Category Archives: Investing

Is It a Good Time to Become a Landlord?

Deciding whether or not to be a landlord is no easy decision. With a good amount of real estate knowledge, dedication, and preparation, it can be lucrative and rewarding. Without these things, however, this undertaking can easily go south. If you’ve been wondering, “Is now a good time to become a landlord?”, we can help you explore this. Read on for some major considerations as to whether this field is good for you and if now is the time to pull the trigger.

Do You Have a Financial Cushion?

To purchase a rental property, you need to have capital. However, if all you have is what you paid for the property, you could be in trouble. As with everything in life, becoming a landlord comes with its share of curveballs. There will be unexpected maintenance issues that can easily cost thousands of dollars. On top of that, despite the most rigorous of tenant screening procedures, you could end up with a squatter. This is a person who refuses to leave or pay rent, and it’s surprisingly hard to get them off your property. Not only that, but you will have to keep paying the mortgage the whole time you’re going through the legal process to have the squatter(s) removed. As long as you have a financial cushion to handle these “surprises”, you should be fine—consider securing a SBA loan to ensure you’ve got the financing you need, no matter what life throws your way.

Is Your Property Ready for Tenants?

Just because you bought a property doesn’t mean it’s ready for tenants. Zillow lists the following 12 items as things you need to get done before having renters: Rekey the locks, professionally clean the carpets, spruce up the yard, change air filters, get the interior professionally cleaned, replace broken lights, ensure ceiling fans have been inspected, remove all cob/spider webs, clean glass windows and doors, repair screens, spray for pests, and paint/repair/fix anything that needs it. Whew! It sounds like a lot, but these are necessities for a long and fruitful tenant/landlord relationship. If you’re not up to doing this to your rental property just yet, perhaps it’s not a good time for you to become a landlord.

Do You Have the Time to Properly Vet Your Tenants?

The most important part about becoming a landlord is thoroughly screening your prospective tenants, as the last thing you want is to end up with deadbeats who can’t pay the rent or that trash your place. You need to have them fill out a thorough application, talk to past landlords, verify employment, collect references, and run background and credit checks. If a misdemeanor or two comes up in your prospect’s past, it’s really up to you to ascertain whether that’s a risk or not. To ensure you place the right candidate, you should enlist tenant verification services from SmartMove. If you have the time and the inclination to run through this whole process, you could very well be ready to be a landlord. If not, however, you might want to wait until this is something you can commit to.

Are You Ready to Handle the Maintenance?

As we mentioned above, “you know what” happens in life and your rental unfortunately won’t be immune to life’s curveballs. There will be inevitable maintenance issues. Are you a DIYer who actually enjoys handling these fixes yourself? If so, becoming a landlord right now might be just what you need to be doing. If not, however, you need to be ready to hand the baton to a reliable maintenance person. And if you don’t live in the area, you need to assign someone who is near the rental property to either do the fixes or outsource them. If the idea of this is overwhelming to you, perhaps this isn’t the line of work for you right now.

Is it a good time to become a landlord? If what we’ve mentioned sounds not only manageable to you but you’re more than up to the challenge, then we say go for it. If these items seem beyond what your life will allow at the moment, then perhaps you need to wait until a later date to think about becoming a landlord.

 

 

Starting a Business

Many individuals have a dream to start their own business. They have a business idea and want to make their dreams come true by starting their entrepreneurial adventure. Ideas, business sense and time are all required to make this happen but a major factor in starting a business is money. A lot of money is needed to jumpstart your ideas.

Some people are blessed with already having startup funds either by saving, inheritance or previous success. However, for most of us, it is required to take on a source of debt to start your business. Below are examples of different sources to help you in your journey.

Loan

The most popular form of debt for a business to start is a loan. Most loans are an offered product from a bank but some people take on loans from investors.

When an individual or business offers funds for you to borrow, it can be referred to as a loan. When someone does this they typically ask for a percentage of ownership in the business. They are taking a risk on your idea and think you will succeed so ask for this in return.

If you do not have individuals lending you money, you must go to a bank to acquire a loan. There are many things you need to consider when you apply for a business loan. In order to be approved for a loan, you and your business need to have good credit. If you do not have good credit than you may not be approved or you may receive a high interest rate. In some cases, business owners have people co-sign the loan in order to allow them to be approved. It is also important that you evaluate if your business should even take on the debt. Taking on debt is a major responsibility and can affect your credit if not paid back in a timely manner.

Credit Cards

An easier form of funding for a business is a credit card. The total dollar amount will be smaller than a loan but it can help you afford smaller start up costs. The application process is a lot easier than applying for a loan, however the standards as to which you can be approved are similar. You still need to have good credit. It is best to shop around for the best interest rate and rewards to make it the most economical.

Line of Credit

Another form of debt that can be acquired to start your business is a line of credit. A line of credit is basically a combination of a loan and a credit card. You are approved for a sum of money and you can tap into it/pay it back however you like. An advantage to this product is its flexibility. Your business can be approved for a certain amount but you do not necessarily need to use it. This means that you only spend the money that you need to and aren’t tempted to spend the whole lump sum.

Overall, there are many resources out there for businesses to tap into. If you have a business idea and want to follow your dream, look into any of the products above to help make it happen.

Three Ways to Invest in Gold for Financial Freedom

Does it make you sick to see your investments dwindle right before your eyes? It’s no secret that the United States economy isn’t doing well. There’s no light at the tunnel just yet either. So what are we supposed to do? Just let our investment sit there and do nothing or disappear?

NO! It’s Time for Gold

If you research the history of the gold market, you’ll see that gold prices have been increasing for the past 10 years. While the best time to invest in it was in the early 2000s, there’s still time for you to benefit from gold’s expected increase.

Experts project that gold prices will continue to rise throughout 2012 into 2014. And when you look at the history of gold, whenever the global economy was at its worse, gold prices either remained stable or increased. Why?

People have traditionally always turned to gold when paper wasn’t doing well. It’s because it’s a more solid investment. The value of it remains the same across the world so it can be taken anywhere at any time for cash in. With this traditional concept in mind, it’s no wonder that investors have been turning to gold now.

How to Invest in Gold

If you’re wondering how to invest in gold, there are three ways to do it.

  • Gold Coins
  • Gold Bullion
  • Gold Stocks

Gold Coins

Gold coins are best for moderate investors who want to just get their feet wet in gold investment. You can start with one coin and then add to your collection as you see how lucrative it is.

A great benefit of gold coins is that splitting up your collection is much easier with coins than bullions. You can simply give coins to relatives but you can’t break up bullion. So if you’re looking for an investment to hand down to generations, coins are the best way to go.

Gold Bullion

Don’t think that you have spend tens of thousands of dollars on gold bullion. You can purchase smaller ones that are much less expensive. Browse the availability of them to find out which one fits your investment strategy the best.

Once you purchase your bullion, it comes in a block so it’s easily stored. Find a commercial vault, place it in a bank’s security deposit box or seek insurance on it if you want to store it in your home.

Gold Stocks

Many investors have found great return on investing gold companies. These are the ones that are producing and distributing the gold.

Always research companies well to decide which one to invest in. You want a company that has an active area and has plans to start uncovering more area in the near future. Research the history of the company as well to make sure there isn’t any illegitimate past.

Start Investing in Gold

Now that you know why it’s a good time to invest in gold and how to invest in it, you’re ready to take that step into gold investment. Don’t sit and just let your money evaporate or do nothing for you. It’s time to take control of your money and make it work for you. It’s time to turn that money into gold.

This guest post was written by Marcelina Hardy, a freelance writer who specializes in helping people understand the benefits of investing in gold.