The Perils of Being an Out of State Landlord

2 abandoned homesPurchasing property for investment purposes can be challenging for a landlord with the tasks of collecting rent and upkeep. However, buying a dwelling out of state can significantly increase your worries and concerns. The following are a list of perils that come with your distant investments.

Potential Legalities

Handling evictions and arbitration can be time consuming and costly when you’re an out of state landlord. If you need to make additional trips to deal with the ousting of the current tenants and seeking legal help along the way, you may have to incur expensive fees. This can eat up a majority of your profits if you have to make court appearances and post legal documentation. It can run you 10% or more to enlist the help of a property management team, and it is highly doubtful they will keep as watchful an eye on your home as you would.

Vacancies

Homes without residents tend fall into disrepair, and are often the site of break ins and vandalism  – adding to the stigma of absentee ownership within a neighborhood. The longer the vacancy, the more maintenance is generally necessary, and with nobody there to report potential problems (such as leaks, pests, and squatters, the bigger your problems can become. There are companies who specialize in renovation and cash buys, which might be a welcome solution for your situation.

Maintenance & Upkeep

Property investors who own a dwelling close to them can do much of the work on their own. Chores can include lawn and snow upkeep, plumbing fixes, painting and general maintenance. This can allow you to save quite a bit of money in the long run and keep your costs and maintenance fees to a minimum. Hiring a management company to oversee the handling of your dwelling can prove much for expensive, and sometimes their attempt to save you money means low quality performance.

Neighborhood Changes

It can be hard to keep up with neighborhood changes when the property that you own is so far away. Whether the homes are becoming run down and dilapidated or the neighborhood properties are reducing in price, you may find it difficult to keep up with any changes when you’re long distant. A realtor or property management company can alert you to any abnormalities, but it can come at a price. Having something nearby is much easier to manage, and you’ll know when to sell before the changes become too apparent.

Tenant Accountability

Finding good tenants can be difficult for any landlord. Since the dwelling is not their own, some renters feel that it’s just not their obligation – and a tenant with a landlord out of state may be even less accountable. This can be especially difficult when you’re trying to get your tenants to follow rules, guidelines and regulations that pertain to their living arrangements. It can be even more trying when it comes to collecting rent in a timely manner. You may have to enlist the help of a management company just when it comes to collecting fees and follow through.

Owning investment property can be a cost-effective way to make additional income. According to http://pdxrenovations.com/, however, being an out of state landlord can place you at the forefront of many obstacles and perils, especially when it comes to collecting rents and maintaining the value of the investment. It might be time to consider selling your out of town rentals, so you can purchase something nearby that you can more easily manage yourself.

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Disability Insurance Requirements for Your Business

It may be difficult to think about what would happen to your business should you or your partner experience something unsavory, but it could happen. Your business depends on you, and your health and an injury or illness could prevent you from earning a paycheck. Protecting your company against any kind of income loss as a result of an accident or sickness can provide you with peace of mind, that’s why disability insurance is a smart choice.

What is Disability Insurance?

Disability insurance can replace a portion of your salary should you become disabled due to an illness or accident. It’s also an excellent safeguard for business owners and partners to help keep their company up and running during this difficult time. Depending on the coverage, you could expect to receive approximately fifty to eighty percent of your gross income. While it’s not the full amount, it’s definitely better than nothing, and it gives an individual an incentive to get back to work. However, whether you can go back to work or not is dependent on the problem or situation. Unfortunately, insurance companies may not always play fair, and you may be denied the benefit of receiving disability rewards. If you had a claim of disability denied, you can seek legal representation to appeal your case.

The Benefits of Disability Insurance

There are numerous benefits to securing your business through disability insurance that includes protecting your assets in case of an unexpected emergency. It can also provide income while you’re unable to work and cover overhead to pay for your lease, rent, taxes, salaries and any expenses related to the operation of the business. Key personnel disability insurance pays money to the business in case the primary business person is unable to work due to an illness or injury. It can also be used to hire a temporary replacement or outsource the individual’s job duties until they are able to work. In the event of death or a permanent injury, buyout insurance coverage will allow the remaining partner to purchase their portion of the business.

Handicapped Parking SignWhat to Look for in a Policy?

In order to keep your premiums to a minimum and to avoid the risk of not being insurable, you want to buy your policy at an early age. It also helps if you purchase something that caters to your specific business needs. Some insurance companies will only take care of certain areas of your employment, while other policies ensure that you have the best possible coverage, so you need to do your research beforehand carefully. Disability insurance can also extend to your employees and coverage can protect them, any personal debt, and the costs necessary to run your business. Guaranteed insurability saves you time since you won’t have to re-qualify for future coverage. You can also lock in your rate with a non-cancellation policy, to keep your premiums and benefits the same.

Disability insurance is a safeguard for business owners who want to protect their well-being along with the company that they’ve worked so hard to establish. It also has a variety of terms and uses, so you need to do some investigative work to ensure that you’re getting the best policy for your company’s specific needs.

Author Anthony Joseph likes to write about different legal and small business topics for people who may be interested. It can be a terrible thing to have your claim of disability denied. The law firm of Marc Whitehead & Associates is fully dedicated to get justice for individuals who have been wrongly denied for their long term disability benefits.

What Does Your Domain Name Say About You

Designing and publishing a website for your business is an important way to enter the world-wide market and choosing a domain is a critical step to that process. Experts agree that choosing the right name can help the success of your business when it’s to the point and describes what your business does.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the way consumers look for a particular business by typing it into the browser. It can also lead to an individual website via your business link. This small line of text can aid users in navigating the Internet with ease. Imagine if the Internet didn’t use domain names, and you were required to utilize a string of numbers instead to search for a company. Domain names are registered daily and can cost the user between a minimal fee and thousands of dollars depending on the level and value of your search engine. There are many domain names for sale that can be purchased through a Domain Broker.

domainFinding and Being Found

The name that you choose is important and can help you reach your consumer base. Many businesses think up catchy names that have nothing to do with the services or products that they offer. As a business strategy, this makes zero sense and will only lead to confusion and aggravation. Setting up your domain name and website are important steps to a successful business, and you don’t want to change it later on. This could cause you to lose loyal customers and make your company look unprofessional and scattered.

Choosing the Right Name

Select something that showcases your business in the best light and tells them exactly what you do. If your company handles myriad services, focus on the one thing for your domain that you do best. You can easily add additional pages that will outline your other services or products.

Building a Solid Reputation

To ensure your business has a solid business reputation, you’ll want to choose the perfect domain name. In case your business grows and expands in the future, you may want to find something broad based. This allows you to add things down the road. It also gives you a bit more creativity with the actual name. Some well-known online retail establishments have found success with a particular domain, and the name has had nothing to do with the products that they offer. They also offer more than just books and may include DVDs, electronic gear and much more. You can also find success with something specific that targets exactly what you do or sell. Choosing something synonymous with what you do can generate greater search engine optimism and promotes the exact name in the URL window.

Selecting the right domain name is important from the beginning and can help consumers find the goods or services that you offer with ease, and the right amount of accessibility. It’s also imperative that it sends the right message to your customer base, and the image that you want to portray to them. Not only will it help your business achieve success, it will make you stand out from the rest of the competition.

Author Anthony Joseph enjoys writing about new business subjects to help offer information to start up companies. Toby Clements, a self made Domain Broker, is one of the top dealers in the world – creating millions of dollars in sales on a consistent basis. Buying and selling of these names are happening everyday, and knowing which one is best can have a significant impact on how well your business succeeds.

5 Business Ideas for Shipping Containers

Shipping containers used for transporting goods overseas are an untapped industry for entrepreneurs that wish to take advantage of a green business. These sturdy metal containers, often 100 square feet or more in size, are in abundance at shipyards around the country, ready to be recycled into new products or for new uses. Shipping companies often “retire” these containers after a few uses because of changes import specifications, vendors or customers. Once retired, these containers sit there waiting to be re-purposed, otherwise they just sit and waste away.

Five Novel Business Uses:

Shipping container mallInnovative business owners and developers have found that these shipping containers are perfect for many different types of construction projects. With a little creativity, and a little reconditioning, these containers have been changed into some wonderful structures.

1. Coffee Stand  Starbucks, in an effort to be creative and stand by its environmental policy of being “good citizens to the Earth,” has taken a retired shipping container and changed it into a walk-up coffee stand in an area where they could not put in a stand-alone building. This experiment has been so popular that the company is planning to change many of their stores into this type of building.

2. Shopping Mall  An innovative developer in Michigan thought that these containers could create the perfect eco-friendly shopping mall. Each container is connected by walkways, and each one is an individual store. Of course, you will not see super-sized stores in this mall, but every unit is occupied, and there is no lack of business.

3. Apartments  Another developer in the Michigan area discovered that these containers could be easily changed into micro apartments, perfect for those with limited need for space or limited income. The units meet all health and safety standards and were quickly occupied.

4. Storage Facilities  Developers all over the country have discovered that is is more economical and more environmentally sound to re-purpose these shipping containers into self-storage units than to build these units from scratch. This is an incredible opportunity to save resources while providing a valuable service.

5. Tool Shed  These containers make great personal storage units on your own private property. A business has begun purchasing and refurbishing these shipping containers into personal workshops and tool sheds. Because these items are still considered to be “mobile” structures, many areas will not require special permits to have them on your property and they are not a built-in structure which will produce more taxes on your home.

These are just a few of the most recent uses found for these retired shipping containers. With some imagination, these containers could be re-purposed into any type of business or structure. It is an environmentally friendly type of business that will draw a lot of attention from potential clients due to its uniqueness. What is perhaps the most impressive, however, is that they are very low cost in comparison, and the potential for profit is very high.

Jonathan Billings is a small business entrepreneur and offers this article to share unique and affordable uses of containers typically thought of as only temporary shelters for valuables on job sites and other short-term uses. At StorageContainer.com  you can either lease a self-contained job site office, or buy several for a cool community project!

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clhendricksbc/8459875381/

 

U.S. Real Estate Investment – Will It Ever Bounce Back?

home-renovation-contractor-Atlanta-GAWhen the U.S. housing market began to crash in 2007, it looked like declining values and foreclosure activity would never end. By 2009, most of the country saw a 34 percent decline in their property values, with some areas seeing drops of 65 percent or more. Every day it seemed as if the news brought only more disastrous coverage of the housing crisis.

Investors were even shying away from purchasing these low priced properties. Why purchase today when values would only drop again tomorrow? This was the sentiment felt by everyone concerning the housing market. However, time heals all market crashes, and there has never been a better time to invest into properties and “flip” them for a profit.

The Trend Started In 2012

In 2012, the housing market began to take a turn for the better. Foreclosures activity, while still high, began to ease, which allowed home values to begin to rise. During 2012, home values increased each month, even if only by a fraction of a percent, creating the best year the market has seen in half a decade.

In fact, the housing industry even contributed to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation in 2012, which was a first since 2005.

There are many other factors that are creating a good housing market at this time. Unemployment figures have steadily dropped over the last year and a half, consumer sentiment is on the rise, and interest rates remain low, making purchasing a home even more attractive.

What This Means For The Investor

If you are interested in investing into the distressed properties that still remain on the market, or if you are already a real estate investor, this news should make you happy. Even slight increases in home values means that you can easily purchase a distressed home, complete any necessary renovations, and flip it for a great profit because the market is now moving to benefit the seller.

If you are new to this type of business, you may wish to consider partnering with a cash-for-homes business that will help you learn the tricks of the trade. Why would a company be willing to share this type of information? Simple, because there are more than enough opportunities around that will allow everyone to profit.

Will The Trend Continue?

There are people who may wish to invest in this type of venture but are afraid that they will not be able to turn a profit because home prices are steadily increasing. This is, however, the farthest thing from the truth.

Even though home prices have been steadily increasing over the last 15 months, they are still on average 28 percent below their peak values in 2006. Some areas, such as Florida, Nevada, and parts of California are still 50 percent or more below their 2006 values. This leaves an extraordinary amount of room to generate a profit.

Additionally, there are still over 2 million homes in the Shadow Inventory. The Shadow Inventory are homes that are either severely delinquent in their mortgage payment, somewhere in the process of foreclosure, or have been seized by the lender but not placed on the market for sale. With this amount of property still looming, there will still be pliantly of properties available for investments.

Blogger Brady Sullivan is a tradesman and knows that certain types of updating and improvements actually do help your home sell faster. PDXRenovations.com has been transforming the Metro communities of Phoenix and Portland with high-quality property faceliftss, achieving quicker home sales at higher prices.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnoldmasonryandconcrete/7517687932/

 

Use Labeling to Organize Your Entire Office

Use Labeling to Organize Your Entire Office

Even though most companies have been placing an emphasis on reducing the amount of paper that they print and store, there is always going to be a need to keep hard copies of certain documents on-site. However, without the proper filing system, it can become very difficult to access the necessary paperwork in a timely manner. Therefore, it is essential for your business to invest in a proper storage solution, and you will also need to ensure that everything is properly labeled. Additionally, there are several other components of a busy office that should also be labeled to increase productivity.

ArghEasy Labeling Solutions

If you look around your office, you will see a long list of items that would benefit from being labeled, including files, binders, cables, shelving and supplies. After all, any well-organized office will be designed so that a new person could step in without any training and instantly have at least a basic idea of where everything is located. By labeling everything, you can ensure that your employees will be able to complete their daily tasks more quickly, and you will also be providing a more welcoming environment for the newest members of your staff.

In order to make the labeling process go more smoothly, it is a good idea to purchase at least one label maker. Although some companies choose to print labels from a computer or even fill them out by hand, it is much more efficient to utilize the proper tool. Using Image Supply specials on the web, you can have your own multipurpose label maker on-site, where you can easily produce new labels at any time.

Upgrading a Filing System

Most businesses could greatly benefit from a newly organized filing system, and a label maker will be a vital piece of this project. Placing a fresh label on all of your files will make it easy for everyone to select the right one without spending time digging through paperwork to verify their selection. This will also make it easier to comply whenever your company’s files are audited. After all, if the person who conducts the audit is unable to quickly determine which file they are pulling, they are going to need to spend a lot more time on-site, and they are also likely to be influenced by feelings of frustration. Therefore, by making the files more accessible, you will increase your chances of getting a favorable review.

Labeling the Rest of the Office

Although your filing system is the most obvious place to utilize a label maker, there are actually dozens of practical purposes for the item within your office. As previously mentioned, you use your label maker to organize your supply closet by labeling the shelves and even the individual supplies. This is also a good way to make sure that your employees do not take your company’s supplies home with them. Even though they could remove the label, most people will be much less inclined to take that extra step.

If you are not currently using a label maker in your office, it is a good idea to purchase one today. After all, you can use them as part of an overall office upgrade, and they can also be utilized to provide more cohesiveness in your filing cabinet. As an added bonus, this simple organizational tool can produce each label within a few seconds.

Jonathan Billings is a blogging entrepreneur who has created several businesses from his own home office, and consistently streamlines his systems to make them more manageable. There are Image Supply specials online daily, featuring affordable brand name label makers (both guns and printers) to help you get your office under control.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trec_lit/135640056/

 

How Important is Your Business Credit Score?

Business credit ratings have become more important over the last few years. While they have always been crucial to the success of a business, the recent financial crisis has made managing your business credit rating even more important. Your credit rating will now be used in almost every aspect of your business. Vendors, even ones you currently use, will now review your credit standing periodically to determine if they are going to continue offering you terms on your purchases.

Government agencies offering contract opportunities will now review your credit standings to determine if your company is qualified to complete the contract. They believe if your company has a less-than-perfect credit rating, you will be unable to make purchases necessary to complete the project.
Too Much Credit
How To Keep Your Business Credit In Good Shape

There are several things that you can do to improve your credit rating or keep your credit standing in good order. Many of these suggestions are also things you could do to manage your personal credit:

• Pay Invoices On Time Regardless of the “grace period” stated on many of your invoices, it is crucial to pay your bills on or before the original due date. While using the grace period may not negatively impact your credit score in a large way, each incident will have a small impact that will quickly impact your credit.
• Watch Balances You want to remain at 35 percent or less of your available credit balance to maintain a good score. While some credit scoring agencies will allow businesses to go up to 50 percent of available without a negative impact, you should try to remain in the 35 percent range. When your debt-to-credit ratio goes to high, the credit rating companies view you as a risk.
• Use Credit Repair Services Many times it takes a “different set of eyes” to see a problem in your finances. You may believe that everything you are doing should have a positive effect on your credit, but your score remains low. A professional agency using business credit repair software can help you manage your debts in a way that will improve your overall credit rating.
• Go To Auto Pay Bills that can be automatically deducted from your checking account each month should be enrolled in auto pay. This simplifies your bill paying process, guarantees your bills are paid on time, and helps you improve your credit rating with little effort.
• Overextension Is Bad Yes, it may seem like a great idea to have accounts established with every provider in your area under the pretense of always being able to get supplies, but this can also impact your credit. As more vendors pull your credit record before establishing an account, or randomly check your record while you are their client, the more inquiries are posted to your credit record. Just like personal credit reports, every time your credit report has an inquiry placed against it, your credit score will drop a few points. If you have an excessive amount of vendors, you could possibly have an excessive amount of inquiries.

Little steps like these can make a huge difference in the success of your company. Sadly, business owners involved with every other aspect of their company often forget how important managing their credit standing can be to their success.

Author Catherine Stephens is a small business consultant and offers this article to help college student avoid heavy debt load. DebtPayPro is one of the best providers of business credit repair software systems within the finance industry. These important tools will help your lender to determine eligibility and assist them in doing necessary common repetitive actions faster and more accurately, which is important when it comes to your financial history.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andresrueda/3274955487/