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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Refinishing Your Furniture and Save Some Money

Stainless steel table with eucalyptus wood FSC...While many of us right now are facing stress involving out finances, that doesn’t stop life from turning.  At times that may mean you need more room, or even new furniture.

Refinishing , or even going fully do it yourself can save a lot of money.  While, it’s not for everyone (and some of us don’t seem to have any sort of ingrained builder genes) but, sometimes just painting a piece of furniture can give it that new look that makes it much better.

Utilizing things like stencils, or even for the more daring decoupage techniques may improve your furniture. 

For those that may be a bit more able to build, anything from simply removing of doors on a cabinet to create simple shelves, or other types of revamping may do the trick.

Either way, the sky is the limit of what you can turn that old piece of junk into.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Real Estate Investing? There’s an App for that

Second generation iPod Touch.

Almost any conceivable thing out there has an app for the iPhone.  Real estate isn’t any different, if you are looking for a new family home- or to invest in some new property- it seems that there really is an app for that.

There are many lists out there, but if you are looking to get behind the scenes, it may help to have what the pros have and grab one of the apps listed in this article.  They are definitely useful and may come in handy in a real estate search.

The iPhone and iPod touch both use the handy mini-programs, and the developers of the programs are really pushing the envelope.  While not too long ago the real estate apps were few and far in between, they’ve really begun growing lately.

Do you have a favorite that you use?  Post about it in the comments!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Organizing Holiday Decorations: Quick Tips

Christmas Ornaments 3

Image by Randy Son Of Robert via Flickr

With most of the holiday season behind us- the ‘cleaning up’ phase is about to begin.  Below are some tips to store your holiday decorations to save time and hassle from being a problem next year.

  • Use used up wrapping paper tubes to wrap up lights.  Wind the lights around and cut slits in both ends of the tube for the plugs.  This will keep them neat and tidy (and tangle free!).
  • Empty egg cartons and tissue paper can help keep your breakable ornaments neat and safe.
  • Label anything with multiple pieces!  This will help when it’s time to put them back together.

Label things with painter’s tape will help prevent residue from sticking to your holiday items as well.  If you are using boxes as storage, label everything that is in them as well.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Commercial Real-estate May Collapse Soon

ALMERIA, SPAIN - APRIL 04:  A sign, viewed fro...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

 

Due to lack of liquidity, the commercial end of real estate may be going through some rough times soon.  The lack of consumers putting funds into the sector due to understandable consumer hesitation is the main reason behind the bleak outlook.

While some areas are still looking up, others seem to be causing more and more concern.

According to Moody’s Investors Service Inc, prices were down 36 percent from a year earlier and are 44 percent below the peak in October 2007. Also, commercial property brokers Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. and Grubb & Ellis Co said that due to unemployment, office vacancies could hit 20 percent next year.

(Source)

It may take longer for the overall economy to show improvements across the board, longer in fact than the recession has even lasted.  While there is already a dim light at the end of the tunnel.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Be a Rock Star Real Estate Investor

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...

Image via Wikipedia

 

While predicting and going through with investments may not be your ‘thing’ going into real estate- especially when an economy is just picking up- can turn into dividends.

Keeping an eye on the market in your area is really the primary tip.  Also considering that, while the market is at this moment and the fact that is won’t be this ways forever- if you do have the funds laying around- you can potentially profit.

If you do have the funds, now would be a fantastic time to consider options.  The market prices have and are falling due to the recession.  While your credit score at this moment is important, if it is lower- work hard on raising it.  If it is already good- you may be okay to go.

Flipping houses may be a good way to start.  Buying  a ‘fixer-upper’, making it fabulous, and holding it (at least until the market recovers fully) and then selling could be a great way to get into the market.

While this is still as risky as it was in the past, researching your market area and potential buyers could save a lot of time and expense.  The old saying ‘Buy Low- Sell High’ is the main thing you want to remember.  After all, even with revamping homes- you (like any other business) want to turn an actual profit.

Being able to hold onto the property is the key right now, so if you are one of the lucky ones right now who can afford to hold onto a home, it may be the prime time to grab it.

 

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some Areas Experiencing Some Growth

City of Montreal

Image via Wikipedia\

Canada has reported that their real estate market has continued to grow, despite the concerns elsewhere.  In total about a full 67% growth posted, when compared to the last year around the same time.  This is some good news, not only for Canada- but elsewhere as well. 

It shows that the market may finally be recovering from the harsh climate of late, and leads to new found hopes for the worldwide community that has been effected by the Recession. 

While Canada isn’t alone, there (of late) other areas posting growth as well.  This is some unexpected good news for economists, especially taken with the job market growing as well.  While seasoned employees have been finally starting to find work, it does seem to be displacing the high school and fresh out of college workforce.

Although with baited breath, some are saying that this new market may be the start of another bubble- it may just be simple fears still in the air.  We can hope that the same mistakes that have caused the present fears won’t be repeated, and unfortunately it seems that’s all we can do. 

While new laws will be going into effect soon, primarily involving the credit markets and loans, there’s no real way of knowing for a fact if they will make a difference if and when another bubble is ready to burst.

 

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Save Some Dough and Buy a New Printer?

Printer Ink Tubes

Image by djvu83 via Flickr

A viral story going around at the moment is about how you can save some serious cash over scorning new ink in favor of buying a whole new printer instead.  On the surface it seems outright silly and there’s no way it could possibly be right, right?

Well, truthfully- the sales model of printers is similar to that of razors.  The brand new razor is fairly inexpensive.  The way the companies actually make money is the replacement razor (or, ink in this case). 

The average cost of a new printer for average home use?  Anywhere from $30-$80, while the ink is easily double that.

Depending on your needs with a printer, you could easily save a surprising amount of money.  Keeping in mind that many new printers come with the ink packaged with them. 

As for the old printer?  Donate it to a worthy cause, or even sell it online. 

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Crazy (But Very Cool) Holiday Gifts From ThinkGeek.com

bbe8_bucky_balls_combo

While I will be the first to admit, I really love thinkgeek.com this year they have more than outdone themselves with holiday gift goodies.  Even if that special person (or persons, for that matter) may not be any kind of hardcore geek, they still should have something for almost any taste, or fan base.

They have so many different and creative gifting ideas that it is hard to pick just a few to feature, including quite a few for the older kids.  The winner of a ‘Best of 2009’ toy award and all around very great idea is the Bucky Balls, which features rare earth magnets to make up one incredibly awesome toy.  The image from this toy is the same one as up above.

While that is just one, the whole website has so many fun and creative gifting ideas for this holiday season.  Someone could really make their gift stand apart from the usual socks/ underwear combination that kids (especially) dread.

They really do seem to have everything and something for almost any taste, from zombies to Star Wars.  Within that same incredible selection could just be your perfect gift.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Fed: Real Estate is Still Dragging

 

imagesforeclosure-2dsign-small

Even though the Fed is saying that the retail sector of the United States market is growing, especially through the holiday season it seems real estate is still behind.  While, this isn’t a surprise in the least.  After the recession of late especially, many who could still afford a new home are understandably hesitant. 

There hasn’t been enough in the way of positives either to create any sort of ‘warm feelings’ over the market of late either.  Although things are starting to get better, and there is an expectation of the trickle effect.  There’s no real doubt that eventually things will certainly look up, it’s a matter of getting there. 

The Fed said retailers across the country were growing more optimistic about holiday sales. But the central bank warned that home prices in many markets were still declining and said that severe distress in the commercial real estate market continued to present formidable barriers to economic recovery.

(Source)

Yet, when it all does go back to ‘normal’ many precautions need to be considered to avoid more of the same.  Many others are looking into ways to add more certainty to all aspects of credit, loans, and the rest of the financial side of things.

While this leads to a large amount of uncertainty, if you can afford it- you can brace yourself for the next bubble growth. 

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Finding Great Furniture For Less

Craigslist bed loft Ikea furniture

Image by dombrassey via Flickr

 

 

Many people are in need of new furniture, from students to new families.  No one really wants to spend too much, so where (and how) can you find quality furniture that won’t break the bank?

There are people out there that are willing to trade or even give away some furniture that they simply don’t need anymore.

Friends and Family / Freecycle.org /Craigslist:  You may want to talk to friends and family first, who knows maybe they are willing to help and get rid of things they don’t want anymore.  Freecycle is a great place to find people who are willing to give something near you.  Craigslist may be another option if you are willing to spend a little bit.

Don’t bother taking something however because it’s being offered.  If you really cannot use the item, it will simply be taking up space in your home. 

If the item is broken, and you have a habit of putting things off- skip it. 

Avoid accepting things like mattress, while they will cost more the expense will still be better than inviting potential allergens and pests into your home.

Thoroughly clean everything before it enters your home.

Don’t avoid taking things due to superficial issues.  If the price is indeed right, remember you can always sand and paint items.

 

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