Category Archives: Finance

Top Tips to Save Money When Buying a New House

Pile of coins, a piggy bank and a miniature houseBuying your dream house does not have to ruin you financially. While homes seldom come cheap, there are many ways you can save money during the buying process. Try one of these simple ones.

Look for the best mortgage rates

Most homebuyers use a mortgage to finance their homes. If you intend to do the same, you will need to be smart when looking for a mortgage lender in Portland such as Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.

Different lenders provide different terms and rates for mortgages. Visit a number of banks first and compare their offers. Then go for the lowest prices you can find, provided there are no hidden charges.

Be cautious as you make decisions

Once you get approval for a mortgage, it is likely like you will want to start the house hunting process immediately. This is an exciting period, but you need to check your emotions as you decide on which house to buy.

Before committing to buy a house, compare alternatives. Then take a few days to make up your mind which option suits you best.

Bargain the price

You bargain while buying clothes, shoes, electronics, and other stuff, so why not do it as you buy a home? Most sellers would be willing to lower the price, provided the buyer requested for a discount. Take advantage of this and get to save some money.

Bring someone along

There are many little defects you may not notice once you fall in love with a house. Therefore, it is prudent to let a friend or spouse tag along as you view the home. Your companion can spot some of the faults that the house may have and advise you accordingly.

If you decide to take the house anyway, those little faults could help you as you bargain for a lower price.

The home buying process can seem complex, particularly if you are doing it for the first time. By making a few smart choices, however, you can get the house you are looking for and still save much-needed dollars in the process.

Why Set Up a Family Trust: The Top 5 Benefits

Banking Savings Funds Planning Finance Money ConceptFamily trusts have been gaining steam these past years, and why not? It’s an entirely legal way to safeguard your assets for you and your loved ones. Your assets would be owned by the family trust instead of an individual and would be managed by trustees — whom you’ll appoint — for your beneficiaries. What other benefits could a family trust offer? Here are some of them:

  • Legal Asset Protection – You could use a family trust for protecting your assets in the event of a claim against you or if your business fails. You could hold real estate, your business, as well as other investments in your trust.
  • Protection Against Remarriage After Death of Your Spouse or Partner – Currently, the law allows even a de facto partner the right to claim assets even only after three years into the relationship. Having a family trust would safeguard your assets from failed remarriages or relationships following the death or a partner or spouse. This is especially useful in cases involving second marriages or relationships wherein one party isn’t the biological parent of the children.
  • Healthcare Safeguards – A well-structured trust, provided that it’s been established for a certain time could likewise protect family assets in the event of health breakdowns, especially later in life, in which the state might impose that you get rid of your assets to be eligible for healthcare, explains Rainey Collins Lawyers and other renowned family trust lawyers.
  • Asset Protection from Prospective Law Changes in the Future – A properly structured family trust could offer significant protection from a wide array of wealth tax types that might be passed into law in the future like inheritance tax or death duties.
  • Imprudent Investments – A family trust could safeguard your family from falling prey to scams or financial predators and squandering assets prior to them reaching maturity or obtaining ample life experiences to make rational financial decisions.

Advance planning is the key to financial freedom and success, and having a well-structured family trust is only one of the many ways you could help secure your family’s future. Keep in mind that when you do set up a family trust, it must be structured in a way that meets your specific goals.

Vetting Before Purchasing: Checking Out Your Potential Neighborhood

A HouseYou may not realize this now, but liking the neighborhood you will be moving to is just as important as liking your new home. Before you fall in love with a home and decide to buy it, carefully evaluate the neighborhood. Aside from using a home mortgage calculator online from American Loans, use web resources to check the area. After that, scout the neighborhood yourself and walk around to get a feel of it.

Whether online or offline, you want to make sure that your new home is close to your family’s daily needs. Here are some ways to find necessary details regarding each facility:

Schools

The U.S. Department of Education website has a school locator page wherein a local map displays all the public schools in the vicinity. You can check each of their details by clicking the “school profile” section. You may also want to visit PSK12 to see all the ratings and rankings of public schools in a region.

Healthcare

If you want a list of the healthcare facilities in your state, county or city including its ratings and rankings, you can find it on the Consumer Reports site. Their web tool even offers details on the record of every facility in, particularly limited performance categories. Angie’s List and Yelp have plenty of patient reviews regarding primary care and local family doctors if you are interested in knowing more.

Your Home

For more details regarding your potential home, try local offices and courthouse of the city or county. They give out records relating to a home that would date back to at least a couple of decades. The information would include deeds and encumbrances, like mortgages and other fees.    

As you find out more details regarding your new home and neighborhood, try to set your standards to a more rational level. Keep in mind that no neighborhood is perfect, so be more realistic with your expectations.

Investing in Real Estate: Commercial Property Types to Consider

Self storage as a form of commercial propertyIf you’re looking to diversify your investment portfolio and include safeguards against the volatility of the investment market, why not incorporate some property investments in your portfolio? If you don’t know where to start, take a look at some of the most common commercial property investment types below.

Retail Spaces or Buildings

The key to this kind of investment is location. For instance, if you want to invest in a standard strip mall with multiple units, you have to make certain that the location receives a consistent stream of foot traffic or you would be hard-pressed to find tenants.

Office Spaces or Buildings

Office spaces are usually in demand in virtually all cities. If you reside in a smaller town, you may consider investing in one unit first with one tenant, such as a doctor’s clinic. If you live in a bigger town or city, you could consider investing in several office units, or even a whole building.

Raw Land Investments

You could make money with raw land investments in different ways. For example, if you bought wooded land, you could contract responsible logging companies to harvest wood from your property. If the property is suited to farming, you could lease it to local farmers, or you could also just purchase some land and sell it later to property developers.

Multifamily Housing

Multifamily housing refers to apartment buildings. With the demand for affordable housing options, yet consistently increasing rental prices, you could generate a steady income stream with apartment buildings. Additionally, you could even take out HUD multifamily loans from mortgage and financial firms such as Bonneville Multifamily Capital to help you acquire multifamily properties.

Industrial Real Estate

This could mean plenty of things – manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and research facilities among others. With this property type, however, it may be harder to estimate demand so you must do your research well when gauging the area where you want to invest.

All types of commercial investment properties come with its rewards and risks, so it’s crucial that you weigh all the pros and cons of each before investing. To start, ask yourself how you are going to finance the property? Is the market viable for the property type you’re planning on buying? How much money can you earn? Do your due diligence before doing anything.

FAQs about Investing in a Multifamily Home

Nice home investmentIf you are considering buying a multifamily home, understand that there are two types of multifamily properties: residential and commercial. Residential properties have two, three, or four units, while commercial properties have five or more units representing the investment of the owner.

We look at the second type of multifamily property and explore the most common questions investors ask about it.

What is a multifamily loan?

A multifamily loan works just like a conventional single-family mortgage. It is a type of financing for properties with anywhere from five to 5,000 units, including small and large apartment complexes.

Approval for a multifamily loan largely depends on the value and earning potential of the property, although personal credit and income are a significant consideration.

Who can apply for a multifamily loan?

Multifamily loans are for investors who would like to invest in a property that generates income. Most lenders prefer to approve loans for seasoned real estate investors, although new programs are now available for first-time investors looking into the rental industry.

Keep in mind, as an investor, you cannot live in the property.

Where can I apply for a multifamily mortgage?

Outside of Freddie Mac loans, a Fannie Mae multifamily loan provides the best fixed-rate options for investors. Bonneville Multifamily Capital says this allows lenders to reinvest the money they acquired by lending it to others.

The mortgage can run anywhere from seven to 30 years, and borrowers have the option to avail of a floating rate that can be adjusted every six months after the first seven years.

How can I successfully apply for a multifamily loan?

Lenders prefer borrowers who can prove they can pay back the loan with little risk and operate a financially viable rental property. To do this, you must be able to show a track record of success in real estate investment.

Moreover, for new investors, you need to show appropriate transferable skills, such as employee management, property management, or sales and leasing.

If you are thinking of applying for a multifamily loan with Fannie Mae, get in touch with a loan officer who can help you weigh your options and help you compose a loan application that will guarantee approval.

Use an Online Police Check to Improve Job and Business Opportunities

Man signing up for his business applicationThere are many reasons you need a police clearance certificate. The national police check certificate is as important to individuals as it is to businesses and the government.

Police Clearance Certificate for Individuals

police clearance certificate is vital to individuals, as you will need it for a job application, visa application, adoption application processing, overseas employment processing and state job application, among others. As an individual, you will need a copy of this all-important document to secure yourself a job both in the government and the private sector. Employers need assurance that you are a law-abiding citizen and well disciplined.

Police Clearance Certificate for Businesses

The business community has adopted the national police history check as a requirement when hiring. Businesses and employers are required by law to hire law-abiding individuals of good conduct. The most efficient way to follow this rule is by requesting for police checks, to ensure your adherence to the laws of the land.

The federal government and state governments may also require a police clearance certificate for your business. To ensure the smooth flow of your business operations, get yourself and your business cleared by getting a national police check.

Fast and Easy Application Process

The process of obtaining a clearance certificate has today been made quick and efficient. The application process is now 100% online, where you download the application form and fill in your details. This process is available in all the six states and eight territories of Australia. Online application makes sure that both individuals and employers get this crucial information in time for practical usage.

It is now easy to get police history checks in time. You only need a phone, a tablet or computer with internet connection to access the application form. With an online police history check, you are sure to beat any application deadline.

Reasons for Encouraging Employee Recognition

Motivating employeesMostly everyone likes knowing that they had done something excellently. There is something euphoric about getting praise for giving extra effort. Most workplaces try to reinforce meritocracy but aren't often quite the norm for some reason. The simple yet powerful act of recognizing the good that your people do in your company has the following benefits.

Employees Realize their Value – Employees are important in any organization and showing some love for their good and hard work makes them feel special. Sometimes, a simple note that says “good job” can make an impact. As long as it is genuine and timely, it will be appreciated. This means no matter how much you spend on procuring Employee Recognition Label Pins and how many employee label pins you give away, you can remain out of touch. Employees who feel they are valued in the company are less likely to resign or absent themselves from work.

Improves Relationships in the Workplace – When an employee's work is always given proper recognition, they also feel that they are truly part of a family. This doesn’t just apply to the one being recognized but also with the remainder of your staff who are aware of their co-worker's achievements. They become better team players knowing that each of them has a role to play in the company while everyone does their best.

Creates and Encourages Productivity – Genuine recognition for good work can give a mood boost to any employee. When you show appreciations to every employee, this morale enhancement is passed around and can affect their interdependence. Imagine what your company can do when everyone is doing their best and are happy to do so.

A little appreciation for every staff member can go a long way. If you haven’t been giving recognition to your people yet, now is a good time to start. Make a list of possible awards and activities that will give their achievement credence. Eventually, you will see the profitable and positive effects that it will have on your employees, company and even your customers.

Reasons for Encouraging Employee Recognition

Motivating employeesMostly everyone likes knowing that they had done something excellently. There is something euphoric about getting praise for giving extra effort. Most workplaces try to reinforce meritocracy but aren't often quite the norm for some reason. The simple yet powerful act of recognizing the good that your people do in your company has the following benefits.

Employees Realize their Value – Employees are important in any organization and showing some love for their good and hard work makes them feel special. Sometimes, a simple note that says “good job” can make an impact. As long as it is genuine and timely, it will be appreciated. This means no matter how much you spend on procuring Employee Recognition Label Pins and how many employee label pins you give away, you can remain out of touch. Employees who feel they are valued in the company are less likely to resign or absent themselves from work.

Improves Relationships in the Workplace – When an employee's work is always given proper recognition, they also feel that they are truly part of a family. This doesn’t just apply to the one being recognized but also with the remainder of your staff who are aware of their co-worker's achievements. They become better team players knowing that each of them has a role to play in the company while everyone does their best.

Creates and Encourages Productivity – Genuine recognition for good work can give a mood boost to any employee. When you show appreciations to every employee, this morale enhancement is passed around and can affect their interdependence. Imagine what your company can do when everyone is doing their best and are happy to do so.

A little appreciation for every staff member can go a long way. If you haven’t been giving recognition to your people yet, now is a good time to start. Make a list of possible awards and activities that will give their achievement credence. Eventually, you will see the profitable and positive effects that it will have on your employees, company and even your customers.

Mortgage Terms in Layman’s Terms: What Exactly is Debt to Income Ratio?

Mortgage Loan AgreementDebt to Income ratio (DTI) is precisely what it sounds like. It’s how much debt you owe in comparison to your income. Lenders use this ratio to figure out whether a borrower is capable of maintaining mortgage monthly payments. They use DTI for purchase loans, including refinancing, as well.

DTI could likewise help you determine how much you can afford for a house deposit. Take note that DTI doesn’t measure a person’s willingness to pay, only the potential economic burden of a monthly mortgage payment.

Debt to Income Ratio Explained

Every single working person knows this scenario all too well:

Each month you try to figure out how much money you could keep and how much money you have to pay for all sorts of bills. You have regular bills for electricity and water, perhaps for your Internet and mobile phone, as well transportation costs and groceries. In addition, there’s money you need to pay off your debts — your mortgage, credit card, personal loan, or student loans.

Do you feel that sometimes all your available cash goes into repaying your debts? This means that your debt to income ratio might be too high for you to handle, says money experts and mortgage brokers in Sandy. Put simply, your DTI is a specific number expressing the link between your overall debts each month and your monthly gross income.

How Can You Calculate Your DTI

To calculate, you divide your total monthly payments for all your debt by your monthly gross income. For example, let’s say you put in $400 monthly for student loans and $1,600 monthly on your home loan. This means that you pay off $2,000 for your debts monthly. Your monthly gross income is the amount of your earnings before deductions and taxes — let’s say it’s at $6,000. This means that your debt to income ratio is 33%.

Your DTI is a critical measure of a borrower’s financial security. You increase your chances of securing a mortgage with a better rate if you have a low debt to income ratio. Likewise, a low DTI would allow you to take more financial risks and deal with them better.

Ready to Sell Your Business? Answer These Questions First

Business Partners Shaking HandsUnless you don’t have a dream retirement or you want to work until your last breath, you will think about selling your business one day. When that time comes, you need to make careful decisions and lay a detailed exit plan to ensure success.

The planning process should begin as early as today. Start with answering these questions.

When will you sell your business?

Timing is key. If you have been thinking of selling your business for a long time, then you need to find the best time to do it. Many factors will affect your decision, and these may include your age, the age of your business, your business’s financial standing, and the potential market value of your enterprise. Utah Business Consultants notes that a lawyer or business consultant can help you understand the market and determine the best time to sell.

How much money do you want for your business?

It's not about how much you want for your business; it’s about how much your business is worth. Yes, we’re talking about business valuation. You need to determine what you have so you’ll know what to expect when you sign the deal. The value of your business will depend on your current assets and liabilities, financial status, and many other factors.

To whom will you sell it?

Will you sell your business to an insider or a third party? Your choice will also affect the selling price and your experience. If you sell your business to a third party, you can reduce financial risk and avoid any problems associated with family succession planning. Selling to an insider (a family member or a key employee), on the other hand, gives you the assurance that your business will be in the hands of someone you know and trust.

An Exit Plan is Essential

Selling the fruit of your hard work is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life, and you only have one chance to do it right. Exit strategy planning is important to achieve your personal, financial, and estate planning goals when you decide to sell your business.

When you have an exit plan, you can increase your chances of getting the maximum value for your business, as well as ensure a fast and successful transaction and turnover. The process will be easier if you have an experienced business consultant by your side.