The Mindset About Money: Preparing For Retirement Right Now

 

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Everybody has their concerns about the future, whether it’s undergoing a lot of planning for a happy retirement or making sure that you are financially sound, there’s a lot to consider. But with this in mind, when it comes to the financial aspect of preparing for retirement, is there anything that we can do right now? Of course, we can all pay into a pension pot, but there are so many of us out there that haven’t been able to do so for various reasons. Either you’re self-employed or you have just not been able to catch a break financially. So what are the best ways to prepare for retirement if you do not have the perks that so many others have?

 

Start Investing

Whether it is an investment property or something within your financial abilities, investing is one of the best ways to start getting onto a nest egg. Investment, even something like day trading schemes, all goes towards putting money towards your future. When we get into the mindset of putting a little bit of money aside, rather than looking at what we’ve got and thinking that it’s “not enough,” this “little and often” approach is what will help us to prepare for our twilight years.

 

Altering Your Lifestyle

If you’ve not been able to catch a break in a financial sense, it’s now the opportunity to look at where you are going wrong. For so many of us, it’s our lifestyle that causes considerable problems. We either get into the habit of relying on credit cards to get out of debt or we spend above and beyond our means. It’s as much about mindset as it is about money. And when you start to tackle your lifestyle and figure out what the key issues really are, you can then begin to cut corners without it affecting you drastically. An excellent example right now is that so many people have to limit their financial capabilities. As we are struggling financially, it also makes us realize just what we really need to get by. Once you start to think about conserving certain areas of your life, whether it’s in terms of batch cooking meals or figuring out how to live cheaply, you will see the difference. But the most important thing to remember is that the money that you are normally spending on your life when you start to look at what is leftover, you need to put this money towards a pension pot or retirement funds because you are used to seeing the money go out of your account in this volume. So in this respect, rather than it going towards paying off a credit card bill, if it goes towards something productive and worthwhile, you will feel the benefits later on.

 

Your finances are inextricably linked to your well-being. If you worry about money a lot, you’ve got to start figuring out what you can do right now to take considerable debt out of your life. If you are looking towards the future and considering your best plan of action, right now is a good opportunity to pay off debt.

Top Tips and Ideas for Improving Your Home This Year

Owning a home is one of the most exciting things you can do in life, and the home is such an excellent asset to have these days. Now, there are a lot of things you are going to need to get right and focus on as best you can moving forward. You want to be sure you are making the best decisions to help the home improve and get better. This is something you need to make sure you make the most of right now. 

 

You are going to need to take steps right now to protect the property and improve it as much as you can because there are so many benefits to doing this. Try to think about the best ways of being able to factor this into your daily routine. Anything you can do to make the home better and more impressive is important, and there are a lot of things you can do to achieve this moving forward. Here are some of the key ideas and hints that will help you to make the best possible home improvements right now. 

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Extend the Property 

 

Extensions are one of the best ways of being able to improve the home and make the right sorts of changes that can help you with this. Now, there are a lot of people who have different ideas of how you can go about achieving this, and one of the key things is that you can choose to extend the property. Now, there are a lot of factors that you have to keep in mind when you are looking at some of the best ways of achieving this, and something like a conservatory or an orangery would be the ideal way of being able to get this sorted right now. 

 

Make Repairs

 

There are bound to be things all over the house that need to be repaired, and this is another excellent way of being able to improve the home. You are bound to be able to find plenty of things all over the home that could be repaired or fixed, and this is an essential way of being able to improve the home. Sometimes you’ll want to bring in professionals for this, but there are also plenty of home repairs you can do yourself, and there are a lot of YouTube tutorials you can check out to help you when it comes to improving this as much as possible. 

 

Increase Security

 

You also need to look at how safe and secure your home is and take steps to improve and increase this as much as possible. There are plenty of modern home security tips you need to keep in mind when it comes to improving and assessing the best ways of being able to take things to the next level. Installing security systems, upgrading locks, and lighting up the home are just a few of the great ways of being able to factor in what it takes to get this right as much as possible. 

 

Pest Control

 

Something else that is worth considering when it comes to making your home better is to look at dealing with pests and controlling their influence on your home. This is something you need to make sure you get right as much as you can, and it can make a massive difference moving forward. Stuff like termite damage repair is essential for the future of the property, and you need to make sure you do as much as possible to improve things moving forward, and to try to work on making the most of this right now. Pest control matters a great deal, and this is something to keep in mind for the home moving forward. 

 

Get a New Kitchen

 

The kitchen is the crown jewel of the home, and it is essential that you have the best kitchen you possibly can. Try to do as much as possible to focus on making the right decisions for the home, and revamping your kitchen is one of the best ways of being able to do this. Try to come up with ideas that will let you make the right changes for the home today, and something like an open plan kitchen can transform your home to completely new heights and will have massive advantages for you when it comes to selling the home in the future as well. 

 

Repaint the Home 

 

You might be surprised by what it takes to make a massive difference in your life, and you might also be shocked at the impact that repainting your home can have on the property. Make sure you do as much as possible to focus on making the right changes. A fresh coat of paint can transform the home and make it look brand new, not to mention bright, vibrant, and welcoming. So, you have to do as much as possible to look at how you can repaint the property right now, and the best paint color scheme to use moving forward. 

 

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Add Value

 

Anything you can do to add more value to the home is something that you need to look into right now, and this is really important. Try to make sure you take steps right now to help you achieve this, and you can use a number of the ideas we’ve already mentioned to help you. Another huge way of being able to add value to the home is to look at how you can be more energy-efficient in your life. 

 

Take the time to do as much as possible to help your home improve and grow. There are so many wonderful things you can do that are going to make a big difference here, and this is something that you need to keep in mind. The more you can do to make the most of this, the better it will be for you moving forward. You will be in a position to improve your home, and you will be able to add value to it at the same time. Try to do as much as you can to get this right, and work on improving things for the future right now. 

Writing A Will – What You Need To Know

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Will solicitors are a must if your financial situation and estate are anything except very simple. Even then, other issues such as a complex family structure or arguing siblings mean that a solicitor being involved in writing your Will is a good idea. For a small fee, your solicitor will guide you through the process and deal with other issues such as whether you need a lasting power of attorney. Having the right support now at a reasonable fee could save you a great deal of money and stress in the long term.

 

No one likes to think about getting old, or dying, but they are fated to happen to everyone eventually. Being prepared and knowing that plans are in place for your later years and your family after you pass can take a great weight off your mind. 

 

Solicitors can help with both aspects, and it is worth taking the time to plan with them what legal paperwork needs to be in place for you to ensure your well being and financial needs are covered should you lose the capacity to do this yourself. 

 

Making a Will with a solicitor does involve costs, and the cost of writing a Will with a solicitor depends on several aspects. If you are writing a Will for just you, the fee will be different from that of a Will for a couple. Fees will also differ depending on the complexity of your estate and your tax situation. The need for trusts, dealing with overseas properties and tax advice, all add to the overall cost of your Will. As well as dealing with the complexities of your Will, working with a solicitor gives you the confidence to know that no mistakes have been made, as probate law can be complex. 

 

The simplest of mistakes could mean that your Will is invalid on your death. This can lead to your intended recipients missing out on inheritance, and can even lead to family members falling out. In the same vein, using a solicitor means that your Will is stored safely. The solicitor will keep the original, usually in a fireproof safe, while you can take a copy away to show those that need to see it. 

 

Although a solicitor is essential to ensuring your Will is correct and cannot be challenged, it is important that you do your part. You are the one that must decide who is going to get what after your death. This covers everything from your property and money to any specific items from your possessions. A good place to start this process is by listing all the people that you want to benefit from your estate. Your beneficiaries could include, your partner, children, siblings, and other family members. It may also include friends and charities. 

 

Next, you need to be able to provide your local solicitors for making a Will with a list of your assets and their worth. Your assets include any savings and valuable objects including jewelry, heirlooms, and antiques. Then you need to consider the more complex items such as property, stock market investments, your pension, and if you have one your business. 

 

Lastly, there are items that have little or no financial value, but that have sentimental value to individuals. The wording of your Will is one aspect that your Will writing solicitors can ensure is correct. This is particularly important where you need to consider the needs of a partner that may outlive you, and then the needs of any children or grandchildren.

How To Find The Perfect Property – 4 Property Search Tips


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Searching for the perfect property to buy can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack – a very expensive needle in a constantly changing haystack to make things worse. The good news is, that thanks to the internet, it’s now a lot easier to find your perfect new home, so here are a few property search tips.

Know what you are looking for

Finding the perfect property is going to be a nightmare if you don’t really have any idea what it is you are looking for. You don’t need to know everything, but it does help to have a budget, an idea on the size of the property, and a list of non-negotiable such as whether you need a garden, want a pool, or need to be within a certain distance of local amenities. Although there’s always a  chance that you could find your perfect home without knowing what you want, it certainly makes the job a lot easier. 

Make use of the internet and property finding sites

We live in a glorious age where we can now browse hundreds of homes for sale from the comfort of our sofa. Gone are the days of looking in endless real estate agent windows, now you can easily filter property search sites so that they show you only the properties that you want to see. You can narrow your search by the number of bedrooms you are looking for, the price, and the distance from certain cities, or by other factors such as whether the property has accompanying land or access to off-street parking. When using property finding sites remember that the price listed is the asking price and there is usually room for negotiation, so set the filter to a little higher than your budget. 

Use local real estate agencies 

If you have a particular area in mind that you would like to move to, then make use of local real estate agents, such as https://www.camijoneshomes.com/kansas-city-homes-for-sale/ for Kansas City, who may have properties advertised that are not on internet property finding sites. Local real estate agents will have a better knowledge of the local property market including things such as price changes and potential buying competition and may know of properties that are not even up for sale yet. 

Get to know the neighborhood 

The perfect property is often only as good as the neighborhood it is in, so be sure to also check out the local neighborhood before making your decision. Spend a day looking around, visit the local supermarket, take a look at local restaurants, and get a feel for what it would be like to live in the area. You may even want to approach the neighbors of the property for a chat and to ask them how they have found the neighborhood and if there’s anything you should know about. 

 

With these property search tips, a little patience, and a sprinkling of good luck, you’re well on your way to finding the property of your dreams.

Who Makes the Best Property Developers?

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Property development is something that many people find themselves interested in when they want to make money. It’s often seen as a fantastic way to earn and even become rich, although it’s not an easy path to take. If property development is something that you are interested in, the first thing that you need to know is how you can get into property development. There are certain qualities that can help you to be a good property developer, and maybe even a great one. Some of these qualities may be inherent, but others are things that you can learn.

 

Knowledge of the Industry

 

Having knowledge of the real estate or construction industry can start you on the right foot. Developer Aubrey Ferrao worked as a real estate broker before getting involved with property development and went on to develop several billion dollars or real estate. As well as working in the industry, you can also educate yourself by taking courses and doing plenty of research to learn the right things.

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Flexibility

 

If you want to work in property development, it’s important to have a certain level of flexibility. You should be able to work on different projects, and you might need to pitch in with different tasks. Property development can involve wearing a number of different hats, so you need to be willing to use a range of skills and help out when and where it’s necessary.

 

Working Well Under Pressure

 

Being able to work well under pressure is a must if you want to go into property development. You can often be in a fast-paced work environment, where there’s a lot of work to do, and it sometimes needs to be done quickly. Being able to keep your cool and think clearly will help you to be a good property developer.

 

Great People Skills

 

Communication skills are important in pretty much any job. Even people who spend most of their days working alone need to be able to communicate with others. Property developers need excellent people skills so that they can work with a range of people in different roles. The ability to quickly build relationships with others is a benefit to any property developer who wants to succeed.

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Good Risk Tolerance

 

Real estate development is a risky business. Developers need to be prepared for things to go wrong and to lose money – and it can be a lot of money. If you find it difficult to take risks, you’re probably not suited to being a property developer. However, you also need the ability to take a calculated risk, rather than jumping into something without consideration.

 

Problem-solving Skills

 

There are always problems and obstacles that property developers can be met with when working on a project. Having good problem-solving skills is important if you want to be able to deal with these issues and ensure that a project can continue. You should be able to find a range of solutions when presented with a problem.

 

If you want to be a property developer, assess which skills you have that could help you to achieve your chosen path.

Why Buying Property IS NOT A Risk-Free Investment

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People will often say that property is one of the best places to park your money. A house will always be there, they tell you, and people will ALWAYS need homes. 

 

But when you look at the data, you soon see that owning property isn’t risk-free. If it were, then there would be no such thing as homeowner’s insurance. 

 

It turns out that investing in real estate is riskier than most people think – something you need to be aware of before you take the plunge and put a deposit down. 

 

Here’s why buying a property IS NOT a risk-free investment. 

 

House Prices Can Fall As Well As Rise

 

Despite what the pundits might say about the property market, house prices can fall as well as rise. Over the last twenty years, we’ve been lucky. House prices have gone up in value continually over time, outpacing increases in wages. That trend, however, could come to an end at any point. All it takes is for global interest rates to rise and mortgage costs to go up, and it’s game over for the market. Prices will fall back to their historical trend, and that will be the end of that. 

 

Flooding Can Damage Your Property

 

With rising sea levels and increased rainfall, the risk of water wrecking your real estate investment portfolio is higher than ever before. Companies for home flooding have never seen so much business for their services. 

 

In the past, a lot of builders constructed properties on floodplains. In a world of normal levels of rainfall, many believed that as the sensible thing to do. Flooding was a remote possibility. With increased urbanization, surface run-off, and deforestation, that’s all changed. Flooding is now an issue up and down the country, with several instances already this year. 

 

Flooding doesn’t just wreck the furniture. It can get into the walls and foundations of a property. Once it sets in, you need a professional to remove it. If you don’t, you inevitably wind up with patches of black mold everywhere – and you certainly don’t want that!

 

Your Maintenance Bills Could Go Through The Roof

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Average property prices continue to rise, but homes themselves are depreciating assets.

 

Why? 

 

Because they require maintenance. If you didn’t clean out the gutter, replenish the exterior paintwork or replace the boiler, your house would soon fall into a state of disrepair and start losing value. Properties need upkeep to maintain their value. 

 

For most homes, upkeep tends to average around 1 percent of the value of the home per year. So if you have a $200,000 property, expect to spend about $2,000 on maintenance. Some years will be higher than others. 

 

Some property owners, however, can get unlucky for one reason or another, and their maintenance bills can shoot through the roof. 

The biggest culprit is asbestos. Removing the lung disease-causing material is expensive. The second most significant issue is dodgy plumbing. Cracked pipes that burst can set you back thousands of dollars in repair bills.

5 Facts That You Should Know About Real Estate

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Moving into a new house is considered one of the most stressful things a person can go through, but selling a house is no party either. So, if you’re thinking of selling yours, then here are five facts that you should know about the real estate business.

 

1. A Seller’s Market Doesn’t Mean You Can Get What You Want

 

In many parts of the country, it’s a great time to sell your property, but you should try and keep your feet on the ground. Just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean people will buy no matter what. The fact of the matter is that any house is only worth what someone else is prepared to pay for it, not what you think it is worth. Let your realtor be your guide when it comes to the value of your house, and get several estimates.

 

2. No One Expects Your Home to Be a Show Home

 

Most people are not that interested in seeing houses that look like show houses. When people are looking for a home, that’s exactly what they want to see, a home – somewhere they can imagine themselves living. Of course, it’s vital to ensure your home is clean and presentable as no-one wants to imagine themselves living in a pigsty, but it really doesn’t have to be stripped of all your belongings and styled as though it’s going to appear in a glossy magazine, to appeal to a buyer. Some things will definitely put buyers off though. If you have pets, you need to make sure that there are no smells of damp animals wafting around the house. Talking of smells, remember the classic sales techniques of baking some cookies. That’s the kind of home-smell that sells houses.

 

3. First Impressions Really Do Count But Not Where You Might Think

 

First impressions count, whether it’s meeting new people, starting a new job, or buying a new home. However, too many people concentrate on the inside of the house, forgetting that it’s actually the outside that people see first. If you have a garden or a front yard, make sure that it looks nice and tidy. And if you have a fence, a lick of paint can work wonders for your home’s curb appeal.

 

4. Look At Your Home’s Decor as An Outsider Would

 

Have a real look at the inside of your house. Try and look at it with the eyes of a potential buyer. If each room blends into the next, then you’re looking good. However, if each room is garishly painted, or you have allowed the kids to be ‘creative’, then a fresh coat of neutrally-toned paint may well be the way to go.

 

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5. Choose Your Next Home Wisely

 

Finally, if you’re selling your home, you are no doubt looking to buy as well. If you’re thinking of your next home as an investment, you should be looking at the best areas of town. As this will be where the most expensive houses are, try to think where the up-and-coming areas will be in five or ten years’ time. Your realtor will be able to advise you on this as well. And if you can find a fixer-upper, this is where you will get the most bang for your buck.

 

Selling a home does come with its stresses and there are certainly lots of forces that are out of your control. However, with enough planning and a bit of careful preparation, the process can be made to run a whole lot more smoothly.

Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Property

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Whether you have just bought a new property, are happily settled in your home or are looking to sell up and move, there are loads of easy ways that you can add space and value to your house.

 

Before you bring in the buildings and plumbers and decorators, it is worth checking with your local estate agent whether or not a major home improvement will add value to your property, and if there are any features which are particularly sought after in your area. Remember that every property has a ceiling price, so make sure the cost doesn’t outweigh the profit in your equity.

 

Loft conversion

 

The most popular way to add value to a home is to convert the loft into a useable space. Going into the loft is often the easiest way to add an extra bedroom to the house, which will immediately push up the value into the next price bracket. It’s worth remembering that an extra bedroom can add anywhere between 10% and 15% to the value of the property.

 

However, a loft conversion will usually be around $20,000 to $25,000, and you will need to get planning permission from your local authority before you get going.

 

Paint, paint, paint!

 

A fresh paint job will do wonders for the value of your property and can turn your home from old and tired into fancy and fresh. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, you can hire someone to do the residential exterior painting, as well as a painter and decorator for the inside. Stay away from bold and dark colors if you are reselling, as they will make a room or space seem much smaller than it actually is, and also hire a professional if you are in danger of making any decorating or DIY mistakes!

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Revamp the kitchen

 

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s a place where people gather on social occasions, where families eat and deep conversations are had. As this room is such an integral part of the home, it is important that it is attractive looking and functional.

 

If you don’t have the money for a full kitchen refit, there are some simple and easy things you can do to bring it up to a higher standard. Try replacing cupboard doors and handles for a quick and easy refresh and aim to create a space which is multipurpose. Most people spend the majority of their time in their kitchens, and it must be able to function as a place for kids to do their homework, guests to relax in while you are cooking dinner and family gatherings. Updating the kitchen doesn’t have to cost the earth, but it will be worth every penny.

 

Invest in your garden

 

Outdoor spaces have become a room in their own right, and investing in your garden is big business. By having a garden which is well laid out, you are not only adding value to your property but will also make it easier to sell!