3 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent

Real estate

One of the most complicated things that a person can do in their life is try to find a home on their own. Trying to find the right home without the help of a seasoned real estate professional can cause a lot of frustration and worry. The only way to see the best listings in your area is to employ the services of a real estate agent. They will be able to guide you through the home buying process with ease Here are a few of the reasons why you need to hire a real estate agent to find the best homes in an area.

They Have the Access

For most people, the biggest reason to hire a real estate agent is that they have the access that is needed to get a look at the properties that you like. When trying to find a home on your own, you will be very limited when it comes to being able to see the properties that they you like. A realtor will have no problem getting you in the door to look at a property that catches your eye.

Help with Negotiations

After you find the right property that you want to buy, you will need help submitting a bid and getting the home. This can be a lot easier said than done especially if you do not have the professional guidance of a real estate agent. The agent will be able to help you to negotiate a better price if needed, which is well worth the money that you pay them for their services. The better the deal that you can get on your new property, the more money you will have to put in to the home.

Getting the Paperwork Handled

Another benefit that comes along with using a real estate agent is that they can help you with the complicated paperwork that comes along with purchasing a home. Trying to handle this task on your own can be quite difficult and can lead to disastrous consequences. You need to take all of the professional help that you can get during this process because it will make it go much smoother. You need to make sure that the real estate agent that you hire is experienced in their industry because this will help to ensure that you get the service you are looking for.

Hiring reputable and experienced professionals, like the ones at Red Real Estate will make finding the right real estate much easier. Getting professional guidance through this process is a great way to speed things up.

3 Tips on Finding the Right Condo

Condo

One of the most important choices a person will make in their lifetime is regarding where they will live. With all of the many living arrangements out there, you will need to do your homework to find the right one. The time and effort you put into this research is vital in finding the very best living arrangement for your needs. One of the most popular and affordable options on the market is a condo. The following are a few tips you need to use when trying to find the very best condo for your needs on the market.

Location Is A Vital Factor

The first variable you need to consider when trying to find the right condo is the location of the building. You need to make sure you find a condo that is in a good neighborhood and that is surrounded by shopping and stores. This will help to make your stay much more enjoyable due to the convenience it brings. By finding a reputable real estate agent in the area, you will be able to find the right condo for the needs you have.

What Amenities Are Offered?

The next thing you have to consider when trying to find the right condo purchase is the amenities offered by each of the available. Ideally, you want to find a building that offers a good bit of amenities for the price you pay. It is best to make a list of the things you want in a condo and then go out in search of one that meets your criteria. If you have a list developed, then you need to let your real estate agent know so they can filter the results accordingly. The more you are able to tell your agent, the faster you will be able to find the right condo.

Price of Course

Another very important factor to consider when trying to find the right condo is the overall price you will pay. Make sure you get a breakdown of all of the fees that are associated with a particular condo purchase. The more you are able to find out about the total cost of a condo, the easier it will be to narrow the selection and find the best possible condo. Be sure to find a reputable and experienced real estate agent to help you find the right condos.

When you are in the market for high-quality condos, be sure to call on the team at Schuren Listings. They have been in the business for many years and can offer you the help you need. Call them or visit their website for more information on what they can offer.

Why are so many British homes Empty?

british home

If you were to believe the hype, it would appear as though the UK property market is firmly in the grip of prosperity. While this is at least partially true, it creates a bowdlerised version of growth that does not necessarily offer an accurate reflection of the market. It is a little known fact that a disproportionate number of British homes remain unoccupied, for example, despite the fact that the property market continues to be unbalanced by a so-called lack of housing supply.

If there is one single building that embodies this issue, it is the luxurious Bezier building in London’s iconic Old Street region. Located in one of the most expensive and fashionable parts of the UK, the Bezier represented a huge real estate investment while the flats featured inside can cost in excess of £1 million. Monthly rents can also reach upwards of £2,000, and when it was built the structure was considered to be the future of real estate in the UK.

Five years on from the completion of this project, however, the Bezier is a shadow of its former self. Shaped like two sails full of wind, the structure is almost half empty as 42% of its units remain idle and have no registered voters residing in them. This is one of many vast real estate projects that have failed to create accessible and affordable accommodation in the capital, and it is part of a phenomenon that the government and local authorities refer to as ‘buy-to-leave’.

Buy-to-leave’ refers to a phenomenon whereby wealthy international investors procure high end real-estate without ever failing to develop it or rent out individual units. They subsequently hold onto the asset while the market’s value rises, adding to the national housing shortage and exacerbating the huge imbalance that exists in the marketplace.

When you consider the efforts made to create affordable housing and the key role played by trusted home buyers in driving a fluid marketplace, it seems a pity that this work is being undone by the actions of investors. With more than 610,000 thousands empty homes in England, alone, the UK is facing a serious issue that is impeding the portents for long-term growth.

Although the government and FCA may be loath to do so, the time may have come to place restrictions or more stringent guidelines on real estate investment from overseas.

Employment Not Working Out For You? Why Not Earn Money Your Way!

“I’ve been trying to get a job for the nth time, but still no luck. Should I just give up?”

Short answer – No.

Long answer – Noooooooooo.

With job postings still scarce, job security dissolving, and wage expansion seemingly stagnant at best, many people are looking for ways to create some financial security by creating multiple streams of income. Whether you are tired of your current job or are looking for another source of money for your long-term goals, there are plenty of legitimate ways to do so. And one of the ways it to…

Sell Space in Your Home

Ever heard of bedandbreakfast.com and Airbnb? These are two websites that offer home listing for people interested in selling space in their home for extra income.

If you have a spare bedroom or a house extension, as well as high tolerance for other people living in your home, you may be able to make money just by hosting people. Overnight travelers are always looking for ways to spend less while having a comfortable bed and good breakfast, especially because they’re weary of hotels and motels.

Why? Because homes are certainly more attractive than mainstream sterile environments and drab, run of the mill décor. Many savvy homeowners have been taking advantage of their spare space, and they are making extra money by offering travelers a one of a kind experience in a warm and friendly environment.

What’s best is that most people who use bed and breakfast feel more compelled to pay more for the experience. Your only challenge is the competition in this field, so you need to set up your home in a way that will make for a memorable and comfortable experience for guests. Follow the checklist below to get started:

Location. Most bed and breakfasts are those that are located near airports, tourist attractions or other historic parts of town. It’s because there are two types of guests who prefer B&B’s: families looking for a unique experience and business travelers who are tired of hotel rooms.

Food. You’re staying in a home, why not eat there too? One consideration when setting up B&B is to make sure that you have great-tasting breakfast that will make a lasting impression on your guests. Get creative and serve the type of breakfast that’s traditional in your area.

Service. Your level of service is another key factor that sets you apart from sterile hotel rooms. You’re offering more than a room and board; you’re giving them an experience. Help your guests plan their itinerary or offer a tour if you can. They’re sure to remember you the next time they travel to the town.

Advertising. As stated above, services like bedandbfast.com and Airbnb are good platforms to advertise your home. You may even build your own website or have one created for you. Services like these are a type away in Google.

Conclusion

If it works out well for you, and you think that bed & breakfast is something you can do permanently, then consider owning several more properties in your area. If you’re ready, then home loan options such as NPBS mortgages are a good place to start looking for new properties to create new opportunities.

Best of luck!

Subprime Mortgages: Déjà vu All Over Again?

Mortgage

Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the property market… it appears that subprime mortgages, widely implicated in the financial meltdown of 2007-2008, are making a rather surprising comeback in the UK. And some are worried that this is going to push us over the cliff into a fresh crisis.

A relatively new batch of lenders are targeting people who have experienced serious financial problems such as repossession and bankruptcy, as well as those with lesser dings on their credit records. The mortgages these lenders offer carry interest rates as high as 8%, compared to current best-buy rates of as little as 1.54% on conventional loans.

Included in this new group of lenders are Australian owned entities Bluestone Mortgages and Pepper Homeloans, both of which cater to people who have experienced a “credit event” such as missing payments on a previous mortgage. As well there is Foundation Home Loans, offering buy-to-let mortgages to people who have had financial problems. There are several other lenders in this sector, and all argue that they are simply offering a lifeline to people whose financial challenges have caused them to be rejected by the big name high street lenders.

Observers of the trend are justifiably worried. StepChange debt charity’s head of policy Peter Tutton was perhaps pointing out the obvious when he noted, “Last time around, before the crash, there were some really bad lending practices. Certain sub-prime lenders were lending to people who couldn’t afford it and were vulnerable and were being repossessed.” Tutton also said that even though tougher rules are now in place, he expects the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to be monitoring this market closely.

Other factors are also putting homeownership beyond the reach of many
As most people who have gone house hunting recently could attest, Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis anyway. In particular it is all but impossible to find anything affordable in London and surrounding areas, as prices are skyrocketing and there is a depleted stock of available houses.

There has been some speculation that London is on course to become the next housing price bubble fatality. A report from Swiss financial services giant UBS has declared that London is the most overpriced market in Europe, at risk of a bubble as a result of “explosive price behaviour” since 2013. (It is worthy of note that in comparison to other European banks, UBS suffered among the largest losses during the subprime mortgage crisis, requiring the bank to raise large amounts of outside capital.)

In any case, for the time being finding anything within one’s price range in London and other major metro areas is a fool’s errand for all but the wealthiest. So even for people with reasonably good credit it can still be a challenge to get a decent house in a desirable location. Add poor credit to the mix and the dream of homeownership slips even further away.

Meeting a market need

It is of course easy to understand why there are mortgage lenders who cater to people with poor credit. As the lenders themselves point out they are simply meeting a demand. In fact this phenomenon can be seen all across the lending industry. There are for instance various types of personal loan products for which a credit check isn’t even necessary, and though such loans also come with very high interest rates they are sometimes the only option available to cash-strapped folks. These types of loans have come under a lot of criticism, and the financial authorities have had to rein them in somewhat, but the industry seems to be adjusting and continues to work to meet the needs of people for whom conventional loans are beyond reach.

So it is hardly surprising that mortgage lenders would pop up to target those that have experienced a “credit event” but would still like to own a house. And for people who are keen to realise the dream of homeownership the deals can be pretty tempting. But StepChange’s Peter Tutton cautions that while it is important that people who have had problems in the past are able to be normal consumers again, if someone had been bankrupt or repossessed relatively recently, “you would expect lenders to think very hard about whether their finances have fully recovered”.

If you are struggling to get on the property ladder and are considering one of these “subprime” mortgages, think before you leap. Now would be a good time to review recent history, not to mention taking a brutally honest look at your own financial history and prospects. Carefully consider whether it would be wise to take out a mortgage under these conditions, and by all means consult with a qualified financial adviser as well. The dream of owning a house is a wonderful one but can easily turn into a nightmare if you make the wrong choice. Better to defer that dream and work to get yourself in better financial shape so you will not take on more than you can handle.

Save Today For What You Want Tomorrow

Better tomorrow

As the famous saying goes, you reap what you sow, so if you haven’t been planting any crops for your financial future, the time to start is now. You can begin by asking some simple questions, for example, what are your future plans? Do you have any? If so, what can start doing today to ensure that these will come to fruition? You don’t have to sacrifice every pleasure or save every dime, but simply keep in mind that if you want to achieve your goals of tomorrow, you need to start saving today.

This may seem obvious, but before you can save you need to make sure that you have some money left over at the end of the month. What kind of lifestyle do you lead? Are you living beyond your means? We often find ourselves struggling to live a life we can’t afford to maintain, living from paycheck to paycheck, buying shoes we don’t have the money for, or getting expensive repair work done on our houses on credit.

Oftentimes, this is fueled by a fear of being left out, and according to Investopedia, peer pressure often has a big influence on a large portion of our society’s purchasing decisions. Maybe we want to dress like our favorite celebrities, drive a car like our neighbor’s, or live in a house better than theirs. This is a slippery slope that can lead to a pile of debts accumulating and make it almost impossible to reach the end of the month.

Budgeting, however, is more than a minor change in your lifestyle and if you’re serious about saving money, whether you live in New Orleans or California, you’re going to need to work on that budget day after day, month after month to improve your personal finance.

So try this exercise. Think about how much money you spend in a day. Do you account for what you spend each day? Let’s take for example, your transport. If your workplace is far away from where you live, you could be spending a large amount of your budget on fueling your car every month. Running a car can be a costly business, with repair work, road tax, insurance; and it could be worth considering other options, such as public transport, or riding a bike to work.

Think about writing a shopping list before you go to buy so that you are not tempted to deviate from the list with impulse buys, and record what you spend each day in a journal or excel sheet. You can often be surprised how much money you could save buy cutting out on your daily Starbucks or learning to live without ready-made food and taking your own lunch to work with you.

Take a look at your bank and the credit or debit cards you are using, and make sure that you check the terms and conditions regularly. It’s worth doing some research as you could be paying more interest than you need to and it may be worth changing your provider. Be strict with yourself, without cutting off all pleasures, and stick to this motto – don’t save what’s left after spending; spend what’s left after saving and save today for what you want tomorrow.

This is a guest post by Michael Peggs.

Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.

How to Prepare for Retirement

How-to-Prepare-for-Retirement

Your finances are a big deal, whether you think about them regularly or not. Not only do you need to ensure you have enough money to get by today, but you also need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to save for your future.

The cost of everything is rising, and certain benefits like Social Security may not be around much longer, which means you need to do an even better job ensuring that you can retire at a decent age and still live comfortably. There are plenty of ways you can save money for retirement, and the following tips are there to help you make the decision that’s right for you.

Investments

One of the most popular ways that people save for retirement is through investment programs. Some people use their company’s 401 K program or opt for their own. Others place money into a Roth IRA. And some simply tackle the stock market on their own. No matter how you choose to invest, it’s a good way to save for retirement, but there are also plenty of risks involved too. If you’re new to the stock market and investment game, then you need to be sure you do some research to ensure you’re making smart investments. Alvexo’s YouTube Channel has a lot of great tips and tricks to ensure you’re making the right choice, or you can us investment apps or talk with a professional financial advisor. The more knowledgeable you are on the subject, the better your chances will be of earning a good amount of money for your later years.

Savings

If the stock market is too risky for you, you also have the option of just putting money into your savings account. Most banks offer some type of interest on the money in your savings, which means that you will be able to earn a little bit extra just for putting money away. There are different ways you can save your money. First, you should try to put a certain amount of every check into savings. A good rule of thumb is to put 10% away. If you have a hard time doing this yourself, you can see if your employer will do it for you, as many payroll processors will give you the option of putting your checks into multiple accounts. This way, you don’t even need to think about that money, and you’ll simply have it when you retire.

If you’re too financially strapped to do that, another way to save is to put all extra money directly into your savings account. For example, if you get a tax return every year, put that money into your savings account for your retirement. If you get an inheritance from a parent, put that money into a savings account. If you’re not used to having that money, and if you put it somewhere you can’t touch it, then you won’t be tempted to use it.

Earn

Sometimes in order to get extra money for retirement you need to earn it. There are plenty of ways that you can make some extra cash that you can put away for your retirement. For example, if you have an attic or garage filled with stuff, try selling it at a garage sale or even online. If you have a talent, such as sewing, take up a side business doing alterations for weddings or dances. Then, instead of putting this money into your checking account where you will likely just spend it, be sure to instead put it into savings account or investment so that it goes directly towards your future.

In Your Personal Finance Goals, Don’t Forget About Fun

personal-finance

The reward centers of your brain are insatiable. Those little serotonin and dopamine receptors (and whatever else…I’m not a scientist) need frequent stimulation in order to make you feel happy and fulfilled. People experience this stimulation through, among other things, novelty. It’s why we like to go new places, meet new people, and try new foods. It’s also why it’s easy to get stuck in an emotional rut when you aren’t able to break away from your routine for a long time. Yes indeed, novelty is the essence of satisfaction, for some people more than others. But how do we still scratch the itch of novelty and fun when we’re trying to be frugal?

Personal finance is all about self-control with money. But money is how many of us acquire the stuff and experiences that translates into satisfaction. If, all of a sudden, we cut off the flow of stuff we enjoy (eating out at restaurants, paying for awesome entertainment, buying sexy stuff), it’s easy to start to feel kind of bummed out. That’s why a lot of saving and investment plans never really get off the ground. People are just too bored to keep it up. That’s why it’s vital to keep an element of fun in your early saving in investment plans. When you’ve achieved some measure of wealth, you can afford more of life’s luxuries. But to get to that point, you’ve got to learn some tricks.

  • Learn to DIY. If you can learn to do for yourself many of the things that you pay other people to do for you, you’ll accomplish two things which will help you save and invest your money. A) These things will take time, so you won’t have as much time to be bored and wasteful with your money. B) You’ll get the same buzz from learning how to grill the ultimate burger that you will from buying it at an expensive restaurant, especially if you share the experience with friends. Tactics like these can help you have the same satisfying experiences you enjoy, while saving money by doing the work yourself. You’ll also pick up lifelong skills this way.
  • Use Technology Investment. The most efficient way is not always the best way, because it’s not always a way that you’ll stay interested in long enough to actually accomplish. This is especially true of investment. There are plenty of ways to make money reliably, but they’re boring as toast. There are lots of modern apps and services which makes investment easy and fun, but they skim a little money off the top to make their living. Some investors sneer at stuff like this, but I say, if it’s the difference between you investing and not investing, services like these are worth it. CMC Markets Trading Platforms bring the fun to investment. By using fast paced day trading approaches, you essentially gamify your investment, all while learning real skills which will serve you well for the rest of your investment life.

So learn how to have a fun time with your frugality and investment decisions. It may require a change of pace, or an entirely new lifestyle. But it’s still possible to have an awesome life and grow wealthy, without having to pick one or the other.