7 Pitfalls to Avoid in Real Estate Construction

Building a home is a time-consuming process requiring plenty of planning and proper decision making. Any wrong homeowner decision is irreversible. Careful planning is, therefore, needed when it comes to designing, sourcing, and executing. If you are building your new home, then some errors must be avoided. Before finally constructing a home, you should get proper quantity estimation, construction takeoff, and other relevant details so that you make better decisions. Residential estimating services can help you easily undertake every step of the construction.

Real estate construction is no joke. It pays off, but you should be careful to avoid some pitfalls when opting for real estate construction. If you aren’t prepared, creating anything from nothing may become a terrifyingly messy process. Huge infrastructure programs arrive with a typical collection of concerns. And keep an eye out for these pitfalls which ruin the project. Here are the top 7 pitfalls to avoid.

Create Accurate Drawings before Starting

You cannot begin anything blindly. You cannot go into war without equipping yourself with the right weapons. Well, accurate drawings are the best tools in your arsenal when it comes to real estate construction.

Get accurate drawings from the architect and start planning the construction. Get quantity estimation, construction takeoff, labor costs, and everything else related to the construction beforehand. Get the accurate drawings so that you know what will be constructed, how it will be created, and exactly where it will be created.

Calculate A Budget to Make Educated Financial Decisions

Without a proper and carefully finalized budget, your construction will never be successful or never be hassle-free. A budget allows you to make wise financial decisions.

Get help from a professional to help you make a robust and well-calculated budget for your upcoming construction project. Moreover, you should also be ready for unforeseen costs and additional costs. These will go beyond the previously calculated budget.

Preparation for additional costs is necessary, and it is only possible when you already have a budget to help you make a decision. Regardless of how carefully you prepare the building of your new home, there are risks you will have to pay unexpected and unpredictable expenses.

Problems like dry rot, damage of the termite, and bad soil will add up to your expense. In case your order materials get lost in the transfer, it is essential to clarify with your contractor as to who will cover the unexpected costs. Inquire about the price of distribution too. This will all be handled if you have a calculated budget.

Obtain Bids and Negotiate with Contractors

The real estate is a considerable expense for any individual, whether you own it or rent it or want to construct everything from scratch.

If you are preparing to reshape your house or to build a new building, the expenses may skyrocket without giving you a chance to get back on your feet. Proper construction costs money, but that’s no reason to throw away money by not organizing correctly or bargaining with your contractor. Obtaining bids and negotiating with the contractors is the best way to ensure that you will not have to stretch your financial budget for the construction.

Get bids from a lot of contractors, sub-contractors, and general contractors. Compare the prices offered by different contractors and then choose the lowest one. Take a look at the provided quantity estimation, Construction takeoff, and other helpful elements of the bids. Once you have finalized on one bid, it is time to negotiate with the contractor. Construction estimating firms can help you create a budget to get everything ready.

Prepare a Profit/Loss Analysis

As someone constructing real estate properties, you need a declaration of profit and loss that conveys details in a way that will describe how much you make as a benefit.

The best format is a declaration of construction profit and loss analysis, which describes contract proceeds, direct costs, indirect costs, and overhead costs.  This model fits very similarly to the calculation design of most smaller construction companies. With the help of this analysis, you will be able to understand whether you are losing money on the construction, or actually earning some benefit with this construction.

At the end of the day, it’s about the profit that you’re making with your real estate construction. The profit and loss analysis report should show where the issue resides and where the most reliable output occurs.

Value Engineering

The recently famous term value engineering (VE) is prevalent in the building and real estate construction sectors. It refers to a structured and coordinated method designed to provide all necessary project functions at the lowest possible cost.  Options for cost reduction are investigated and discussed through a community review, without sacrificing efficiency, price, health, or design purpose.

The term value engineering often causes stress and discomfort with a project team since everybody wants the best delivery possible. If you are looking for flawless real estate construction without a lot of surprises, you need to focus on value engineering in every possible way.

Correct Way to Issue Contracts

So, you have finally set out to build your own house and dabble in real estate construction. You’ve picked the style, looked at construction takeoffs, and chosen all the finishes and fixtures for the house. The builder has stated there is only one more thing to take care of, and that is signing the contract to build.

It’s vital that you study and carefully review the document before you agree. The contractor will not inform you that, but you may also want (and you are allowed to) discuss other terms of the contract with a professional. Figure out the best way to issue contracts and get it done right.

Conclusion

Real estate construction is not an easy job, and you need to take a look at every aspect of the situation before you finalize it. Look at the bids, get a well-calculated budget, compare the prices, look at the contract, talk to a lot of people, and negotiate with the contractors. This is the best way to deal with any real estate construction project and get it done right the first time.

Reasons to Use Technology Tools for Your Business

Technology is the key to success for any business. Technology gives businesses the opportunity to be more efficient with daily operations while expanding their market to reach different target audiences. The Internet gives people the ability to connect with anyone anywhere across the globe and is the perfect tool for growing businesses. For example, if you live in the United States you can showcase your products or services to people in Canada or Europe through your website. People all over the world use the Internet to find the products or services they need and either buy the product online or find a store in their local area. Successful businesses use websites to connect with their customers and use their expanded market to increase the growth of their business.

The biggest advantage a business can have is a website. Products and services can be viewed by potential customers and is cheaper than the traditional print media. Print advertisements and newspapers have only a small amount of space to promote businesses and can be considered a passive sales tool. Websites have no limits to the amount of information that a business can provide. They can gather information from every visit and tell you where the visitors are located and what their thoughts are about the products and services on your website. This information can be used to contact these visitors and provide them with information about new products and services and also a monthly newsletter. If you add a website address to any print media that you use you increase the effectiveness of your ad and also create additional opportunities for customers to stay in touch and even help to close a sale. Also don’t overlook SEO, social media and writing powerful blog posts to bring visitors to your site.

Websites can also be used to enhance customer service. Visitors can access information about your business such as hours of operation, your address, pricing, detailed product information, special events and even if you have a mobile phone card reader. When you add an FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions section to your website you can decrease the amount of calls your business may get about where you are located or when you are open. Websites can save time and money and gives you the opportunity to focus on other important aspects of your business.

Recent studies have proven that more businesses are creating websites because of the many advantages they present. Most people search online for anything they need including products and services and read as much as they can about that product or service before they make a decision to buy it. Competitors are already selling online and have been for years. You can get ahead of the competition by having a website that provides all the information your customers need and makes your business stand out in the crown. You need to get an edge on your competition in order for your business to be successful.

It can be very exciting creating a website because you get the opportunity to express yourself by deciding how you want your website to look and what you want it to say about your company. You have the opportunity to show all of your products or services and any offers or promotions you have.

5 Cash-Saving Travel Tips

If early retirement is your aim, what steps have you already taken to make your lifestyle as Spartan as possible?

Have you started to work from home in order to save cash on your commute?

Are you growing your own vegetables so that the supermarket doesn’t constantly drain your finances?

Have you started cutting your own hair, using an elaborate mirror arrangement in order to style it from every angle?

Or are you spending much of your spare time crafting your own shoes and clothing from discarded roadside garments and scraps of leather retrieved from junk-shop handbags?

If you’re making one (or several) of these thrifty moves, then well done – the cons of diminishing social skills and a slightly outlandish appearance are probably compensated by the pros of a bigger bank balance.

But what happens on those occasions when you can’t avoid travelling domestically or internationally, perhaps for an important business meeting or to mark a family occasion?

Fear not – these five cash-saving travel tips will prevent you splashing cash too excessively.

  1. Travel by train

Rather than having to concentrate on the road for hours in your car, avoiding falling asleep in traffic jams and filling your vehicle with prohibitively expensive petrol, save some cash and stress by travelling via train.

Take a look at Trainline for cheap tickets – massive savings are available for early bird bookings.

  1. Go by Bus

Don’t mind spending a few hours in a slightly less comfortable environment than a plane, in order to reach the same domestic destination for a fraction of the price?

Then it sounds like bus travel is your money-saving bag – Megabus.com is one of the best bargain services available.

  1. Pack your own provisions

Food is one expenditure factor that can ramp up your spending levels on the road – whether you buy it in a bus station, on a train or in an airport, it’s usually far pricier than elsewhere.

However, by packing your own long-lasting food like dehydrated fruit slices, dried beans and biltong, you can save money and stay satisfied – check out this article from The Prepping Guide for advice.

  1. Find cheap flights

There are some occasions when you can’t avoid flying – for instance if your destination is simply too far away to make travel by any other means practicable, or when you need to move fast to capitalise on an ad hoc business opportunity.

But that doesn’t mean you need to pay through the nose to fly – always check comparison sites like Skyscanner and Kayak to book the cheapest flights possible from a range of carriers.

  1. Book low-cost airport parking

When you live close to an airport, travelling there in your own vehicle often makes more sense than a long schlep on public transport – you can compose yourself in relative privacy and arrive calm and unruffled.

But book airport parking early to avoid hassle on arrival – Looking4.com has secure, low-cost spaces for every airport from East Midlands to Edinburgh.

So ends our list, but share your own thrifty travel tips in the comments section!

Financial Mistakes To Avoid If You Want To Keep Your Credit Clean

Keeping your credit clean is easier said than done. Our modern world is awash with spending pitfalls and if you’re like most people you’ve had little education on how to avoid them.

Learning as you go may sound like a good idea, but the reality is this can lead to some serious financial mistakes that can ruin your credit for years to come. That means it pays to educate yourself on any potential credit pitfalls before you accidentally learn by doing. 

Here’s your chance to do just that, these are 5 financial mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your credit clean:

Leasing That New Car

Leasing a new car may sound like a great idea. After all, you don’t have to pay full price just monthly payments, right? What could go wrong?

Well, it turns out, a lot.

Leasing a car an unaffordable car is one of the most common ways people hurt their credit scores. Remember, just because you are approved for a lease, doesn’t mean it’s a smart financial decision. 

There is a good rule of thumb for determining whether or not you are getting a good deal on a lease, however. It’s called the one percent rule. What you do is simply divide the monthly payment by the MSRP sticker price of the vehicle, if it’s close to or below 1% then it’s a good deal, if it isn’t then its a bad deal. Also, watch out for leasing fees they can end up costing thousands and are often hidden by dealers.

Still, even if you got a great deal on your lease and avoided all those crazy fees, you can still wreck your credit score by not making payments on time or defaulting on your lease. That’s why it’s so important to only lease what you can afford, or even better just buy a used beater and avoid the potential pitfall altogether. 

Buying A House

Buying a house can be a great investment, but it can also lead to financial ruin. Just ask anyone who bought in 2007 before the great recession. 

Low credit scores can lead to the need for larger downpayments and higher interest rates which can cost tens of thousands or more over the entire loan period. 

Home loans aren’t just affected by your credit score though, they can also drive it down considerably if you default or miss payments. 

If you are late on home loan payments lenders will usually give a 15-day grace period, then you will be charged a late fee. After 30 days, however, your lender will report the missed payment to the three credit bureaus(Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), hurting your credit score. 

This means it’s vital to only buy a house if you can afford it. A good rule of thumb is to not spend more than 25% of your monthly income on mortgage payments. 

Getting A Payday Loan

Payday loans are one of the fastest ways you can ruin your credit. They really should be avoided at all costs. 

If you haven’t heard of a payday loan, they are small, short term loans with high-interest rates that are mostly targeted towards low-income borrowers who need extra cash to get them through the month. 

While most payday lenders don’t report to the national credit bureaus when a borrower first takes out a loan, your credit can still be affected by borrowing at such high-interest rates. 

This is because Payday loan companies sign a post-dated check corresponding with your next payday as collateral for your loan. Then, if you don’t have the funds in your account by your next pay date, when the lender cashes the check, it bounces hurting your credit score.

Also, your credit score can be affected by debt collection agencies hired by the payday loan company to help recoup their funds after you’ve missed a payment. And because the interest rates on these loans are so high many borrowers end up stuck in a never-ending cycle of missed payments, credit collection calls and tanking credit scores. 

Don’t let that be you, avoid getting a payday loan. 

Student Loan Disasters

Student loans can be great credit builders if you are consistent in your repayment plan. However, they can also really hurt your score if you default on your loans or make payments late. 

The situation can be even worse for international students. International student loans often carry higher interest rates and many times international students have more expenses so they take out larger loan amounts. This can lead to disaster if loans aren’t paid back promptly.

Your credit score is affected by student loans when private lenders report missed or late payments to the three major credit bureaus, which is usually done after 30 days. Federal lenders are more lenient, they usually report missed or late payments after 90 days, but still, if you want to avoid tanking your credit score then you’ll need to be on-time with your payments. 

Going Without Insurance

Did you know that 66.5% of all bankruptcies in the U.S were tied to medical issues? That’s an estimated 530,000 families who turn to bankruptcy each year because of medical bills, according to a recent article by CNBC.

It’s no secret that medical bills can ruin you financially, and that’s with insurance. Without it, if something bad happens you can be looking at a lifetime of debt ahead of you. 

That’s why it’s vital to make sure you have health insurance. My father always said if you can only pay one bill, make it health insurance. That’s before your car payment, before utilities, even before your rent, because in the U.S the one thing that can truly ruin your finances for life are medical bills. 

In the U.S, simple financial mistakes can cause your credit to be in the bin for decades. Still, there is a lot you can do to prevent these mistakes or even to try and rectify them after the fact so you can get back on track financially. 

If all else fails, and your credit is still in the tank, it might be a good idea to hire a credit repair company to guide you through the process of credit rejuvenation. These companies make it easy to fix your credit and are with you through the whole process. So don’t wait until it’s too late to repair your credit, act today!

What is a Good Credit Score

Credit scores are vitally important when it comes to purchasing homes, cars, and acquiring school loans. It is the three-digit number that determines how much of a loan we will be allowed and at what interest rate.

Stated by a Dallas credit repair expert, the better your credit score, the better your interest rate. The lower your score, the less beneficial rates you’ll be able to acquire. So what is a good score, and how do you get into range?

Credit Scoring System

The credit scoring system is completed by three major credit reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

They all use the same FICO scoring system, which awards you a point range based on several factors, including your credit history, credit utilization, length of credit history, new cards, and your total mix of credit. Points will vary slightly between the three companies, but your score shouldn’t differ more than ten or twenty points, at most.

The credit scoring system is used by lending agencies similar to a background check. Depending on your score, they can tell just by the numbers how good of a borrower you are.

Your credit score tells a lender two very important things:

–          Do you pay your bills on time?

–          Do you borrow responsibly?

Your score is heavily determined by your credit history (how well you pay down your debt), and credit utilization (how much you owe). A low score instantly communicates to lenders that they may be taking on some risk if they offer you a loan.

Your Credit Scores

Credit scores range from very poor to exceptional, with a point value assigned for each. The more responsibly you use your credit, the better your score will be over time. Each credit reporting company has a slightly different scale, but in general, you can expect the following point ranges:

300-579: Very Poor

580-669: Fair

670-739: Good

740-799: Very Good

800-850: Exceptional

The higher your credit score, the better the terms you will be offered on loan interest rates, repayment requirements, and down payment requirements. Those who fall into the “very poor” and “fair” ranges should expect significantly high interest and stringent requirements when loans are offered.

If:

You fall into a very poor rating, your loan or credit application may be denied outright.

Should your score remain in the “good” range, you can expect to be granted loans and credit, but likely with a less favorable interest rate than desired.

When you reach the “very good” and “exceptional” scoring ranges, you’ll receive the best interest rates available and receive loans of value. At the highest range, you’ll receive the best rates and offerings for loans possible, including low interest, minimum down payments, and longer payback times.

Use Credit Wisely

Your entire credit history factors into the credit score you receive from the credit reporting institutions. The more consistently you pay credit bills and loan payments, and the more responsibly you borrow, the better your credit score will be.

It takes time to build, but with steady, wise use over a long period, you should reach the “good,” “very good,” and excellent ranges with little issue. Does your score put you in good standing?

What is Invoice Financing and is it the Right Choice for My Business?

Invoice financing may be an option for you if your business is in a cash crunch, yet a surprising number of people don’t know much about this financing option. There are some cases when invoice financing is a much better solution than traditional lending and should be considered if you have immediate needs. Let’s learn more about what invoice financing is along with its benefits. We’ll then share a few tips for determining whether or not invoice financing is the right choice for your business.

What Is Invoice Financing?

Invoice financing is when you borrow money against a customer invoice. You may sell the collection rights to the invoice altogether, or you may borrow money from the invoice financing firm while promising to repay the loan as the client pays you. Invoice financing is also called accounts receivable financing and A/R financing.

Invoice factoring is a form of invoice financing. With invoice factoring, you’re selling your invoices to the factoring company. You’ll sign a contract giving them the rights to pursue the money you’re owed. With invoice financing, you receive the loan from the invoice financing firm, but your clients continue to only deal with you. One of the benefits of invoice financing is that your clients don’t know that you’re experiencing revenue problems, though that’s not the only benefit.

The Benefits of Invoice Financing

Invoice financing doesn’t depend on your credit. Instead, it depends on the creditworthiness of your customers. That means a business on the edge of bankruptcy will pay the same fee for invoice financing as a business with good credit.

Invoice financing can give you capital that is currently locked up in payables so you can pay your own bills. Then your own cash flow isn’t crimped by big businesses taking their time to pay what they owe you.

You have greater flexibility with invoice financing than other options. For example, you can choose which invoices to borrow against. And you can choose when you borrow against the invoice’s value. This gives you more control over your cash flow.

Your personal and business credit isn’t affected if the customer doesn’t pay their bills. Furthermore, the rates you’re charged are not affected by your credit score or bill payment history.

You don’t have to mortgage your home or business to raise much needed money. And invoice financing is an option if you have slow-paying clients but no other assets. For example, invoice financing is an option for marketing firms, law firms and consultants who only sell their services.

What You Need to Know Before You Apply

With invoice financing, you can get anywhere from 50 to 95 percent of the invoice amount. This percentage will depend on how old the invoice is, the creditworthiness of the customer and the general odds of the invoice being paid in part or in full. However, costs and terms of invoice financing vary between service providers. For example, lenders like Advanced Point Capital offer a variety of options. They generally require you to have a set amount a month in accounts receivable, however, they might make an exception. So, don’t hesitate to try even if you don’t think your business meets the minimal requirements.

Conclusion

Invoice financing is an under-utilized financial option for small and mid-sized businesses, and It has a number of benefits that you can’t afford to ignore. Make sure that you consider it and see if it would be the best option for your situation.

How to Successfully Start Investing in Your 20s

If you think investing in your 20s is too young—think again.

The longer you invest, the more money you’ll be able to earn through compound interest.

There are multiple reasons to invest young, but if you don’t know how to get started, you’ll get stuck in analysis paralysis. We’re here to help you create a plan to get started successfully.

Continue reading as we show you the best ways to invest money in your 20s!

Budget to Spend Less Than You Make

Before you can start investing, you have to learn how to spend less than you make, so you have money left over.

Many people don’t even have a budget—they just look at their bank account to see if there is money or not.

Create a budget that gives you a certain percentage of money to invest each month. Having money to invest each month consistently will give you the best results. Even if you don’t invest a lot of money, it will add up over the years.

Create an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is essential to avoid falling behind on bills, being stuck without transportation, and other problems.

Even having an emergency fund that is $1,000 is better than not having anything to fall back on.

If you have credit cards, it can be tempting to use them as an emergency fund, but that is almost certain to end in disaster.

Put Money Into a Retirement Account

While retirement might seem like a long time away, it’s important to start saving for your retirement now.

That way, you’ll be able to enjoy more compound interest—plus, you can enjoy tax deferment until you start withdrawing from your retirement account.

Look Into Real Estate Investment Trusts

What’s the most popular investment for millennials?

The answer could be REITs, or real estate investment trusts, since they are an easy way to break into real estate investments without breaking the bank or having to build up your credit.

Real estate is a great growth investment, but sometimes it is difficult to get started when you’re young. REITs could be the answer you’re looking for as you work to add real estate to your list of investments.

REITs make it possible for you to hold a portfolio of commercial properties with minimal risk since the real estate is usually different types of real estate in different geographic locations.

Become a Pro at Investing in Your 20s

Now that you know more about the best investments when investing in your 20s, you can start to build your wealth.

Building wealth at a young age will help you secure your financial freedom and retirement.

Do you feel like you need more help? Our site is full of articles that can help you with your finances and more.

Browse our site, find your favorite finance-related articles, drop a bookmark, and come back soon for more great articles.

How to Move to Another Country: The Only Guide You Need

Do you dream of moving to another country?

While moving to another country may seem like an impossible feat, many Americans live abroad. In fact, according to the State Department, about 8.7 million Americans?currently live abroad.

So, how do you make it happen for yourself?

Check out this guide to learn how to move to another country.

1. Research the Country You Want to Move To

Every country has its own unique emigration laws, so it’s very important that you look up the laws in the country you’re considering moving to.

For example, you can move to China or South Korea pretty easily by taking on a job teaching English. Depending on your ancestry, you may easily be able to move to Ireland.

Some other countries, on the other hand, are notoriously hard to move to, such as India or Cuba.

2. Consider Buying Property

Did you know that you can actually buy your way to a new passport?

If you have the money to spare, buying property abroad is a great way to get your foot in the door in another country.

However, keep in mind that with most countries, you can’t just buy any piece of property. Usually, there’s a minimum price point you need to hit in order to be able to gain residency. Here are some countries where buying property gets you a ticket to residence or citizenship:

  • Fiji
  • Colombia
  • Brazil
  • Dominica
  • Panama
  • Latvia
  • Saint Lucia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Grenada
  • Belgium
  • The Bahamas

Whether you’re searching for oceanside properties for sale or an apartment in the city, there’s sure to be a country out there that has what you’re looking for.

3. Look Into Job Opportunities

While finding a job overseas is possible, searching for international employment can be difficult due to the change in customs, distance, language barrier, and more.

Thankfully, there are international recruiters, international job boards, and countries that specifically seek out overseas employees. As we mentioned early, moving to Asia is fairly easy if you take on a job teaching English. To qualify as an English teacher, you often just need a college degree.

You could also look into doing a work exchange abroad or volunteering abroad through a service like the Peace Corps.

4. Organize Practical Matters

It can be easy to get carried away dreaming about your new life abroad. However, you must not forget about the practical matters that come with moving abroad. Here are some things you need to take care of before your move:

  • Figure out which items you’re going to get rid of and which ones you’re going to ship overseas
  • Look into changes you need to make regarding your insurance, taxes, and wills
  • If you have a pet, figure out the regulations in terms of vaccinations and quarantining
  • Figure out which bank you’re going to do business with abroad

Additionally, you’ll want to take time to learn about the culture and customs of the new country.

How to Move to Another Country: Wrap Up

Now that you know how to move to another country, it’s time to get started on your journey. Before you know it, you’ll be exploring a whole new culture.

If you liked this article, be sure to check back with our blog for more tips about moving abroad or other financial matters.