9
Jan

No One Will Get in

One night I was hungry, so I went downstairs to make a midnight snack. While in the kitchen, I heard a tapping sound at my front door. I went to the window to see who was outside, and I saw a man with a mask and a crow bar trying to get in. I turned on the porch light and the man ran away. If I hadn’t been awake, things would have been worse. I wanted more information about the pricing plans that were available for security systems in my area, so I looked online. I wasn’t going to go through another situation like that one again.

I thought about buying a gu‌n in addition to the security system, but ultimately I decided against it. Continue reading

19
Dec

be home together with your kids and yet be a breadwinner too

Along with learning how to tie shoelaces and how to write, learning how to tell the time is one of childhood’s milestones. Before you begin making your clocks, make sure your kid knows the basics. Once the clocks are made, you can start teaching them the different blocks of time.

1. Get down to Basics.

Kids need to be able to count to 60 (in the correct order) to tell time. Have your child write down the numbers 1 through 60 on a piece of paper. As they write each number, have them recite the number as well. Post this piece of paper on a wall and have them recite the numbers regularly.

While you are out in public, like at the grocery store, point out double-digit numbers and have your child repeat the number to you.

To encourage your child to learn, make sure to reward them with playtime or their favourite snack for doing a good job.

2. Practice counting by 5s

Understanding groups of five will also make learning to tell time much easier. Have your child write down increments of five on a sheet of paper up to 60. As they write the numbers, have them recite them as well. Make sure to point out that each number either ends in a 5 or a 0.

3. Teach them the general concept of time.

General concepts of time are the morning, noon, the evening, and night time. Familiarize your kid with these concepts by associating each concept with certain activities. Then quiz your kid by asking them when certain things happen.

For example, “In the morning we eat breakfast and brush our teeth. At noon, we eat lunch and take a nap. At night, we read a book and go to sleep.”

What happens next?

Since you have completed steps 1 to 3, your child will have an idea about what time means.

Also, the child understands movements on the clock. In this step, the child is able to understand the basic fractions (especially half past) on the clock.

Plus, when he/she gets a watch, the attempt to tell time more accurately improves.

Your child will be introduced to the clock through these steps and activities. Not only do these activities engross your child, it’s a fun way to pass time together.

While one child may tell time in a matter of days, another may not be inclined towards time for weeks after you begin. In both cases, make sure that you keep your instructions and activities going and buy your children their own clock.

3
Dec

Learning the Secrets about Sales

Good habits are the foundation of wealth. If you watch successful people you will see their day is filled with consistent habits that save time, improve focus and ultimately help accomplish more daily. Successful people get up early, learn daily, make lists & set goals and track their progress.

• Get Up Early.

Make the first two hours of your day the most important. It will not only set the tone for the day but will give you a game plan for everything else that follows. These two hours can be used for activities you enjoy such as exercise, meditation or completion of a project or activity from the previous day. The early morning is free from distraction allowing you to do more of whatever you enjoy.

• 20 Minutes Of Learning Daily.

It is important in any business to know what is going on at all times. Trying to master every aspect of the business may seem intimidating but is less difficult if you spend some time on it daily. Regardless of how busy you may be you can squeeze twenty minutes of learning into your daily routine. You can find this time on an audiobook driving to or from an appointment or on the treadmill as you get some exercise in.

• Make Lists & Set Goals.

Success is often easier if you plan exactly what needs to get done. Before you go to bed you should plan for the next day. Tackle the toughest task first and go from there. Planning your goals not only makes you efficient but gives you a sense of direction and purpose. The most successful people in the world have one thing in common, they all say their goals out loud three times daily. This helps to reinforce their direction and keeps them on track in accomplishing their goals. Try it and see how much closer you get to reaching your goals!

• Track Progress.

If you don’t know what is working, is impossible to gauge the results? At the end of every day you should take some time to evaluate what you did to build on your progress. If you failed to do anything, you need to ask yourself why and then develop a new plan to stay on track.

You ultimately control where you go in Life. Changing habits is never easy but is essential for growth. Start by incorporating these four habits into your daily life and see the difference it makes towards your success.

12
Nov

4 Basic Guidelines for Investing In Smaller Income Properties

Many people come to realize, real estate is often, an important component in one’s overall investment portfolio. This does not mean, doing so, and omitting other possibilities, such as stocks, bonds, etc. This article is not meant to advise the investor, who has the savvy, abilities and financial assets, to invest in huge projects, but rather, relates far more, to investing in two to eight – unit houses, or mini – developments. Understanding some basic guidelines, and considering them carefully, logically, and unemotionally, should help one make the best choices. Remember, when you invest in income properties, your mindset must be, based on economic factors. Here are 4 essential factors/ guidelines, to consider.

1. Financial feasibility: Does this investment make economic or financial sense? Can you make a profit, which justifies your investment? Is it financially feasible? What are the risks, downfalls, predicted occupancies, etc? Will you commit to being conservative on the revenue potentials, but far more knowledgable and ready for potential expenses? Begin by using the 6% Rule! The 6% rule means analyze the potential by considering whether you can make a 6% cash – flow profit, without considering factors such as depreciation, etc. For example, if the property cost one million dollars ($1 million), your net cash flow must be, at least, $60,000 per year, or $5,000 per month. To do this, you must consider taxes, as well as owner – paid utilities, maintenance, capital improvements, etc, and end up with at least $60,000 per year. If your taxes are $30,000, and you estimate maintenance expenses at $500 per month (($6,000), then the rents must come to $96,000 per year ($60,000 base requirement + $30,000 taxes + $6,000 maintenance reserves). Therefore, in this example, you must ask yourself if the project, will be capable of collecting $8,000 per month, in rental income!

2. Maintenance/ capital reserves: How old is the roof? Since most roofs are rated at a 20 – year usable life, if it’s relatively new, you should allocate a smaller amount, than if it’s older. Water heaters are normally rated for 10 – years. Never under – estimate! When will you need to paint the exterior, and how often will you need to do interior painting? Know your potential costs up – front, and plan accordingly! Don’t forget insurance, etc.

3. Location: Factor in the location, not as you might for residential, private homes, but in terms, of the type of property. Does that location help, or hurt, the income potential, etc?

4. Real estate taxes: Remember, real estate taxes rarely go down, and usually rise. Look at this property’s tax history, so you have some idea of the average yearly increase. Plan fully and smartly, from the onset!

In the right circumstances, and when the selected property meets the criteria, etc, investing in these types of properties often makes lots of sense, and may become an important component in one’s portfolio. However, if you fail to take a complete look, you might be confronted with the proverbial, Money Pit!

12
Nov

Tips For Buying Investment Property

Buying an investment property single-handedly could be a complicated and overwhelming process, especially if it is overseas. Some of the hurdles you might face through the process include,

  1. Choosing a favorable neighborhood
  2. Selecting the right property with all the desirable amenities nearby
  3. Allocating enough time to contribute to all aspects of buying
  4. Analyzing the prospects of the house
  5. Fixing the right budget
  6. Succeeding to fix a desirable price
  7. Understanding and performing paperwork

These are some of the issues you have to face if you plan to buy it on your own. Without a realtor you might end up paying a fortune for a house that is nowhere near to deserve a price like what you actually spend. So the number one tip would be to get the job done from reliable realtors who have the experience and expertise in handling investment property of all sorts.

Here is a quick guide to help you get through the process of buying a worthy investment property anywhere in the world.

Finding the right property

When you decide to buy a house, condo, townhouse or a vacation house for an investment property, give more importance to the neighborhood quality than the size of the home. Another aspect that you probably should vote for is for a house that favors a shorter commute to the city’s main locations.

Determining affordability

Don’t go overboard as you come across various properties. Be clear with your priorities among which your budget should be your primary concern. Hire a realtor who has vast knowledge of his sector and is efficient in the process of not only finding your dream property but also closing the deal for an affordable price. A realtor with such credentials will be able to determine your affordability Vs the cost of the property.

Determining comparable properties for sale

Instead of blindly playing by the rules, follow your instincts by comparing the cost of the property that you select with all the other similar types of properties in that locality. Your realtor would able to assess if the property that you have selected is worth the quoted price.

Accurate documentation

If you are a first time buyer, especially if you plan to purchase an overseas property, you have to be clear with the analyzing and performing of all the paperwork and documentation. If you find it beyond your realm, a realtor on the other hand would be well-versed in what is to be done and also makes sure if it is done correctly.

12
Nov

My Tips To Retain Property Managers

1. Put systems and procedures into place – Property Managers are creatures of habit and love to know what is needed and required of them. They want to know that the work is ready to go and they don’t need to go searching for what to do next. They want to be reactive, not proactive.

2. Time management – Possibly the biggest gripe from Property Managers is that there is too much to do and not enough time to do it in. The systems and procedures will assist a great deal with this hurdle.

I have a policy that tenants cannot walk in without an appointment. This is not accepted in any other industry and should be explained at sign up. Ask your Admin Team to let the tenant know that they are sorry but you are in another appointment, when would you like to book?

My phone calls under 9 minutes rule has been a lifesaver. At the start of an unexpected call, especially when I know they like to chat, I explain that I am happy to discuss the issues but I only have 9 minutes until my next appointment. The caller expects to need to get through everything in this time and they do. Magic!

3. KPI’s – We all have goals and without our KPI or Key Performance Indicators, we have nothing to reach for. Give your Property Managers their clear set of KPI, give them time frames and reward the team and individuals with incentives.We all love to reach our goals.

4. Make your own luck – Things do not happen by themselves. Plan your year ahead for training, conferences and holidays. Your Property Managers need to learn and interact with peers and mentors and holidays are important so that they do not burn out. This helps to bond the team and they learn and grow together.

5. Give back to the community – I worked for a company who did community work one day a month. As a team they went to a person’s home or a charity group’s building and did whatever they needed for a half to a whole day. This could be cleaning up a farmyard, packing boxes of food goods for homeless or folding paper to put letters into envelopes. It is not about what you want to do, it is about doing what is needed. This can double as marketing for your Property Management Department.

12
Nov

Is It Better To Sell Your House To A Property Manager?

Property agents are what many people know and they help you with the selling process by handling interested buyers and handling the transactions all the way to closing after which you get your money for the sold property. In some cases this is a process that can take long because it means waiting until a buyer who is interested enough and likes what he sees comes along and is willing to go all the way. Depending on the location of the house and its current condition and other factors, it can take a considerable length of time to sell even though you eventually will sell.

Fortunately, apart from the property agents that can help you sell, there are property companies and managers that actually offer to buy the property directly from you easing up the process for you. Usually the condition of your home is not a factor because they buy it as it is and within a very short period of time so you can get your money fast and easy. This type of managers and property companies are becoming very popular and you might be wondering why it is better to sell your home to them. Here are some of the reasons why they might be the best path for you to take.

1. The property buyers close the deal as soon as you reach an agreement on the value of the house. This means if you do not have the luxury of time to wait until you find a willing buyer, you can still sell and go ahead with the other plans you have. They are the ultimate solution when you need money urgently or need to sell and relocate immediately.

2. They managers do not have any restrictions when it comes to the condition or location of the house. They simply value it according to the current state and give you the amount it really is worth without you having to make any renovations or repairs. They handle other property issues after the property is under them. This is nothing compared to individual buyers that want everything to be in top shape before they agree to buy the house, meaning you would need to do repairs and make all necessary changes within the property for sale.

3. The managers offer faster transactions. They are experienced in what they do and will therefore make the process as quick and easy as possible for you. You do not have to worry about long closing processes you might not have time for. Some are so good that they can do the survey, valuation and close the deal within a day and you will have your money to continue with any plans you have.

4. They offer very discreet services. Selling your home is sometimes not very pleasant, especially when you are forced by circumstances that are not very good to do so. The best thing about selling to the property managers is that the process remains short, discreet and very private to protect your interests.

12
Nov

Property Management Made Simple

A fast, simple and effective way for landlords to manage their property portfolio with minimum hassle.

Being a landlord or a property manager can be an arduous task. There is usually an endless list of jobs that need to be taken care of, whether you’re managing a single property or a vast portfolio. There are several landlord property care apps offered by property management groups to help property owners in managing their property and keep everything running smoothly, taking the stress out of daily tasks.

WHY DO I NEED AN APP FOR THIS?

Downloading the app provides a simple and efficient way for you to manage your properties. It’s intelligently designed, easy to use features have been developed by the experts in app development to cater for your specific requirements. With its key features you can digitally take control of all tasks with a swipe of your finger.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Managing Tenants
  • Monthly rental payments
  • Utility management
  • Rent review
  • Property inspection reports
  • Annual safety tests
  • Lease management
  • Print yearly/ monthly taxable finances.

MANAGING TENANTS AND RENT

When it comes to managing rent owed and tenants the app couldn’t make it simpler if it tried! You go to the sub section you need, click the icon and straight away you can add new tenants, storing their personal information i.e. phone number and address, as well as their moving date and contract end. As for rent you merely need to select the property in your portfolio, specify the date, rental fee and Estate agents commission and you’re sorted. This saves a lot of time and productivity in the long run, meaning you’re not chasing any overdue payments or tenant details.

TAX MADE SIMPLE

Everyone knows that trying to keep on top of yearly tax returns can be a nightmare, but this is just another reason why this app is extremely beneficial. It allows you to do your own book-keeping on the move, by logging all of your income and expenses, when and where you necessary, to keep on top of your accounts. In the long run this will be more beneficial for your accountant or even for yourself if you organise your own accounting. Moving forward, this means you can review monthly and yearly reports with the tap of one finger, as well as track your taxes making your End of Year returns report easy to access, and print off for your benefits.

The same format is used when logging Expenses, again these are all kept in one place, and you can easily input property expenses through their individual property details and log important expenses such as Interest only mortgage, Capital Mortgage, Repairs, Insurance, Cleaning, agents involved etc.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

An additional benefit is that you will have a dedicated support team which promises to assist you with any technical and non-technical help that you may require. This gives you reassurance and trust that your portfolio details are in the right hands, and that all information is deemed confidential, to which you will only have access to, and none of which will be shared to other Property Managers.

In conclusion the Landlord Property Care app is truly a sensational digitally advanced way to manage all your business related requirements from your phone, and is considered to be the way forward in Property Management advancement.

12
Nov

8 Tips for Tenant Improvements

The best type of tenant improvements are those that not only make the place look better and the tenants happier, but those that improve your revenue thus increasing your ROI. These improvements can take on many faces and investments of time, but in the long run if things are made better, then they are truly worth your time and money.

But, are there ways to make tenant improvements fulfill both of these needs? Absolutely! In fact, here are several tips that can make the road of property improvement easier.

1. Do your own homework. Take the time to determine what changes need to be made and what the priority is for each. Talk to those who will be affected and learn when would be the best timeline.

2. Stay involved with the planning process. Be sure you understand the blueprints and design plans so that you can fully understand what changes will be made.

3. Be sure that lease agreement ensures that all the parties involved get the best deal possible. Take time to study the lease agreement to ensure that your proposed improvements are a fair deal and that it provides the rent that works for you and the tenant allowance is realistic.

4. Walk through the space with your contractor and be sure that the scope of the work and all the details are understood prior to signing anything. Anytime changes are made after the papers are signed, it will cost you time, and quite often more money!

5. Be flexible. As you do the walkthrough, be open to ideas and alternatives in materials or use of the spaces.

6. Think about the present as well as the future in regards to your lease. If you are considering a long list of tenant improvements, it may be possible to space them out over several years, thus making it possible to recoup some of your investment sooner rather than later.

7. If you are new to the tenant improvement process, be sure that you understand the zoning regulations and that the contractor you work with knows you expect them followed.

8. Be upfront about your budget. If your contractor understands that adding on a multitude of extras is not going to happen due to budgetary restraints, they will be less likely to push you towards something that is not achievable.

Tenant improvements do not have to be the things that nightmares are made of! Due diligence and patience will go a long way towards making the process simpler. Talk to your local contractors to learn more about to make this process easier and more efficient.

12
Nov

Tips for Buying Land

There are plenty of properties available in this area of the state. Some already have pre-built homes ready for buyers to move in without a second thought, but a lot of buyers prefer to start from the ground up and build a new construction home. A new home allows the buyer to customize the space to meet their needs. If you’re interested building a home on a parcel of land, here are some tips for finding the ideal property.

Permanent Home or Vacation Residence

Prior Lake draws all kinds of buyers. While some people are interested in establishing permanent roots, others aren’t so keen on the cold, harsh winters and would prefer to call Prior Lake home during the warmer summer months. Seasonal residents may be better off purchasing land that is in an established neighborhood that offers lake amenities and smaller lots that are more manageable. Land in neighborhoods will often already come with sewer or septic hookups and other utilities so you don’t have to worry about adding in these costs when building your home.

Large Acreage Purchases

Minnesota is a state with wide expanses of uninhabited land. In some areas, your nearest neighbor may be 5 miles away. If you’re interested in purchasing acres of land, you’ll get privacy and peaceful lake access, but there are some things you’ll want to consider before signing on the dotted line.

Properties with a lot of acreage are often a blank canvas. When you’re ready to build your home, you may need to hire a company to clear the land before construction starts. You will also need to bring in your own utilities unless you plan to live off the grid. Considering the cold climate, most modern-day homebuyers aren’t interested in outhouses and homes without electricity. Therefore, you’ll need to do your research to find out how to get utilities to the residence.

Another problem homeowners with many acres often run into is trespassers. Remote areas are attractive to hunters, hikers, and other outdoor adventurers. It isn’t uncommon for ATV operators, snow mobiles, and other motorized vehicles to make tracks through private property, especially when there are picturesque views or other appealing elements to the property like lakes, streams, etc. You can try to curb this behavior by posting No Trespassing signs. It is also a good idea to work with local law enforcement and let them know that you have not given any private party permission to hunt or recreate on your land.

Making a Land Purchase

Whether you’ve decided to buy a small parcel of land or numerous acres, make sure you work with a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about these kinds of real estate transactions. Land transactions generally go through the same process as home purchases, but it is important that your real estate agent is familiar with the procedures.

Land purchases have different lending requirements. Traditional lenders do not always offer land loans. Before you begin your hunt for that perfect piece of land to build your dream home on, make sure you’re pre-approved for the correct kind of loan. The last thing you want is to find a beautiful parcel of land in Prior Lake, MN, only to have the deal fall through because you didn’t have the right type of financing.