Real Estate Guide Real Estate Guide Copyright by en Thu, 20 Jun 2019 12:14:56 -0400 Best Ways to Make Your Home Kid Friendly

If you have kids, it is very good that you're reading this post. Every responsible parent should do what they can in order to have a kid friendly home. Unfortunately, many parents who think they own such a home are, in fact, wrong! The University of Alabama has made a study recently. They built a model home and then asked the parents to identify potential hazards. On average, these parents have identified less than half of potential hazards that were present in this model home! Not only that, but they have placed a far too high degree of confidence in their children. Maybe your child does know that he or she shouldn't be playing with matches. However, it is always better to assume that he/she doesn't understand such things. So, without further ado, here's what you can do in order to make your home more kid friendly.

The living room

#01 Keep your matches and candles out of your child's reach. No matter how old they are, it is possible for your children to accidentally light a match. As for the candles, they could be chewing on them and then choking on wax.

#02 The same goes for photo frames - keep them out for reach. Your child may drop these frames, and then cut himself/herself on the glass.

#03 TV sets are another thing that your child could drop. So, make sure that it's secured to the wall. If you can't mount it, then you can use industrial-strength Velcro straps to anchor it to the wall. Also, make sure that the TV battery cover is not missing. You don't want your child to eat a battery!

If it's not properly secured to the wall, a TV such as this one is a hazard. 

#04 Make sure that the power strips are hidden. You can hide them, for example, behind furniture. And if you can't hide them, then you can buy a cover for power-strips.

#05 The fireplace comes with its own fair share of potential hazards. For starters, the fireplace shouldn't be exposed while the flame is burning. Use heat-resistant gates to cover the flames. Buy pads and then put them over the edges of a stony or sharp hearth. If your fireplace came with small rocks, make sure to remove them, as your child might want to eat them.

The bedroom

#06 Make sure that the crib is safe for your child. This means being sure that he or she can't get out of the crib. If there are some stuffed animals or other toys in the crib, they can be used as a platform that will help your child to "escape" the crib. Also, drop-side cribs are now banned in the USA. If they break, your child could become trapped between the mattress and the crib.

#07 Secure the dresser or other furniture to the wall or to the floor.

#08 The piggy bank should be high enough. A child could, for example, climb the dresser drawers and knock down the piggy bank. Then, he or she can either himself or try to swallow the coins.

If you own a piggy bank and you want to have a kids friendly home, then place it somewhere where your kids can't reach it.

#09 If you have low windows, you should definitely install a window guard. And regardless of the position of the window, make sure that it only opens three inches. As for the window blinds, in a kid friendly home they are cordless. That's because a child's neck could get caught in the cord. In fact, there are more than 200 deaths reported of children strangling themselves on window cords since 1990.

#10 If your child is playing with crayons, always check if they are left on the floor after your child's play-time is over. Her or she could easily break a crayon. And when that happens, the crayons become small enough that your child could easily choke on them.

The kitchen

#11 The kitchen is probably the most dangerous room for kids. So, whenever you're not around, the kitchen should be gated.

#12 The dishwasher should be locked. The most dangerous thing when it comes to dishwashers is the detergent. You don't want your kids to ingest the detergent, so make sure to run the dishwasher after adding the detergent. Also, the knives should be stored with blades down.

#13 Not only is the detergent toxic, but so are other cleaning supplies, such as drain openers and furniture polish. If you're keeping them in lower cabinets, either make sure that the cabinets are securely locked, or move the cleaning products somewhere where your child can't reach them.

#14 Keep your microwave out of your children's reach. It's best to place it somewhere high, but if you can't do that, be sure that it's never on while you're not present.

Don't leave the microwave on when you're not there! 

#15 It is convenient to store knives and other sharp cutlery on the kitchen counter. However, you should definitely not do that! Instead, place it in an over-the-counter cabinet. Be especially careful if you have a child with special needs. They are more impulsive and more likely to grab such dangerous items.

Finding a kid friendly moving company

Finally, we believe that there's a good chance that you'll be moving, and you're now wondering how to make your new home kid friendly. If you're moving with kids, an important factor when choosing the right moving company should be whether their workers will be treating your kids the right way. Sure, the workers are almost always polite and friendly when they're in the company of their clients. However, once you're not there, they might be rude to your children or otherwise treat them badly.

So, you should find a company that you know you can trust with your children. One such company is While it is possible that your experience will be different, the two times I used their services, they were great to my twins and, unexpectedly, we all had a fun time.

Apart from hiring the services of a company whose workers are genuinely nice and polite, there are other ways to make relocation fun for your kids. Study them carefully, and you're bound to make the stressful process of moving with children much less nerve-wrecking.

To conclude

Hopefully, these 15 tips will help you to make a more kid friendly home. As we're sure that you care greatly about your children's safety, we're also sure that you'll do everything that's in your power to protect them. Good luck!

Guide Editor Mon, 17 Jun 2019 08:12:54 -0400
Why Listing Your House a Little Above the Market Can Be Helpful

One of the trickiest parts in the home buying and home selling process is listing the house and coming up with a price tag. Price is one of the biggest factors prospective buyers look at before making a decision. As a home seller, you need to learn how to draw the line between pricing your property right and overshooting its value. So how does one consider if a property is already overpriced?

The answer to that question lies in several factors. Of course, there is the current market climate and condition in your local area. The pricing of your property is directly affected by the range values of other similar houses that are being sold in your community. The rule of thumb is if you see that your home is priced above 10 percent the comparable value of similar homes in the neighborhood, then you are already overpricing your house.

Try to set your price range to somewhere around 3 percent higher or lower than what the actual property value is in your neighborhood. If you go beyond that range, you can expect your property to remain listed much longer than you would want it to be.

Now you may be wondering when is the best time for you to sell your property above the market value. When you seed that the general market value for houses is fast rising, then that is a sign that you should ride the wave and jack up your price a little.

Doing so can open you to opportunities and advantages. You should consider increasing your price if you are not really in a hurry to let go of your property. The more time you can afford to wait for the right buyer, the higher the chances of finding someone who will agree to the price tag you have in mind. A Beverly Hills real estate agent should be able to assist you during this process.

If you see start to see other people in your area increasing the prices of their houses, then you should join the fray too. This gives you a level of assurance that you are not overshooting the price of your property.

Keep in mind, however, that every market place is different compared to others as far as telling when it is a good time to sell. In Northern Kentucky, for example, you can sell your house in 4 to 6 months under good market conditions in the past. Nowadays, it may take you somewhere from half a year to 10 months. 

So you and your real estate agent should remain vigilant in following the market. You should be keen on recognizing the signs. If you are in the market for Beverly Hills luxury real estate contact a trusted real estate agent today.

Guide Editor Thu, 02 May 2019 08:53:09 -0400
Leaving the Nest: College Students and Renters Insurance

When it’s time for college students to go back to school after enjoying summer, you need to prepare financially to buy the stuff that they need for the upcoming school year. These include new clothes, new books, and perhaps a new laptop.

On top of these, you should also remember to buy renter’s insurance.

The importance of getting covered

Generally, students who live inside the campus are usually covered by the insurance policies of their parents. Whenever their belongings get stolen or are broken, the insurance can cover or the loss or damages, respectively.

On the flipside, students who live off campus face a different kind of predicament. The insurance policies of their parents will not be able to cover their items. Moreover, the landlord’s policy will likewise not provide coverage most of the time.

This is because once they start to live outside of the campus, they are no longer deemed by the insurance providers as dependents. As for the landlord’s insurance, they only cover the structure of the house or building.

Thus, this is where renter's insurance enters the picture.

Renter’s insurance: What does it do?

Basically, a renter's insurance provides protection for the belongings of the students living off campus. This type of insurance will cover items such as clothes, furniture kitchenware, and electronics. It will also cover liability in the event that the student gets injured while inside the property they are renting.

In case of fire, lightning, water damage, windstorm, burglary, theft, or explosion affects the apartment, the renter's insurance will cover for the damages on the student’s belongings.

Another example is when an accident occurs during a party inside the apartment. If the victim breaks a bone, the insurance will provide medical assistance and coverage for the legal fees.

Is it really necessary?

Technically speaking, a renter's insurance is not a necessity. Not unless the landlord requires the student to purchase one. In the event that you decide not to buy your child a renter’s insurance, you need to be prepared to pay for the repairs or replacements of their belongings even if the reason is caused by natural perils like lighting and fire.

The amount of coverage

As for the amount of coverage that you need, you must base it on the value of the things your child owns. On average, a renter owns around $20,000 to $30,000 worth of items. If you are in the dark regarding the valuation of the belongings, conduct a home inventory. List down all of the items. If you are in the market for Los Feliz real estate or other Los Feliz homes for sale contact trusted real estate agent Mark Mintz today.

Guide Editor Thu, 02 May 2019 08:51:47 -0400
Jumping in a Hot Market, Is It a Good Idea?

If you live in a hot market, you will likely be tempted to jump the gun and strike while the iron is hot, as the saying goes. But the question is, is that the wisest move to make? With the real estate market becoming volatile at times, people are left wondering if they should buy or sell a property.

Before making any hasty moves, there are a number of things you should consider. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Understand how hot the local market is

First, you need to get a feel of how hot local real estate market is before making any decisions. Be aware, however, that it can be difficult for potential buyers to determine if the market has reached its peak or not.

Generally, a frothy market will give you double-digit increases in terms of value if you compare it from the previous year. When that happens, people tend to walk away with urgency on their minds.

If the buyer’s market or seller’s market is doing well, buyers and sellers, respectively, have the tendency to make quick decisions and moves. But if you consider the nature of real estate, making a drastic move in the midst of a healthy market is not always the best route to take.

Look long term

If you look at the different kinds of investments, real estate is one of those that involve a lot of emotions, both in the part of home buyers and home sellers. Home sellers may feel detached to their houses; home buyers may become too passionate to purchase a particular home.

A frothy market may lead you to make a decision that may not really be the best one. In fact, you may even consider transforming your old home into a rental home that will generate passive income. If there is an opportunity to sell, it may not always be the best move to make especially if you consider the long term effects.

Consider the current condition of your life. Look into your current financial standing. Sometimes, you will be surprised to see that converting your house into a rental home may be the wiser move because of its financial benefits.

Don’t forget to consider other factors particularly your family. Do you have lots of young children? Are you living alone for several years already? Are you looking to move to a different city in the foreseeable future? These are just some of the questions you need to answer before making a decision. In the market for Boulder Colorado real estate, contact a team of trusted Boulder real estate agents

Guide Editor Thu, 02 May 2019 08:49:51 -0400
5 Types of People Who Attend Open Houses

Open houses will always be a part of the Edmonton real estate world. And when we talk about open houses, the Sunday open house is considered the best one. During such an open house, expect different kinds of people to come in. All of them will take a look at what you have to offer but not everyone is an interested buyer. Let’s take a look at five types of people who will likely visit your open house.

  1. The legit buyer – first and foremost, you will meet the legit buyers. These are the people who are genuinely in search of a property to buy. They may have the money or they are still working on their mortgage application, but they are bent on acquiring property. These are the type of people you want to visit your open house.
  1. Your neighbor – this is someone who lives nearby your house. He can be living directly next to you or just within the community. He just wants to check out what’s happening during your open house. Some of them just want to compare their house to yours. Basically, they are just curious.
  1. Buyer’s Agents – an open house will not be complete with agents as guests. These agents are always on the move. They go to as many open houses as possible to check out properties for their home buyers. But don’t worry, most of them are professional. They know how to respect their boundaries.
  1. Agents who lost a listing – and then there are also the agents who lost their listings. These agents want to know if you, the home seller, followed some of their suggestions. They want to check if you updated your kitchen or repainted your bedrooms as they advised you to do. An open house is a perfect venue for them to go through your property while maintaining their anonymity, as far as their rival agents are concerned.
  1. The previous owner – lastly, you may encounter guests who were the previous owners of your house. Sometimes, they may be relatives of the previous owners. These people just want to take some time to reminisce about the good old times. Some of them may have spent their childhood years in your house and they simply want to look back at those sweet memories.

If your listing agent is topnotch, he will welcome all sorts of visitors into an open house. They want to get as much feedback as they can from prospective buyers. They want to take down notes and answer as many questions possible. Looking for a new property, contact a trusted Edmonton real estate agent today.

Guide Editor Thu, 02 May 2019 08:48:04 -0400
Sellers: Give Buyers What They Want

If you are a Las Vegas home seller and you are struggling to get your property off the selling block, you need to realize that there may be some things you are missing or doing wrong. If several months have already passed, you need to take a few steps back and review your home selling strategy.

Why your home isn’t selling

The key to selling your home is to have solid strategy that covers not only the time you put your home in the selling block, but solid post-sale plan. If you think that you can sell your house without giving it a timely update, then you can never be so wrong in your life.

Let’s take this as an example: let’s say you are selling a house that you and your family have lived in for the past three decades or so. One day, you decide to sell the house. The problem, however, is you do not have a concrete exit plan. You don’t know where exactly you want to relocate after the sale. You just keep on saying that you’ll figure things out later.

Having this kind of problem will give you a hard time selling your property. Since you do not have an idea where you want to move into next, you may be turning down legitimate offers or suggestions coming from a trusted local real estate agent.

If you sell your home as-is, without even tweaking and improving some key areas, you can expect it to attract less prospective buyers than it should be. Nobody will get excited in seeing a house that looks old and banged up.

And if you decide to leave the house in its current condition, the local real estate clock continues to tick. As more buyers see that your house has not been selling for several months already, doubts will start to creep into their minds. They will start to wonder if there are any serious problems are hounding the house, which drives away buyers.

The house that sells fast

On the flipside, if you get in touch with a trusted agent early in the game, even before you plan to make the move, you will likely position yourself to selling your property faster. Talk to an agent and let them know upfront what your plans are in relation to your plans of moving to another city or state.

You may not have a concrete plan just yet, but letting your agent know early can help you prepare accordingly. You will get a better feel of the current local real estate conditions. You will know the trends that play a role when it comes to selling your home faster. If you are in the market for Las Vegas real estate contact Pivot Modern today.

Guide Editor Thu, 02 May 2019 08:46:51 -0400
10 Tips For Identifying A Bad Property Investment Everyone loves making a great deal, and this is particularly true for property investors. However, unlike getting a bargain on a pair of shoes, buying property is an expensive investment and you can't exchange it if you find out it doesn't fit when you've completed the deal.

So doing your homework before you commit to the purchase is especially important if you don't want to be left with a property that will drain your savings instead of making you extra income.

To help you understand the pitfalls of what to look for when buying property, we've outlined a few of the areas which may raise a red flag and make you step away from the investment, however tempting it may seem.

Seller transparency

A seller who is reluctant to tell you the history of the house should be avoided. Transparency is vital, and if they can't or won't tell you when the roof was repaired, or a new central heating system was put in, it is a definite warning sign that all is not as it seems with the property. Sometimes when dealing with a seller it comes down to a gut instinct – do you trust this person to tell you the truth?

If you do some research on the seller, mainly if it is a company, and you find it difficult to get any information or the website seems incomplete and lacking in detail, be on high alert.

High deposits/reservation fees

If you want to reserve a property, you can do so by paying a reservation fee or deposit. This provides exclusive rights to buy the property and prevents gazumping for 28 days. This fee is generally between £500 and £2000 depending on the value, but if it is much higher, this can be a sign that the deal is not legitimate.

However, if the property is unusual or constitutes a significant development, a higher deposit can be realistic, so you need to look at the situation objectively. A low-value house with a high deposit is definitely a warning sign of something not quite right.

Viewing opportunities

Viewing the property is always a good idea, although there are some legitimate reasons why it is not possible. These include properties that are ‘sold as seen' with a price tag reflective of the deal, as well as some auction properties and tenanted properties.

However, if there is no apparent reason you can not view and you are being denied access, then this is a sign something is not quite right. However convincing the salesperson sounds regarding the reason, be very aware if you feel that a viewing should be available.

Property details

If you are considering the property as a rental opportunity, you need to determine the possible income you can expect before taking on the project. If the seller can't provide the statistics you need regarding rental rates and area vacancies, it may be a sign that there is not much call for rented accommodation in the area. Rather than enter negotiations unsure of the income possibilities, look elsewhere and move on.

On the other side of the coin, try not to be blinded by rental guarantees. Some less than scrupulous sellers use guarantees as a way to hike up the property price, while seeming to offer an excellent deal to the vendor.

Pushy sales team

A pushy salesman should always be a warning sign that something is not quite right with the property. If you are being pressured into making a decision quickly without completing your overall costs and timings, as well as time to peruse the paperwork thoroughly, then say no. It is better to lose out on a deal than be lumbered with an unfortunate opportunity.

Listing price

If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is. There is usually a reason for meagre asking prices so when viewing be sceptical. It could just be that the seller has cash flow issues and needs to offload the property as quickly as possible, but it can also mean the property has potential problems. These could include major structural works in the roof or foundations that are not noticeable at first glance.

However, be aware of properties that seem overpriced as well, as the seller may be trying to cash in on property investment deals. As a property investor, the aim is to make some money on the property so if the asking price is too high, it can mean there is no profit in it. However, it's worth investigating further if the price is high as if every other box is ticked then it could still be possible to make a return on investment.

Time on market

If a house has been listed for a long time, it's worth asking a few extra questions. It could be that the price is over-inflated or it may be that there are more pressing issues with the property. If nobody else is interested in the property then there is usually a reason why.

Quick fixes

When selling a home, it's recommended that you present it to the best of its ability, perhaps including an internal makeover. However, obvious quick fixes could just be an attempt to cover up underlying problems or distract your eye from the real issues.

Be aware of water damage that has been covered up with fresh paint, as this can cause mold long term. You will also need to find the cause of the water damage as well. So any small paint job patches should be investigated carefully.

It’s important not to be too blown away by the cosmetic look of the property, but to seek out the exterior cracks that can't be so easily disguised. Again, fresh paint over cracks on the outside wall should be treated with suspicion.

Number crunching

However much you like a property on the surface, the numbers have to add up if you are looking to make an investment. Make sure you write a business plan with a cash flow forecast and use the asking price as a basis of your figures.

When doing the numbers check if the price is comparable to the recent sales prices in the area. Consider also the loan-to-value price and how much you need to borrow – the less, the better from a profit point of view.

You also need to think about the value of the property after renovations – does the cost of repairs outweigh your return on investment?


When it comes to rental value or selling on, location is high on the list of importance. Do your homework – has the property been built on a flood zone, or have a high crime rate? What about the job situation? Look around the local amenities and see how many are either empty or look uncared for. It's also worth casting an eye at surrounding properties to see the standard of care invested into them.

If the location is less than desirable, this is usually reflected in the asking price, and it may be tempting to go for the deal. Remember, though, that you will have the same issues selling it as the current owner, or you may not be able to get high rents. The exception to this is if you are aware of regeneration plans for the area and expect the location to improve within the next five years drastically. This is a risk as no one has a crystal ball to predict the future, but depending on your intel this is a decision only you can consider.

A final word

For newcomers to the world of property investment, it can be challenging to ascertain what is a good or bad investment, particularly if you are excited to get your business going. The best advice we can give you is research, research, research and don't rush into anything. If it feels wrong, it probably is, so listen to your inner instinct. There are many property opportunities available so don't feel too disappointed if some don't come to fruition. The wait will be worthwhile in the long run.

Guide Editor Sun, 28 Apr 2019 21:21:45 -0400
Tips for Buying a Second Home or Vacation Property Many people dream of buying their own second home or vacation property, a place they can retreat to on weekends and holidays where they can spend quality time with family and friends, get away from their everyday cares, and just relax. If you’re thinking about becoming one of the lucky people who owns a second home or vacation property, there are several things you should consider before signing on the dotted line. See below for some helpful tips and ideas.

Location is Key

When buying a second home or vacation property, choosing your location carefully is essential. Try to focus on real estate for sale in areas that have properties with appreciating values. Even though it’s a vacation home, you still want to make sure it’s a good investment. You don’t want to end up losing money on the property if you should ever decide to sell it.

Talk to a real estate professional in the area where you would like to buy a property. A professional will know which neighborhoods offer the best values and will be familiar with real estate trends. Resort areas and more rural locations tend to have properties for sale with more flexibility in the pricing than properties in urban settings. A licensed real estate agent will know how to negotiate the best price when it comes time for you to make an offer on a property.

Consider Renting Before Buying

It’s hard to know if you will really enjoy spending time in an area if you haven’t spent a lot of time there. Are there amenities like restaurants and stores nearby? Are you looking for a property in a quiet location, or a home that’s near neighbors you can chat with? A long term rental can help you get the answers to these questions as well as help you figure out what you want and don’t want in terms of location.

A rental home can also help you figure out what type of second home is best for you based on your lifestyle. Do want a home with a large kitchen for entertaining or are you planning to eat out most of the time? How many bedrooms do you really need? Do you want to take care of maintenance like mowing the lawn or snow removal yourself, or would owning a condo where these tasks are done for you be preferable?

Determine How Often You Will Use the Property

Being realistic about how often you will use a second home or vacation property can help you figure out whether buying it in the first place is a good idea. If you’ll only be there a few times a year, maybe renting a property in the area would make more sense for you. Knowing how often you will be using the property can also help you determine whether or not it makes sense to rent the property to others when you’re not using it yourself.

Understand Your Budget

Your budget for buying and owning a second home or vacation property needs to include more than just the expenses associated with purchasing the home. You will need to factor in expenses such as real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, cleaning services and landscaping costs, and the cost of unexpected repairs to the roof or plumbing and heating system, which can be substantial. Unlike your primary home, a second home or vacation property is a luxury. Understanding how much it will cost will help keep you from overspending and from having to possibly sell the property before you’re ready.

Develop a Plan for Renting the Property

Many people who own a second home or vacation property make up for some of the costs associated with owning the home by renting the property when they aren’t using it. If you plan to rent your vacation property short- or long-term be sure to understand the rules for renting set out by the city, town or homeowners association where the property is located before you buy the property, especially if rental income will make up part of your budget.

Don’t Rush Into a Decision

When you finally find a vacation home you really like it’s tempting to rush into a decision to buy it. But you don’t want to decide on a property too quickly only to discover later that the price is too high, the location isn’t quite right, or the house is too large for your needs. It’s better to pass on a property than to make an expensive mistake. Eventually, the right property will come along.

Guide Editor Thu, 25 Apr 2019 10:52:38 -0400
Things to Consider If You Are a First-Time Buyer

Buying a property will be one of the biggest financial decisions you ever make. And, if you are a first-time buyer, then the process probably looks very daunting more than it is exciting. There are many different things to think about when it comes to buying a home which can often lead to confusion. So, if you are thinking about making your first step onto the property ladder, we have created this short guide to help you understand the things you need to consider.

Work Out How Much Money You Can Borrow

Having a rough idea of how much you can borrow will help you work out how much you can afford to pay for your first property and should give you a better idea of your price range when it comes to viewing properties. The actual mortgage product that you decide to take out will then be dependent on how much you pay for the property. It is vital to make sure that you will be able to afford the mortgage repayments before making the decision to make an offer on a property. A great way to gain a better understanding of this is to use a mortgage interest calculator.

Your Job

There are a couple of things related to your job that are important if you are thinking about purchasing a property. The most important thing is to determine how stable it is. And, if so, do you see yourself staying there for the next few years. These 2 things alone will be something that a prospective mortgage lender will look at and talk to you about before making an offer. One of the other things that you might want to think about is how long it will take you to get to work and if you are happy with the commuting time.

Your Requirements

When it comes to choosing your very first property, it's important to know exactly want you want. So, before you start arranging viewings, make a simple list of things that you are looking for in a new property. This could include the number of bedrooms, type of bathroom, type of kitchen and whether you are looking for a property that has a garden.

Do Your Research

Don't just look at 1 or 2 lenders and their mortgage rates, do your research and look around for what’s on offers to make sure that you find the very best deal. Additionally, make sure that you do not just solely focus on the interest rate. Most mortgage lenders charge an arrangement fee, which is generally £995 or more, though this can be added to the mortgage deal most of the time.

Consider The Location

When buying your first property, you need to consider the location. Think about what is going to be the most important to you in the area. Perhaps you have children and if so, then being close to a school would be an important thing for you to consider. Other things would be the accessibility to public transport, how close a doctor’s surgery or hospital is, and how far away it is from your immediate family.

Save as Much Money as Possible

As a first-time buyer, you might be required to put down as much as 20%. If you don't have a savings account then now is the time that you should probably get one set up. Together, we creating a plan of how you are going to save up enough money for a deposit. However, do be aware that you are going to need additional money to put towards other fees like solicitors’ fees, stamp duty, removal costs etc.

Register to Vote

This might seem like a bit of a strange one, but lenders check if you are on the electoral roll at your current address to determine whether your application is real or not. They basically check this as a precaution against fraudulent mortgage applications.

Take Care and Apply with Caution

When you are finally ready to apply for your mortgage product, make sure that you do so with caution. This includes reading all of the small print and avoiding making multiple applications to just to see what kind of offer you will get. Every single mortgage application that you make leaves a mark and can damage your credit score. This can also be seen by other mortgage lenders.

Guide Editor Tue, 16 Apr 2019 05:06:39 -0400
10 Must-Have Commercial Building Amenities Commercial real estate tenants expect and demand that commercial buildings to be full of amenities that are important for their employees and clients and most importantly for their business. Amenities are one of the factors that play a vital role in influencing the purchasing decision of potential buyers, leasers or renters. Some commercial real state agencies focus on getting the cheapest property rates and some focus on providing better quality that obviously demand higher rates. But as one of the leading commercial and real estate agency in Moorabbin, Melbourne, here are the 10 must-have industrial real estate amenities – be it a factory, warehouse or office space.

  1. Conference Facilities

Commercial property mostly has small meeting rooms, but huge conference room is also necessary. Having conference facilities enough to accommodate large events on the premises make the tenants easy to host large conferences and meetings without renting any extra space.

  1. Easy and Reliable internet access

High-speed internet access is a must in a commercial building. Not just while they are working, but they should be able to connect to the internet while they are on break or outside the office suite. The Wi-Fi connection should be available around the common areas.

  1. Parking and Transportation

If you are buying commercial cities, finding parking can be a tough task. The commercial building must have a secure parking space. This amenity is a priority concern for everyone – both workers and clients. Easy access to public transportation can also be a plus point.

  1. Dining options

The commercial building must have on-site café and restaurants so that the workers don’t have to leave the building to get food. The restaurants and coffee shop on the lobby will make the tenant very happy. On-site café is convenient, but that doesn’t mean unhealthy, the food should be healthy and organic.

  1. Gym and fitness centre

By understanding the need of being healthy, the industrial building should have fully equipped fitness centres with a locker room and showers. Physical exercise impacts a lot on the work performance of the employees, so the gym and fitness centre is a huge priority.

  1. Outdoor Spaces

Employees get exhausted after working in a closed room for hours; they need some outdoor space to relax and recharge. Patio, outdoor grills, fire pits, picnic spots and rooftop decks with seating arrangements help employees to get some fresh air and chill thus improving their efficiency.

  1. Eco-friendly options

Establishing a business means the use of lots of resources which somehow affects our environment, so it’s time to go green. Lots of glass to get in natural light, use of solar energies, good facilities for bicycle parking, electric vehicle charging stations are some of the eco-friendly options that one can implement.

  1. Security measures

Safety is a primary concern for everyone, and the commercial real estate should be safe & secure from any disruptions and crime. A backup power generator, fire detection alarm, intruder alarm, CCTV cameras, emergency drills are must-have which allows tenants to feel comfortable and safe.

  1. Tenant lounge

Having a tenant lounge gives employees a space to have some fun on their breaks. This amenity should be fun with comfortable seating arrangements, TVs, gaming station, snooker and ping-pong tables. Also, space where the employees can talk and know each other.

  1. Retail

Life of professionals is hectic. Having retailed on-site can make their life a lot easier. The assortment of retailers – a bank, dry cleaner, departmental store, pharmacy, shipping/mailing centre – save their precious time and effort.

Considering these basic amenities while considering a commercial property can potentially save your precious time later on when you start to operate there. Talk to your real estate and try to ensure that they know all the features you are looking for into the new property.

Just Commercial are a leader in real estate Moorabbin and surrounding suburbs in Melbourne for factories, warehouse, or any other commercial real estate with a combined experience of 75 years. Reach out to us today to find the best commercial real estate for lease, sale and rent in Melbourne.  

Guide Editor Mon, 08 Apr 2019 23:29:10 -0400
Top 8 Features Of Luxury Homes More and more luxury homes are being sustainably designed and built with eco-friendly elements.  Luxurious living and being earth-conscious are not mutually exclusive; quite the contrary. There are dazzlingly-beautiful and luxurious homes across the globe that are using solar panels, sporting green walls and roofs and sourcing power via geothermal energy all throughout the year.  An ideal luxury home is a combination of eco-friendly and rich architectural features.

  1. Smart Home Technology

These are technologies that allow for monitoring and managing systems both inside and outside the home. Essentially, smart home technology enables you to use a smartphone from virtually anywhere on the planet to do tasks like locking doors, adjusting the air conditioning and controlling the thermostat.

  1. LED Lighting

The look and feel of nighttime interiors were considerably transformed by swapping out the soft flicker of gas lamps and candlelight with the brilliant, on-demand brightness of incandescent bulbs. However, thanks to developments in LED technology, lighting has again been experiencing a fundamental change. LED bulbs are tremendously more energy efficient when compared to filament bulbs of the 20th Century. This indicates that there can be a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of a household without having to switch the lights off.

  1. Locally-sourced and Sustainable Materials

This environmentally-friendly practice is not new. Materials like wood, stone, and steel are in abundance locally. To reduce carbon footprint, the construction practices of today see architects, contractors, and homeowners seeking local solutions to overcome their new design challenges.

  1. Private Eco Preserves

More than cutting-edge technology and eco-friendly construction can be incorporated into green luxury homes. If you want adventure, an environmentally-conscious lifestyle, and all the comforts of home, living on a private eco-preserve could provide the balance you need.

  1. Green Walls and Roofs

These days, green walls and roofs are so effective and practical that mainstream, design-focused establishments offer guidelines on how handy homeowner can install them on their own.  Many owners of luxury homes who want to cut down on their carbon footprint have incorporated green walls and roofs for a combination of natural, efficient cooling and appealing, landscaped beauty.

  1. Solar Panels

Solar rooftop panels use the limitless energy of the sun to supply a lightweight, inexpensive method of boosting the 'inactive' energy of a home and loading power for use in the future without any wasteful procedures. These panels can also be attractive. There are companies that produce stunning glass roof tiles that enable builders to construct solar-powered, energy-efficient households that pull creativeness from a classic architectural style.  This type of power is among the most fascinating innovations in environmentally-friendly design.

  1. Geothermal Cooling and Heating

Geothermal cooling and heating gracefully harness the forces of nature to deliver ideal indoor conditions throughout the year.  This technology enables homeowners to make the environmental footprint of the best luxury homes relatively small, while still providing a major aesthetic and functional impact.

  1. Elevators

Yes you read it correctly. Elevators. Many Luxury homes are now choosing to install elevators in the home to make their home completely accessible. Companies such as Platinum Elevators install a range home lifts from the practical to the completely luxurious. Adding an elevator to the home might not cost as much as you think and they can also be retrospectively added.

Guide Editor Sun, 24 Mar 2019 23:05:49 -0400
How to get rid of mice infestation naturally? Discovering you have a mouse infestation can leave you reluctant to go into your own home. But, you don’t have to love out. You can get hold of the local exterminators and find out more about the process they use to get rid of your unwanted pests.

Or, you can try the natural, approach; these tips will help.

It’s important to be aware that mice infestations can happen to anyone. They can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps and your home offers warmth, water, and probably food; making it perfect for them. Just one crumb can feed them for several days!


The first step in getting rid of a mouse infestation is to clean your home. You need to remove all food waste, either to the sealed bin or outside your home. All unused food needs to be stored in containers, where mice will be unable to get to it.

Depriving them of their food and water will make your house unattractive very quickly.

Peppermint Oil

Mice and many pests are not keen on peppermint oil. Simply put a few drops on some cotton balls and then leave the cotton balls where the ice are likely to travel; especially near their nest if you know where it is.

Instant Potato Mix

This is a great way to feed and kill your mice. Simply sprinkle the flakes near where you know the mice visit. They will consume the flakes. However, the flakes absorb liquid, they will expand in their stomachs and kill the ice before they have time to digest them properly.

Look For Access Points

Mice are generally most active at night. In the morning you may notice their waste on your floor or in your cupboards. If you follow the trail you should be able to identify where they are getting inside your home. As soon as you discover it block the hole and then check everywhere else, blocking any potential holes that you see. They can’t come in your house if there is no entry point. Don’t forget to go outside and walk around your home as well; you can block any potential entry point from the outside; making it very difficult for any mice to infest you.

Kitten Litter

If you have a cat then get yourself a litter tray and some cat litter. Your cat will be happy to use the tray and you can put small bowls of the used kitty litter around your home; specifically where the mice are known to go.

As mice are scared of cats they will quickly leave the area.

Of course, having the cat in your home and allowing it access under the cupboards should sort the issue quickly enough; most cats will naturally seek out mice and kill them. In fact, plenty of dogs will do the same thing!


You can put mouse traps down but if you’re not comfortable killing the mice yourself then you may prefer to invest in a couple of humane traps. However, when you capture the mouse make sure you set it free a good distance from your house; or it will simply come back in again.

Guide Editor Fri, 22 Mar 2019 21:49:57 -0400
Pros and Cons of Owning a Condo One of the most popular home options for professionals, especially the young ones who are starting to build their own careers in the city is investing in a Chicago luxury condo. There are a number of advantages to owning a condo unit. On the flipside, there are also some cons, which every prospective investor should be aware of. Here is a short breakdown of the benefits and disadvantages of owning a condo unit.

The Pros

Numerous amenities – One of the main advantages of condo living is the many different amenities they offer. Usually, condos in the cities feature gyms, spas, swimming pools, and lounge areas, among others. Basically, condos make life easier for your owners and tenants who do not have the luxury of time to go out to work out or relax.

Notable security – Another important aspect that is generally offered by condos is security. These building often use closed-circuit cameras and hire dependable security personnel who can effectively handle different kinds of security and emergency-related situations. Considering that different kinds of people live just a door away from each other, security is of utmost importance.

Minimized maintenance – Since condos have a homeowner’s association, the group usually takes care of the basic maintenance work. The group will be the one to take care of choosing the right contractor who can get things fixed, especially in the common areas.

Advantageous location – Lastly, the location of condos, which are usually right at the heart of the city, is a big plus for a condo unit owner, especially for those who want to enjoy city living but do not have the money to buy a home.

The Cons

Monthly fees – Living in a condo will automatically mean that you will have to pay for the monthly association fees. These fees are used for the general maintenance and upkeep of the different amenities of the place. A downside of these fees is that they tend to increase annually, no thanks to inflation. Consult with a trusted Chicago luxury broker first.

Rules and Regulations – Another reality in condo living that some unit owners view as a downside are the rules and regulations that sometimes can be considered strict. Generally, unit owners have little room for creativity when it comes to renovating and updating their spaces. Moreover, condo owners, as well as their guests, need to follow certain rules related to their general behavior within the premises.

Slower appreciation rate – Finally, you need to understand that the value of a condo has a slower appreciation rate compared to buying a real house. The reason being is that you only own the space of your unit, and not the land where it is built.

Guide Editor Wed, 06 Mar 2019 09:45:44 -0500
Why is now the best time to buy a property in Dubai? Over the years have seen many fluctuations in the Dubai’s residential market, but in 2018 we saw a remarkably well priced market for the customers. The prices of real estate for property went down and became quite affordable for the residents if the United Arab Emirates.

Choice and Variety

One of the things you will absolutely love about Dubai is its mixture of various cultures from all over the world. These cultures do not only show up in the cuisine or the shopping places, but also find their way to the architecture and designs. The mixture of people from Europe, Asia, Africa and USA, has given a rise to architecture of a kind. You can now see houses designed with an inspiration from the Mediterranean houses, African gardens, South Asian flooring and so on. Many houses also have the contemporary look with an American Kitchen and well you can always find the traditional Arabic Style Houses. One such example is that of the Mediterranean style Villas in Emirates Hills which are designed with warm colors and wooden architecture which takes its inspiration from the Mediterranean houses.

Smart Living

In the fast paced world of this era, we all need something which is very time convenient for us. Dubai gives you the option of Smart living through its newly built and modern houses. These houses will give you access for customization and also a central control for all your electronic devices. This can really help you build a more time convenient atmosphere at home so you have more time on your hands to spend with your loved ones. This smart living will give you the best blend of a contemporary lifestyle with the best luxury. This is your time to buy a property as you are getting way too many services for an extremely affordable price.

Family Living and Eco Friendly Environment

Now the architects are planning to create a very sustainable way of living for the people coming to UAE. Now they are keeping In mind the needs of the customers and thus the real estate market has become more customer oriented, tending to the needs of the customers. Many of the houses are now built with gardens and lush green surroundings so you get all you need to from your house. These houses also sometimes come with a built in cinema or a playing room so your kids can get the best experiences within the comforts and security of the house.  These eco-friendly designs are fit for families and even for individuals and also for the environment. Since there are so many concerns for the environment these days, now is the right time to invest in the right sort of projects which are convenient, comfortable, luxurious and also promote a sustainable way of living.

The Heart of United Arab Emirates

Dubai is the heart and the hub of the United Arab Emirates. Not only this, but Dubai is also the cosmopolitan center of the world. Dubai is now on its road to becoming one of the most developed states in the world. People from all over the world are coming to Dubai for its productive and attractive environment. You have all the things you need. Moreover Dubai’s business friendly environment and its wide entertainment facilities call out to everyone to make it their home. Hence, now is the perfect time to buy property in Dubai at the best rates for the returns will be much higher in the coming future.  We wish you a happy living!

Guide Editor Thu, 28 Feb 2019 07:23:37 -0500
Easy tips to help you find a trusted buyer's agent Buying a home is a confusing task so you should always pay proper attention to the important factors. Some people are really excited about buying a new home or property. If you are also one of them, then take every step carefully because a single mistake can create a problematic situation in the future. In order to eliminate all the problems, you should hire a buyer’s agent. With the help of this, buyers can reduce stress and take some additional benefits. Most of the people are hiring the buyer’s agent due to plenty of reasons.

If you are going to invest in the property for the first time, in that case you should look for a trusted agent. Choosing the right agent is not as easy as you think so you need to consider all the important tips. There are many other factors that you should look for to make the right decision.

Ask your friends and relatives

Getting recommendations from others is an easy thing, and everyone can do it. You can easily ask your friends or relatives about the reputed buyer’s agents. They can suggest you a few names that can make your task easier. You should make a list first and then do research about all of them. With the help of this, you can find the best agent effortlessly. It can save up your time and energy that you are going to waste for finding a buyer’s agent. Do the investigation properly to find a trusted and experienced agent in order to buy a home.

What should you look for?

During the selection procedure, there are many important things that you should keep in mind. You should also check out some vital factors before going to make a final decision regarding the selection of the agent. The main factors that you need to keep in mind are listed below-

  • If you are going to make an investment in the property, then you should find someone to get assistance. The agent should be well experienced otherwise you can face some issues in the future.
  • Check whether they are charging a high free or offering their services at the affordable rates. Some agents are also giving free consultation services for the convenience of their customers.
  • Never make your decision by searching online about the agent. Go and fix up a meet to know more about him. It is the best method that you can use to clear all of your queries regarding his experience or reputation.
  • You can check out the online reviews or the testimonials by visiting the website of Pumped On Property or the other agencies. In this way, you can get an idea about the type of services that they are offering.

With the help of all the above-listed information, you can ease up your selection process and save up a lot of time. Never ignore an important factor because it can create some issues in the future. Always invest your savings in the right place and after getting the proper instructions from your agent.

Guide Editor Fri, 15 Feb 2019 10:18:28 -0500
Things to Know Before Buying Your First Home Buying a piece of Toronto real estate can be one of the biggest investments you're ever going to make. But for first-time homebuyers, the process can be overwhelming.

How does one even get started? There's so much that goes into a search but your keyword should be “family”. So if you have a family, the most important part of your search is the school district. There are plenty of very good school districts all throughout every state. What you want to do is you narrow that down to three or four great school districts.

The second thing is the price.  It is a very important topic so after being pre-approved for a mortgage, limit your search based on your budget. You obviously don’t like wasting your time and effort looking for a $23,000,000 house when you are only pre-approved for $500,000, right?

Finding the right home is so much more than just purchasing a house. You have to make sure that the street, the neighborhood, the community are all part of something you want to be living in. You have to investigate about the neighborhood- how far is it from the highways, how are the basic conveniences, how are the neighbors like? If you are tucked away in the hills and you have to drive 30 minutes for a gallon of milk, is that really the neighborhood you want to live?

Do not be blinded by the light. You feel in love to all the bells and whistles and then find out that the foundation itself is rumbling. Hiring the right home inspector to investigate the home is so important. They will help you check if the structure and the foundation of the house are just as good as the façade. Get a home inspector to come and check the house.

A common mistake people make is when they walk through a house; they fall in love with the decorations not realizing that when they buy the house, all that is gone. Don’t focus much on the decors and the furniture. These things will be gone even before you moved in. Instead, check for the spaces of the house. 

Lastly, do not bring in too many outside influences. There are times where the buyer comes in with mom, dad, uncle, sister, cousin, brother, co-worker, whoever it may be and now their decision is clouded. Do not ask for too many different opinions. Because at the end of the day, when it's all said and done, it's only you and your family who is going to be living there anyway. When you do decide to invest in real estate make sure you hire a trusted Toronto real estate agent.

Guide Editor Thu, 14 Feb 2019 10:45:15 -0500
Need To Sell Your Home Fast? Check Out These Tips! By using these tips, you can sell your home in no time.

Do you need to sell your home fast? Maybe you are facing foreclosure and see no other option. You have received a job offer on the other side of the country and need to move ASAP. Typically, a home can take months to sell. Sometimes, houses are even on the market for years before selling. So, what if you can't pay your mortgage any longer because you were recently laid off with no prospects for another job on the horizon? One option is to use bankruptcy to stop foreclosure. Another is to unload your house as quickly as possible. This may be the only option if you have to move because of work. Here are some tips to make it happen.

#1 Start With The Right Price

Putting your house on the market with the price set too high can result in a slower sale. It could also even cause your final price to be lower. The first 30 days on the market are the most important when it comes to selling your home. This is the time that you will see the most activity. So, you need to price your home right. How do you do figure out how to price your home? The best strategy is to hire a professional real estate agent from the start. Many people make the mistake of trying to do things themselves to avoid paying an expert. For example, to save money on tax preparation services, you might prepare your return. However, you might miss significant tax deductions for law enforcement officers and other special tax breaks that you could qualify for. It is similar to hiring a real estate agent. As a home seller, you might not have critical pieces of information needed to price your home right. But, a professional will have access to that information.

#2 Hire A Professional Photographer

If you need to sell your home because you are having severe financial problems, you might not think that you have the money to hire a professional photographer. However, one of the most critical factors in selling a home is how it looks in listing photographs. Listings that have professional photos sell quicker, and they sell for more money.

With the majority of home buyers looking for homes on the internet, you need to make sure your house is presented in the best possible light. Hiring a professional to take your photos will save you money in the long run.

#3 Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal

Another critical factor in selling your home quickly is its curb appeal. After buyers find your property online, they will either visit the house or drive by to check it out. The first thing that they notice when they pull up will be how nice the exterior looks. Curb appeal is everything. It sets expectations for what is inside your home. If your siding is dirty or the lawn is full of weeds, then buyers probably won't bother to take a look inside. The good news is that you can update your exterior for little money. Here are some low-cost ways to spruce up your curb appeal:

  • Give your exterior a fresh coat of paint - Painting costs very little and can make a big impact.
  • Update lighting - Lighting is another budget-friendly update. Changing out your lighting is especially important if it looks worn out or doesn’t function properly.
  • Enhance your landscaping - You can do some pretty great enhancements to your property just by pulling weeds out of your lawn and keeping the grass cut. Planting some flowering bushes and shrubs is another low-cost landscaping upgrade.
  • Replace hardware - House numbers, door knobs, and other hardware can start to look old after a while due to constant exposure to the elements. Change out any hardware that is past its prime.

#4 Remember That You Are Marketing A Lifestyle

When a person buys a home, they are not only purchasing a place to live, but they are buying into a community. So, make sure the listing includes lots of information about nearby shopping areas, dining, recreation, and cultural events. Think about the type of home buyer who is likely to purchase your home and what kinds of things they might be interested in. So, if there are mainly families with young children in your neighborhood, you'll want to talk about the local schools and amenities that might appeal to families, such as nearby waterparks.

#5 Make Repairs

If your house needs light cosmetic repairs, then make them. Make a list of everything that is broken or worn out and fix it. For example, change out leaky faucets. Give your interior rooms a fresh coat of paint. Replace that broken oven with a new one. These minor repairs will make a big difference in how buyers perceive your home. If you have not fixed holes in the walls, then buyers will assume that you haven’t bothered to keep up with basic maintenance.

The above five tips will help you sell your home in record time. They are relatively simple things too. Do you want more helpful tips? Then, check out this blog post on How To Get Painting Leads. It can help painters and all kinds of service businesses get more leads. Also, learn how to sue a car dealership for lying. Car dealers should not get away with selling defective cars to unsuspecting consumers. Learn how to get help if you purchased a lemon.

Guide Editor Fri, 01 Feb 2019 22:25:32 -0500
Real Estate Can Be Helpful To Make Unmanageable Debt Manageable One easy way to make unmanageable debts manageable is to consolidate them which you can effectively do by turning them into a conventional mortgage. You can use your home equity if you are an owner of a house and with the home equity loan or line of credit you can easily consolidate your debt into one easy monthly payment. If you have high interest debts like credit card debts or even other loans that you may find difficult to manage now, this is an easy way to manage your finances.

Debt consolidation is the process of combining your debts into a debt consolidation mortgage which is also known as home equity loan or line of credit. These debt consolidation mortgages are usually a long term loan that will give you more than enough funds that you need to pay off your multiple debts at the same time. Once you pay off the other debts you will now have only one loan to repay rather than several debts making your finance management and debt repayment an easy and manageable affair.

When you want to consolidate your debt this way there are lots of benefits that you can enjoy such as:

  • You do not have to keep track of multiple bills and its payments
  • It will in turn eliminate the chances of missing out any payments that will fetch penalties and added interests thereby raising your outstanding due
  • You can ask the lender for a loan amount that is equivalent to or more than the total amount you owe if conditions are favorable and
  • Paying all debts at a tie will help you to streamline your finances in a better and more effective manner.

However, if you want to take on such a loan to manage your debt, there are a few things you should do and follow a few specific steps. These are:

  • Start by looking for lower interest rates for the loan you wish to take. When you know how much the loan will cost you in the end, you will be better off.
  • Read the terms and conditions of the loan that should include the interest rates, length of the term, additional fees and other causes carefully before you commit to a specific loan.
  • Always make a proper budget beforehand. This will help you to choose an affordable loan that you will be able to repay every month knowing how much money you can set aside each month for repayment. It will also help you to manage your finance, set your financial goals, and set limits on your impulsive spending. You can use a budget calculator for this.
  • Make sure that you do now work alone. Always consult with a certified financial planner or a credit counselor. They will help you in all respects including developing a budget, designing a debt repayment plan and even talk to your local bank branch if required.
  • Make sure that you pay more than the monthly minimum as that will help you to pay off your debt sooner.
  • Last and least, you must keep an eye on your credit and use it wisely. This is important because it is your credit that will determine whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage.

Your credit is the most significant tool whether you wish to take out a loan from a traditional lender or look for any relief and grants from A bad rating will lower your chance of getting a loan approval irrespective of the source. Therefore, pay your bills on time and never miss a payment to improve your credit rating.

Benefits to consider mortgage

Since there are so many options available to repay your debt and even when you want to consolidate your debt in particular. You may think why on earth you would risk your property after all. Well, as a matter of fact when you use your real estate property into consolidating debts, you will enjoy a lot of benefits.

  • If you refinance your existing mortgage into a consolidation loan it will not only combine your multiple debts into one single payment but in fact you will be paying only the interest rather than the principal.
  • Moreover, when you refinance, you will usually get up to a maximum of 80% of the appraised value of your home after deducting the remaining mortgage. This is will in any ways higher than the amounts that you may get in an unsecured personal loan which is another form of a debt consolidation loan.
  • The rate of interest rates on the new debt consolidation mortgage may be significantly different from the existing mortgage because when you change your mortgage it will automatically change the terms of your original agreement.
  • Typically, these debt consolidation mortgages come with a well-defined and structured payment plan. It will also contain an assured pay-off date.

However, payment schedules may vary and can be weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly or monthly as agreed during the negotiation. According to the new terms some fees for refinancing such as title search, appraisals, legal fees and title insurance may also apply. Apart from that there may be a prepayment charge included in the agreement as well depending on the mortgage option you choose.

Therefore, it is essential that you do your homework and research well about the options and terms before committing to a debt consolidation mortgage. This will help you to find the right mortgage for you after knowing the benefits and drawbacks.

Reasons to consider mortgage

You should consolidate debt into a home equity loan because your home equity increases as you pay off and as the value of your home goes up. The interest rates on these loans are usually much lower compared to any other loans. You will also get much higher credit limit that will help you especially in paying off your higher interest loans.

Moreover, on a home equity line of credit or HELOC, you pay interest only on the amount you use and not on your total credit limit which is why you should use your credit wisely.

Guide Editor Fri, 01 Feb 2019 09:11:12 -0500
Planning a move to Australia? This is all you need to know sydney-363244_1280.jpg

Australia is popular for its many beautiful beaches, breathtaking landscapes, impressive architecture and hospitable people. These are just some of the reasons why people consider moving over to the land down under. But we all know that any place is more than the sum total of what is shown in movies and written in books. If you are seriously considering a move to Australia, you need information beyond koala bears and enormous spiders.

This article covers some of the essential information you will need for your planned Australian move including links to official government websites and a host of other useful resources.

Why move to Australia?

In a lot of ways, Australia is very much like New Zealand. They share almost similarities and have basically the same kind of features. There is no language barrier and many of the cultural aspects of Australian life are somewhat similar to that of New Zealand. For these and many more reasons, choosing to move to Australia is a great choice for many New Zealanders. In addition, Australia has a great attitude towards foreigners coming in to work, especially people who are hardworking and willing to contribute to the growth and development of the country. The country also has great almost year round weather, making it the perfect destination for the outdoors, sports and adventure. So if you are looking for a country where you can work, live and have fun without feeling lost or too homesick, then Australia is the place to move to. When you compare these factors with the educational, healthcare and economic standard of Australia, you will agree that moving to the land down under is an attractive proposition.


Choosing the best place to live in Australia

Australia is a huge country.  It is so big in fact, that the distance between two towns can be hundreds of kilometres It will take, for example, 10 hours of regular driving to drive from Melbourne to Sydney.

The biggest three cities in Australia are Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, therefore, if you are looking to live in a populous city, you may want to consider one of the three. But, when planning your Australian move, you can’t simply select a city from a map. There are a number of factors that should influence your choice of where to live.  These should include availability of employment, availability of accommodation and the cost of living. While Sydney is the biggest and most cosmopolitan, and Melbourne is known for its British architecture, Brisbane is more popular with newcomers, has a sizable business district and great weather, so you may want to consider starting out here.

Whether you are moving to Australia for work or for the long term, chances are you would want to move some of your belongings, and, in that case you can get expert and cost effective moving quotes from experienced movers, Ausmove.

Finding work in Australia

Australia has great features and a wealth of natural resources, characteristics that have helped the country even through the recent global economic downturn. In fact, the economy of Australia has continued to grow and flourish, especially with the help of expatriates who are willing to bring their skills into the country.

If you are planning to move to Australia, there are a number of job opportunities in virtually every sector of the economy, from opportunities in the public sector such as mining and agriculture to opportunities in the private sector, and even self employment. It is important to point out however, that getting the job of your choice in Australia will necessitate you having a number of desirable skill sets. But, while finding your desired job and applying is quite straightforward, it is vital that you have the right Australian visa which will permit you to work in the country.

One visa that makes it easier to obtain employment in Australia is the Employer Sponsor Visa. This is an option that allows Australian employers to hire expatriates to fill vacancies that cannot be filled by the local labour market. This visa allows you to work for that specific employer for at least two years, after which you can apply for a more permanent status.

Many people who start working in Australia discover that about 9% of their salary goes into what is called “superannuation” – this is a form of pension fund in Australia. Before you are able to work legally in Australia though, you will need to apply for a tax file number. Thankfully, this is a very easy process and does not take much time to complete.

Getting accommodation

Renting accommodation in Australia is not as cheap as in other countries, and while the property market has stabilized somewhat in the last few years, house prices still remain on the high side. Renting a house in any of the main cities such as Sydney or Melbourne could set you back a significant amount of money per week, so you have to be certain that you have the means to maintain your rent.  This means getting a job as soon as possible. Properties in the suburbs of cities such as Perth are significantly lower in rental, but it might not be a good idea to live in a small town and commute to a large city for work. It is advisable to take your time when house hunting, spending at least 2 weeks looking for a suitable place, then doing the necessary research before paying and moving in.


Living in Australia

Living in Australia is expensive.  There is no easy way to say this because Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world. However, the high minimum wage and high quality of living balances everything out, making it worth every single dollar you spend. That said, it is possible to live on a comfortable budget in Australia, but that would mean cutting down on some creature comforts, cooking your own meals and using the public transport system.

Wrapping up

Relocating to a new country is never an easy thing. There is the usual culture shock, loneliness and homesickness, all issues that will fade as you settle in, find work and make new friends. However, unlike a move to China or Africa, easing into the Australian lifestyle is easy enough, and hopefully, this article has provided some information that will come in handy as you plan your move.

Guide Editor Wed, 23 Jan 2019 00:40:35 -0500
A Mini-Guide to Property Maintenance for the Modern Realtor As a real estate agent, property maintenance is obviously not one of the core services that you offer. However, it is something that you should not completely ignore. Knowing the fundamentals of property maintenance can be useful in many situations, such as:

  • Elucidating the seller about the importance of a well-maintained property when it comes down to property value

  • Helping the buyer in solving any initial maintenance related issues

  • Comforting the buyer when deciding on a property that is genuinely good but just needs a bit of routine maintenance

  • Diversifying your personal portfolio into property maintenance services

So, to attend your clients competently and broaden your own horizons, here are some actionable tips on property maintenance that you should always keep in mind:

Regularly Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Carbon monoxide or a smoke detector that does not go off in case of a crisis could lead to serious injury and damage. Besides, the owner could also be held answerable in a court of law. Thus, make your clients aware of the importance of keeping these devices functional. Make them understand those undesirable problems can be dodged by checking the wiring, replacing the batteries from time-to-time, and investing in modern devices.

Keep a Check on Plumbing

Plumbing maintenance encompasses more than just investigating if the pipes have leaks or are enduring corrosion. It also comprises the maintenance of many major appliances employed on a daily basis, which can undergo significant stress over a window of just one year. For example, the water heater is a part of routine plumbing maintenance, and water heaters must have annual inspections and tune-ups to ascertain they work correctly and efficiently.

Plumbing repairs can be expensive and cause a sizable inconvenience. If your client is a buyer, aid them in probing for all the plumbing issues, not just leaky pipes. Likewise, if your client is a property seller, make them conscious that plumbing maintenance is a serious matter not to be neglected if they want to boost their property’s value.

Double Check for Electrical Issues

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical issues, including heating, appliance, and equipment failures, are one of the top causes of fires in non-residential buildings, accounting for approximately 19% of all recorded fires in 2016.

An annual inspection conducted by a professional electrician can assure that the wiring, circuit breakers, and appliances are all in good functioning condition. The significance of such an inspection goes without saying, but a simple walkthrough and test can prevent disaster down the line. You surely do not want your buyer to purchase a hazardous property, neither your seller to get into legal trouble.

Ensure Paintwork and Polishing Upkeep

Your clients probably aren’t aware of how huge an impact paintwork can have on the value of their property. Keeping the interior as well as the exterior of the property in the best condition requires frequent coats of paint and polish.

Not only does it help to extend the life of the property, but it also enhances its marketability and curb appeal. Describing these simple details to your client can help them get the maximum value out of their property and in turn, increase your credibility as an agent.

Don’t Forget the HVAC System

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system, usually referred to as the HVAC system, plays a vital role in sustaining a property’s value. If not looked after well, the HVAC system can cost a pretty penny.

Conversely, a well-maintained HVAC system can ultimately lower utility bills, avert safety concerns, improve work productivity, facilitate a healthier indoor air quality (IAQ), decrease chances of a major break down, and extend the lifespan of the system itself. The result of all this―an increased property value. Thus, in order to genuinely help your clients and win their trust, shedding some light upon the importance of maintaining the HVAC system is something you should definitely consider.


The aforementioned points are all centered on preventive maintenance, as investing time, effort, and money in maintaining a property is a lot more cost-effective than just waiting for something to go wrong (which it will, eventually), and then work on minimizing the damage.

Being in the real estate industry, it’s certainly in your best interest to keep all real estate in the best condition possible and help your clients get the most out of their dealings. Simply put: as with most things in life, it is better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to property maintenance.

Author Bio & Headshot

David is the Interior Architect of Mr. Wright. He has amassed more than 20 years of experience in the service repair and renovation business. Throughout his career, he has helped both commercial and residential clients build their offices and dream homes within their budget. His innovative and can-do attitude earned him many repeat customers. Through his articles, he hopes to share information nuggets to help businesses and consumers save time and money.

Guide Editor Tue, 22 Jan 2019 02:59:10 -0500