Real Estate Guide Real Estate Guide Copyright by en Tue, 18 Dec 2018 17:01:11 -0500 Selling your home doesn't have to be stressful For many families owning a home is their biggest monthly expense. Investing in a home is a rewarding venture but it can quickly turn stressful.

There are numerous situations where you might find it's time to sell your house. Selling a house can add more stress and anxiety due to the complicated process, the paperwork, and the time it takes to complete the transaction.

If you have ever tried selling your house only to have the buyer’s financing fall apart, you can relate more than most.

It feels like it takes 100+ phone calls to get all the little details worked out.

Luckily there is help out there for anyone looking to sell their home.

Selling a house the traditional way (with an agent) is a great way to have someone help you along the home selling process. But for most families they are unaware that other options even exist.

For example, did you know there are local investors in nearly every market who will buy your house for cash? Take for example a client I have worked with Buying NM Homes. They are a reputable company who can close quick on your home.

That is why we have created The Ultimate Guide To Selling Your House Fast.

In this guide, we are going to break down all of the situations you might find yourself in and exactly what your best options are. It's our hope that this guide is incredibly helpful for you and removes the stress and worry that is often associated with selling your house.

Avoiding Foreclosure

Letters from your mortgage holder are the last thing you want to see in your mailbox. But the unfortunate reality exists.

We were around during 2008 and know that a lot of great families lost their homes. We want to help you avoid foreclosure and the stressful situation of a bank taking your home.

According to RealtyTrac, an industry-leading research firm, 18% of homes in New Mexico enter pre-foreclosure this year.

The first thing you should do when you are entering pre-foreclosure is not feel bad, it happens to honest hard working people.

But don't delay, you should consider selling as soon as possible so you can take advantage of all your options.

If you are fighting foreclosure your best bet might be to consider reaching out to a local real estate investor. They can help you avoid the time and hassle it takes to go through the banks and Agents to get your house listed and sold.

Here are the benefits of working with an investor.

  • You pay no fees
    No Realtor Commissions
    NO Closing Costs
    – They pay all the costs for you
  • They buy houses in ANY condition, regardless of what you OWE
  • Super fast close with CASH in your hand within 7 – 10 days

Inherited An Unwanted Property

Most people would welcome the idea of inheriting a house. Unfortunately, it's not always as great as it seems.

Often times the house needs a ton of work and repairs to make it a great home to live in. These repairs have high costs.

In addition, there is something called "probate" which is the process of the court moving the house from one person to the other.

It's shocking that 55% of people don't create a will which makes the probate process last 6 months or longer to figure everything out.

If you find yourself in probate or inherited an unwanted property you can unload the property for cash and close quick.

This option is great if you are out of the state in which the property is located and don't want to spend hours on the phone with an Agent and constantly have to check in on the home selling process.

You can try listing with an Agent but if you just want to be rid of the property fast you might consider a real estate investor.

Selling A House During Divorce

Getting a divorce is incredibly stressful. There are a lot of emotions involved in splitting your lives apart. We are sympathetic to any couple going through a divorce and struggling to decide what to do with their biggest asset, their home.

If you both want to get rid of the house, walk away with cash in your pockets, and start have multiple options.

Listing with an Agent means you will both likely need to remain married before things get complicated with the names on the title.

It really depends on your state, your specific situation and an attorney might need to be hired to make these types of decisions.

You can also talk with a real estate investor to see if they can close on the house quick for cash and split the proceeds with your spouse 50/50.

Troublesome Tenants

The idea of renting out an investment property is great in theory. You can make money letting someone else live in your house.

The sad reality of the situation is most tenants don't take care of your home the way you would.

This means stains on the carpets, holes in walls, broken appliances, and who knows what else.

We have heard of tenants having the cops called on them and the homeowner being about not fun.

If you find yourself in a situation where you don't want to be a landlord anymore you should try listing your property with an Agent.

Often times an Agent will know a select group of people who are looking for rental income properties.

Job relocation

One of the best ways to increase your wealth is to go for a new job. Getting a new job allows you to renegotiate your salary for a higher price.

Unfortunately, sometimes that means relocating to a new city or state to get that job. If you need to sell your house fast so you have the cash and time to move to your new opportunity you should consider a real estate investor. Why? Because they can give sell your house and give you cash the fastest.

Most times they can even close on the day of your choosing so you can live in the house until it’s time to load up the UHaul.

How does the home selling process work?

5 Simple Steps:

  • 1st – Call the investor of fill out a form on their website.
  • 2nd – They will gather information from you about the property.
  • 3rd – They will meet in person at the home for a quick walkthrough or jump on a phone call if you live outside of the area.
  • 4th – They will give you a no-obligation, fair price, all cash offer. They will answer all of your questions and determine when you want to close.
  • 5th – The day of closing they will meet with a local Title Company and get you your check.

What are the advantages of selling your house to an investor?

  1. Working with them is fast, convenient & painless – you can start the process today.
  2. You can have cash in your pocket in days, not months.
  3. You will avoid paying the thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in commissions, closing costs, property taxes, insurance or multiple mortgages payments.
  4. Avoid any risk of uncertainty like your buyer’s financing falling through or dealing with property inspections that weren’t satisfactory to them.
  5. No need to make the needed repairs, get caught up on late payments, settle outstanding utility bills, tax liens or more.
  6. Also, please understand that the price they agree on is the price you walk away with! This is a net cash offer = money in your pocket.
  7. Most are knowledgeable and have an excellent reputation.

How do I know you are legit?

It’s important to do your research. Call around and get a couple of quotes.

One of my favorite ways to tell if they are legit is if they have testimonials on their website. Legit investors will tell you about other families they have helped.

Also give them a call and see if they sound professional. Do they return your call right away? Do they seem to know what they are talking about?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

At the end of the day, it’s your home and your life. You need to make the right decision for you.

But it’s also important to know that real estate transactions aren’t what they use to be. You have options when selling your home and it’s important to be educated on the ways you can sell your house fast.

Guide Editor Tue, 18 Dec 2018 00:28:53 -0500
3 Things You Should Know Before Putting Your House on Airbnb Renting out a room in your house or the entire house is often touted as a great way to earn extra money. And in many cases, it could be a great way to get income from a spare room or your property. What many don’t realize are the risks and potential problems this can cause, and we aren’t just talking about the unauthorized party while you’re on vacation. Here are three things you should know before putting your house on Airbnb.

Royalty Free Photo

Your Goals

If you want to earn some extra income, you can rent out a room on Airbnb when it is convenient for you. If you’re seeking consistent, reliable secondary income, you’ll have to provide consistently excellent service and serve a steady stream of customers. Income replacement may require turning your home into a de facto bed and breakfast. Know your goals so you can set expectations from the onset so that you get what you expect out of Airbnb.


If you have standard car insurance, you probably don’t know that it doesn’t cover you if you’re being paid to drive your vehicle. The auto insurance company won’t cover you when you’re in an accident acting as a delivery driver or Uber driver because you were engaging in a higher risk activity than the policy you signed up for.

This same logic applies to your homeowners’ insurance. You can run into insurance issues with Airbnb in several different ways. In California, for instance, hosting people through Airbnb is considered a business pursuit.

If the visitor is injured on your property, you’ll have to go through the HPI insurance Airbnb offers. Unfortunately, their insurance only covers the scheduled stay, so it doesn’t protect you if the person is injured when they show up early or stay late. And it doesn’t cover extra people who show up to stay. If the person is injured when they aren’t covered by the Airbnb policy, your homeowners’ insurance won’t cover it due to exclusions in the homeowner policy for business use.

Another consideration is the exclusions in Airbnb’s policy. It won’t cover you if someone intentionally vandalizes the property – and neither will your homeowner’s insurance. It won’t cover product liability, such as when someone is injured by an appliance in your home. It doesn’t provide any coverage if Airbnb decides to sue you, either. You probably want to get additional coverage above and beyond your existing home owner’s insurance policy if you’re going to be an Airbnb host.

The Legal Considerations

Depending on where the house is located, you may be legally required to acquire a permit or business license to rent via Airbnb. Note that these may be listed under rules for short-term occupancy. Then there’s the fact that you may not be allowed to rent out property full time via Airbnb in many jurisdictions.

Your Homeowners Association may limit Airbnb rentals or prohibit them altogether. Your mortgage lender may also consider it a violation of the mortgage to turn a private home into a de facto hotel. If you use Airbnb to help pay your mortgage, know that using the property this way could affect the interest rate you have to pay if you try to refinance the home loan.


Do your due diligence before you decide to put your home up on Airbnb. Miss one of the issues we’ve outlined above and you could run into serious problems in your effort to earn extra money.

Guide Editor Sun, 16 Dec 2018 22:43:45 -0500
Important Steps for Increasing Your Credit Score Your credit score is a reflection of your credit behavior over a long time. If it’s really bad, improving it will require you to have great financial discipline. However, improving it is not an impossible feat. In this article, we give you tips to achieve this goal.

Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt

Your credit card balance is arrived at by considering the debt you own, the number of credit cards that you have that have an outstanding balance, and the amount of credit you have used. Total credit debt will be compared to the credit you have available to get an idea of your debt to credit ratio. In case the numbers of this ratio are very close to each other, this negatively affects your credit score.

Paying off your credit card debt is a good way of improving your debt to credit ratio and credit score. There are a number of ways that you can improve your credit card balances including:

  • Pay all the credit balances in the various cards you have rather than moving the debt around and then use one or two cards for your purchases
  • Ensure you do not open new credit cards in an attempt to increase your score
  • Keep your unused or paid credit cards balances open as closing them removes your good repayment record from your score

Pay Your Bills Promptly and Fully

Your payment history is one of the factors that greatly affect your credit score. According to, this history accounts for 35% of your credit score. If in the past you had missed payments, or you know you always pay your bills late you need to change this. Paying your bill on time and in full will improve your credit scores. Below are a few tips that can use to help you pay your bills on time and in full:

  • Have payment reminders from your bank or credit card providers
  • Use your credit card to buy what you can afford
  • Even if you are looking to make a major purchase such as a home, look for a mortgage specialist who will help you manage your finances
  • If you are in financial problems, seek the help of a credit counselor or make your creditors aware so that you can work out a means of managing your credit

Use Credit and Keep Your Utilization Rate Low

If you have a non-existence credit score, you might need to get a credit or debit card to improve your score. According to CNBC Bank, a credit score is very important since it determines the interest rate you will pay when you need a loan or a mortgage. While making cash payments is a good thing, it will not improve your credit score. If you have an in-active credit card start, using it rather than getting a new one. A longer credit history from your old card might be better than a shorter history from a new card.

In addition, manage your credit card balance by keeping the utilization rate low. This rate helps determine your credit score. A lower utilization score means a better score. Aim not to exceed 30% of your credit card limit.

Make small purchases monthly to increase your credit score steadily. Additionally, ask for a credit report to keep track of your spending and to note any errors in your credit card that might negatively affect your credit score.

In conclusion, improving your credit score might take some time and financial discipline on your part. The above guidelines can help you consistently improve your credit score.

Guide Editor Thu, 06 Dec 2018 21:46:35 -0500
The Easiest Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Whether you’re buying or selling, it’s wise to know the areas of a home that increase value. Even if you’re comfortable in your current situation, at some point renovations, disaster cleanup or an appraisal will force you to evaluate what a home is worth. We’re here to help you figure it out.

Construction Zone

Remodeling is the new norm when it comes to owning a home. Many residents are opting to pump money into their own houses rather than purchase new cars or spend on extravagant vacations. The practice can be seen as exciting and as an investment. As the remodeling industry cruises past record levels, homes everywhere are seeing their value increase. That’s great for both sellers and buyers.

Prospective residents are getting a cushion on the price tag of older homes with new features. Sellers are on the opposite side of this swing. They’re bringing up the price tag on their older homes by installing trendy features or additions. This is especially true for older homeowners, as owners 65-years-old and up are responsible for nearly half of all spending in this area. It’s a win-win situation for everyone in real estate. The key is knowing where to find the value.

Location, Location, Location

Where you spend matters. Not every renovation provides the same return. Spending a fortune to outfit your basement as a home theater is not the same as fixing up your kitchen. In fact, the most valuable returns are oftentimes the least sexy ones. It’s spaces that need to be fixed up that give you the most return on your investment. As un-fun as is it sounds to replace your garage door, that’s exactly what your home needs. The good news is that not many reno projects will be so cheap. The same can be said for replacing an entry door or adding a stone veneer to your home.

Of course, some remodels should be just for fun. If you don’t plan on moving, and adding a game room to your home provides you the most joy, then go ahead and add a game room. When it comes to strictly squeezing as much value out of your home as possible, you want to play it smart. So where do you begin? That’s easy. You start with what’s necessary.

Managing Disaster

Nothing is more frustrating than being impacted negatively by something unexpected. In homeownership terms, this most often occurs when disaster strikes. Flood, fire and home mishaps can leave your property in a sad state. The condition of spaces affected by such catastrophes oftentimes never see improvement and the property value suffers because of them. That’s why it’s important to address the situation head-on.

First things first: Be safe. Dangerous conditions can remain dangerous even after the initial wave of effects. It’s best to let the professionals handle the job for this reason. When it comes to something as devastating as water damage, you can’t do better than a company like Service Master. Getting the job done quickly and correctly is goal number-one in this situation.

Kitchen Cleanup

Okay, so not all important remodels are boring. Small kitchen renos provide value and, when done right, are also affordable. Plus who doesn’t love picking out a new backsplash and cabinet colors? We advise against installing marble countertops and expensive chandeliers, but a smaller redo of this space is just good home management.

Exterior Facelift

Did we mention that something as simple as painting can get your home the looks you’re craving? Combine it with a few new siding and the whole neighborhood will be talking. Small improvements like adding new shutters are different enough to tweak the look of your entire house. If you’re selling, that’s exactly the route you should consider.

Great Outdoor Space

This one is easy and great for the family. One of the biggest renovation projects you can undertake is barely a renovation at all! Something as simple as placing a fire pit in your yard, creating a few flowerbeds or constructing a fence can add a whole new look to your home. These options, and plenty like them, are affordable and fun for the whole family.

When done right, renovations are a great way to add value to your home. It’s difficult to make smart decisions when remodeling, but this guide should help you get started. So, what are you waiting for?

Guide Editor Mon, 19 Nov 2018 23:19:39 -0500
New Projects by Emaar Properties

Established in 1997, Emaar Properties has singled handily transformed Dubai skyline and residential landscape. Selling over 90,000 properties sold since its inception, Emaar is behind some of not only Dubai’s but also the world’s most iconic buildings; the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab to name a few. Along with world record-breaking structures Emaar has also built a number of world-class communities including Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, and its most famous villa community; Arabian Ranches. So, with so much already done what's next for this giant developer? Let’s have a look at some of the new and exciting Emaar Properties developments coming soon.

Dubai Creek Harbour

Set to become the new center of Dubai, Dubai Creek Harbour is a revolutionary new age project situated in the historic Dubai Creek. Featuring a total of nine distinct districts set over a land area over 6 square kilometers Dubai Creek truly is, a mega project. This focal point and biggest attraction at Dubai Creek will the world record-breaking Dubai Creek Tower. With a height of over 1000 meters it is set to become the world tallest structure and with that become a massive tourist attraction for not only Dubai Creek but also Dubai. Designed by world-renowned Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, this iconic structure is set to feature numerous observation decks offering unrivaled 360 Degree views of Dubai and beyond.

Outside of being home to the world tallest structure, the Dubai Creek will also host the world’s largest shopping mall; Dubai Square. This revolutionary retail and entertainment project will offer over 8million sq. ft. of retail space equivalent to more than 100 football fields. This will make it almost double the size of Dubai Mall, currently the world’s biggest. Split across three levels, Dubai Square will feature one of the world’s largest Chinatown communities as well as an events arena and a host of luxury retail, dining and leisure outlets. Outside of just retail and entertainment options, Dubai Square will have a purposeful “tech-driven” focus offering customers a way of shopping that’s not been seen before.

Significant new real estate projects at Dubai Creek Harbor include The Grand, The Address and Breeze.

Emaar Beachfront

Nested in between Dubai Marina and the Palm Jumeirah, Emaar Beachfront is Emaar’s first ever beach front community. Inspired by the world famous south beach Miami skyline, Emaar Beachfront delivers the best of beachside living amidst the exclusivity of a private island residence.

Designed to bring the convenience of urban living within a first-class beachfront setting, this resort-style community will feature a total of 27 towers. These will be made up of predominantly residential with some hotel towers included.

Positioned in a pristine location, Emaar Beachfront residents will have direct access to 1.5km of white-sand beach along with direct access to a new Marina. All apartments at the Emaar Beachfront project will feature high-end interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows capturing stunning views of either the Dubai Marina Skyline or Palm Jumeirah. Along with amazing views, residents will also enjoy world-class building amenities as well as easy access to a host of entertainment, leisure, and retail outlets.

As of Q4 2018, there has been a total of three projects launched at Emaar Beachfront. The first of these was Beach Vista which sold in under 48 hours followed by Sunrise Bay and Marina Vista. Considering the successful sales of each, the next phase of projects to be released is expected in early 2019.

Guide Editor Thu, 15 Nov 2018 09:50:19 -0500
Fixing Your Front Lawn Before Selling Your Home  

 Curb appeal - you’ve heard the term before with regards to real estate. It means how your home looks from the street. If your property is attractive, with good style and obvious upkeep, it has good curb appeal - but if your front yard is dry and dead and the house is crumbling at the seams, its curb appeal is poor, and not a single buyer will step foot inside.

However, if you just repainted, bought all-new exterior fixtures and otherwise shored up your curb appeal, you still might be turning off buyers with an unhealthy front lawn. Buyers want to know they aren’t inheriting your old lawn problems, like fungus or grubs, so they look for thick, verdant grass at every property they visit. If you are struggling to make your grass as green as it can be, read on for tips and tricks for fixing your front lawn fast.

Is It the Season?

Most lawns go dormant in the cold season, meaning they look brown, crunchy and dead, but they aren’t. If you remember your lawn being green this summer and you expect your lawn to be green again in spring, you shouldn’t worry too much what it looks like now, during the winter. At this time of the year, buyers are more forgiving of how yards look; they understand that you can’t produce bright summer blooms when it is actively snowing. If it doesn’t snow in your area, you can consider sprinkling seed for cold-season grasses over your lawn to provide a pop of green color for your buyers. Then, if your house is still on the market when the weather warms up, you should make sure your regular lawn looks its best with proper care.

Is It the Water?

Lawns need about an inch and a half of water per week, even during the winter. If you have a sprinkler system in place, you might think your lawn is getting enough water, but you should check to be sure. Set small containers - like empty tuna cans or comparably sized Tupperware - on several spots around your lawn. After your sprinklers are set to shut off, go out and check the water levels in your containers. They should all be roughly equal, and one container’s contents should add up to an inch and a half over the course of the week. If you find that several spaces on your lawn aren’t getting any water, you might need professional sprinkler repair and maintenance before you can fix your lawn in other ways.

Is It Use?

There is a reason so many parks and professional spaces have “Don’t walk on the grass” signs: Your lawn doesn’t like it when you stomp all over it. Though you should feel okay using your lawn for occasional play - like football on Thanksgiving or the occasional summer barbecue - you should avoid walking on it every day, especially in the same path. Doing this compacts the soil around the grass’s roots, preventing them from breathing and growing properly. To counteract this, you should aerate your lawn, especially in the most compacted areas, and consider installing a hardscaped path across the lawn if necessary.

Is It Pests?

You love your lawn - why wouldn’t bugs? In truth, your lawn is an ecosystem filled with creepy-crawlies, but some bugs do irreparable damage from the moment they touch down. Though at first glance pest damage looks like any other dried or dead lawn, if you look close, you should be able to see clear signs of pests: worms and grubs in the soil, lacey blades, an overabundance of moths, etc. Spraying the right kind of pesticide on your grass can help, but you might need to fertilize or seed the dead portions to grow them back fast.

Is It Disease?

Another difficult-to-detect lawn problem is disease. Your lawn can contract a disease the same way you do: by coming into contact with harmful spores and pathogens. As with pests, it’s easy to dismiss a diseased lawn as dying for some other reason, but there are patterns to different diseases. If you can find white spots on the blades, a pinkish or grayish tinge, circular bare patches or some other fishy-looking issue, you are probably dealing with a lawn disease. It is best to call a professional to diagnose your precise problem and administer treatment.

You want to fix your lawn fast so you can sell your home fast - it makes sense. If you take the above knowledge and apply it to your lawn care, you should be growing a thick, green lawn in no time, which means buyers will be lining up at your door.

Guide Editor Mon, 05 Nov 2018 21:48:15 -0500
What could be eating the food in your pantry? If you have been finding that there is a lot less food in your pantry than you would expect, you should not necessarily blame your kids. Uninvited guests could be the culprits. Pests often take a liking to food they found in the homes that they invade.

If you suspect that pests like ants, flies or rodents have got into your home, you need to find out more about pest control as soon as possible. If you do not take immediate action, the problem is only going to get worse.

What sort of pests could be eating your food?

There are many different pests that can make their way into a home and help themselves to pantry items such as breakfast cereals, pasta and rice. In addition to ants, flies and rodents, you may find that you have beetles, moths and spiders for housemates, amongst others.

It’s important to remember that losing some food from your pantry could be the least of your worries. Depending on the type of pests you have a problem with, you could face several issues including:

  • Droppings and urine that can cause breathing problems such as asthma to worsen.
  • Chewed wooden structures.
  • Chewed electrical wiring.
  • Bites and stings to people living in your home.
  • The spread of bacteria and germs causing illnesses such as salmonella.

You can see why it’s so important to deal with a pest problem as quickly as possible.

How to get rid of the pests in your home

If you discover that pests have been eating the food in your pantry, you should get rid of any affected food straight away. You should also thoroughly clean and disinfect the pantry. Once you have done this, you can take other DIY measures to try and control the problem such as:

  • Setting mouse traps where you see signs of the presence of mice such as urine, droppings or chewing of wires.
  • Using a soap and water solution to spray pests such as flies and ants.
  • Spreading Diatomaceous Earth around your home to kill insects.
  • Using nematodes (microscopic worms) to kill termites.
  • Filling in gaps and cracks in the walls of your property, so that pests can no longer gain entry.
  • Fixing leaks and dealing with damp issues so that pests do not have access to water.
  • Making sure that the pantry and kitchen in your home are kept clear of food debris, removing a potential source of food for pests.

Taking all of these actions can help to relive a pest problem in your home. However, infestations are often best dealt with by seeking help from professionals; click here to find out more.

If your pantry stock is depleting, you may be able to solve the issue by identifying a pest problem and getting professional help to rid your home of these pests. In doing so, you an also save yourself from a lot of expensive repairs necessitated by damage caused by the invaders.

Guide Editor Tue, 30 Oct 2018 00:23:16 -0400
What could be eating the food in your pantry? If you have been finding that there is a lot less food in your pantry than you would expect, you should not necessarily blame your kids. Uninvited guests could be the culprits. Pests often take a liking to food they found in the homes that they invade.

If you suspect that pests like ants, flies or rodents have got into your home, you need to find out more about pest control as soon as possible. If you do not take immediate action, the problem is only going to get worse.

What sort of pests could be eating your food?

There are many different pests that can make their way into a home and help themselves to pantry items such as breakfast cereals, pasta and rice. In addition to ants, flies and rodents, you may find that you have beetles, moths and spiders for housemates, amongst others.

It’s important to remember that losing some food from your pantry could be the least of your worries. Depending on the type of pests you have a problem with, you could face several issues including:

  • Droppings and urine that can cause breathing problems such as asthma to worsen.
  • Chewed wooden structures.
  • Chewed electrical wiring.
  • Bites and stings to people living in your home.
  • The spread of bacteria and germs causing illnesses such as salmonella.

You can see why it’s so important to deal with a pest problem as quickly as possible.

How to get rid of the pests in your home

If you discover that pests have been eating the food in your pantry, you should get rid of any affected food straight away. You should also thoroughly clean and disinfect the pantry. Once you have done this, you can take other DIY measures to try and control the problem such as:

  • Setting mouse traps where you see signs of the presence of mice such as urine, droppings or chewing of wires.
  • Using a soap and water solution to spray pests such as flies and ants.
  • Spreading Diatomaceous Earth around your home to kill insects.
  • Using nematodes (microscopic worms) to kill termites.
  • Filling in gaps and cracks in the walls of your property, so that pests can no longer gain entry.
  • Fixing leaks and dealing with damp issues so that pests do not have access to water.
  • Making sure that the pantry and kitchen in your home are kept clear of food debris, removing a potential source of food for pests.

Taking all of these actions can help to relive a pest problem in your home. However, infestations are often best dealt with by seeking help from professionals; click here to find out more.

If your pantry stock is depleting, you may be able to solve the issue by identifying a pest problem and getting professional help to rid your home of these pests. In doing so, you an also save yourself from a lot of expensive repairs necessitated by damage caused by the invaders.

Guide Editor Mon, 29 Oct 2018 08:15:21 -0400
How To Find A Profitable Investment Property

Finding a good investment property in the Fort Lauderdale area requires many steps, and you need to be certain that you have thought about what you can do to get the most money out of each property.  You could have the property become a rental, or it could be a house that you flip.  You might purchase an office building, or you could buy a warehouse that will become another rental space for local businesses.  Decide what the best option is for you while you begin to look at listings around the area.

  1. Learn How To Assess Properties

You will learn from BREIA of Fort Lauderdale and similar places how to assess properties.  You might want to have a checklist that you can use, and you will check off boxes on that list as you decide what will make the property valuable.  You will use these tips to assess properties using the tips listed below, and you will use that education to take the eyeball test on each of these new properties.

  1. Who Will Buy Or Rent The Location?

You must decide who will rent this location, and you will notice that you could use the location as a warehouse for another business, flip the property to sell, turn the house into a duplex, or start renting office space.  You might rent retail space, or you could sell your space as a vacation timeshare.  It all depends on what is best for you, and you could look into many options for renting or buying.  Choose the most profitable arrangement you can find.

  1. Location

You have to get properties that are in good locations.  The properties that sit in bad places are extremely hard for you to sell or rent because no one wants to be there.  You have to have a look at places around the area that will be safe for your buyers or renters, and you could look at spots that have a lot of different things in the area that make it more fun to be there.  You also need to check the location in terms of phone and Internet availability because your tenants might need these services.

  1. The Price

You can negotiate the price as much as you want, and you might get a much better price from the seller if you have worn them down.  Some of them will be happy to sell to anyone who is willing to pay something even close to their asking price, and you must work with each person to get a deal you really want.

  1. Hire A Manager

You should hire a manager if you are planning to rent your property.  You need someone who can help you take care of the property, and they will collect rent along with handling maintenance and talking to tenants.

You can make your property much more profitable if you have used all the steps above, and you must learn how to assess properties so that you know what you are looking at.  These few tips make it much easier for you to get into real estate investment the right way.

Guide Editor Mon, 15 Oct 2018 02:20:19 -0400
5 Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Tenants for Your Rental Property   Choosing the right tenants can be an overwhelming and confusing process for many landlords. It's kind of like you're a hiring boss, and you're interviewing a slew of candidates, hoping to find the perfect fit for your job opening. The difference is, if it doesn't work out in a job setting, you can easily part ways. When you're a landlord, getting rid of a bad tenant can be a tedious and time-consuming process. That's why it's important to find the right fit before you sign the lease.

But, how do you find the right tenants for your rental property? This article will guide you through the process, helping you find quality, long-term tenants that make the job of being a landlord rewarding.

  1. Know Your Neighborhoods

What kind of tenants are you trying to attract? By being able to answer this question, you'll be able to speak to your property in a way that's enticing for your ideal renters.

If you're targeting families, be ready to talk about the surrounding amenities that family life has to offer, the fact that there are plenty of attractions around, and the activities other families in the area enjoy doing.

If you're trying to attract Millennials, think about things they might like. Are there great coffee shops around? Is your property within walking distance of great restaurants and weekend activities?

Remember, your ideal tenants are searching for their ideal rental, so they'll be looking for the kinds of keywords associated with the answers to these questions.

  1. Run a Credit Check

It's not enough for someone to simply tell you they can pay the rent; you need to see that for yourself. By running a credit check, you'll be able to identify red flags far in advance of problems you might run into if they become your renter, such as:

  • This isn't always a deal-breaker, but if an applicant has a bankruptcy on his or her credit history, it's certainly something to be aware of.
  • Debt-to-Credit Ratio.An applicant could make $100,000 a year, but if they have $95,000 in debt, they don't have much left over to pay the rent. On the other hand, an applicant might only make $30,000 a year, but if they don't have debt, they're a better candidate.

During this step, you'll also want to verify income by obtaining recent pay stubsand monthly earnings. You will also want to speak with their previous landlord to see if they paid their rent on time and to make sure the kept the property in good condition. It's best to find a tenant whose monthly income is at least three times the rent you're asking for.

  1. Run a Criminal Background Check

This is another step that'll help you identify potential problems well in advance of dealing with them as their landlord. Be mindful of the laws, however. Some states require you to obtain written permission before you run a background check. Some states also prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters with certain criminal convictions.

  1. Contact References

Don't just take your applicants' words for it that their references are great; get proof, then get on the phone. You can also request references from former neighbors. Have your questions ready before you hop on the calls, so you can jot down answers.

  • Did the tenant pay on time?
  • Did others complain about this person?
  • Did this person voice excessive complaints to you?
  • Did they give proper notice before moving out?
  • Did they tell you why they're moving out?
  • Was there any damage or excessive dirtiness to the property when they left?
  1. Hire a Property Management Company

A lot of landlords don't realize they can hire a property management company to take care of these details. Not only will property management firms take care of the advertising, screening, and lease preparations, but they'll deal with the day-to-day tasks associated with ongoing tenant/landlord relationships. They offer peace of mind and a plethora of specific experience.

Being a landlord isn't necessarily easy, and there are plenty of things that could go wrong, but if you put the proper plans in place from the very beginning, you and your tenants can enjoy a long and happy relationship together.

Guide Editor Tue, 02 Oct 2018 22:51:30 -0400
Where to Eat in Montreal's Rosemont Neighborhood Those who are moving into the newly available condos in Rosemont may have chosen the neighborhood for its proximity to their workplace, but there’s another good reason to live here. You have plenty of excellent restaurants to try out and patronize.

The neighborhood seems to have absorbed the various culinary personalities of its surrounding neighborhoods. It does save you the trouble of driving to another area when you can walk to a nearby restaurant to enjoy bodacious brunches, terrific Haitian fare, or French cuisine.


It’s easy enough to realize that the brunches are terrific here, as there are literally long lines on weekends for the brunches they serve. You can get a multi-level plate with an assortment of their homemade pastries and spreads, or you can try the Oeuf & Boeuf beef cheek cooked for 8 hours in molasse, with Panko egg and grilled focaccia. Another popular option is the trout gravlax cured in Jägermeister.

But just in case you didn’t know, here’s a tip: these brunches are available on weekdays as well.

La Boulette

This place is famous for offering upscale comfort food before the rest of the city caught on to the trend of offering high-quality burgers and tartares. The place focuses on fresh produce from local sources, and they get their buns from the superb bakery Arhoma. Of all the burger spots in the city, La Boulette has perhaps the ritziest wine list full of private imports.

Sandwicherie Sue

Rosemont is fairly well-known for the numerous locations with fantastic sandwiches, and Sandwicherie Sue is a great example. You’ll find exciting versions of the Vietnamese sandwich banh mi, along with sandwiches with sautéed Chinese eggplants or fresh shiitake mushrooms.

Zytynsky’s Deli

This is another place where you can find excellent sandwiches. It’s actually a landmark establishment in the neighborhood, as it was founded by a Ukrainian sausage maker about a hundred years ago. Now the 3rd generation of that family is still running the place, and you have a sandwich counter by the deli and grocery store where you can sample the hand-smoked Ukrainian style charcuterie right away.


This is a bit of an eccentric place because for some reason the people behind Akwaba think it’s okay to combine African cuisine with Greek dishes in the very same menu. But somehow, it all works fine when you try the moussaka and the mafe peanut stew. You should also try the Choukouya with its spiced, braised meat.

Une Nuit à Bangkok

Some fans of Une Nuit à Bangkok think that this is actually the best Thai restaurant in the entire city. The quality of the menu items is superb, even if the number of selections here isn’t as high as what you may find in other Thai places elsewhere. For Une Nuit à Bangkok, it’s the quality and not the quantity that counts and they’ve concentrated in perfecting their curry, noodle, and soup dishes. Your first visit here will be like One Night in Bangkok.

Détour Bistro

Why go to Hochelaga for some French cuisine when you have Détour Bistro right here in Rosemont? The quality of the food here can compare with the rest of the city when it comes to their profiteroles, garlic escargot, and tartare.

Chez Toutou

Are you in the mood for Haitian fare? Come here to Chez Toutou where they serve you their spiced fired meat called griot along with lots of rice and plantains. These people don’t make a fuss—they let the food speak for themselves.

Casa Vinho

This Portuguese restaurant will provide you with all the hallmarks of Portuguese cuisine. You’ll find rotisserie chicken and pork fillet in porto sauce, along with a wide variety of seafood including grilled octopus.

Guide Editor Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:15:09 -0400
How to Save Big Money With Small Home Maintenance Tasks

Here’s just a short list of the expenses new homeowners incur when they purchase their first property:

  • Inspection fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Brokerage fees
  • Processing fees
  • Underwriting fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Title insurance fees
  • Homeowners’ insurance fees
  • Signing fees
  • Recording fees
  • Property taxes
  • Moving expenses

Even the least expensive home in the cheapest corner of the country demands thousands of dollars to acquire - and then homeowners are expected to have money left over for home maintenance. Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs on home maintenance without endangering the investment. Here are a few of the most significant ways homeowners can reduce their maintenance expenses today.

Get a Home Warranty

If your home tastes tend toward the old and charming, you will likely need to perform more maintenance on your home than most. You might expect that to mean either you need to be exceedingly skilled in the handyman arts or you need to have enough money to pay a professional to do your fixes for you. Fortunately, there is a secret third option: acquiring a home warranty.

Home warranties split the difference between doing every home maintenance task yourself and hiring a contractor for every little thing. With a home warranty, you pay a monthly fee to protect the complex and integral systems around your home, like your large appliances, plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Should one of these systems break down, your warranty provider will send a professional to repair or replace the system as necessary. You will pay a small service fee for each visit, but that will be dramatically less than the full cost you would otherwise incur.

Home warranty programs vary, so it is imperative that you shop around to find the plan that fits your home and your maintenance needs. You should talk to warranty providers, read online reviews and consult with realtors to get the best deal. Then, you should focus your energies on smaller maintenance tasks to prevent the development of larger, costlier problems around your home.

Change Air Filters on Schedule

Your HVAC sucks air from your home, cools or heats it and then blows it back into your rooms and hallways. To prevent dust and debris from settling inside the machines and vents, your HVAC has a filter installed over the intake, so the filter will catch all that dust and debris first.

As you might expect, your filter will get congested with junk over time, forcing your HVAC to work harder to pull in an adequate amount of air. Thus, to keep your HVAC working optimally, you need to replace your air filters regularly. Experts say you should religiously install new filters every three months — every month if you have pets and/or bad allergies. If you want to avoid the expense of purchasing brand-new filters this often, you can invest in reusable filters that you clean and reinstall.

Test Smoke Alarms

Here’s a scenario: You wake up at 2 A.M. to a piercing beep; then, at 3 A.M., and at 4 A.M., the beep sounds again and again all night long, preventing your beauty sleep. It’s your smoke detector, telling you its batteries are dead.

Here’s a worse scenario: You sleep soundly as the odorless carbon monoxide seeps into your room. Without waking, first your pets by your bed expire, and then you pass into oblivion, all without waking. Your smoke alarm should have notified you of this toxic gas, but you never checked to see if it was working properly.

To avoid the first scene, you can hardwire your smoke alarms into your home’s electrical system, preventing the need for regular battery changes. Then, once per month, you should press the “test” button on each device in your home to ensure they are all working properly.

Clean Behind Appliances

You might knock the frost of your freezer’s shelves every so often or clean the lint trap in the dryer whenever you do laundry, but you should be doing more to improve your appliances’ efficiency and prevent excessive damage to your home.

Though it is undoubtedly laborious, you should pull your appliances away from the wall and clear out all the dust and debris accumulated underneath and behind them. Doing this reduces the risk of fire by taking away highly flammable material resting near heating elements and electrical outlets. Additionally, dust and debris often makes appliances work harder to heat, cool or perform the task they are intended to do. Plus, this chore eliminates dirt and grime that could clog your air filters or exacerbate allergies. It is a win-win-win that you shouldn’t ignore.

Guide Editor Wed, 22 Aug 2018 21:07:49 -0400
5 Simple Steps To Find An Affordable Moving Company When you are thinking of relocating to a new home, you will have to hire professional movers to help you out. Searching for the best company that suits your needs can be quite time-consuming and challenging. However, with the right business, you will have an easier moving process. One thing you do not need is a company that charges a lot of money for services rendered. Here are tips to help you get a company you can afford.

Seek a company early

Even if you are moving in a few months, it is best to start looking for a moving company right away. When you have adequate time at hand, you will have more choices, which will help you make the right decision. Furthermore, booking early can earn you a price discount, which can save you lots of money in the long run.

Compare quotes

Take time to get quotes from different companies and compare and contrast them. This will help you to know the labor or services provided, and the overall cost of moving. Even if you feel like choosing the cheapest company, you need to get reasons why their price estimates seem lower than the rest. There may be some hidden charges that are not included in the quote. Make sure that the company provides additional information and clarification.

Seek reliable recommendations

The best way of finding a reliable and inexpensive moving company is by inquiring from people who have used these services before. Ask people you know; closest friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even family members. These people will tell you about their experiences and the companies that you can hire to save several bucks. With the right recommendations, you will know the most reliable and affordable West Palm Beach moving companies.

Read genuine moving reviews

You can locate cheap and good movers by reading reviews and personal testimonials on the internet. Many consumers love writing reviews and testimonials about their experiences with moving companies. You can check out moving websites or forums and get recommendations from other consumers. This way, you will know what to expect from your preferred moving partners with regard to reliability, professionalism, and affordability. 


You should never be afraid of negotiating a lower price with moving companies. The price of relocating is never fixed and will depend on different factors such as total cargo weight, relocation distance, time, season, and many more. Remember that movers will want to lock you in with affordable prices so that you are not tempted to go elsewhere. Negotiate by asking for discounts such as a first-time client, a student, or more, and you may end up getting the price you want.

If the moving company provides in-house surveys, then you should request a few to come to your home and give you an exact cost of moving. This is a much better and affordable solution because most price estimates offered through e-mail or over the phone tend to be inaccurate, and they may have additional costs that you may not determine at that moment. When professionals come to your home, you will avoid any surprise costs because they will analyze everything and even any challenges they may face.

Guide Editor Tue, 07 Aug 2018 10:46:43 -0400
Why Have Sydney's Auction Clearance Rates Been Falling? Auction clearance levels in Sydney are the lowest that they’ve been in years. The clearance rates in 2015 fell to 73% and many people called it a drop in the property prices for Sydney. This was contrasted by a preceding decade of growth recorded by the Australia price index.

In 2017 the rates for Sydney’s auctions started to reach 50-60% and if auction clearance rates reached 70%,it was a blessing. For the duration of most preceding years, the auction rates reached were more than 70% but in 2017, these average levels fell by nearly 10-20%.

There must be a few reasons for this, lets, find out what they are.

Policies Implemented by APRA

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is an organization responsible for overseeing the mortgage industry in Australia. This means all its policies have a direct impact on Australia’s property market.

Focus Away from Investors in 2015

The 2015 fall in auction clearance rates was tied in with APRA’s policies. Investors were given more loans in preceding years by lenders. It was these investors that APRA sought to curb. Lenders were told by APRA divert their efforts to residential borrowers.

The implementation of the policy meant that investors looked away from Sydney as a lucrative investment market. It became increasingly difficult for investors to secure financing to purchase properties in 2015. This lead to a decline in Sydney’s auction clearance rates throughout the year.

APRA wanted to deal with increased housing prices with the policy but that did not happen as Sydney’s housing prices continued to increase throughout 2015.

Restricting Interest Only Loans in 2017

In 2017, APRA’s policies were different and seemed to counter interest only loans. Investors looking to invest through, and other auction sites, prefer these kinds of loans. That’s because they offer tax deductions and considerably lower monthly costs.

APRA restricted loan applications of this kind to just 30%. This again meant investors were discouraged to attend auctions, because of lack of financing options.

Both of these policies by APRA caused a restriction for investors to get financing for properties. They ended up missing out auctions and that resulted in the lower auction clearance rates after each policy was implemented. But that wasn’t the only reason.

First Time Buyers

APRA’s policies should have made it easy for first time home buyers as the FHOG (First Home Owner’s Grant) provides much needed financial assistance to buyers and stamp duty exemptions would have provided even more support.

But the increasing trend of housing prices from 2011 to 2016 (almost 70%), has affected first time home buyers more and APRA’s policies have provided little help. The national average of housing prices was around $680,000. Sydney’s most affordable houses are more than this national average.

The average housing price for the region stands at over $1 million. This is too much for a first-time buyer to begin with. The increases in housing prices are slowing down in recent times but the damage has occurred in the past three years.

The buyers have to save more to afford down payments, and this is not good considering that they are the supposed replacements for the investors that have taken their money elsewhere.

Guide Editor Mon, 09 Jul 2018 02:03:21 -0400
3 of the Best Neighborhoods to Live in Iowa With Iowa ranked as one of the safest states to live in the US, it is proving attractive to residents and businesses alike.  Along with the low cost of living and low house prices, it tops the list for many people looking to move away from their home states.  However, with 947 cities to choose from, it can prove nearly impossible to choose the right place to call your next home.  To help you along, we have chosen three of the best cities in Iowa which you would be wise to check out:

Royalty Free Photo

Sioux Center

Listed as the safest city in Iowa, Sioux Center makes it to the top spot in this list.  It is relatively small with a population of only around 7000 but this is slowly increasing as the city becomes more popular with young people.  In fact, only 14.5% of the population are aged 65 or over.  The average household income is around $66,000 and the average house price here is $183,000, so if you are just starting out on the property ladder, it can make sense to first look at renting an apartment before you commit to making a sale.  Sioux Center also has the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Iowa which makes it the perfect place to work and settle down if you are looking for stability.  Sioux Center also has a low crime rate making it attractive to couples looking to start a family.


Situated along the Mississippi River to the East of Iowa lies Davenport, which was actually named as the most livable small city in America in 2007.  A large city with a population of around 99,000, Davenport offers its residents two universities, over 50 parks, and two major US highways.  There are plenty of public and private schools to choose from for families moving into the area and young professionals have the opportunity to commute to work with Davenport’s close proximity to Chicago and Des Moines.  There are also many music festivals held annually providing residents with free entertainment celebrating the different cultures and community coming together.  Davenport apartments are affordable with an average house or condo value estimated at around $126,000 in the year 2016.


Johnston is home to some of the highest earning residents in the whole of Iowa.  Located around Beaver Creek, which flows into Des Moines River, this quiet city proves popular with residents rating it number two in the list of best places to raise a family in Iowa.  However, with the high average earnings comes high house prices and so the average here is nearly $240,000.  Do not let this put you off though, as there are new apartment buildings currently being built to attract buyers from further afield.  Johnston offers eight public schools with some of them ranking top in the state and there are plenty of parks and amenities close by.

Researching the many places Iowa has to offer can prove to be dull and arduous, but the three cities listed above can act as a starting point for anyone looking to move to this popular state.

Guide Editor Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:27:21 -0400
5 Ways to Make Your Property Safer

Tragedy never announces itself before striking, so it’s up to us to prepare accordingly and that holds true for home safety as well. Whether you live in a somewhat secluded area or in a neighborhood that’s not exactly known for its safety, here are five ways to make sure that your property remains as protected as possible, without having to spend a fortune on security.

Royalty Free Photo

Use Chain Link Fencing

Security is just one of the many benefits of chain link fencing, but it’s most certainly one of the major pros. Do make sure that the fencing is at least 6 feet high and the wire used is 9-gauge thick to ensure that it can truly hold up, if the need arises. It won’t give you a lot of privacy of course, but in an isolated region, the see-through nature of the chain link fence will enable you to keep an eye on things outside.

Secure All Entry Points

All entry points to the property need to be properly secured and that includes windows too. Skip the beautiful but fragile glass-and-wood design in favor of stronger stuff like seasoned mahogany or even steel for not just the front door, but all doors that allow entry from the outside. The same advice goes for windows too, so if you don’t mind bars, they are probably your safest option.

Installing a Security System is a Must

A modern home without a security system just doesn’t make any sense at all because even if there are no burglars in your home, the smoke and CO detectors could potentially save your life. There is no shortage of advanced smart home security systems these days, so do invest in one to protect your family from almost all external threats.

Love Thy Neighbour…

When you are not home, burglars will have ample time to get through all your defenses, so your best bet at keeping your home secure while you are not there is to have a few trusted neighbors keep an eye on your property. In case you have just moved in, make the effort to be acquainted with a few of your neighbors because if something does go wrong while you are not there, they will be able to call the police for you.

Put Up Warning Signs

The last thing a burglar wants is to get caught in the act, so just by putting up signs that declare the fact that you have security cameras and alarms installed, is by itself a great way to deter lawbreakers. Sometimes, it is a good idea to put up signs even if you don’t have everything that the sign warns people of, because very few criminals are willing to call the bluff and try out their luck!

These five points are generally enough to keep most properties safe, but just as a bonus tip, remember to hide your valuables from plain sight. Also, install some thick curtains, so that your internal décor remains hidden from prying eyes.

Guide Editor Mon, 11 Jun 2018 22:47:01 -0400
6 Advantages of Hiring a Professional Interior Designer You have to invest quite a bit of money for the interior design of your house, so it is essential that you hire a professional interior designer. In addition to appropriate spending of your budget, there are several vital reasons to hire a professional for the project of your house interiors. In this post, we will discuss those reasons in detail.

1.     Professional Assessment

Though the homeowners have to live in the house with interiors, the professionals have an expert take on the project requirement. Their expert eyes can notice even the unlikely problems that homeowners simply can’t.

They implement a carefully designed action-plan and inform the homeowner in details of every step needed to be taken. This way the homeowners can realize the precise budget, so they can spend more efficiently. It’ll make a positive impact on the overall project.

You can receive this professional assessment beforehand from a service like Advantage Properly Styling, which can be accessed at

2.     Collaboration

A professional interior designer always tries to establish a good relationship with the homeowner, the architect and the contractor involved in the overall project. He can also help tackle any faults in the design. It’s a vital step pertaining to saving time and money. Since they are qualified professionals from interior design institutions, they tend to look into details the homeowner might miss.

3.     Rich Resources

One of the major benefits of hiring a professional interior designer is that he’ll have access to extensive resources for materials at affordable price, which a common person may not find. In addition, they have a wide network of other professionals in the industry, which also proves to be helpful during the project.

4.     Outside of the Box Ideas

The professional interior designers have the capability to think outside of the box. So, they come up with unique ways to improve the house interior to make it extremely charming. In short, they can incorporate the wow factor in your home interior. They can make things look different and artistic easily.

5.     Energy Efficient Home

One of the freshest trends is energy efficient homes. Since the professionals always remain updated with the latest happenings in the industry, they will ensure your home interiors to be energy efficient. To do so, they follow the ideas of environment conservation and go green to make the interiors eco-friendly and energy efficient.

6.     Detail-Oriented

They have a keen eye to notice the details minutely, which is well reflected when they implement interiors. They take a detailed look at the products, giving special importance to functionality and aesthetics. They take due time to research so that they can ensure the best outcomes.

You can make the most of every advantage mentioned above if you ensure hiring a right interior designer. A professional and experienced interior designer has the pure artistic insight, which guarantees the best results of your interior project.

In addition, the interior design theme will last for a long time as professional interior designers work with long-term planning. It’s always sensible that you hire a professional interior designer.

Guide Editor Mon, 16 Apr 2018 02:07:17 -0400
Take Control over Your Rental Property Investment with these Tips Let’s face it, managing your property yourself is not an easy job to do. There are so many things that need to be taken care of that make many people don’t even think about trying to manage their properties themselves. But, is it really so hard to do? Even if you have the right guidance on how you can manage your rental property?

There are a number of landlords in Australia who manage their rental properties themselves, and successfully as well. If you are also thinking about managing your rental property yourself, here are some tips that can come in handy and make it a successful decision. These strategies will help you in keeping the property up and running while also making it a success and help you generate revenue from it as well.

1.         Managing Tenants

The most obvious and immediate task when it comes to managing rental properties is the management of tenants. If you think managing tenants just involves collecting rent from them, think again. There are many other things you will be taking care of as well. These include:

Rent Collection: From setting due dates to the collection of rent and offering grace periods, all comes under this. You will also have to deal with unpaid rent issues and have to decide how to deal with them.

Tenant Screening: From advertising the vacancy to setting up appointments, you will have to take care of all. You will also have to conduct the tenant screening yourself to find out if they are suitable or not.

Lease Agreements: You need to make sure that the lease is up to date and all the legal considerations are taken care of as per the latest laws. These agreements should include all the clauses in written form that are binding on both the parties.

2.         Managing Maintenance and Property Inspections

The management of the property itself is also a major task to be done when you are managing your rental investment yourself. You have to make sure the tenants have an access to all the facilities in the neighbourhood including but not limited to running water, garbage collection etc. You are also responsible to get the yearly maintenance and inspection done to make sure that the property is abiding by the safety and health codes of the area.

3.         Managing the Finances

The next most important thing to take care of is the management of finances. You need to keep a record of how much money is coming in and how much is going out. Here are the finances you need to take care of:

Rent Payments: The collection of rent each month from each tenant

Insurance: The amount of insurance you need to pay for the property

Mortgage Payments: Mortgage payments each month

Taxes: Paying the yearly property tax

Not sure how it all works? You can get some expert advice from Managing your rental property might seem like an overwhelming task, but with the tips mentioned above, you will be able to do it alright.

Guide Editor Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:41:13 -0400
How to Rebuild Your Home After a Hurricane While our President does not believe climate change is real, there is little doubt that last year’s hurricane season was of the most destructive on record. Hurricanes Irma and Harvey lashed the mainland U.S., while territories such as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are still recovering from these earlier storms as well as the damage from Maria.

Given this increased activity and the ever-increasing costs of home ownership, it should not come as a surprise that the combined losses from these storms will reach into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

This brings us to the most important fact for those who have had their lives impacted by last year’s hurricanes – rebuilding. As such, this article will go over the ins and outs of how to rebuild your home after a hurricane including everything from property damage assessments to making sure you have the money you need to rebuild.

The Day After

Hurricanes can be trying times. In the days leading up to landfall, the local weather is full of warning and prognostications and then comes the storm itself which feels like the hand of God touching the earth. This often means that we need to hunker down in shelters or even get out of the storm’s path altogether.

However, this does not help us to prepare for the day after. This is when you finally return to your home to see what God hath wrought – just ask Puerto Rico. In some cases, it is just some downed trees and a few days without power.

But for those less fortunate, it could mean tens or even hundreds of thousands in damage from winds, rain, and flooding. In fact, it is the flooding which often worse than the winds and for this reason, many coastal homes are not being forced to raise their foundations by six-feet or more.

Now, it is too late to wait until the day after to check the terms of your insurance policy; however, this is what most people do. Instead, you should try to be proactive by making sure all your insurance information is in a safe place and even check your homeowner’s policy before the storm hits to make sure you know what is covered and what isn’t.

In addition, you will want to have key information, such as your policy number, claims forms, and contact phone numbers handy. This will help you when beginning the claims process as you will probably need to schedule multiple visits with your claims adjuster.

Besides relying on the insurance company, you might want to consider getting a third-party assessment and retaining an advocate to assist you in what is sure to be a long process with your insurance company.

What Comes Next

Now that you have returned home and have made some initial outreach to your insurance company, you want to start the process of seeing what can be recovered. This includes salvaging any item and even making short-term repairs if they can help to protect the integrity of your home.

The reason for this is simple. Even though the storm has passed, you need to protect what is left of your home from other weather events (such as hail), animals, and even robbery.   As such, it is important that you get to your home, protect what you can, and then start to make what repairs you can before waiting for the insurance company.

Sure, you have insurance and they will need to pay for most of the repairs but if you wait until the claims check is ready to begin, then your losses might end up being even more. Just remember to keep all your receipts as you will need to add these expenses to your claims report.

In addition to making small repairs, you will also want to take pictures of everything. While you don’t need to have a full inventory of everything you own, taking pictures of the big things will help you in your process of getting a fair settlement from your insurance company.

Keep in mind that one picture might not be enough. As such, use your digital camera for what is it is worth and take pictures of everything you own from multiple angles. This will help you and the insurance company to negotiate the condition of the things you own and to determine the replacement value.

Finding a Contractor

In the days after a major storm, it can be close to impossible to find a reputable contractor who is has the time to help you rebuild. As such, you want to keep a short list of potential contractors you can reach out to. Have these people on speed dial as they are sure to be in demand and they might even need to repair their own homes. As such, you want to be one of the first people calling them, or you will be at the end of a very long line.

In addition, to finding your contractor, make sure they have experience working with your insurance company as this will help in terms of scheduling work, and importantly, payment.

Leave No Stone Unturned

Rebuilding a home is not cheap and even if you have the best insurance, you will still have out-of-pocket expenses. As such, you don’t want to leave any stone unturned. This could be money from the federal government or the state government and could even include looking at what you can salvage from your home, or those nearby, to help reduce the cost of rebuilding.

Guide Editor Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:39:34 -0500
6 Reasons to Sell your Mortgage Note If you have a mortgage note, then that means, as an independent seller, you financed the property to the buyer by yourself, meaning that the mortgage is being paid directly to you. This means that you’re collecting and keeping track of payments, because you’re basically the bank in this case. You’re giving your property in exchange for periodical compensation, rather than receiving all it is worth up front. Thanks to the interest rates, you’ll end up with more in the end, but it’s still time consuming. If you no longer want to be entrusted with the duty of acting as the bank, or would like money faster, then you can look to American Equity Funding to buy that mortgage note. There are a lot of reasons people will sell that mortgage note, and you may not realize that you’re in those situations that would call for it.

Putting the Money into Other Property Projects

One thing you can do, is get that lump sum from a buy-out of your mortgage note, and put it into a new home. Then you’re still in the market and have a new project to work on. You could also use this money for improving a property you already have. Or multiple properties, if you want to spread that money as far as you can. You can look to these simple improvements to help with finding those.

Investing in Other Places

One thing to know about investing is that the more money you’re putting in, then the more money you’ll be gaining if you’re doing it right. But also, the more money you have to spread around and diversify that portfolio with, the better rate of success you’ll have. The huge lump sum you could get from selling your mortgage note could prove to make you more money than you would think with some smart investing.

Increasing the Amount, you Have Saved

Having a lot of savings is always good, because you never know what could happen. If you have all that money in a savings account, then you’re prepared. You also may have a savings goal to get to so that you can buy a new property or just something huge that you’ve been wanting, and selling your mortgage note might get you more money than you would think, which could also be enough to get you to that goal.


Going off that, you could already be in that emergency. You may think that you won’t be getting enough to offset those medical bills or huge debts you have that seemed to pop out of nowhere, but selling your mortgage note could be the answer you need. With American Equity Funding, they can give you a free quote which means you can start figuring the numbers and find out if this option will be the one that will dig you out of the hole.

Getting Rid of the Responsibility of Managing your Mortgage Note

Playing banker isn’t always easy. You’ve got to make sure that your buyer is on time and able to pay up to the financing agreed upon. It’s hard work and sometimes you need to be rough with it. A lot of people find out once they’re in that they’re in over their head with trying to keep up on all the management, which is okay. You can get rid of the note and just run with the money. If it’s more on the situational side though, you can sell the note for a period. You can sell off 36 or 48 months, meaning that the buyer of the note will be collecting for those months, and you’ll walk away with a lump sum that’s fair according the period. After that period, you’ll start collecting from the mortgage again. Meaning that you don’t have to give it up forever.

Getting into a Safer Investment

You may also be worried about how well this will pay off. Maybe the people you have sold to aren’t going to be on time or just flat out won’t be able to keep up at all. Selling off the mortgage means you can move that money to a better investment such as buying another property and getting a better mortgage note with new buyers. Being an individual and having to foreclose by yourself is very hard and will put you in some financial dead ends, but it’s easier for those who have the financial sense to clean up those situations and deal with the hits.

Guide Editor Mon, 08 Jan 2018 09:25:17 -0500