Tips On Picking "Sleeper" Real Estate Property

Real estate investing is all about perception. Your perception of where the market is going, in conjunction with where it’s actually going. The aim, as always is to buy low and sell high.

You want to buy a cheap tract of dirt and sell it as a high priced piece of developed real estate, after it’s appreciated enough to turn a tidy profit. Selling the property is an art in and of itself.

Buying an initial tract of dirt lends itself to some solid, rational guidelines:

First, look at trend lines for housing prices in your area. While most housing markets are in decline (and the housing markets in Florida and California are adjusting from more than a decade of over-valuation), there are markets where the housing prices are going up. This is a decent leading indicator that there’s a market for expansion.

Second, look for job related news. Home purchases require a steady source of income. New employers moving into a city, or a government branch office opening up are a strong indicator that good, well paying jobs are likely to come up. Where well paying jobs roost, home purchases follow.

Related to this, talk to your local city planning office. Are there recent purchases of “right of ways” to lay down sewer lines? Is the local telephone cable making plans to run out fiber optic lines – a “must have” trend in new home construction. These things point to areas where home growth is immanent. Other big tip offs are school bond issues (found in your local news paper) and new parks being opened up.

Before you look at the land, check out the adjacent commercial real estate usage. Look for “family friendly” or “residential friendly” commercial properties: Houses that are close to grocery and clothes shopping tend to fetch a higher price than ones that are farther away. If there’s a movie theater nearby, or plans for an elementary or middle school, factor that into the size of the homes you build, and what their amenities will be; buyers looking for those features are looking for “mover upper” homes – with a bit more floor space, and two (or three) bedrooms for the kids. Other spots to look for are anchor stores, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. These companies spend millions on surveys of purchasing patterns before buying a store location; if they’re buying a plot of land, you’ve got about a year to a year and a half window to look into nearby real estate for single family residential and rental residential properties.

You can even flip this on its side – if you can talk to a group of commercial real estate investors, building a shopping center as the nucleus for home development is also a viable combined strategy. This also applies to highly urban areas. Many downtown areas that have been abandoned by businesses can be converted to apartment buildings, and some of the older housing projects are being torn down for mixed-use spaces …

Tips For Organizing A Parade

Parades are a community gathering where units march along a designated route to the watchful eye of spectators. Parades are organized for a variety of reasons including to celebrate athletic championship victories, holidays, school events, festivals and grand openings of major businesses. Many have become annual events due to their popularity. Though parades only last a few hours a day, it requires weeks and sometimes months and years of advance planning to organize a successful event.

Complete all required paperwork and guidelines. Contact local authorities to receive the proper permits or clearance to hold a parade. Other responsibilities parade organizers may have include security and clean up. Ask local officials for further information or guidance on these and other possible issues to ensure you are in compliance with all regulations.

Set a date. Parades are held all year, primarily on the weekends. Select a date where there are not a lot of competing activities taking place. You want to establish a track record of good attendance should you decide to hold the parade on an annual basis.

Set rates for entry fees. To help cover the operation expenses, many organizers charge a fee for marching units to participate in the event. An exception is generally granted for public schools and government groups.

Hold a competition. One way to encourage groups to enter a parade is to make it a competitive event. Towards the end, though not the very end, of the parade route, set up a viewing stand with seating for dignitaries, invited guests and a panel of judges. Award prizes, such as trophies, to the best marching band, drum major and float, respectively. A judged event may generate more participation, media attention and public interest.

Decide what type of units to extend an invitation to. Floats, marching bands and equestrian units are staples of parades. Other ideas for units include dancers, musical groups, beauty queens and clowns and cyclists. A grand marshal is usually an honored guest who leads the parade. Use a car cover to prevent the vehicle the grand marshal is to ride in from getting dirty prior to the start of the parade. Further, make a list of the specific types of units you want to exclude from the event to avoid potential misunderstandings. A list of rules and regulations for the marching units to abide by should be provided to the marching units well in advance.

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Home Security – Six Top Apartment Security Tips

As recently as eight years ago home ownership was at an all-time high. Part of the reason for that of course was government intervention. Democrats came to the conclusion that home ownership was a right of everybody and it was government job to help everybody get a home. So they did away with the traditional requirements of getting a mortgage.

They made it so easy to get a home that people who had no business getting a home got one anyhow-thank you federal government!

This ultimately led to the collapse of the housing market led by literally millions of foreclosures on those same homeowners.

Most of these homeowners were then forced out of their homes. They needed a place to stay. So an unintended consequence of all this has been a rise in the demand for apartments.

Apartment complex owners are enjoying record high occupancy rates.

For those people who live in an apartment complex, they may develop a false sense of security. It is true that more and more complexes have made it more difficult to gain entry, there still hundreds of thousands of them where there is no secondary security point of entry. There is your front door and that's it!

Every week I read or hear about an apartment dweller who is accosted by a complete stranger. There are several things that apartment dwellers can do to improve their security even if the apartment complex owners won't.

Several of these tips apply to homes as well. They have been proven over time to be the most effective. So here are the top six apartment security tips to improve your apartment security.

1. Lock your door even when you're at home. I always suggest that you use some kind of an alarm, preferably a wireless security system. That way if someone breaks in, especially when you're not there, your neighbors will know.

2. Lock your windows even when you're at home.

3. Change the locks on your front door. As a new apartment owner you are given keys to your place. You have no idea how many other keys there are floating around. Even if you have to pay for the keys it is worth it for the peace of mind.

4. Don't develop a false sense of security. Just because there may be an extra security point in your complex, they are not foolproof.

5. Apartment complexes are notorious for shaving costs, especially when it comes to lighting. They are notorious also for poorly lit parking garages and areas in between buildings. The bad guys love darkened areas

6. And lastly, if you don't have a peephole in your front door, demand that you get one. You should never open your front door unless you absolutely know who is there.

Follow these six apartment security tips then get some home alarms including a wireless security system and you will be way ahead of the game.

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Tips for Single Mothers in Financial Distress

Solitary moms are able to obtain cash via a variety of sources. Fortunately, there are a big variety of ways single mothers can get monetary help, whether it’s via the federal government or their local college in scholarship money.

The easiest way to get money if you’re a single mom is by using a simple method. This method is what I call the “lowest hanging fruit” method. By picking the most affordable, simplest fruit to reach, you’re utilizing an efficiency principle. By expending less resources, you’re obtaining the same desired result. When a single mother is presented with different ways of getting financial aid, then she should choose the easiest ones first.

Three of the easiest ways are asking family for cash, accumulating money owed for you, and chopping back again on investing. First, single moms need to ask their folks for some dough. Chances are, your parents have the means and are just waiting for you to inquire for their help. Parents reside for their children and are usually very prepared to assist them out – particularly with regards to cash. If asking parents isn’t an option, then move to your closest relatives. Your grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins you are close with should be more than willing to help their fellow family member out. If you absolutely don’t think anyone in your family can or will help out – you can move on to other sources. Asking your children’s father is another great way to get financial assistance. You’re giving the father of your kids a chance to assist them. By helping you out, they are helping your children out.. You can especially get money if he has a job, and he isn’t currently paying child support. Most situations will side with the mother and take money straight out of his paycheck to help you and the children out. If the father is jobless – you can seek out governmental assistance. Many states have available programs to help single mothers out, especially when the father can’t. Don’t let that money sit unclaimed. That cash is owed for you and your children and it makes perfect sense to go after it. Also, ask his family for help too.

My final recommendation of getting financial aid is just by cutting back. Find things that you don’t need or can easily live without. Keep your children in mind when making a list. One way would be to cut back again your child care expenses. Have friends or family take care of them for you and be grateful. If they want compensation, tell them you will pay them back when you’re back on your feet. Most friends and family will abide. Also, no cable tv or internet at home – these can be bummed off of friends or Starbucks at any time. If you place your mind to it, you can discover a great deal of things you can otherwise get for totally free. As a single mother, any financial advantage can …

DIY – Skip Tracing: Tips From the Pros on Locating People

Looking for a child, mother, father? Maybe you are looking for a friend you have not seen for years. Perhaps you are looking for the father of your child who has skipped town along with his child support payments or an heir to an estate that is being inherited and you need to reach them for dispersement of property. Are you trying to get custody of a child and need to get court papers served on the other parent but they seem to keep disappearing and eluding service?

What ever your reason, there are many steps you can take to try and locate someone, many of which are free and will cost you nothing more than internet access. I will provide you with a few techniques and search options you can use to try and locate someone. Many of these tips are standard techniques used by investigators as part of their diligent check list when conducting skip tracing investigations. This list is by far not all inclusive but can possibly help you locate someone who is not intentionally trying to hide, and in some cases can locate someone who is trying to avoid detection.

Before trying to spy on, follow, or make contact with someone with whom you have no legal guardianship over, make sure you are aware of the laws in your state regarding harassment and peeping tom statutes. If you have any concern in this area, be sure to speak with your attorney or private investigator for assistance. In addition to trying to locate your target, if this is a missing person case, especially a child, make sure you contact your local Law Enforcement agency immediately and file a missing persons case. In North Carolina, you can be criminally charged for failing to report a missing child if you had grounds to believe they were missing. Here is the wording directly from North Carolina House Bill 149. Check your state for similar laws.

NC House Bill 149

14-318.5

(b) A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child who knowingly or wantonly fails to report the disappearance of a child to law enforcement is in violation of this subsection. Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, a violation of this subsection is punishable as a Class I felony.

(c) Any person who reasonably suspects the disappearance of a child and who reasonably suspects that the child may be in danger shall report those suspicions to law enforcement within a reasonable time. Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, a violation of this subsection is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Some of these techniques are more common than others but feel free to use these as you need.

1: Social Media-Check your targets social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. It never fails that people always feel compelled to post everything about themselves online for the world to …

Performance Bonds – 5 Tips on "How To Get Approved" and Performance Bond Advantages and Basics

Contractors are required to be approved for a surety bond facility in order to bid on and to complete most public or government jobs.

Types of Contract Bonds:

1) Construction Bonds guarantee that a construction company will complete a project as promised.

2) Bid Bonds guarantee that the contractor will agree to complete the project at the bid price and are able to meet other bonding required, if the bid is accepted.

3) Performance Bonds guarantee that the contractor will perform the contract as agreed.

4) Payment Bonds guarantee that the subcontractors, labourers and suppliers, will be paid, as agreed.

Other:

Maintenance Bonds, which guarantee against defects in materials or workmanship

License or Permit Bonds, which are required to get a license or permit under state/province or local law.

Labour and Material Bonds, which guarantee payment of labour and to material suppliers.

Advantages of Bonding for Contractors

Performance Bonds allow contractors to conform to biding requirements on government and private projects. Surety is NOT insurance – it is a financial guarantee. Being bonded increases the number and size of jobs that a contractor will have the opportunity to bid on. Providing surety bonds, in place of other forms of security (letters of credit) also allow contractors to retain their working capital.

How to get started

STEP 1: Find out what surety bonds are required for the project you are bidding on by looking in the tender documents. Some jobs require a 100% guarantee, for example, while other jobs require only 50%, for example.

STEP 2: Contact a specialty surety bond broker or agent. Your current insurance broker may have surety bond capabilities, however a specialist is highly recommended. Make sure whatever brokerage or agency you deal with is licensed in your state or province. It’s also best if they’re familiar with your specific type of industry. You’ll also want to be certain that the Surety Company that your broker or agent is recommending is federally approved. For a list of accepted companies, see USA: http://www.fms.treas.gov/c570/c570_a-z.html and Canada: http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=14494&section=text#appL

STEP 3: Gather the information requested by the surety bond broker or agent, who will then present it to one or more surety company underwriters for approval. Your broker or agent may have individual requirements, but it should include: financial statements prepared by an accountant / CPA, resumes of key employees, a business plan, evidence of a bank line of credit and sufficient cash flow, recommendations from completed projects, and other information relevant to your industry.

The goal is to impress upon to the Surety Company that you have the Capital, Capacity and Character, to complete jobs as contracted to do so. In other words, you keep your promises, meet your deadlines, have done or are doing similar work and have or have access to the necessary equipment and cash to complete future contracts.

STEP 4: Work with your surety broker or agent to supply additional information as requested by the surety company underwriter. Personal indemnity or guarantees, including personal net worth …

5 Holiday Weight Loss Tips & Their Reality Checks

Do you find it almost impossible to stay conscious and contentious about weight and nutrition during the holidays? Of course you do. More than half of all Americans are overweight: You're not alone.

A new government study might give you a ray of hope though: The study shows that Americans gain only about one pound over the holidays. The study found that people participating were influenced by two main factors over the holidays: The level of their hunger, and the level of their activity. In other words: Those who reported being less active or more hungry during the holidays had the greatest weight gain.

So common sense says: If you can stay focused on dealing with just those two things, you'll probably win your personal holiday weight loss battle. At the very least, you'll win by not adding more weight to what's already waiting to be shed.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of weight gain," says Dr. Samuel Klein, the Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. Louis, MO. "Preventing the increase in weight is a lot easier and better than actually gaining weight and then trying to get it off again."

So the answer seems simple: Eat less and exercise more. The reality of implementation of course, is far more difficult.

The good news is that most of the people overestimate how much weight they'd gained over the holidays. Fewer than 10% gain 5 pounds or more.

The bad news is: The small amount of weight gained is never lost. One pound of weight gain is quite a small amount, but since it's not usually lost again: The weight adds up over time – to obesity.

Now we all know there are tons of tips out and about this time of year, designed to help us keep from putting on that extra pound or two during the holidays. Unfortunately what's usually not talked about is: The reality of day-to-day holiday stress and situations. Let's explore the tips … along with their reality checks … in depth:

Weight Loss Tip 1: Stay active. The best thing you can do is try to stick to your normal schedule and routine.

Holiday Reality Check: It's pretty hard to have any kind of decent routine in the busy months of November and December. Busy people tend to sacrifice yoga classes, long walks, and visits to the gym because they need time for extra things like decorating the house, cooking, cleaning up before the visitors get there, and of course: Shopping.

The Good News: Walking around the shopping mall and stores is great exercise, and so is cleaning the house. In addition to those activities, decorating can be quite intensive too: You're climbing up and down to hang things; lifting, lugging, and dragging boxes out of storage; bending, twisting and turning to get it all looking just right. So don't beat yourself up about not making it to the gym … you're getting plenty of …

Scholarships For Single Moms – Suze Orman’s Tips For Single Moms to Get Financial Aid Revealed!

To be a single mom today is like one of the toughest thing to face in the world. One of the hardest things to do is to pay the huge bills. Dept is a hard reality for everyone but it turns out to be even harder for a single mom. Scholarships for single moms to get financial aid are a must these days. Looking at this, Suze Orman gives you some tips to get financial aid easily. Obama’s government has made this procedure quite easy in the year 2009.

You may begin this by consulting non profits around your resident who offer government financial aid for single moms. These organizations happen to offer assistance in employment, housing and even tuitions. State government also has offered programs to give help to single moms when they are in need. You may refer to TANF; it’s a program that helps you with food stamps, job training and assistance in placements. You can also take help from LIHEAP to give you assistance with the heating bill.

According to Suze Orman, Government assistance programs have certain criteria to give grants. Basic is that a single mom should be very poor in order to qualify for scholarship for single moms.

* Her income should not have many resources as well as they will just prove to be hurdles in her way.

* Some of the single mothers even have to resort in order to get a second job.

* Single mother is also offered to get counseling session to get over stress and frustration.

ASEAN organization gives scholarships for single mom to do their post graduation study. The fact that single parent households are getting increased in number day by day and the head is women leads to the fact that women should be independent and be financially settled. This organization makes it easier for single moms to get their post graduation degree and help them to take care of family side by side. University of waterloo deals with under graduation study and offers scholarships to single mothers.

Society survival in the United States may be dependent on the survival of single mother only. Scholarship for single moms is becoming easier to get provided you fulfill the conditions. This aid proves to be a safeguard for them.

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Important Tips For Getting Government Jobs

There has always been a huge demand for government jobs among the job seekers. Public sector jobs do not have a chance of the downsizing of the organization. This makes the life of a government employee safe and secure. Apart from job security, government jobs also offer good salary, reputation, attractive increment, fixed working hours, availability of holidays, perks and concessions.

To get government jobs, candidates are required to go through various exams and interviews, depending upon the organization’s recruitment process. You can find various institutes which train people for written recruitment exams. Here are a few tips to help you easily get government jobs:

Get Updates – It is important to find a good source to get latest government job updates. You can find these updates in employment newspaper, job portals and websites. Use these sources to find jobs that suits your educational qualification and personal interests.

Research – It is important to do proper research to have proper knowledge of the syllabus, exam pattern selection procedure and scheme of the exam. You should also consult previous years question papers while preparing.

Have a Positive Attitude – It is important to have strong self-confidence and a positive attitude. It is not necessary that you will get success in first time. Anything can happen with the result of competitive exams, but it is important not to lose hope and confidence. Don’t prepare for exams under pressure and target the exam that you want to give and collect all the details and study material of the exam to be well prepared.

Plan – Preparing without a clear plan will lead to failure. It is important to prepare a schedule before starting the preparation. Sound preparation is very important to crack exams. You can find various books for government exams in the market. Buy the required books and prepare systematically.

Practice – It is important to practice as much as possible to be perfect. Note down all the shortcuts, techniques and formulas in a separate notebook. Take mock tests and analyze yourself by checking the answer for every question.

Interview Preparation – Candidates who clear the written test are called for the direct face-to-face personal interview. Approaching the interview in the right manner is very important. Be confident and have a smile on your face while meeting the interviewer. Answer all the questions with a positive mindset. You can look for frequently asked questions online.

Positive mindset and right attitude hold the key to get government jobs.

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Grant Writing – Government Grant Facts & Writing Tips

Although no one single source of information covers all federal government grants, most federal agencies have some type of grant-making program. This article will help you become familiar with government grants by providing you with important federal government grant facts and grant writing tips.

Government Grant Facts

  • In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – or Stimulus Package – injected a historic $463 Billion in additional grant funding into the grant pipeline.
  • Typically, federal funding annually for grants is around $100 Billion, depending on who you talk to.
  • Despite a decline in funding for social service, health, and welfare programs in the mid-to-late 1980s, over a 20-year period starting in 1980, the U.S. government funding for grants more than doubled, increasing from $40 to $90 billion.
  • According to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, there are 1,999 Federal assistance programs.
  • At the time of writing this article, there are 64 federal granting departments and agencies. The top 5 grant-making departments – in terms of grant programs offered – are Health and Human Services (376), Agriculture (229), The Interior (203), Education (168), and Justice (124).

Government Grant Writing Tips

  • Find the Organizational Chart – To find information about federal grant programs, familiarize yourself with the organizational structure of the federal agencies. Check their website or ask for an organizational chart. Once you are familiar with the organizational structure, you can delve into appropriate reference materials that describe grant opportunities.
  • Ask About Technical Assistance – Often, governmental agencies conduct training – often referred to as technical assistance. These are sessions to familiarize you with funding guidelines and priorities. They assist you with completing appropriate forms and applications. These are informative and provide grant writers with opportunities to meet agency staff and ask questions.
  • Contact Your U.S. Senator and Representative – Elected officials are sometimes able to assist you in your grant writing efforts. They can help search for funding for initiatives they find particularly relevant to their constituents, political platforms, and geographic regions they represent. They can even introduce new legislation to provide funding.
  • Keep Taxpayers In Mind – Keep foremost in your mind that federal funds are the result of taxes paid by people like you and me. It is your responsibility to make sure the plan you propose shows how you will account for these tax dollars. One way to do this is by closely aligning your project outcomes with your budget. Avoid padding budgets and rounding up numbers that might threaten your credibility.

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