Archive for November, 2010

The Differences between Flood and Fire Restorations

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

There are two major hazards to a property: fire and flood. It can cause immeasurable inconvenience and financial burden on the property owner when either one of these situations happen. While preparation and knowledge can make fire or flood less likely, there are some circumstances when these are unavoidable. The only hope then is to give the home or business the proper restoration treatment.

 

Fire restoration is much more formidable than flood because it has the capability to destroy the entire house. Contrary to this, the water from putting out the fire can also damage contents that can be salvaged. Some people have the impression that flood works more quickly, but the truth is both kinds of damage can be quite instantaneous .

 

In both situations, it is necessary to act fast , otherwise there is a risk of causing even more damage. The effects of fire make it necessary to contend with other factors such as soot and smoke. Fabrics also have to be given special attention to because smoke and soot cling to the porous materials. The equipment used in the fire restoration range from vacuums to pick up the dust, oxygen treatments to remove the smell , and dehumidifiers to help dry the water used to extinguish the fire.

 

Fire should also be treated differently from water damage because the risks are not the same. In the former, a major danger is that the structure may be unsafe. Fire can significantly weaken the beams or structure of the property, making it likely to tumble down . On the other hand, water damage can soften the foundation, making it unstable. A good rule of thumb when dealing with either situation is to think “up” during a fire and think “down” during a flood.

 

The ability of the residents of the property to be able to breathe is a major concern in both fire and flood. Fire usually includes smoke which needs to be cleared. On the other hand, the flood can bring about excess moisture in the property and cause mold to flourish. Thus, there are different ways of dealing with the air quality and restore it to its original condition.

NC Mountain Property: Tips before you buy.

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Whether you are a Floridian who is seeking cool refuge from the summer heat or a New Yorker planning for retirement in the Carolina Mountains, there are things that those getting started with there search process need to understand. Although the fact remains that the beauty of this region of the United States is unequaled, thorough due diligence is required to make the purchase of your piece of mountain land.

First, there are four distinct regions of the Carolina mountains. All four differ slightly based on climate, access and amenities:

Area One is the Northeastern part of the chain which is anchored by the Boone and Blowing Rock region. This area of nc mountain land is the most accessible of the regions for Floridians, those in eastern Carolina, mid-Atlantic states and the Northeast. This region is the closest in proximity to a major airport hub in Charlotte. This area includes quaint mountain towns, out door recreation and probably the best skiing. The eastern side of the mountains which comprise this region can have a marginally mild winter comparatively but can also be slightly warmer in the summer.

Area Two in the South Mountains including northern South Carolina are not anchored by your typical mountain town. They are best for year round living with the mildest of winters. The access from most areas of the United States is good. There is no primary skiing in this region and the area lacks your core outdoor mountain recreation.

Area Three is the Asheville region. Asheville provides a cultural core to this region. For those who are not willing to get to far away from all the modern creature comforts of urban living, the Asheville region suits you. With a ton to do, skiing and outdoor amenities, the Asheville region provides great real estate alternatives. The access is good but can take a little longer to drive to than areas one and two. Asheville does have an airport with transfers from both Charlotte and Atlanta.

Area Four is in the far western reach of North Carolina. Access is inferior to other areas of the mountains and the winters can be harsh but with the towns of Highlands and Cashiers at it’s core, this area is extremely popular for Floridians who are looking to escape the summer heat.

In sum, most understand the beauty of the Mountains. For me, I am a big fan of the Boone/Blowing Rock region. To each his own. Look for me at The Coves of Round Mountain. After thorough due diligence, that is what I call home.

Buying or Selling Property Time For Change

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The British property industry  is remains unchanged for years and with no signs of change ahead in the close future . This tradition sees those buying and selling a property having to spend more and more money with a lack of choice and competition. I am going to show  how you can save money when buying a home and also on the actual sale.

Estate agents have been using the same old tried and tested method to attract buyers and sellers for years and the typical fees and agent charges are all based upon the price of the houses for sale.

This business model has left estate agents with bad press this is despite that the majority are honest and do a good job. The bad feeling is nothing to do with the job that they do but the way and amount they charge. When an agent puts a buyer and seller together they feel that the work involved has been relatively easy compared to the agents rewards.

Estate agents can take some of the running around off your hands, offering advice, acting as a go-between for you and your potential buyer(s). They may offer a number of benefits to the selling  process such as:

  • advertising the property for sale
  • arranging appointments for visits
  • following up buyers to obtain ‘feedback’
  • advice on valuation
  • creation of the property descriptive details
  • collation (from you) of relevant documentation
  • receiving and forwarding offers
  • selling mortgages, insurance, legal or other services

This service comes at a cost and you have to ask yourself is this a cost you can afford and if not what is the alternative.

Whilst other industries have embraced the internet age and innovated accordingly, selling property   remains a very traditional process.  Estate agents continue to charge large fees for their services and it is estimated that only 2 per cent of all properties for sale in the UK have been put on the market directly by the owner. That compares to 12 per cent in the united States of America

The way to save money is to sell property online and to avoid the agent only websites when buying a property. Private house sales websites or For Sale By Owner websites offer properties at below market value. Owners are saving money on commission and do not need to factor this cost in the asking price.

Turkey Property 2010 Hotspot – Download Your Complementary Property & LIfestyle Magazine

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

If you are interested in purchasing a property in Turkey, the hotspot market for 2010, then feel safe in the fact that Turkey is a very popular choice. Over 73,000 foreigners already own property in the country where east meets west and that number is increasing rapidly.

A stated Turkey Investment property is proving increasingly popular for both lifestyle and pure investment but here are some questions you might be asking yourself.

But where is the best area to buy?

How will you travel there?

What activities and attractions are in the area?

What types of property are currently available?

What is the purchase process?

Is there finance available?

You will find the answer to all these questions and more, Turkey Today, the complimentary e-magazine published by Experience International the overseas property experts launches today.

MD of Experience International, Steven Worboys, comments,

“We know that Turkey is one of the most attractive property markets in the world today. Only four hours from the The United Kingdon, Turkey has something for everyone from the thriving and cosmopolitan European Capital of Culture, Istanbul to the beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of the Aegean coast.

“Reacting to client requests for more comprehensive information about property hotspots, accessibility, leisure pursuits, properties on the market and the buying procedure, we created and launched Turkey Today, your essential Turkish property & lifestyle magazine.”

The 70 page e-magazine, Turkey Today, is available complimentary to potential property buyers and this issue features:

“Why I’m tempted by Turkey” by Liz Rowlinson, Daily Mail and A Place in the Sun property writer

Latest news and essential market information

Top Ten reasons to buy Turkey property

Where to Buy? Discover the beautiful Aegean coast

A buyers guide

Hot Properties – a showcase of the best buys for 2010

To request your free 70 page Turkey Today magazine visit Buy-Turkey-Property.com or call + 44 (0) 207 321 5858.

First Time Property Investing

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Making your first property investment can be a awfully nervous time for just about everybody concerned, and typically those folks closest to you too.  Putting this quantity of money on the line for something that you hope will pay down in the end is fantastically dangerous, but with risk comes great rewards and fortunes have been made in property investment.  These are some ways you can make sure you set yourself up to win in the property investment game.  

Step one : Look into your local areas before you start scouting into foreign countries.  While the markets outside of the united states may look brilliant on paper, unless you’ve got a strong illustration of the area itself, you are literally purchasing blind.  To avoid this, and make sure that the property you purchase can be resold, you’ll want to begin in areas that you are totally acquainted with.  

Step two : ensure that you have adequate financial support lined up, and that you know how much you are able to spend without cutting into your possible profits.  Investing in properties is all about the returns on your money, and accelerating the margins.  Going over your financial position, or wasting lots of time making an attempt to line up financing could cost you to lose the house of your dreams, and finish up end debt rather than enjoying the riches.  

Step three : select a home that is near faculties, and shopping centers.  These sorts of multinationals are consistently growing and ever-changing, which means that you’ll have a far easier time selling your house, rather than waiting for the markets to turn in your favour.  Shopping arcades and faculties provide fantastic expansion opportunities, and even better potential investments.  

Step four : Look for pointers that the area is at present growing.  A lot of new vehicles, scholars walking around in new garments, carrying cell telephones and other devices, as well as new commercial construction are all signs that the area you’re in is presently experiencing growth.  Selling your home in these markets will be significantly easier, because folks are already spending their money.  

Step 5 : avoid getting on the top end of homes at any price.  Although it does look good on paper, buying the costliest home in the neighborhood and putting a low amount of money into it so as to resell the property, it just doesn’t occur that frequently.  What you are going to really wish to do, is look out for the houses that are on the lower end, and match them to the prices that the high end properties are selling for.  

This will give you a base judgment of how worthwhile the area is.  If there’s a big opening in price between the homes you are aiming to buy, and the homes on the higher end of the market, you stand to earn plenty of cash from a successful property investment flip.  

Entering into property investment is a great idea if you are needing to set yourself up for retirement nevertheless , it can be terribly troublesome and perplexing on occasion.

Real Estate marketing: The importance of website customization and optimization

Monday, November 29th, 2010

To generate more leads are every Realtor goal and to achieve that they must first start their own real estate website. Having a website is so important for a Realtor to bring continues leads and new customers in their real estate business . Most Realtor websites that I saw have not customized well and optimized at the same time. That means that these websites are not yet receiving leads from major search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and more. (For more information about home buying and selling in Utah, visit Real Estate in Utah)

A well customized real estate website can catch the attention of prospect clients visiting your site and that could be an advantage on your part. The better your website looks the more supply of endless leads will come into your business. Proper optimization should be your next step after you successfully customize your website Keyword plays an important role in website optimization. The often you will be search in your niche market if the main keywords of choice are much better.

We know that time is always an issue with the Realtors leaving them no time to handle these tasks. But can make it still happen by hiring an expert web designer that can customized and at the same time includes keywords on each of the visible page content, images, title and header. In every page contents the use of H1 and H2 tags for the headings and every first word of the sentences of each paragraph to capture the attention of Google spiders is a must. One thing to remember that search engines like Google is not capable of identifying web images . Best to do is to put a description, title and tags in all of the images that you have. (For more information about home buying and selling in Utah, visit Ogden UT homes for sales)  

The search keywords must not only be included in visible pages, if your web designer has an idea with internet marketing, then he or she knows the importance of Meta description and Meta keywords behind web pages.

Talking about the search engine spiders proper optimization of your web site including the page title, title tags, page content, page meta description and meta keywords will bring the attention of search engine spiders. The search engine spiders will then recognize your website keywords and niche, so that every time that people search for that keywords and terms a possibility that they will be taken into one of your website pages. (For more information about home buying and selling in Utah, visit Real Estate in Roy Utah)

Lastly, avoid using similar title and title tags in your website pages, this will confuse spiders that could results in losing commissions and leads.

Options to Prevent Foreclosure

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Banks are overwhelmed by foreclosures. Foreclosures numbers are at all time highs for  Homes for Sale in Kennesaw, GA , to Real Estate in Redmond Washington . There are so many foreclosures in some areas that banks just don’t want to foreclose on any more homes. They have threatened moratoriums on foreclosures. This is causing lots of shadow inventory. Banks don’t want foreclosures. They are expensive, and there are better alternatives.

Sell Your Home.  Home owners who have equity, can simply sell their homes as a method to prevent foreclosure. The difficult thing is that most people who are facing foreclosure, don’t actually have equity. Almost one in every four people with home loans have notes bigger than the value of their property. Short sales allow homes to sell that are underwater.

Loan Modification – With the encouragement of federal programs, many banks are willing to consider loan modifications.There are some situations where lenders fradulatently administered loans and are held accountable for reconciling their errors.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure — With this foreclosure alternative the distressed home owner voluntarily quit claimes their deed to the bank. It’s rare that Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure actually happen. It is almost always financially best for banks to approve short sales, but they have a hard time getting decisions made. Banks have a hard time deciding exactly what criteria they will take to accept a short sale because every home is unique.

There are some legal issues regarding deeds in lieu of foreclosures that can also make them complicated. With foreclosures, the junior liens get 0 and are wiped off the record. They don’t get a dime. They lose their lien and their right to foreclose. It takes these debts off of the title. Banks do still have a judicial right to collect their rightful debts. Banks do still have statutory rights to try and collect their unpaid debts. With a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the lender also takes upon themselves any junior liens.

Forebearance — With a forebearance agreement the lender delays his right to exercise foreclosure to give the borrower a chance to catch up on their payments. Only about five percent of people who try and get forebearances are successful. Most people have no idea what things are required to qualify. It is wise to get advice from a non profit HUD approved housing organization to provide information on your foreclosure options. Advise from these organizations is FREE. It is illegal for people to charge for loan modification services unless they have a mortgage license. Make sure you watch out for scams when investigating your foreclosure alternatives.

Managing Water Damage in New York

Monday, November 29th, 2010

New York is a wonderful place to be so it’s not surprising that many people from all over the world prefers to set up residence here. But whether you choose live in the middle  of New York City, the suburbs of Long Island or even Upstate, the fun ceases  when your home    gets soaked either because of natural causes or your own negligence.

 

A simple pipe leak or even a faucet left leaking  can cause enormous damage to carpet and things placed near the bathroom. During wintertime, water damage in New York even escalates. Burst pipes, poorly maintained heating system and other maintenance problems can ruin this busy season.

 

There’s no need to fret though for there are reliable cleaning and restoration companies that can help you get your life back in no time. While waiting for help to arrive, the homeowner  must do  important steps to prevent the damage from getting worse.

 

If you have a basement and it gets flooded due to heavy rains, don’t attempt to remove the water when outside flooding hasn’t subsided yet. The pressure from the outside floods can weaken an empty basement’s walls and structural damage can occur.

 

Make sure too that you turn off gas and electricity and as soon as possible, increase ventilation. When using a generator, make sure that it is in a well-ventilated place as well.

 

In most cases, professional help is needed because a wet area is prone to mold buildup, harmful fumes and other unseen dangers that can affect your health. A professional company dealing with water damage in New York can take care of the problem the shortest time possible. Instead of spending your energy cleaning, disinfecting and drying, you can shift focus on the more important thing—getting back to your normal life .

 

Also, don’t forget to take photos of the damage so you have enough documentation to present when filing for a claim against your insurance company. Restoration surely takes time and money but as long as you do the necessary things first, there shouldn’t be a problem enjoying your stay in New York anytime of the year.  

How to Increase Your Internal Capital Generation in Your Company

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Are you looking to recruit capital for your business? Do you need more working capital to sustain net profitable operations? Before you go to the bank or capital markets, first look inside. Look at your own capital generation and analyze your company’s ability to generate cash. You may be surprised about the capital options this will produce for you. In this article I will discuss Sources of Internal Capital, Key Cost Factors, Capital Risk Factors, Capital Flexibility and Control Factors, and Capital Availability Factors.

Sources of Internal Capital

Retained Earnings

  • Profit improvement.
  • Expense Reduction.
  • Reducing Owners Distributions (dividends/ drawings).
  • Watching levels of Principals’ Salaries during early stages of Company Growth.
  • Practicing good Budgeting practices.
  • Successful Milestone achievements.

Asset Management

  • Disposing non-performing Assets.
  • Control Systems for Inventories, Receivables, Equipment, Machinery and other Fixed Assets.
    • Understanding how lease finance can improve Internal Capital Generation.
  • Schedule of Real Estate Control System to effectively manage your Company’s Real Estate Holdings.

Cost Controls

  • Supplier pricing.
  • Office supplies management.
  • Cost Control Systems to minimize costs and increase cash flows.

Different Cost Factors That Affect Business Capital

  • Customer Controls are too tight.
  • Reducing inventories too much- not being disposed for increased Sales or Production levels.
  • Poor Performing or High Expense Ratio Fixed Assets.
  • Old, Expensive-to-Run Equipment/ Machinery.
  • If Investor Funds are necessary, need to find a Capital Structure which will enhance Retained Earnings, yet award Investors a tolerable Dividend Payout Level and Capital Gains.
    • Try to minimize Dividend payouts to Investors to enhance Earnings, while promoting a  higher Capital Gain payout.
    • Run several Financial Structure Models to find a Mix of Dividends and Capital Gain Payouts which enhance Earnings and pacify the Investor.

Capital Risk Factors

  • Not having links from Product Development to Marketing Planning to Strategic Planning  to Financial Statement Modeling.
    • Lack of Coordination will leave a lot of money on the table.
    • Company inefficiencies can snowball and severely hamper a Company’s ability to generate cash.
    • Unrealistic Financial Management will significantly trim back a Business’ Internal Capital Generation.

Financial Flexibility Factors

  • Increased Internal Capital Generation can give your Company enhanced Financial Flexibility.
    • Can tap Opportunities when they arise in the Market.
    • Can carry you through rough Economic periods.
  • Mismanagement of Internal Capital will bring about costly inflexibility and unresponsiveness to Market opportunities.

    • Mismanagement can cause a reliance on higher Loan to Value/ Cost Debt Structures, which severely hamper a Business’ Cash Generation.

Control Factors Affecting Business Capital

  • Have a solid Operating Agreement in Place with Investors so Control Issues don’t hurt future Cash Generation.
  • Internal Control Struggles between Company Principals can cause a Rift in Company Management and significantly affect the Company’s earnings potential.
  • Proper Budgeting Control Systems in place for effective Cash Management.
  • Effective Cash Flow Management.

Availability of Capital

  • Retained earnings can be enhanced no faster than Profits are realized; hence, Cash Generation is integrally tied to the effectiveness of your Strategic Plan, which is derived from solid Marketing Plan and Product Develop Plan.
  • An Effectively Developed and Implemented Business Plan will ensure the availability of Internally Generated Cash and produce Financial Structures to effectively generate and manage Cash Flows.
  • Increasing the availability of Internal Capital will create less reliance on other more costly sources of Capital, such as Debt or Equity Finance. furthermore increased levels of Cash Generation increases confidence levels of prospective Lenders and Investors, proving the Company has an Effective Business Plan and can effectively manage its internal affairs.

Resource: See my article on  How to Prepare a Loan Package for more help in the planning area.

About The Guest Author – Frank Goley, Business Consultant with ABC Business Consulting

Frank Goley has an experienced background working with small and medium size businesses as a business consultant, business turnaround consultant, business plan writer, business plan expert, small business consultant, business coach, business plan consultant, marketing consultant, business planner and online marketing consultant, and seo consultant for ABC Business Consulting. He has been helping companies to succeed for many years. Frank wrote his first business plan over twenty years ago. He is an expert in developing business plans, marketing plans, funding plans, strategic plans, turnaround plans, web marketing strategies, and project specific business plans. Frank is the author of a business plan book, The Comprehensive Business Plan Workbook – A Step by Step Guide to Effective Business Planning, and he has over 130 published articles and e-books on business success strategies. He also writes the Business Success Strategies Blog and publishes the Business Success Newsletter.

The Importance of Smoke Damage Restoration

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Even the most limited fires can cause a lot of damage to the home. The thing about fires is that there is more to it than the immediate danger it poses. There is also the aftermath, which ranges from smoke to ashes, that needs to be handled . These elements can go beyond the immediate location of the fire and can affect other portions of the house.

 

What is worse is that it may take up to several weeks before the smoke damage restoration process is completed to restore the property to its original condition. The reason for this is that the smell of smoke can be absorbed by many items found in the house. While everything may look clean, the odor can be a different story.

 

Property owners can rest assured because this problem is not completely without remedy . As long as the smoke damage is addressed in the proper way, the damage can be limited. Before attempting to do any cleaning , it is important to consider talking to a professional in order to come up with a specific plan for the property .

 

Trying to get everything back to its original condition without advice from someone who is experienced and knowledgeable on the matter can be a big mistake . A smoke damage restoration expert can help concentrate and focus the efforts on the problem that really makes a difference.

 

A common answer to smoke damage is to increase the ventilation in the home. Airing it out gives the chance for fresh air to come in and push out the smoke. In fact, winter is no excuse to keep the windows closed. The circulation of air is the best solution to any kind of smoke damage. If possible, rent out large fans to keep the air moving around the room.

 

To limit the damage cause by smoke in your home , make sure to replace the filters found in various appliances such as the heater and air conditioners several times throughout the cleanup process. The reason for this is that these filters tend to trap the smoke and ash so they need to be kept fresh often.