Searching For an Apartment in New York

East coast living has been a dream of mine for a lifetime. However, the cost of living is steadily increasing and in order to afford an apartment on my own in New York City, I needed to find the cheapest way to find the perfect one from 650 miles away. As a young adult, moving costs are not easy to accommodate. 

When beginning my search for an apartment, I used the help of the World Wide Web to find an effective website to help in my search process. Because of the living expenses, I wanted to find a service that could help me find the best place for the least amount of money. This included finding a website that didn’t include a broker fee to add to my already soaring moving costs. The accessibility of a website with this feature was very effective for my needs. 

As a new renter, I needed to seek out a resource that helped me to quickly and cost-effectively rent my apartment. In a city as large as New York, I needed a simple way to organize myself in finding a place. A website that made the search simple helped to make the hunt for a place less stressful. It was also helpful that new listings were sent directly to my email and all postings had photos, maps and even directions when I decided to take a look at the place for myself. 

As a native Midwesterner, it was also helpful that detailed neighborhood information was given, seeing as I had no NYC experience within my decision-making process. This unfamiliarity discouraged the process because of my unawareness of the cost of living. A website that effectively described the value within the apartments listed helped me to organize what each place could give me compared to the others in surrounding areas. Variety is also important; a website that offered a range of types of living areas was more encouraging to me because the website had taken the time to present a range for their users. 

The importance of direct correspondence when moving long-distance is vital. This website allowed me to get detailed, personal attention with answers to my questions about neighborhoods, how to deal with landlords, etc. The site effectively helped my difficult move much more of a pleasant experience. With their help, I found the best place I could from out of state and received answers to all the questions I had in order to feel that I had made the best decision with my long-distance move.

The Unstoppable Rise of the Bulgarian Property Market

What is it about Bulgaria that has attracted thousands of property investors to commit to the country?  

Why does the Bulgarian real estate sector appeal so greatly to so many people?  

And what is causing the continuous flow of new investment into the country?

These are all questions that those external to the unstoppable Bulgarian real estate market need answering!

Well, the reasons for the popularity of Bulgaria’s property market are manifold and this article will guide you to an understanding of the main factors driving the ongoing success of the Bulgarian real estate sector.

Bulgaria is on track for EU accession – that means that it is about to gain full membership of the European Union either in 2007 or 2008.  When the country is a member it will benefit from freer trading rights, it will easily attract more foreign direct investment, more companies will set up offices and bases in the country and as a result employment opportunities will increase and overall the local Bulgarian economy will benefit positively.  

Because Bulgaria is not yet in the EU however, many investors are buying property in Bulgaria now to benefit from the economic improvements that the country will enjoy once it does become a member.  These economic improvements will likely translate into higher property prices in the real estate sector, therefore those who buy now believe that they will benefit from the greatest price gains and make the maximum profits and enjoy the longest period of growth.

Until Bulgaria does join the EU its property ownership laws are not in line with those of other EU countries which means that there is an element of risk to the whole property buying process which artificially keeps real estate prices low – as with any type of investment, the greater the potential risk the greater the potential profit.  Therefore those who are not risk averse can see that the artificially deflated prices present them with even more opportunity for profit over the medium term.

Finally, property prices in Bulgaria may be artificially deflated but they are starting from a low position anyway because the country is just beginning to emerge into a first world country with first world infrastructure – as and when it joins the EU it will most likely make further leaps forward in terms of its development and this will make the country more attractive to more people which will increase the demand for real estate which will push up the prices for property and those who buy before this predicted boom will be able to reap the greatest rewards!  And that is why the appeal of Bulgarian real estate market is so intense with property investors right now.

Million Solar Roof Initiative – U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy has been given a mission of reducing fossil fuel dependence and pollution in the country. Its answer is the Million Solar Roof Initiative. 

Million Solar Roof Initiative – U.S. Department of Energy

For the past 20 years, the Department of Energy has been trying to motivate private industry to go solar. This motivation, however, has primarily been in the form of providing free education on solar platforms and how to install them on homes, buildings and power plants. As you might imagine, private industry has been less than enthusiastic about such efforts, but all of that is starting to change. 

Congress funds the Department of Energy and Congress is unhappy with the state of alternative energy sources.  Further, the federal political monster is also starting to react to all the heat being generated internationally by our massive production of greenhouse gases. In reaction, the proverbial whip has been laid to the Department of Energy and renewable energy is the hot subject. 

Greenhouse gases are produced by fossil fuels. The gases rise into the atmosphere and effectively act as insulation, which heats up the Earth. Rising temperatures are now melting glaciers throughout the world and are expected to start melting the polar ice caps. As this occurs, water levels will rise around the world and climatic changes are expected to be harsh. It is expected that the past hurricane season will be the least of our problems. 

In pursing the Million Solar Roofs Initiative, the Department of Energy hopes to reduce the production of greenhouse gases. If a million solar platforms are put up, the pollutant savings will be equivalent to the emissions produced by over 800,000 cars each year. 

To make the Million Solar Roofs Initiative viable, there has to be an economic component. Now there is. Congress has issued large tax credits for businesses and individuals that go solar. Rebate programs have also been initiated to help reduce the cost of purchasing a solar platform. Indeed, California just went forward with a 3.2 billion dollar rebate program on it’s own. Finally, the federal government is now providing solar platform loans as part of mortgage packages through entities such as Fannie Mae and FHA. Throw in concepts like net metering [selling power to utilities from your home or business], and going solar has never made so much sense. 

After years of playing lip service to non-fossil fuel energy, the federal government finally is getting serious about the proposition. The Million Solar Roofs Initiative is one such step.

Real Estate: Overcoming Your First Big Hurdle

As one journey’s through the rough terrain of real estate. You will find yourself amongst the company of those who share similar emotions: self-doubt, fear, concerns of risk, and an endless stream of questions. So why would one subject him or herself to such things if it causes so much of a headache in the short term?

The answer to that is simple: Real Estate is where the bling bling is! Seriously folks, no industry on earth has made millionaires of more people than those two words. 

OK so now you’ve decided it’s worth the risk, but you’ve heard so many different perspectives on results, methods, and a million different courses all claiming to be the cure to launch your own career in real estate. 

You may look into creating new homes and then selling the properties when the timing is right, or even rent them out. Many people follow this method and rehash the process over and over till they reach their financial goals. 

Others go about it a different way- such as finding a run down home (or constructing a new one) and then learn the tricks and trades of fixing up a home and finding out where the “pressure points” are that can drive the value of the property up like like firewords on the Fourth of July. Then they’d flip or sell it once it is done. 

Each method has it’s highlights and lowlights. Perhaps you should look into the one that “feels right” to you, and look into it a bit more. It’s not possible to become a master of everything in the beginning so just find something, learn how to make money from it, and make it happen as many times as it takes till you get your desired results.

Eventually, you will develop a sixth sense for “where the money is”. This is something that can only be learned through hard work, and experience, period!

Snow Sells Houses – Winter home-staging

As our favorite flowers get buried under the snow and the shrubs shed their greenery, it is all too easy for your house and front yard to blend in with all the other white places in your area. But when your house is on the market it is advantageous to have it defined and noticeable, looking like the pick of the bunch.

This is not so difficult to achieve, selling your home in the winter does have some seasonal advantages that can help your home appeal to a prospective buyer. By spending only a few dollars, you can transform your home into a Christmas card scene! 

As your buyer turns into your street, he/she will already be assessing your home strictly from the outside view. For this reason, you will want the exterior of your home to look uncluttered. Remove all kid’s bikes, hockey nets, etc. Be sure that you park your family vehicles in the neighbor’s driveway, (ask first!) or around the corner. This will ensure that the buyer’s first impression of your home will also include your garage doors and driveway. A spacious front yard gives a feeling of more privacy, so strive for this. 

Be sure to remove all garbage cans and recycle bins from sight. This is critical if you have steps to negotiate when they are put out. Try to minimize any shortfalls that your property may have. 

Another first impression for night viewings will be the light streaming out of your windows, making the home look welcoming – or not. A bright white light and a full view of the interior would not be desirable. 

You do not want them assessing the interior when they should be admiring the exterior. From the outside you want to evoke a warm welcome into the home and a suggestion of coziness can easily be achieved. 

However, first things first, make sure the windows are sparkling clean; this will be especially beneficial for day-time viewings when you want all the natural light to flood in. 

For the evening viewings, place an amber or pink light bulb in at least one of your lamps, to give a warm ambience to your room. Keep the lighting low at first; once the bell rings you can add more lighting.

Another spot for lighting is the front door and this can also be a tinted bulb for a warmer welcome. Make sure that the front door bell works and that the door does not stick! Once something does not work, the buyer wonders what else is wrong with the house. 

As most of the blooms in your yard are gone, it may look a little austere. Do you have any decorative pathways that can be swept to reveal their pattern? Of course the walkways will be shoveled free of snow, but if you actually sweep them with a yard broom, it will reveal the patterning and colors that you may have. 

As you are trying to show your home to its best advantage, you may think about removing the shoveled snow to the back yard. If you want the Christmas card view, you can’t have heaps of dirty snow piled up! Do be ultra sure that there are no slippery spots.

Discuss with your realtor whether or not to add accessories. For instance, would a few large pots of berry bushes look good grouped on the front lawn? Would the front door benefit from a three foot fir tree in a pot on each side of it? 

Your walkways will be further enhanced by lamps placed along it, these are very reasonable and push into the ground in seconds. The snow will reflect the lamp glow and add to the curb appeal of your home.

Once you have gone to all this trouble, just hope that a blizzard does not arrive with the buyers!

Tax foreclosures property investment could be a nightmare investment

The term “Tax Foreclosures” is a legal procedure or process that is expected to occur if a buyer defaults on a loan or the taxes applicable on the property, which he lends for mortgage. The lender or lending institution takes back the hold of the property because of irresponsibility of the borrower in paying off dues and applicable taxes or loan applied on mortgaged property for whatsoever reasons. Therefore it is in the best interest of the borrower to pay off all the dues and applicable taxes prior to agreed period of time so as to make sure that no legal action, such as auction of his/her property in public, is taken against him/her. The most notable thing for a borrower is to that he/she must keep all the documents with him/her meeting all the terms and conditions to avoid any Tax Foreclosures in dealing with other parties in future. 

Tax foreclosure property procedures are different in every state. Many states follow an easy and simple tax foreclosure, whereby you only have to appeal the county court or maybe through processes of applications to obtain the deed to the property. Mean while, in other states, to go through the tax foreclosure property, you will have to spend most of your time in dealing with an attorney, which will consume lot of your time and waste your money. 

In the United States, there are two sorts of property foreclosure in most common law states. Using a “deed in lieu of foreclosure,” the bank claims the title and possession of the property back in full satisfaction of a debt, usually on contract. In the proceeding simply known as foreclosure (or, perhaps, distinguished as “judicial foreclosure”), the property is exposed to auction by the county sheriff or some other officer of the court. 

Other states have adopted non-judicial foreclosure procedures, in which the mortgagee, or more commonly the mortgagee’s attorney or designated agent, gives the debtor a notice of default and the mortgagee’s intent to sell the immovable property in a form prescribed by state statute. This type of property foreclosure is commonly referred to as “statutory” or “non-judicial” foreclosure.

The schedules for auctions of the tax foreclosures properties can be obtain by approaching the office of the Clerk of the District of the area in which the mortgager owns the property. However information on such listings can also be obtained from the courthouse.