Category Archives: Finance

Reduce, Reuse and Save: Smart Ways to Lessen Water Usage in Your Property

A closeup of a water bill If there’s one thing businesses are always worried about, besides trying to please their clients, it’s the money. There is always the desire to get more but spend less. Your clients might adore that striking garden created for your business, but the water usage may burn your finances.

Fortunately, there are cost-saving techniques to make the most of your irrigation system and lessen the amount of water usage.

Get Smart Controllers with Water Flow Sensors

MPFP and other urban design firms agree that smart controllers usually have precipitation sensors to stop the system from functioning after or during a rainfall. NYC landscape architects add that a water flow sensor sends notifications if it discharges an unusually high level of water. Consider hiring an irrigation manager to examine the system and identify the root cause of the water surge.

Conduct Weekly Meter Readings

Weekly meter readings will expose unusually high water usage. If you have a broken sprinkler head or valve producing runoff, it will cause a huge spike in your water bill. By having one of your employees regularly check the meter readings, you can locate the problem and assess water usage before it gets worse.

Utilize MP Rotators

MP Rotators are slow volume, multi-directional sprinkler heads. They supply water at a gentler rate for less runoff and better absorption, which ensures that most of the water used is solely for irrigation. These are ideal for dense soil and good slopes, and they commonly generate around 30 percent more water savings compared to regular sprinkler heads.

Get Rid of Water Demanding Plant Material

Groundcovers like gazania, red apple, and ivy need huge amounts of water to survive. Use boulder accents, decomposed granite, mulch, or native plant material instead. Sure, this means that you’d have to spend a ton of money to replace it, but the cost today is nothing compared to paying high utility bills for years to come.

Make your gorgeous landscape bring more good news to your business rather than constantly running a hole in your finances. These techniques will help your business thrive financially without the need to sacrifice your landscape.

Better Finances: Making the Right Investments to Grow Your Money

Right InvestmentMoney makes the world go round, or so goes the saying that describes what our society has become. From an early age, you begin to realise the value of hard work and success. Successful people live in posh places, drive better cars and lead a better life in general. Therefore, you work hard at school to get good grades and land a high-paying good job.

As your income grows, however, so do your bills and your need to build equity. Despite the pressing need to earn as much money as you can, you should practice a bit of caution.

Never rush blindly into an investment

A quick query on the web about investment gives you millions of results. Many of them promise to offer swift returns on investment. Some opportunities go as far as guaranteeing the amount of profit you are going to make. When sifting through such offers, you need to know that there are no fixed guarantees when making an investment. Treat anyone who tells you different with scepticism. If you are unsure about an investment opportunity, seek the advice of a professional. That way you can avoid common pitfalls that could leave you with massive losses.

Carry out your due diligence

Even after weeding out scammers and unscrupulous programs, you still have lots of options available. It can be a challenging experience to choose the best investment, but there is a way. Determine the amount of risk you are willing to shoulder. If you are up for the risk, you can go for the money market. If you need low risk and safe investment opportunities you may want to buy gold or silver coins.

Coins are relatively stable and unaffected by inflation and economic turmoil. Unlike paper currency, Atkinsons Bullion explains that precious metals like silver retain their value through a financial crisis.

While investments make a good way of growing your equity, you need to tread carefully when picking one. Such an approach enables you to make the best choices and avoid costly mistakes.

Heat and Cooling: 5 Ways to Cut Costs

Save energy with Image Blinds An average Australian household, research suggests, spends about 40% of its overall energy use in heating and cooling. The sad part, this doesn’t even include water heating, which accounts for about 20 to 25%. This makes it important to know the practical ways to save energy at home, particularly when heating and cooling.

Set Your Thermostat

It is best to set your air conditioner at the highest temperature you feel comfortable enough (usually 25°C). Note that for each 1°C lower for cooling and 1°C higher for heating add about 10% to the total operating cost of the system or appliance.

Seal Air Leaks

Draughts due to gaps and cracks can add up to 25% to heating and cooling bills. This is why you should draught-proof your house by making sure windows and doors are sealed. You can do this on your own, as draught excluders are widely available.

Use Free Energy

In winter, open window furnishings to let heat enter your home. In summer, use natural breezes and shade windows for cooling home naturally. Customs blinds stores like Image Blinds in Brisbane note the roller blinds, awnings, and other external shading devices prevent summer heat gain.

Insulate Roofing

Doing so can help you maintain a comfortable temperature in summer and winter. This helps you save money on electricity bills, which is beneficial for the long-term. You can also add insulation in ceilings, floor, and walls for an extra barrier to heat loss and gain.

Avoid Downlights

Apart from using too much power, they also cause heat loss by going through the ceiling and insulation. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are a better option. These are also eco-friendly, which helps in reducing the levels of mercury released into the environment.

Install Ceiling Fans

Fans are a more affordable way to cool your home, which is also better for the environment. You can also use them in combination with other cooling appliances. It’s nice to know that reversible fans can assist with heating in winter.

Incorporate these tips to save on heating and cooling. You can also try other energy-saving practices like switching off appliances (instead of leaving them on standby) or hand washing a few plates (instead of using the dishwasher).

Ensuring a Steady & Premium Rental Income from Your Commercial Property

Well-Maintained Commercial PropertyMaking a profit is the only driving reason for many people to invest in commercial properties. The allure of a steady monthly income every month makes the real estate investment a game changer. However, as many people rush to cash in on the productive sectors, demand often outstrips supply. Plummeting rental income follows, making the venture less profitable. However, you can fortify your investment and ensure a steady flow of rent at market rates.

Improve the Curb Appeal

Professional firms take a considerable amount of pride in their brand image and as such, they’re unlikely to take up resident in a nondescript building. Hence, you need to take proactive measures and improve the curb appeal of your property. It might entail putting a fresh coat of paint on the building, getting new sidings, or touching up the driveway and the parking lot. Be sure to give it a facelift lends a professional look to the building.

Have a Regular Maintenance Schedule

Tenants are willing to pay more for a space in a building that’s in good condition, but will be reluctant to meet your asking rate if the building is in shambles. Hence, you should engage a reliable contractor to keep the building in great shape. Jaco Roofing reminds to engage with reputable commercial roofing contractors in Houston, though, to service your property professionally. A leaking roof on an office is a disaster in the making. On top of the high cost of repairs, your tenants are likely to sue you for reckless endangerment of life and property.

Have Commercial Billboard Space

Depending on the location of your property, you stand to earn from billboard placements. With the right consideration and construction, you can make an extra stream of income from the advertisements boards placed on the side of your building. Be sure that the placement does not endanger the safety of your tenants or go against the local bylaws, though.

With the stiff competition in commercial rentals, you need an added advantage to increase your rental income. With a little bit of effort and creativity, you can keep your building occupied and pockets full.

Practical Ways to Reduce Expenses During Hard Times

Rental Investment CompanyWhen you’re constantly stressed because of expenses that you face every day, you can try to implement some ways that will help reduce them. These will only require a bit of your time and effort.

The expenses that confront the family on a daily basis can become overwhelming if you don’t know how to find some means that could help bring it down. If you are currently trying to make ends meet, then there are certain things you can do, which could help you reduce your expenses.

Go for Section 8 Rental

If you are currently renting an apartment, try to look up companies offering Section 8 rental. You see, if you are currently renting your place in its full amount, opting for Section 8 rental will give you the chance to reduce the rent since part of it will be shouldered by the government, as explained by Money Crashers.

There are many Section 8 rental investment companies that offer this scheme since they have the assurance that they get paid every month. So you can really opt for this option.

Cook and Cook Some More

When you talk about cooking, don’t automatically think that it’s a tedious process that would eat your time. Think positively. According to Business Insider, cooking your own meals can really help you save on household expenses. If you are too busy that it becomes hard to cook meals on a daily basis, you can try cooking in bulk and just freeze it thereafter. That way, you don’t have to cook at any other time but just heat food in the microwave. You can try cooking two to three dishes on a weekend so that you will go worry-free on weekdays.

Be Energy Efficient

Obviously, you need to save on utility bills. Even if you would be able to avail of Section 8 rental investment, but you don’t exactly save on utility bills, then your expenses would still be reaching the ceiling. So make sure that you unplug appliances when not in use, and simply turn off other things running on electricity when not needed.

All these are simple ways that you can follow to be able to reduce your household expenses. Yes, these things would require some degree of effort from your end but you can be assured that whatever effort you will pour will be truly worth it.

What You Need to Know Before Applying for a VA Mortgage

Veterans Affairs LoanAs a member of the military, the National Guard, a reservist, or a veteran, you could qualify for a Veterans Affairs mortgage.

The Veterans Affairs loan

This type of loan is made through a private VA lender, such as Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc., which means it is not a direct loan from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As long as the lender adheres to the guidelines, however, Veterans Affairs partially guarantees the loan.

Eligibility

Apart from active or retired military personnel, members of the National Guard, veterans, and reservists, the spouse of a member of the military who perished during active duty may also qualify for this type of loan.

Those who are still active may qualify with a minimum of six months in the service. Members of the National Guard and reservists should wait for six years before they can apply. If they are called to active duty, however, they need only render 181 days of service to be eligible for this type of loan.

Why choose a VA loan

The first reason you should try a VA loan is you can apply for one without a down payment and you’re not even required to get mortgage insurance. You can still put a down payment if you are able.

The kind of down payment you give determines the one-time funding fee. For example, you will pay a fee of 2.15% of the amount you are borrowing if you’re in the armed forces, it’s your first VA loan and you won’t be giving a down payment. But shouldering a 10% down payment means your one-time funding fee goes down to 1.25% of the total loan amount.

One more advantage of a VA loan is that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not require a particular minimum for credit scores. However, your lender is likely to ask for a minimum score of 620.

Are You FHA-Insured? See Why You Should Get FHA Streamline

FHA LoanAre you prospecting to be the newest homeowner in town, but are unsure of your documentation? Often as a borrower, your bank or financial lender requires your bank account or employment verification, or better yet your home’s appraisal. What happens if your documentation is already a mess? Worry not because if you have an existing FHA mortgage, you can easily acquire an FHA streamline.

Why FHA Streamline?

Citycreekmortgage.com noted that FHA streamline is a special home financing program reserved for homeowners that have existing FHA mortgages. FHA is a useful program that you can use to reduce your FHA monthly mortgage insurance premiums.

FHA Streamline Refinance Program

Like any other mortgage loan, FHA streamline has a refinance program that’s a simple way for any FHA-insured homeowner to refinance their current mortgages. Like an FHA streamline loan, you need not show your home’s appraisal. In place of your home’s appraisal, the FHA requires you to use your home’s purchase price as the home’s current value. This is regardless of the current worth of your home.

Clearly, the FHA pays no attention whether you are underwater on your current mortgage. Actually, this program encourages underwater mortgages. For U.S. homeowners, the appraisal waiver is a great initiative that allows unlimited loan-to-value home loans. Apart from the “no home appraisal,” FHA streamline refinance is more or less like any other loan product. It either comes as an adjustable or fixed mortgage with no FHA prepayment to think about.

Too Good a Deal, Not Really?

When you visualize the fact that you can acquire a loan without income or home equity and even with a terrible credit rating, you can’t see the sense behind this possibility. To understand this better, remember that the role of FHA is to insure mortgages and not create them. It is FHA’s objective to help FHA-insured individuals access lower mortgage rates, so they can lower monthly premiums that translate to lesser loan defaults.

If you’re still at a loss, don’t hesitate to approach and ask the advice of experts. It’s better than be clueless and regret your decision at the end.

Qualifying for a Mortgage: The Role of Your Net and Gross Income

Mortgage Broker Doing Mortgage QualificationWhen it comes to determining the size of mortgage you can afford, you have to consider your net income. This doesn’t mean, however, that lenders are not concerned with your gross income. It is best to educate yourself and understand the differences between these figures to learn more about mortgage affordability and know how lenders evaluate qualification of borrowers.

Income With or Without Deductions

Gross income is your income before any deductions like social security and taxes. Net income, on the other hand, is your take-home pay or your income after deductions. Salt Lake City mortgage companies note that the former is used when determining your debt-to-income ratio, while the latter is for deciding how much money you can spend on mortgage payments and housing expenses.

Mortgage Eligibility

It is important to know that home loan eligibility is based on your gross income, but the monthly mortgage payments are from your take-home pay. Lenders use the gross income in determining whether you can afford a home loan, as it is the figure that borrowers readily know. This income is also stable, while the net income could change every month because of certain deductions.

Why DTI Matters

Lenders also determine your eligibility using debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. This should not go beyond 36% of your monthly gross income. Note that a low DTI shows a good balance between earnings and debt. A high DTI, on the other hand, demonstrates that you have too much debt for the income you earn. Lenders prefer to see low figures, as this means that you are likely to handle payments better.

The Amount to Borrow

If you can qualify for a large loan, this does not mean that you should borrow the maximum amount you qualify for. You can only do this if you can honestly and comfortably afford the monthly payments and interests. Taking out an extremely large loan or buying a house more than what you can afford can make you house poor.

Get to know your net income and gross income to learn more about mortgage affordability and eligibility. It is also important to play it safe when choosing the size of the loan. Talk to a reliable to learn more about your options.

Financial Stability & Investing: Money Making Decisions to Make Today

Financial Investments in Salt Lake CityIn times of economic uncertainty, living from paycheck to paycheck can leave a negative impact on you. It is only reasonable, then, to be reluctant to invest newly established wealth, once you have gained financial stability. Investing, however, is still a smarter way to let your money grow rather than simply letting it sit somewhere.

Investing in anything is always a bit of a risk, but more often than not, the chance of the reward is far greater. So, are you considering of investing your savings with the intention of gaining profit? Here are some options you can think about and decide on whether or not it’s the right investment for you.

Buy a Home

Many people regard buying a house as the great American dream. While the landscape for real estate has changed over the last few years, the fact that owning a house is a great investment remains the same.

To purchase a house, people apply for mortgage loans and not every rate is the same. The strength of your credit score and spending history plays into your credit report, according to econmortgage.com, and this can affect how low your mortgage rate is.

Learn to Invest in Stock

Consequently, those born into wealth are statistically more liable to lose it as 70% of rich families lose their fortunes by the second generation. Surveys say that this is because parents fail to disclose the details of the circumstances of the family’s wealth to their children, leaving heirs to grow up without sufficient financial literacy or experience.

Knowledge is irreplaceable and can benefit you in the end. Learn the basics of the stock market and what you would be putting your savings into before investing.

Own a Small Business

Though many large corporations exist today, more and more small businesses are sprouting up as people begin to understand the power of entrepreneurship. Nothing builds up profit like owning a small business.

While it is difficult to run a business, it can be fruitful. Many families capitalize a large percentage of their savings into small businesses in order to earn. So, there is merit to commercial ownership, no matter how small.

Home Loan for Doctors: How Does It Work?

Home Loan for DoctorsDue to the nature of their work, it is quite understandable for doctors to have their own special loan terms. The question now is, how does it differ to the traditional home loans? Find out more about this through this post.

What is Physician Loan?

This is a type of loan which is usually offered to new doctor graduates who are financially unstable, but have vast sums of earnings in the future. As compared to conventional loans, MediPro Capital Finance explains that doctor home loans provide more flexible terms. These were designed to adapt and adjust to the physician's current and unique situation.

How This Loan Works?

In simple terms, physician loan is a portfolio of loan products which came from banks and institution (lender). The lender will then keep and service the loan until the doctor or professional (borrower) has the ability to pay off everything. Since these borrowers are usually in high debt and low savings situation, the lenders are willing to provide liberal guidelines until such that the borrowers pay off everything.

What are the Benefits?

There are several reasons professionals are attracted to this loan type. It could be because of terms and agreement or many other things.

Here are the known benefits:

  • Offers higher chance of approval because it disregards all your other obligations
  • It requires little to no down payment depending on your lender
  • You don't need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) or insurance protection for lenders
  • Doesn't factor your debt on student loans which are usually the case for new graduates
  • The loan limits are higher because they vary based on your state location
  • Job offer or contract can be accepted as "proof" of income or earnings

In general, physician loans are beneficial to professionals who just graduated and want to start building their career. While it does offer numerous advantages, you still need to carefully look into the terms and conditions under this loan. This is to avoid getting hurled up in a complicated and problematic agreement later on as you begin with the repayment.