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The Best Place to Retire

December 22nd, 2020

Is Panama The Best Place to Retire?

Are you thinking about retirement? Have you been trying to figure out where the best place to retire would be? Then you are in luck. One of the most recommended places in the world to retire is the country of Panama. Why is Panama one of the best places to retire? There are many different reasons for this, starting with the fact that Panama weather is as close to perfect as you could ever find. There is very little change in time and the temperature from one season to the next in Panama. So you enjoy the tropical climate all year long.

Boquete Panama Weather

Normally, the temperatures and humidity are high and range between an average low of 70 degrees and a high of 90 degrees. Of course, in the highland areas the temperatures can get colder at night, occasionally dipping into the 50’s and typically will not go much beyond 80 during the day. Also, the highland areas of the country, like Boquete Panama, have much less humidity so they are very popular with retirees. Panama does have a rainy season when it receives the majority of the precipitation however, Panama is located outside of the hurricane zone so violent weather is unheard of.

The Tax Haven Panama

Another reason that Panama is considered one of the best places to retire is because it has many wonderful and attractive laws including tax benefits. For example, you do not have to pay taxes on foreign-earned income and you are not be required to pay property taxes on any new house that you build or buy for up to fifteen years. Panama also uses the United States dollar as legal tender, which makes it much easier to make the transition to Panama than it would be to retire in a country that does not accept US currency. This is a tremendous benefit for American investors in today’s world of wildly fluctuating exchange rates and the declining value of the U.S. Dollar. In Panama a buck is still a buck and it goes a long way! It’s also a good reason many consider Panama to be the best place to invest in Real Estate.

Low Cost of Living in Panama

The low cost of living is another reason Panama is one of the best places to retire plus the government requires merchants to provide many discounts for retirees. As a retiree in some cases you can enjoy up to 50% off your purchases. Just some of the discounts include eating in restaurants; attending movies and even going for a doctors visit. This has lead some to say Panama is also one of the cheapest places to live. Living & Investing in Panama has many other benefits such as some of the best health care that can be found in Central America. You can enjoy a safe atmosphere to relax and there are a lot of friendly people to associate with.

Retire Young in Panama!

If you do not feel like the reasons above are enough to qualify Panama as the best place to retire, consider this – Panama has a new modern way of looking at retirement. They do not believe that you have to fall into the senior category and be over sixty to retire. In fact, as a foreigner you can retire at the tender age of 19, provided you meet the retirement qualifications. Some of these requirements include proving that you have some type of benefit program ( a government or private pension) that pays you at least $500 a month. This has to be unearned income for you to qualify and you cannot have a criminal record plus, there are a few other simple qualifications to meet.

The Top 10 Home Improvements That Could Devalue Your Home

December 8th, 2020

Sometimes, making an improvement to your home could actually hurt you when you try to sell it. Here are the top 10 home improvements that can make your home harder to sell:

1. Kitchen Renovation. Any renovation of a kitchen that is too taste-specific or extreme in design. For example, a kitchen equipped with a restaurant-level stove or multiple refrigerators may not appeal to the buyer who is a simple cook. You want to appeal to the broadest range of buyers when selling a home, and if a buyer thinks they need to spend money re-doing what you’ve done, they will offer less.

2. Bathroom Renovations. The same can be said for bathroom renovations. Any design that is over the top could detract from the value of the home. It is best to avoid garish sinks, faucets, and tiles. And skip the heart-shaped bathtub!

3. Painting. Painting the walls is a great way to freshen up a space prior to putting your home on the market, but painting with bold colors such as red, orange, purple or even black (I’ve seen this) is a sure way to turn off a potential buyer. Buyers want to feel like they can move right in and not have to re-paint the walls to match their own tastes and their existing furniture. The same goes for painting the exterior of the home – no bright blues, yellows or greens please!

4. Water Features. Having an in-ground pool, hot tub, waterfall or pond can also devalue a home, as buyers may perceive these as extra maintenance expenses they don’t want to incur. Also, buyers with small children may be fearful of these as well. The only exception of an in-ground pool definitely adding value is if the home is an investment property in a resort area where renters find homes with a pool to be more desirable.

5. “Wasted” Square Footage. Taking valuable square footage in a house and using it for a specific, personalized purpose can make the house harder to sell and/or detract from its value, for example, turning a garage into a gym. Also, on the Bravo TV show, Nine By Design, the hosts of the show were trying to sell their NYC townhouse. The ground floor was taken up by a basketball/squash court because the owners liked to play these games. However, most buyers would see this as wasted space and an expensive project ahead to change.

6. Redecorating. Redecorating in a highly taste-specific style, such as Asian, country clutter or extreme modern can turn-off potential buyers. When selling your home, you want to appeal to the broadest range of buyers, so it’s important that the furniture and decor is neutral and broadly appealing.

7. Illegal home improvements. Decks, driveways, expansions, etc. not approved by the local town authorities can devalue the home as you will probably be forced to correct the situation prior to selling which could result in something as extreme as actually removing it.

8. Laminated Wood Flooring. Installing laminated wood flooring instead of solid wood in an upscale home can also cause a buyer to think “I’ve got to rip this out”! Better to refinish existing hardwood floors, if any, or cover floors with new but inexpensive wall-to-wall carpeting.

9. DIY (Do It Yourself) Home Repairs. While needed repairs and maintenance should be done to a home before putting it on the market, doing these yourself could end up costing you money in the end as buyers perceive your shoddy workmanship as something they have to spend money correcting, and therefore offering you a lower price.

Park City Real Estate – A Perfect Choice For A Second Home In Utah

November 26th, 2020

Who does not love nature? And if you have an abode in the natures, it’s a magnificent experience to spend your time out there in the lap of nature. Utah is a vast region well famous for its ski resorts and natural peaks and terrains. This is one of the most adored destinations for the winter sports lovers and summer picnickers. With its geographical presence in one of the most beautiful place on earth Utah is well admired by peoples from all corners of the States as well as countries from every corner of the world.

Park City is the most preferred destination among the ski towns in Utah for its geographical placements. Nestled between three of the world’s most famous ski resorts, this town consists of almost 45 square kilometers of geographical area. Once famous for its mineral reserves with profitable mining of gold, silver and lead, this beautiful landscape valley was later converted to a ski resort after the downfall of mining industry during World War I. Since the promotion of tourism as a ski resort location this mesmerizing land has later attained the status of being the gateway to the most famous ski resorts of the Utah region.

The city came to limelight in the year 2002 after hosting the Winter Olympics. Since that time till now this city has attained a reputation of tourism importance on the map of US. At present this city is crowed more with tourists from all over the globe than the regular residents. With the affluence of tourism industry, this city has been in the centre of attraction among the real estate marketers for promotion of real estate in this lively city. With tourism repute, this city has been in focus as a promising location in Utah as a choice for a second home.

This city has been flourished with tourism related industry and resort locations. With sky-gazing mountains and famous hilly terrains, this city is home to the US National Ski Team as well as the training ground for Australian Freestyle Ski Team. Standing almost over 7000 ft over mean sea level this city is considerably cooler during summer times. With normal temperature ranging almost 20-29 degree F during summers, this city is a perfect destination as a summer time vacations around US.

Form greenery in the mountains in the summers to the snow-clad summits in the winters, you can witness quite a variation in this city. Being one of the most affluent cities with almost all amenities inside the boundaries, this city offers a perfect destination for vacation spending throughout the year. You can find malls, cinemas, restaurants, theaters and amusement parks everything in side Park City. With well planned homes and shopping as well as amusement locations, this city offers a posh lifestyle for every person.

One of the major attractions of this city is that, every year this city hosts one of the largest independent film festival of US – the Sundance Film Festival during the month of January. In these two weeks major movie figures from all across the globe appear in this small town to enjoy the extravaganza. Apart from this film festival the winter games and skiing offers this city its special recognition on the atlas of US.

With so much flowing from the tourism industries every year, this city has been in limelight as a prospective investment option in the real estate market, too. People are aptly oriented towards purchasing real estate in Park City as a perfect choice for their second home. They enjoy the living in this lively city during their vacations and also get a chance to use the property on rent through rest times in a year. With the rising trend of real estate in Park City, there is a huge boom to the Park City real estate observed in recent years. People from all walks of life with sound financial background and zeal to own their own second home at Park City, come here every year to source out the opportunities for owning their choice home in this fairly affluent town. Being within a radius of almost 40 miles from the Salt Lake International Airport, this city offers the most convenient connectivity through air and road.

With all these amenities and natural resources, this city has acquired a position among top-twenty most admired resorts in the world through Fortune Magazine publication in 2008. This city is also rated as the number 1 ski resort location in the Ski Magazine. With so high repute and ultra-modern amenities, this city is a perfect destination for investment in real estate for a business-worthy future.

Is Job Security a Myth

November 3rd, 2020

If you are like most people raised in our modern society, you have been taught since early childhood that there is a certain order to things. There are assumptions that we have accepted, regarding family and social life, financial security, inalienable rights, ethnic, class and gender roles, etc.

One of the more fundamental notions that society has adopted is that old familiar refrain which has become the default setting for most of us.

Namely: Go to school and study hard so that you can get into a good college. A college education will get you a job. A more expensive education will get you a higher paying job. Your job or chosen field will last you the rest of your working life and make you secure and happy. When it comes time to retire, you pack up and move out to make way for the new workers. Play with your grand kids, travel, open the restaurant you always wanted. Have your kids put you in a retirement home for a few years and then die.

I’m not buying it anymore. In good times it is an easy paradigm to embrace. In challenging times, less so. The most recent economic cycle has made it apparent to many people that the “job” may not be the singular way to go these days.

When you think about it, the secure job, pension and proverbial gold watch really isn’t that secure. You would never do that with your investments, why would you do it with your primary means of financial support? The same people who have told us not to keep all of our eggs in one basket are the same people who encourage us to get that ideal job and progress up the ranks to the top. That kind of logic tends to unravel at a certain point.

It’s time to start thinking about diversity; multiple sources of income, not only in your stock portfolio, but in your life as well. What skills do you have that you can exploit? What interests have you wanted to pursue?

“Ben, I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening?”

“Yes I am.”

“Plastics”

OK. I’m betraying my age. Let me explain my arcane little reference. In the movie The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman is pulled aside by his girlfriend’s father at a party, and given some very timely career advice (for 1967). It was an iconic scene, once upon a time. Plastics: the cutting edge career.

If I had the chance to be in Mr. McGuire’s position right now, that word would be “diversify”.

Go out and explore multiple sources of income. Make a list of your interests, passions, hobbies and time wasters. Take a good look at them. Is there anything there that may be a source of revenue, even a small one?

I will mention three of mine, just to give you an example. One is working with a game-changing biotechnology breakthrough for which I have developed a tremendous passion. The second is as an amanuensis of sorts; helping people get their thoughts on paper. The third, and most promising, is taking advantage of the depressed real estate markets that are popping up in various areas of the country.

Of course, yours may be completely different from mine, but it is definitely worth taking a look at what you may already have in your back pocket. One word of caution, though. Not everything that you have an interest in is a potential moneymaker. Some interests are better left as hobbies.

Take the list and start exploring which ones may be viable business ventures. Find the most promising ones and do some research. Find stories of people that have done it. As you narrow it down to the most practical ones, start doing internet research, look at industry trades, and find mentors that have done what you want to do.

When you have got it, don’t do it yourself. People love to be mentors and experts. Find a successful person that you would like to learn from and be bold enough to approach him or her with the prospect of a mentor relationship. Start out with even a half hour phone call a month. Be prepared and serious because you don’t want to waste their time. You might surprise yourself with some of the relationships that you can cultivate.

There are also many personal coaching programs out there that can be had for a price. The bad ones will take your money and leave you to your own devices, but the right one could be worth every dime you spend. It’s worth some serious consideration and research.

There is a brave new world out there with online entrepreneurship. Goods and services are going cyber. It is now possible (and practical) to develop and run a successful company from your computer. Home based opportunities used to be limited to medical transcription or stuffing envelopes. Right now, in this environment, the sky is the limit and everything is up for grabs, from on-line auctions to professional consulting.

There is an organization that I discovered several years ago, called SCORE. It’s the Service Corps of Retired Executives. When I found them, they had locations in well populated areas, but now (like most things) they can be found on-line. SCORE is a resource of people that volunteer their time and experience to help promote successful new business ventures. I’m not talking about angels or venture capitalists, but basic business fundamentals to help you get a good start.

Steven Covey told a great story of an employer who brought his key people into a meeting and directed them to start looking for a job. Not because they were going to be fired, but to instill a sense of confidence and increased professional self-worth. His reasoning was that if they knew that they could get a good job somewhere, and that they were marketable, they would stay on with their current position for the right reasons. They may even leave, but the ones he kept would have a solid reason for staying there.

Take a good look at your current situation and consider some diversity. If nothing else, it may bolster your self-image and enhance your self-esteem. It could also increase your financial stability and even help you sleep better at night. And a good night’s sleep is one of life’s most underrated blessings.

Property Investment

October 27th, 2020

Investing in property is a good way of putting money into something worthwhile. By investing in property, you can get more profit without sudden losses or many other risks associated with other types of investment. Due to this, more people have turned to investing in property over the years.

If you think over the difference between investing into share market and property investment, there are limitless choices in which you get to make money. If you buy A-grade shares in bulk, you will definitely see cash flow and improve your financial status. Internationally renewed shares have many options, if the local market gets saturated it can spread overseas. Therefore, your profit is not affected. In the same way, if you buy a house at around $200K and at the peak market price, if you sell it at, let us say, $500K, you gain huge profit and can settle down happily.

So you get profits either way, but when you spend money in property buying you get many other advantages. The primary advantage is that the price of property remains stable and you can be assured about your future investments. You will not be at a risk of losing all your investment suddenly.

Although experimenting in the stock market can give you very high profit in a short time, there is very high risk, as you can gain high profits and also you can lose completely. Stock prices are highly unstable and keep on changing depending on the economic condition of a country; even the political and social sectors can affect the market. Besides all these, markets change on a daily basis and you need to watch them regularly. To gain profit, you need to foresee the coming profits and losses. This requires great concentration, regular study, and experience.

In property investment, you will get stability and steady income. You might not get sudden huge amounts of profits, but small profits are consistent. You can rent your house and get continuous income from it. You can increase or decrease your rent as required and according to market prices.

Value Control:

Due to the stability of the property market, you are in control of your investment. When the prices increase, there is less fluctuation and you can attract many buyers. You can add new and modern features in your house, redevelop your property, and add many amenities, which will automatically attract consumers. You need to spend some to gain more. You can add new furniture and increase the value of your investment.

Investment with low risk:

In spite of all of the many downturns in the market, the property market is still low risk and relatively stable. This means that over the time, the chance of losing money is very low, and you can always wait for the market to rebound and in that time, you can always rent your house to gain short-term profits. You must know that this is a kind of investment which involves some level of risk; it can vary in the range of high or low. But this is a chance to grow and also have stability.

All in all, property investment gives you good monetary growth. Property prices typically increase in value from the day you buy your house; therefore, you can earn money from it. You can sell the house at double the price from what you have bought it. The prices definitely grow as the years pass by. Therefore, you can buy a property in the area where the prices are low as compared to others. You can also consider buying property when there is a downturn in the market. You can later sell it at higher price when the market goes up. This will give you a chance to earn double the amount of money. All this clearly portrays that property investment does make financial sense.

Kitchen Renovations: 5 Mistakes You’ll Regret

October 16th, 2020

Are you planning a kitchen remodel? Well, you better avoid these 5 mistakes.

1. DIY Complex Kitchen Renovations

It’s good to be cautious about the services and things you spend your money on. However, you shouldn’t feel about spending your money to hire a professional to do certain complicated tasks for you. In fact, you should never try to do such complex tasks yourself.

Fixing your drywall, for instance, should only be left to the pros. You should never assume that you can deliver the expected quality, especially if you’re a newbie. Another sensitive area is the backsplash. Since it involves installation of ceramic tiles, it’s quite a complicated task.

In some instances, even the pros still have a hard time delivering the expected quality. Your efforts will probably be a total failure in similar circumstances.

2. Cheap Appliances Are Costly In The Long Run

Data from the Department of Industry review shows that during the year 2013, the total amount of saved energy in Australia was A$ 3.2 billion. Out of the total figure, A$ 2.7 billion was saved by households. This is majorly attributed to quality appliances being used in households that consumed less energy. That shows just how much you can benefit from having good quality appliances.

In a scenario where you have a limited budget, you would rather postpone the renovation rather than settling for cheap, low-quality items. It may be cheap to buy such items, but the real cost comes in the form of higher energy bills.

Good quality items, not necessarily high-end super products, would ensure that you incur minimal costs in form of repairs. This isn’t the case with cheap products, since you might end up spending more than the actual cost of the product to fix it.

3. Not Installing A Skylight Where Possible

A skylight will ensure that you utilize as much natural light as possible. Failing to install one, where possible, means that you’ll miss out on the easiest way to cut down on unnecessary artificial lighting during the day.

At times, the windows may not provide sufficient light for your kitchen. This is especially so if there are other tall buildings close by. A skylight gives you direct access to the natural light source.

4. Not Setting A Budget

During renovations, you might get carried away and end up spending excessive amounts of money, especially if you’re a first-time homeowner. To avoid this, it’s important that you set a budget beforehand. This will ensure that your total renovation costs don’t exceed 5% of the total cost of your house (based on recommendations by Realestate).

5. Using Cheap Materials

Just like in the case of cheap appliances, cheap materials are also very costly in the long run. Using cheap materials means that your remodel will get worn out pretty fast, which would necessitate further repairs. This means that you’ll end up spending more than the intended amount.

Another disadvantage of using cheap materials is that your house will have a low valuation. It’s therefore very important not to settle for cheap materials – always aim for the best.

Dominican Republic Property – The Real Investment Spot

September 27th, 2020

Regardless of whether you want the casual beach lifestyle, the cooler temperatures of the mountains, or the nightlife of a modern cosmopolitan capital city, the Dominican Republic has something for everyone. Located on the second largest island in the Caribbean, just a short flight from Miami, it also has more undeveloped and unspoiled beach front property than any other place you can think of.

Are there other beautiful places in the Caribbean? Sure there are, but not as inexpensive or offering so much for both the investor and retiree. Multi-currency banking for your US dollar, Euro or Peso investments, pleasant year-round climate, the opportunity for a tax free business, and very modern health care facilities are only a part of the attraction. .

There are a growing number of Americans who find their lifestyle and monetary worth rapidly decreasing in ambiance and value.

There certainly is a way out and many are finding it, and a better lifestyle, by moving to a less expensive country.

For many, a country that is attracting interest is the Dominican Republic. In comparison to other well known and path worn Caribbean destinations, the Dominican Republic still remains a place where real estate is extremely affordable.

For the price of a studio apartment in the Bahamas or Caymans, you can have a large lovely home in the Dominican Republic and living is easy in The Dominican Republic is a wonderfully diverse island with a wide range of climatic zones. The D.R. is very popular with Europeans, and now Americans are also starting to discover it.

The Government of Dominican Republic is debating, as of mid-2007, a bill to offer further incentives to foreign retirees and investors such as are available in Costa Rica and Panama. That bill is reported to offer:

A residency program linked to investment in the country
Tax payment exemption for household and personal goods
Partial exoneration on motor vehicle taxes
Exemption on real state transfer taxes for the first property acquired.
50% Exemption on mortgages taxes if the creditor is a financial institution licensed and regulated by local Monetary and Financial Law
50% exemption on Real Estate Property tax.
Exemption of taxes which encumber payment of dividends and interests accrued in the country or abroad
50% Exemption on capital gain tax

There are no restrictions for foreigners on the ownership of real estate in the Dominican Republic. New homes in residential sections of Santo Domingo, the nation’s capital, can be found starting at about US$65,000–with waterfront condos in the $95,000 area. If you prefer a very upscale home located inside a gated beach front golf course community you can find that in the US$275,000 range. Five or so acres of farmland in the lush mountains start at about US$55,000 while home building lots range anywhere from US$20,000 to US$100,000 plus, depending on their locations.

Additionally, in the Dominican Republic, bank accounts and yields from fixed income investments provide up to 10% in US Dollar accounts and up to 18% interest in the Dominican Peso, (the local currency.) Such income is 100% locally tax – free, which means that the possibility of living off the interest from your savings is a distinct reality.

It should be noted that the mountains have cool welcoming temperatures and stunning views; while the beaches in the D.R. are predominantly white sand beaches with water so clear you can see the shadow of a boat at 30 feet. Because of the immense size of the island there is truly something for everyone. And don’t forget the old world charm of the colonial area of Santo Domingo, the capital.

Many clients have chosen the Dominican Republic because bank account interest is 100% locally tax-free and because interest rates for US dollar deposits do tend to be higher than other places, including current interest rates in Panama. So, if one consideration is to have the ability to live off of your savings, the DR might be a good place to look at, even if you decide to live elsewhere.

US Dollar Bank time deposits (CD’s) pay up to 10% at the moment, and if you are going to live in the country, then deposits paying to 16% or more in Dominican Pesos might be worthwhile as well. Stated more clearly, while it is almost impossible to live off the current interest earned in US bank accounts (which are also taxed) at the moment; it is very possible to do so in the Dominican Republic. How much do you need? That really depends upon what kind of lifestyle you want, but it is safe to say you can pay your monthly rent, monthly utility bills and cover things like grocery shopping on the equivalent of US$ 1,200 to $1,500 per month.

All information necessary for a full understanding of the residency requirements or programs offered in the DR. Like any country looking to attract new and good residents (and citizens), the Dominican Republic department of immigration asks that clients provide a number of thing including a letter from your local police department stating that you have no criminal background–that you are in reasonably good health, and are financially solvent.

Making a move outside of the US, or your native country where ever that might be, can be a bit daunting. Where do you start? How can you go about getting the correct and best advice the first time around? Usually taking an exploration trip is the first step in such a process.

Some of the topics that you may want to cover during an exploratory tour should include:

–health insurance and health care (it’s a fraction of the cost in the US),

–residency and second citizenship options,

–incorporation,

–real estate law,

–communication options,

–offshore banking, and other related topics.

There are a couple well known international companies that offer discovery lifestyle/ investment tours to the DR. Just Google “Investment Tours to the DR”.

Upgrades – Get the Most Out of Your Property

June 2nd, 2020

If you are buying and planning on re-selling or renting out, to get the most out of your property you might want to do some upgrades to give it curb appeal. The amount of upgrades needed would depend on a case by case scenario. Obviously if the roof, foundation, etc, needs to be done, that’s without question. I am talking about major renovations, but upgrades. That curb appeal and that make a buyer go, “wow” and pay a little extra for the place.

If you aren’t going to work with a designer and you would like to do it yourself, I suggest going to the library or buying a bunch of up-to-date home style magazine to get ideas of what’s in right now. Knowing your market isn’t such a big deal because most everyone wants something chic and stylish. Something I like to call “urban chic”; a lot of clean lines, minimalism and bright open spaces. A Zen like approach. That look is selling to the mass market right now.

First impressions are always important, so the outside of the house needs the most love. Don’t go boring either. Chose exciting colours like grey/mauve, terracotta or sage. Paint everything that needs it, wood, railing, mailbox, light fixtures, etc. I’m not talking all one colour, have some black or white in their for contrast. If they can’t be painted, replace.

If there isn’t any landscaping or it’s shot, you need to revamp the look. Take out or trim everything that is overgrown. Be ruthless if necessary. Cedars are great when they are green and small, however if they are yellow and too tall, get rid of them. Keep the look short, so you can see the entrance way. Weed the grass if any, add more seed. Clean out the dirt of debris and weeds, add more dark earth and mulch. Make a nice clean line between the grass and garden. I would invest in a couple of bushes that contrast each other and some bright annuals that light up the front.

Floors are the most important. They make such a big impact. They have to be nice. If there is hardwood I suggest refinishing them. Staining them dark is always a nice touch. Parquetry looks incredible stained chocolate. It goes from a bad 1970’s look to something modern and Asian looking. If the floors need to be replaced, bamboo and other sustainable flooring are trendy right now. If the lino is old, change it. If you can afford tile, do it.

Kitchen. If the kitchen is an old wood 1950’s style, no need to rip that out and redo it and spend all that extra money. Paint it glossy cream and add stylish knobs. You could even add a moulding.

If it’s white melamine, you could either paint it with special paint, or keep it as is. Sometimes it’s the surrounding area that can buff it up and make it not look so “melaminy”. Meaning, add a trendy tiled backsplash, a new countertop, and knobs. If the melamine has a 1980’s boarder that can be taken off, remove it for a cleaner look.

If you have the 1990 oak cabinets, they look incredible painted as well. If the cabinetry is hanging from the ceiling dividing the eating area, you could take those down and reuse them somewhere else, like an island.

The Best Reasons For Remodeling Your Kitchen

March 23rd, 2020

According to Realestate, your renovations costs shouldn’t exceed 5% of the purchase price of your house. This means that a typical renovation budget in Australian homes shouldn’t be more than $25,000 (based on a mean price of $544,800 for residential houses in the June quarter, 2014, according to data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)). In order to avoid overspending, you should first have a pretty good reason why you actually want to remodel your house and more specifically your kitchen.

Here is a sample of sound reasons for remodeling your kitchen:

1. Improving Functionality

It really doesn’t make any sense at all to have a kitchen that is of limited use or no use at all. You would rather even go without having any kitchen. Functionality is a key aspect in any room, particularly the kitchen.

Answering these questions will help you identify issues of limited functionality:

- Is there enough space for everyone involved in food preparation?

- Are there enough storage units for all items?

- Is it easy or difficult to move around?

- How easy or difficult is it to prepare food?

2. Enhance Safety

Safety is a crucial consideration for any design feature. You must ensure that the risk of accidents is eliminated or at least reduced to a minimum.

When evaluating the level of safety in your cooking area, various aspects must be considered, including:

- Air quality: the room should be well-ventilated.

- Temperature: excess heat can affect performance, as well as health of anyone present.

- Humidity: Damp conditions would also affect people’s health.

- Physical structures: proper placement of fixtures and appliances is necessary to avoid accidentally bumping into them and hurting yourself.

3. Improve The House Value

Cooking areas play a crucial role in influencing the decisions of house buyers. If you’re planning on selling off your house, a good kitchen remodel is sure to enhance its value.

According to Realestate, well-planned and properly executed renovations have the potential of adding as much as 10% to the house value. This means that a $20,000 renovation on a $437,500 home can add as much as $40,000 on the value of such a property. This is especially so if it has been under your ownership for a period of 5 years or more.

4. Proper Storage And Organization

Although the aspect of storage falls under functionality, it deserves further in-depth analysis. New advances in storage facilities means that you can benefit from more user-friendly features that allow better utility and productivity.

Storage facilities are no longer just limited to food items and utensils. You can also conceal appliances within special units. Such appliances as dishwashers, microwaves and fridges can also have particular storage units to accommodate them within a seamless layout.

5. Energy Efficiency

The aspect of energy efficiency can never be overemphasized. In fact, you should be constantly assessing the energy use within your cooking area, to identify areas of improvement. Moreover, any investment you put into energy efficient appliances is sure to save you a lot more expenses that you might have with less efficient appliances.

Marketing, Promoting and Advertising Your Business

February 28th, 2020

One thing that goes without saying in today’s business world, is that regardless of the nature of your home based business, a website is an absolute MUST. Whether you have a product or service to sell, whether local or global, your business will go nowhere fast if you don’t have an online presence. If you need internet marketing help, you’ve landed on the right article. I’ll give you some home based business marketing ideas that will help you promote your business successfully.

The first step is choosing a domain name and getting it registered. You can build your own website (if you have the time) and host it yourself or you can have everything done by another company (if you have the money). Either way, you have many options and tools at your disposal that can align with your business plan and budget. Also note that you can still start your own home based business even if you don’t have a product or service to sell. There are thousands of individuals and companies that have products you can sell for them while earning a commission, called affiliate marketing.

Of the many business marketing strategies known to man, internet marketing is, hands down, the best strategy to use for promoting a home based business as it is the cheapest method and has the potential for reaching millions of people all over the globe. Driving traffic to your site through online resources is like killing two birds with one stone. You can tackle print advertising by writing articles and publishing them to directories and ezines and by submitting ads to the many available (and most of them free) classified ad sites. Online media advertising encompasses writing press releases and distributing them to press release sites. One of the biggest and most popular online advertising trends today is via social media advertising through sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn where you build relationships with your customers. Forums and communities are also great ways to build relationships which helps promote your home based business in the long run. Simply Google your market or industry with the word ‘forum’ or ‘community’ behind it and search for one or two that seem to be the best fit for you.

All of these methods of online advertising contribute to search engine optimization (SEO), which is to say improving your online visibility and escalating in the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Your goal is to claim the #1 spot in the organic search results (the results on the left, not the right side which are paid ads). This is where your traffic will come from. If you are 800 in the list of search results, no one is ever going to see your site because very few people have the time or patience to scroll through 800 search results. Research shows that people typically won’t even scroll past 4 or 5 search results, let alone 800.

Can you grasp the importance of internet marketing for any business? If you are new to the internet marketing phenomenon and don’t know exactly where to start, there are many great programs or systems online that walk you through every aspect of marketing your online business. A lot of these systems were created by online entrepreneurs who have spent thousands of their own dollars trying to figure it all out over the years and finally DID. Their sacrifices have made it easier for newbies to become successful at their own online home based business. If you are new to running your own home based business, I recommend you find a great system (do your research, read reviews, ask questions in forums) and start marketing your home business from there. Don’t waste the time and money that so many of us have in going it alone, without a proven system, as it will just set you back further and hinder your progress.