Wednesday, May 12, 2021

4 Things to Do Before You Buy Your Next Car

Buying a car can be exciting. However, it can also be stressful. You want to make sure to plan carefully so that you know you will be getting a reliable car and one that you can afford. 

Here are four things that you want to make sure to do before you purchase your next car.

Check Your Credit Report

If you plan on getting a loan to pay for your car, then you will need to check your credit before doing so. A good credit score will not only help you get approved, but it can also help you get a loan with a lower interest rate. 

Take action if your credit score is under 700. Pay off any outstanding debts you have and keep your credit card bill low to help boost your score if needed.

Research the Car that You Want

You should do your homework on your car before you decide to buy it. There are plenty of websites that you can use to look up how reliable a car is and what its average value is. 

You want to make sure to read reviews written by actual people to make sure that you are getting accurate information about the car you want.

Find the Right Dealership

It is important for you to choose the right car dealership. Find out about the reviews and ratings of past customers online before visiting the dealer in person. 

You will also need to visit the dealership’s website. By checking on them and making sure they are reliable, you ensure that you are going to get a good car for your budget

Finding a dealership that is well reviewed also probably means you will find someone who is reliable and will provide you with good customer service.

Decide Whether You Want to Buy a New Car or Used Car

When you are looking for a car, you want to decide between a new and a used car. New cars can be nice because you know they won’t come with any problems and you can usually get a better warranty that will protect your car for longer. 

However, they are more expensive than used cars and depreciate in value much more as soon as you drive them off the lot.

By comparison, used cars are cheaper. Since they’re already used, they won’t depreciate in value as quickly from their base price, making it easier to resell them. 

You can also often find a better value for insurance on a car that is used, as you probably won’t need as many protections. However, you have to be careful and make sure to research the car’s history to ensure that it hasn’t been in any accidents before.

There is a lot more to buying a car than just going to the dealership and selecting one. You will have to check your credit report and research the car that you want. 

You will also have to research the dealership. Furthermore, you should decide whether you want a used car or a new car to find the one that is the right fit for you.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Tips for Dealing With Empty Nest Syndrome and Enjoying Your New Freedom

You've spent a large portion of your life taking care of your children. When they leave, it can lead to some serious feelings of emptiness or loneliness. 

It's almost like you are missing an arm when you don't have your children. However, this is not the end; this is the beginning of a new stage of your life. Here are some tips for dealing with empty nest syndrome and enjoying your new freedom.

Update Your Home

When the kids leave, you might not need all the room you once had. The big house can even feel empty and a little haunted. You may choose to sell your home

This lets you downsize into something more reasonably sized or more affordable. Selling also gives you the freedom to look at other areas where you might enjoy living.

Alternatively, you may decide to update the home to make it more comfortable for your new lifestyle. Get new furniture and decorations, and even consider making some renovations, such as adding a porch or a hot tub.

Maintain Communication

Though the kids are now out of the house, that does not mean that they are going to be out of your life. In fact, you may start to talk more than ever before. 

Make it a point to establish a time to communicate and visit with all of your children. You can also start traditions when everybody needs to make it home, especially around the holidays.

Get Help

It's okay to admit that this transition is difficult for you and that you could use some additional help. You do not need to be in pain all by yourself. 

In fact, many people struggle in a similar way. Look for support groups of other empty nesters or a therapist who has experience in this area if you think a professional will be helpful. You can find other help, though, too. 

Many people meditate, get creative, or join a book club. There are numerous surprising places to find help and support.

Focus on Your Relationship

Now that it is just you and your partner at home, this is a perfect time to reignite the flame. Do more things together and create a new bond without the children. 

Of course, you still have the memories as a family to help keep you together. Don't be afraid to spice it up a bit and physically reconnect as well.

Becoming an empty nester is a beautiful stage in life, and you should embrace it. At the same time, the change can be difficult for just about anybody. These tips should help you focus on yourself and this new stage.

Friday, May 7, 2021

How to Make Sure You Receive What Your Home Is Worth When Selling

Considering a house is a significant investment, the real estate industry can have substantial financial incentives for those who understand how to market and sell properties at the best possible price. 

Getting what your home is worth does present its array of issues. Enlisting the help of a skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent, on the other hand, will significantly reduce the stress of the process. 

Here are three tips to consider to sell your home at its actual value.

Understand the Local Market

The real estate market is rapidly evolving, and even on a local basis, market dynamics cannot be expected to remain stable for long. In this respect, hiring a successful real estate agent to serve you while selling your house is critical to getting the highest deal possible.

A successful real estate agent is well-versed in the industry in which they work. Experience in their real estate market has enabled real estate agents to know how to interpret market trends at any given time and counsel home buyers on a reasonable price – taking into account similar homes as well as the listed property's features and amenities.

Your realtor will do a comparative market study to compare similar homes that have been listed in the last 6 to 12 months to calculate an asking price for your house, as well as a thorough examination of historical market patterns to forecast potential property sales.

Select the Appropriate Time to Sell

The right time to sell is not always the same for each property seller. You've probably heard that the real estate market blooms in the spring and that prices hibernate during winter. 

Still, each particular seller's financial and personal conditions will undoubtedly influence their move to sell at a given moment.

Discuss the motives for selling your home thoroughly with your realtor, and make sure to map out a timeframe for the sale to give the realtor a sense about when you'd hopefully like to have the home sold.

Consider Minor Improvements That Add Value at a Low Cost

Most properties on the market do not necessitate extensive renovations or upgrades – unless you are selling a flipped home. 

However, minor repairs, such as a fresh coat of paint, minor bathroom, and kitchen renovations, and slight energy-efficient updates to the house, will increase real value to the property without spending a fortune.

If you need to get cash, immediately sell your home as is though. This will ensure you don’t need to make repairs around the house, but will still let you receive what you put into your home.

When selling your home you want to make sure you get as much out of it as you can. Follow some of the above tips before listing.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The House Always Wins How Vegas Weeds Out the Cheaters

Assuming that everyone would like to win big at Vegas (for those who wouldn’t want to walk out of a luxurious casino laden with cash can be considered an outlier), there seem to be two kinds of people in the world: those who see themselves as a member of Danny Ocean’s Ocean’s 13 crew, who “liberates” the money from those who either don’t deserve it or who misuse it, or those who consider themselves the luckiest person on earth; someone whose number was just called for a dose of cosmic justice. 

Needless to say that the powers that be in Las Vegas prefer the latter group of people, who make a once-in-a-lifetime memory and leave the casino with a heart full of joy and ready to book next year’s return vacation. 

Those in the former category, the “criminal masterminds” who stroll up to the table﹘sometimes with a nearby accomplice in tow﹘and begin to execute on a plan to take the money and run like some sort of modern-day Butch Cassidy, is not particularly well-liked in Vegas.

In fact, when it comes to defending the structure of Vegas gaming as a whole, these would-be outlaws are considered less like folky ne’er-do-wells and more like enemies of The State. 

Nevada has ratified some very strict language on how cheaters are to be dealt with, and the casinos themselves keep a watchful eye on as much of the proceedings on the floor as possible. 

For all intents and purposes, it’s fair to say that Vegas has declared war on all the “Danny Oceans” who roll into town, and they’ve beefed up their security to prove it.

Law and Order

Of course, there will always be the people who justify criminal actions by saying “but the House always wins! That means the owners are cheating us!” 

While that would certainly be an earth-shattering argument with major repercussions if proved, the fact of the matter is that Vegas owners don’t have to cheat. 

By running the game and setting the rules, all the casino has to do is sit back and let probability work in its favor. 

Because the default result for any losing hand or busted spin is to leave the money on the table, the casino has no incentive to risk losing its gaming license.

And lose it they would, should their cheating be found out. According to Nevada gaming regulations:

  • Anyone can be a cheater: “It is unlawful for any person, whether the person is an owner or employee of or a player in an establishment, to cheat at any gambling game.” (NRS 465.083)
  • Cheating can include failure: While merely thinking about cheating isn’t considered a crime, an “overt act” toward committing the crime﹘even if it falls short of completion﹘is considered liable for prosecution (NRS 193.330)
  • Conspirators are criminals too: Very rarely are crimes conceived in a vacuum, with no help from the outside. Any group of two or more people who make an agreement to violate the law are criminals. This includes those who aren’t even at the casino when the attempted crime occurs. (NRS 199.480)
  • Counting cards provides a strange loophole: According to the strict definition of the law, counting cards﹘that is, keeping track of the cards that are dealt by making a note of them in your head﹘is not illegal because it’s a mental skill; there’s no conspirator or apparatus involved to cheat the system. However, if a casino suspects someone of counting cards, they have the right to deny service and that person may be blacklisted from entering again. If they do, the casino can charge them with trespassing and throw them in jail. (NRS 207.200)

To Catch a Thief

Casinos market themselves as luxurious getaways that provide endless amounts of fun with a wide variety of games. It is very much in the interest of the establishment not to bring down the mood on the floor, or else people will start to associate negatively with the casino. In order to maintain the air of good feeling among the players but still keep an eye out for criminal actions, the casino keeps the anti-cheating security expansive, but well concealed.

When it comes to detecting cheaters, casinos work in layers, making sure there are redundancies all over the floor so that nothing goes unnoticed or unreported. These measures include:

  • Video surveillance: A given, but an essential tool nonetheless. While security cameras are able to inform security guards of wrongdoing as it happens, the video record they provide to a court of law is the true fulfillment of their potential.
  • Casino staff: The cheating “first responders” will always be those who work the tables and who wander the floor. These individuals have been specifically trained to spot suspicious activity, and will inform security to keep you zeroed in while you are playing.
  • Mathematical algorithms: The performance of every table is being monitored to ensure that nothing out of the ordinary is happening. This is determined by the use of statistical mathematics that tracks how likely the win streak of a player is. Anything that consistently falls outside of the realm of the believable is put under harsher scrutiny.

Visiting a hotel and casino is one of the best vacations out there, and gaming institutions strive to make sure that everything remains fun for everyone involved. When considering “extracurricular efforts” to walk away a winner, it’s best to remember the anti-smoking ads of the late ‘90s, which proclaimed that “the best way to quit is never to start.” 

Never bet more than you can lose, avoid using the ATMs, and have fun. Then come back next year and repeat.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

4 Ways Electrical Rewiring Can Save You Money

Having a home rewired may sound like a big project with little rewards, but that is not the case. Rewiring can provide a number of important benefits that will save you money. 

Over time, the upgrade can pay its own way in those savings. If your home's wiring is getting old, consider having it redone for these reasons and many others.

Avoiding Repair Bills

Old wiring malfunctions frequently. It trips breakers for no obvious reason, leaves outlets inoperative, and generally does strange things. 

Each of those issues will call for a visit from an electrician, who is likely to tell you that your best choice of electrical services is to rewire the house. 

Listen to that good advice. If the electrician is actually suggesting something that will eliminate those repair calls, it must be a good idea.

Protecting Appliances

When your furnace or other heavy appliance kicks on, you probably see a brief "brown-down". It may not seem like a big deal, but that dip in power can be very damaging to sensitive appliances. 

Televisions, computers, and many other high-dollar items in your home can suffer significant damage when their power supply drops like that. A rewired home will provide enough power to prevent those troughs and the damage they can cause.

Preventing Fires

This is probably the most obvious reason to rewire. Old wiring may do more than malfunction. It can overheat, break, or otherwise suffer physical damage that leads to a fire in your home. 

The risk to your belongings, house, and family is too great to ignore. If you're having electrical problems or just have old wiring, rewiring it could save lives.

Upgrading Equipment

Older homes were built long before anybody dreamed that everybody would have four cell phones, two big-screen TVs, miles of Christmas lights, and countless other electrical items in the home. 

Heavy power users like swimming pool pumps and outdoor kitchens are also relatively new to homes. With an undersized electrical service and outdated wiring, your home cannot handle additional money-saving upgrades like additional lighting or central heat and air. Rewiring will make it possible to save money elsewhere.

Sometimes people get overwhelmed at the thought of rewiring. They worry about the cost and hassle involved in the project, even though they know how good the outcome will be. 

Do yourself a favor and find out just how affordable and convenient it can be. Your project will pay dividends for decades to come.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Looking to Buy a House? Choose a Home Loan That Is Right for You

Purchasing a home can be a very overwhelming process. One of the more intimidating parts of the process is determining what kind of home loan is right for you. This article will break down some of the types of loans available to you and hopefully help you choose the one that is right for you.

Non-conventional vs. Conventional Loans

The two main types of home loans available are government, also called non-conventional loans, and conventional loans. Whether or not you should choose a non-conventional or conventional loan depends on many factors including eligibility and your personal financial situation.

A home loan broker can help you explore all of your options, find the loans you may be eligible for, and help guide you through the application and approval process. Be sure to find an experienced professional that can help you make the right decisions.

Non-conventional Loans

Government loans are easier to qualify for because they are backed by the government, and should you be unable to pay back the loan, the government will make sure the lender’s loss is covered. 

Common types of non-conventional government loans are Veterans Administration (VA) loans, Federal Housing Authority (FHA) loans, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans. 

Government loans are generally easier to qualify for because they have less strict requirements in terms of credit score and require less of a down payment than conventional loans do.

Conventional Loans

Conventional loans are somewhat harder to qualify for than government loans but are overall less costly. Conventional loans can either have a fixed interest rate that stays the same throughout the life of the mortgage or an adjustable interest rate in which the interest rate can fluctuate over time. 

Most often, people opt for a 30-year fixed-rate loan because the payment is generally most affordable. There are also fewer common types of conventional loans like renovation loans, balloon loans, bridge loans, equity loans, and reverse mortgages

A home loan broker can help you look over your options, determine what you may qualify for, and help you decide what kind of conventional loan is best for your situation. You may end up paying unnecessary costs if you decide to choose a loan without the help of a broker.

To conclude, there are several types of home loans available to home buyers. It is important to be aware of your particular financial situation and goals to determine which kind is right for you. If you need assistance, home loan brokers are a great resource to help analyze your situation and guide you through the process of obtaining the mortgage that is right for you.

Join 1000's of People Following 50 Plus Finance
Real Time Web Analytics