Friday, July 21, 2017

The Safety Features On Electric Cars

While some may believe electric cars to be unsafe, they actually include some of the most amazing safety features of cars manufactured to date. Some electric cars are so safe they even hold the Top Safety Pick Score! With the stigma of battery fire upon impact, some people claim electric cars just aren't all that safe. Don't let the risk of battery fire deter you from the amazingly eco-friendly electric car. So what should you look for in an electric car when it comes the highest safety ratings.

Advanced Safety Systems
Newer electric cars are being built with safety in mind. The new and improved, advanced safety systems make some electric cars the safest on the road. New electric cars are being equipped with sweet safety features like forward collision warning, backup safety cameras, blind spot warning, rear automatic emergency brakes, lane centering assist, and adaptive cruise control - just to name a few.

High Crash Test Ratings
The Nissan Leaf leads high crash test ratings when it comes to electric cars. The Leaf isn't just great if you have an accident. This electric car comes equipped with ABS brakes, electronic stability control, pre-tensioning seatbelts, front, side and curtain airbags and even 'noise' generators to warn pedestrians when the car is travelling at low speed. That makes for one very safe electric car.

Top Safety Pick Scores
When it comes to earning the TOp Safety Pick Score and all its prestige, look no further than the Chevrolet Bolt. The first of its kind to earn this safety score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Bolt really does excel in every electric car department there is. With a combined offering of 120 mpg - this car is worth every safe and eco-friendly mile you drive it!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Are You A New Landlord? Avoid The Common Mistakes Made In Your Profession

Photo from via Flickr

Owning and renting property is an exciting prospect. Once you get into the market with a spare property that you’re happy to let out, you have a burgeoning cash cow on your hands. People will always need a place to stay, and thanks to hard work and a little bit of luck, you are now able to profit from that exchange.

It’s not difficult to assume that the tenants are going to apply thick and fast for your property. No matter what location you’re in, finding a tenant for your home is usually a relatively easy process, again emphasized by the fact that people will always need to stay. If your property is in a city environment, tenants will be tripping over themselves in order to come and live in your abode, for study or work.

But there are a few common mistakes that landlords make when they get into the real estate game. Property owners sometimes think that a house is a house and that once let the work is over to a degree. This is simply not true. Acting as a property owner is a dynamic, engaged process. You would be right in assuming that the best possible landlord/tenant relationship is one where you hardly have to communicate, but when you do, it’s important that you’re reachable, prompt with a response, and available at most hours of the day.

Despite the lucrative nature of working in property lettings, you arguably have a much deeper responsibility than even a hotel owner would. While you are protected by the laws of a contract and the tenant has his or her side to upkeep, you should be as active and engaged in the lettings process as the tenant is.

What follows is how to proceed as a new landlord, and how to avoid the common pitfalls and errors new people to the industry usually make.

Do Assess Your Targeted Tenants

First of all, after you’ve made the property suitable for habitation, you need to assess who you’d actually like to take the property off of your hands. This is not a difficult consideration in most circumstances. What’s popular in your area? If you’re living in a highly student-dense area, it’s wise to open the let to students. Remember, students party, and are likely to make the house a mess at some point during their tenancy. This is why you should charge a higher security deposit for them to enter, and also ask them to provide a guarantor such as a parent who can pay the bills should the student allocate all of their money towards partying (which is not uncommon.)

If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider going the professional-only route. In this case, you might ask the tenant to provide proof of their work, alongside bank statements or invoices for their job in the last six months.

Do Market Your Property Well, But Be Accurate

Marketing a property is a fine art. On the one hand, you want to make sure that the tenant is attracted enough to come for a viewing. On the other hand, you don’t want to tenant to think that the photographs they were lured in with exaggerated the household. Strike a balance, and make sure that the rent is accurate for what you’re offering. Research local property and assess if you can charge your original intended figure with ease. Using an investment property management firm can help you assess the exact requirements that modern tenants expect from a property, as well as giving you the best backing to begin

Do Check The Tenants Before Accepting Them

If letting your property to tenants, it’s always important to make sure that they have a stringent reference check done on them. If they have a reference from a previous landlord, all the better. This will let you know that the tenant has a history of paying the rent on time, and makes their application that much stronger.

If you desire, you can also run a credit check on the tenant to ensure that they have a history of making good financial decisions. Sometimes you might accept a tenant with a bad credit history if they explain to you why this is - student loans, a period of illness or some other factor that they can prove. This is down to your discretion as a property agent. You have no necessity placed upon you to accept any tenant you feel uncomfortable about.

If you can, use an agency to complete the reference check, because they usually have the most expansive range of connections and networks to get thorough details about your tenant from the limited information they provide.

Do Make The Tenant Aware

If you have certain criteria that the tenant must know about, it’s important you let them know from day one of their application. No excessive noise past 9pm due to the families living nearby, no smoking, no pets, no welfare, these are all examples of criteria you might expect your prospective tenants to adhere to. Make sure that these terms are explicitly stated in their contract before you let them the property.

Don’t Disappear

Once you have a tenant signed and happy in your property, the process has only just begun. Remember, it falls to you legally to take care of any maintenance queries they might have, within reason. Fixing an oven, getting the electricity back online or replacing a broken vacuum cleaner are all little expenses that comes with the cost of letting property.

Fixing light bulbs can be done by the tenant, and you shouldn’t be expected to provide those. Use your common sense to identify what constitutes a problem that needs your involvement or not. A good way to get around this fact is to hire the services of a maintenance agency. Paying a monthly subscription fee can help you cover some of the overhead costs of sending out a professional repairman to look at your property when disaster strikes and something goes wrong. Remember, you’ll still need to pay for parts provided, but the hired labor will allow you to free up your busy schedule for other important endeavors.

Being a great landlord is usually an exercise in self-restraint, availability, and understanding. Remember that your tenants are people, and as long as they respect your terms and pay the rent on time, you have a responsibility to their wellbeing. Duly enacted, the tips on this list will help you become a great landlord and secure repeat business in future.

Buying a Business Car? Here's What You Need to Consider

You may have thought that buying a car for your own use was tough enough. But buying a car for use with your company can be even tougher! That is, of course, unless your boss told you to buy a precise car for the company. Then that’s not tough at all.

But if you’re the business owner, then it’s all down to you. And there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind when you’re making your decision.

The budget you’ve been given

Maybe you didn’t make a budget for this purchase. Perhaps you’ve given yourself free reign to buy whatever car you please for the business. Well, that sounds pretty fun, but it’s actually not the smart way to go about this. After all, this is a business purchase. It will be counted amongst the costs of running your company, and will affect your profit margins.

So you should think carefully, and plan out a budget before you head to the car dealer. Set a maximum amount that you’re willing to spend. You may find that you can afford to get a new luxury vehicle if you work with the likes of Cars & Co new Porsche dealers. You may find a used car would be smarter. Which shouldn’t be too much of a worry: places like Pentagon-Group can get impressive used cars if you need one.

How much you’ll demand from the vehicle

Not all company vehicles are used in the same way, of course. Some businesses need to put a lot of demand on particular vehicles. If you work in construction and you need to shift things around using the vehicle, then a Skoda isn’t going to do the trick. If your business is a courier service, then you’ll need to be using the car for most of the day. So you’ll need something that can handle being used for hours at a time every day. If you run a truck fleet then you’ll need, well, trucks. Powerful ones.

This doesn’t mean that you should just buy the most powerful vehicle you can find, just in case demands change. If you’re just going to be using the car occasionally, then you don’t need to go all-out. Remember that the type of car you purchase for your company will affect the tax. And if the government thinks you’ve gone too far with the vehicle, they’ll be less willing to give you business tax breaks on it.

Vehicle security

As I implied earlier, not every business with a company car absolutely require the car to do business. But let’s say you’re a startup courier service. You might be starting with just one or two vans. The security of those vehicles become paramount to the working of your business.

It’s not just a case of making sure you have good insurance, although that is obviously a necessity. You may need to explore the security features built into the vehicle. Anything that can help you retrieve the car and catch the culprits in the event that it’s stolen would be useful. If your business is dependent on a vehicle, pay extra attention to this stuff.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Any Investment Has These Pitfalls

It’s easy to think of investments purely as a way to double or even triple your capital, no questions asked. And, if you’re lucky, that’s exactly what investments can be. But for that to happen, you need to understand some of the dangers that you could face when you’re investing your money. If you’re not aware of these issues, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law, facing a hefty fine and even losing all your money. So, let’s make sure you know some of the pitfalls that people fall into when investing.

Taking Tax Into Account

Let’s say that you make a fortune investing in the stock market and you do indeed double the amount of money that you have in your accounts. What happens when the taxman comes along. Are those wins tax deductible or do you have to include it in your income? If you are a full time employee, do you have to register this money to make sure that you are taxed on it? Or, can you let it slip under the radar? All good questions and the answers can be quite complex. Investments can count as a second income and that point taxation does come into play. It also depends on whether you’re using the money to pay your taxes. As such, if you are making any large investments, it’s probably best to arrange a tax lawyer free consultation. They’ll be able to tell you whether you’ve made any mistakes here and what you can do to correct it. If you’ve already filed your tax and failed to include money gained from investments you definitely need to fix the situation quickly.

When Do You Have An Unfair Advantage?

When you’re investing in something like stocks, you have to be careful of what’s commonly known as insider training. For instance, if you are high up in a company and you know it’s going to peak soon, you can’t invest in the shares for that business. Similarly, you can’t sell because you have unfair information that tells you a company is about to shut down for good. Again, the definition of insider training is a little grainy, and it can be difficult to know which side of the line you’re on. As such, it’s worth approaching any information you have with caution. If in any doubt, you should speak to a pro investor and confer with them as to whether the information you possess gives you an unfair advantage. Timing is crucial here.

Don’t Bet Too Big

Investments aren’t gambles because often you are making educated estimate of what’s going to happen. You might have some knowledge of factors that could influence the value of an investment. But it’s still risky, and that’s why you might want to approach things slowly when investing. You should not invest a lot of money in an area that you are unsure of. If in doubt, work with a broker as they can help ensure you get an investment that won’t lead to a huge loss.
Used under creative commons licence. Credit Picture from

Vacation Homes - A Great Investment?

One sort of investment that the wealthy and entrepreneurs have made popular in recent years is the vacation home. This is a property bought to be let out during peak times in an area that is popular for holidays and breaks. But are they actually a good investment? Read on to find out.

Yes - Holiday rates are higher than day rates

One reason that investing in vacation real estate can be profitable is that the rates you can charge for them are much higher than a normal rental property price. This is because they are in premium location.

To qualify as such the location should be in a popular vacation spot either by the beach, in the mountains, or the forest. It should also be close to amenities such as shops, and entertainments, and most of all it should be either set on its own property or with other buildings of a similar quality and price.

In fact, with a property that matches the description above, you can make enough to pay off the mortgage for the entire year just by renting it out during peak season. Although peak seasons will differ from place to place. As ski homes’ peak will be in winter, while other holidays homes’ will be in summer when it's hotter as their most popular time.

No - They have to be competitively priced

However, something that can eat into your profits is if you are in an area that is all holiday rentals. This is because the prices that are being charged can become too competitive with different owners trying to undercut one another.

If this happens, it may mean that you have to lower your prices to ensure you get bookings. Unless you have some unique features such as a hot tub, balcony or swimming pool that will allow you to charge over and above what the average vacationer would expect to pay.

Yes - You have a second home to use

Other reasons that vacation homes make such great investments is that they remain empty and unused outside of peak times. This is great because it allows you and your family or friends to use the property as a second home. Without interfering with its profit-making potential.

Then, of course, you also have the money that the property is worth if you decide to sell it. As well as the money you have earned by renting it out.

No - There are other costs

Lastly, another reason why vacation homes may not be the investment you'd thought they be is that there are quite a few hidden cost to running them.