Should I Make Major Home Improvements Before Listing My House for Sale?

We’ve already discussed that improving little things in your home (like fresh paint, new door knobs, de-cluttering, etc.) can make a difference in how soon your house sells and the price it sells for. But what about doing major improvements to your home? Would it be worth your investment?

There are some home improvements that are proven to add value to your home and/or speed up the selling process. Then there are other improvements that cater to personal taste and really don’t add much value to the house.

Some of the home improvements that add value include the addition of central air, finishing the basement, building a deck, remodeling the kitchen (updating the cabinets, countertops, appliances, etc.), and installing new floor coverings. Things like fireplaces and swimming pools don’t really add much value to your home as they tend to appeal more to personal tastes, so your return on those investments would generally be less than their cost.

The challenge, then, is recouping your investment. You’ll need to be careful, because when making improvements, there’s always the risk of OVER-improving your home – meaning neighborhood prices won’t support the amount of money you put into it. So how do you know how much improving is too much? It’s been found that no matter how much you improve any home, you’ll be unlikely to sell it for more than 15% of the median price of other homes in the same neighborhood. So if you have a real estate agent, you may want to ask for his or her opinion before you begin any major renovating.

What about saving some money and doing the renovating yourself? Sounds like a good idea! If you have the time and talent to do the work, DIY improvements would be the most cost-effective route. Just make sure that you don’t take on any projects you don’t have experience in or can’t handle. If you’re not experienced, it may be worth it to call for the help of a professional. Otherwise, you could end up spending MORE time and money in the long-run!

When it comes to larger jobs like heating, electrical or plumbing, don’t forget that there are local building codes that are required to be met. So even if you DO know what you’re doing, it’s probably best to have a licensed professional take care of it. This serves as a protection and will keep you from being held responsible should something go wrong after closing.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you do your research! Find out what your neighborhood will support and don’t make major improvements that won’t give you a return on your investments.

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How Do I Know I’m a Real Estate Investor?

I recently had a long chat with one of the most successful real estate investors I’ve ever met. As I often do, I wanted to get a real understanding of the “Why?” he did real estate and what he wanted to accomplish for himself by reaching financial freedom.

You see, I am firmly convinced of the truth that “If you have a big enough ‘Why?’ to do something, the ‘How?’ will reveal itself to you. This gentleman had some good things to say about the concept and completely opened my mind up to even deeper levels of understanding about the terms “success” and “freedom”.

Listen, if you’re serious about making real estate investing an ultra-successful career for you, you have to go even further than just having investing in real estate be what you do for a living.

It has to become a lifestyle. He threw my questions right back at me and we had some great give-and-take and it was like you could really feel that chemistry that comes into play when entrepreneurs are talking about their passion of investing in real estate.

For him, it came down to asking this question, which fans of Tony Robbins should recognize its like:

“If I had unlimited time, unlimited money, unlimited resources and encouragement, unlimited tools and teaching, unlimited support from friends and family, and unlimited belief in myself…what would I do? Who would I be?”

Most of us would do the things that are passionate about, right?

He was able early on to answer that he wanted to be a real estate investor who helped people solve problems and made money by investing in real estate. What he shared with me, however, is that he didn’t self-identify as a “real estate investor” until many, many years later.

Until that moment, years later, when he claimed and began now to internalize the belief that “I am a real estate investor”, he was a hobbyist, a dabbler, a dreamer.

He had this experience of self-actualization at a real estate seminar where one of the participants asked the speaker “How do I really know that I’m a real estate investor?”

The speaker responded that “You know you’re a true investor when you can’t NOT invest!”

He then went on to tell me that during the same seminar someone, obviously someone without a very strong “Why?” or motivation yet to become successful, asked the speaker “How can I find time in my busy schedule to do this business?”

The looked at this questioner with the same patience and understanding that showed that this was the hundredth time the speaker had fielded this question, and said in effect “If you’re a real estate investor, you do not find time to invest and do this business…if you’re serious about this business you make time to do it.”

After my incredibly successful investor friend let that sink into him and he found that he could really grasp hold of those two simple concepts, he realized then and there that he’d always been trying to FIND the time to invest and take the necessary actions to get his business going. For all of his “career” to that point he had been finding and taking that time to do his “business” AFTER other things that his attention and time expenditures PROVED were MORE important to him than becoming successful with real estate.

The difference, after he had let these two concepts sink into him and really started to understand it and, most importantly, APPLY his understanding to his thought patterns and daily routines…

…the difference was that he did not just IGNORE the real-world practical matters that NEED to be a part of someone’s life (like for example to the beginning real estate investor, a steady income from a stable source to provide bills’ money and put food on the table) but other than that, he ASSURED himself that he would always MAKE time to create the life he wanted that was in answer to his compelling “Why?” to become successful- and he did it by taking solid, CONSISTENT actions and gaining unstoppable momentum.

I think that these 2 concepts- of IDENTITY and claiming that you ARE what you want to be, and CONSISTENCY in finding the time necessary to DO what you ARE- applies to anyone wishing to turn a dream into a reality, whether it is to become a successful real estate investor or whatever, be it a published author, big ticket actress, or even just someone who wants to become the “World’s Best Dad”.

Just substitute whatever it is that you’re passionate about for finding time to do “real estate investing” and knowing how you are really a “real estate investor?” and you’re on your way, if real estate investing is not your passion.

I understand for many people it’s NOT. Many people want to USE the VEHICLE of real estate to take them to a place where you have the freedom and the luxury of time, and you have been able to achieve the financial security and independence to do what you want when you want.

Now, with me, it’s writing. I’m passionate about writing, and will write whether or not I get paid for it. It’s not just what I DO, but it’s who I AM.

How would you answer my friend’s question…if you had everything you ever needed already ACCOMPLISHED by investing in real estate and building a positive and successful lifestyle with plenty of passive income coming in every week?

What would YOU do? Who would you BE?

What’s your dream? What’s YOUR true passion?

What will you do with the extraordinary wealth you can accumulate in real estate?

Now I want you to write down what you are passionate about. You are passionate about something besides money, right? ;) I certainly hope so! If you aren’t, it’s time to ask yourself a good hard question and take a long look at yourself and find out why not!

Maybe your answer is like mine, that wealth and income from real estate investing can give me the freedom to write whenever I want, to get paid or not get paid but to have the flexibility for it not to MATTER. Maybe you want to spend more time with your family. Maybe you want to escape the 9 to 5 grind and make sure that you never miss another Little League game. Maybe you want to spend time golfing, fishing, or sailing, or learning the intricacies of Thai cuisine.

Maybe in financial freedom you’d want to travel all over the world (of course, you’d at least LOOK at real estate while you’re there right? That’s called taking a PAYcation instead of a VACATION and you need to ask your tax professional about THAT little gift from Uncle Sam).

Whatever your “Why?” is take a moment now and write it down! Commit this to paper. It’s important!

Now, here’s where my friend and I agree that most people stop. This is hard. In fact, it’s often a question that if you give it the thought and meditation time that it deserves just might make you cry or knock you flat on your backside. Asking this next question you’re about to ask yourself can be downright HUMBLING or even, in some cases, extremely UPSETTING. But, you GOTTA do it!

Now, write down your well-thought answers to this question:

Why aren’t you living this life and doing all these things you desire NOW? If you’re not close, what would it take for you to be able to live your life of destiny and dreams?

Think this is a silly exercise? Just ask yourself, “Am I getting the results right now that I want out of my life?” If you’re not, well…it might be wise to consider some opinions. ;)

Just remember, without a map there is no treasure! Your “Why?” is the map that will keep you on track towards gaining momentum to becoming the IDENTITY of a true entrepreneur and professional real estate investor. And it keeping this in mind will PUSH you into taking all the actions necessary, in a CONSISTENT manner, to achieving everything it is that, until you WRITE IT DOWN, you only SAY that you really want.

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Improve Your Poor Credit Score and Secure Yourself a Loan

So you are thinking of getting some extra money to make some urgent home repairs, the porch door needs replacing, along with a new hot water system. Unfortunately you do not have the money in the bank, but neither do you have a secure porch door or any constant hot water.

Have you considered personal loans? A lot of people take out personal loans for this type of repair. Car repairs and even holidays are used by people with their newly acquired finances. Most people have heard that a poor credit score is not a good thing (However even those that have a poor financial history can still get loans). But how do you make a good rating?

One of thing major pieces of advice from experts, before you apply for finance it is best to get a credit report completed from a reputable source. This will give you an idea of the chance of getting your application approved. In the United States of America there are three levels of credit rating, basically the higher it is the better it is.

An excellent rating is above 760, a good rating would be between 700 and 759 and a poor rating would be between 640 to 699. if you are at the top end, 760 and above then there is no point in making your rating any better. However with other ratings it is worth trying to improve as it will help your chances of succeeding in the application.

There does seem to be a bit of a chicken and egg situation sometimes, you need finance but have a poor score,but to improve you need a lender to give you a chance. Well, luckily there are things that you and your family if you have one, can do to improve your rating.

Having a poor rating does not mean you have to be stuck with it, starting to pay the bills on time instead of late or not at all will start to get you on the right path. Some lenders will still give applicants loans even with a low score, but the total given will be lower than usually and the percentage rate will be considerably higher. So you will pay more over the period of the finance.

Families can help too. If a member of your family has a good rating then some credit card companies can add you to that family members credit card as an authorized user, this will help with any poor credit score. Also having a family member with a good rating co-sign the loan could help you get what you need.

Finding the correct lender for your score is a good way to make sure that you are getting what you deserve, if you have a high score you deserve some of the best deals on the market. Instead of going to your bank or card company you can go online and search for a matching company. Companies like this are a good place go to make sure you achieve the best deal.

What are a matching company and what do they do? You enter your details on their online program and your information will be fed to several of their approved lenders, in turn the lenders will then return to the matching company with a list of loans that they are able to offer.

Once the offers come back it is then up to the applicant to choose one and complete all the necessary paperwork. A check will then be received within a matter of days and your new boiler and door fitted soon after.

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Payment Options for Shopping All the Way

Everyone is busy. Busy in shopping online and in the malls. Popular online portals are breaking and making new sale records! All thanks to the convenience and the availability of easy payment options and funds!

Here are few of the factors that are making online businesses a success

Credit Cards: A credit card is plastic money. It is one of the easiest form in which a person gets a personal loan.

All online portals as well as retailers in malls accept credit cards issued by various banks.
Online payment becomes very simple and safe, thanks to the one time passwords generated for such transactions.
A PIN is sufficient for shopping using a credit card at any retail store.

Personal loans for shopping: When we apply for a personal loan, we don’t have to provide the financier with the details of what we want the loan for.

Thus these days’ personal loans are being used to finance shopping.
They can also be used as wedding loans, vacation loans and educational loans.

Payment Processing: As far as payment processing is concerned, the following factors matter to both the consumer and the online retailer.

Uncomplicated manoeuvring on website: It is important for the payment process to be step-by-step and easy to understand. Most websites work on this section very carefully and thus the online shopping experience is satisfactory.

Processing Costs: Processing costs matter to the retailers. More the processing fees they have to pay to providers of payment gateways like Visa, the lesser are their margins. So to have an effective business the processing costs need to be low.
Number of payment options: Multiple payment options should be available for the customer to make payment. This makes the shopping a convenient proposition.
Time taken to process transactions: Processing time not only tests your patience but sometimes also the strength of your internet connection!

Cash on Delivery: This is also known as “collection on delivery.” This is a very popular mode of making payments for shopping in the developing world.

It enhances impulse purchases.
A credit card is not an essential possession for the buyer.
The buyer can check the quality of the product and then pay

So this festive season, do not hesitate to shop and to gift! The availability of funds for shopping is not difficult anymore. Also the convenience of online shopping has brought various retailers to our doorstep. So let us shop all the way!

An easy way of shopping is using a credit card. It forms an integral part of most people’s financial planning. When used in the right manner, it helps reduce financial liability and optimizes financial resources.

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Are Online Personal Loans Good For People With Bad Credit?

While the rise of online lending in itself makes it more convenient for people to apply for finance, is this development a good thing for those who are already struggling? There are companies out there who charge expensive annual percentage rates (APRs), leaving many people in more trouble than when they first started.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Over the last few years, online lending has earned itself a bad reputation. The internet leaves many people vulnerable to fraud, so you should always exercise caution when inputting your financial details. The best way to make sure your information remains safe is to find a secure, reliable lending platform.

There is an unfair irony attached to lending today. Those with bad credit are often led to believe they have no financial options if they have made mistakes in the past, often making their situations seem more desperate than they actually are. This can result in people making bad decisions and can lead to borrowing through unstable sources.

Meanwhile, any lenders that do accept you with bad credit will charge extortionate interest rates because of your history, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly repayment obligations – thus worsening your situation. This is a trap that many people fall into, and it gives online installment lenders a bad name.

However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you can find yourself a reliable lending platform, you will be connected to a secure network of trustworthy lenders who can offer sensible solutions to your borrowing needs. Many of these lenders will assess your application, even if your credit file isn’t perfect or your income is lower than average.

Instead of (or in some cases, as well as) running credit checks, these lenders will take other factors into consideration, including your income and employment circumstances, and how long you have lived at your current address. They may even ask for references they can contact who will vouch for your character personally.

Even those who receive benefits as a form of income will be able to apply, giving everyone a fair and carefully considered chance of borrowing money. In these cases, applicants won’t be accepted for higher loans than they can afford to pay back, and interest rates will be low, meaning there is a better chance of managing repayments.

If you have poor credit and need to borrow money, consider a personal installment loan, but make sure the APR is advertised between 5.99% and 35.99%. There should also be a number of options in terms of flexible repayment, offering you the chance to pay the money back anywhere between six months and six years, depending on what you can afford to pay per month.

Small, carefully considered personal loans could actually help you build a financial profile making you eligible for better future borrowing. As long as the lender is responsible, and offers reasonable interest rates, online lending platforms can actually give people with more opportunities than many other lenders in terms of improving their situation.

With this in mind, personal loans can be beneficial to those hoping to improve their credit score, but only if some caution is exercised by both parties, and you only apply to borrow an amount you can afford to pay back.

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Five Reasons for Refusal of a Personal Loan

Don’t you wish personal finance were a mandatory course in college? Unfortunately, too many of us learn by mistake. When you need a personal loan and are rejected, you might be baffled as to what went wrong- and how to fix it. Here are some clues.

NO CREDIT

No credit is a situation where you have never used credit and therefore have no credit history for the bank to review. They have no way of making an educated decision on whether or not you will pay back a personal loan based on your credit history. No credit is worse than bad credit. Qualifying for and making regular payments on these types of introductory forms of credit can overcome a “no credit” score:

· Student Loans

· Secured credit card (includes a down payment amount)

· Being added to a parent’s or spouses good credit: card, car loan, etc.

LOW CREDIT

Low credit takes on several forms. If you’re using more than 30% of your allowable debt, it can negatively impact your score. Too many inquiries from shopping around for loans will also hit you hard. Lapses in payment, defaults, or bankruptcies are giant red flags and can take a long time to rebuild from.

Other things that lenders may look at are whether or not you have sizeable assets should you default on the loan. They also check to see if your debts are diversified or if you are only carrying one type of debt.

INCOME

Proof of income is generally required when applying for a personal loan. If you are unemployed or underemployed, it can work against you in the loan approval process. Lenders may also require a work history to see how long you have been with your current employer, and to determine if you typically have job stability. Frequent job loss or change will tell a creditor that your payments may not be reliable.

PURPOSE OF THE LOAN

Believe it or not, your application can be rejected due to your proposed purpose for the loan. Financial institutions have the right to set up the parameters surrounding their disbursements and can accept or reject your application based on what you want to use the money for.

BLACKLISTING

If you’ve defaulted on debt before, your name may be put on a list of whom not to loan to,’ also known as a “Blacklist.” This will follow you around for a long time and is difficult to erase. If you do resolve the debt issues, get documents to prove the resolution.

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How Can A Personal Loan Improve Your Credit Score?

When it comes to a personal loan, you have to first learn to use it responsibly. Because if you miss a repayment, your credit score will be impacted adversely. And remember, that a credit score is an indicator of how well you manage your personal finances. Also, it plays a defining role when you apply for any kind of loan – secured and unsecured. It is suggested to apply for a loan slightly larger than what is needed so that you will be assured to have enough money to pay all bills necessary and still have some money left over to ensure that your bank account stays current.

A credit score can be defined as a number which reflects the financial situation of a person. If the person is well-off when it comes to financial matters, then he or she is said to have a high credit score. On the other hand, if a person is the exact opposite of this, then they possess a low credit score. There are a lot of factors that are considered by financial institutions for the purpose of evaluating a person’s credit score – usually, the credit scores of people vary from 300 to about 850.

A personal loan is a type of loan that is given by digital lenders, banks and credit unions to aid you in your plans, be it starting a small business, or making a big purchase. Personal loans tend to have an interest rate(s) lower than the credit cards; however, they can also be put to use for combining several credit card debts together into one monthly lower-cost payment.

Now, your credit score is built by keeping in mind various parameters from your credit reports. These reports serve the purpose of trailing your history of utilization of the credit across the duration of seven years. These credit reports are comprised of information, including how much credit you have utilized to date, the type of credit in your possession, the age of one’s credit accounts, whether one has put in for bankruptcy or liens filed against them, actions of debt collections taken against them, one’s total open lines of credit as well as recent inquiries for hard credit.

Like any other type of credit, personal loans are very capable of affecting your credit score. This can be done through the process of applying and withdrawing a personal loan. If you are curious as to how personal loans can end up affecting your credit, then read on to find out more about the context. There are many ways in which your credit can be affected by personal loans and some of them are listed below:

The ratio of your debt-to-income and loan

Debt-to-income ratio is considered to be the measure of your amount of income that you spend on the debt repayments. In the case of lenders, the amount of income that you receive is said to be one of the major factors proving that you are able to repay your loan.

Some of the lenders have come up with their own debt-to-income ratio so that their proprietary credit scores may make use of it in the form of a credit consideration. Do not fall into the kind of mindset that possessing a high amount of a loan would hurt your credit. The most damage it can do is raise the ratio of your debt-to-income so that you won’t be able to apply for loans anymore without it getting rejected or denied.

Paying loans on time will make credit scores soar

The moment your loan is approved, you have to make sure that you settle the payments of each month on time and in full. Delay in repayment may significantly impact the state of your credit score. However, on the other hand, if you make the payments on time every month, then your credit score will soar high, leading to an overall good score. This will not only make your name to the preferred borrower’s list, but it will prove to be beneficial for you in the long run.

Since your payment history is comprised of almost 35% of your credit score, paying loans on time is essential in cases like these so that your credit score can maintain a positive status.

Variety is built into your credit type

There are about five factors that are responsible for determining your credit score. These are composed of the payment history, the length of the credit history, the utilization ratio of the credit, the credit mix and new inquiries of the credit in accordance with FICO®.

The credit mix only accounts for about 35% of your total credit score, whereas when it comes to a personal loan you can have a varying mix of the credit types. This mix of all types of credit is viewed at a high level of approval by the creditors and lenders.

Origination fee charged by loans

Most of the lenders end up charging you an origination fee. This fee cannot be avoided at any cost and is instantly taken off from the amount of the loan payment. The amount of origination fees depends upon the amount of the loan you are about to borrow. Late payments can lead to an overdraft of fees and late expenses. Therefore, make sure that you pay complete repayment for each month before the deadline.

Avoiding penalties when it comes to payments

Some of the credit lenders tend to charge an additional fee if you end up paying your part of the loan earlier than the agreed date. This is because they are looking for moderate amounts of interest on your loan. Now, seeing that you have paid off your part of the loan before time, they will miss out on that interest that they could have possibly made if you had not cleared the debt soon enough before the deadline.

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