Meghan McCormick's Blog
When thinking about investments, the first rule is to diversify. This allows you to invest in a few different things that may vary in risk or pay off. One option for diversifying investments comes in the form of real estate. For many people, purchasing a home is one of the most expensive investments they will make in a lifetime but don't forget that housing prices tend to appreciate in value. This means that there are investment opportunities available in this industry.
Look for a Real Estate Crowdfund
One of the most popular options is to look for a real estate crowdfunding opportunity. Many people don't have the savings to purchase real estate directly. If that is the case, look for opportunities to pool your money with the funds of other investors to purchase a property. This is termed crowdfunding. This is similar to investing in the stock market; however, instead of purchasing shares of a company, you can purchase shares of real estate properties. As the real estate property goes up in value, so will the value of the investment. This allows people to invest in money without starting with a large sum.
Purchase Property Directly
Another option for investing in real estate is to purchase property directly. Some refer to this as "flipping;" however, the actual process is more complex. When evaluating real estate investment opportunities, the key is to look for properties that have significant upside. This may come in the form of homes that need just a few repairs or property in a location that is expected to grow in popularity over the next few years. This way you know you have a good chance of selling the property for a profit within a reasonable amount of time. If you're interested in this option, it is important to build a team of real estate agents, contractors, and other experts that know the local area. This can help you can stay ahead of trends and keep in touch with any shifts in the market.
Rent Out Existing Properties
After purchasing property, is also important to generate an income as the property increases in value. Consider renting the property to reliable tenets. If it's not something you want or have time for, hire a property management company to help with landlord tasks such as routine maintenance or vetting tenants. This allows you to not only generate capital gains but also have a steady, reliable stream of income.
0 Old Montague, Amherst, MA 01002
Although it may seem like the Internet and email have always been an integral part of our daily lives, those modes of modern communication have only been around for the past two decades or so.
With technology like video teleconferencing, online document sharing, and other collaborative tools becoming commonplace in the business arena, more and more companies are allowing (and even encouraging) their employees to work from home -- at least a couple days a week. For better or worse, many employees, managers, and executives are putting in lots of overtime from their home offices.
Whether you're telecommuting for a job or running your own home-based business, having a dedicated work space can make all the difference in your ability to stay focused and productive. Not only can you control distractions by closing the door, but having a separate work space at home makes it easier to stay organized and maintain a professional image. Depending on the layout of your house, the cooperation of your family, and neighborhood zoning regulations, it may even be possible to meet with clients at your home office.
While some people don't have a problem setting up their laptop and working at the kitchen table, in their bedroom, or the living room, problems can arise when your spouse or other members of the family want to use your temporary work space for something else!
Other potential complications are possible, too: When people in your household have easy access to your computer, work files, and research materials, there's also the possibility of accidentally losing unsaved documents, unfinished emails being prematurely sent or closed, and having to deal with spills, sticky surfaces, misplaced work materials, and other miscellaneous mishaps! On the other hand, setting aside a dedicated work space at home for tackling office projects, preparing reports, or creating client proposals can help you avoid losing valuable work, missing deadlines, and looking unprofessional.
Home Offices Are a Selling Point
In addition to making your own life more organized and less chaotic, there's also the advantage of increasing your home's marketability. If you happen to be considering putting your house on the market now or in the near future, having a dedicated office space will help make your home look more appealing to potential buyers.
Today, more than ever, the idea of having a home office is on many people's minds and priority lists -- or at least, their "wish list". When prospective buyers can envision ways in which your home can meet their lifestyle goals, business objectives, and career requirements, they'll be a lot more likely to seriously consider making an offer on your house.
As more and more people pursue work-at-home options, freelancing opportunities, advanced degrees, and home-based businesses, a dedicated office space will continue to be a highly desirable feature for both current and future home owners.
Deciding to put up a fence on your property may seem like a simple decision, but there are a lot of things to consider before hiring a contractor to get it done.
One question to ponder is whether your neighbors might be offended or annoyed by the sudden appearance of a fence near the edge of their property. The answer to that question would partly depend on your relationship with your neighbor, the size of your lot, and whether the fence is tasteful or an eyesore. The problem with that standard is that "tasteful" is in the eyes of the beholder!
Tall fences can and sometimes do have a way of changing the look and feel of your immediate neighborhood, so the installation of a fence could potentially cause resentment from other property owners. The decision to put up a fence on your property is a personal one, but there's also a lot of value in maintaining friendly neighbor relations. (It can be a delicate balance!)
One Step at a Time
In some places, local ordinances or Homeowner Association rules may impose restrictions on fences and other structures. Many towns and municipalities require that you (or your contractor) obtain a building permit before putting up a fence, so a quick phone call or email to the appropriate local official can shed light on requirements, restrictions, and other assorted rigmarole!
Since the cost of installing a fence can easily run into the thousands, it always pays to get a few estimates and proposals from reputable fence companies. Other decisions include choosing the best height and composition of the fence. Fencing materials range from metal and chain link to vinyl and wood. Composite fencing materials are also an option.
Your choice will depend on a lot of factors, including cost, durability, maintenance aspects, and appearance. Online information, free brochures, and meetings with contractors can help you learn more and make an informed decision.
Once you've moved beyond the potential issues of installing a fence on your property, there are several distinct advantages to fencing in your back yard.
- Enhanced privacy: While "privacy" can mean different things to different people, a tall fence offers an immediate solution to a variety of privacy-related problems.
- Pet containment: If you don't always have the time or energy to take your dog(s) for a walk in the neighborhood, it's a major convenience to be able to let them out in a contained area to relieve themselves and get a little fresh air. It can also be a good way to keep them safe and out of trouble!
- Wildlife barrier: Although there are often gaps at the bottom of fences that prevent fences from being completely wildlife-proof, a properly installed fence can drastically reduce the chances of wildlife sneaking their way into your back yard. Whether you want to protect your vegetable garden or pets from wild animals, a solid fence can be the barrier that you need.
- Increased security: While fences are not always an impervious barrier to burglars, trespassers, and other intruders, it does provide some protection from those potential threats.
Purchasing a home may prove to be a good idea. In fact, there are many reasons to pursue a house, and these include:
1. You can purchase a home that you can call your own.
There is nothing quite like the feeling an individual typically experiences after he or she buys a house. If you conduct a search for your dream residence, you can enjoy this one-of-a-kind feeling in the near future.
Of course, if you decide to purchase a home, you may want to establish property buying criteria. This will allow you to hone your home search and accelerate the property buying journey.
As you put together homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside and what features you want to find in your ideal residence. Then, you can begin the homebuying journey with a plan to achieve the best-possible results.
2. You could save money over the long haul.
Let's face it – the costs of renting an apartment, condo or house can add up over time. On the other hand, a home is a long-term investment that may help you save money in comparison to renting a property.
If you decide to launch a home search, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage too. Banks and credit unions are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these financial institutions can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. As a result, if you meet with banks and credit unions in your area, you can find a mortgage that complements your finances perfectly.
3. You can personalize your residence however you choose.
A house is more than just a place where you eat, sleep and store all of your personal belongings. And if you acquire a residence, you can transform an ordinary house into a personalized home.
As a homeowner, you can paint your home any color you choose, perform assorted house upgrades and much more. Therefore, homeowners enjoy unprecedented flexibility and can customize a house so it matches or exceeds their expectations.
For those who are ready to pursue a house, it often helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer plenty of guidance throughout the property buying journey and ensure you can quickly discover your dream house.
A real estate agent will keep you up to date about houses that fall within your price range, set up home showings and help you submit an offer to purchase your ideal residence. Plus, a real estate agent will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to help you pay the lowest price for your dream home. And if you ever have concerns or questions during your home search, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them right away.
Ultimately, buying a home is a good idea for many people. If you hire a real estate agent today, you can instantly start a home search and move one step closer to acquiring your dream residence.