Increasing Home Equity With Biweekly Plans – Your Questions Answered

Increasing Home Equity With Biweekly Plans – Your Questions AnsweredMaintaining house values and stabilizing home equity is vitally important to American...

4 Steps to Get a Real Estate License

In Florida, approximately 50% of agents fail the exam the first time. This is no big deal because agents are allowed...

Used Commercial Trucks – Proven Strategies for Private Sellers to Sell More Effectively and Quickly

Used Commercial Trucks – Proven Strategies for Private Sellers to Sell More Effectively and QuicklyIn today’s climate you need to be...

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Increasing Home Equity With Biweekly Plans – Your Questions Answered

Increasing Home Equity With Biweekly Plans – Your Questions Answered

Maintaining house values and stabilizing home equity is vitally important to American homeowners during this prolonged economic recession. The following is a series of reoccurring questions that many homeowners have regarding home equity and how to increase the wealth held within their properties.

Q: How can I increase the equity I have in my home?

A: There are two ways you can personally increase the equity in your home. The first is to invest in the property by upgrading the house or improving the land. The most effective areas of the house to renovate are the kitchen and master bedroom as the equity returns for those improvements are the greatest.

The second and most manageable way to increase the equity in your house is to pay down your mortgage. The best way to do this is through an automatic biweekly mortgage payment plan. Biweekly plans are simple. Instead of making a full payment each month, you pay half of your monthly payment every two weeks. Since there are 52 weeks in one year, this translates into thirteen full payments per year rather than twelve. The additional payment is contributed fully to your loan principle balance, effectively reducing your interest rate and increasing your equity.

Q: Do I have to join a program? Can I do this myself?

A: You can do this yourself, but it takes great discipline, endurance, and understanding of your mortgage to ensure the desired results. A trusted third party biweekly provider will automate these payments for you and take out all the guesswork from the process. Your biweekly program can be arranged to automatically withdraw your biweekly payments from your checking or savings account so that your mortgage payments correspond with your employment paychecks, a great budgeting tool to ensure that your mortgage commitment is taken care of as soon as you get paid.

Q: What program should I use? Does my lender offer this?

A: Some banks and lenders offer a biweekly payment program. However, you should consider using a third party company that is independent of your bank’s program. An independent company works with you to ensure that your bank applies the extra principal payments properly and serves as an advocate for you in the mortgage process. Another benefit of working with an experienced independent company is that your biweekly mortgage program can move with you from house to house and from lender to lender if you refinance or relocate, giving you stability and continuity in your mortgage payment process.

Another note of caution when considering a lender based biweekly program is to realize that a lender’s main source of income is to earn interest on your loan. This creates a moral hazard that tends to lead to poor customer service for biweekly customers and a lack of vigilance in managing the program. One or two extra principal payments poorly managed can cause you to pay thousands of dollars in extra interest expense over the life of your mortgage.

Q: How much can I expect to save with a biweekly payment program?

A: Consider a $250,000, 30-year home loan at 7.5 percent, with a monthly payment of $1,750. By paying your monthly payment for the life of your mortgage, you will pay nearly $380,000 in interest alone, and your home will end up costing a total of $630,000. If you pay $875 every two weeks, however, you will save a total of $105,000 in interest, and you will pay off your mortgage almost 7 years early.…

4 Steps to Get a Real Estate License

In Florida, approximately 50% of agents fail the exam the first time. This is no big deal because agents are allowed to retake the examination as often as they want within two years, so as long as you pass the exam and complete your pre-licensing course like the Real estate license Norwood MA, you should not face any major issues. Once you pass the exam, you must activate your license online through your state’s real estate commission website. Activation fees typically run from $200 to $400.

Pre-licensing courses

If you’re considering getting a real estate license in another state, you might have questions about what courses you should take. While your state may require you to take specific courses to get your license, other states do not. In these cases, you should consider taking a pre-licensing course to ensure that your coursework will satisfy the prerequisites for a real estate license.

Exam preparation

One of the most important things to do when preparing for your real estate licensing exam is to become familiar with the terms that are likely to appear on the test. Real estate is a complicated field filled with jargon, and you should familiarize yourself with the terms and their definitions. When studying for your real estate license exam, memorizing and reciting any unfamiliar terms you may encounter is especially important. A simple way to remember new terms is to make flashcards of joint real estate terminology.

There are several ways to prepare for the real estate license exam, including reading up on the rules and regulations of the state and taking courses on the subject. While some state licensing agencies provide free materials, others require a fee to use their materials. In addition to online courses, some states require you to take practical examinations before getting your license. To ensure that you pass your exam, take the time to practice with the help of simulations, practice exams, and test banks.

Requirements

Real estate licensing requires a few steps. The first step is completing a real estate pre-licensing education course. Some states offer classroom training, while others offer online courses. Either way, you need at least 60 hours of classroom education. Taking a standardized test is difficult, especially for people who haven’t been in school for a while. Taking a practice test is a good way to ensure that you know everything you need to know about the field before the actual exam.

In California, you must be 18 years old and complete three courses worth 135 hours in real estate. These courses include real estate principles and practices. After completing these classes, you can choose one more course from the state’s approved list of courses. Applicants must be of high moral character and provide proof of their background. Those with felonies or any criminal convictions will be disqualified from the licensing process. Fingerprint clearance cards are also required, and you must be approved online by the Broker. If you get a real estate license, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years.

Cost

The cost to get a real estate license can vary depending on several factors, such as your location and number of employees, partners, and clients. Your license costs about $2,000, and your business expenses are tax-deductible. Most of these expenses are recouped quickly once your first deal closes. Other fees include advertising, design work, headshot photography, and postage. The costs associated with getting a license are generally comparable to the initial costs of starting a new business.

The cost of preparing for the real estate exam varies by state. In many states, you can study online for less money. However, you must remember that every state has a different real estate exam, and preparing for the exam can cost up to six hundred dollars. However, these costs are negligible compared to the many benefits of your license.

Used Commercial Trucks – Proven Strategies for Private Sellers to Sell More Effectively and Quickly

Used Commercial Trucks – Proven Strategies for Private Sellers to Sell More Effectively and Quickly

In today’s climate you need to be a bit creative when it comes to selling used commercial trucks and equipment. Private Party sellers or For Sale by Owners find they are competing with hundreds of dealers when they list the equipment in trade magazines or online advertising sites. The only one advantage a dealer has over you is that they can offer finance options to potential buyers. The fact that most businesses do not have the capital to make cash purchases to acquire used equipment and that most banks do not lend on private party transactions or place age restrictions on equipment loans is the reason potential buyers seek dealers thinking they will get them financed and are even willing to pay more for the exact same truck or equipment.

You want to eliminate as many obstacles as possible and private party sellers can have an even greater advantage over a dealer because more than likely you are asking significantly less for the same equipment a dealer is asking due to the large overhead and markup fees associated with the dealers. Now to be on the same playing field as a dealer you need to offer competitive finance options that can easily be done without you holding any notes and you being paid in full at the time of the sale. The way you do that is by partnering with a credible finance company that specializes in Commercial Vehicle & Equipment financing that you can refer potential buyers to. Something you probably never thought of but works like a charm. The finance company should not charge you for this service because they make their money when they close the loan. You want to be sure that the finance company you are working with has plenty of experience and specializes in the truck or equipment you are selling. An experienced financier should be able to pre-qualify potential buyers over the phone to determine if he can go forward with the credit process. Once an applicant has been approved, accepts the terms, finance company is in possession of satisfied signed documents and proof of insurance, you should receive a bank check paid in full within a day or so. The finance company should keep you informed of the status throughout the process and be responsible for collecting any down payments, titles and necessary paperwork for a smooth transaction.

Once you know who you will be working with and know they will finance the truck or equipment you are selling you want to start advertising. Maximize your advertising efforts by stating the words “Financing Available” that should appear in all your advertisements and even in the title, you should include the contact information of the finance company so potential buyers can contact them directly or you can just refer buyers to them when they call. I can almost guarantee you’ll get more calls and sell your equipment much faster and not too much less than the asking price. You should hold off negotiations until the buyer is approved financing because he will be appreciative for all your help and be receptive to the near asking price.

Commercial truck advertising can get quite expensive to advertise especially on some of the more popular sites and publications. If you are on a tight budget you’ll want to find and post to as many free online ad sites that cater to private party sellers of commercial trucks & equipment to get the most exposure as possible.

Good luck with your selling experience.…

Is Your Procession Leading You to Success or Oblivion?

Is Your Procession Leading You to Success or Oblivion?

Jean Henri Fabre was a French entomologist and author in the 1840’s. He was known for, among other things, an experiment that he conducted with Processionary Caterpillars. This species of insect is known for its instinctual nature where each caterpillar follows the one in front of it, blindly trusting that the procession is going in the right direction. Fabre tested this natural instinct by enticing the leader of the procession to the edge of a round garden pot. Sure enough, the procession continued to follow the follower around the pot for seven days until the caterpillars died from exhaustion or starvation.

I liken Fabre’s experiment to the financial services industry. Like the Processionary Caterpillar we engage in a game of “follow the follower”. Perhaps the heavy regulated nature of our industry stifles our creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Sometimes I think many of us in the industry develop a permanent “tic” from being told so many times by compliance that we can’t do this marketing program or that one so we resign ourselves to following the follower, someone who supposedly has it all figured out and is willing to take the “risk”. Well, do they really have it all figured out?

We obviously have rules and regulations that we have to follow but that still gives us a huge bandwidth in which to promote our businesses. As the late author and legendary radio commentator Earl Nightingale used to say, “You don’t have to compete, just create.” I believe Earl’s message is compelling. Don’t worry about what the competition is doing, start creating your own value proposition. For starters, ask yourself these questions:

What is my “why?” for being in this business? – People will buy your “why I am in the business” before they buy your “what I am offering”.

Develop your Value Proposition. This can include elements of the answers to question #1 but more importantly it is your belief of what distinguishes you from the rest of the field. Clients and prospects should go away from a meeting duly impressed with a keen understanding of who you are and what you do and if someone stopped them on the street and asked what you do, they should be able to emphatically tell them in a couple of sentences.

Be a “thinker” and a “doer”.- It’s great to dream but as legendary management guru Peter Drucker once stated “Plans are good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work”. Put your plan on paper and get to work executing it.

Question things as they are. Sometimes the difference between you and the so-called “expert” is a few more marketing dollars than you have. Always ask the question, “What if?” What if you tried the same approach in a different way or something different altogether?

Borrow and Improve. Don’t feel that you have to invent the next iPad. Take an existing idea and make it better. That still gets you out of the procession!

Be thoughtful of who you are following. Are he, she, they, leading you to where you want to end up or are you just hoping? Think, create, do! That is how you will break free from the procession and lead your business in the direction that you decide where to take it not someone else. Step out of the procession. It could save your business and your life!…

What Are Credit Check Services?

Employers run credit checks on potential employees, determining whether candidates have enough money to pay their monthly bills. Some employers believe that a clear understanding of a person’s finances can help them predict how well they will perform in the job. Others conduct a credit check before extending a job offer, or only if the person is handling money. If you have questions about the purpose of credit check services, read on!

Employment credit checks

Employment credit checks are standard. It’s common for employers to request a credit report before making an offer to an applicant. But what’s the benefit of doing a credit check for employment?  One recent study of low and middle-income households found that only a third of respondents knew they had been asked to authorize a credit check. And when asked why only one in seven respondents said they did not. 

First, the purpose of running an employment credit check is to find out if an applicant has a record of bad credit. Sometimes, employers will use the credit check to check a potential employee’s financial history if a job applicant has a poor credit score. However, this practice is prohibited for specific jobs. In these cases, employers should use other sources to learn about the applicant, such as resumes, references, and direct online searches.

Soft inquiries on credit reports

Hard and soft inquiries are different in that a tricky question is visible to others, while a delicate question is invisible to others. A hard inquiry is something that a creditor can see if they want to, such as when you apply for a new loan. A soft inquiry, on the other hand, allows a creditor to review your report and score. These inquiries are familiar to current creditors, such as banks and credit card issuers.

Most soft inquiries on credit reports are not related to a recent loan application. These inquiries are often done by utility and cell phone companies as a background check and are not connected to a specific credit application. Although these inquiries impact your credit score, they do not negatively affect it. Soft questions will remain on your report for up to two years and will not damage your score. Soft inquiries are often mistaken for hard ones, which are recorded when you apply for new credit or a new loan.

Rights of applicants

Currently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) oversees the use of credit checks in the employment process. According to the EEOC, employers are prohibited from using financial information to discriminate against applicants. In addition, employers cannot apply different standards to male and female applicants. However, some localities have laws restricting the use of credit checks to select job applicants. For example, in New York City, credit check services are illegal for many jobs. Chicago and Philadelphia also limit their use.

These laws are not fully effective due to the lack of public awareness. Some states haven’t even bothered to pursue enforcement efforts because so few complaints exist. However, conditions should increase their public education efforts. One way to do this is to create a state-specific website explaining the law. Some states also rely heavily on media coverage. Nonetheless, the rules do not guarantee protection for applicants. The Commission on Human Rights in New York City has shown an excellent example of public education.

Fees charged by employers for employment credit checks

Employment credit checks are a common practice. They’re used to determine if a potential employee’s credit is poor and can help determine how much a prospective employer should charge to screen applicants. But if employment credit checks are disproportionately used against minority communities, they’re even more unjust. For example, in a recent study, Demos analyzed a nationally representative sample of 997 low-and middle-income households.

While employment credit checks are entirely legal, the practice is still not without consequences. The FCRA requires employers to obtain applicants’ written consent before performing these checks. Typically, employers will receive information like name, address, and employer, as well as open lines of credit, balances, late payments, and bankruptcy. Employers may also request additional information, such as about job-seekers affected by the Great Recession.

Increase Wealth – Starting A Home Side Business

Increase Wealth – Starting A Home Side Business

How To Increase Wealth By Running A Home Based Business

It is entirely possible for you to increase wealth by launching your own home based side business to coincide with your regular, everyday job. It can help you to cover any unexpected bills or indeed make it easier to save up for various, larger purchases. It can even replace your everyday income.

There are numerous things that you can do but you must be careful of the various scams that do exist on the internet. Do not get blinded by a sales pitch. You can make a lot of money online but it won’t happen in a few weeks, it takes time and effort.

If you have a particular hobby which you know is very popular then you can easily set up a website dedicated to that hobby. On it you can promote and sell various items that you need for the hobby that are actually stocked by a third party. You get a commission for each sale.

Alternatively if you are good at writing and you enjoy it then you can quickly become a freelance writer in your spare time. There are always articles and various other pieces that need to be written so you can earn spare money and increase income by just writing a few a night as it does eventually add up to a reasonable sum of money.

By talking about trying to increase wealth it does not necessarily mean making you filthy rich. There are ways that you can make big money but these take more time and effort.

The most lucrative way of increasing your wealth is probably online network marketing. You basically sell products to people but also employ them as retailers. This way you earn commissions on their sales as well. The potential is huge but it can be difficult at first. Driving traffic is the most important and difficult aspect. But when things really start rolling forward it’s a great feeling.…

Rules to Save Up Money

Rules to Save Up Money

If you are taking time and energy to search for the best cruise deals in order to save some money, it is equally important to be cost effective while you are making your pre trip arrangements. Here are some ideas to help you save money while you get ready for your cruise.

Rule number one is to take what you have with you.

You don’t have to get a new wardrobe before you start packing, and the outfits that you wore last summer are just fine for your cruise. Remember the cruise is not going to be a fashion show, rather a time to relax and enjoy yourself. Bringing your flowered shirts and last years bathing suit is perfectly acceptable.

The same rule applies to luggage also. No one is going to notice what kind of suitcase you are traveling with. You are spending time on a ship, with a room, so just toss your clothes into any kind of suitcase or bag because you are unloading them right into dressers when you get on board.

Bring cash and hide the credit cards.

Leave your credit card alone unless there is an emergency expense you have to cover. For day to day spending, set a budget before you go and determine how much you are going to spend of souvenirs and other items. Put the amount you choose aside and use that on your cruise. This helps protect you from using your credit card too much and having regrets later on.

Stock up on film for pictures before you go.

No cruise is complete without taking pictures of your vacation and sharing them with friends and family when you get back. However, paying for film on board will cost a lot more money than getting them at your neighborhood store. So get the film before you go.

Using these tips will help you to save money above and beyond what you saved when booking the cruise. Plan ahead and be frugal in your preparations, and you will have more to spend when you get under way. Have a great trip!…