Monday, July 13, 2020

How Much to Save for Various Roofing Services



Getting hit with an unexpected bill is not something that anyone wants to deal with. However, if you plan ahead and save in advance when emergencies do crop up, you will have the money saved to pay for them. Roofing services and repairs can cost a lot, so it is important to know in advance how much you should have set aside for them. 

Here are some of the most common services that a roofer can provide you with and what the average cost will be per service.

Minor Roof Repairs


From time to time your roof may undergo some minor damage. An asphalt shingle or two may fly off in the wind. Your gutter may have undergone some damage due to a branch and need to be repaired. Your soffit may even need a vent. These are all considered minor roof repairs and run a couple of hundred dollars.


Moderate Roof Repairs


If you’ve noticed that there are water spots on your ceiling, then it’s likely you have a roof leak. This is what is considered a moderate roof repair. A couple of other examples of moderate roof repairs include fixing large patches of shingles on the roof and replacing flashing around vent pipes and chimneys. Moderate roof repairs will run you anywhere between $500 to $1,000.


Major Roof Repairs


Many companies, like Handyman Roofing, focus primarily on major roof repairs. These tend to be the most unexpected expenses and can cost a good bit of money to have fixed. Problems that fall into this category are roof damage from fallen trees, valleys in your roof, and algae damage. 




These require a lot more materials than minor and moderate roof repairs. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for major roof repairs to be performed on your home.

Roof Replacement


Roofs don’t last forever and financially planning ahead of time can go a long way in preventing financial stress when it comes time to have your roof replaced. The life expectancy of your roofing materials is going to depend on the materials used. 

Asphalt shingles typically last 20 to 30 years. You can upgrade to 50-year asphalt shingles for more money. On the other hand, you can utilize tin as your roofing material. With annual upkeep, these metal roofs will last you up to 70 years. 

The price for roof replacement will obviously vary depending on the materials you buy, the size of your roof, and its layout. The average price for a full roof replacement runs from a low of $5,000 to a high of $15,000.

As a homeowner, you’re going to need a good roofer from time to time to keep your roof in good condition. Understanding the various services that they can provide you with and their costs can help you to prepare for instances in the future. Remember that by preparing, you can ease financial stress when repairs need to be completed.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan


Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Starter’s Guide to Nontraditional Investments



While almost everyone is familiar with common investments like stocks, bonds and real estate, there are also a huge number of less common investment vehicles that can help you make the most of your money. 

These so-called nontraditional investments allow investors to diversify their portfolios and earn higher overall returns on their capital. Here are four of the nontraditional investments you need to know about if you’re thinking about broadening your portfolio.

Peer-to-peer Lending


Over the last few years, peer-to-peer lending has emerged as one of the most important classes of nontraditional investments. In peer-to-peer lending, sometimes abbreviated P2P, groups of individual lenders fund loans for borrowers. 


These lenders then receive both their principal and interest as the borrowers repay the loans. Interest rates vary based on the borrower’s creditworthiness but returns of 10 percent or more are not uncommon.

Monetized Websites


Websites are among the most overlooked investment vehicles out there. Sites monetized with ads and affiliate links can generate considerable passive income for their owners, making them a useful inclusion in your wealth management planning for guaranteeing monthly cash flow. 





Best of all, you can buy existing, well-established websites from their creators, meaning you won’t have to set up a site or create all of the content for it yourself. This investment does require a bit of work and maintenance, but it can be very lucrative under the right circumstances.

Cryptocurrency


Digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ether and Dash have become quite popular as investment assets over the last few years. While cryptocurrency investment is certainly speculative, it has produced excellent returns for many investors. 


When it comes to trading cryptocurrency, it helps to have a bit of background knowledge in the more traditional foreign exchange market. Cryptocurrencies may also be a useful hedge against inflation in your portfolio.

Shipping Containers


Oddly enough, one of the investments that can make you a very high rate of return is the common shipping container. By buying shipping containers and then renting them out to shipping and logistics companies through a specialized broker, you can earn considerable rental fees on an asset that isn’t terribly expensive to begin with. 


This form of nontraditional investment does require some fairly specialized knowledge, but it can also produce extremely stable and attractive returns over the long run.

These are just four of the hundreds of nontraditional investments you may want to consider adding to your portfolio. As you continue to learn more about investing, you’ll find many, many other ways to earn returns on your capital. Always be sure to carefully evaluate each investment to make sure it is a good fit for your strategy and risk tolerance level.


Thursday, July 9, 2020

How to Choose the Right Day Spa Package



A great spa day can make all the difference in our busy and often stressful lives. But how do you pick the right day spa package? It largely depends on what you are looking to get out of the experience. Are you looking to relax in serene silence, or are you more interested in a group retreat or couples spa? 

Do you want any special massage therapy treatments like a body scrub or deep tissue massage? There are a lot of factors to consider to find the best day spa for you. Here are a few things to ask yourself in order to pick the right one.

Atmosphere


When you think of a spa, you probably imagine a silent, tranquil environment and a soothing massage. Those types of spas definitely exist, but they aren't the only ones around. Sport spas, group retreats, and couples spas are fantastic options if you're looking for some social interaction along with your spa treatments. 


Perhaps you're planning a spa day for a bachelorette party or a birthday party. There are plenty of spas that allow you to book a private gathering for your group, with spa games, massages, activities, and most importantly, wine.






Special Treatments


Massage therapists offer a wide variety of services and special packages, from detoxifying treatments to acupuncture. To choose the best day spa package, you need to know what services you want. If you work on your feet all day, you may want to look for packages that include a foot soak and massage. 


Pregnant women can find special spa packages for them that include a foot soak, scalp and neck massage, and facial treatments. There are also specialists who perform acupuncture, hot stone massage, hair removal, and unique treatments like snake massage, dream therapy, and tequila massage. 

If you're looking for a basic 60-minute massage, your options are wide open. However, if you have a specific massage treatment in mind, you may need to do some research to find the best day spa package.

Goals


Perhaps the most important thing to consider is what you are looking to get out of your spa day. What is your goal, aim, or intention? Are you looking to de-stress, lose weight, or just boost your overall wellbeing? If you have health goals in mind, look for massage therapists who specialize in detoxifying cleanses or weight loss treatments. 


Maybe you are looking for a rejuvenating spa day with anti-aging treatments. You may want to consider a spa day package that includes an exfoliating body scrub or wrap and hydrating facial treatment. Don't have a specific goal in mind? That's okay! No matter which spa package you choose, you are sure to boost your overall wellbeing with a good massage and deep relaxation.


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Location


Destination spas are all the rage these days. Whether you are looking for an island getaway or a Middle Eastern retreat, the options are endless. If you have the time and budget, you could find the best day spa anywhere from Thailand to Hawaii. 

Of course, you don't even have to leave your home if you don't want to. Home spas are more affordable than ever and you can customize them to fit your specific needs. Adjustable jets are strategically placed to provide the best massage and stimulate blood flow. 

Choose a spa with swim jets and you can get a core-building workout and a massage all in one. Based on your preferences and finances, you could find the best day spa in the Caribbean or your own back yard.


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Ultimately, choosing the best day spa package comes down to your personal preferences. Ask yourself what you are looking to get out of your massage — and keep in mind things like specific treatments, atmosphere, and at-home luxury. Creating the perfect spa day is entirely up to you.

How to Find Low Cost High Value Investment Properties in Real Estate



The basic goal of a real estate investor is simply to buy on the low end and resell on the high end. This way, there are no huge losses in such an investor’s portfolio; rather, there are only profitable investments. Yet, while this is a simple strategy to comprehend, what is not so simple to initially grasp is where to find basement bottom prices on higher valued investment properties. 

The following are four tips that should help a real estate investor find some of these lucrative deals.

Follow the Market


As with most markets, the real estate market has cycles and trends. It is rarely a good idea to purchase real estate in a seller’s market. Knowing when it is a buyer’s market is the first key to finding low-cost real estate investments because the prices of even higher-end homes are always depressed in a buyer’s market.


Grabbing Low Lying Fruit


Often the easiest way to pick up low cost, higher valued real estate is by learning how to buy homes in probate. A person who is deceased will often leave a home, a property that turns into a tax burden, to relatives. 

To avoid this tax burden, often people will unload probate properties quickly at a lower than market assessed price point. This is an investor’s opportunity to purchase the house and sometimes everything left behind that may or may not retain value: furniture, jewelry, the car in the garage, and so on.

The Foreclosure Game


Sometimes a person simply has to unload a property, because they have fallen behind in their mortgage payments. In special cases, an investor will simply talk the home-owner into putting them on the title for a nominal fee and the promise that the investor will keep up the payments on the home to preserve the original owner's credit. 



In essence, this can help a home-owner out of a bad financial situation while helping the investor obtain high valued property for little or even no significant money changing hands.

Becoming a Good Negotiator


When browsing through properties for sale, it is often easy to find that one higher valued diamond in the rough that needs some work. Listings will sometimes even call these properties a handyman special. The good news is that the more work that needs to be done to bring the home up to a livable condition, the more points that a good negotiator can bring up when making an offer on such a property. 

By learning how to leverage the negatives of a property during negotiations, a savvy investor can often knock thousands of dollars off of the original asking price of the upper end, expensive homes.

As with investing in any asset class, there are always strategies for finding low-cost properties. The real estate investors' best strategy is to continue educating themselves in the methods that help them discover where the under market valued properties reside. 

Alternatively, a smart investor will learn to make their own opportunities—especially when considering the best way to go about negotiating for a lower price on more expensive homes.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

What You Need to Know About Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage


If you've decided that you want to own a house, then you're likely going to need a mortgage. At first, these may seem like a complex financial obstacle. However, learning more about what you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage can assist in easing your feelings regarding the subject.

Your Credit Score Makes All The Difference


When it comes to getting pre-approved for a mortgage, your credit score is the deciding factor. It will determine if you get approved and what your interest rate will be. For credit scores below the 650s, you're going to have trouble getting approved. 

You may need to apply for a special program such as an FHA mortgage where lower credit scores are accepted. On average, a 720 credit score will qualify you for some of the best mortgage rates out there.

They're Going To Need Documentation


It's a good idea to round up your documentation ahead of time so you can submit it to the mortgage lender right away. In the pre-approval process as well as the homebuying process, gathering documentation tends to take the longest part. 




By having your documents gathered, you can easily submit it to get your mortgage loans approved quickly. Some example documents you'll need are your last two pay stubs, past two years tax returns, and last two years of W2s.

You'll Need Steady Employment


Lenders want to ensure that they're putting their money into a great mortgage investment. They know that part of what makes a great investment is lending money to people who have steady employment. 

Most lenders look for people who have been employed at the same business for at least two full years. This shows them that the person is bringing home a reliable paycheck to pay their monthly mortgage payment.

Pre-Approval Isn't A Guarantee


It's important to note that a pre-approval doesn't mean that you'll definitely be given the loan. It simply means that the lender has briefly looked at your file and knows that you meet the minimum qualification standards that they require. Once you get a house under contract, the lender may choose to not fund the purchase for a variety of reasons.

When it comes to getting pre-approved for a mortgage, there's a lot that goes into it. Understanding what you'll need prior to applying can help ensure that you don't get turned down for unavoidable reasons. The above are four of the major components that you should understand before ever applying for a mortgage loan.


Monday, July 6, 2020

How to Keep Your Customers and Employees Happy and Safe Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic



COVID-19 has made many business operations much more complicated. As such, maintaining a proper customer experience can be difficult, to say the least. From adhering to new CDC recommendations to revamping your customer service to handle an influx of calls, juggling everything often feels overwhelming.

Thankfully, there are several ways to cater to your customers without compromising their safety or the well-being of any of your employees. All it takes is a bit of careful planning and some extra supplies.

Consider supplying face masks.


Like many United States entrepreneurs, you're likely encouraging your customers to wear face masks when they're in your store. A mask is a great tool to prevent the spread of germs and help flatten the curve. However, not all customers have access to a cloth face mask or cloth face cover. To encourage traffic to meet your business needs while also staying safe, you could consider providing complimentary face masks to those who are without. If it's one of your business's hard-and-fast rules, you can place a mask bin at the front of the shop and even leave another for customers to dispose of any single-use personal protective equipment (PPE).
As far as your employees go, consider providing them with custom face masks as part of their uniform. Your custom cloth mask can even have business branding on it to maintain increased visibility. You won't want your custom face masks to be as restrictive as a surgical mask, but they shouldn't be a one-time use mask either. If you have a washing machine on-site or nearby, you can also offer to wash the custom face masks on a daily basis. Happier employees often translate to better customer interactions. And above all, you want to make sure your employees feel safe.

Rethink your call center.


If you're not operating an omni channel call center, you're probably struggling to keep up with the heightened customer demands. If you want to increase customer loyalty, having omnichannel customer support can provide critical assistance. Whether you have a mobile app that collects customer data and can send text messages or phone calls or you use an omnichannel contact center solution that relies on artificial intelligence, live chat, and self-service options, having a contact center in place is critical. Your contact center can even extend to your social media channels.
Basically, the more digital channels you use, the better. An omnichannel approach allows your customers to contact you on their channel of choice. It's a simple way to boost customer satisfaction and increase points of contact.

Discuss workforce optimization.


Part of the customer journey is how all the pieces of your business mesh together. Customer journey management isn't as simple of a concept as it may sound, though. Leveraging an omnichannel approach is one part of a much larger puzzle. Workforce optimization can help you operate with limited staffing, reduced hours, or unpredictable weekly schedules. By optimizing and streamlining some of your key business processes, you're able to cater to customer demands much more quickly and effectively.

In the face of COVID-19, this may mean bundling inventory shipments to account for delays in your supply chain. Instead of multiple deliveries a week, you may want to select a single delivery day to attempt to get as much stock in as possible in one fell swoop. As far as employee management goes, you can consider training employees to be able to handle different functions throughout your business. A more well-rounded employee can accomplish more during each shift than a skeleton crew comprised of several individuals at different times.

Though the coronavirus pandemic persists, it doesn't have to dampen your customer service efforts and sales processes. You simply need to be flexible to pivot accordingly to ensure you're following safety standards, maintaining relationships, and pursuing continued growth.


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