How to Save a Lot on Real Estate Photography

When it comes to selling your home, having professional pictures is crucial to creating appeal and value. If a home’s listing has terrible or absent pictures, a buyer will not be interested in viewing it at all. The quality of real estate photos can make or break an entire listing, and it’s important to know how to take photos that reach an industry professional standard.

In this guide, you can gain a few tips on how to save a lot on real estate photography. Whether you have the tools and skills to take the photos yourself, or you are interested in hiring a professional, you will want to do everything you can to cut costs while still having the best pictures possible.

Here’s how to do it!

Step 1: Bring a Wide Angle Lens

Having just a single lens won’t be good enough to capture the shapes, sizes, dimensions, and structures of the home. Each room should be photographed with special care and attention to its layout. A wide angle lens can really encapsulate an entire living room, and can help viewers see that each area is truly sprawling. With a narrower lens, you may leave some essential viewpoints out of the picture.

Step 2: Use Plenty of Lighting

With real estate photography, lighting is your best friend. If there isn’t enough lighting available in the rooms you’re shooting, be sure that you or your photographer brings plenty of light stands. Bring light stands of different sizes, too. There won’t always be an available table for you to set your light on. Whether your light is on the floor or held up high, keep things bright and illuminated for a better quality picture.

Step 3: Learn the Power of Editing

The concept of editing professional-quality photographs may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Popular software programs such as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Bridge can help you make fast, easy, and beautiful edits. Plus, you can keep your pictures all in one place for quick access.

Step 4: Establish an Excellent Contract

Having a well-written contract can really help you save a lot on real estate photography. If you aren’t sure where to start, get a photography expert to help you. You can see what other professionals recommend when it comes to establishing the perfect home photography contract. Without a contract, the home may not even be camera ready when you arrive. A lot of cleanup and staging needs to happen before you can take good quality photos. Plus, you want to make sure your photography efforts are worth your time. Don’t waste money for no reason.

Whether you are taking your real estate photos yourself, or you are trying to hire someone to get the job done right, you can save a lot by knowing how to prepare beforehand. The photography session can be fast and simple without any obstacles being in the way. Be sure that the home is thoroughly cleaned and set up for the best photography moments. Establish a contract between the photographer and the owner to ensure that everyone is being compensated fairly for their time. Use a few simple editing programs to really make the pictures pop. And remember, try to take as many pictures as possible – you can never go overboard with professional quality photos!

Tips for Building Your Credit Without Getting a Credit Card

Credit cards aren’t for everyone, and you don’t need them to have a high credit score. Having credit cards won’t make building your credit easier or faster. In fact, they’re just as likely to get you in financial trouble as they are to help build your credit profile.

In that vein, the following tips will help you build a robust credit portfolio and help you achieve the kind of excellent credit rating you need. More than that, you’ll also learn a few “credit building” strategies you might want to avoid and the reasons why.

Check Your Credit Report

If you’re trying to improve your health, you check with your doctor to green light your exercise plan. If you’re aiming to improve your credit, you need to know your credit score. There are a number of free, legitimate online tools to help you do just that.

Once you have your score and your report you know where you’re starting from. It’s important to go over your report to make sure that any entries are justified and correct. If there are any mistakes on your credit report, you must correct them. Those mistakes could be anything from a clerical error to identity theft.

If you think you can skip this step and everything will be fine, consider that a 2012 FTC study found that 1 in 5 consumers had a correctable error on their credit report. The follow-up study found that higher than 60% of those with errors felt that their scores would be positively and significantly affected by correcting those errors.

Challenge Any Mistakes or Inconsistencies on Your Credit Report

Correcting something on your credit report can take time. Once you have found an error, such as a closed account showing up as active or unknown credit activity, you can move to have it corrected.

  • First, gather any information or documentation supporting your request to correct the error.
  • Second, contact the credit bureau that has logged the error. This may mean contacting more than one credit bureau.
  • Third, if the issue is clerical, you may be able to work it out with the data furnisher aka the company that logged the mistake.

Though the process is relatively straightforward, it can take 30 to 45 days for a dispute to reach its conclusion. However, most disputes are solved in 14 days or less.

Have a Plan

Once you know your starting point, you need a plan for where you want to go. What part of your credit report do you need to work on? If you’re starting from zero and just want to improve your score, just about any of the following strategies could be your starting point.

In any case, it’s important to know just how many resources and how much money you’re willing to put toward any credit building plan. It’s also important to remember that, over time, you will need a healthy mix of loan types and credit lenders to raise your score. Plan accordingly.

4 Top Credit-Building Strategies

Ask for Your Utility and Recurring Bill Payments to be Reported

Payment history can make up as much as 30% of your credit score. By asking your utility companies to report your payments, you can set up a stable payment history in a short amount of time.

Make Sure Your Rent or Mortgage Payments are Reported

Will this affect your credit? Yes and no. While rental payments may not change your score directly, they may raise your chances of securing a better loan. Many lenders will look at your living situation and payment history, rental or mortgage, to determine whether your not to approve your loan. It shows that you are capable of making steady payments and helps with proof of income.

To make sure they see these payments, make sure you are listed on the rental agreement of any property you pay rent for, even if it’s just a room.

Take Out a Credit-Building Loan

Credit-Builder Loans were created for the exact purpose of building credit without access to other types of loans or accounts. Once your application has been approved, and nearly every application is if you have significant proof of income, you will start making payments. Those payments are sent to a special type of “savings” account. Once you have made all of the agreed-upon payments, the money in that account is released to you.

Utilize a Short-Term Loan or Installment Loan

You can get a credit-building short-term loan at Check Into Cash as well as a traditional bank. These types of loans are meant to be paid back in a short period of time, as little as two weeks and as long as six months. A short-term loan, if all the payments are made on time, will help build up your payment history and add diversity to your credit profile.

Less Effective and Risky Credit-Building Methods:

  • Student Loans – Students can receive a small credit boost from student loans if handled appropriately. However, taking on a student loan just to build credit is usually a bad idea. There are much easier ways.
  • Rent-to-Own – Rent to Own Companies rarely report your payment history to the credit bureaus. When they do, it may not be consistent, even if you ask.
  • Authorized User Status – By becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, you link their score to yours. While this may be fine if they are responsible now, you never know when they’ll get in a tight spot and need to use that credit. This, ultimately, drops your score in addition to theirs.
  • Taking on Too Much at Once – If you are just now building your credit, it may be hard to get into a tight spot. However, it’s important to stick to your plan and only take on one, maybe two, credit building projects at a time.

How do you make money online.

Making extra money in your spare time is not as difficult as you may believe. Fortunately, there are tons of options at your disposal when it comes to earning realistic cash without compromising your full-time job or family time. You could use the extra money to pamper yourself, pay off some bills, or cover the costs of traveling. We will now take a close look at some of the hottest money-making generators around today. Please keep in mind that you must put some effort into these endeavors.

1. Search the Web

This may sound weird, but you can get paid to search the web. InBoxDollars will pay you to search the web with the Bing search engine. You could earn close to $50 a year with this endeavor. It may not sound like much, but it can add up over time.

2. Participate in Focus Groups

If you have a webcam, you could join focus groups. You could earn anywhere from $20 to $30 per month with this opportunity.

3. Make Dollars Listening to the Radio

FusionCash will pay you to listen to music. You get paid every 30 minutes. On average, you will earn up to $15 per month.

4. Freelance Proofreading

Freelance proofreading is one sideline opportunity that can put extra cash in your pocket. You will get paid to proofread legal documents, research papers, and etc. Pay varies with this option.

5. Check out Ads on Your Smartphone

Install Slidejoy on your phone and you can get paid to preview ads on your smartphone. This app is only available to residents in the U.S. You can make up to $60 per year by simply looking at your smartphone.

6. Website Tester

Companies will pay you to determine how customers use their website. UserTest and UserFeel will help you get off to a great start with this one.

7. Flip Domain Names

Casinos in NJ have many exciting games that offer great potential winnings. However, you can flip domains if you’re not ready to put your luck to the test. Flipping domain names can be pretty lucrative if you know what you are doing. Simply buy a dropped or expired name and resell it at a higher price. You could get to the point where you can earn a full-time income once you get the hang of it.

8. Create YouTube Videos

Create YouTube videos on hot topics. The average video gets close to 1,000 viewers. This is puts close to $6 in the video creator’s pocket. Making videos on hot subjects can put some significant cash in your pocket.

9. Download an App Tracker

Would you like to make an easy $50 per year? If so, the Nielsen Company will pay you to download their app to your cellular phone.

10. Get Paid to Watch Television

Download the Perk Pop Quiz app and select a trivia category. You will accumulate points when you answer the questions correctly. Your favorite television shows can help you earn anywhere from $15 to $20 per month.

11. Get Paid to Watch Videos

Create a Swagbucks account. Select a video category of your interest. Get paid to watch videos while you’re online.

There are dozens of ways you can make money in your spare time. The opportunities will not make your rich, but they will put some extra cash in your pocket. Choose one or several that meets your standards.

How to Save Money on Your Next Cruise

You’ve spent hours trawling through a variety of different websites to try and find the best possible deal for your next cruise holiday, so now you’re just going to book the best offer you’ve seen, even though it’s not that great.

Sound familiar?

Even though getting a fantastic deal on your next holiday is imperative, it doesn’t have to be stressful – and you don’t need to plump for the first great offer you see either. Instead, all it takes is a little savvy planning and you’ll be enjoying an unbeatable deal on your cruise.

Here’s how:

  1. Remain as Flexible as Possible

Cruise holidays are very similar to airline tickets: every time you look at the prices they vary dramatically. Therefore, if you can wait until the very last minute to book your holiday, you’re going to get the best deal.

These cheaper tickets tend to become available three to six weeks before the cruise liner is due to disembark from the port. However, when you’re waiting for these last-minute offers, you need to be prepared to settle for the rooms and packages that no one else has booked – e.g. a cabin that doesn’t have a balcony.

  1. Look Out for Deals

Some of the best cruise companies, like the Bolsover Cruise Club, will have different promotions and deals available at various times throughout the year. These are often available from January to March when many of the other travel companies, airlines and so on are having their sales too. So, to ensure you’re in the know when these deals become available, sign up for any alerts or emails that’ll let you know of the sales once they go live.

  1. Book in Advance

Even though this contradicts our first tip, there’s a lot to be said for booking in advance, too. If you can plan as far as 18 months in advance, it should help you find some of the best deals – and you may even secure some added bonuses, such as free drinks on-board and upgraded cabins.

  1. Sail with a Large Group

Cruises are a great way of celebrating special occasions or organising group trips. And if you can do this, you may even be able to make sure one of your group travels free (hopefully you!). The majority of cruise liners will offer a free ticket to large groups, and even though these are often only available for groups of sixteen or more people, there’s no harm asking for some discount when booking for a large party.

In essence; all it takes to secure a fantastic deal on your next cruise is some great planning, a little bit of flexibility and plenty of smart shopping skills!

5 Reasons Why Owning a House Is a Good Investment for Retirees?

With the strong housing market, many people are wondering whether or not they should invest in a home. There are many people who say that a house is the best investment that anyone can ever make. However, buying a home the right way is crucial to making a good financial investment specially when preparing for retirement.

The type of loan that you get on a home is also important. With the housing market improving, many banks are more willing to be flexible with financing than in previous years. Here are some of the most important aspects of buying a home and getting the right loan for your situation.

Do Not Buy Based on Emotion

There are some people who wrongly buy a home based on emotion. This is a bad decision for a variety of reasons. Buying a home is a long and difficult process, and mortgages are hard to get. During this time, there are going to be homes that you want that sell quickly. Instead of getting upset, you should simply move on to the next home.

Buying a home should involve math and logic. Instead of worrying about the color of the walls, you should concentrate on things like the growth of the area and how many square feet the house contains and its location. Over time, if you buy a home in a growing area, you have a much higher chance of making money from it long term.

Other Loan Options

There are even some people who own their home. This is a great accomplishment and gives them a lot of financial flexibility. Some people who are on a fixed income struggle to pay all of their bills. If you own your home, you can turn it into a source of income.

A reverse mortgage will actually pay you for living in the home. This is a great way to make money every month while staying in your home even after you retired. Before signing up for a reverse mortgage, make sure to conduct thorough research on reverse mortgages on different products in the market. The more research you conduct, the more comfortable you will be with the entire process.

Understand How Much You Can Borrow

Another important step in making a quality investment is to understand how much money you can reasonably borrow. There are some people who make the mistake of borrowing too much money based on their income. This is a major mistake for a variety of reasons.

When you have a high loan payment, it restricts other areas of your life. There are many people who have a beautiful home, but they are not spending any money on retirement or saving for their children’s college education. Having a big and beautiful home is a dream for many people. It should not come at the expense of other financial goals in your life. Remember, just because you can borrow at a certain amount doesn’t mean you should!

Building Equity

Homeowners build equity in a home in several ways. As the prices of homes increase around you, your home will increase in value as well. The difference in the potential selling price and how much money you owe is your equity in the property.

If you have a typical mortgage, you will pay down the principal over a period of many years. The lower your loan term, the higher your payments toward the principal on the debt. There are many people who pay extra on their mortgage to attempt paying it off early. This is a great way to save money over a long period of time.

Overall, buying a home is an exciting process. Make sure to conduct thorough research in order to make a good financial investment in your area.

 

Three Affordable Ways to Create Space in Your Living Room

A spacious living room is a real luxury and provides us with somewhere to relax with the family and to entertain our friends. It is far too easy, however, to find that your living room has become too crowded or cluttered and it is then that you may look to solve the problem.

Here are three top tips for creating space in your living room without spending a huge pile of money.

Clean, Tidy, Declutter

Before doing anything else, you will want to spend time decluttering, tidying and then cleaning the space. The idea, if you will, is that the result will be a blank canvas from which to assess what further measures need to be taken.

Toys, books, magazines should all be consigned to their rightful places and any ornaments, old cushions, to tatty to keep, should also be dealt with – maybe this is an opportunity to make a little money on eBay.

Storage Solutions

 Once you have decluttered and so forth, it is time to look at what storage you have and what storage you need – the last thing you want is for the place to become cluttered again.

If you feel you don’t have enough storage space, then there are some cost effective ways of increasing it. For example, adding some hinges or struts to an existing piece of furniture may transform it into somewhere to store things.

Improvised solutions to storage issues make for just about the cheapest way to address the problem.

Mirrors and Windows

Making sure that windows are not overdressed is another good way to maximise the space in a living room. Heavy curtains, not only take up space, but even when drawn open they restrict light and make the room look smaller.

Replacing curtains with blinds can be a quick, cheap and easy win if you are looking for more space. In addition, hanging a large mirror on one of the walls will reflect light and give the illusion of more space.

Sofas and Seating

Sofas and seating, while essential, take up lots of space and evaluating exactly what seating you need and acting on it can yield remarkable results.

For example, armchairs are a no, no if you are looking to maximise space. Replacing armchairs with a two seater or with a three seater sofa, or even a futon, can work a treat and needn’t be particularly expensive.

Making space in your living room doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, rather, it is more about getting organised and making some simple decisions.

Is the Citroen C3 the Best Value Supermini?

The supermini market is one which is fiercely competitive. This is good news for those that require a small vehicle, as it means that there are plenty of great options available. In order to be appealing, the car must be compact, easy to drive around town and economical. Many motorists also want an eye-catching design and plenty of tech inside.

Right now, the class leaders include fantastic superminis like the Ford Fiesta, the Skoda Fabia, the SEAT Ibiza and the Citroen C3. These are all excellent choices, but in terms of best value for money, it is the C3 that is leading the pack.

Costs

Available from just  £10,525 from places like Robins & Day, the Citroen C3 has a very low price-tag but is one of the best superminis available. In terms of running costs, the entry level C3 can return 60.1mpg and every edition emits less than 110g/km. All diesel models emit below 100g/km. This makes the C3 superb value for money and one of the more affordable cars available.

Design

The C3 has a fun, bold and quirky design. It features the funky plastic cladding that is found on the C4 Cactus – this serves a practical purpose in addition to an eye-catching exterior design. Inside, the C3 looks smart without going overboard. One of the key selling points of this car is the comfort level in the cabin and there is a surprising amount of space considering the size of the car. It also features a large boot so that you can comfortably carry passengers and luggage.

Performance

The C3 is ideal for use around the city as it has responsive handling and a smooth ride. It does not provide the most thrilling driving experience and instead opts for comfort, which is something that families will appreciate and benefit from.

Tech

The intuitive 7-inch touchscreen makes it easy to control the infotainment, air-con and heating, plus there is plenty of connectivity options. One particularly valuable piece of technology for city use is the ConnectedCAM, which is a camera located at the back of the rear-view mirror. It records everything that you see out of the windscreen which can be useful for criminal proceedings and insurance claims. It also features a handful of driver aids to improve safety, such as speed sign recognition, lane departure warning and speed warnings.

Overall, the Citroen C3 is a fantastic value supermini that is as practical, reliable and economical as the more expensive class leaders.