bad credit based on a title loan will let you get access to money in a hurry, but the lender will keep the title on your car as security for your repayment. Much like payday loan borrowing the grace period for repayment is typically 30 days and it is renewable every month thereafter, but this can vary so read your contract carefully.

Like all borrowing with bad credit, a title loan will inherently have a high percentage interest charge, and can be considered expensive when compared with good credit loan options. This is the unfortunate reality when borrowing bad credit money. If you default in payment or you are falling too far in arrears with your payments the lender has the option to repossess your vehicle.

Fast Borrowing Option
Bad Credit OK - Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Repossessions Accepted
Possibility Of Borrowing Bigger Loan Amounts

Car Value Assessment Must Be Made
Car Pledged As Security - Risk Of Losing Car In Case of Default
High Borrowing Costs

If you default, the lender will sell your vehicle to replace the borrowed money. If the cost of your vehicle is not enough to cover the loan that you have borrowed, you will be asked to pay the difference on top of losing your car to repossession. You have the option to recover the vehicle in some cases but you will have to do it before the vehicle is sold to another buyer and you need to pay the necessary fees which can include the interest, repossession fee and the outstanding loan amount you have with the title lender.

Beware of title loans as you could well be pledging as security your means of getting to and from work.

Understanding How To Borrow Money With Bad Credit

Are you noticing a trend among the borrowing options for people with bad credit? Higher costs, interest increases, risk of pledged security, and hassle. To borrow a with bad credit history you need to make it worthwhile for lender in some way, to make it worth the higher risk of letting you borrow the money you want. Unfortunately that translates into higher fees in most cases.

Knowing how to borrow with bad credit is as much about understanding what the lenders want to make the loan a win win for both parties.

Your bad credit score need not prevent you from borrowing, but the best option is to work to fix your credit, get back on your financial feet and unlock all the benefits good credit borrowing can provide.

If you want to learn more about creative borrowing for people with bad credit check out our guide on how to buy a house with bad credit. Or check out how to get a mortgage with bad credit if you are interested in financing your home.

Searching For Las Vegas Real Estate

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The friendly state of Nevada, it could be a place you call home or one of your favorite vacation spots. Either way, it's a great place to be looking for an investment property. Prices are dropping a little, and interest rates are still at a 40-year low!

There is a lot of ways to make money with Las Vegas real estate. If you are a first investment buyer, then seek out a qualified real estate agent. Las Vegas is Nevada's world famous city. Today it remains one of the top real estate investment locations in the United States with the ever-increasing tourist traffic and convention traffic flooding into the area. There is consistent growth with the population, buildings, and jobs. Which makes for a great place to invest.

With so much to offer and a steady influx of new residents due to the cost of real estate in Las Vegas it is predicted that even with a cooling off of the current market the demand will remain steady for some time. Remember real estate goes in cycles, and Nevada is the perfect city to see this take place like no where else in the nation.

While many rushed into the market to make fast money the cost of real estate eventually topped out, and the slow down of buyers stabilized the market. Most real estate professionals believe that there is still a significant room for growth in the Las Vegas real estate market.

Over the past couple of years the Real Estate Market has taken center stage breaking national sales records with record appreciation rates. Find a good Las Vegas real estate agent, they will probably know more about real estate in Las Vegas than you do. Other services your agent might provide that can benefit you when buying Las Vegas real estate include providing connections with an affordable mortgage lender, experience in foreclosures, repossessions and estate homes, and experience in corporate relocation.

By making intelligent decisions about your Las Vegas real estate, you can assure yourself of economic advancement. A Las Vegas real estate attorney will play the role of a watchdog that can guide a client through the details and paperwork necessary for any house sale in Las Vegas. Whatever your financial goals are, buying Las Vegas real estate will probably be profitable to you.

When looking to invest in residential real estate, notice the neighborhood that the real estate is in. With some basic knowledge of Las Vegas real estate suburbs, you should be able to make a more informed decision.

Choose a Las Vegas real estate agent that will carefully research each new home to fit perfectly, with what you want. Since Las Vegas is such a dynamic city, it is hard to find real estate that cannot be put to profit-making use. The real estate market in Las Vegas has been appreciating at an incredible rate, and will continue to do so in the near future.

Las Vegas real estate suburbs are also good investments. Las Vegas real estate can be affordable if you look just outside of town, away from the strip, unless you are searching for land to build your very own casino? Then you would already have enough experience and would have no need to be reading this article?

There are projects that are breathtaking in design and integrate the best of Las Vegas, with Strip, Valley and mountain views, and true to the style and luxury of Las Vegas.
Also, living or operating in Las Vegas will exempt you from paying a state tax. This transformation has resulted in Las Vegas becoming a mature city. Nevada real estate agencies offer a selection of properties available for purchase and this is helpful to the real estate investors.

If Las Vegas is your dream, then get out there and buy yourself a little piece of Nevada you can call your home. This really is, the time to start buying real estate in Nevada.

As the saying goes: "Buy when everyone else is selling, and sale when everyone else is buying."

Why You Should Consider Umbrella Insurance

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Why do you carry an umbrella? The easy answer is so that you protect yourself from the rain, right? Well, not exactly. You also carry an umbrella in case it rains, at least forward-looking people do. And business owners and professionals looking for the right insurance always have to be forward-looking, don't they?

In other words, an umbrella is an "insurance policy" in the event that weather disaster strikes you. You may have a waterproof coat on. You may be wearing rain boots. You might have even picked a route to walk on which provides you the maximum shelter from rainfall. But you'll still carry that umbrella around with you because you want to make sure you don't get soaked once the unwanted event occurs, don't you?

Well, it's not all that different when it comes to formal insurance polices. It's why they've come up with something actually called umbrella insurance. Those creative geniuses in the insurance industry have an answer and a name for everything, don't they?

To put it in the simplest terms, umbrella insurance is extra coverage you get just in case you your basic coverage runs out. So, if you have, say, professional liability coverage of up to $1 million, and a claim is made against you for $1.5 million, the umbrella portion of your coverage can kick in and prevent you from paying the full amount. Just as a real umbrella can save you from the disaster of your hair getting wet, despite the most waterproof hat on the market, good umbrella coverage will provide you with protection in case your basic coverage gets soaked, too.

There are essentially two advantages to obtaining umbrella insurance. One is that it can leave significant assets covered for a relatively small price. The other advantage is that it can simply provide you with more comprehensive coverage -- above and beyond individual policies such as professional liability.

Individuals or professionals who have considerable assets that could be at risk under the threat of a lawsuit might want to consider an umbrella policy. Professional liability alone may not be enough, since the limit of that policy could only cover a certain amount of your assets. By investing in an umbrella policy that would increase the amount of your assets covered, the potential savings in the end could far outweigh the additional costs. Liability insurance is meant to protect you from the nightmare lawsuit. Umbrella insurance does just that if you have considerable assets that could be at risk.

The other thing to take into consideration is that, not only does an umbrella policy provide you with added insurance, just like a real umbrella, but it also provides you with coverage that brings together various different aspects of your specific insurance policies. In other words, this kind of policy puts under one umbrella components that would otherwise be included in separate coverage. There go those insurance experts with their clever titles again. So, a good umbrella insurance package can not only end up costing you a bit less to cover more assets, it can save you the time and effort to seek out individual policies to cover various different components of your business.

For example, instead of, say, getting one policy for professional liability, another policy for property coverage, and yet another for worker's compensation, a cleverly constructed umbrella policy can create for you elements of all of them, save you money, and leave you more widely and deeply covered than you otherwise would be. Like all good insurance policies, it leaves you prepared for when that rainy day hits. You'll have that umbrella over your head to meet that day when it comes.

Now, before coming to the conclusion that, despite all the warnings and all the concerns, you probably don't need umbrella coverage, think about some of the consequences of not getting it. For a relatively small extra investment, is it really wise to simply write off the concern and pretend that you don't have to worry about it?

Here' some food for thought. No matter how careful or good you are, and no matter how prepared you think you are to avoid mistakes and causing harm to others, there are two things you have to worry about with respect to umbrella insurance and professional liability.

The first is that you're human. You're not superman -- or superwoman. As a business owner or professional, you are going to make mistakes. You don't know when or how, but being human means that they mistake can occur one way or another. And they can certainly happen in the normal conduct of your business. In fact, all that has to happen is for there to be a perception of a mistake made by someone you do business with, that causes damages, that you can still end up paying for in terms of legal fees and awarded damages.

The second thing to worry about if you don't have umbrella insurance or professional liability coverage is human nature, especially in today's environment of the frivolous lawsuit. You almost can't imagine the ways in which your business might touch others, and the ways in which someone out there may claim that the harm they suffered was as a result of something you did. You cannot possibly protect yourself from such a scenario without things like professional liability which may include added umbrella insurance. With these under your belt, you help protect yourself from the nightmare lawsuit you never dreamed of ever having to fight.

Lanzarote - A Legacy Shaped by Nature and Art

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lanzarote, the fourth largest of the Spanish archipelago, the Canary Islands, is a very popular holiday destination with tourists flocking from all over Europe.

Lanzarote is a tourist favorite thanks to its year round climate, thanks to its location and close proximity to the Sahara desert. Even during the winter months Lanzarote enjoys 8 hours of sunshine and temperatures that rarely drop below 20 degrees Celsius.

However, whilst the tourist industry plays a major part in the economy of Lanzarote, there is much more to it than hotels, nightclubs, restaurants and beaches. Lanzarote was thought to have been named "The Red Mountains" after the it was born out of fiery volcanic eruptions around 35 million years ago! It is said that Lanzarote, along with the other Canary Islands was formed as part of the break up of the African and American continental plates.

One of the most magnificent natural attractions on Lanzarote is the Timanfaya National Park. The park that is sparse in vegetation and distinctly identifiable by air from the number of large craters on show, tells the story of volcanic eruptions that took place during 1730 and 1736. The eruptions of the 1730's are known as the greatest in Europe and saw many residents on Lanzarote take refuge in Gran Canaria.

To this day areas around the Timanfaya park still measure temperatures of 600 degrees just 13 metres below the ground that you stand on. You can see demonstrations of how hot this is within the park, through geyser demonstrations and watch straw set on fire as it is pushed just metres underground.

Whilst the eruptions helped to forge Lanzarote's natural landscape, in more recent times a local artist, Cesar Manrique, helped to shape Lanzarote as we know it today in terms of the style of buildings, local sculptures, paintings and genius natural attractions that are scattered around the island. You could say that Manrique used Lanzarote as his canvas.

Some of the Manrique creations that are open as visitor attractions on Lanzarote include Mirador del Rio, a lookout built into the northern cliffs with amazing views over La Graciosa (a neighboring island) and Jameos del Agua, a lava tunnel containing a natural pool that is home to albino crabs (said to be the only place in the world where they can be found). Jameos del Agua also has an auditorium / concert hall built into the lava landscape. The lava based rock formations that line the walls of the auditorium are said to creating amazing acoustics that really bring classical music alive.

The legacy of Manrique is still very much alive today. Apart from a few large hotels, there are no high rise buildings and all buildings are painted white with either blue or brown door and window frames. It is because of this, along with the barren landscape that Lanzarote stands out from the other islands that make up the Canary archipelago.

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

If you're wondering how to become a real estate agent, the basic process is fairly simple, although it does vary a lot from state to state.. You will need to take classes, pass exams, earn a real estate license, find a broker to work for, then find sellers or buyers as clients.

To successfully practice as a real estate agent in this competitive business can be challenging. You'll have to stay current on legal changes, understand the real estate contracts and be technologically aware. If you are determined, the payout can be huge.

Here are the basics of what you need to know about becoming a real estate agent.

1) Real Estate Agent Licensing Requirements

The Licensing requirements are different for each state. In general, you will have to:

-Meet an age requirement

-Pass a background check

-Complete approved real estate courses from a state-approved school

-Pass a state exam

-Complete an application form

-Submit various fees

Agents just earning their license work for a real estate broker. Most new agents sign up with one of the big company brokerages. If you decide at some point to work for yourself, you will need to earn a broker license. Note that the most successful agents, even those working for a broker, treat the real estate profession as their own business, not just a job. This is one of the secrets to success in this field.

2) A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent's primary job function is to help clients in the (complex) process of buying and selling real estate.

The list of duties includes but is not limited to:

-Interview buyers to determine what kinds of properties they are looking for.

-Submit buyers' purchase offers to sellers.

-Work with lenders, escrow officers, home inspectors, and pest control operators to make sure that transactions close on time.

-Prepare documents such as listing and purchase agreements.

-Be the intermediary in negotiations between buyers and sellers.

-Determine a property's market value by comparing the property with similar properties that have recently sold.

-Schedule appointments to show homes to potential buyers.

-Find properties that are consistent with buyers' needs and available finances.

-There is so much variety that a real estate agent is usually never bored.

3) What is a REALTOR®?

Many people are confused about the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®.

A real estate agent becomes a REALTOR® when he or she pays an annual fee to the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its Code of Ethics. The agent generally joins through the local board or association, at the city level. Membership in the REALTORS® is optional, but highly recommended.

4) How much can you earn?

Real estate agents are generally paid on commission. This commission is a percentage of the sales price. The seller will generally pay 4-6% of the sales price as the fee for having a professional sell their property. That will often be split equally between the seller's broker and broker who brings the buyer to the table.

As an example, if the fee for a $300,000 property is 6%, the buyer's broker will be paid 3% or $9000 and the seller's broker will also be paid 3% or $9000. The agent is paid directly by the employing broker, using their agreed-upon commission split. This is often 50-50 for beginning agents, so in that case the agent in our example would receive $4500.

Visit Real Estate Career Info for requirements for obtaining a real estate license in your state.

This article may be reprinted if proper credit is given and all links left intact.

Copyright©2005 Real-Estate-Career-Info.com

Canadian Debt Solutions You Could Try Out To Improve Your Situation

In spite being a prosperous country, Canada is also plagued with a number of economic problems stemming from external and internal factors. Although its citizens have yet to experience the tragedy that fell Americans a few years ago, there are impending signs of instability currently observed in many sectors of society. Aside from the decrease in the number of full time employment, the recent debt ratio of Canadians has been set at 164.6% in 2012, which is the highest it’s ever been. With this, it comes as no surprise that more and more people are now curious about Canadian debt solutions to acquire, in case they are pushed to their limit.

Well, most financial institutions will offer the same set of suggestions when it comes to settling loans. But some of them will be more focused on practicing only one at a time to improve their effectiveness. In light of this, it is vital that you know what each option is characteristically so you can determine what you should and should not consider. Although there is generally no bad way to go about resolving debt, there are times when you won’t be qualified for a certain method. So you should endeavor to know the details before you jump into any prospect so as to avoid wasting your time. Among the most common debt relief options firms provide is that of debt settlement. And what it actually entails is a negotiation to decrease the actual amount of debt a person has to pay in order to resolve it. It is mediated by a third party (usually from the debt relief company) so that those with interests can agree on a midpoint that favors both of their situations.

Another one of the popular Canadian debt solutions made available through local agencies is that of debt management. And here, they will again mediate the payment of the loans by approaching creditors and negotiating deadlines and then helping people out in terms of figuring out which assets they could use to pay off certain obligations and how they could earn extra income to meet monthly disbursements. Sometimes, they go as far as paying off the charges and then collecting payment with a new interest rate as well as due date established. This is somewhat like debt consolidation, which is another debt relief approach financial companies follow through. But these are usually observed for those people who have numerous loans from different resources that observe a variety of interest rates and are using the same collateral.

Of course, some debts cannot be resolved in such methods because of the lack of income-generating opportunities. And so there are companies who specialize in Canadian debt solutions that provide bankruptcy services. There are different types of bankruptcy cases that could be filed in behalf of a person. And they all are tailored maid to fit a specific circumstance. So folks can’t just file for a Chapter 7 or 11 without knowing the basics. False claims can be grounds for imprisonment. So you have to work with experts on the manner to get any payment demands from loans you’ve made dismissed.

Is Now The Time To Invest In Real Estate

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

If you're tired of the stock market "roller coaster ride", the solution to your problem is right here.

Let's begin with the facts that are stopping many would-be first time real estate investors and even some experienced pros, especially when you believe the stock market is beginning a great upswing.

1. We are in a turn-around economy (depressed, it you want to really be negative about it).

Comment: Yes, the economy is slow. People are pulling back. Anyone who wants to sell their home, and can wait it out, is not willing to sell now, while prices are down. Those who MUST sell, are taking much less than they could have sold for six months or a year ago. But, it may not be all bad. My wife has a home listed that, six months ago would have sold in a minute for $380,000. Now, the price has been reduced to $325,000 and it still hasn't sold. Now consider this. The home was purchased a few years ago for $110,000. Sure, it would be nice to find a buyer at $380,000 but even a $310,000 selling price will result in a $200,000 profit for the seller. Remember, this applies to someone who must sell now.

2. Real estate just isn't selling. We are in a "buyer's market" (right now).

Comment: We are in a buyer's market. If you have considered beginning your real estate investment program, now is the time to jump in with both feet. You'll have a large selection of properties from which to choose...at realistic prices. Even if you are starting out with a single family home to rent out, your selection of well priced homes should be plentiful.

3 Home prices are out of reach for many potential buyers.

Comment: Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for home sellers, point number three works in buyer's favor. If you own a small home or apartment complex, you'll find all kinds of tenants who are priced out of the home buying market and must rent for the indefinite future. You'll have a ready market of potential renters.

4. This is the time you need to wait and see what is going to happen to the economy.

Comment: If you are serious about becoming involved in real estate investing, now is NOT the time to wait and see. As soon as the economy turns around (which it always does), you will not have the selection of properties and potential tenants that you have right now. Now is the time to get serious about securing your financial future in real estate. If you don't, prices will be high again before you are ready... or knowledgeable in real estate investing. Let's add one more factor to make it even more dismal.

5. Many cities in the country have manufacturing plants that are out-sourcing, laying off employees and reducing or

eliminating pension programs.

Comment: Not only do new corporate policies and layoffs flood the market with the need for more affordable housing, but it creates a need for a way of securing your financial future other than relying on corporate retirement programs that may or may not be around when you need them.

OK, is that enough to make you want to crawl into a hole until things get better?

Bottom Line: Historically, our economy has periodic slow periods followed by economic booms. Right now we are in a slow economy. That means that right now is the time to become involved in a real wealth building program...real estate.
Unlike the stock market, real estate is slow to react to changes in the economy. You don't have to worry about getting up in the morning and learning that the value of your investment has just dropped five or ten percent or more. You have time to plan ahead.

Have you ever wondered why when the stock market jumps up 50 or 100 points in one day and the media proclaims how great it is? The next day it drops a like amount but they refer to it as "an expected adjustment".

Now, let real estate sales slow down and prices come down and real estate is blackballed as a sign that the economy is in a recessionary period and home sellers are in a most undesirable situation, that they have to drastically reduce their prices in the hopes they can sell. The media fails to point out that the home will still sell, in most cases, for a lot more than the owner paid for it. We saw an example earlier in this report. This price reduction only applies to someone who must sell now. Somehow, most medial coverage overlooks the 'must sell now' part of the equation.

The most important consideration is to find a way to secure your financial future. Real estate, over the past 200 plus years, has proven to be the finest way to do it. Before you sit back and think, "Hey, I've got it made doing what I'm doing", here's a frightening statistic regarding your financial future:

Did you also know that 95% of our population, over the age of 65 cannot afford to retire? In a national survey made in the 1960s by the Kennedy Administration, they discovered that 22% of the people over the age of 65 relied on charity for survival, 28% had to continue working and 45% relied on relatives for survival.
That survey was repeated a year ago, before corporate layoffs really started taking hold, and the new survey indicated that 95% of our population over the age of 65 were still not able to survive retirement without outside support.

That ninety-five percent did what you and I have always been taught to do...they saved their money for retirement. But, they saved it in the wrong places... places that guaranteed they would not have enough to support them when they quit working.
If you're dreaming about a secure retirement based on social security and your corporate retirement program, you may be in for a startling awakening.

Real estate investors have proven you can avoid this trap. There is, however, one vitally important contributing factor to successful real estate investing with minimum risk... knowing what you are doing!

You need to study a real estate investment program will lead you through the professional's methods of real estate investing. A program that is spelled out in easy to learn and use, step by step procedures. One that offers support through each phase of real estate investing.

Maybe you don't want to begin investing right away? Perhaps you are still a disbeliever. I'd suggest taking a course and then make that decision. If you choose the right program, you'll be anxious to begin securing your financial future as soon as you discover how easy real estate investing is and how you can become part of this bonanza. If you still decide to procrastinate, you'll at least have all of the knowledge you need to jump in when the urge strikes you...and I'll guarantee you'll do it sooner than you think!

One more point: If you have been tempted by the late night infomercials you see on TV, promising you can get rich quick with no money or credit, check them out on your Internet search engines. Read some of the reviews written by those who have taken the $1,000 and up boot camps or seminars. Be sure you are not reading a promotion written by the company giving the seminar. You'll quickly learn who has a program you may want to try that offers easy to learn and use systems with minimum risk.

Inness Paintings

Monday, April 22, 2013

George Inness is a famous American painter from the art movements of tonalism and Inness produced many great landscape paintings, for which he is best known. Inness chose to develop his skills and philosophies on art by travelling and living in France at various stages in his career. Inness was later to become the leading American painter in Barbizon-style techniques due to this careful study and willingness to learn new ideas about landscape art, which was still developing throughout the 19th century.

Famous George Inness paintings included Lackawanna Valley, Lake Albano, Pool in the Woods, Old Elm at Medfield, Sunset on the Passaic, In the Roman Campagna, Summer Landscape and Early Morning Tarpon Springs. During his career Inness painted many hundreds of works, but always stuck closely to his preferred use of landscapes.

In conclusion, George Inness is an artist who left a great mark on the art movement of tonalism and also helped developed the legacy of the Hudson River School into new directions. Inness greatest contribution is the acceptance and discussion that he encouraged around the link between the artist's spiritual side and the paintings that they would create. This explains why Inness chose to return to solely landscaped paintings without influence from modern inventions. This purity of his subjects and passion for his art form is why many art lovers continue to buy Inness paintings as handmade reproductions across America and Europe as his legacy lives on. Inness sits alongside the likes of Bierstadt, Cole and Church in their great contributions to North American art on the 19th century.

Professional Association Disability Insurance Programs and the Residual Disability Rider

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Many professionals that purchase their own Individual Disability Insurance policies will at some point look to their Professional Association for guidance, support and available discount programs. Associations like the American Medical Association, American Bar Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Institute of CPAs and American Dental Association offer Disability insurance programs at a discounted premium. Consumers should be aware however that there are a few concerns to consider when it comes to Association Disability insurance. In many cases, these policies are inferior to those offered directly from insurance carriers.

The first concern is regarding the renewability provision included in Association programs vs. that which is available on an individual basis. Typically, Association programs are Guaranteed renewable but not Noncancellable, which means that the premiums are not technically guaranteed to remain level for the duration of the policy life. Although this is not the biggest concern since many of these associations have never increased their premiums in the past, having a guarantee creates a different and greater level of comfort.

The second concern is in regard to the definition of total disability. Most Association programs have limitations on the definition of disability they offer. Although some of them may have their own version of the True Own Occupation definition of disability, it is likely to be less favorable than that which is offered with individual contracts. Regardless of what occupation a person has, having Own-Occupation income protection is always better than not having it. Consumers should be cautious of sales professionals recommending that these more comprehensive definitions are not important. In reality no one knows which definition of disability is the necessary one until a debilitating injury or illness has already occurred. When it comes to protecting a person's income, family, future and livelihood, the more cautious route can never be a bad thing.

Perhaps the most important factor that professionals should be aware of with Association Disability insurance is the structure of the Residual Disability rider that is offered. Residual Disability benefits are meant to cover partial disability claims where a professional has incurred a 20% or greater loss of income due to an illness or injury. Considering that the vast majority of Long-Term Disability claims are due to illness and not injury, the structure of a policy's residual benefits can be very important.

Most illnesses do not just appear over night, instead they progressively worsen over time.

Strangely enough though, many Association Disability programs offer residual disability benefits which require the insured to experience a period of total Disability prior to benefits being payable. Unlike Association Disability policies, individual Disability policies do not require a person to experience a total disability before paying residual benefits. Although every claim can be different, the residual benefit design used by Association Disability programs could deprive a claimant of benefits that would otherwise be paid with an individual policy purchased directly from an insurance carrier.

Having Disability insurance is an important part of any wise financial plan, but is not something that should be rushed into. When purchasing Disability insurance, you should work with an expert in the field who can assist you in understanding the various options available to you. Do not purchase your income protection solely based on pricing as there are many fine policies that can be purchased at an affordable cost.

A Private Residence Club for The Cowboy at Heart

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Preserving a Treasure of the American West

Shell Valley is a tiny hamlet nestled in the foothills of the spectacular Bighorn Mountains in picturesque Shell Wyoming, population 50. Here, nature remains unspoiled and the traditions of the Old West continue uninterrupted. Tradition, honor and the Cowboy Code are fundamental to the foundation of life here in the West. Now, this legacy that has lived on at the Flitner Ranch for over one hundred years can become part of your family's history, thanks to the Hideout Private Residence Club.

This private, experiential club combines the best of Equestrian Private Residence communities and destination clubs. But what you may ask are these elusive definitions? Simply put, a Private Residence Club membership is a form of fractional ownership, frequently described as "luxury home ownership without the hassles". A destination club in contrast is a membership to a collection of destinations that provide the owner with luxury accommodations at each destination.

The Hideout Private Residence Club is a non-equity membership offering an equestrian based, experiential adventure through the use of their 300,000 acre Guest Ranch. Members enjoy luxurious accommodations with unparalleled recreation opportunities while making a positive contribution to the environment through membership in their conservation and preservation trust, The Shell Valley Preservation Initiative.

As fourth generation ranchers, the Flitner family is passionate that the magnificence of The Shell Valley remains intact forever. After watching other areas of the West fall victim to indiscriminate commercial development, David and Paula Flitner have made a commitment to preserve The Shell Valley as a living treasure of the American West and are actively seeking members who want to share in this vision.

The Hideout Private Residence club is offering by invitation only, a total of 88 memberships to be shared among 11 luxury homes offering dramatic views of the Bighorn Mountains and Shell Valley. Legacy Members receive a total of 5 weeks year round use and additional use according to availability. Membership features include concierge services, use of recreation & dining amenities from the Hideout Guest Ranch, Snowshoe Lodge and the Upper Hideout, thousands of miles of trails to explore with your equine friends, an international clientele, and all of the benefits with none of the hassles of second home ownership.

"The Hideout is a place to share with our children and our children's children; a place they will come to know as their own private sanctuary. A chance to be land stewards so that future generations may marvel at the same spectacular, unspoiled landscapes. Our members embrace this valley as their own national park - as a treasure that, if protected, can herald its history and heritage through the test of time."

How Transportation Bonds Help Cover Your Valuables

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Most of the time, if you have ever run into the term "transportation bond" it is something you are asked to vote for or against and it has to do with your local or state government wanting to fund some sort of transportation project such as a road or a rail line. There is, nonetheless, a different meaning. A bond may also be a guarantee of something, a specific insurance policy written to protect you from some type of wrong-doing by a company you have retained. It could in fact also cover some sort of breakdown on your part such as withholding payment or not paying punctually. But, in cases like this, this type of surety bond is designed for your protection.

From time to time, you might have need of having something transported by a professional company. These situations could be if you are moving to a different home, relocating out of state or even out of the country where you are insuring all your possessions in the event damage or loss takes place. This may be one situation where you would certainly want a transportation bond. This would give you some security in knowing that if the truck catches fire and everything burns up, if your possessions were to get stolen while enroute, or if the driver just never shows up with your possessions, you will be recompensed for the loss. It might not even be that serious. You would be paid out for example, if the movers damage a mirror or breaks your kitchen table. Of course, the moving company would very typically pay for these sorts of problems anyway. Even so, if the moving company is unable to act or it turns out that they just downright stole your things with no intention to deliver them, then in that case, this is how a bond would come in handy because the bond company would pay your claim and then try to get reimbursed by the moving company.

If you are having a car transported, this is another instance you might be glad to have a transportation bond. These situations pertain to relocating to another state and wanting the car expertly transported or purchasing an expensive car in Germany and you live in Tennessee. In this case, you would most likely want to get some sort of bond in case for whatever reason the company you contracted with failed to deliver. With a respected company this is not usually an issue as they normally pay for the damage or loss but you can never be too sure. Since unfortunately in today's world there are a lot of businesses that are extremely shady, it will ultimately be beneficial to you to insure your belongings in these situations so your not worrying whether or not you would be compensated should damage or theft occur. With a transportation surety bond, nevertheless, the bond company would likely investigate the situation and pay what is owed you. Not like any insurance you commonly pay for, bonds similar to this are totally different. This is something most professional businesses already have since it protects them, too. However, if you are looking into employing a company to do some sort of major transportation for you, then making sure that such a transportation surety bond is paid for and active would be a very important part of investigating them.

These kinds of transportation surety bonds nonetheless, only cover the goods you are having shipped to make sure you are protected up to a specific amount should the company refuse to pay in times of loss, damages or theft.

First Quarter 2006 Miami Real Estate Analysis

Alex Shay, an experienced real estate broker associate in Miami, analyzes market conditions and a changing real estate climate in Miami Beach, where luxury waterfront properties have been in high demand for years.

What's happening in Miami? It's a question that is asked over and over again. Sellers want to know; and buyers want to know. We're talking real estate, Miami Beach luxury real estate, to be exact. This is an analysis of the first quarter, which should give you a feel of the real estate climate and marketplace in Miami Beach during the first 3 months of 2006.Do you want to know what's happening? According to Alex Shay, the best way to describe it is, resistance. It's a word that Realtors don't like to hear, but that's what has been happening. Sellers are keeping their asking prices up, and buyers are resisting. Sellers feel that the number of luxury homes in Miami Beach is very limited, and that the demand is high, and buyers are refusing to pay the prices being asked. "We are experiencing a bit of a standstill in the Miami real estate marketplace", says Alex Shay, and the result is that there far more luxury waterfront properties on the market now, than there were during the first quarter of just one year ago.

For example, in discussing Miami Beach real estate, including Indian Creek Village, and Bal Harbour, changes are taking place. Last year, during the first quarter, there were 29 closings of listed luxury waterfront properties, as compared to 24 closings during the first 3 months of 2006. However, last year during the same time period, there were less than 90 listed luxury waterfront homes as compared to almost 200 luxury homes that are presently listed on the market for sale. That in itself should tell you that the Miami real estate marketplace has shifted, at least temporarily.People want to know will happen in the future, but a crystal ball has not been found. Alex Shay does have opinions, however, as well as a great deal of experience in the luxury real estate market, and although he doesn't pretend to be able to predict the future, he says that the demand for luxury waterfront real estate on Miami Beach remains high. Miami is an international city, and the only place in the USA, where the weather remains warm all year round. That makes Miami a very desirable place to live and to own real estate, especially luxury real estate. People come to Miami from all parts of the globe, and some of those people see the investment opportunities that this wonderful city offers. They buy property. For that reason, the demand for real estate is high, and will probably remain high in the foreseeable future. Owning Miami real estate is most likely going to mean that you will be "sitting pretty" at the end of the day. Prices have not gone down in many years, and because the amount of international travel has increased dramatically over the past 20 years, people will continue to purchase Miami Beach real estate. What does it all mean? In Alex Shay's opinion, it means that although there is presently a temporary standstill, in so far as buyers resisting the high asking prices of sellers, things are still looking good.

Closings of luxury Miami real estate are still happening, and will continue to happen. If a buyer is astute, and allows him or herself, to become well educated in the real estate marketplace, that buyer can make a good deal, and within a few years time, may thank his/her lucky stars for having the courage and willingness to take a chance. A few years ago, buyers would sometimes complain about the high prices. That was when you could pick up a luxury waterfront property, for $500,000. Today that same property may be valued at more than 5 times what it was worth then. Therefore, if you can buy a luxury property on Miami Beach, and get a fair deal, do it. Don't hesitate. "You wont be sorry", says Alex Shay. He points out that he has yet to find anyone who said that they were sorry for purchasing Miami Beach property.

Miami is not a city located somewhere in the USA where people merely buy and sell property because they are able to afford more, or because they are downsizing. It's not a place where only people who live here, buy property. It's a city where people from all over the world buy and sell, so, unless some unknown disaster strikes, almost anyone buying Miami Beach real estate, is going to be very glad they did.One last thing that should be mentioned is that those who are interested in luxury real estate are not hesitating to purchase a home because of negative economic conditions. It appears as if the economy is fine at the moment. They are hesitating because they don't know what to do. No one wants to make a bad deal, and no one knows what the future will bring.

They approach Realtors in whose opinion they have some faith, and ask the age-old question; will prices go up or down? In the near future, they won't go up much, or down much. What can be said is that prices of luxury waterfront property on Miami Beach, have stabilized.

For more information go to http://www.alexshay.com

Things You Need To Know Before Acquiring Metairie Payroll Services

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Like any other commodity, outsourced services have their upsides and downsides, depending on how well the consumer qualified his choices at the beginning. Bad decision-making often leads to grave consequences. So you have to make sure you do not fall for the common mistakes people make when it comes to acquiring Metairie payroll services. One of these is not knowing what they are buying in the first place. Yes, the concept is a giveaway. But unknown to a lot of folks, there are actually many layers to payroll servicing that needs to be acknowledge.

One of its intricacies is the fact that it has three categories. The first category is the PSPs or payroll service providers. And they generally just prepare the payroll tax returns using the employer’s Employer Identification Number. They do all the mathematical work but it is the client that signs and files the document. The second category is that of RAs or reporting agents. And these entities not only prepare payroll tax returns but also carry out the signing and the filing, under the name of the employer. The third category is that of PEOs or professional employer organizations. And what they do is actually act like the employer of a group of professionals in behalf of another company, prepare the payroll tax return with their own EIN, sign it and then file it. This information alone sheds light to a whole new side of the commodity that is often disregarded. Can you imagine how confusing it would be to have certain expectations and end up hiring the wrong kind of Metairie payroll services resource?

To add to the aforementioned, different payroll service companies employ different methods and tools to come up with the figures. Some of the work with QuickBooks; others apply Zero, GnuCash, Peachtree, inDinero, or FrontAccounting. The results and capacity usually vary. But the variety impacts your company in the sense that you might find yourself confused about how the reports are laid out for your review. And if there is some integration between in-house programs to that of the outsourcers, accounting may have a complicated time deciphering data given the unfamiliar software. This is why it is so important that you learn a lot about the skills and specialties of the payroll service professionals you contact and on a related note, know more about their unique attributes and functions.

As a final eye-opening tidbit about payroll services, you should know that not every one of the prospects you come across actually help you save on costs. There are payroll service companies that charge way more than what you would likely spend hiring your own staff and doing payroll accounts internally. With this, you need to extensively compare and contrast the options you are presented so you do not make the rookie error of assuming that just because outsourcing is the latest trend, it is applicable for your business. It really doesn’t make sense for you to acquire Metairie payroll services when you’re a home-based enterprise with a little over ten employee.

Don't Make Mistake Like Millions Out There - Find A Good Real Estate Agent Before You Buy Or Sell

Have you ever wondered what exactly is up with Real Estate Agent? This informative report can give you an insight into everything you've ever wanted to know about Real Estate Agent.

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

If you are looking to buy or sell real estate, do not get caught like millions of other people out there, in thinking that you don't need a real estate agent. Most people who buy or sell homes, generally think that a real estate agent is a waste of money. Those who choose to buy a new home, think that real estate agents only add to the cost of purchasing the home.

I am not a real estate agent but I can tell you that most people aren't aware of the fact that real estate agents are normally paid by the seller, not by the buyer. As a buyer, you'll get to work with a professional real estate agent without really having to pay for it yourself. The policies can vary greatly from state to state and company to company, which is why you should always check any paperwork or contracts that are provided to you to ensure that you know what you are jumping into. When you are interviewing agents, be sure to ask about any other type of fees as well.

A lot of real estate agents may work with both buyers and sellers, although most specialize in working with either the buyer or the seller. If you are buying a home, make sure that the agent you choose has prior experience of working with buyers and transactions that involve no money down. This way, you can count on your agent to be there when you need him the most - especially if you don't have a down payment.

Top 3 things to consider when looking for a real eatate agent:

1. What you need to look out for when you are interviewing a real estate agent - if he or she isn't familiar with down payment assistance programs, you shouldn't hire their services. Those agent who aren't familiar with these types of programs generally aren't on the level, or they may lack the experience necessary to help you purchase the home of your dreams.

2. Interview as many real estate agents as you can before you make the most important decision in this process. Get a list of real estate agents that you can interview based on referrals from friends, lenders, and even family. Lender's referrals are normally a great choice as most lenders have worked with their recommendations in the past and both are already familiar with each other. Choosing a lenders referral can also prevent you from encountering any obstacles or surprises.

3. When you interview a real estate agent, ensure that the agent explain his fees upfront. This way, you'll know exactly how much he will be getting from the purchase. It is wise to find out how much experience he has in the field, and how long he has been working with real estate. It also help to ask about sample contracts as well. If you are buying a home, you should make sure that the agent works with buyers. If you happen to be selling your home, then you'll want to make sure that the agent works with sellers. Agents that are dedicated to one or the other are the best choice, as they will have more experience than agents who work with both buyers and sellers.

So, you see, finding a real estate agent is not such a difficult task after all - providing you know what to look for. If you take things one step at a time and carefully make a decision, chances are that you'll end up with an agent who has the experience you want. You should always be careful when you choose, and never rush the process. Real estate agents are easy to find, although finding one who fits your needs and has your budget in mind is a little tougher to locate. When you make that final decision, you should always choose an agent who has your best interest in mind - and isn't just after the money.

As your knowledge about Real Estate Agent continues to grow, you will begin to see how Real Estate Agent fits into the overall scheme of things. Knowing how something relates to the rest of the world is important too.

Smart Energy Management

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sustainability and energy management are amongst the most talked about issues across the industrial landscape today. The costs associated with purchasing fuel and energy to run operations are significant and can affect the achievement of plant goals. Energy management needs to be assessed when making equipment decisions. Intelligent consumption of this energy can provide significant savings and free up funds to be allocated for other projects.

A great start is doing an energy audit on your equipment. It is not only a low cost way to gain vital data on your plant, but it can also troubleshoot issues that you may not have known were even there. A machine that is using an abnormal amount of energy is likely to have internal issues that may need to be assessed and/or fixed that are not only wasting energy, but could possibly be creating defects in your product.

* "When a decision is made to acquire a new machine, a manufacturer should consider the amount of energy that will be consumed by this machine during its lifecycle. Among expenses from the acquisition to dismantling of a machine, the purchase price accounts for 2% to 3% of the overall costs; the remainder is mainly its energy consumption."

It is a similar case with motors also. Oftentimes when sizing a motor, the thought process is that implementing a motor with extra power is the safest bet, but running a motor below its rated power will yield a drop in its efficiency and add to energy waste.

* "Making intelligent choices when choosing motors can save up to 30% of energy consumption over the life of the machine."

Thanks to new systems in motors and drives, simply upgrading one or both can provide significant savings without much effort. Making simple upgrades on equipment can greatly reduce the energy cost per part, thus significantly cutting costs and enhancing your bottom line.

*Ian Hitchins, Edited by: Mark T. Hoske, "OEM Sustainability: Energy Efficiency For Machines" 12/25/11 http://www.controleng.com/single-article/oem-sustainability-energy-efficiency-for-machines/a44a038d79.html

Upgrading to energy efficient and performance enhancing controls can provide big benefits to your bottom line.

What about the legacy systems that companies already have in place? The overall control system may be in need of improvements. By upgrading the components within the equipment a significant savings can result from less energy consumption, improved quality, and increased efficiency all at a relatively low cost. Does your company have aged equipment that is suffering from long downtime, high energy usage, and low process quality? Consider an upgrade to your existing equipment to make the equipment run at or above its original levels.

Low Commission Real Estate Agents in Los Angeles

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A large number of homeowners, all across the country are interested in selling their homes. If you are one of those individuals and you live in or around the Los Angeles area, you have a number of options. The option most often selected by a homeowner is to receive professional assistance. This assistance often comes from a real estate agent.

If you are searching for a Los Angeles real estate agent, you have a number of different choices. You can do business with a full priced real estate agent or you can find an individual who specializes in low commission real estate. Los Angeles has a both types of agents. When searching for a real estate agent, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the services offered by each type of agent.

Full priced real estate agents tend to be more expensive, but they are sometimes the most sought after. This is because in many areas of the United States there are a limited number of real estate agents. When competition is small, many businesses make the decision to charge higher prices. Another reason why full priced real estate agents are popular is because of the wide range of services they offer.

The services offered by a particular real estate agent will vary, even with full priced real estate agents and agents specializing in low commission real estate. Los Angeles residents are encouraged to fully examine each service before making a final decision. Many residents are unsure what to look for in a real estate agent. If you are searching for a Los Angeles agent to assist you in the selling of your home, there are a number of services that you may search for.

A large number of real estate agents participate in an MLS program. MLS programs are often referred to as multiple listing services. Almost all real estate agents, including full priced agents and those specializing in low commission real estate, participate in an MLS program. An MLS program allows homes on the real estate market to be placed in a large, searchable database. This list includes homes being sold by different real estate agents.

In addition to an agent's participation in an MLS program, you should determine the other ways that they intend to market your home to potential buyers. Many real estate agents use newspaper advertisements, while others use open house programs. A low commission real estate agent may not offer individual showings to potential buyers, but they usually have other effective ways of marketing your home.

The marketing of your home to the general public is important to success of the sale. In addition to marketing, there are a number of other factors that you should considered when finding a real estate agent. These factors are all important, whether you choose a full priced real estate agent or one that specializes in selling low commission real estate. Los Angeles residents have reported success with low commission agents and there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to receive that same success.

Do You Have The Knowledge To Buy The Right Life Insurance?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

We'll start with the all-time dilemma; the question of whether you should purchase a Term Life Insurance or another type of Life Insurance that accumulates cash value. One way or another, everybody is aware of the main reason why this question constantly surfaces; monthly premiums! Term Insurance happens to be the least expensive, and most of the time people tend to purchase it just because of this reason.

Additionally, people get different answers from different insurance professionals; some advocate Buy-Term and Invest-The-Difference and some recommend Whole Life, Universal Life, Variable Life, or maybe combination of the two or more of them. In the end, choosing an insurance policy becomes a dilemma between the premiums and the suggestions that you hear from various insurance professionals.

So what is the answer to this question and how do you select the right insurance policy for yourself?

In reality, there is no cookie-cutter answer for purchasing either Term, Whole Life, or any other one for that matter. Everybody has different needs and one size hardly fits all. So in order to accommodate different situations and needs, Life Insurance has evolved into many different types. As a result, the right choice depends on your answers to the following questions:

o What is the very purpose of your life insurance?
o Why are you really buying it?

You should keep in mind that Life Insurance is indeed one of the most versatile products that you can purchase in the market. It can be used for many purposes such as;

o Retirement Supplement
o Pay off debt
o Estate Planning
o Pay off taxes
o Supplement for a college education
o Income replacement for your spouse
o And the list continues depending on your personal needs

Once you determine the purpose of your needs, you now have to identify the type of life insurance you should be purchasing. This actually creates another dilemma; now you need to have the proper knowledge of every type of policy so you can decide which one or maybe the combination of the ones to purchase. On this note, let's touch base with the main types of Life Insurance Policies in the market:

o Term Life
o Whole Life
o Universal Life
o Variable Life

It should be pointed out that these are only the main types of life insurance policies where there are also many others as well as the variations of these policies available in the market. Nevertheless, in order to decide which one of these policies is more suitable for your personal needs requires broad knowledge and here are just a few important topics that you need to be aware of; how these policies develop cash value, how dividends get distributed, the time period you have to pay into your policy, how premiums are calculated, any premium changes after a certain time period, is it participating or non-participating, etc.

Of course as a third step, you also have to calculate the amount of life insurance you need as well. This indeed is separate topic and the methods of calculations can be put in a nut shell as follows:

o Multiples of Income Approach
o Financial Needs Analysis Method
o Capital Needs Analysis Approach
o Some other methods that various insurance companies developed themselves

In summary, following is the list of the key steps of purchasing the right life insurance for your personal needs;

o Deciding why you are buying the policy. In other words, what's the purpose of your life policy?
o Knowing the type of policy that suits the best for your personal situation. Is it Term, Whole Life, Variable Life, Universal Life, or combination of any of these policies?
o Calculating the amount of your policy based on your purpose

One way or another, getting a life insurance is not just buying the least expensive policy, it is indeed a series of decisions and calculations that requires considerable amount of knowledge. The process can be quite tedious, depending on your situation, and it is best to consult an insurance professional to have it done right.

Real Estate Auctions - The New Land Rush

Thursday, April 11, 2013

On a sunny afternoon in Florida, an energetic crowd gathers on the lawn of a high end luxury estate. A loud and eager banter between an auctioneer, a group of bidders and bidder assistants fills the air. For several minutes the auctioneer asks for the next highest bid and the bidders respond. Suddenly the bidders grow silent. The high bidder holds his breath in anticipation of winning the auction. The auctioneer calls for one more bid. In a loud clear voice which rolls over the audience he says, "Fair warning, last chance" the auctioneer pauses, "SOLD!" And in less than 10 minutes another multimillion dollar estate has changed owners.

Successful real estate auctions like the one above are happening all over North America and the Caribbean. Recently real estate auctions have been on the rise, the increase in popularity is partly driven by growing inventories and fading buyer confidence. Properties that were selling in weeks using traditional methods are now languishing on the market unable to attract buyers even as seller's lower prices. Many say the real estate boom is over but savvy buyers and sellers are profiting from real estate auctions.

Real Estate Auctions Work in Up or Down Markets.

Regardless of trends or market cycles, real estate auctions provide an open and transparent process for buyers and sellers. Properly conducted real estate auctions attract ready and willing buyers and motivate them to act now.

The auction method removes the "wait and see" attitude which serves to further depress real estate values. Buyers are always concerned about overpaying. Buyers gain confidence with their purchases at real estate auctions because they can see what others are willing to pay.

When market demand is high and inventories low, real estate auctions can deliver selling prices well above what a willing seller would have accepted in a negotiated private treaty sale. In good selling climates many property owners using traditional real estate methods; negotiating with one buyer at a time, leave thousands of dollars of equity on the table. During up markets real estate auctions are the best way to establish top market price.

Evaluating Your Real Estate for Auction

Not every property or seller for that matter makes a good candidate for auction. First of all sellers must be ready to sell now and for the current market value. Also a real estate auction will not fix problems caused by a downturn in market value of your property, if you owe more than a willing buyer will pay, be prepared to come to closing with your check book.

Properties that do well in real estate auctions have a high uniqueness factor. Ask your self, "What makes my property different from most others?" Maybe you own a resort property or high end luxury home, commercial properties and land do very well at auction. Real estate auctions thrive on uniqueness. If your property is like everyone else's, the best thing you can do is offer the most competitive price.

Most importantly sellers must be reasonable about setting a minimum bid. A seller must look at the lowest, most current comps and price below that to generate the interest and urgency necessary for a successful real estate auction. Once the auction begins and qualified bidders start competing against one another you can watch the selling price increase.

Locate a Qualified Real Estate Auctioneer

Start by checking with the National Auctioneers Association, the best real estate auctioneers belong to this organization. These real estate auctioneers are well trained and adhere to a standard of practice and a code of ethics. Many attend the annual International Auctioneers Conference where the latest techniques and innovations in the real estate auction industry are presented.

Find out if the company you are interviewing is a full time real estate auction firm. Many real estate agents are getting auction licenses yet have no experience with the auction method of marketing. Conducting a successful real estate auction is nothing like (private treaty) traditional real estate sales. Go with a real estate auction pro.

You're probably better of with an auction house that specializes in real estate auctions. There are many qualified auctioneers who have generations of experience selling personal property; furniture, dishes, lawn equipment and the occasional rare painting. Selling real estate at auction is a complex matter that should only be attempted by full time experienced real estate auction professionals.

Commissions and fees may vary, sellers must pay all marketing expenses up front and buyers typically pay 10% of the sales price to the auctioneer of which a share goes to participating real estate agents.

Types of Real Estate Auctions

Auctions are effective because they create a seller's market. Professionally conducted real estate auctions create urgency, a reason to buy today and competition for the property. Terms and conditions of sale are established ahead of the auction. Real estate auctions will follow one of these three approaches:

Absolute Auction

The property is sold to the highest bidder regardless of price- using this process often returns the highest sale price.

Minimum Bid Auction

Seller agrees to sell at or above a published minimum bid price - this method is useful for internet auctions.

Seller Confirmation or Reserve Auction

With a reserve auction, the seller "reserves" the right to accept or decline any bids usually within 48 hours of the auction. Reserve auctions are used when there is a lien on the property from a lender or a court ordered sale with a minimum selling price.

The Genius of Gaudi

Antoni Placid Guillem Gaudi i Cornet. Or simply, Gaudi.

The genius who has become synonymous with the city of Barcelona. The Catalan architect whose work is instantly recognisable and who helped transform his home city. And yet it all started so unpromisingly. Born in 1852 into a family of coppersmiths, the youngest of five children, Gaudi was a 'sickly child' - in his case, rheumatism, which prevented him from being very active at all. What he did instead was to become intensely interested in nature and natural objects - something which was to last throughout his life and prove to be enormously influential in his career.

Although never an outstanding scholar, Gaudi was accepted into the Escola Tecnica Superior d'Arquitectura, where, during his years of study, he helped to design the Parc Ciutadella on the site of the city's old fortress-prison. There is a famous quotation from the presentation of his architectural diploma - which may or may not be apocryphal - that they were unsure whether they were presenting it to a 'nut or a genius' and certainly were it not for the patronage of Eusebi Guell, he might have struggled to find employment.

Gaudí's distinctive style developed early in his career. Heavily influenced by the Gothic architecture that dominated parts of Barcelona, he was able to incorporate his love of nature into what became art nouveau architecture, or modernisme. He was intensely fanatical about incorporating natural organic shapes into his designs and this, combined with his vivid sense of colour, resulted in some truly amazing constructions.

La Sagrada Familia is probably Barcelona's most famous building - indeed, many people mistakenly think of it as the city's cathedral. Gaudi, who spent the last years of his life as a devout Catholic, actually inherited the scheme from someone else but his reworking of the design resulted in one of the world's most talked about churches. Inspired partly by the eerie shapes of the mountains around the monastery at Montserrat this beautifully grotesque building is a wonderful, if unfinished, legacy. Gaudi himself died in 1926 - knocked down by a tram and taken to a paupers' hospital, where he later died. A Gaudi museum has been incorporated into the church now which contains some fascinating models which show how the architect worked out the intricacies of his building process.

There are, of course, countless other examples of Gaudi's genius to be seen around the city. Ranging from his early street lamps in Placa Reial to the simply stunning buildings Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. All bear the architect's trademark elements - curved building stones, twisted metalwork, wave-shaped balconies, extravagantly coloured tile mosaics and a sense of sculpture permeating everything.

For me, the essence of Gaudi can always be found at the enchanting Parc Guell. With twisting pathways winding through the wooded grounds, there are benches, plazas, hidden grottos and stonework columns - all guarded over by a fantastically shaped mosaic serpent. The bizarre, spectacular designs fit perfectly into the idyllic landscape, overlooking the city. Casa Museu Gaudi, the surreal spired house hidden in the trees, still has the furniture and designs of the artist cum architect inside.

Optimizing PLI For Design Professionals

Monday, April 8, 2013

PLI stands for professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance for engineers, architects and surveyors is often referred to as PLI for designers. PLI premiums are determined through a process involving the assessment of several factors over which designers (professional service type businesses) have some control. For example, design professionals can improve premiums by exploring the factors insurance carriers use in their quotation creation process for professional liability clients. Consequently the application process should be optimized for achieving the best possible outcome for the design firm or independent professional.

Design companies must make their business attractive to insurance carriers to obtain the best possible terms and pricing. The first step in this strategy is to identify the different risk factors and then present your design firm in the most positive way. While numerous factors determine the risk that a design firm poses to an insurance company, for the purpose of this discussion we will focus on the most critical areas. They include:

1. The location of the firm
2. The locations of design firm projects
3. Project types (traditional commercial projects such as offices, warehouse and retail are often more attractive to carriers than swimming pools and amusement parks).
4. Loss History

Project with high perceived risks are much less attractive to insurance carriers than projects with a nominal risk profile. Projects with emotional attachments or those which have a high loss exposure can be detrimental to design firm PLI. Though working within the genres is necessary, it is prudent to understand the exposures and manage the risk as much as possible.

Loss history is reviewed closely by insurance carriers. Design projects can results in significant claims. There also is the perception and statistical likelihood that past claims are a fair indicator of potential future claims activity. As a result, a design firm with some significant claims in their past generally pays a much higher rate than a similar firm with nominal past claims. Carriers can look as far back as ten years back when evaluating a larger firm's loss history.

If a firm has a history of claims it still possible to cast the exposure in a more positive light utilizing the appropriate approach and documentation. When carriers review the loss history of a design firm, the approach and documentation that the design firm utilizes will prove critical in the resulting PLI premiums. Ultimately, design firms along with their PLI broker must negotiate with insurance carriers to favorably characterize their firm and provide the mitigating information necessary to encourage the most competitive premium quotes.

Part 1: FAQ's From Media Interviews With Real Estate Author

Do you feel there is going to be a real estate bubble?

Nash: No. Are some coastal and resort markets over-heated, yes. I don't feel that markets will collapse. But investors and property owners should be ready for longer market times, diminishing over-full-price and multiple offers in over-heated markets. Prices could plateau and appreciation levels will hover at more historical levels. If you live out-of-town from where you purchased property on appreciation speculation, I would keep in very close contact with a un-biased professional in the market, daily.

Have real estate appraisers contributed to the rapid increase in home prices?

Nash: Not necessarily. You have to understand their role in a real estate transaction. They are hired by the mortgage lender to appraise the property. The homebuyer pays for the appraisers services. The lender is in business to lend money and the real estate brokerages want to close the transaction and receive their fees. In most markets there are solid closed comparable properties that justify underwriting the loan. In rapidly appreciating markets, where there are no closed comparables to support the new value, all the participants in the transaction should be aware that there is risk involved in the new value assigned to a property in a real estate contract.

What should homeowners and investors do to protect themselves from a potential bubble?

Nash: Look for incentives by builders on completed new construction buildings or homes; this indicates an over-supply of new units. Research days on market or the length of time of property has been on market. If the typical time recently has been 30 days for sold properties and current market times for the majority of sold properties are 60 or more days, the market is softening. Home prices and mortgage rates effect each other, as interest rates drop, the more buyers can afford to pay for a home, but as rates rise buyers can afford less of a purchase price. Watch interest rates as an indictor of deflating prices.

What is your position on interest only loans?

Nash: Consumers need to look at the long-range implications of interest-only loans. They should keep in mind that if their home value declines, they still owe the loan amount, which could be higher than their homes market value when they sell. If appreciation remains low, in the two to five percent range and the cost to use a full-service real estate company to sell their home is five to seven percent, their appreciation will actually go to pay selling and marketing costs, ouch!

What do you think about two new books:" Irrational Exuberance" and "Freakonomics" that touch on residential real estate?

Nash: Both make solid contributions for real estate consumers and investors in today's environment. Everyone is looking for information to make real estate decisions. While there are many inflammatory headlines, I've found the majority of the accompanying dialogue; offer good market and real estate practices advice.

The term Realtor® is generic to most consumers but are all real estate agents Realtors®?

Nash: No and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is diligent on protecting it's status as an registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. NAR has approximately 1.1 million members, while industry sources state there are about an additional 1.4 million real estate agents not members of NAR.

What housing style will be hot in five years?

Nash: The ranch. As the boomers age they'll go from the two-story "I've arrived" colonial to the "I've retired" ranch. Five years ago ranch homes were not that popular and languished on the market in some areas. This last year several clients looking towards retirement and downsizing have asked to see only ranch homes.

Why did you write your fourth real estate book "1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home"?

Nash: I wanted to focus on informing the consumer to understand the questions to ask the other participants in their next real estate transaction. I ask questions like, "What is dual agency?" and "Are you being served if your agent is a dual agent?" I explain the back end of the real estate business, which is important if you as the consumer want to manage the front end of it, i.e. your transaction.

Why is 1001 Tips different from other "how-to" real estate books?

Nash: Early on my publisher wanted the book real simple. Its style is numbered tips with an explanation in bullet-points. Editorially light, but not real estate light. The reader can pick it up and put it down and grasp each tip without having to read four additional paragraphs. Plus I've been through many transactions as a real estate broker and understand what the buyer or seller needs to know in their transaction before they walk out of closing or escrow. With home prices today, consumers should demand to know.

Is location, location, location a cliché in real estate today?

Nash: Location, price, risk.

Exploring the Stunning Amalfi Region

Sunday, April 7, 2013

In Amalfi, villas are an important part of the holiday landscape. But just why is this part of Italy so popular? Read on to find out.

The coastline

This part of Italy's coast is arguably its most beautiful. Mountains crash down into the azure sea and the vicinity is littered with tiny harbours, fishing villages and quiet bays with beaches. Many of the towns don't have beaches (or major sandy beaches) as such, but they do have typical Italian 'Lido' type facilities that are charming and could come directly out of a 1950s or 1960s movie backdrop.

Of course, there are some excellent beaches around if you care to make the effort to leave the spectacular attractions of the towns and head to the sand and sea. Speaking of the sea, this part of the world has always seen the ocean as a great transport mechanism and, as a result, from this part of the coast it's possible to take a variety of boat trips to numerous quaint (or in some cases glamorous) offshore islands. It's an experience truly not to be missed.

The history

In Amalfi, villas position you close to one of the great architectural gems of the world - the town itself.

For well over 1000 years, this town has been important in one sense or another and it has a fantastic architecture as a legacy of that huge period of time. The cathedral (Duomo) is stunning, as are many other buildings in the town. If you enjoy gaining a sense of place and time, just spend an hour or so taking a coffee or drink in the cathedral square and watch the world go by. It's a very different experience to that of most people's normal daily life!

The history isn't restricted to the town itself. For example, Amalfi is only about an hour's drive (just under 50kms) from the world-famous site of Pompeii - the location of one of history's great tragedies, but one that has left us with a marvellous historical legacy of the Roman period.

The cuisine

To be honest, little needs to be said of the glories of Italian cuisine - other than perhaps to re-emphasise that it is about so much more than just pizza and pasta. Try some of the local, freshly caught seafood dishes to see just how varied southern Italian cooking can be - and how delicious. Also, don't forget to try the local liqueur - Limoncello. Yes, you can get it outside of Italy but there's nothing like a chilled taste of it 'in situ' to help your taste buds develop.

The weather

Yes, it's perhaps stating the obvious but the blue skies and warm days here are nothing short of magical. It can get hot at peak times during the height of summer but, even then, the mornings, later afternoons and evenings leave you feeling as if this was the weather human beings were built to live in, rather than the cold damp environment of Northern Europe. If you're in any doubt of that, just book in to one of the many Amalfi villas available for rental and find out for yourself! It's a decision you won't regret.

Advantage Of Preserving Natural Product – The Gold

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Natural products are present on earth in a very limited quantity and metals like silver, gold or platinum are some among them. The immense beauty of gold and its value has increased its demand. Due to all these factors gold has become a good option to invest and earn extra money. There are different ways available to invest in gold. You can make choice according to your need and demand. Gold and other metals are available in variant forms like gold coin, gold jewelry and gold bars. In NYC there are watch selling stores from where you can buy these precious items. Investing your money in any of these forms promise good return, also this is a well-known method to get cash for gold.

Investment choice in gold and security measures:

Various types of gold are available in market. Some of them are white gold, pink or red gold, metal alloys. You can invest your money according to your pocket earnings. Gold is measured in terms of karat and the best form of gold is considered as 24 karat. 22k, 18k, 14k, 10k gold is also available in market that has mixture of other elements. There are many ways to spend your money in gold; some of them are mutual funds, sensex, gold coins, gold scrap, gold accessories. Buying 24 karat gold from banks with different schemes are also in trend that ensures the highest purity of gold. From all these methods you can get good cash for gold.

But before buying or selling silver, gold, platinum or other metals it is important to know some best way and methods to get maximum benefits. Many pawn brokers are their in shops, it is important to know about the best one so that no pawn brokers get a chance to cheat. You should buy or sell from a registered shops that have a valid license. You must ensure that the price rate defined by the pawn broker and the current market rate should match because many shopkeepers try to take advantage of these things. Rate of gold is dependable on gold weight and on its colour and karat value. Like other products gold have hallmark that shows the originality of product. Certificate for the gold or metal purchased are also given by the shopkeeper for future record.

Preservation of these metals:

Preserving these natural products is an important issue. In New York, Canada and in London there are number of actives agencies that work for silver recycling and gold refining. It enhances the quality of gold and gives a better option to mold these metals in new design that increase the market value automatically. Today people has become more trendy and choosy. They do not prefer that heavy and old fashioned jewelries as they hardly seek attention and so they prefer to invest through gold and buy other equivalent metals like platinum, gold plated silver and others. This reason has made this valuable metal quite popular and a better option to get some cash for gold.

Real Estate Agent Courses

Friday, April 5, 2013

Online real estate courses are offered to potential and licensed real estate agents, real estate brokers, real estate appraisers and real estate investors. The online schools offer a wide range of services to their students, which include helping the students pass the licensing exams for each field. Different courses are offered to those who wish to become agents, brokers, appraisers and investors as each has its own specific areas of study.

Courses for Real Estate Agents

The major areas of study that the courses for real estate agents include License Laws, Real Estate Contracts and Law, Escrow, Finance, and the Principles and Practices of Real Estate Math. These courses are often delivered through various software, CDs and virtual tutorials that the online schools offer their students. These courses help the students have access to the most up to date state laws with regard to real estate in the areas where they wish to practice their profession and the most up to date techniques and skills that can help them help their future clients. The students also take exams on these modules as to assess their understanding of the different areas of their study.

Review for licensing exams and license renewal

In addition to the modules that these courses offer, one important service that these online schools provide their students are the reviews that the students can take to help them prepare for the State Real Estate Exams that they will take to become accredited agents. These reviews are often given to the students in the form of practice exams and supplementary reading that can help the student prepare for the exam.

Apart from offering their services to people who wish to become agents, courses are also offered to licensed real estate agents who need to renew their real estate agent licenses. Online real estate courses for agents provide high-quality, effective, and convenient classes to future realty agents, that not only give them the most up to date information on real estate but also the best preparation for the State Real Estate Exams.


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