Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Country Break Or City Retreat? How To Afford Both And Make Money At The Same Time

If you work in the city, it makes sense that you would want to live there too. Nobody embraces a long commute, and besides, city life appeals to you. Imagine that hustle and bustle all around. You could pop to the bar next door anytime you wanted. You could head out for coffee at the drop of a hat.

But, there’s a small spanner in the works of your plan. You and your family already live in your dream home, and it’s in the middle of nowhere. Besides which, when it comes down to it, you’re not willing to give up on the peace of countryside living. Sure, the hustle and bustle are great, and no commute would be even better. But, nothing quite beats the feeling of arriving at your peaceful haven after a hectic day.

So, what can you do? Either way, it feels as though you’re going to lose out on one of your dreams. But, that might not have to be the case. In truth, nothing is stopping you from having both a country break home and a city retreat. That way, you can spend weeknights close to the office, and weekends enjoying your haven. The money may, of course, seem like a problem. But, owning two homes may not be as expensive as you think. With a little careful planning, you could actually make money. All you need to do is ask yourself these questions.

Would It Make Financial Sense?

This is the hardest question you need to answer during this decision. Would two homes make financial sense? Bearing in mind that you’ll need to afford the upfront cost of your new home, and pay bills on top. But, if the commute you’re making each day is a sizeable one, the costs may pay for themselves over time. To help you decide, make a detailed note of the mileage you drive over a month. If you catch public transport to work, keep all your tickets instead. Then, add up the cost of the commute for that month, and consider how much that would be over a year, two years, and so on. If it’s a lot more than you were expecting, the cost of a new home may not seem so extreme.

Would You Be Willing To Make Compromises?

Let’s be honest; few of us can afford to buy two houses straight up. Bearing in mind, also, that houses in the city can be pretty expensive. But, this could work if you’re willing to make compromises. Instead of getting a house in the city, you could opt for an apartment. It may not be what you had in mind, but it’s a much better option. You’ll still have your country home to spread out in. And, with developers like Meriton offering stylish city apartments, there’s no reason you can’t make this work. Bear in mind that you’ll need to consider size. Are your whole family going to spend the week in the city with you? You may find that you also have to compromise there. A large apartment is still going to set you back a fair amount. Could you live in the apartment alone, while your family stays in the country?

Would You Be Willing To Use One As A Holiday Rental?

If you can’t stand the idea of being apart from your family, consider renting out the empty property when you no one's there. Of course, you can’t rent it out on a lease, or you wouldn’t be able to return there. But, you could always use it as a holiday rental. You could even consider doing this with both properties to make double your money. A move like this should more than cover the extra costs of bills. If you wanted, you could even use these funds to make improvements to each property, so they make you more money in the long run. Something like extending, or even just redecorating, could see you increasing your money when the time comes to sell.


No one said that owning two properties would be an easy pursuit. But, it’s the best way to enjoy both worlds. And, as you can see from the points above, it may even be an investment worth making. Consider whether this is a lifestyle which would suit you. Bear in mind that this option is only really doable if you can afford to buy properties up front. If you’re operating with mortgages, the chances are it wouldn’t pay off.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Questions to ask yourself before buying a ranch

If you are thinking about buying a ranch, there is a lot that needs to be considered before you dive right in. There is no denying that owning a ranch or farm can be an extremely rewarding experience. Rural living and fresh air are incredibly appealing. However, there are a lot of pitfalls if you do not conduct thorough research beforehand. You need to know exactly how you are going to operate your business, and what is required to make it a success. Here are some of the key questions you should be asking yourself…
Where will you buy livestock? You need to figure out where you are going to buy your livestock. You need to conduct extensive research in advance and develop a support network. Talk to trained professionals and locate people that you can trust. Often, new ranchers end up paying way too much for livestock, or they end up with poor quality livestock, or both!
How much of your time will be required? How much of your time are you willing to dedicate to your ranch? On average, a small ranch will require about 20 hours of your time. If this is something you are not prepared to offer, or you do not have the time available to do so, you are going to need to hire someone else. It is important to establish this from the offset so that you can factor it into your costs.
How many animals will the ranch support? When looking at ranches for sale, you need to consider how many animals are going to be supported by the land. You can accurately predict production potential with an understanding of the vegetation and forage condition, precipitation, and soil type. If this is something you aren’t experienced in, seek expert assistance. To get started, you can browse Ranch Marketing Associates for a good understanding of the different ranches that are available. This will help you to get to grips with acreage in relation to cost so that you have a starting point when determining how much you need to spend for the animals you are planning to support.
How much will you spend every year? It is important to estimate how much money you will spend on an on-going basis throughout the year. This will include the likes of interest, operating expenses, vehicles, machinery, bull maintenance, pasture costs, taxes, transportation, marketing, medicine, veterinary bills, feed, and hay.
What start up costs are entailed? You also need to estimate how much money you are going to require up front. Of course, you will need to purchase livestock and you will require land too. But, there are plenty of other pieces of equipment you may need, including stock trailers, pickup trucks, and an ATV. Also, don’t forget about the cost of hired labor.
What and who will you need to know? Last but not least, the importance of thorough research cannot be underestimated. You should become acquainted with professionals in the industry that can help while also taking the time to educate yourself. There is so much to learn!

Your Property Can Be An Investment In More Ways Than One

People tend to view their property’s investment qualities only in the traditional way. They see their purchase as a savings nest, or as something that will one day bring in lots of profit, or as a stable way to guarantee a monthly income if they decide to rent it out. However, it’s worth thinking about your property in another way, too: as a way to breed success in your business life. How? By providing a base from which you can grow your business. Below, we take a look at a few of the ways in which your property has a bigger bearing on your success than you might think.


The Taste of Success

There’s a noble idea of the would-be entrepreneur slaving away, building their empire from the basement of their parent’s home. Indeed, that’s how many go-getters got started in the first place. However, it’s only after we have a real taste of success that we’re able to kick on and become the kind of business man or woman we always wanted to be. If you have plush surroundings, you’ll be living in a world of success - and once you’re there, it’s likely that it'll be there where you’ll stay.

In the Mix

Your home isn’t just a place to sleep. It’s your base. From there you’ll be travelling to your office, business meetings, airport, and much more. As such, the location of your home can have more of an impact on your success than you might think. It can streamline your operations, enabling you to be closer to the action than your competitors. If you have, say, an apartment in the heart of midtown Manhattan, you’ll be better positioned to access the business dealings of the city than if, say, you lived somewhere in upstate New York. Investing a little extra in your location could be a dealbreaker for a big business deal later on down the line.

Space Away

It’s only in the middle territories that you don’t want to exist; in the city, or far away on your own land is where you want to be. Investing your money in a property that’s far away from the city allows you to plot your empire without the meddling influences of the day to day city life. It’ll be your home, your office, the place for your recreational activities, and much more. Take a look at the listings at Ranch Marketing Associates, and look for a property that allows you to blend your personal and business worlds. If nothing else, having a property away from the city - as a first or second home - allows you the space to think objectively about your next move.

Impressing Potential Clients

Two scenarios. The first: a business meeting in a restaurant. The second: a business meeting held over a weekend at a person’s hideaway resort. Which person gets the deal? It’ll be the second person, every time. In the fine margins of the business world, it can be the small things that differentiate us from the crowd that gets us the deal. When that happens, your property’s value to you will be far greater than what it would fetch on the market!

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.