Five Factors To Consider Before Investing In Residential Real Estate | Real estate

During the past decade, many people have jumped into residential real estate investing. This was never so true as during the recent real estate boom. People read all the “get rich quick” schemes that litter the book shelves of libraries and book stores — use other people’s money, use no money of your own, and make millions! A lot of people did make great sums of money during the most recent boom; but now those, who did not get out before the market cooled, are seeing those investments in foreclosure due to their inability to make the mortgage payments.Just because the real estate market isn’t over the top, as in the past few years, does not mean you no longer can make money in residential real estate. The difference between now (post-boom) and during the market boom is that the “get rich quick” schemes will not work.Do You Have What It Takes?Investing in real estate is not for the faint hearted, the non-risk takers. It is for investors who are in it for the long haul, who can easily sit on their investment (if need be) until the market shifts in their favor. It also is for those who truly enjoy this type of investment. They are the ones who are the most successful in real estate investing.You must be willing to invest time — upfront and before each potential investment. If you do not take the time to research the properties and your target market, you probably will not be very successful. You also must gather knowledge on how to make a real estate deal that works in your favor. That requires educating yourself to understand the jargon and game rules. Today, it takes a careful, methodical approach to residential real estate investing, especially when acquiring your first property.Besides needing time and money, being a risk taker, and being willing to commit to a long-term investment, if needed, there are five additional factors you must consider each time before you make an investment in residential real estate.Supply and Demand — Where Is the Current Market?The economics of supply and demand is what makes the long-term investors successful in residential real estate. They are willing to weather the ups and downs of the real estate market, waiting for an advantageous market to sell their property.Supply and demand is influenced by many economic factors, which in turn affects the residential real estate market. Well-located residential real estate will endure fluctuations in the market and continue to appreciate in value. Knowing your market means knowing when to buy or not to buy, which deals will work when, and when to sit on an investment or sell it.Your CreativityAnother factor to consider is your own creativity in managing your investments. Residential real estate is one type of investment that allows for a lot of creativity:o You may invest for the long term, renting the property to continue making a profit while waiting to sell at a more advantageous time. You can purchase a home to fix up and resell immediately for a profit.o There are many financing options available for residential real estate, allowing for even more creativity. You also can invest on your own, with a group of partners, with a corporation, or even with a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT — a mutual fund with real property assets or mortgage securities).o There is an abundant variety of residential real estate types in which to invest — single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and duplexes.The more creative you are in creating and managing your real estate investments, the more profitable and successful you will be.Other People’s MoneyA third factor is knowing how you can use other people’s money to your advantage without landing in foreclosure, as so many people now are who subscribed to the “get rich quick” schemes during the boom.You can begin with only a few thousand dollars, using other people’s money to underwrite the remaining mortgage. You must know all the different ways available to finance your investment. This goes back to taking the time to educate yourself, before you begin investing, and creatively making the best use of financing.Other People’s TimeWhether you are fixing up real estate to sell or renting it, it will take time, effort and management. If you already have a full-time job and a family, you probably cannot do it all yourself, and I doubt you wish to be woke up at 2 a.m. by a renter with a plugged toilet.Using contractors to fix up the property or experienced property managers to handle your rental real estate makes for less profit in your pocket on your individual investment properties. However, it frees up your time to invest in more properties, making your overall profits much higher.Your Tax AdvantageResidential real estate investing is quite unique. It offers you tax write-offs not available in other types of investments. There are many deductions available to you — deducting the mortgage interest or refinancing without being taxed are just two examples. There are many benefits to real estate investing that reduce your tax liability and increase your profits.If you believe residential real estate investing is for you, begin by learning more about it. There are thousands of books and resources on the topic. Stay away from anything that sounds too good to be true. It probably is, especially in today’s real estate market.

How to Take a Cheap Vacation | Travel vacation

I can’t think of many people that don’t like traveling. Most of the people that I run across are planning vacations, enjoying their down time, and exploring the world. That’s how I am. I love exploring new places and getting around to different places.What I don’t like is paying for the experience. Regardless of where you travel, vacations are going to be a huge financial commitment. No matter what you do, you’re almost always going to spend more than you originally plan.There’s really no such thing as a cheap vacation but, there’s nothing wrong with taking steps to reduce the price. Here are some of the things that you can do to get the most inexpensive vacation possible.Be Flexible With Your DatesThere’s a huge benefit to being flexible with your dates. If you’re looking at getting an airline ticket, then the prices are going to fluctuate depending on the season. However, if you’re just looking at a hotel it can benefit you as well. If you’re flexible with your days you’ll be more open to different discounts that hotels might offer. They might offer a discount for certain days, or give lower unpublished rates. Either way, it creates more opportunities to save money.Plan Something CloseThe farther you travel, the more expensive your vacation becomes. If you plan a weekend getaway a couple of hours from where you live, then you’ll end up paying a lot less than what you would have paid otherwise. Look for something a couple of hours away that you’ve either enjoyed in the past, or never done before.Avoid Heavily Visited AreasHeavily visited areas usually cost more. When you’re planning your trip you should try to find something that people don’t usually do. Look for something that’s going to be fun for your family, yet cheap at the same time,Get CreativeThink about the things that your family enjoys that you’ve never really tried before. Maybe you’ve never gone horseback riding, or hiking, or windsurfing. Look for something fun that you can plan a vacation around.Plan With a Coupon BookCoupon books can be great vacation planners. Why? Because they give you different ideas for fun activities, and a lower price at the same time. You can also try using a website like Groupon to get even better deals. Groupon is a great website for finding fun things to do because so many companies use it to announce discounts.

Grandparenting – Rights and Issues in the United States | laws and issues

Grandparents rights differ state to state but if not exercised they can be removed from regulation in the state code. Iowa finally after much debate passed a Iowa Grandparents Rights bill through the Iowa Senate in March of 2007 and it became part of the Iowa Code in July of 2007. You can find it in the Iowa Code under 600C.Michigan has a National Grandparents Rights Organization that has fielded many emails and calls from Iowa grandparents wanting to know what they could do to have their plight in Iowa brought more to the public eye. Grandparents use to be a big part of family life but as society has changed with the times and the baby boomer generation is now nearing retirement the social scene has changed. Many grandparents have been shut out of their grandchildrens’ lives for reasons that vary from divorce, new spouses, single parenting or simply spite. Grandchildren become pawns in a game for control.Department of Human Services (DHS) stands with the parent on issues of Grandparents Rights so if you are a grandparent seeking assistance in visitation to grandchildren they are not the agency to contact. Many times a grandparent is turned downed when seeking custody of grandchildren when a parent loses their rights because of age or low income and the grandchild is placed in a foster home or possibly put up for adoption. Legal assistance was expensive and attorneys had little to stand on with no legislation in place until recently.Iowa Grandparents Rights allows the grandparent to petition the courts for visitation and opens the doors for custody issues.