Archive for

How to Sell Your Home or Investment Property

It’s off to the market you go. The real estate market that is, in all its glorious competitiveness.
You want to sell your home or investment property. Are you ready to sell it?

Are you ready for the finagling, offers and counter-offers? Can you handle the drama, the lights, cameras and all the action?

You can if you research before hand what today’s real estate market is like for buying and selling homes.

Today, buyers do their homework. Therefore, you must do yours. When potential buyers walk through your doors, they have the knowledge, acquired from doing their homework. They will know exactly what they want. They will look for specific upgrades and features. They will know the market for comparable properties in your area.

You will have to give them a reason to choose yours. This is where the little things are important when it comes to selling homes and investment properties.

Right off the bat you have to make sure your product displays in the best possible light: clean, clean, clean. Then clean some more. This means top to bottom. Outside is where it all starts. Your home has to sparkle like a diamond. The ‘wow’ factor has to slap the potential buyer in the face as soon as they step foot in your driveway.

Make sure the driveway’s swept and washed; make sure any potholes and cracks are fixed. Wash the windows from the outside, and the garage door, and anything else outside that needs cleaning. Wash the dog if he’s going to be standing around out there.

Mow the lawn…unless you want to hide the dog.

Your garage: unless it’s designated a production location for a remake of Sanford and Son, de-clutter it. Organize it. Sweep and wash down the floor, if you can find it! Neatness counts when it comes to selling a house.

Once inside give every room the critical eye. Of course, make sure any minor repairs get attention before a showing or open house. The major repairs should not be an issue; all accomplished well in advance. That dangling ceiling fan…has it been reattached properly or is ready to propel itself out the window? Those ceramic tiles in the bathroom; are they secured back in place? Does their continued falling play like a scene from the movie Earthquake? You won’t be selling your home if people walk through it wide-eyed from fear.

Create an easy, unobstructed flow from room to room. Evoke a sense of freedom and spaciousness. Along with that, allow as much natural light into the home as is possible. When selling a house you want to create a positive atmosphere. You don’t want potential buyers to feel they’ve entered a Dungeons and Dragons theme park.

Tone down your family’s personality in the house. Give it the ‘model home’ aura to appeal to a wide range of personalities who will explore its features.

Consider this too, when selling your house: buyers want the best price in the best area. If the area you live in is a high-demand area, are you competitive in your price? Have you over priced because you feel buyers will pay it because of the attractiveness of the area? Homes similar to yours in size, style, upgrades and features may be lower-priced. They may sell fast, while yours lingers on the market. Of course, if you feel it deserves a higher price and are willing to wait it out, see where it takes you.

Selling your home, or any investment property, involves a commitment from yourself. You want the greatest return. You have to be willing to devote the time and energy in return, to ensure a successful sale. Buyers want the best price in the best location. You want the best price so you can move out of the location. It’s up to you to do the things necessary to bring both sides together so it can happen.

Buying Platinum Jewelry As an Investment

Investing in a precious metal like platinum can be a good long-term hedge against the volatility of the stock market, and there are many ways to invest in it. One of the best ways is to buy jewelry made from pure platinum. This allows you to hold a valuable commodity as well as wear a beautiful piece of jewelry – sort of like having your cake and eating it too!

Here are some great reasons to buy platinum jewelry as an investment:

  • The strength of platinum allows jewelers to make quite intricate, yet extremely durable, pieces without mixing in other metals. Thus, you can have a piece that is practical both as jewelry and as a bullion-type investment.
  • Platinum is about 30 times more rare than gold, yet is usually valued in the same general price range. Since it is so rare and so useful, many people believe that platinum could drastically increase in value in the coming years.
  • Platinum is stronger and more durable than either silver or white gold, and is impervious to rust or tarnish, and so is a great alternative to these metals as jewelry.
  • Platinum is important in the auto industry, for use in anti-pollution devices. As environmental regulations get stricter over the years, the value of platinum should continue to rise. And as emerging markets like China and India continue their explosive growth (car sales in China grew by more than 50% in 2009), the demand for platinum will continue to grow as well. All these factors point to a steady increase in the value of platinum jewelry in the coming years.

Five Smart Tips – Investing For Boomers – It’s About More Than Just Money!

Like most of my boomer friends, I’ve watched my hard-earned money invested in the stock market melt away before my eyes. Down 30 – 40 – now 50%!!!

If I were 25 I wouldn’t be so concerned. There’s lots of time for the market to get bullish again when you are only 25. But as a midlifer, time is not so long-term and it’s likely the market will never give back what it has taken away in the time I have left before my retirement. In fact, at this point retirement itself is a big question mark.

So what is a boomer – a person in mid-life to do? In what should I invest to make my money grow faster, stronger?

Here are five tips for the midlife investor:

#1. Go Green! - Despite the economic downturn, the U.S. of A. is a country filled with creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation. The government finally recognizes the need to fight global warming and supporting the use of alternative fuels is the way to go. Money is finally being focused on the development of new ways of creating the energy our economy needs to grow.

Green investments are going to blossom and gain market share. The future is bright and your money will certainly grow as the green industry flourishes. And now, when the market is low, is the time to buy.

Tip # 2: Invest in Yourself!

One of the best investments you can make these days is in your own education!!! While the market goes on its roller coaster straight down into the caverns… you can choose to invest in learning something new. It’s a great time to take that extra course to fine tune skills you already have, or to develop a new skill that can integrate well with what you already know.

Don’t have much time? Community Colleges often have short-term evening classes that are geared to help you learn quickly. Take six weeks, one evening a week and learn something you’ve always wanted to know. Get away from the T.V. for a night and invest in your mind.

Don’t have much discretionary cash right now? There are thousands of on-line tutorials you can access for FREE. Need to learn a new software program, or learn a new task with the programs you already use?

TIP # 3: Invest in Your Health

One of the smartest investments you can make is in taking TIME to EAT RIGHT. It’s all in the choices you make.

I know, you are way too busy with work, home, kids, grand-kids, clubs, volunteering, whatever- we all have excuses for grabbing the Big Mac or the fast food prepared dinner from the grocery freezer. But if you don’t eat healthy now, it’s almost guaranteed that your body will rebel somehow, someway, sometime soon!!!

In a recent book: Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen by Naomi Moriyama, the author focuses on the remarkable health of the women of this Asian country. Diet makes a big difference. Taking the time to eat properly is something you deserve!

As a college student in New York, eating fast food, nibbling on salt and sugar laden morsels, Naomi who had always been petite, blossomed into an overweight blob. She was heading for serious health problems, when four years later, she finally returned to her native Japan and the healthy eating habits of her childhood. The change to her health was remarkable. She shares her experience in this simple straightforward account and offers delicious recipes that will help you invest in your own health.

TIP # 4: Invest in a Good Time

Most of us take life way too seriously. Sure we have problems, every one does. But don’t dwell on them. In this time of economic turmoil, it’s a good idea to stay away from TV News, newspapers and radio shows that focus only on what’s wrong with the world. It’s time to focus on what is going right. If listening to the evening news-especially just before your head hits the pillow-gets you up at night, or never lets you sleep… then STOP listening to the evening news.

Don’t worry, the world is not going anywhere. If you need to, check in once a week… Meet the Press on Sunday morning with a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee… that’s not a bad way to see what’s going on in the outside world.

I’m not suggesting you hide your head in the sand, though some people may just need that right about now. Take yourself to a museum. Read a good book. Take yourself to a play, or a movie. Spend the $10 and even indulge in some popcorn!

Sign up for a dance class, get involved in a community volunteer group. Meet new people. One of them might be the new romance you’ve been waiting for.

Do something really fun for yourself.

TIP # 5: Dream Out of the Box!

Last night I received a phone call from RCI. (A time-share exchange company.) The young man was trying to persuade me to buy into a cruise vacation plus 2 week vacation package deal. Cost: only $2,490 for two. Wowsa! Such a deal!

A half hour before he called I was busily working on my tax return for 2008 so money or the lack of it was on my mind. Bad timing for the salesman. But it got me thinking about tip #5 for midlife investors: Invest in your dreams!

True, I was not prepared to use my credit card to pre-purchase a cruise/vacation right then and there. But the price quoted was not outrageous. And with a little preparation and planning, it might be just the thing to enjoy sometime in the future. (RCI might have gotten a better response if they had sent me a series of postcards letting me know the phone call was coming… whet my appetite, get me thinking, make me think I had won a prize when they called out of the blue! – but that’s a marketing issue for another time.)

Saving for a dream is the fifth tip for midlife investors. Take those initial ideas, expand them, go to the edge of your thoughts and then push a little further. Dream the future into being. You can do it.

Invest in your dreams.