Three Ways to Increase Property Values

Real estate investors live and die by their ability to add value. With no added value, there are no profits. This is true with any business, but what makes real estate such a great business and a great investment, is the number of ways you can add value and cash in on big profits. Here are three ways you can add value to your properties.

Upgrades and Repairs: OK, this is the obvious one and is the reason fix and flippers can make money. Some repairs add a lot more value than it costs to do. The more creative you are with the improvements, the more value you can add. For example, I have a client that adds square footage to every house he buys. He really likes the inner city properties because they are the hardest to add square footage. You either need to finish an unfinished basement, or add a second story. There is not typically enough land on the lot to add an addition by increasing the foot print of the property. This client does a lot of basement finishes and “pop tops,” but where he has made the most money is the basement that is only 5 or 6 feet deep. He will go in and dig out the basement to a full 8 or 9 foot height and then finish it. Something most investors would not think of, so he is able to get the deal most other investors pass on. I have also seen some investors find houses that don’t really fit into a neighborhood and they make them fit. This could be limited bedrooms or bathrooms or funky floor plans. All of that can be changed. Obviously many cosmetic fixes like kitchens and bathrooms add a lot of value too. There is a lot more to it than this, but the idea is to buy a property at its true ‘as is’ value, (don’t over pay), and then add value with the repairs and upgrades.

Owner Finance: I love this one because it is so easy to add value with very little to no work. You will need to wait to cash in on your profits, but it is a way to increase a sell price significantly. You can also use this strategy to defer tax gains over a few years, instead of taking a big hit all in one year. When you have a property for sale there are a limited number of buyers for the house, although right now that pool of buyers seems pretty big. If you can increase the pool of buyers, the demand for that one house increases, which forces the price to go up. Someone that cannot qualify for an ordinary loan, limiting the supply of houses to choose from for that buyer, will likely buy your property. That also increases the price. You are adding value by giving them the chance to own a home that they normally would not be able to own. For this value, you should be compensated with a higher price and a decent interest rate on the profits, while you wait for the buyer to refinance and pay you off in full.

Shared Units: This is one area of real estate that I have not dabbled in, but it is extremely inviting. The idea here is to sell your property to multiple buyers. You are seeing this a lot in resort towns. It is always a vacation or second home. Have you ever been to a time share presentation? They are pretty enticing aren’t they? About 13 years ago my ex wife and I were in Florida and got sucked into a time share sales pitch. We decided to go because they offered us free tickets to Disney. We sat there for about an hour and a half and then the hard sale came. They were very good at selling the “idea” of the time share and had my ex wife sold. She asked me to move forward with the deal, but I could not bring myself to do it. I told her that I was not comfortable with an emotional purchase and that we needed time to think it through. “Can I please have our Disney tickets?” was my response. As we rode back to the hotel that afternoon, I started thinking about the math. Each unit can be sold to 52 different people because your purchase only gets you 1 week a year. Add that to the annual maintenance fees and the numbers are staggering. I know people who have flipped time shares successfully, because you can get them for free or near free on Craigslist, but it is not an investment I was interested in. With that said, I have considered doing a half or quarter share on a house in a ski town in Colorado. In this scenario, you are sharing a house with 1 to 3 other people so there is a ton more flexibility. You can use or rent out your weeks and you can be guaranteed valuable high demand weeks every year. It is a way to get a second home without the full expense. From the seller’s point of view, it is a way to get more for the house. ½ a share of a house is going to cost the buyer more than ½ of the fair market value. I have seen business plans from investors that would buy a house and quarter share it out. The idea was that after they improved the property and sold ¾ of the house to 3 different buyers, they would own the last ¼ free and clear. Obviously this strategy will work best in areas where people want second homes. The downside is if there are any improvements or major issues. I can see there being disagreements, so this is something you would want, as a buyer, to work out with all the other owners in writing before you buy.

Effective SEO Trends That Will Double Your Traffic

High rankings on SERP, search engine results pages, is what every business with an online presence hopes for. The higher you are ranked the more visible your brand will be relating into high traffic and increased conversions. SEO fortunately helps businesses achieve that and when you pay attention to your strategy; you will definitely pride yourself in the good positive results you get with search engine results.

Getting an SEO expert to help you out with your strategy could be the best starting point as the experts are equipped with the latest trends and tricks to help you get there. But even as you search for an expert in the optimization, it is also helpful to be aware of what trends are working currently and which ones are not. Below are a few of the most effective SEO trends you should embrace to double your traffic and enjoy great returns.

Videos for SEO

The videos are very entertaining and you therefore cannot go wrong with a high quality, informative video in your SEO strategy. Videos have a way of grabbing attention and when they are engaging enough, they will earn you very valuable traffic besides doubling it. All you have to do is ensure that it is easy for search engines to find the content and index it successfully so it is displayed when specific keywords are entered.

Mobile optimization

Audiences are no longer limited to one place and this cannot be ignored. If your website is not mobile friendly then you are losing out on lots of potential. A huge number of searches are done from mobile devices today. With a mobile friendly website, you can be sure to enjoy a huge boost on searches from the mobile devices. For this to work, you need to ensure that everything on your website including the colors and the fonts, graphics and the videos are mobile optimized. You will be surprised at just how rewarding this approach can be in doubling your traffic and increasing your ranks.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps have taken over online digital media by a huge percent. A huge percent of internet users are actually spending more time using these apps and by exploring their advantages, you will be able to make SEO improvements. The apps make searches easier and hence more and more people prefer the native mobile apps over websites. In a mobile app, you can prominently feature your brand and include all proper links to enjoy better rankings. Mobile app optimization should also be given priority in SEO optimization for the trend to work successfully.

Voice search function

Voice searches are more convenient and many people today have embraced them, especially when trying to multitask. It is much easier to voice search than type in keywords making the searches very popular. You can use this to improve your traffic, but you need to be very careful in ensuring the content you have is searchable. Long-tail keywords are a much better choice for this trend over conventional ones.

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How to Come Up With Your Best Legal Move for Copyright Cases

Whether you’re the alleged infringer or the copyright owner, calculating damages for a copyright infringement case is critical in determining your potential legal strategy. To analyse, the first thing to consider is if the pirated work has been registered with the copyright office. Registered works are afforded greater protection and these registration records can be found in a free online database. To access the copyright registration records, you need to go to the Copyright Office website.

Statutory and Actual Damages

Your best legal strategy is not only determined by the best copyright infringement software. Read on to know more about the types of calculated damages that could just help determine what works well for your case.

Statutory damages are often higher than actual damages and they are easier to calculate. So the majority of plaintiffs or content owners usually choose to pursue for statutory damages. For illegal filesharing cases for example, actual damages per pirated song may be around $1; however, statutory damages could go up to $20,000 or more.

Regardless of the actual damages suffered by the content owner, the amount of statutory damages is set by law. Each infringement usually range from $750 to $30,000, but damages for “innocent infringers” can go as low as $200 and up to $150,000 if the court determines that the defendant acted “wilfully”. The courts do not award damages outside this range and they consider the purpose of the infringing use, the value of the infringed work, and the infringer’s intent or state.

Aside from statutory damages, plaintiffs can also ask for attorney’s fees and if awarded, the infringer will owe them the total sum or part of the legal fees plus the fees of their own lawyer. Although attorney’s fees are awarded through the discretion of the court, unregistered copyright is never allowed to ask for attorney’s fees.

Plaintiffs pursue actual damages when their infringed work was not registered prior to the infringement. This type of damage is the calculable profit the infringer has gained from infringing the copyrights or monetary loss that the content owner has suffered.

Proper Analysis

Aside from getting a better understanding of the strength of your copyright infringement case, proper analysis of the potential damages plays an important role in determining a legal strategy. Calculating damages for copyright infringement is just one of the things involved in determining a person’s rights under the copyright law.

Most copyright cases do not go to trial and some defendants even choose to settle as the cost of a court case is already high, and added legal fees could possibly grow larger too. So, if you feel like your work has been infringed, talk to a copyright entity. They can help you identify the individual specifics that you will need to determine to come up with the best legal actions. Also, they use high-quality copyright infringement software to track pirates.

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Seven Money-Saving Tips for Affordable Pet Care

You want to keep your Fido happy and healthy as always. Isn’t it true? Right. But spending at arm’s length may be also not possible for you. And, you are always on the run to save few bucks wherever possible. As per the data collected from different sources, the estimated expenditure of every pet owner is around $1500 a year for each of their pet, and that too varies depending on the size of the pet. However, there are ways applying which you can easily save a little more on every necessity of your furry pal.

Go through these tips and see how much can you save on your pet as well as keep your Fido in good health.

Make Half-Yearly Or Yearly Vet Visits Compulsory

Normally, pet parents in order to save money most times miss vet visits. But when it comes to health whether it is you or your pet, it is crucial to have a health checkup at least once or twice a year. Your vet may give vaccination necessary for the prevention of certain diseases in your pet. They can also diagnose for any of the problematic health conditions in your pet. Therefore, a yearly visit can save huge bucks by keeping your pet in good health. Missing vet appointments may sometimes lead to a development of some chronic diseases, which could have been preventive in a case of regular vet visits.

Don’t Skip Preventive Treatments

Pet parents are least aware of the importance and benefits of the preventive treatments. Mostly they only prefer to treat their pets when they see that the furry pal has been infected with parasites in which flea and tick infestation is most common. Many times due to lack of preventive treatments like Heartworm Prevention and Flea and Tick Treatments, pets are badly affected and sometimes the situation even turns out to be worst. They suffer from health complications and when infected with diseases such as heartworm, they are even at the risk of losing their lives. Therefore, it is better to treat your pet with flea and tick treatments as well as heartworm preventives in order to protect your furry friends from preventive diseases.

Ensure Proper Dental Hygiene

Most health conditions are the result of poor dental care. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly boost his overall health. In lack of dental hygiene, there is a build-up of tartar and plaque leading to periodontal diseases. Moreover, the bacteria in the gums travel through the blood to the various vital organs such as heart, lungs, liver and kidneys and badly infect them. This can even end up into emergencies. To avoid such critical situations, it is always in the favor of your pet and your budget to provide proper dental care.

Regular cleaning with Pet Dent Toothpaste and Toothbrush along with Pet dent oral rinse can help your pet dental health to be at optimum.

Look For Affordable Pet Supplies And Food/ Treats

People get swayed away by those big advertisements of pet supplies and pet food on those local pet stores, that pushes you to buy only certain brand of pet supplies or pet food and treats for your furry pal from them. In reality, you can get these high-quality pet supplies and top brand pet food and treats from online pet stores at cheaper rates. Normally, these neighborhood stores sell pet items at higher prices whereas same supplies you can purchase at affordable prices with big discount, and at some stores like Pet Care Supplies or Budget Pet World, you can even get Free Shipping for any of your pet products.

Be Watchful For Signs Of Something Wrong

Pets are a bundle of joy and happiness, and they are least vocal to tell you about their pain or what health difficulty they are undergoing. That’s why it is paramount to be always watchful to look for any suspicious signs that can direct you that there is something wrong with your furry pal. While grooming, move your hands all around your pet’s body to find about the existence of any lumps or warts. Part the fur and check for the presence of ticks. Look for flea dirt or flea eggs in your pet’s surroundings. Notice the movement of your pet, whether he is swift in his movement or taking a time to get up or jumping. Whether he is limping or reluctant to walk. This can direct you that whether he has got some injury in his leg or may be facing a problem of arthritis. At the notice of any unwanted signs on your pet’s body, consult your vet for further diagnosis or treatments. This greatly lowers the vet bills due to treatment of diseases in advance stages.

Keep Your Pet Moving

A healthy pet is always in a good shape and fit and fine. As to keep yourself in proper shape you exercise daily, it is also imperative to make your pet exercise. A regular exercise helps to keep your dog healthy and fit. Keeping your pet moving, not only keep his weight under control but also boost immunity, digestion, mood and behavior. A tired dog gets a good sleep and stays happy. This is a good way for you to keep your furry friend in great health.

Grooming your dog at home is also a great saving. Taking your pet to spa or grooming salons can be quite expensive, however shampooing, brushing fur, trimming hair and clipping nails at home save you few bucks.

Having a family of four dogs, I always look for cost effective pet supplies. Working on these steps, I have seen that I can save a little extra on pet products and provide the best care to my pets.

Human Resource Practices

What we have in the prevailing marketplace in today’s economy is the effort that has been made by some well-recognized companies, among them, the Fortune 500 companies based in the United States, who have come to take note of the contribution of their human resource department towards the success of their organizations, SHRM. This has led to the creation of human resource practices by HR department, that motivate its members to continuously being proactive in looking at the business organization, as it engages its employees to determine how they can be supported in strengthening the company’s strategic policies.

A business organization’s human resource practices coupled with its policies are very important in the creation and maintenance of a work culture that is meant to reward, support and then create the expectation for the employees to be consistent in the performance of their work and provision of services. The ultimate goal is the achievement of an optimum customer satisfaction, which at the end leads to a satisfactory financial outcome that create a tremendous success for the company involved, SHRM.

Human resource professionals have been traditionally aligned with administration and finance, tasked with paperwork and far removed from where decisions are made in C-suite level leaders. It has been acknowledged in today’s organizations the value of employees as a key resource, therefore are embracing HR as a key strategic partner with organizational leaders. The new role being given to HR is behind the drive to have companies invest more in advanced technologies that will enable them to manage the workforce, in order to allow HR to spend more time in making valuable contributions.

It has been found based on an audit of Fortune 500 companies that having an HR executive officer among the company’s executive leaderships lead to high performance. In the audit, it was made clear the impact of having Chief HR Officer in the C-suite, which is that the companies with CHRO are averaging 105 percent more profit than their industry peers that do not have one.

Having a chief human resource officer at the C-suite conference table means that the person with the title is able to bring to the table issues affecting the HR department that could not have been possible were the person not there. So the CHRO presence is able to make the argument of the impact of having human resource on the company’s bottom line, the value it brings to the company’s strategic decision making process, and also the need for the company to create HR that is high performance and is involve in the learning and development of its employees, and also the need for an effective technological solutions.

According to some of the Fortune 500 companies audited, the CHRO in those companies embraced the use of customer analysis, proactive talent management as human resource practices. Some of the human resource practices policies enacted that directly lead to high performance in those companies include the exposure of HR risks, like the need to retain key talent in the company’s annual reports and instituting the continuous review of goals and performance throughout the year, particularly:

When the company involve identify risks in their annual reports, the company performs better when compare with peers that do not identify risk in their key financial and market metrics like return on assets (55%), operating profit (by 95%) and earning per share (by 54%).

The organizations that review its employees performance throughout the year are likely to continuously meet its quarterly financial expectation, and show a better average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) when they are compared to their peers that only review performance on an annual basis.

Organizations that have a higher part of its goals aligned and completed does better than its industry peers in key financial metrics, such as quarterly financial estimates, operating profit, earning per share, and price-earnings ratio.

Having a CHRO has proven to have a link to a company’s bottom line, demonstrating the vital correlation between effective talent management and business performance. There are many companies that are very successful in today’s marketplace because they have been able to institutionalized human resource practices platform that put forward an advanced, connected HCM solutions that manage an entire employee life cycle; starting from recruitment to retirement- taking the role from being transnational to strategic, also predictive.

A Handy Checklist for Your Pet Sitter

If you are planning to go out of town for a weekend getaway or for a much longer vacation and are not able to take your pet along. The best thing is to ensure that during your absence your pet’s stay is enjoyable and easy as much as possible. You can do this by hiring a pet sitter. But before you get one it is better to prepare for a checklist for hiring, so that during your absence your furry pal has the best comfort available. Some of the things that need to be kept in mind include:

Vacation itinerary

This would include the time and date of your departure and expected arrival.

Contact information

Ensure that you give your cell phone number, hotel information and room number in case you need to be contacted by the person you have hired.

Contact numbers of your immediate family members

There may be a possibility that the pet sitter might not be able to contact you. In such a situation, they should have an emergency contact number of your immediate family members who can take responsible decisions in your absence.

Key & security alarm information

Ensure that you provide requisite information to the pet sitting professional about the security of the house during your absence.

Primary vet information

Include the name of the practice and veterinarian they can contact providing clinic address and phone number.

Emergency vet clinic information

If there is an emergency with your pet after the primary vet’s office hours, the pet sitter should have an emergency animal hospital’s information which can get the pet treated quickly thereby easing the tension.

Feeding & walking schedule

As a pet owner, you know the feeding and walking schedule of your furry companion. In your absence, this task needs to be done by the person you have hired. Hence, provide him with the requisite information so that he/she can maintain the schedule of the pet in the best possible way.

List of treatments and usage instructions

If your pet is undergoing any treatment specify the instructions, so that the treatment can be given on time. This ensures that your pet does not miss out on the dosage in your absence.

List of food & treats

Although you might have made an arrangement of pet food in your absence it is always better to tell the pet sitter where they can procure the pet food in your absence. If your flight gets delayed or due to unforeseen circumstances you are not able to reach home on time, he/she should know where to procure pet food for the furry pal.

List of pet care items

Give the detailed directions about where have you kept different pet care items like brush, food, cleaning pads, sweater (if it is cold outside) and leash.

Favorite toys

Inform about the favorite toys of the pet so that the pet’s mind can be diverted easily.

Dangers Along Walking Route

Always specify if there is any unfriendly pet around in the neighborhood or if a neighbor yells if your pet pees in the yard. By telling them these things you can ensure that the pet sitter knows how to handle the situation if there is a need.

Room and furniture limitations

Provide a list of rooms or furniture that your pet is not allowed in or on.

Visitors

Always inform about the estimated date and time of visitors in the house like a house cleaner, lawn care company or pool person. This is particularly important so that your pet sitter does not think that your house has been broken into.

When your pet is well-cared off during your absence you will have a more enjoyable and carefree trip. The pet sitter will also have an easy time taking care of your pet. So, the next time you decide to go for a vacation without your pet do not forget to prepare a handy checklist for your pet sitter.

Significance Of Character & Police Clearance Certificate In Immigration

If you are planning to settle permanently in any foreign country, police clearance certificate is one of the essential documents you will need in order to qualify successfully for the permanent residence visa process. A police clearance certificate is issued to Indian passport holders by the concerned police authorities covering the time period of the applicant’s stay in the particular region. If any applicant has been involved in any kind of illegal activity or was arrested for violating the law anytime, the police clearance certificates notes the entire nature and reasoning of the applicant’s case. In much simple words, a police clearance certificate represents how ethical or unethical your character is in the eyes of law of the counties you have lived after the age of 16 years.

Necessity and validity of the police clearance certificate in the immigration process

It is necessary for a prospective immigration who is 16 years older and currently residing in India to have his criminal check done. If the candidate is an Indian citizen age 16 or older and currently residing in India, whose passport was issued MORE THAN six months prior to their immigrant visa interview date, should obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from both the nearest Indian Passport Office and the District Police in the area in which they reside. However, if their passport was issued LESS THAN six months prior to their interview date, they only need a Police Clearance Certificate from the nearest Indian Passport Office.

Factors that impact police clearance check

The following factors will have an impact on your police clearance check:

  • You have a substantial criminal record: By this, it means that past records will be assessed. A sentence(s) of 12 months or more in prison will impact your police check.Also, a suspended sentence is considered as a prison sentence.
  • You have been convicted of escaping: In case you have been found guilty of escaping from immigration detention (during or while detention or had escaped and were taken into detention later), it may bring an adverse impact on your PCC.
  • You are/were associated to a criminal group: In case you have been a member of organization or group that has bad records and the Minister for Immigration reasonably suspects your involvement in the group/organization criminal activities, it may impact your police check.
  • You are/were involved in any crime or offensive acts: If the Minister for Immigration reasonably believes your involvement in criminal acts like human trafficking, smuggling, genocide, sexual offense, torture of slavery, a crime against humanity, a crime of serious international concern, it becomes difficult for you to obtain a PCC.
  • Your past records prove you of an immoral character: If your past and presents records show that you are not of a good character and the government of the country thinks that you can be a threat to the country, you will be denied of a police clearance.

Procedure to apply for a police clearance certificate (India):

If you are 16 years or above, you can apply for a PCC at the places listed below, as per the associated conditions:

  • If you are residing in India and your Indian passport was issued within past 6 months
  • Apply at the Passport Office
  • If you are residing in India and your passport was issued more than 6 months prior to visa application
  • Have to apply at the Passport Office and the District Police Office near your place of residence
  • If you are an Indian passport holder and is staying outside India
  • Local Embassy or Consulate confirming you have no criminal record (a statement from Embassy or Consulate is acceptable)
  • If you are an Indian passport holder and currently resident in India, but has lived in another country (except for the U. S.).

You need to apply at the passport office, d District Police Office serving your place of residence (if the passport was issued more than 6 months prior to visa application) and the country of previous residence (if available).

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Altadena Real Estate – A Look at the Numbers

The real estate market in Altadena, CA is red hot. Homes for sale in Altadena command high prices and never stay on the market very long. Why? Both realtors and residents will answer that by stating: Altadena is a very special place to live, work and relax.

Altadena is charming community located directly north of Pasadena at the base of the Angeles National Forest San Gabriel Mountains. Altadena is an unincorporated and 14 miles northeast from Downtown Los Angeles. This warm, Mediterranean climate has hot and dry summers that average highs of 91 degrees. The winters are essentially warm and windy with the lowest average temperature of 44 degrees. Altadena averages 21 inches of rainfall annually.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census – Altadena had a population of 42,777 people. With 8.71 square miles to share there were 4,909.6 people per square mile. This is average for Los Angeles County. The population was more diverse compared to other areas of the county with the dominate ethnicity being White at 52.8%, followed by 26.9% Latino, 23.7% Black, 5.4% Asian and 0.7% American Indian.

The population of Altadena is well educated in comparison to the rest of the county with 45.6% of residents aged 25 and up with a four year degree and 87.9% with a high school diploma. In regards to the male population: 57.8% were married, 32.9% had never been married, 7.1% had been divorced and 2.1% were widowed. The female population had53.9% who were married, 24.4% had never been married, 12.4% were divorced and 9.4% were widowed. The average age of Altadena was 37, which is an older average age compared to the rest of Los Angeles County. 9.8% of the people in population were veterans and 20.8% of residents were born in a foreign country. The average commute to work was 27.5 minutes. Altadena has a Walk Score of 48 out of 100 meaning that it is a car dependent city.

The average household size was 2.8 people, which was 9% higher than the national average. Approximately 74.6% of residents owned their homes. This was 10% higher than the national average. 25.4% of the population rented from a house, apartment or condominium. The 2010 Census declared there being 15,518 households with a median household income of $83,917. This is high compared to Los Angeles County.

Altadena real estate isn’t cheap, however. The median price of homes for sale in Altadena is $780,000. This is 226% higher than the national average. However, the average home value is $731,400. The price per square foot is $485. The current housing market “temperature” is neutral. Last year the home values increased by 8.1% and Zillow predicts they will rise only 1.9% within the next year. The average monthly rent is $2,921. This is 53% higher than the national average. The current housing market health is 6.9/10. This is healthy score given by Zillow in comparison to other housing markets across the country.

According to Area Vibes, Altadena has a livability score of 77 – extremely livable. This is higher than the national average of 70. This comfortable, safe community will continue to flourish and grow and produce beautiful homes by its affluent residents. If looking to buy or sell real estate in Altadena, make certain you perform your due diligence and find an experienced realtor who specializes in the area.

Where to Find Lenders Who Will Offer Personal Loans To Those With Bad Credit

As many financial experts will tell you, an installment loan can form part of a long-term plan to improve both your financial situation and your credit score. Having a higher score will make you more appealing to a wider range of lenders and give you greater peace of mind, knowing you’ve taken control of your finances and have more financial options.

However, it can be difficult to get accepted for a loan – however small – when you have a history of late repayments. Perversely, if you’ve never needed to borrow money before, you will need to raise your credit score to show that you are responsible enough to be able to borrow money and pay it back.

Unbeknown to many, the internet can be a good place to apply for a personal loan. While you can ask your bank to lend you money, if you have a tarnished borrowing history they are unlikely to accept your application. You may also face problems when it comes to increasing your overdraft or applying for other methods of borrowing.

When it comes to applying online, look for a platform that will connect you with a trusted network of direct lenders, including bad credit personal lenders that may be able to help you improve your personal circumstances. The right one will be selected for you according to your unique situation.

Like any other application to borrow money, you will need to be ready before you start. Work out exactly how much you need to borrow – this is easier if you are intending to use the money for a specific purpose, like buying a car or moving house – but don’t be tempted to borrow more than you can afford to pay back.

Remember that you will need to pay back added interest as well as the amount you wish to borrow. The annual percentage rate (APR) will show how much this will be – look out for APRs between 5.99% and 35.99% as these are typically low interest rates that won’t render you in an impossible situation when it comes to repaying your loan.

Although a good credit score can open many doors for financial borrowers, there are plenty of online lenders will take an array of factors into consideration when deciding whether to approve your application, so having a low score does not automatically mean you will be rejected.

However, your lender may still run a credit check on your file. You should also be prepared to give other information, such as employment details, proof of income and a list of references. Some lenders will want to contact people who know you personally to get an indication of how reliable you are when it comes to meeting your financial obligations.

Once you’re accepted for a personal loan, work out how much you will need to set aside each month to meet your repayment obligations. This may involve drawing up a household budget (and sticking to it!) to make sure you don’t fall short.

It’s important to remember that missing scheduled repayments will have a negative impact on your financial profile, thus worsening your situation and making it more difficult for you to borrow the future. So bear this in mind when you’re making your application, and only borrow what you absolutely need to tide you over.

Shadow Inventory – What Is It and How to Find It

Many Investors have been asking me about shadow inventory how much is out there and how to get their hands on it. Shadow inventory usually refers to the supply of homes that has not yet hit the market, but “hiding” in the background. In Real Estate this refers to foreclosures (REO or bank owned properties) or those close to the process.

Banks and mortgage loan servicing companies typically hold onto properties that haven’t seen a mortgage payment for 90 days and in some cases even 2-3 years.

Why do they hold on so long?

Banks hold on since it allows them to release their inventory over time to keep their books in check and also to provide that easy liquidation to stimulate the real estate economy when necessary. Banks will now be getting more money for those newly released properties, then say 2 years ago, due to the steady increase in home prices and low inventory levels. If they chose to release all at once, it would flood the market with “distressed properties” and bring down property values.

How much “Shadow Inventory” is still out there?

Foreclosures have been steadily declining since 2013 with the highest shadow inventory then at 2.2MM. According to the National Association of Realtors, there is still about 4 years still on the books and it is possible that we could soon see more!

More “Shadow Inventory”? Why? (HAMP) Home Affordable Modification Program

In 2017 and beyond, many homeowners may find it difficult to make their mortgage payments due to “resets” with HAMP thus pushing them into foreclosure. The government’s Home Affordable Modification Program provided temporary relief to borrowers during the housing crisis. These reliefs ended after five years and now payments will be “reset” thus causing loan payment increases for nearly 900,000 homeowners. Some of those are likely to find it difficult to keep up with the payments in our current economy.

Where do Investors find “Shadow Inventory”?

Forget about calling the loss mitigation department or asking the cashier at your Big Bank. They won’t be able to help you. Instead, savvy real estate investors can approach the REO departments of smaller regional banks, credit unions and portfolio lenders to find out what could be “lurking” in the shadows. This presents an opportunity to beat out the competition and purchase at greater discounts.

But my favorite way to locate “Shadow Inventory” is what I call “Driving for Dollars”. Simply drive through areas that have high foreclosure activity and look for the white sticker posted on the front window or door of the house. This typically contains the information of the bank or asset manager of the property and their phone number. Give them a call and see where they are in the foreclosure process and if they’re ready to make a deal!

The NEW kind of “Shadow Inventory”!

There is a new kind of shadow inventory on the market these days and I’m not talking about the REO kind. Many successful agents have their own shadow inventory. If you’ve been in the business for an extended period and built up a clientele, these clients typically contact you well in advance of the property going on the market. You advise them of the steps needed to get the house ready to show which typically means doing repairs such as paint, carpet, landscaping, staging, etc. Therefore, there is a period of time before the property actually hits the market creating a different type of shadow inventory. Contacting your favorite realtor about this type of inventory can definitely increase your chances of finding that Dream home.

Happy House Hunting!