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5 Tips For Purchasing An Investment Property

| Investments | No Comments

Real estate is almost always a solid investment. With the potential for rental income and the future resale value, you can make a significant amount of money investing in real estate. Yet you can also lose money if you do not invest carefully. Here are some tips to make your investment a profitable one.

  1. Choose the Right Property

Price is important, but the property is almost more so. Choose a property in an area where people want to live, that is in good condition and that is priced at or below market value. Putting some money into repairs is fine, but only if that money is not going to cost more than the house is worth. Do not purchase in areas you are not familiar with, because you may be purchasing a home you cannot sell or rent.

  1. Work with Cash

If at all possible, enter the market with cash in hand to make your purchase. A cash offer will put you in the strongest possible negotiation place. Even if you need to pull out equity in your existing residence or other investments to get the cash, consider doing so to make your offer more appealing.

  1. Find an Investor-Friendly Bank

Even if you are paying cash, you will need a bank to show that you have the funds ready to go. Find a bank that is friendly to real estate investors. Talk to your real estate agent or another investor to see what bank they recommend.

  1. Use the Right Realtor

All realtors can sell houses, but only some understand the needs of investors. Choose one that has sold many investment properties, understands return on investment and net operating income and has a list of satisfied investment clients. Interviewing real estate agents will give you a good feel for which ones have these qualifications.

  1. Aim for the Right Return on Investment

The old adage says to look for rental income that is 1 percent of the sales price. So, if you are buying a home that costs $100,000, aim for rental income of $1,000. However, if you are in an area where prices have dropped significantly, aim for even more than this. In some areas where foreclosures are high, you can expect yields closer to or even exceeding 10 percent. Know the market, and make sure you are getting a good return on your investment.

Investing in real estate can be profitable, if you are a wise investor. Take the time to get to know your market, and start investing. Then, sit back and watch as the returns start rolling in!

5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Credit Score

| Finance | No Comments

Having bad credit can be like a stone tied to your ankles. The sensation of drowning in debt is not fun for anyone. When your credit rating is good, it allows you to lead the kind of life that you want to lead. Whether it’s getting that dream house you’ve always longed for or owning that beautiful classic car that you had on your bedroom wall as a teenager. There are a number of ways that you better your credit rating and here are five things to get you started on your road to credit success.

  1. Set a regular date. It’s extremely important, when trying to better your credit score, to set a regular date to sit down and review your rating and your methods to improve said rating. If you don’t, you most likely lose track of what you’re doing and a bad debt will find itself working its way into your credit report. All you need to do is set aside one or two nights a month. It could make all the difference to your credit score.
  2. Get regular credit reports. As a part of your monthly review, be sure to get a regular credit report. Credit Sesame is a fantastic online resource for this and could help you to dramatically raise your credit score. So get online and get clicking because the more you know about your rating the better it will become.
  3. Consider a secure card. Signing yourself up for a secure credit card is a safe and efficient way to up your credit rating. Basically, you set the amount of money you wish to spend based on the security deposit that you put down. It means you’ll be less likely to overspend, and if you do, there will be a buffer in place if necessary. Once you’ve made a couple of years of successful payments on your secure credit card, you’ll notice that your credit score will be soaring like never before.
  4. Cut down on your spending. This one might seem a little obvious, but to some of us it’s not. Start making a clear budget and sticking to it. Live within your means and spend accordingly. Find cheaper alternatives to your otherwise excessive lifestyle. Change the brands that you use, seek out bargains carefully and consider your options more frugally and you’ll eventually see a change in how much money you owe.
  5. Argue your point. Beware of the credit-reporting agency. Sometimes they get information wrong, and in the case that something is erroneous, be sure to make a dispute in writing as well as online if that platform is provided. There are a number of credit reporting agencies out there so be sure that your information is correct across the board and make sure you’re not being penalized for things that have already been resolved. Things can find themselves stuck on old computer systems for a long time if you don’t do something to eliminate them.

5 DIY Wedding Invite Design Tips

| Finance | No Comments

More and more young couples these days are paying for their own weddings. And without money from Mom and Dad to pad to the budget, they’re finding tons of ways to pull together a beautiful ceremony and a stylish, sophisticated reception for less. Some brides scout discount, designer gowns on eBay (only slightly used). Many couples elect to skip the full meal and set up a buffet, a build-your-own taco or sandwich station, or a sundae bar. And using die cut machines to make paper flowers has become all the rage. Another great way to save on the cost of your wedding is by putting your creative chops to good use designing your own wedding invitations. Here are a few tips to ensure that no one knows you didn’t go pro.

  1. Get a kit. You can almost certainly find what you’re looking for at a local craft store, although there are also plenty of online options if you prefer to save some time by letting your fingers do the walking when you shop. A wedding invitation kit will come with several items, including card stock for the invitations and RSVPs, as well as large and small envelopes to match. All you have to do is pick the paper and pattern you like, order enough kits to cover your guest list (kits could come with anywhere from 25 to 200 invites), and then design the layout and get to printing.
  2. Download L&D software. You can try using a doc program like Microsoft Word to type in the text you want printed on your invites. And with enough finagling it will probably work out fine. But if you want to increase ease of use, as well as creative options, consider downloading free (or free trial version) layout and design software, also sometimes called desktop publishing. Programs like Scribus, Adobe Project Rome, and Serif Page Plus (Starter Edition) can all help you to create the gorgeous and professional looking wedding invitations you crave for free. Remember, while most of this software comes with tutorials to help you get started, you’ll still have a bit of a learning curve if you want to take full advantage of useful features, so start early.
  3. Use photos. If you don’t have the patience to put together a truly artistic layout for your invites, you can fake it by using your face in place of graphic design. Adding photos of you and your honey to your invites not only takes the place of other design elements, but it also helps to personalize your invitations and makes them a special keepsake for family and friends.
  4. Layer. If you look at professional invitations you’ve received for other weddings, you might notice that very few feature only a single layer. Some sport translucent, vellum overlays. Others have lace doily sleeves. Some are wrapped in ribbon or feature 3D elements like self-adhesive faux gems or pearls. The devil is in the details, as the saying goes, so adding layers will definitely up the wow factor for your invites.
  5. Go digital. You might still have to send snail mail invites to older family members that “don’t do the internet”. But with websites like My Digital Wedding helping modern couples to do all of their wedding communiqués via their own wedding website, there’s no reason to kill trees in order to create invitations. And this inexpensive and convenient solution will make wedding planning a cinch.