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Archive for October, 2013

FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map: What Is and Where You Can Find One

FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map:  What Is and Where You Can Find One

Flooding is a disastrous event that can occur in a wide number of locations.  Despite the fact that flooding can occur FEMAjust about anywhere in the United States, there are some areas that are more prone to flooding than others.  It is often hard for individuals, especially those who are new to the area, to tell if they are living in an area that is prone to flooding. That is one of the many reasons why FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps were developed.

FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps are a collection of maps that detail the likelihood of flooding occurring in a particular area.  In addition to keeping the public aware of flooding risks, the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate maps are also used to assist the National Flood Insurance Program in offering affordable flood insurance to Americans living in high-risk flood zones.

FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps are a valuable source of information to homeowners, business owners, MAPconstruction workers, city officials, and others.  While the maps are beneficial, there are many individuals who are unaware that there may be a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map for their area.  If you are looking to purchase a home or a business in an area that you are unfamiliar with or you just want to educate yourself on flooding risks, you have a number of ways gain access to your local FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map.

The most common way to obtain access to your local FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map is to visit the FEMA’s online website.  Once at FEMA’s website site you should be able to easily search for your local FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map.  If you are only interested in quickly viewing a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map you can do so for free online.  If you are interested in having your own printed FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map then you may have to purchase one.

FLOODIn addition to obtaining a local FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), you may also be able to view one by speaking to local government officials.  Many cities, towns, and state offices have a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map on hand.  You may not be able to take the map outside of their offices, but you may be able to quickly examine it. 

Many individuals prefer to look at a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map, but sometimes hearing the information on those maps is just as good.  If you are unable to find a free FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map, you can contact a local or national flood insurance agent for more information. These maps are taken into consideration when flood insurance is offered; NATIONALtherefore, most flood insurance agents would have access to multiple FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

Many individuals who are searching for a FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map are doing so because they are interested in obtaining flood insurance.  If you contact a flood insurance agent, you may be able to determine your flooding risk and obtain flood insurance coverage all at the same time.  In addition to providing valuable flood insurance information, a small number of agents are also able to offer National Flood Insurance Program coverage for a discounted price.

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Skiing In Scotland, Enjoying Other Ski Resorts

Scotland may be the home of golf, but its also a great place for skiing enthusiasts.  With numerous world-class resorts, and such a depth of history and culture, Scotland is a great place to visit on your vacation, regardless of your SKIINGinterests and hobbies.  When you think of Scotland, you might think of kilts, and rural mountaintops and sheep, but if you actually get to know the place, you’ll find it is both beautiful, with its bustling, classy cities, ensuring you’re going to have an enjoyable vacation wherever you go in the country.

One of the most famous Scottish ski resorts is Aviemore.  A classy, traditional ski resort, Aviemore is located within the Scottish Highlands, and is the ski resort of choice for many across the world.  Loved for its friendly atmosphere and great skiing, Aviemore is more than well equipped to give you a great time.  It’s bars and restaurants are simply first class, offering wholesome food and drink to keep you well refreshed.  Additionally, it’s holiday village feeling enhances its friendly, relaxed ambience, and makes you feel a million miles from home whilst still comfortable.MOUNTAIN

Alternatively, there are some more ski resorts in the Scottish Highlands which are particularly good value for money.  It is important to watch out, though, given that some resorts cater for the top end of the market, and you could end up paying a lot more than you bargained for.  As long as you do your homework before you leave, you should fin the resort that is perfect to cater for your needs, and your wallet.

One thing to watch out for before you arrive in Scotland is to change your currency into Sterling Pounds.  Your best option is to go to your local travel agents, or your local currency conversion centre before setting off.  That way, you will be sure of exactly what you are getting for your money.  It is a good idea to be wary of the commission, and the exchange rate you are BEAUTIFULbeing offered, and it can sometimes be quite tricky to get your head around the numbers.  Make sure you work everything out before hand, and shop around so that you don’t get taken advantage of.

For excellent deals on Scotland, why not go online?  Additionally, there you will find a great deal of information on what to do in Scotland, and information on the depth and variety of Ski Resorts.  If you choose not to go to a ski resort, but rather a city, and you want to cram in some top quality, affordable skiing during your trip, you are also in luck.  There are loads of dry ski slopes in and around the cities, like at Polmont for example, which is located midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, which is ideal for some quick and cheap skiing.  Additionally, there are several indoor artificial snow ski slopes which you can visit.  These SLOPESinnovative inventions are used to help train national level skiers, and are also open to the public at certain times, so why not pop along during your visit?

Why not consider Scotland?  With so many excellent deals on skiing package tours at the moment, you’ll definitely be glad you did, and you are guaranteed to have an enjoyable, fun holiday in this picturesque, ski enthusiast’s heaven.

Why Commercial Real Estate?

Every day I am approached by people in residential real estate, by people in different professions such as medicine and law, and others who are not too informed on commercial real estate and what it is really about. When they discover my profession, they always ask me, “Why?” Of course they acknowledge the most obvious reason, the FLYamount of money that can be made. However, I am quick to inform them that there are so many other wonderful reasons why ANYONE should be involved in commercial real estate.

Here I have compiled the top five reasons why I am involved in commercial real estate, and why you should too.

The first is really my favorite, the concept of synergy. Synergy is the idea that you put in the same amount of effort, but yield a larger result. 1 + 1 = 3. This is definitely present in commercial real estate. Many of the deals you might be involved in require the same exact process and amount of work, regardless of how large the property is, how much the property is worth, what its best use is, and how much of a return you can make from it.

A $15,000,000 deal can literally require the same amount of work as a $3,000,000 deal! Because of this reason, I always urge my colleagues to think big, and always go for the gusto! Why exert the same amount of time and energy on a low yielding deal, when you can put the same amount of time and energy, and yield 10 times what that single deal would? I am not a rocket scientist; however, this seems pretty clear to me.COMMERCIAL BUILDING

The second reason is leverage, and how it can maximize your return on properties. In commercial real estate, you always want to examine how you can decrease your invested capital while returning the most money. A good way is to borrow part of the initial investment and pay a certain percentage on the borrowed money. The total cost of initial investment can be much lower when you use other people’s money (OPM), and it, therefore, increases your overall return. There are not too many businesses that function is this fashion, and you can definitely use it to your advantage.

The third reason why I chose commercial real estate is the impact I can have on communities. Creating more affordable housing, renovating old, large apartment complexes so that people actually want to live there, finding places for companies to establish a customer base and employ jobs, and increasing the economic welfare of cities are all fantastic reasons to get involved in commercial real estate! You can really have an effect on the communities you work in, and everyone will benefit.

COMMERCIAL BUILDINGThe fourth reason is abundance. There is an abundance of properties, types of properties, ways to create wealth, professionals to work with, other people’s money to borrow, and money to be made. There is enough for everyone in this constantly changing industry. It makes it an exciting place to work, as there is always a new and different opportunity for you to pursue!

The fifth reason includes all the various skills you get to use in commercial real estate. It is not like an accountant’s job where you primarily deal with the same math and the same clients day in and day out, with little varying tasks. In commercial real estate you must problem solve, be creative in constructing offers and what to do with properties. It requires negotiation, which is fun, building relationships with other professionals that can lead to friendships and lifelong business partners, and, of course, the ability to create massive wealth and happiness that many others never COMMERCIAL LEASINGexperience!

There are many more reasons why I enjoy commercial real estate, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. You will develop your own reasons to love the business of commercial real estate.

Commercial real estate can be rewarding personally and financially, and it is a benefit to the community. Think about all the reasons why you want to do commercial real estate and visualize how you can reap all these exciting benefits too! You can make it happen!

When Decide To Purchase A New Home, Things To Look For

Good question! It’s a good idea to think about what you should look for when you purchase a new home before you actually sign on the dotted line and pay.  Buying a new home can be a rewarding experience if you do it right.  Just HOME make sure you protect yourself from any surprises down the line.  You want to know some of the ways you can? Well, you may want to consider these tips before purchasing your new home:

1) Make sure you select a reputable builder when you purchase your new home! Do your research on the builder to find out about their past work.  You can find out the type of work a builder has previously done by getting the names of the home communities established by the builder.  Go to those particular communities and ask some of the homeowners if they have had any problems with that particular builder.  You can also ask the homeowners what they like about their home builder.

2) Consider getting a home inspection done on your new home by hiring your own independent home inspector.  You CONSTRUCTIONcan find a certified home inspector via the American Society of Home Inspectors(ASHI) www.ashi.org.  If the builder of the new home you’re considering to purchase won’t allow an inspection, then you may want to consider moving on to another home builder that will allow you to do this.

3) Investigate and research any easements that may be on the property you’re considering to purchase.  This will save you headaches later on! Make sure the easements don’t affect your enjoyment of your property in the future.

4) Consider having a real estate attorney look over the real estate documents for your new home purchase.  Especially your closing purchase documents before you sign them at closing.

LIVE5) Purchase title insurance! This will protect you when you purchase your home.  Title insurance will provide you with protection if someone challenges you about being the property owner of your new home.

6) You may want to consider not purchasing your first new home in a new community that has been developed.  Why should you do this you say? Well, for one thing, it’s a test run and all of the kinks may not be worked out yet.  You may get stuck with a lemon! It might be better for you to wait until the builder has developed more communities in order for you to consider making a new home purchase.FINISHED

7) Find out how long it will take you to travel from your home to work.  Can you deal with your commute? If so, that’s great! If not, this may end your quest with that particular builder to purchase a new home with them.

Well, get the idea why it’s so important to think about certain things before you consider a  new home purchase? Good, then start looking for your new home now with these tips and information to assist you when you’re in the process of considering making your new home purchase.

Help Prevent A Home Burglary, Things You Are Able To Do

These days, home burglary is one the rise.  Over 70% of all crime these days relates to property crimes, normally involving the home.  Although police and local authorities are doing everything they can to put a stop to crime, HOMEburglary is something that cannot be stopped.  Even though there are ways to protect yourself, burglars will always be lurking out there – waiting for their next victim.

Even though there are ways to prevent unwanted entry to your home, a determined burglar will always find a way to get in.  Breaking and entering is his job, and most burglars are extremely good at it.  Statistics show that burglaries occur every 15 seconds.  What that means, is that every 15 seconds there is someone out there getting robbed. 

Over the years, home burglaries have received a lot of attention, some of which have even been on the news.  Although some burglars eventually get caught and arrested, most seem to disappear without a trace.  To protect yourself and your home, there are tactics such as security alarms, burglar alarms, and even security cameras that you can use.

Property marking is a great way to protect yourself as well.  Property marking involves marking everything that you CONTROL PANELown with a signature or mark that you can easily identify once the property has been recovered.  You can use micro dots, UV pens, or even laser pens.  The idea here is to mark your property so it won’t be easy to sell on the black market.  Even though it may sound weird, most burglars do study their targets quite a bit before they decide to rob them.

One of the most effective forms of home security is the home security system.  If a burglar tries to rob your home and notices that you have a security system set up, he will normally start to get second thoughts and eventually change his plans.  On the other hand, if the burglar decides to go ahead and rob a home with a surveillance system anyway, the system will normally catch him on video, making it easy for the police to identify who he is.  Home surveillance and security cameras are great to have, and can either be wireless or wired, dummy or real, outdoor or indoor, or even a combination of several.

EASY ACCESSAlarms are also a great way to prevent burglary.  The police will tell you that home burglar alarms prevent over 50% of attempted burglaries in the home.  There are several types of burglar alarms, from those that aren’t expensive to those that are monitored around the clock.  Alarms will let burglars know that robbing your home isn’t going to be easy, and that they should really give it a second thought.  Tried and true over the years, alarms have been proven to be very effective and above all else – they work.

No matter what direction you decide to take, there are indeed ways that you can protect your home from burglary. In the United States, home security systems have really become a big business.  Millions ofSECURITY home owners throughout the U.S. are investing in security and surveillance systems, knowing that the day will come when they will come in very handy.  Even though you may never be robbed, there is always a chance.  Burglaries can happen at any time, which is why you should always be protected.  If you think ahead and invest in a security system, you’ll be prepared for anything that happens. You have to think in terms of self-defense – and ensure that your home is protected for anyone who decides to make you a target.

Why Do I Need A Realtor To Sell My Home?

As you consider selling your home, you might be thinking  “Why do I need a Realtor, what value does a Sellers Agent bring to the table?” There are five areas where I, as a licensed Realtor can help you in your homes sale –

FOR SALESETTING THE PRICE: Pricing your home is a careful balance. Set the price too low and you leave money on the table. Set the price too high and your home will be on the market a long time, which just compounds the problem as it raises questions about it’s sale-ability.

As a Realtor, it is my job to know what properties like yours have sold for recently, and can utilize the detailed history of area sales to tell whether your home – with it’s unique features, location and condition – will bring more, or less, than similar listings. And I always have the pulse of the local and regional Real Estate market, so I know whether the market is heating up or cooling down, and can stay ahead of the trend, pricing your home to get you the highest possible price in the least amount of time.

BEING OBJECTIVE: Selling a home can be an emotional experience. After all, it’s been a part of your life, perhaps the LENDERcenter of your life, for years. As a third-party, a Realtor can keep you focused and provide independent feedback on things you should do, or changes and repairs that should be made, to help the home sell. I will also act as a buffer during negotiations. As a licensed Realtor, I adhere to a strict code of ethics, and I work to represent your best interests.

PROVIDE MARKETING MUSCLE: Attracting interested people to view and buy your home does not happen automatically. I will market your home to the widest audience of potential buyers through a well-coordinated multimedia campaign. Of course, I will use Signs, Newspaper Ads, Internet and open houses, but you’ll also be placed in the Multiple Listing Service where local agents can bring it to the attention of their buyers, and then to Realtor.com and Yahoo Classifieds Real Estate where it can be viewed by anyone in the world that is relocating to this area.

RISKPRE-QUALIFY BUYERS: I can help separate the serious buyers from the “lookie-loos” and thus save you a lot of time and frustration. I will determine if buyers are serious by getting answers to questions about their motivations and purchasing power and by ensuring that they have been pre-qualified for a mortgage in the amount needed to buy your home. When I bring you an offer on your home, you can be sure that the buyers’ finances are sound and the deal is ready to be done.

FOLLOW THROUGH and CLOSE THE DEAL: Selling your house is complicated and there is a mountain of paperwork. First there are offers and counter-offers. Then come the Contracts of Sale, inspection reports, disclosure forms, deeds, mortgage documents. I keep track of it all and see to every detail. My value is in avoiding REALTORdelays and mistakes, and coordinating the timing of the sale of this house with the purchase of another, so that you make a smooth transition to your new home.

SUMMARY: The value that I, or any licensed Realtor brings to someone selling a house is, in the end, peace of mind. The marketing, the details, the paperwork, the coordination. I do it every day, and I enjoy the process. So relax and leave the details to me. You’ll find that having a knowledgeable Realtor beside you throughout the sale of your home is priceless.

Kitchen Remodeling Safety Tips You Need To Know

Are you a homeowner who is looking to start a kitchen remodeling project?  If so, are you doing that project by yourself?  While a large number of homeowners make the decision to hire a professional contractor, others do not.  KITCHENNot only will you have control over your kitchen remodeling project, but doing your own remodeling may save you money. Although there are a number of benefits to remodeling your own kitchen, there are also a number of disadvantages.  One of those disadvantages is the risk of injury.

One of the many reasons why kitchen remodeling can be termed dangerous is because of the tools that are used. Whether you are replacing your kitchen lights, your kitchen cabinets, or your kitchen flooring, you will likely need to use a collection of tools; tools that may be unsafe if used improperly. That is why it is important that you know all of the tools that you will be using, including their dangers.  Although there is a good chance that you have used a box cutter or a saw before, there is also a chance that you haven’t. Before you start your kitchen remodeling project, it may be a good idea to practice with and familiarize yourself with the tools that you will be using. When it REMODELcomes time to starting your remodeling, you should know how to safely use all of your tools; thus reducing your risk of injury.

It is also important that you know your own physical limits, when remodeling your kitchen.  Whether you are replacing your kitchen floor tiles, installing new kitchen cabinets, or installing a new kitchen countertop, you need to know how much is too much to lift.  Lifting too much weight may result in back injury; therefore, if you need assistance from someone, ask for it.  It is also advised that you keep your overall ability to work in mind.  Even if you are trying to get your kitchen remodeling project finished as soon as possible, it is advised LIGHTINGthat you do not push yourself. When you are tired and working, your safety is not only at risk, but the overall outcome of your project is also because more mistakes may be made.  If you need a break, even for an hour, take one. 

When remodeling your kitchen, it is also advised that you keep aware of your surroundings; this includes who else is in the kitchen.  If you are remodeling with a friend or a relative, it is a good idea to know where they are at all times.  This will help to prevent accidentally injuries.  It is also important to keep an eye on who may enter the kitchen when you are remodeling.  If you have children, it may be a good idea to block the entranceway to your kitchen. If you are unable to do so, you will always want to know if and CABINETSwhen your children enter the remodeling area.  If you have young children, it is advised that you never leave your remodeling tools lying around, especially large, sharp tools. 

Perhaps, the best thing to keep in mind, when remodeling your kitchen, is to use your common sense.  Listening to your head or what your body is telling you, like when it signals that you may need a break, is the best way to stay safe when remodeling your kitchen. It is also, as previously mentioned, the best way to ensure that you produce quality work.