Category Archives: Finance

Furnished versus Unfurnished

Renters will often be faced with the decision of whether to opt for a furnished apartment or an unfurnished apartment. The majority of apartments available for rent are likely to be unfurnished apartments but there are some apartments which are available with furnishings. There are some situations in which it makes sense to choose a furnished apartment. Likewise there are situations in which a furnished apartment is not a good idea. This article will discuss these situations in an effort to assist the reader in determining whether or not it is better to rent a furnished apartment or an unfurnished apartment.

iqmatics_ss2What Does Furnished Mean?

A furnished apartment may mean different things to different people. Some renters may expect a furnished apartment to have each and every room completely furnished with every possible piece of furniture. Typical furnishings may include a bed, a dresser, nightstands, alarm clock with built in radio, a television, stereo equipment, DVD player, an entertainment center, couch, coffee table, end tables, kitchen table and kitchen chairs. It may also include dining room furniture such as a dining room table, chairs and a curial cabinet. Others may assume a furnished apartment includes only the necessary furnishings such as a bed, couch, kitchen table and chairs. This essentially eliminates all electrical equipment as well as furniture deemed to be decorative in nature such as a coffee table, end tables or nightstands.

When is a Furnished Apartment a Good Idea?

A furnished apartment is a good idea for recent college graduates who lived on campus in a dorm room prior to graduation. These students likely have very little furniture of their own. In this case, renting a furnished apartment may be more economical than purchasing enough furniture to live comfortably in the apartment.

The overall cost of a furnished apartment may be higher in the long run because the renter may pay more but those who are unable to pay a great deal of money upfront to furnish an apartment might not mind paying this additional amount. For these renters, they are not likely to notice the impact of a slightly higher monthly rent payment but they would definitely feel the impact of significant purchases such as a bed, couch or dining room set.

When is an Unfurnished Apartment a Good Idea?

There are certain situations in which an unfurnished apartment is a good idea. This includes a situation where the renter has already accumulated enough furniture to furnish the entire apartment. In this case, selecting a furnished apartment would not make sense because the renter would have to find a location to store either his own furniture or the furniture supplied by the apartment complex. The cost of storage can add up very quickly. Additionally, the renter probably pays a higher rent to stay in a furnished apartment.

An unfurnished apartment is also a good idea when the renter currently does not have any furniture but is looking forward to purchasing furniture and has already saved up enough money to make these purchases. In this situation the renter will likely select an unfurnished apartment and plan on shopping for furniture almost immediately after taking possession of the rental property.

Storing Extra Furniture

Renters who opt for a fully furnished apartment when they already have a sufficient amount of furniture have to determine what they will do with their furniture while they are staying in the rental apartment. The options are basically as follows:furniture

* Sell or give away all currently owned furniture
* Store your own furniture
* Store the furniture which comes with the apartment

While each of the above options is certainly valid, the renter should seriously consider whether or not they want to pay additional storage fees just to rent a furnished apartment. Renters who plan to sell or donate their current furniture do not face this dilemma but those who plan to store one set of furniture should carefully consider the price of storage. They should also consult with the leasing agent to determine if there are any contract items which prohibit placing furniture owned by the apartment complex in an offsite storage facility. There may be provisions which allow for these items to be stored but require them to be stored onsite.

Finding A Real Estate Agent

Whenever you buy or sell real estate, you may be like millions of other people out there, in thinking that you don’t need a real estate agent.  Most people who buy or sell homes, generally think that a real estate agent is a waste of money.  Those who choose to buy a new home, think that real estate agents only add to the cost of purchasing the home.

What most people aren’t aware of, is the fact that real estate agents are normally paid by the seller, not by the buyer.  As a buyer, you’ll get to work with a professional real estate agent without really having to pay for it yourself.  The policies can vary greatly from state to state and company to company, which is why you should always check any paperwork or contracts that are provided to you to ensure this is the case.  When you are interviewing agents, make certain to ask about any type of fees as well.

A lot of real estate agents out there may work with both buyers and sellers, although most specialize in working with either the buyer or the seller.  If you are buying a home, make sure that the agent you choose has prior experience of working with buyers and transactions that involve no money down.  This way, you can count on your agent to be there when you need him the most – especially if you don’t have a down payment.

If you are interviewing a real estate agent and he or she isn’t familiar with down payment assistance programs, you shouldn’t hire their services.  Agents who aren’t familiar with these types of programs generally aren’t on the level, or they may lack the experience necessary to help you purchase the home of your dreams.
You can also make a list of real estate agents that you can interview based on referrals from friends, lenders, and even family. Lender referrals are normally a great choice as most lenders have worked with their recommendations in the past and both are already familiar with each other.  Choosing a lenders referral can also prevent you from encountering any obstacles or surprises.

When you interview a real estate agent, make sure that you have the agent explain his fees.  This way, you’ll know exactly how much he will be getting from the purchase.  You should also find out how much experience he has in the field, and how long he has been working with real estate.  You can also ask about sample contracts as well.  If you are buying a home, you should make sure that the agent works with buyers.  If you happen to be selling your home, then you’ll want to make sure that the agent works with sellers. Agents that are dedicated to one or the other are the best to choose, as they will have more experience than agents who work with both buyers and sellers.

Find a real estate agent is an easy task – providing you know what to look for.  If you take things one step at a time and carefully make a decision, chances are that you’ll end up with an agent who has the experience you want.  You should always be careful when you choose, and never rush the process.  Real estate agents are easy to find, although finding one who fits your needs and has your budget in mind is a little tougher to locate.  When you make that final decision, you should always choose an agent who has your best interest in mind – and isn’t just after the money.

Cash Out Refinance

A cash out refinance basically enables the homeowner to use the equity in their home to provide additional funds for other purposes. The homeowners than repay the existing balance plus the additional amount over the course of the loan period and are given a check for the amount above and beyond the balance of the exiting mortgage. The homeowners can use this check for any purpose they choose now and repay the debt along with the rest of refinanced amount.

When is a Cash Out Refinance possible?
A cash out option is available when there is existing equity in the home. This is important because the lender is able to justify the practice of offering increased funds to the homeowner due to the value of the property. This is because the lender feels as though the security of having the home for collateral does not put them at a high risk for the homeowner defaulting on the loan.

Homeowners who wish to take advantage of a cash out refinance offered by a lender should inquire as to whether or not the lender offers this type of refinancing. This is important because not all lenders offer this option. It should actually be one of the first questions the homeowner asks when inquiring about refinancing programs. Doing so will save homeowners, who are seeking a cash out refinance, a great deal of time. With cash out refinancing, you need to weigh the benefit of how you’re going to use the money against the amount of time it will take to pay off the loan.
How Can the Cash be Used?
For many homeowners the most appealing aspect of cash out refinancing is that the additional funds can be used for any purpose desired by the homeowner. The homeowner does not even have to offer the lender an explanation of how the additional funds will be used. This is important because once the lender writes the check for the additional funds, he has no concern for how the money is used. This is because the amount of the additional funds is rolled into the refinanced mortgage. The lender simply focuses on the homeowner’s ability to repay the mortgage and is not concerned with how the homeowner uses the funds which are released in the cash out.

While the purpose of a cash out refinance does not have to be disclosed to the lender, the homeowner would be wise to use these funds in a judicious manner. This is because the homeowner will be responsible for repaying these funds to the lender. Some of the popular uses for funds collected from cash out refinancing include:

* Undertaking home improvement projects
* Purchasing items for the home
* Taking a vacation
* Putting money in a child’s tuition fund
* Purchasing a vehicle
* Starting a small business

All of the reasons listed above are excellent uses of a cash out re-finance option. Homeowners who are considering this type of a refinancing option should also consider whether or not the deductions are tax deductible. Using the cash out option to make home improvements one of the example of a situation where the funds can be tax deductible. Homeowners should consult their tax attorney on the matter to determine whether or not they are able to deduct the interest from the repayment of their refinancing loan.

Example Cash Out Refinancing :
The process of a cash out refinancing option is fairly easy to illustrate with a simple example. Consider a homeowner who purchases a $150,000 with a 7% interest. Now consider the homeowner has already repaid $50000 of the loan and would like to borrow an additional $20,000 to make a rather large purchase or invest in a small business. With this additional funding available the homeowners have the opportunity to use the equity in their home to make their dreams come true. In the example above the homeowner may refinance for a total of $120,000 at a lower interest rate such as 6.25%. This process allow the homeowner to take advantage of the existing equity in their home and also allows the homeowner to qualify for a substantial loan at a rate typically reserved for refinancing or home loans.



Pet Health Insurance

Recent revelations in scientific research have provided pet owners with the means to now save their beloved family pets from injuries and diseases that would have caused the pet to be euthanized in the not so distant past. The sad news is that when the unthinkable happens and a pet life hangs in the balance most pet owners find that they are unable to afford the often staggering price of the treatments which can range from $3000-$10000 and some cases even more, and are forced to euthanize their pets anyway. It is in these instances that pet owners wish they had the foresight to purchase a pet health insurance policy.Pet health insurance is similar to human health insurance. Pet owners who purchase pet health insurance plans from pet health insurance companies do so for a variety of reasons. Pet insurance makes health care more affordable because, at its core, pet insurance is a way to budget a small amount in anticipation of a large veterinary bill. Pet insurance reimburses you on your vet bills when your pet is sick or injured, to help take the financial worry out of vet visits.

They might be intrigued by the idea that they will be able to save on their pets annual trip to the vet or they might just be worried that if a serious health crisis develops they wont be able to afford the treatment.

Varsity BallPet owners can pick from a variety of plants such as pet fatality/mortality insurance, major medical insurance, and basic medical insurance (policy names may vary from company to company.) Many pet health care insurance companies offer option a variety of additional riders to complement the pet health care insurance plan.

Mortality/fatality pet insurance is similar to human life insurance. The owner pays a premium every month the pet is alive in any event of its death the owner is reimbursed a predetermined amount of money. While the mortality/fatality insurance does not take the sting out of losing a beloved family pet it may help of any additional medical bills that accumulated at the end of your pet’s life. Many owners used the check to assist with purchasing a new family pet. One thing’s owners should be aware of when they possess AA mortality/fatality pet insurance plan is that most companies require that the owner contact them be for the pet is euthanized. They will often asked to speak to the veterinarian in charge of your pet’s case.

Basic medical health insurance typically  covers accidents, illnesses, emergency care, and much more. One popular insurance company offers a plan that pays from cuts to cancer up to $1000; most pet owners use this plan for emergencies only. Pet owners are advised to purchase a pet health care insurance plan as early in their pet’s life as possible. Many insurance companies and veterinarians point out that most freak accidents happen in the early years of a pet’s life. Owners should be aware that most pet health insurance plans do not convert genetic dis-orders that develop in certain breeds and some of the more expensive surgeries. Most insurance plans also will not touch pre-existing conditions

Horse owners may want to consider purchasing a loss of use policy for their horses. A loss of use policy pays if the force is injured so badly it is no longer able to be ridden or bred, but is not so badly injured to justify euthanizing the animal.


Pet Health Insurance Coverage

A decrease in students applying to and getting accepted into veterinary colleges, expensive state-of-the-art equipment, liability insurance, expensive prescription drugs, and the cost of maintaining a veterinary clinic/office has inflated pet owners veterinary bills to never before imagined prices. When the beloved pet suddenly falls ill or is injured in an accident many pet owners find themselves forced to put the pet to sleep in a decision called economic euthanasia. Many pets could have been saved from economic euthanasia if their owners had only thought to purchase pet health insurance coverage.

The cost of veterinary expenses for the average dog owner is approximately two hundred and eleven dollars a year.  The average dog owner will visit the local veterinary office about 2.8 times a year. The typical reasons for dog owners to take their dog to the local veterinarian is their basic routine health care such as physicals, vaccines, dental work, neutering or spaying, nail trimming, and heartworm testing.

The typical cat owner will visit the veterinary and 2.3 times per year to take care of declawing, physicals, vaccines, dental work, neutering or spaying, and ear mites and average yearly cost for these 2.3 visits to the local veterinarian each year it is approximately one hundred and seventy-nine dollars. These statistics are based on a 2005 survey done by the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association.Drool Fuel

Pet health insurance coverage and is insurance coverage that helps pay veterinary costs if your family pet becomes ill or is injured. Depending upon the policy you purchase your family may be reimbursed if your family pet is stolen, lost, or dies. Pet owners purchased pet health insurance coverage for a few various reasons. The main reason people purchase pet health insurance coverage is to pay for unanticipated and extremely expensive veterinary bills. In many cases the purchase of pet health insurance coverage can be the difference between a recovery and economic euthanasia for many family pets.

Purr-Packs are toys, treats and treasures delivered to your door every month!Pet health insurance coverage is not a brand new concept.  Horse owners have been ensuring their valuable show and pleasure mounts against major medical bills and the fatality/mortality for years. In Europe cut health-care coverage has been available since the 1940s and approximately 25% of all British pet owners care in some type of pet health insurance coverage. It is estimated that nearly 50% called loved household family pets have some type of pet health insurance coverage. All developed countries offer some type of pet health insurance coverage.

Many dog owners in the United Kingdom also carry a type of insurance called Third Party Liability insurance. This insurance became popular after the 1971 animals act came into being; this act states that if a dog is directly responsible for an accident, like a car crash, the dog’s owner will be held accountable.

Pet health insurance coverage does not typically cover potential hereditary conditions, pre-existing conditions, and normally include a cap on surgeries and other miscellaneous medical expenses. Some pet insurance companies will also cover the cost boarding your pet at a local kennel or veterinary hospital.

Apartment Hunting

Electric Radiators Direct

Apartment hunting or apartment finding can be broken down into three simple steps. Make sure you’ve gone through all to determine which option is the best.

Set your budget
For many renters the most important consideration is how much they are willing to spend on an apartment per month. You should consider your monthly income and subtract out all of your monthly expenses from this amount. Once this amount is established you will have a better understanding of the type of apartment you are affordable.

Research available properties
Once a budget has been set, you should begin researching the properties which fall within your budget range. It is likely to consider properties which are slightly above the range as well as properties which are slightly below the range. Doing this will allow you to see if there is an opportunity to either make improvements on the amount of monthly spending to allow for the renting of a more expensive property. You can also determine whether or not you feel there is the opportunity to negotiate a lower rental rate on a particular property.

Comparison Shop
Once you have narrowed down your list of possible apartment complexes to a more manageable number it is time to start visiting these properties. It is during this step that you will really get a feel for the quality of the apartment as well as the amount and quality of amenities offered by the complex. This is very important because this information can be used to decide between properties which are otherwise very similar. The comparison shopping process is also worthwhile because it gives you some bargaining power in negotiating more favorable rent rates.

Rely on your senses
Odd smells and noises you notice during a showing could end up being a major problem when you move in. Natural light, or a lack thereof, can make all the difference in the world, so try to attend a daytime open house rather than looking at the apartment after work.

Safety
Survey around on the area safety. Introduce yourself to your potential neighbours and ask them a few basic questions about what it’s like to live there. Just because you were looking for a more affordable place didn’t mean you were willing to compromise your safety.


Online Shopping For Used Items

Online shopping, buying goods on the Internet has gone from being virtually non-existent to become worth billions of dollars each year. Using the Internet to shop not only getting the consumer the great deal, saving their time but also help the consumer to find used items which are difficult to find.

Craigslist
Craigslist is one of the most well known online store in the market. This is a website which is divided by city and allows users to post descriptions and photos of items they are offering for sale. Visitors to Craigslist can either search for items available for sale in their own city or they can opt to search for items available in other cities as well. However, many online shoppers opt to search for items in their own city simply because they can avoid shipping charges this way. Many users selling an item on Craigslist will either meet the buyer at a public location to exchange the item for the previously agreed upon fee or will enable the buyer to come to their home to pick up the item. However, users who opt to purchase an item from another city will likely be responsible for paying any shipping and insurance charges associated with having the item shipped. Online shoppers are advised to exercise caution when picking up an item purchased on Craigslist. Although the majority of users are honest, there may be the potential for harmful individuals who also use the site. Agreeing to meet the buyer in a public location and bringing along a friend are both recommended.

eBay
Auction site eBay is one of the biggest go-to bargain retailers on the web. This means the shoppers must bid against other shoppers for items they wish to purchase. There are some items posted on eBay which are available for immediate purchase but the majority of postings utilize the auction process. Through the auction process registered users can search through the available listings to find items on which they would like to bid. Once these items are found, the users enter a maximum amount they are willing to pay for the item and bids are placed automatically for the user until the maximum is reached. Once the maximum bid is reached the user may opt to raise the bid if another user outbids him. Items up for auction have a set ending time and the highest bid at the conclusion of the bidding period wins the item. After this the user must pay for the item and the seller ships the item to the user.

Evaluating Used Items Online
When shopping online for used items, the shopper does not have the ability to carefully examine the item. Therefore the buyer must rely on pictures and descriptions provided by the seller to evaluate the quality, condition and authenticity of the item. If the photos and descriptions provided are not adequate for this purpose the shopper should ask for additional photos or information as necessary. Where possible, meet face to face to see the item and exchange payment.

Since you know the goods are second-hand, several factors will affect how long you can expect them to last or what’s acceptable in appearance. These factors include how much you paid for the goods, information you received about them, and their general wear and tear.

Power Tools for Women

The use of power tools by women has evolved as the family structure changed over time. Women have become more independent and the chores of the household have become less divided by gender. While women can operate most any power tool, there are some out there designed specifically for women to use. The Barbara K line features a cordless drill that is very light, yet very powerful. The cordless power screwdriver is the best selling power tool of the line. It is light weight and very easy to use.

women-and-power-toolsThe idea of power tools for women is catching on. The Unbelievable Saw is a hand saw for women that is great for cutting limbs. This saw cuts well and is simple to use. It is also light weight. Women enjoy doing home projects, and finding the right tool can be hard. Black and Decker offers the Project Mate. It is a three in one tool – featuring a scraper, detail sander, and a screwdriver. It doesn’t weight much, fits in the palm of a lady’s hand, and fits in small spaces.

Wrenches can be difficult to maneuver in some areas. Craftsman has the Flex Wrench set in both standard and metric, with seven sizes of wrenches. They are great for getting into tight spaces. They also help give you some added strength to loosen or tighten anything.

A screwdriver is an essential tool for any woman to have. You never know when it will come in handy. Snap-on has the PentaGrip screwdriver that is amazing. It has a button on the top so you can lock the head into position. The handle is designed for smaller hands and has a soft grip.

When looking to purchase power tools for women, it is a good idea to learn which ones are necessary, and where they can be found. Those manufacturers who take this market demand seriously are going to be able to profit from such products. Women don’t want just a smaller version of the power tools out there or the color changed to something pretty. They want power tools that are easy to use and get the job done.

Power Tools for Left Handers

Most power tools on the market are designed solely for use by right-handed people. However, if you happen to be left-hander, then you may realize just how difficult it is to operate particular power tools. The on/off switch being in a location that isn’t convenient or easy to get to in the event of an emergency is the most common complaint.

With saws, the most common complaint for left hander is that the blade is on the right hand side which makes it difficult for them to operate. The left hander has two choices – hold it the wrong way and hope the cut ends up being straight or face it the other way around with the blade coming at you and the materials coming at you. Neither is a very effective option.

There are some great power tools on the market that can be used easily for left handers including power screwdrivers, routers, nailers, drills, and sanders. This is because the manufacturers have worked hard to redesign them. The on/off switch is generally located in the middle of the power tool so it can be accessed from the right side or the left side.

A mainly unknown brand of power tool, Porter-Cable, has introduced a circular saw kit that features the blade on the left hand side. The reviews of this power tool show it is very inexpensive, around $100 and sees to work very well for a variety of materials. This might be a great saw for left handers to try out. It seems like it would be much safer than the right handed saw options we discussed above.

Panasonic offers a cordless drill that is designed for the left handers. In addition, it is getting rave reviews for being a great working power tool that recharges very quickly. Unfortunately, there still aren’t enough to make a good selection.

Left handed tool belts are becoming a very popular item manufactured by many tool makers. This is very helpful and a step in the right direction, especially for left handers who work in the construction industry. They commonly wear a tool belt for eight to twelve hours a day, five or six days per week.

It appears that the power tool industry has made some steps in the right direct when it comes to making the majority of power tools accommodating for both left handed and right handed individuals. Moving the power switch made a huge different on many of these power tools. In the past, left handers had to reach in front of the power tool, and that could be a potential risk for injury. Now most of the major power tools have the power switch in the center.

Since there are so many left hander in our society, and it is no longer something looked down on, there is a huge demand for power tools to work for them. Creating power tools that appeal to this market seems like a great opportunity for power tool manufacturers. There has been some progress in this area over the past ten years, and the trend indicates that more changes will continue to meet the power tool needs of left handers. They will be able to purchase power tools that are effective, safe, and work with them instead of them having to find a way to adjust to the right handed set up.

Personal Loan Research

Looking for a good deal on a personal loan? Taking the time to research the area of personal loans can be exciting for those interested in finding the best rates and lenders to work with. While this can be time consuming, it also levels the playing field. It can often give you the leverage to negotiate the personal loan types you want from a reputable lender. This is also a great way to prevent yourself from being taken advantage of by a few scrupulous lenders.

One of the best places to start for your personal loan research is the going rates of the industry at the time you are looking to secure such a loan. This will give you a solid comparison when you start looking at the rates individual lenders are offering. There are several things to take into consideration regarding the loan rate.

First, make sure you get the up to date interest rates as rates change often. Next, make sure you are aware of your credit history and credit score. You can expect an interest rate very similar to the industry rate if you have good to excellent credit. However, if your credit has some damage be prepared for that rate to increase on your particular personal loan.

Personal loans may have fees associated with them. It is important for you to understand that it is against the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission for lenders to take any money upfront for a personal loan application or processing fee. Any such fees must be included in the loan. The Federal Trade Commission is an excellent resource for you to look at. Here you will find all the possible personal loan fees that are allowed to be assessed. Make sure you ask any potential lender for a disclosure of all fees, allowing you to find out the entire cost of a personal loan. You have the right to report any violations of these regulations to the Federal Trade Commission in writing, over the phone, or online.

There are many lenders out there offering personal loans. This includes banks, investment brokers, and other financial institutions. Over the years, internet lends have cropped up on every search engine. It is important that you research the lender you anticipate working with.

You can get this information for free. Simply review online postings from other consumers or checking with the Better Business Bureau. You will also want to find out how long the business has been established. Further research can help you find out information pertaining to lenders including interest rates for personal loans, terms and conditions, maximum loan amounts, and repayment terms.

It is in your best interest to conduct research on the personal loan industry before applying for such a loan. There is wonderful information available regarding the going personal loan interest rate as well as individual lender information. Taking the time to conduct research of personal loans can help ensure you get the right loan for your needs at an awesome interest rate.

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