Sunday, July 30, 2006

Insurance Rates Vary

Get Great Rates on Insurance

If you own a home, drive a car or have a family, you probably have some sort of insurance policy. Most people usually have car insurance, home insurance or life insurance. Insurance can very expensive costing you and your family hundreds of dollars each month, if you would like to save on insurance here are some great suggestions.

No matter what kind of insurance product you are looking for, you can save big. Many people don’t realize that many insurance products are quite similar but can cost much more based solely on the amount of commission the insurance agent makes. If you want to save on insurance, you can find low cost insurance rates on almost any insurance product fast and easy online.

Finding online insurance rates is very simple. Many companies can offer you very low insurance rates for almost any type of insurance product. You can find that you can easily save hundreds of dollars per month on life insurance or car insurance just by searching for rates.

There are many web sites that compare dozens of insurance company’s rates on similar products. Why give an insurance company thousands of dollars extra a year for the same insurance coverage. So if you are looking for great insurance rates, compare them online.

Nan is a Business Writer. She is online with information for research

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Loans and Credit

Loans and Credit - Credit Companies – Three types of reward programs.
By Nan Wood

Many credit card companies are offering reward and rebate programs as incentives for new customers. They are aggressively targeting new customers with rewards offers. Since studies have shown that consumers care more about a cards reward program than the interest rate that is charged, the credit limit or anything else, the card companies are focused on the free offer aspect.

The programs fall into three categories:

1. Rebate Offers - Customers receive refunds. The refund is based on a fixed percentage of the amount they spend. The offer sometimes refunds this to charitable organizations. GMAC is currently offering a rebate that applies to the customer’s mortgage.
2. Affinity Rewards Program – Customers chose a theme for their card such as reservations at a restaurant or frequent flier cards. Your rebate comes in the form of points applied to your program of choice.
3. Company rewards – Customers earn points which they use to pick rewards offered by the company. An example is using your points for airline tickets on a range of airlines they have in their program.

If you would like to find a card with a reward program you can visit and, as well as some of the large banks and financial institutions sites. Obtain credit and use it responsibly.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional. She is a business writer with an interest and knowledge in the credit area.
for online research and information.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Increasing credit Offers

Credit Offers – Credit companies offer more cards
By Nan Wood

Credit companies have stepped up the pace. I thought it was just my imagination until I read a recent article on the subject. I receive an offer a day for new credit cards or increases in credit lines.

In the past year, credit companies have mailed more than 6 billion solicitations. This is a record event. Approximately .3 percent of these offers were actually accepted. This represents 18 million offers.

The offers are being sweetened with freebies, rebates and rewards. There are now cards that rebate five percent of the money you spend on gasoline purchases. A card issued by American Dream Card is matching your spending with lottery tickets. Spend $100 and get the same amount in lottery tickets.

Of course, this provides an enticement to use your card. When the month is over, you must pay the balance or begin incurring interest. Since many companies charge eighteen percent interest, you have lost more than your rebate and lottery tickets while incurring an ongoing debt.

According to Mail Monitor, a unit of Synovate, a consumer research company, last year fifty eight percent offered rewards worth several pennies on the dollar. Many companies are now aggressively promoting cards with the images consumers love – such as sports teams, colleges and more. Studies have shown that consumers care more about rewards than interest rates.

In the event you are in the group of consumers who pay their bill in full at the end of each month, then take advantage of the rewards and rebates. If you are not in this group, then take care. Your bill is due in full at the end of your billing cycle, or you will find yourself making payments for some time to pay off the bill. Use due diligence in investigating the offer before you accept it and start spending your future earnings.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional. She is a business writer in her field of expertise.
Visit MortgageLoan for information and online resources.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Condos for Vacation Homes

Real Estate -Condos are becoming Single Family Vacation Homes
By Nan Wood

Nationally condos have become almost as popular as single family homes for vacation properties. Many families consider their second home as a means of diversifying their portfolio. While the trend is picking up in Wisconsin, the appeal has always been toward cottages and cabins.

Buyers believe that owning homes in two entirely different markets increases the chance that their total equity will continue growing. They also have the advantage of more liquidity. If needed, they could sell one of the homes and live in the other.

The difference in the buying habits today is that buyers are looking for the appreciation in value of the property rather than looking to rent the property. Buyers are also not looking to repair or maintain their vacation property. The trend is leaning toward one of convenience. For these reasons, buyers are vying toward new construction.

Buyers don’t want to work. They are buying these properties to visit them and relax in a different environment. Currently Baby boomers are driving this trend. Since they have more disposable income than prior generations had, this trend could continue for some time.

Nan is an Accountant, Real Estate Professional and Business Writer. She has an information site for RealEstate
And an Auction site

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Get Out of Debt

Get Out of Debt
by Nancy Woodward

If you are in debt, then you know the feeling, the stress, the anxiety, and the calls from creditors and letters from banks. If you are in debt then, the first thing you would like to do is run away from the problem. However, you don’t have to run away from your debt, here are some tips for getting out of debt.

Many people don’t realize that they are going into debt, they realize once they are in debt there is a problem. If you realize that you are in debt, don’t panic. First it is necessary to understand your expenses and your income.

Create a budget to know exactly how much can be spent each month.
How much do I have available to pay to your creditors.
Contact your creditors. Discuss a plan.
Stick to the plan.

It is highly advisable to contact your creditors and tell them that you are having financial difficulties. They are more than likely to work with you instead of bark at you for their money. If you are willing to work with them, they see it as that you’re more reliable to pay them back.

Stick to your budget, and pay back the most to the highest interest accruing debts first. By paying the highest interest accounts first, you are able to save money in the long run and get out of debt faster. If you require more information then talk to a lawyer or a debt consultant. But if you are in debt, don’t run, do something about it.

If you make a conscious effort to contact your credits and make arrangements, you may be able to stall a negative impact on your credit history. Ask your creditors to work with you. If you have a clean credit history and show a diligence to rectify your problem, your creditors may be willing to work with you.

If all fails, there are companies who work with debtors to help them repay their loans. These companies deal with the creditors to facilitate your debt repayment. They will charge you a fee for this service but using a professional may be the best route. Consider the possibilities and develop a plan.

Nancy Woodward is an accountant and real estate professional affiliated with “The Dream Team”. She is working online at
MortgageFinancing and

Monday, July 24, 2006

Software for Auctions

Auction Software
by Nan Wood

If you sell on Auction web sites then you know how difficult it can be to keep track of your listings, customers, items that are paid for and items that need to be shipped out. It can be a major headache if you sell more than several items per day. Many people have turned to auction software to help them organize and expedite the whole auction process.

Depending on your needs, auction software is usually priced either by a monthly subscription or by total items sold for the month. While all software prices are usually cost effective it is best to do some research on the best package that fits your business and budget.

Most software packages include plenty of options such as listing management. Listing management helps you list your product on auction sites. If you sell more than a few items and have items beginning their auction at different times of the day, then you will need to automatically list your items. These programs help you compose your ad, pick the type of auction style, period of auction and will repost your item if it doesn’t sell. Most people use auction software for this feature alone.

Nan is an Accountant, Real Estate Professional and Business Writer. She has an online AuctionSite.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Auction Research

Auction Research
by Nan Wood

If you are selling on an auction site, you have probably tried to find the most popular and profitable selling items. As you know, research can take hours upon hours of your valuable time. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a service that put together an analysis of all the products being sold on auction sites. Well there are plenty of services that offer in depth analysis on what sells on auction sites.

Usually most services that offer auction analysis, analyze the following things; what sells, how much does each item sell for, the highest and lowest prices of that specific item selling and how many of those items sell each day. You can imagine how efficient your business can be knowing this information.

These services usually charge a monthly charge of less than $30. However in depth auction analysis could be worth far greater especially if you are looking into selling select products. Most analysis software allows you to search broadly through categories or select a specific keyword. You can locate niche products that can bring in large profits and be able to make projections of sales on more popular items. So if you are looking to increase your business to new areas, check out auction analysis software.

Nan is an Accountant, Real Estate Professional and Business Writer. Vist her online auction site at RealEstate

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Auction Software

Auction Software
by Nan Wood

If you sell on Auction web sites then you know how difficult it can be to keep track of your listings, customers, items that are paid for and items that need to be shipped out. It can be a major headache if you sell more than several items per day. Many people have turned to auction software to help them organize and expedite the whole auction process.

Depending on your needs, auction software is usually priced either by a monthly subscription or by total items sold for the month. While all software prices are usually cost effective it is best to do some research on the best package that fits your business and budget.

Most software packages include plenty of options such as listing management. Listing management helps you list your product on auction sites. If you sell more than a few items and have items beginning their auction at different times of the day, then you will need to automatically list your items. These programs help you compose your ad, pick the type of auction style, period of auction and will repost your item if it doesn’t sell. Most people use auction software for this feature alone.

Other options include automatic checkout, which enables the customer to check out fast and easily. On your end, it sends an email to the customer thanking them for the purchase and routes their order to shipping software or to a database for tracking. Once the order has been placed, you can easily find out if the order has been paid for and notify the buyer that their order has been processed and shipped. You can see how efficiently auction software can make your business run. If you are looking to streamline your auction business, check out auction software.

Hiring Affordable Labor

Hiring Affordable Labor
by Nan Wood

Hiring affordable labor is almost a necessity for many small businesses. While most entrepreneurs would love to be able to pay more for their labor, sometimes their financial condition and budget doesn’t allow it. If you are a small business looking to hire affordable labor, here are some tips.

For most businesses labor is absolutely essential. Not only is labor essential for most service oriented business, but many times recruiting labor, training labor and dealing labor can be a huge headache. While recruiting can be time consuming, it is absolutely necessary to prepare to ask recruits important questions to make sure they are able to perform the job in a satisfactory manner. Many people that apply for a job, especially if it is a low paying job, just do it for a paycheck and are usually not enthusiastic. Make sure you show them respect and appreciation, this may help their performance level to increase.

Finding affordable labor will depend on your business. For many online ecommerce businesses, you can hire a person from anywhere in the country or around the world for that matter, however if you provide a service in your area, you will probably have to put an ad in the local newspaper, internet job site or post a sign in front of your business. It is also helpful to ask around. Many people hire others through word of mouth. If you are looking to hire affordable labor, keep in mind the difficulties and try to avoid pitfalls of hiring the wrong person. Check out the above tips as well as the many resources available.

Nan is an an Accountant, Real Estate Professional and Business Writer. Visit
Whooknew for research sites on the new things in your world.

Competing with Big Business

Competing with Big Business
by Nan Wood

If you are a small business or developing an internet web site that will sell products and services, the chances are you will go head to head with many larger businesses. With so many large businesses and corporations trying to sell their products and services over the internet, it can seem very difficult to make inroads. However with a few internet tools, you can compete with big businesses and make a healthy profit.

Whether you are selling on Ebay, developing an ecommerce site or creating web sites for ad dollars, you can compete with big businesses and still survive comfortably. Ebay has always been a bastion for entrepreneurs and most large companies won’t sell on Ebay due to the fact that many people look for unique or used items or figure it is too expensive for them to sell on Ebay because profits are sometimes razor thin. You can set up a business on Ebay very easily and sell unique T-shirts to phone accessories to antiques. .

Competing with big business via web sites is surprisingly level as well. While many web sites draw millions of visitors a month, you can easily create a blog or web site that has thousands of visitors a month and very quickly make a living off the advertising income. Many web developers create content sites for the sole purpose of selling affiliate products or text advertising using Google AdSense. No matter what your choice of internet business, you can easily compete with big businesses online with web sites and auction sites.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Real Estate Houses - Concrete and Foam walls?

Real Estate Houses – Foam and Concrete Walls?
By Nan Wood

I heard that houses are being made with concrete/foam block walls. This newer technology increases the energy efficiency, security and strength of houses. This new design is part of a construction method called stay-in-place-forms or insulated-concrete forms.

This construction creates one of the strongest and most energy-efficient houses that are possible today. The walls can resist hurricane force winds. Concrete itself is not a good insulator. When the concrete is encased in foam, you gain energy efficiency. The concrete itself provides the strength and helps reduce the amount of noise that penetrates the walls of the house.

Energy efficiency is enhanced when air leakage in and out of the house is reduced. Since the house is built with concrete, it will remain airtight over time since concrete does not settle. While the walls will be thicker than normal, this won’t be noticeable. Should you look closely at the window and door openings, you will see they are slightly wider.

Currently there are several designs of houses available. One company has a system you can use for floors. The cost will be determined by the quality of the insulation that is used. The higher level will cost more. As the technology catches on and is used more, the costs associated with it will decrease.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional. Visit
Whooknew for more information and resources on modern things. Visit
RealEstate for Real Estate research.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Real Estate Sales and Condo Developments

Real Estate Sales and Condo Developments -Seniors are being forced to move as their world is transformed into a condo.
By Nan Wood

The rage in real estate is the conversion of rental units into Condos. Developers are buying up buildings with rental apartments in them and converting them into condominiums. According to the National Association of Realtors, this trend began in 2004 and by the end of 2005 more than 260,000 apartments were converted into condo units.

Tenants are always vulnerable to a sale or conversion of their rental units. The economy is driving this trend. Condo units are affordable housing for the families who are priced out of single family homes. Unfortunately, many older tenants can’t afford to buy their unit or just choose not to become a mortgagee again. They downsized their living in many cases to make life easier in their advancing years.

For seniors it is very stressful to have their lives disrupted this way. This changes the future into an unknown grey zone and has the potential to make them ill. They are accustomed to their environment, friends, and way of life. Many sold their homes years ago and moved into rental units to live more simply.

There are no federal laws to protect renters in this situation. State and local laws vary state by state. Conversion laws generally state tenants must be notified and given the right to purchase their units. They must have adequate time to relocate themselves.

I am sure today’s seniors did not expect to be moving at this age. In the past, families took care of their aging parents and relatives. While the social atmosphere has changed, this practice seems too harsh. Consider the future - as baby boomers age, they will face this same threat. How can they overcome the problem? The vast pool of baby boomers will make this problem a greater social issue in the future.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional. She is writing articles related to social and economic change. Visit Condo for more resources. Real Estate Auctions can be found at

Saturday, July 15, 2006

40 Year Mortage Loans?

Mortgage Loans – The timeline is growing – 40 and 50 year loans are here
By Nan Wood

Loans in the real estate arena are extending. While this has become the norm in the auto industry, the trend is beginning in the real estate financing and refinancing arena. The reason is the higher costs of purchasing homes. The real estate boom has provided double-digit appreciation to homeowners.

Since a larger down payment would be an answer to making the mortgage affordable, many families are not in a position to make a large enough deposit. Young families don’t have the income to save enough. They are working hard to pay the bills they currently have.

Traditionally car loans ran for a period of three or four years. Today there are loans in the five, six and seven year range. So it is not surprising the mortgage loan programs are now extending their payment periods. Longer time periods allow for smaller mortgage payments when incomes are lower.

In California, lenders are introducing fifty-year terms. Since California’s real estate is among the highest priced in the country, lenders are proactively looking for ways to make mortgages more affordable. This will open up the market to more younger families. A typical mortgage payment in California is two or three times the average rent. Each family must decide if the risk is worth taking when they take on one of these long term loans.

Since more interest in paid on the longer term mortgages, higher tax deductions are possible. Investigate the options and possibilities. Contact professionals and ask their opinion, do your due diligence before making a decision.

Nan is an Accountant with an online presence
MortgageLoans This site provides you with resources to do your research.

Mortgage Loan - Refinance now?

Mortgage Loans – Should I Refinance Now with Rates Increasing?
By Nan Wood

When rates are rising should you consider refinancing your mortgage loan? When rates are falling this is a moot question. Of course you should consider doing a refinance whether it be a fixed loan or home equity loan. When rates are rising you should, in my opinion, only consider refinancing if you want to take cash out of the equity in your home or if you feel now is the time to lock in a fixed rate.

If the market appears to be on a longer rise, locking in a fixed rate now can save you money in the future. Homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages can rise at the end of the initial low rate ARMs charge for the first twelve months. This currently means your rate can rise 2.75 points or so based on your original agreement. This translates to much higher payments than you currently are paying.

When refinancing, you should take the actual cost of refinancing into consideration. The amount of money you spend to arrange the financing takes time to recoup. Are you planning to live in your property long enough for this to be a wise decision now? If not, I would suggest looking for very low cost home equity loans. If you have a good working arrangement with your Banker, he can perhaps get your costs reduced on a home equity line of credit or loan. Just ask, it does not cost you money to investigate the possibilities.

If you are in a position that requires you have a fixed mortgage payment to maintain your peace of mind, then you should do it. Rates rise for a while, then remain stable for a while before they start coming down. A shift in the market attitude and consumer spending will have to happen for the Fed to reduce rates.

Ask questions, seek out your friends who are knowledgeable, talk to your bankers or investment people, just do something. You can reduce your mortgage payment or just get a fixed payment if that is your goal.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional. Visit her
MortgageFinance for more information and online resources for your research.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Credit Reports and Credit Scores - a Free Report once a year.

Credit Reports and Credit Scores – Get a free report once a year and monitor the information contained in it.
By Nancy Woodward

In 2005, the FACT ACT went into effect. This ACT gave you the right to obtain a credit report a year from each of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Trans-Union, and Experian. These agencies have set up a central location for you to do this:

Once you have obtained your reports, you can verify the information. Since a credit report is a listing of how much credit you have available, how much you actually owe and how you paid the obligations you incurred in the past, it is used by potential lenders to evaluate your standing.

You need to review this report carefully. Verify the accuracy of all the information carefully. Are the balances of your accounts correct? Is the list of lenders accurate? Have you closed accounts and is this information reported? Are you aware of all inquiries listed on the report? Is the basic information accurate: name, address, Social Security number?

The accuracy of this information is vital to your credit life. If there are listings for credit cards, loans or any other transaction that you are not familiar with, you could be a victim of identity theft. Should you note a serious problem, contact the fraud department and request an alert be placed in your credit report. This will stop all accounts from being opened without the lender contacting you first.

Should you find that your credit rating is lower than you expected, you can improve this score. Steps to help you do this:

1. Make a list of lenders and the balances you owe them.
2. Determine how much disposable income you currently have to pay these bills.
3. Make a list of the lenders you would like to eliminate – those with small balances.
4. Pay additional amounts to those lenders you have decided to eliminate first.
5. After you have eliminated one, work on the next bill.

Overtime, you will pay your bills more promptly, owe less money and, although it will take time, you will improve your credit score. Then when you search for credit, you will find lower interest rates and have an easier time obtaining it.

Nancy Woodward is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional online RealEstate

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Visit your Library

Entrepreneurs – Find Information in the Library’s Extensive Online Resources
By Nan Wood

Libraries are a great place to go when you are seeking information for your business. Not only can you find books to help you start your business, run your business, create a business plan, locate other potential business customers and so much more. Added to this resource is the fast information available on the internet.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has an area on its Web site for business. Visit I found a lot of information on creating and writing business plans. For the new entrepreneur, this subject is one of the hardest to get around.

According to Leslie Burger, president of the American Library Association, libraries are tailing a lot of what they do specifically to what’s going on in their geographic areas in terms of economic development.

When considering a new business, you must consider what you want to do, who else is doing it, where they are located, where you would like to locate your business and how do I write a business plan.

Many libraries have additional databases, journals and directories to help you. Online there are resources for creating forms and seeing samples and much more. When visiting the library, asking the librarian for help getting started can save time and get faster results. Good luck with your research.

Nan Wood is an Accountant and Real Estate professional online with BuisnessTips

Business Resources - Make your Business Profitable

Business Resources – Make Your Business Profitable
By Nancy Woodward

One of the most important keys to make your business profitable is to find the right business resources. Business resources can encompass many things including the right labor, business tools, information, analysis and advertising. Being able to tap into the right business resources can take lots of practice and sometimes even a little luck. Her are some tips on getting the most out of your business resources.

Finding the right business resources can take time and energy, but it absolutely worthwhile when you are able to find labor, tools, information or advertising strategies that work for you and your business. Some of the easier ways to find business resources is actively search for them on the internet, small business association or other professional organizations and books & magazines. There are tons of great resources, but you will have to put aside time and filter through all the fluff to find the nuggets of great information that can truly help you and your business succeed.

If you starting out, check for business resources online. There are tons of business resources that are only a click away. There are plenty of business forums, where many entrepreneurs come together to talk about business related topics and share ideas and opinions. Many forums are worth their weight in gold and have hundreds of visitors and contributors daily. You can also check out your local small business association for get together or other professional organizations that are connected with your trade.

To catch up on topical information and to hear opinions from guru’s in the world, it is always good to read business related books and magazines. So if you are starting a business, make sure you develop your business resources. The time you spend on research before you begin, will save you time, heartache and money after you begin.

Nancy is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional. Visit RealEstateLady

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Identity Theft - Serious Issue

Identity Theft is an ongoing Problem
By Nan Wood

Recently the personal information of our veterans was compromised. There are approximately 26.5 million names in the database at risk. This means that they could become the victims of identify theft.

In 2005 the average loss experienced by identity theft victims was more than $6,000.00 as determined by a study completed by Javelin Strategy & Research. They indicate it cost the victims approximately $400 to remove inaccurate information, close or change their credit card accounts and complete all the necessary documentation.

There are a number of companies who help those with resolution of identity theft issues. They do some or most of the work to file police reports and gather pertinent information including making phone calls. Check with your bank, credit union, insurance company, automobile insurance as well as homeowners and renters insurance to see if there is a rider on your policy that will pay for the service. There are a few companies who offer services directly to the public.

Check out the information on for relevant information that will help you. I suggest you check out the available sources including your creditors prior to having a problem. While caution with your credit information is a prudent choice, you should be prepared in the event you have a problem.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional with experience in the credit area. For more information and resources on IdentityTheft

Monday, July 10, 2006

Real Estate - make small improvements

Real Estate – Small improvements to your home can be substantial.
By Nan Wood

I just read a fabulous article on this subject. I’ve personally always thought of home improvements as – a major job. I can see dirt and dust flying as sanders, routers and more buzz.

Every time I have had work done to my home, the contractor told me to dump the fixtures and start over. I don’t understand why I must always eliminate perfectly good fixtures and install new ones.

Well, this fabulous article I read suggests I keep my ‘old goodies’. Wonderful, I like that idea so much better. I will save money and still spruce up the place. Where should you begin you ask? Well, here you go:

1. Try cleaning and repainting your kitchen cabinets. Change the hardware.

2. Change the bulbs in your light fixtures. Add lights to an existing ceiling fan.

3. Change the shades on your lamps. Update their appearance.

4. Try using shutters or wood blinds on your windows and eliminate your curtains.

5. Do some painting. Try something modern for a different look.

6. Change the hardware in your sinks and perhaps your bathroom fixtures.

7. Try some crown molding in the kitchen. The same effect will change the entire look of a dining area.

8. Try decorative painting or faux finish where applicable.

Even these changes will make a major difference in the overall appearance of your home. Painting a porch or front door will spruce up your entrance immensely. Just remember you don’t want to go with the new trend. Now that you are updating, do it with an eye to the future.

Nan is an Accountant and RealEstateLady with an interest in Lighting and home repairs.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Staging Houses Improves Real Estate Sales

Real Estate Listings – Staging Houses is Gaining in Popularity
By Nan Wood

Holding Open house events is one of the ways Real Estate Agents use to sell houses. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners of Show & Sell. This team set up their own business staging homes for sale.

They work to accentuate a home’s positive features and minimize the negative features. This increases its attractiveness to potential buyers. The team sells their services to the public by advising sellers on how to show a home properly. Of course, they also offer their services to set up the house.

For more than twenty years, staging has been popular on the West Coast. The International Association of Home Staging Professsionals cites a study saying the average unstaged home spends more than five months unsold, while houses that are staged after being on the market sell in an average of 14 days. While I have not verified the accuracy of this statement, I must conclude that homes staged by a professional will sell faster.

While staging is certainly an investment, perhaps owners who can’t make this investment, can have a consulting service look at their home and make suggestions. Show & Sell provide this service in Atlantic County, New Jersey.

If you are one of the owners who does this themselves, consider the following:

1. Reduce clutter. Clutter reduces equity.

2. Remove personal effects.

3. Improve your curb appeal.

4. Paint those dreary rooms.

5. Do your spring cleaning.

6. Turn the lights on when the house is being shown.

7. Check other houses for sale in your area to determine what others are doing.

You can improve your chances of selling even if the market is slowing. Do your due diligence prior to putting up your ‘for sale sign’.

Nan is an Accountant and RealEstateProfessional affiliated with “The Dream Team”. She suggests you visit Auctions and check out sales in other areas.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

LED Lighting

Home Lighting – Will Modern Technology advances help LED lighting take over?
By Nan Wood

Scientists and engineers are working to improve led lighting. The US government is pushing them to get rid of the ordinary light bulb. The normal light bulb is an energy waster. It turns a mere five percent of the electricity it uses into actual light. Ninety-five percent is wasted as heat.

Currently the Department of Energy is working to replace light bulbs with solid-state lighting. Led lighting attains a fifty percent efficiency versus five percent for light bulbs. Solid state lighting emits diodes like the ones in digital clocks, phones, dashboards and large outdoor uses such as stadium displays.

These devices are made of silicon crystals used in computer chips. They are non-hazardous and last thousands of hours. Some are rated to last for years. Since they are so efficient, they can greatly reduce the amount of electricity used for lighting purposes while reducing pollution.

As the technology develops, the cost will be reduced. This must happen for the lighting to move ahead. Solid-state lighting is four times more expensive to install at this time. You can install traditional light sources for a fraction of the cost.

Congress authorized $50 million a year for a Next Generation Lighting Initiative. The government is pushing to improve the quality of the technology to make it more efficient than it is and more affordable for the average American family.

Nan is an Accountant and RealEstatelady with an interest in HomeLighting

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mortgage loans – Obtaining Mortgage Loans Depends on FICO scores

Mortgage loans – Obtaining Mortgage Loans Depends on FICO scores
by Nan Wood

FICO Scores were developed by Fairlsaac Corporation. Fairlsaac is a leader in the credit-management arena. Their development has become an industry standard for determining an individual’s credit worthiness. The score is determined by payment history, credit history, which includes how many credit inquires have been made on you over a period of time, how much credit you have actually used and what kind of credit you are using.

The score grades your history. It provides a snapshot of how you make your payments. If you make your payments timely, you will have a low credit risk score. The FICO score shows on credit reports. If you score is lower than 500, you pay a premium to obtain a mortgage. If your score is above 700, you can obtain better interest rates.

Ways to increase your score are:

1. Pay your bills on time. Late payments reflect negatively on your score.

2. Pay your medical bills. If you account is turned over to a collection agency, this will have a negative impact on your score.

3. Pay your school loans. In addition to reflecting negatively on your score, the government will find you and force you to pay this obligation.

4. Since the number of inquires impacts your score, less is better. The assumption is that more inquires indicate you have been turned down for credit.

You can obtain your credit report yearly from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Federal law makes this possible. The report will lay out your credit history for you to review. Correct all errors. When you find an error, notify the creditor and all three reporting agencies. The credit must send a letter for the mistake to be rectified. You need to stay on top of this process. Finding adverse credit issues when you actually need to obtain credit will hinder your ability to obtain financing.

Mortgage lenders look for at least three open credit accounts older than a year. Maintaining long term accounts will help you immensely. Pay your bills on time. Pay high credit card debt and pay off interest loans first. Don’t use your credit card to its limit.

You can seek a pre-qualified loan for a mortgage before you seek housing. This process is usually verbal and often free of charge. Once you have a pre-approved mortgage, you can complete and application easily. This is a legal loan agreement which should expedite the closing on your home. Of the two – pre-approval and pre-qualified, the best is pre-approved. This approval gives you an idea of your buying power and determines what you can actually afford.

Your Real Estate agent can guide you in the right direction to start your process of applying for loans.

Nan Wood is a RealEstateAgent and Accountant. Visit Real Estate Directoryfor more online resources.