Saturday, October 28, 2006

Real Estate - Should you fix up the homestead before listing it?

Real Estate Sales – Should you fix up your home before listing it?
By Nan Wood

Yes, you should fix all of the obvious things you can. When buyers visit homes, they look for the things they see that obviously need some fixing. Most buyers would rather not see the repairs in front of them. They want to buy a house that is in ‘perfect’ repair.

You should put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Think like a buyer. Would you want to repair or fix up anything in your new home? No, you would not. While you are still in the buyer’s frame of mind, tour your house. Make a list of all the things you see that need repair.

Here are eleven obvious things to look for and correction any defects:

1. Do your walls need a fresh coat of paint?
2. How about the trim?
3. Are all of your floors and carpets in good shape? Do they need cleaning?
4. Are your windows and shades okay? Are the screens in good condition?
5. Do your appliances work properly?
6. Eliminate squeaks and cracks of all kinds.
7. Is your basement clean and organized?
8. Is your roof in good condition and non-leaking?
9. Check all faucets, fixtures and knobs.
10. Make your lights as bright as you can.
11. Clean the fireplace.

The time and effort you put into this list will save you money and aggravation in the sales process. You can do these repairs yourself or hire someone else to do them for you. The money you spend doing this will come back to you in savings. Your house will show better and sell faster in tip-top shape.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Professional with an information and research site online RealEstateLady and a Business
Writer with a blog BusinessTips

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The US Economy and Spending

Living in the United States - Are We Spending Ourselves into Bankruptcy?
By Nan Wood

For years the United States Government has been adding each year’s deficit into the total of the National Debt. Generally when you hear people discussing the problem, they are usually referring to the current years’ deficit. The problem is much larger than this year’s overspending.

The gap between the amount the government spends and the actual amount of taxes it receives to support this is increasing rapidly. In 2002, the United States Treasury commissioned a study on this subject. The result of the study showed a $45 trillion gap.

Since that time, there have been more tax cuts and discretionary spending has continued to increase. One large increase came in the area of Medicare which now covers prescription drugs.

Former Fed and Treasury economists Jagadeesh Gokhale and Kent Smetters now estimate the gap to be at $63 trillion. Since senior benefits tend to grow almost twice as fast as the economy, the problem will continually grow larger. Baby boomers are reaching retirement and entitlement age. This group is the largest in history to reach retirement at one time.

The unpopular answer would be to restructure benefits thereby reducing the cost for the entitlements given out in the future. Of course this is not a popular approach and it would be hard for the lawmakers to pass the necessary measures to put this into effect.

An equally unpopular way to solve the problem would be to increase taxes or cut actually discretionary spending in other ways. Since there have been no major changes in Social Security since 1983, this program just continues to expand. We will not improve the future by allowing status quo to continue.

Since markets are affected by the economic health of our nation, I am slowly reducing my investments in the market. I was one of the unfortunate people who held a fair amount of technology stock at the wrong time. I am now considering investing in Canada. The Canadians, as well as other countries, have very low fiscal gaps. I am watching to see what moves our politicians make toward closing this fiscal gap to make long term progress in reducing the debt.

Nan is an Account and Business Writer. She has an online research site for information purposes at

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Real Estate Improvements - Kitchen Faucets

Kitchen Faucets
by Nan Wood

If you are looking to remodel your kitchen, one thing you definitely want to consider is a new faucet. Kitchen faucets can be the centerpiece of your kitchen so you want to make sure that your faucet stands out and looks great. Today, you can find so many choices in a wide variety of materials, styles and models. If you are looking to replace your old kitchen faucet, here are some tips.

Kitchen faucets are an important addition to any kitchen. Not only does your kitchen faucet need to be practical it is also necessary for it to have style. There are so many styles available today from the classic look with two knobs to faucets with an extendable nozzle and one hand operation.

No matter what your kitchen décor you can easily find a great kitchen faucet that will fit perfectly. For instance, you can find kitchen faucets in almost any color and choice of metal. Kitchen faucets are usually very easy to install and many do it yourselfers can usually install a kitchen faucet in about an hour or two, for people that consider themselves not handy, you can easily hire a plumber to install your faucet quick and easily.

Maintaing your home and/or improving your home greatly adds to its value. Accessories are one way of improving the appearance with little cost.

Nan is a Real Estate Agent and Business Writer. To obtain a free mortgage calculator, visit her online research site

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Real Estate - Non-metal Roofs are here

Real Estate Improvements – Non-metal Roofs are now Available
By Nan Wood

There are advantages to using the new roofing products. The cost, durability, and life cycle are longer. The new products are created from recycled and natural materials. When your roof, made of shingles, needs repair, the old shingles are removed and taken to a landfill.

If you are considering one of the newer roofs, you must take the weight of the material into consideration. Some of the newer materials, such as slate and tile, can weight five to ten times more than asphalt shingles; therefore, the supports must be strong enough to hold the added weight.

While this will increase the expense of installation, the expense will only occur once. To determine the actual cost, you must take both the cost of the product and the added expense of strengthening the rafters or trusses. Then determine the length of time of your product warranty.

If you are concerned about the environment, you can use recycled plastic products. Since they weigh approximately the same as shingle, you will not have to strengthen the support system. This will save you added expense while still allowing you to gain the benefits of the new materials. Plastic can carry a warranty as long as fifty years.

Other quality materials to consider using are:

1. Slate
2. Tile
3. Shakes
4. Fiber-cent
5. Cedar Shakes
6. Pine shakes

There are companies out there today specializing in a variety of roofing materials. Check online for more information.

Nan is an Accountant, Real Estate Professional and Business Writer. She is online with an information site

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Real Estate Improvements - Create a Great Bathroom

Create a Great Bathroom
By Nancy Woodward

One of the rooms in a house that is a popular for remodeling is the bathroom. Many people get very personal when it comes to their bathroom. A bathroom for many people, is an important way to relax after a hard days work by taking a nice bath or a way to wake up in the morning with a nice shower. Bathrooms are also where many people do their personal grooming and would like a room that is comfortable and has all the amenities to make them look and feel their best. Here are a few tips on creating a great bathroom.

One of the most popular ways to create a great bathroom is to install a shower with lots of great features. Most people take showers, especially in the morning. If you enjoy your morning ritual of taking a shower, make it even better with a massaging water head or climate controlled thermostat. Massaging water heads are a great way to get the kinks out of your back. Massaging water heads can also be held and can be directed to every part of the body. This makes showering very comfortable and easy in the morning.

If you like a nice shower that is not too hot or not too cold look into climate controlled water thermostats. You can literally set the temperature of the water and keep it steady as you shower. If you are looking for a way to make your bathroom special, look to the above ways on creating a great bathroom.

Should you decide to sell your house, many of these small improvements will provide the buyer with a feeling that you have taken care of your home and upgraded it.

Nan is an Accountant and Real Estate Agent affiliated with “The Dream Team”. For online research related to Real Estate, visit

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Getting out of Debt - Takes planning

Get Out of Debt
By Nan Wood

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.

1. Create a budget to know exactly how much can be spent each month.
2. How much do I have available to pay to your creditors.
3. Contact your creditors. Discuss a plan.
4. 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

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Another way to Add Light to your Home - Save Energy

Home Lighting – Another way to add light to your home while saving on heating expense and adding value to your home.
By Nan Wood

There are many benefits to finding creative lighting ideas. The top one is the mere saving on utility bills within your home. A new fireplace will help both. Actually, dollar for dollar, a fireplace adds more value to your home. Houses with fireplaces sell six percent higher than those without this improvement.

There is a growing trend in the housing market for new homes to have more than one fireplace – living room, master bedroom, and in the family room. Peninsula fireplaces are the latest decorative fireplaces I’ve seen in many homes. Fireplaces today come in many styles and colors and they can be installed almost anywhere since they no longer require an outside wall.

Consider the special glow coming from a fireplace. The glow adds ambiance to any room. My particular fireplace is gas. I find it throws off enough light to illuminate my family room in the evening requiring less artificial lighting in the room. Since the fireplace also gives off heat, I am simultaneously increasing the room temperature while I am enjoying the fireplace.

Take the time to consider your options to determine whether you want a gas or wood burning fireplace. Wood fireplaces are very attractive and certainly have become more environmentally friendly; but a substantial amount of heat goes into the flue not your room. Gas units work with switches and provide a lot more heat. They are cheaper to run and don’t give off smoke that can cling to your furniture.

Consider improving your home by adding a fireplace or two. You will increase the value of your asset while enjoying the benefits and beauty it will provide.

Nan is an Accountant, Real Estate Agent and business writer. She has an information site online on HomeLighting and research for RealEstate

Monday, October 09, 2006

Good Personal Credit

Starting a Business: Good Personal Credit is a Necessity
by nan wood

If you are thinking about starting your own business, banks will look at your personal credit history if you have no business credit history. Thus, credit scores are more important than ever. While banks previously determined whether to lend to a business or not by looking at your credit, the business’s potential, any collateral you may offer, and your personal career history, this process has become extremely condensed in order to process more applications and level out the bank’s risk, so without excellent credit, you might find yourself denied a business loan.

Start by getting a tax identification number for your business, which helps separate your business credit history and your personal credit history – an important step in building your business credit and helping to launch your business. If you have bad credit, separating your business from your personal credit is crucial. You can do this by applying for a tax identification number for your business, but also by securing a business office address and phone, as well as a business bank account.

Larger and better-known financial institutions often automate their credit application processes now, and having a less than average personal credit score and no business credit history will hurt your chances of obtaining a loan. Try smaller, hometown banks, which are more likely to view you personal credit score while factoring in the potential of the business. Some lenders focus on high-risk loans for entrepreneurs. These loans often start with high interest rates, with the understanding that increased business cash flow can lower the rate. Depending on the amount of your start-up costs, you can also consider opening up a business credit line to help with initial expenses.

Another option in obtaining money is opening up a home equity loan. This may be a risky option, depending on the viability of your business. Home equity loans are loans taken out against your home. These loans can give you the start-up cash necessary to fund your business at relatively low interest rates, but depending on the strength of your business, you could lose your house if your business fails.

Once you have a tax identification number for your business, you can begin building your business’s credit history and score. You can do this by paying any business bills on time, especially your business credit cards. The national credit reporting agencies have also developed a credit report for businesses, and this will allow you to better track your business’s credit. By maintaining good personal credit, you can start off with good credit in the business world as well.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Losing Your Identity and Your Good Credit

Losing Your Identity and Your Good Credit
by Nan Wood

Identity theft has become a problem with the introduction of shopping online. Thieves set up
clone web sites much like the ones that are used popularly to make purchases so that they can fool unsuspecting victims into entering their personal information. You can also have your information stolen by not correctly disposing of bank statements and other mail that contains personal information, such as your social security number. It is important to always shred any trash that contains such information, because having your identity stolen can adversely affect your good credit.

Any woman knows that it is a nightmare to have her purse stolen. You lose any money and belongings, and then have to get all of your personal information cards either canceled or replaced. Your debit account could go into a negative balance merely by someone forging your signature. If you don't have a credit card, the person who holds your personal information can easily open one and charge thousands of dollars worth of merchandise in a matter of hours. If you do not cancel your credit cards and freeze your bank account immediately you could drop from having excellent credit to bad credit sooner than you might think. Other necessary actions would be to file a report with the police and place an initial fraud report on your credit report.

On the Internet and telephone, you take a chance anytime you give out personal information. Prior to entering any personal information, such as your credit card number for making a purchase, be sure to check the web address to be sure that you are on the companies' official web site rather than a clone with the same appearance but different address. This one thing is often overlooked and thieves have exploited it successfully many times. If you notice this, report the fake site to the official site so that you can help prevent some unsuspecting person from making a simple mistake that could completely ruin their credit.

The best thing to do if you feel that you may have been a victim of identity fraud is to get an up to date credit report and look for activity that you are certain is not your own. In the event that you do find a new account opened or activity that is not your own, contact any companies involved to try to obtain a signature that was not made by you. The sooner you file your identity theft report, the easier it will be when trying to keep your credit report from being harmed. Keep track of every action that you take, and make sure to ask lots of questions about your credit score to be sure that everything is correct.

Good credit is worth protecting. You need good credit for your financial wellbeing.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Credit Reports are Valuable

Credit Reports are Valuable Tools
by Nan Wood

If you are concerned about your credit and would like to see how you rate, one of the best tools to use is credit reports. Credit reports are extremely valuable tools that can help you understand your credit rating, in case you are buying a home or a car. Understanding how credit reporting agencies work is very useful, here are some tips.

You can easily request a credit report sometimes for free (depending on the state of residence) to determine if you have good credit or have blotches of bad credit. Practically all your lending institutions report their credit history with you and depending on how much loans you have out, how you paid off your previous debt and your current employment can determine how lending institutions approve you for mortgages, car loans, etc.

Credit reports are a very valuable tool, especially for the many people today that rely on their good credit rating. Credit reports help people protect themselves from identity theft and unauthorized charges. When you request your credit report, you can easily tell if another entity opened up a credit card or took out a loan under your name. Credit reports should be requested every year or even every 6 months to determine if identity theft has taken place.

Credit is an issue when you are buying a home. take good care of your credit report. Visit RealEstate

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Setting Up a Small Business

Setting Up a Small Business

If you are an entrepreneur and trying to launch a business, you should first consider the costs and time necessary to set up your small business. Many entrepreneurs are ill prepared for the amount of time, energy and money many businesses cost to set up. Here are some tips on setting up a small business.

Just like everything else, preparation and organization matter in business. You can lose valuable time, money and energy if you don’t set up a plan of action when setting up your business. In fact, many entrepreneurs try to wing it. Unfortunately, setting up a business can be difficult and there are tons of unforeseen expenses that always pop up.

Some businesses never get off the ground because of unforeseen expenses and difficulties when setting up a business. It is not enough to plan out your product, customer base, advertising and budgets. Launching your small business is crucial and should take a lot of effort in order to get off on a good foot.

Many businesses forgo certain expenses because at the time it seems like a waste of money. It is important to be cautious with your money, but don’ forgo necessary expenses that later down the road can make or break your business. If you are setting up a small business, take a look at the above suggestions in order to help your business succeed.

Tanke your time, do your research. Ask your Accountant, Business Partners and friends to brainstorm with you before you start. Do your due dilligence.

Nan is an Accountant with an interest in RealEstate. For online resources and free info visit here site.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Credit Laws

Credit Laws You Need to Know
by Nan Wood

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act states that all lenders will apply the same credit standards to all consumers, without prohibiting by race, sex, marital status, national origin, religion, age, or public assistance program involvement. This does not guarantee the approval of a loan or credit but does insure that all consumers are given an equal chance to obtain credit. The only acceptable measurement for creditors to use is your ability to pay your debts.

Many applications will contain questions about your sex, your race, or your nationality. You are not required to answer such questions on an application for credit. These may be asked in conjunction with fair housing laws or affirmative action laws, but these are completely optional. Furthermore, you should not be asked about your marital status, unless your partner will help secure and use the loan. You may be asked your age under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, but only to determine if you are old enough to obtain credit (usually 18 years old in the U.S.)

All creditors must notify any applicants of their decision within 30 days. If the application is denied, the creditor must provide a written statement detailing the outcome or decision along with the reason for the denial and information on the applicant’s rights. This act helps ensure that a certain standard is kept with all applications for credit – no matter who the applicant is.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives individuals the right to view their credit report. To disseminate this, each citizen can receive one free credit report every 12 months. The act allows individuals to receive their credit history for all three national credit reporting agencies. In reviewing his or her credit, disputes can be logged against specific items on the credit report, allowing the consumer to police the credit reporting agencies. If the correction to your credit is not up to par, you can also add a brief statement of 100 words or less clarifying the particular item.

The act was instituted to uphold the accuracy and privacy of an individual’s information in credit reports. It was also passed with the intention of curbing identity theft, an ever-growing crime. By reviewing one’s credit report each year, he or she could determine if any sort of identity theft had occurred.

Both acts help protect you by insuring the fairness of the lending industry while allowing you to take control of your credit history and ensure its accuracy. Maintaining good credit begins by learning all you can about how credit reporting works. By understanding these laws, you are taking a positive step in creating good credit for a stable financial future.

For more information visit

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Read the Fine Print on all Contracts

Read the Fine Print on Credit Card Contracts
by nan wood

If you are planning on applying for a credit card, make sure that once you receive your credit card in the mail, read the fine print. Credit card companies try to make sure that the agreement between them and the consumer benefits them in large part. Before you use the credit card, make sure you protect your rights and read the fine print so that you can determine if the credit card is worth the convenience.

Most credit cards create long, fine print terms and conditions in the hopes that most consumers will not read it. Yes, it is correct, that many credit card companies hope that you do not read the fine print of their contract with you. This practically guarantees that they have a financial advantage and that you sign on to an agreement with very little recourse.

Credit card companies are not looking to be fraudulent with you; however they try to gain every advantage that they can. This can include the possibility of raising your interest rate if you are late with a payment, the possibility of fees they can levy against you if you go over your credit limit or the amount of interest they charge you once you make a purchase. If you want to make sure that you understand what you are signing up for, make sure you read the find print of the terms and conditions of the credit card.

I wrote this article for credit card users but, in reality, you must read the fine print in all contracts you sign. The difference can be enormous, particularly when you have a problem. Take care.

Nan is a Real Estate Agent with an information site online for research.
Visit RealEstate

Monday, October 02, 2006

Timeshare Offers

Timeshare Offers
by Nan Wood

If you are thinking about buying a timeshare, one of the best things you can do is try out a timeshare offer. Timeshare offers are a great way to see timeshare properties, learn about what kind of timeshares are available and what amenities are included. However the best thing about timeshare offers is usually the free vacation that comes with just looking at a timeshare and sales presentation.

Many timeshare developers offer potential customers free vacations in their timeshare units in order to spur sales of their timeshare properties. These offers are either free or extremely low cost. For instance, it might only cost you $200 for a family of four to spend a week at a timeshare property in Orlando or another Florida community. While these prices are very inexpensive, be prepared to sit through a sales presentation, which may include a hard sell.

While it is not advisable that you take advantage of a timeshare offer if you are not truly interested in buying a timeshare, many people go through the pain and agony of the hard sell and sales pressure in order to enjoy a long vacation for a very affordable amount. If you are looking to buy a timeshare, take advantage of timeshare offers.

For more information on Real Estate and online resources visit

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Good Credit is Vital - Tips for you

Tips for Good Credit
by Nan Wood

Having good credit can open up many doors for you and your family including approval for a mortgage or car loan and a lower interest rate based on your past experience of paying back your debt in quick time. If you are looking for ways to improve or keep up your good credit rating, here are some tips.

Pay Your Bills on Time
Obviously, this is an easy one; however we all have financial difficulties from time to time. If you find yourself having difficulties paying your bills on time, the best thing you can do is contact your lenders and alert them of the situation. You can be put on a payment plan or have a deferment for a couple of months.

Don’t Go Over Your Head with Credit
Don’t take out too many credit cards or too many home loans. Even if you don’t have that much on your balance, a credit card company will look at having too many credit cards in your possession as a negative. While each creditor is different, usually three credit cards, two loans and a mortgage are seen as a responsible amount of credit.

Have a Balance on Your Credit Card
In order to build good credit, you need to show the credit card companies that you buy and then pay off your bill. If you have a credit card with no balance, they can’t predict your credit history.