Category Archives: Money Talk

Investing Under the Section 8 Housing Program: A Basic Guide

House Model with Keys and Pen on a Contract PaperMany seasoned investors prefer investing in real estate and rental housing. This is because property eventually appreciates, beats inflation, gives guaranteed returns and, the most important part, you have complete control over your investments.

Section 8 housing program

A rental property is a perfect investment. Now, if you are worried that you will be unable to handle rentals, then you should consider Section 8 property investments. Americas Housing Alliance, LLC says the US government has introduced housing programs to help people who cannot fully afford housing needs.

Section 8 housing is one of them and citizens who qualify for this housing program only need to pay only 30% of their pay as rent. The government subsidizes the rest and pays the property owners directly through a voucher system.

As an investor in Section 8 housing, you are sure of getting timely rental payments. This can reduce the stress of the property owners, which they face while collecting rentals.

Complying with requirements

The government will inspect the homes entered under this program on a regular basis. Therefore, the owner has to attend to all repairs and maintenance work promptly. Additionally, since the program is to help the low-income tenants, the government also acts on their behalf.

Issues on rental rates, eviction

Any concern regarding the rates of rental payments falls on the responsibility of the US government. The usual formula for the rates depends on the prevailing market standards.

Additionally, eviction is also a tricky process under this housing program. Just bear in mind that since this is a government program, it will do its best to protect the rights of the tenant, unless an owner can show undeniable cause for an eviction.

Overall, many investors do not mind the paperwork and legalities involved in applying for a Section 8 property investment. The advantages far outweigh its drawbacks, as there is no substitute for the peace of mind and financial security this program supplies for property owners.

The Right Choice: Choosing a Home that Suits Your Lifestyle

Environment of a Nice Neighborhood

Environment of a Nice NeighborhoodWhen it comes to choosing a home, there are many factors that come into play. Some of them are financial in nature, which is reasonable, as property is an important investment and you need to think things through.

But other than those financial concerns, you also need to base your buying decision on how you live your life. It may be important to find the best mortgage rate from Ogden companies such as Mortgage Ogden, but it’s equally significant to consider your current lifestyle or the lifestyle you plan to have in the future.

Here are some things you need to keep in mind:

The Neighborhood

This should be at the top of your list, knowing that the type of neighborhood directly affects the price of the property. Think about what you want for a neighborhood. Do you want it to be close to parks? Do you want it to be a five-minute commute to work? Or do you want it to be close to the beach? These are the things you need to ask yourself. Don’t forget to check the crime statistics, as your safety will always be of utmost importance.

The Aesthetics

Whether you’re buying a brand new or a secondhand property, you’ll notice that its price depends on its aesthetics and design. That’s why a Victorian castle-like home is more expensive than a regular townhouse — and a mid-century modern property is pricier than a plain bungalow. In a nutshell, your taste dictates the price.

Your Activities

Your activities say a lot about your lifestyle, which is why it’s important to match all your activities with the right home. If you’re outdoorsy or you’re into surfing, a rustic and charming home close to the mountains or beach may be right for you. If you love the cosmopolitan and metropolitan life, an industrial apartment in New York may suit you.

Buying a home should not just be solely based on the price tag. You’ve got to make sure that your home will suit your personal tastes and lifestyle.

Investing in Section 8 Rentals: What’s In It For You?

Couple outside a house for rentBuying a property that you can rent out is a good business decision, as it can be an easy way to make a profit. As the landlord, you may not have to deal with a lot of work, especially if you are fortunate enough to get good tenants.

But what if you or the property you want is in an area where the market for private pay tenants is low? The most common reason for this is that there aren’t that many potential tenants in the area who can afford to pay for a good home. A Section 8 rental investment could be the answer.

What is Section 8 housing?

The U.S. government came up with a plan to provide good public housing for low-income tenants during the era of the Great Depression, way back in the 1930s. Over time, changes were made to the original Section 8 housing program. Now it aims to subsidize housing for the benefit of Americans with low income.

Benefits of investing in Section 8 housing:

  • Guaranteed payments. As the government subsidizes the occupancy of tenants in your investment property from 70 to 100% of the full amount, you may have little or no problems collecting rent. If a tenant doesn't pay his or her share, you have the government’s backing to evict the tenant and find a replacement.
  • You can charge higher. Savvy Section 8 investors make a good profit, as they are able to charge a higher rent. Especially if you had to spend a considerable amount on fixing up the property, you may want to recoup the cost in a shorter time.
  • Your tenants are required to take good care of the property. The government requires Section8 tenants to treat rental properties with care and respect.
  • More tenants. Many low-income Americans need Section 8 housing, so it is unlikely that you’ll wait long before your investment is occupied.

If you would like to benefit from renting to Section 8 tenants, invest in such a property. Make sure you understand what it takes to be a Section 8 housing landlord. Inquire at a company offering such investment properties.

Social Media: The New Generation of Marketing

Social Media Marketing It is undeniable that social media has taken the world by storm. You would see that almost everyone is glued to their computer or mobile device, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Tumblr, engrossed with social media. That’s why many marketers saw opportunity in turning this into a great marketing platform, hence social media marketing was born.

Following its many successes, more marketers are turning to this marketing strategy. In Brisbane alone, made4media.tv says social media marketing has become such a big thing.

How Social Media Marketing Works

Social media marketing is known for boosting website traffic and brand recognition by utilising popular social media networks. Most experts find this as one of the most effective marketing strategies.

The Impact of Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has many benefits that you may want to partake in.

It can:

  • increase brand loyalty
  • help you establish authority
  • boost conversions
  • reduce your total marketing spend
  • help boost your SEO and rank better in search engine result pages.

Different Categories of Social Media

To fully utilise this marketing strategy, you must first understand the different types of social media.

  • Social Networks: You can create your own profile in these networks and use its many different features that allow you to connect and share with people in many different ways. Facebook is probably the most popular social network site as of today.
  • Social News: Social news sites allow users to post third party links related to news or other items, which users can vote on. The one with the most votes gets to be displayed publicly. Reddit and Digg are good examples of this.
  • Microblogging: As the name suggests, these are sites that allow users to share updates by submitting short posts, usually limited to a specific word count. A good example of this is Twitter.
  • Media sharing websites: Users can share different types of media, such as videos and images on these media sharing sites. Most of these sites also allow users to interact with other users by allowing social features, such as commenting on the uploaded media. The most well-known media sharing website has got to be YouTube.
  • Bookmarking websites: Bookmarking websites allow users to “tag” or bookmark many different web pages for future reference. These sites also have a feature to save and organise multiple links. StumbleUpon is a very popular bookmarking site.
  • Forums and blog comments: Users can post and respond to community messages with online forums. A blog comment, on the other hand, is quite similar but more focused. The comments only pertain to the specific topic contained in the blog post.

A marketer who knows how to make use of these social media platforms definitely has a big edge. The success of your brand or business may depend on how well you utilise social media.

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Gold Bars in the UK

Gold Bars Contrary to what many people think, is quite easy to start investing in gold. Do not let the shiny, shimmering metal fool you into thinking it is only for the rich. Gold bar prices in the UK can start as low as £40 for a 1-gram bar.

Whilst gold coins may be more attractive because of their intricate designs, financial experts recommend starting with gold bars because the premiums are lower and the storage costs are not as costly.

If this is your first time investing in gold, there are important reminders to keep in mind.

Know your investment capacity

Calculating how much you can spend helps you decide what to invest in later. Gold bars are typically sold per gram and naturally, the smaller the bar, the more affordable it is. But the exact gold bar price you pay depends on its market value that day. The day-to-day price differences are not steep, but you might still want to keep an eye on that.

Choose your gold brand wisely

A high-quality gold bar should have the brand’s hallmark and information about its weight, purity, refiner and registration stamped on the surface. Atkinsons Bullion notes that this information ensures you are buying real gold and not fake metal alloys sold by unscrupulous dealers.

Pick the right gold bar size

Generally, bigger bars have lower premiums because it costs less to produce them, but smaller bars have their advantage as well. It is easier to liquidate smaller bars, and there are more investors willing to buy them. In addition, smaller bars eliminate the need for an assay if you want to sell them.

Buy from a reputable dealer only

There are many ways to spot a scammy seller, but one of the biggest red flags is if their salespeople are pushing you toward the high-end gold coins, which are far more expensive. Look for a dealer that has a buyback policy to ensure that you are not stuck without buyers when you are ready to sell.

Gold is a tangible asset that is readily liquidated. It is private and portable, and it lasts for as long as you live. It is certainly one of the best investments you can make for your financial future.

A Product That Sells

Brand SellingEverywhere you go, everywhere you look, even sitting at home in front of your computer or TV, you can see companies, small or large, selling you their products. This is how companies make millions, by flaunting their brand and attracting the attention of customers. That is how advertising works. Now, if you are one still starting out your own company and brand, you might be thinking of doing the same thing.

Here is a guide that can help you get people to notice your brand.

Think Before You Advertise

One of the first things you have to think of is the group of people you want to buy your brand or the so-called target demographic. These people are most likely to be attracted and willing to buy your product. If your target demographic includes millenials, you can reach them out via social media, streaming videos, and virtual ads. As simple as creating a social media account where you can reach out to your target population and they can reach out to you can gain popularity for your product. For senior citizens, you might consider using television, radio, newspapers or direct mail.

Choosing an effective means to get your message across is an important aspect if you want your ad to be noticed. Melbourne ad agencies, such as Sphere, are more than capable of helping you choose the best way to maximise your audience. Another important thing to note is the content of the ad. Most people are attracted to product advertisements they can relate to. Even if they do not have the urgent need to buy the product as long as they see themselves using it, your advertising content is doing its job.

With all these ideas in mind, remember that a truthful advertising campaign is still the most effective. Present your target demographic with an ad based on what your brand can really do. A product that does not deliver will fizzle out before it even starts.

3 Factors Why Businesses Get Buried in Debt

Title Loans in Ogden

Businesses sometimes need to take out loans to have money they can spend to fund new projects or expansions. The owners just need to be discerning when taking out loans and to spend the proceeds wisely.

It is normal for entrepreneurs to secure loans to fund the expansion of their business or raise money for a new project. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs have outstanding loans that they pay on a regular basis. It is a different story, though, if a business is unable to keep up with its obligations. It tells you that something is wrong somewhere, causing them to find difficulty in meeting their monthly dues. So what are some of the factors why these things happen?

Borrowing More Than What is Needed

There are some entrepreneurs that tend to avail huge loans that are oftentimes more than what their business actually needs for their expansion or to fund a new project. According to Entrepreneur.com, the excess amount of these loans is sometimes used to pay off other outstanding obligations. Although this practice may have worked for some, generally it is not a good practice. Pretty soon, they may find themselves in a tighter situation which could drive them to borrow more. If you are an entrepreneur running your own business, try to limit the amount of loan to what your company actually needs for its expansion or new project.

High-Interest Loans

There are also some entrepreneurs who, in their eagerness to immediately start with a new project, would avail of loans even if they bear high-interest rates. While they may consider all factors when they availed the loan and still came up with a favorable result, they can end up paying more than what should be. When looking to fund a new project, entrepreneurs must carefully examine the rates of Ogden title loans and see what are the fees associated with such loan. Remember, it is not enough that you opt for loans with low-interest rates as such might include fees that you need to pay upfront or at the end period.

Over Hiring

Though it may seem unrelated, over hiring has been identified as among the causes why entrepreneurs sometimes find their businesses buried in debt. For instance, you have a new project and have secured the right loan to fund that endeavor. Instead of utilizing your present crop of employees, you decide to hire some more to handle the new project. Doing so would add an unnecessary overhead expense which could further drag a business down into the financial abyss. An article on Inc.com suggests you try to limit your hiring or expenditures and instead focus on things you can do even with limited resources.

Taking out a loan for your business is not bad for as long as you use the proceeds wisely. Many entrepreneurs have seen their businesses thrive because the loans they availed of were used for the right purposes. You can be like them when you do what is right under the circumstances.

3 Reasons to Get an E-Commerce Portal Right Now

eCommerce Portal

eCommerce PortalDo you have a home-grown brand or SME? Technology and the internet have given smaller players like you a lot of ways to survive and even thrive in whatever industry you are in. With technology, marketing your products and services is a step further from questionable and hard-to-measure results.

So why not harness the internet, social media, and all the digital tools to sell more? While a brick-and-mortar shop is always good, having an online shop has numerous benefits. Here are some that you may want to consider:

1. Grow your sales

The idea that you get more sales when there are more ways for consumers to buy from you simply makes sense. Instead of limiting your customers exclusively to your storefront, let them check out your products online and even buy from there. While there are new considerations such as shipping fees and website optimisation, the added online sales may be well worth it.

2. Make your store accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week—even on holidays

When your brick and mortar store is closed, you don’t get any customers; merging it with a website makes it more accessible. If you have a website for your customers, then you can expect orders to come in even when your physical store is closed.

3. Project increased reach and market penetration

More than the sales, a website can get your brand out there. When you buy targeted traffic and design a website that speaks to your market, you can be sure to see the results you want. You get free and powerful word-of-mouth marketing. Moreover, you can be sure that the traffic you buy is from people who actually convert.

Harnessing technology and the internet can be tricky, but getting an expert with the right tools on board might just be the best solution for joining the digital revolution.

Chinese Investors Hunt for Mid-tier Properties in U.S.

Chinese Investors in The U.S.

Chinese Investors in The U.S.Institutional investors from China have begun to divert their attention to prime properties in the U.S., opting instead to acquire mid-range assets in residential, student housing, and other sectors. Americas Housing Alliance, LLC and other property experts added that turnkey rental properties are also another potential source of investment yields.

For the Chinese, their transition from snapping up premium real estate such as luxury hotels and offices to plain-vanilla properties signify their more prudent approach in U.S. investments.

In the past, these investors favored prominent cities like New York and Los Angeles when looking for property investments. Now, their appetite for big-ticket purchases seems to have waned, as they look elsewhere in smaller cities.

Price Movement

When Chinese investors became aggressive in recent years towards buying prime real estate in the U.S., prices for high-profile properties surged to record numbers, leading overseas buyers to reconsider their investment plan for the market.

Some of their other currently favorite picks in the mid-tier range include retirement living communities and skilled nursing homes, while other projects involve middle-class condominiums with some rental units.

As China has recently become a major force behind driving up commercial and residential property sales in the U.S., a tougher set of outbound capital rules from China’s regulator poses a threat.

Capital Controls

In November 2016, the State Council of China required all government units to pre-approve overseas acquisitions worth US$10 billion. The council also explicitly prohibited state-owned companies from acquiring real estate worth more than US$1 billion in offshore markets.

The regulatory oversight is not entirely new. However, as outbound capital from the country reached a new high in October 2016, the Chinese yuan has further depreciated that led the government to take stricter action.

Chinese investors are not the sole culprits behind the yuan’s depreciation either, as they wanted to diversify their portfolios abroad due to the weaker yuan against the dollar and high real estate prices back home.

3 Strategies to Avoid Inheritance Tax

Inheritance TaxLeaving an inheritance for your children when you die is a smart decision. With the help of a lawyer, you can write a will and testament so you can make sure that your heirs will receive your estate after your death. However, the value of your estate may be reduced to a lower amount due to inheritance taxes. Here are a few ways to avoid estate tax and ensure a stable financial future for your children:

  1. Write a Specific Will

Estate planning attorneys in Utah, for instance, always say that writing a will is the most effective way to make sure the court will distribute your estate according to your wishes. Without the specifics of a will, chances are the court will follow the intestacy rules during the estate distribution. Moreover, your assets will likely be liable for inheritance taxes.

  1. Put Assets into a Trust

One way to protect your assets from the hefty estate tax in the future is to put them in a trust as early as now. You can specify when your children will start benefiting from the trust. Some people, for instance, state that the trust will only be available to beneficiaries if they reach the age of 18 or 21.

  1. Leave a Part of the Estate to Charity

According to several estate planners, an estate’s allotted part for a charity won’t be liable to inheritance tax. They say if your will states that at least 10% of your total assets should go to charity, your remaining assets will only incur a lower tax rate.

By avoiding estate taxes, you can take better care of your children even after your death. But while the information above is helpful, it is still better to ask your estate planning lawyer for a strategy that is ideal for your circumstance.