Real Estate 101 – Investing in Foreclosures

“When it comes to real estate investing, making money off of foreclosed homes is a highly specialized area that can become aggressive as well. This is because investing in foreclosed real estate is a specific market and those that are involved in this form of investment tend to be highly educated when it comes to making money in this manner. Therefore, before you get involved in real estate investment, it is important that you become as educated as possible about buying and selling this type of real estate for the most profit.Understanding ForeclosureWhen many people think about foreclosed properties, they envision homes that are falling apart or that are infested with termites or covered in mold. The reality is that foreclosed homes can be mansions or pieces of commercial property that are worth millions of dollars as well. Remember, properties are not necessarily foreclosed upon because they are condemned or because they were not properly cared for. Rather, the previous owner simply failed to make payments on the property. When this happens, the lender takes the property back and sells it in an attempt to regain the money that has been invested into that particular piece of real estate.Choosing Your NicheWhen you decide to become involved in real estate investment by specializing in foreclosed properties, you will need to first determine your niche. In other words, you should start off by targeting one type of property. Perhaps you will focus on “fixer uppers” that you will repair and then sell. Or, maybe you will specialize on commercial properties.Whatever you decide to specialize in, the chances are that you will have plenty of properties to select from. In fact, the number of foreclosure properties available each year in the United States is topping half a million and those numbers continue to grow.Picking the Right Stage of ForeclosureAs you explore the possibility of purchasing foreclosed real estate, you will need to learn more about the three major stages of foreclosure. These stages are pre-foreclosure, auction/trustee sale, and real estate owned. There are pros and cons to completing your purchase during each of these stages, so you might find that you prefer to close the deal at a particular stage. This is entirely up to your personal preference.During the pre-foreclosure stage, the homeowner has received a certified letter stating that the home will be foreclosed upon if payments are not made current by a certain date. You can approach a real estate owner at this time and offer to purchase the property before the foreclosure occurs. There is little risk involved with purchasing property during this stage and you can also enjoy the satisfaction of helping someone get out of a bind, though you need to make sure there are no judgments or liens on the property before you finalize the deal.During the auction stage, the property has been put up for auction or put up for what is referred to as a trustee sale. This step occurs when the owner fails to bring the payments up to date in accordance with what was stated in the letter that was received in the previous stage. During this stage, you can purchase the property by paying the lender so it does not have to take the property back. As a result, you can often receive a discounted price. To buy the real estate at this time, however you will need to have the cash needed for the purchase. You also have to purchase the property “as is,” which can be a risk if there are problems with the property.If no one purchases the property at auction, the lender had to buy it back. It is at this point that it is considered Real Estate Owned. At this stage, the lender may attempt to make a profit from the property. Nonetheless, you can typically get a good discount at this stage. In addition, waiting until this stage provides you with more time to do research on the property ahead of time.Real estate investment can be an excellent way to make extra money and to plan for your future. At the same time, you need to take the time to learn about this type of business and to understand the pros and cons of investing at the various stages in order to make sure you minimize your risks and maximize your profits.”

Frugally Stylish and FabuLESS

“Elegance is not measured by the type of clothes, but by the attitude when it’s worn.” – Anna SantosCLOTHING – second to the most important basic human need (as food being the first). Having said as a basic need, it means everyone must have it for protection of the bare human skin. The types of clothing needed differ from one culture to another, mainly due to religious practices, changing weather, varying seasons, etc. Similarly, fashion has contributed a big role in influencing the evolutionary changes in the clothing demands – be it either a “want” or a “need.” And because we are in the technologically inclined era, everyone is extremely exposed to all sorts of stores (online and offline), latest fashion, and great deals that make “staying away” from them extremely difficult.Self-discipline comes to play the biggest role in every decision to define between “wants” and “needs.”I believe that being fashionable does not need to be expensive. Here are my basic tips to be frugal, yet stylish and fabuLESS:
End-of-season purchase. Stores wish to minimize piles of unsold stocks, so they almost would give their items away by selling them from 50 to 80% off. YES! This much – better than paying huge storage fees. When planning to buy something that you’ll need in the future, e.g., winter jackets or even summer clothes, buy when the season is almost over to catch the very best deals. Select bigger sizes for kids because they grow fast.
Buy clothes that don’t need much or no ironing at all. As we know, ironing the clothes weakens the fabric. Also, it saves you money on electric bills from not needing to press all the time.
Pick neutral colours. This will enable you to mix and match with other pieces and accessories that you already have.
To hand- or machine-wash. Separate which clothes need hand- or machine-washing. By doing this, the durability and lifespan of the textile can be prolonged. Also, observe colour segregation when washing.
Avoid bleaching. Bleaching is proven to weaken the fabric. It will also ruin its original colour.
Minimize using a machine dryer. Clothes tend to stretch or narrow when using a machine dryer. It is still best to sun- or air-dry when possible. Color and texture are also maintained.
Fold immediately. Either machine- or sun-dryed, make an effort to fold washed clothes immediately to prevent from crumpling too much so ironing is less necessary. This is most applicable to jeans and other tops, but some clothes still need to be ironed though!
Recycle. Create another item out of the unwanted old clothing. Old tops can be sewn into bed covers, pillow cases, bags, coin purse, etc. Faded old pants can be converted into shorts.
Hand-me-down items. This is one of the most common economical ways to save on clothing, shoes, jackets, etc. When planning to have more than one child, preserve the clothes appropriately for the next. Though colour may be a concern for the baby’s gender, it’s safer to purchase unisex items.
Donate. Let the less fortunate enjoy too. But make sure to give away stuff that are still in good shape, something wearable. Nothing can beat the joy of sharing.
Buy adjustable items. Unless you are sure that your body size will not change, consider buying clothes one size up. It’s easier to adjust and repair bigger sizes when needed.
Accessorize. This is the best strategy to diversify new look and style by adding scarves, belts, blazers, jewelries, etc. It also gives you the benefit of not getting noticed wearing old and almost the same clothes.
Sell old stuff. When closet tends to run out of space, check for items that need to be parted with or given away. Thrift stores are one of the best avenues to sell old clothes and accessories to generate money. Even at lower costs, monetizing from dust-generating items is better than stuck.
Sew your own. If you have the skills, consider to sew your own, either by hand or machine.
Custom-made. If unable to make your own, it is still way cheaper to have a special dress custom-made than a ready-to-wear. You can also have the benefit of its perfect fit and the style and colour that you want.
Rent. Though some others say that an important occasion only happens once, but it is worth renting a dress, gown, or a suite for a special occasion than buying because you never know when to wear it again or worst, it will be hanging in the closet forever.
Bulk-buying. This applies to the items that need frequent use like kids’ school shirts, shorts, socks, etc.
Check care instructions. Every item has a “care instruction” tag attached. Make sure to read it prior to washing and ironing.
Hang or fold clothes properly. Hanging or folding makes you look at your clothes nice to the eye. It gives you an easier scanning to plan ahead for the next day or occasion. It is also good for hygienic purposes.
Maintain cleanliness of storage/closet. Making the closet properly arranged and cleaned will prevent any insects from invading; thus, preserving the clean and fresh scent of the clothes.
Get what you’ve paid for. Some think that items like shoes are better bought cheap based on the price and not the quality. Since shoes are one of the most used items, it is smarter to pay a little bit more so that the quality is not compromised. Most cheap items turn out to be short-lived.
To summarize, it is still vital to impose the right attitude. Exercise L-E-S-S.L – Love what you have.E – Enjoy what you have.S – Simplify what you have.S – Share what you have.See you at my next blogs… Happy Saving!