Why Map is Prime Focus of Housing.com

1

Housing.com is the world’s leading map based property search portal that simplifies all kinds of property transactions and whose influence is deeply visible in all segments of real estate including residential, industrial, and commercial as well as hospitality sector. The company has had special focus both on technology as well as acquisition in order to strengthen its market presence and to ensure better user experience. Over the last few months, Housing.com has acquired realty assessment firm, Realty BI and Indian Real Estate Forum (IREF) for a total acquisition cost of 3.2 million USD. Both of these acquirements have meant that the firm has further strengthened its position in the market and at the same time has given a clear message that it is in the market for long run.

While, the firm has consolidated its position as the leading realty web platform by expanding its reach to more than 100 cities, the core of its business has been map based. Here are some of the prominent reasons as to why ‘Map’ is the prime focus of Housing.com –

Home buying is not merely acquiring an asset

Housing as a company clearly realizes its responsibilities towards society. The firm knows that buying a house is not merely acquiring a shelter or building an asset for liquidating in future; it is more than that. People today want to know about their neighborhood, area and locality before moving in or buying any kind of real estate. This is important especially considering the fact that neighbors and area have a huge physiological impact in the long run. With map based tools and technology of Housing.com, users can not only explore the neighborhood but can also have detailed view on localities, sectors, zones and cities that are in demand with its ‘Price Heat Maps’ and can easily shortlist the areas that meet their expectations. As a result, users no longer have to depend on unverified property dealers in Gurgaon or other parts of the country.

Return on investments is important for realty investors

The other important reason as to why Housing.com has been so focused on map is because return on investment is really important in real estate dealings. The entity truly realizes that buying a property requires large capital investment and therefore optimum returns are important to keep the faith of investors in this sector intact. Housing has built a robust team of developers, coders, data scientists and invested heavily on other aspects of technology to make sure it offers services that are far superior and incomparable to some of the tasks done by real estate agents in Gurgaon and other tier 2 cites of India. It has therefore come up with an innovative map based tool called ‘Demand Supply Map’ that lets the users know the places that are in great demand across the country and enables them to zero down on the place they would want to invest in. This map also gives a clear vision of where the residents prefer to live and takes into account all aspects such as essential amenities, basic necessities, distance of commute and other critical features.

5 Potential Pitfalls of Property Investment

property-investment

There is a growing trend towards DIY these days and it is not limited to projects around the home. The internet makes it possible to become a self-taught expert in all kinds of subjects. Increasingly, people look to manage their own finances with advice garnered online where previously they have sought out professional help face-to-face. However, when it comes to property investment, you need to ensure that you’ve considered all the options and that you’re well-equipped to address them. Here are five important areas where you may need to seek professional advice if you choose to buy-to-let.

Tax implications

The rent generated by your second property will be treated as income by the taxman; and must be declared on an annual self-assessment form. You’ll be taxed according to the income band you fall into. Some costs can be offset ñ mortgage interest payments, letting agency costs and maintenance expenses can all help bring down your tax bill, for example. However, you may also face Capital Gains Tax liabilities if you ultimately sell the property for a profit. If you are not fully clear on the tax implications of owning an investment property, it could pay to seek sound financial advice from a savvy accountant.

Legal responsibilities of being a landlord

There are whole swathes of regulation here designed to protect landlords and tenants alike. To avoid falling foul of your legal responsibilities, you need, for example, to have a compliant tenancy agreement in place. The tenant’s deposit must be protected through a UK-government approved deposit protection scheme. The property must have an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate; and you are also responsible for the safety of gas and electricity supplies on-site. Landlords are under increasing pressure to treat tenants fairly Professional help is often advised to ensure you stay on the right side of the law here.

Ongoing property maintenance

Another area you will be legally responsible for as a landlord is much of the maintenance of the property. Bricks and mortar may look like a solid investment, but inevitably require care and attention from time to time. Apart from that, you stand a better chance of leasing to a better class of tenant if the property is well-maintained. Additionally, you will have to pay out for routine costs such as gas and electricity safety checks, decorating between tenants and so on. Fail to add this to your budget and you may well find that your investment costs more than it generates in profit for you. If youíre no expert at DIY, you’ll need someone who is to ensure repairs and so on are carried out safely.

Void periods

Your property won’t earn money if you have no tenants. In fact, an unexpected or protracted void period may wipe out your profit for the entire year. It’s widely accepted that you should factor in at least 20 days a year when there’s no rent coming in. Because let’s face it, if you’ve taken out a mortgage on the property, the bank still expects their payments, no matter what your status. A good agency can help fill the void quickly and efficiently when tenants move on.

Commitment

Investing in property is a big commitment. You won’t be able to extract your capital quickly if financial disaster strikes your personal finances. Houses take time to sell, unlike shares and bonds which can be disposed of relatively quickly. It’s far better to have a diverse portfolio of investments, rather than to sink your life savings into a single buy-to-let. Take professional advice from an investment broker so you have a sound exit strategy if necessary.

There is a great deal to be aware of and even more to do. That’s why these days, many still turn to professional and independent property investment brokerage services. These provide a dedicated and integrated service to help you invest in property while avoiding many of the common pitfalls – and much of the hassle ñ that being a hands-on landlord can bring.

Here’s How to Beat the Dealership at Their Own Game

car-dealership

If you’re like most Americans, you probably find buying a car as thrilling as it is frustrating. And, like most Americans, you probably find that the bulk of the frustration comes from dealing with manipulative or just plain dishonest salespeople.

Worse? Buying a car is not the investment that buying a home is. Cars immediately depreciate in value, which makes it even more crucial that you get the best deal you can.

The good news is that staying informed about dealership sales practices is pretty easy if you know where to look. While you’re still bound to get the best price if you’re on friendly terms with someone on the sales team, a bit of research can still turn up plenty of opportunities for you to beat them at their own game.

Here are some tips to help you get the most bang for your buck next time you find yourself looking for a new car.

Do the Homework

Doing research before going to the dealer is a no-brainer. 90% of prospective car buyers conduct online research before making a purchase. In fact, 48% of people take anywhere from one to three months to research their options before setting foot on a lot.

Unfortunately, a further 38% of car buyers make a purchase within four hours after they’ve committed to buying a car, which probably indicates that people aren’t weighing their options as thoroughly as they should. The same goes for buying insurance: most drivers are unaware of just a few basic changes you can make to shave a considerable chunk of change off your premium. For example: combining auto insurance with homeowner’s insurance could net you a savings of up to 15% on your bill, for an average total savings of $285 every year.

Likewise, research will tell you not only what kind of car might fit your lifestyle, but also show you the full range of financing options. Take your time and get the full story.

Look Out for Interest Rate Mark-Ups

Would you be surprised to learn that dealerships regularly mark up the interest rates that they offer their customers? It’s true. Research suggests that the average mark-up is about 2.7%. What does this mean for you? It means that you’d be better off dealing with your financial institution directly instead of relying on the dealership to be the middle-man.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending, about 79% of all auto loans are made through third-party lenders that partner with dealerships. That’s a lot of money that American drivers are leaving on the table: a cumulative $25.8 billion paid in interest each year. If that’s not reason enough to start thinking differently about how you finance your next car, I don’t know what is.

This probably means that you’ll want to commit to a phone call or a visit to your bank or credit union before you even make it to the dealer. To put it another way, anything that makes you less reliant on the dealership will give you an advantage.

Beware the Bait-and-Switch

For another example of a time-honored dealership “technique,” let’s look at the bait-and-switch. This tactic is almost too simple: it involves the dealership advertising a highly attractive price to lure in potential buyers – but when they arrive, that wonderfully low price they’ve been promised is nowhere to be found.

To be honest, I’m as guilty of falling for this tactic as the next person. Last time I was looking for a new car, I got swept up in the aggressive marketing spread throughout the Sunday paper, courtesy of the many car dealerships in my area. When I got to the dealership, though, all of their too-low-to-be-true prices and rates were nowhere to be seen.

As with anything in life, buying a car is another example of a situation where skepticism is your friend. Again, do the requisite research, and take the time to study valuable resources like Kelley Blue Book to get a more realistic idea of the prices you can expect.

Negotiate Each Expense Separately & Know When to Shop

Dealerships also tend to make use of a tactic known as the Four Square Method. The simplest explanation of this tactic is that they choose to lump together each of the major expenses associated with car buying, including the actual price of the car, the down payment, the trade-in value of your current car, and the monthly payments. You’re well within your rights to negotiate each of these elements as their own transaction; in doing so, you’re very likely to save money versus combining them into a single expense.

Finally, knowing when to visit your dealership could be the difference between a middling deal and the deal of a lifetime. Holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day can offer great opportunities to save—just be prepared for the usual holiday traffic, and a higher-than-usual chance of a fender-bender.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this brief look at a few ways to save money at the dealership. If you’ve had success with techniques of your own, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

About the Author:

Daniel Faris currently works as a freelance blogger, journalist, and ghost writer. He writes about technology for The Byte Beat and politics for Only Slightly Biased and The Sound of Progress.

How to Make Driving More Affordable

Let’s face it, driving isn’t cheap these days. However, like lots of people, you might rely on a car to get around. The good news is, as long as you’re savvy, there are ways to control your spending. By following these simple but effective tips, you may be able to bring your motoring costs down.

Choose an efficient car

First and foremost, make sure you’re savvy when you’re selecting your cars. It’s not only the initial price you must take into account, but the ongoing running costs too. As a general rule, small cars with small, efficient engines are the cheapest to use. These vehicles also benefit from lower road tax charges.

Keep your insurance costs down

Regardless of the type of vehicle you purchase, you’ll need to keep your insurance costs down. Lots of people make the mistake of renewing with their existing cover providers year after year without seeing if there are better deals available. Bear in mind, you don’t have to spend hours trawling the web to find competitive premiums. You can leave the legwork up to brokers like Chill, who will search the market on your behalf to turn up the best offers.

You may also be able to reduce your cover costs by fitting approved alarms or immobilisers, and by using off-street parking.

Think before you refuel

Another money saving tip is to choose the cheapest garages when you need to refuel. If you simply wait until you’re nearly out of petrol and then head to nearest fuel station, you could end up paying much more than you need to, especially if you find yourself in motorway petrol stations. Pump prices can vary considerably, and it’s a good idea to get to know the cheapest in your area, and to shop around when you’re away from home.

Service your car regularly

Although services themselves can cost you money, it’s important to get your car checked out on a regular basis. This will help to maintain engine efficiency and therefore keep your fuel consumption down. Keep a close eye on your tyre pressures too.

Drive carefully

Then there’s your driving to consider. To reduce your fuel use, try to drive smoothly and change gear as soon as possible without labouring the engine. Also, stick to the speed limit on the motorway. Travelling at 80-85 miles per hour on these roads can raise your fuel use by a quarter or more.

Also, remove any roof boxes when they’re not in use and don’t store unnecessary items in your boot. This will increase the weight of your vehicle and cause you to burn more fuel.

Driving may never be cheap, but by following advice like this, you can at least keep your expenses in check.

London vs The Rest of The UK – The Housing Difference

 

London House Prices

Infographic credit: webuyanyhouse.co.uk

Three Tips on Saving on Fuel

One of the costs impossible to avoid in our days is the one with the fuel our cars burn day by day. If only there was a way to reduce this cost – which, even with the pronounced reduction of gas prices across the nation – make up an important share of what we spend every month. But wait, there are some things to consider that can vastly improve our cars’ fuel economy, reducing the amount we spend at the pump. Here are some tips to help.

1. Keeping a car in a good shape improves fuel economy

A car with a faulty engine, with dirty filters and dirty oil always consumes much more fuel than one that is maintained in a good shape. Engine troubles can reduce its performance, making it require much more fuel to offer the same performance. Dirty oil reduces friction, again contributing to the heightened fuel consumption. Not to mention the dirty air filter and the partially blocked exhaust, that also contribute to the car running on more gas.

I know that a periodical visit to a mechanic can be costly, but in the long run it costs much less than the loads of fuel consumed by the faulty engine – especially considering that some things – like changing oil or replacing dirty air filters – can be done at home. Maybe by a handy boyfriend or nice neighbor…

2. Keeping your tires well inflated reduces fuel consumption

According to a study, every five pounds per square inch (psi) of tire pressure you lose can translate into a two per cent loss of gas mileage. Translated into more “human” terms, this means that keeping your car’s tires inflated to their recommended pressure will help you save on gas in the long run. Don’t over-inflate your tires, though – besides not helping you at all with fuel economy, an overly inflated set of tires reduces the car’s handling and poses the risk of them blowing out on the road.

3. Keep your AC off while driving at low speeds

Air conditioning can increase your car’s fuel consumption by up to 20%, so when driving around the city at low speeds it’s the best choice to keep it off and travel with your windows down. Things change when you travel at high speeds, say on a highway – the drag caused by opening the windows at speeds of over 60 miles per hour reduces the car’s performance, so there is no significant difference between driving with your windows down or driving with your AC on.

With fossil fuels running low, not minding fuel efficiency is like betting blind in a microgaming casino – it will surely cost you money in the long run. Keep your dollars in your wallet, don’t let them fly out through your car’s exhaust…

How a Shopping Addiction Can Get You Into Legal Trouble

Once upon a time, shopping addictions were confined to grocery stores, malls, and outlets. With the advent of the internet, and the smartphone, both men and women have found that they can get a “rush” by buying online. People now have the opportunity to buy anything at the tip of their fingers. As shopping habits have increased, the number of high paying jobs to fuel these shopping addictions has decreased, helping result in a rise of shopping addictions.

Shopoholism, much like drug and alcoholism, can be destructive to oneself and those close to them. Where an alcoholic will try and hide their bottles, a shopaholic will likely hide their purchases from others due to guilt. If you are unsure if you are a shopaholic, you may want to look at these signs:

Over Spending – Do you go out shopping or online, and spend more than you have allotted?

  • Keeping the Problem Secret – Do you get home from a spree and bury your purchases? Do you also conceal purchases from others?
  • Isolation – Do you hide from others to keep from being criticized?
  • Circle Spree – Do you feel guilty about your purchases and return them, just to go on another spree?

These can be serious signs that you have a shopping addiction.

In some cases, these urges mixed with a lack of income to fuel the addiction can lead one to break the law to fill their rush. Whether it’s charging more than you have on your card or writing a bad check, or stealing someone else’s card to make your purchases. By stealing someone else’s credit, identity theft felony charges can result in a $10,000 fine and up to 3 years in prison, and a misdemeanor may also lead to a $1,000 maximum fine and up to 1 year in county jail.

If you are caught shoplifting, you could face the following financial charges depending on where you live:

  • You must pay full restitution.
  • A civil penalty, which could be a formula that includes the cost of an item plus an additional fine, consisting of double the value or $500, whichever is higher.
  • Reasonable court costs may also be added to your fine.
  • Depending on the value of the item and your record, you could face anywhere from 3 months to 3 years in jail.

In one situation, a woman went on a killing spree to fill her shopping spree needs. Dana Sue Grey killed three elderly women and went on a shopping spree with their credit cards. One of the victims luckily survived Grey’s attack and was able to alert the authorities. Grey’s little spree landed her in prison for life.

 

People who steal, usually do so for the emotional “rush”. In other words, they like the feeling when they get away with it. The sensation of adrenaline running through their body. Many people in this situation may be depressed, and not even realize it!

If you or someone you love may suffer from a shopping addiction, you should look into getting some help. Whether you get some self-help, find a counseling group, or check into a rehab center, you do have options. As you way your options, you can start your recovery with some of these simple tips:

  • The first step to any addiction is admitting you have a problem.
  • Remove any check books and credit cards. Studies have shown that people, who carry a limited amount of cash, are less likely to spend more.
  • Find ways to fill your time in a meaningful way outside of shopping.

It is highly recommended that a psychiatric evaluation be done to better understand the degree of addiction to better help you, a friend, or relative repair their lives. If you or someone you know if facing criminal charges, you should also look for a criminal defense lawyer in your area as soon as possible to better understand your legal options.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Payday Loans

Getting the most out of your payday loans will allow you to secure the funds you need for resolving your current cash flow issues, without creating legal and financial problems that you’ll have to deal with in the future. Although these products can be very handy when you’re low on cash, it is important to note that they are commonly offered by companies with higher than average interest rates, hidden fees and guarantees that might not pan out. Companies like these must be diligently researched before consumers choose to use them.

Make Product And Price Comparisons

One of the first and most important steps to getting the most out of your payday loans is to carefully compare the costs of different funding products while taking a good look at the companies that are offering them. Each payday loan can be structured quite differently from the next. Application processes and approval times can be easier and much less time-consuming with some companies as opposed to others. Some payday loans direct lenders can also have lower interests rates and fees than their competitors. Shopping around will allow you to find the best value and the best loan types for your current needs.

Contract Stipulations

Be wary of contract stipulations that are designed to protect lenders from their customers. By signing these, you will be waiving your rights to take legal action should you feel taken advantage of. It is far better to look for companies that offer straightforward contracts and loan agreements.

Keep Your Borrowing To A Minimum

Payday loans have far higher interest rates than most credit cards and bank loans. People like using these product because they are accessible, but it is vital to consider the long-term impact that over-use of payday loan lenders can have on your finances and on your overall financial health. If an emergency arises and you do not have emergency funds stashed away, borrow what you need and pay it back as quickly as you can. Using these products only when necessary will help you to avoid falling into a cycle of borrowing and repaying payday loans.

Consult With A Credit Counselor When Necessary

Your are not getting the most out of your payday loans if you are relying on these products to get you from check to check. It is important to consult with a credit counselor when you find yourself using these products too frequently. A credit counselor can help you improve your spending and saving habits so that you have a much lesser reliance on payday loan lenders.