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Getting Started in Property Investment and Development

Although this article is written primarily for the UK property field, it can apply equally well to the USA. The fundamentals of Property Speculation have much in common the world over.Many people think about becoming a full-time property developer or investor but simply don’t know anywhere to begin.The earliest step is to decide which method suits you and your circumstances. Do you want to be a developer or an investor?• A Developer looks for an appropriate property for development that is in need of work (to a lesser or greater degree). This can be bought at auction, through an estate agent in the regular way or quite often the owner is approached and a deal is struck. The work is carried out over a period of between 6-18 months and the property is put back on the market, optimistically to be sold at a decent profit. Being a developer offers the shortest route to making A profit through property as you have the best chance to increase the value.• An Investor will every so often buy a property with an occupant already in place. To be purely an investor in property (as contrasting to an investor/developer) would mean that the property is bought with no intention of carrying out any works, just getting in a resident as quickly as possible so that an investment return in the form of rent is provided. This position is unusual as most landlords appreciate that some work is likely to be needed before occupation. This approach is more passive than being a developer. Be aware though, it is unlikely that you will see much financial return in the form of profit for several years. Most landlords only make enough to cover the mortgage, management fees and tax. The benefit comes in the years ahead when the capital value of the property has increased considerably. Using this method is likely to take 10 years or more to see a significant increase in your investment.The next step is to truthfully look at your finances. Clearly purchasing property is never cheap, and it is probable that you will require a mortgage. At the time of writing, the almost all of mortgage providers ask that you supply a deposit of around 20%-25% of the purchase price (or the total development price if your plans are more ambitious). You will also need to cover fees at the point of acquisition (estate agent and solicitor with added VAT) and Stamp Duty. Once the property has been bought, if it is a development project there will be a time where the work is being carried out and you have to meet mortgage repayments. This should be factored in. If it is an investment property, then rent gaps must be allowed for (when no tenant is occupying it and subsequently no rent is being collected). Management costs must also be considered, such as grounds maintenance, decoration and the general running of the property.In common with a traditional mortgage, lenders will want to know what other borrowing you have, such as credit cards and loans. Mortgage providers are very keen to minimise risk and they will feel that if you are committed to other lenders, your ability to meet the mortgage repayments will be Reduced. Also remember that mortgage interest rates can fluctuate a great deal, this will have a substantial influence on the monthly repayments.Many property investors opt for an interest-only mortgage. This obviously means that the capital must be repaid at the end of the mortgage term and the only way to do this (realistically) is to sell the property. The difference between the selling price and the amount of the original mortgage is the profit. This is a bit of a gamble, as it’s impossible to accurately predict what the property will eventually sell for.The deposit necessary to proceed with the purchase should be carefully considered. This might sound strange, as it’s clear that the higher the proportion of deposit compared to the amount to be borrowed will result in more profit and lower risk. While this is largely true, it’s not quite that simple. There is an optimum level of equity (money that is not borrowed) that will produce in the best return and the most advantages:• The level of equity is high; if the venture is being run as a limited company, then tax will be payable on any profit gained. It’s also not good business sense to put so much equity into a single investment. For example if 100,000 of equity is available, it would be better to place 50,000 of equity into each of 2 properties rather than all of the equity into a single property.• The level of equity is low; this situation leaves you very exposed to risk in the form of interest rate fluctuations (and subsequent high repayments) and rent voids. It could be argued that this aspect contributed to the credit crisis because borrowers left themselves far too narrow a financial margin.The next step is to think about the market you wish to appeal to. On the property-related TV shows, the developers always seem to be obsessed with on the ‘young professionals’. This market in itself could be sub-divided into several smaller categories. However, do not forget the other markets such as students, retired people and ‘downsizers’. It is crucial to consider the market before purchasing the property; it is always easier to provide a product for an established demand, rather than developing the product (the property) and then wondering who is likely to use it. Always do your homework, for example if there is a strong student population but a shortage of accommodation……It’s fairly obvious which type of property you should provide.Get to know your target market Inside out, do they own cars or use bicycles or public transport? This will affect where it is best to buy the property and if you need to think about a garage. On the other hand, you might be able to convert an attached garage to increase the floor area of a large house; thereby providing another student flat. If your target market is downsizers, will they need a large garden? Or a lot of storage space?Information on an area’s demographics is obtainable from the Office for National Statistics (http://www.Statistics.Gov.Uk). Although it tends not to provide very detailed data, it is a good initial point. The other way to get to know what is in demand in your chosen area is to speak to letting and estate agents. They will have an excellent idea of what is always being enquired after but supply is scarce.One last thing for now, it is highly recommended that you look for a property close to where you already live. You have a much better feel for values and know whether a property is priced too high. It is also far easier if you have to attend site regularly to deal with builders, Architects or Project Managers.An excellent place to begin looking for a property for development is at a property auction. The Property Speculator has a full guide to buying a property at auction and a list of all the auctioneers in the UK.

Know Your Identity – Are You a Worshipper Or an Entertainer in the Body of Christ?

Are we experiencing an identity crisis within the Body of Christ? Are we true worshippers of God or are we entertainers for the world? Is it okay to entertain people in order to get their attention about the Word of God? Before I address these questions, I would like to give a definition of worship and entertainment. This will enable us to be able to identify ourselves. Worship is an expression of love and devotion toward our heavenly Father. Entertainment is an activity designed to give people pleasure or relaxation. Entertainment is anything that causes enjoyment. According to both definitions, worship is clearly God-centered and entertainment is man-centered. When we worship, our main focus should be to praise, honor, exalt, and please God. Entertainment is basically an avenue used to amuse or give pleasure to our own flesh and others. Worship and entertainment are direct opponents within the Body of Christ. The worshipper wants to praise and honor God; but, the entertainer wants to be exalted and please others. Which one are you?A true worshipper is a child of God who strives to live a lifestyle of obedience according to the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God is the center of our worship and also orchestrates our worship (1 Corinthians 14:40). Through His Word, we have been given clear instructions on how we should worship Him. A worshipper knows that he or she must be a believer in Christ in order to worship God. A worshipper knows that God is a Spirit and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). All worshippers’ hearts should be focused on pleasing God in their thoughts and their actions. Every worship experience is for the pleasure of God, not for man. Please do not misunderstand; worshipping God should be a joyous occasion for the believer. We can worship Him through musical instruments, song, and prayer. We must learn that emotions are not the main focus or incentive to worship; but God is the center of attention. A true worshipper praises and honors God because He is worthy of all that we have to offer and it is a commandment for His people (Exodus 20:3). True worship keeps us focus on the sovereignty of God and our eternal gratitude for His perfect expression of love for us through Jesus Christ.An entertainer in the Body of Christ is someone who does not understand or does not care that God is the main focus of worship. They have the impression that in order to get people to listen to the gospel; you have to provide entertainment to keep them coming back to church services. An entertainer thinks that they are to “get something out” of worship and feel good during and after the process. The first mistake with this mindset is thinking that worship is about you. The Spirit of the Lord is the author, leader and center of our faith and worship, not the flesh (Colossians 1:16-17). The Word of God does not need the aid of gimmicks or theatrics. Jesus stated that His people will hear His voice and follow His instructions (John 10:27). Entertainment will attract great numbers concerning people in worship services; but, will take the focus off God. When people come to worship services for entertainment, they will always seek the next big gimmick or show. Once they are no longer amused, they will go elsewhere to seek entertainment. Fun and games in worship service will never reach or sustain anyone. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit changes people’ lives (Proverbs 3:5). Entertainment is an event that stimulates our emotions; but, the Spirit of the Lord will sustain and cultivate us in our Christian walk.We have taken a look at the man in the mirror concerning worship and entertainment. Can you see yourself? Are you are worshipper or an entertainer? Hopefully, we have arrived at a truthful answer. Worship is not an entertainment event; but a long-term commitment. The entire life of the believer is a worship experience. We should live our lives as a “light” to a lost world that will continually bring praise and honor to our heavenly Father. Remember, worship is not a short-term event to entertain man; but, a lifetime commitment to the glory of God (Isaiah 26:4).

Investing for Cash Income With Promissory Notes – Investing Valuation and Appraisal

Cash Is KingIn today’s economy cash income is king. If you need some additional income monthly to cover living expenses—cash is king; if you need to save for a special future event, such as college expenses, or replacing an old car—cash is king; if you need to save for your retirement—cash is king.Using Promissory NotesInvesting in notes for high-yielding, secured income is an excellent choice.Before commercial banking was invented, dealing in notes was the primary investment vehicle for the individual investor. Note investing has been in constant use for several thousand years by farmers, manufacturers, house and land sellers, and private investors.What Are The Advantages of Promissory Note Investing?• You can invest in notes that are current and paying positive cash-flow yields.
• You can invest in the type of note that fits your needs and understanding.
• You can invest an amount that fits your budget.
• You can invest in notes located near your residence or within your state.
• You can invest in conservative or speculative notes.
• You can invest in low yielding or high yielding notes.
• You can invest in short-term or long-term notes.
• You can partner with another investor or with multiple investors.
• You can sell your investment position or sell part of it.How Popular Is Note Investing?Today, note investing is not a widely known or widely used investing strategy. Because Wall Street does earn commissions from it, there is no national Promissory Note Market. Note investing today is an “under the radar” investing strategy.Yet, on a daily basis, many thousands of private investors buy, sell, and invest in promissory notes, locally and nationally. In order to do these transactions they use personal contacts, attorneys, real estate agents and mortgage brokers to facilitate transactions.How to Build a High-Yielding Cash MachineYour goal should be to develop a dependable stream of income that does not require constant, time consuming effort. Ideally, it should provide you with a yield that is above the typical bank and stock market returns and yields that are below that of speculative, risky investments. In today’s financial world a safe, secured 7.5% to 9.5% yield would be a reasonable income range to seek.As an investor, the first step toward building your income stream is to evaluate your own financial situation, and your own emotional situation. Do this before you invest so that you are able to identify suitable promissory note investments that fit your comfort-level, capabilities and needs. In order to help you do the self-evaluation, here are some key steps. Clearly define and understand the following:• How much do you plan to invest now?
• When will the funds be available for investing?
• In the future will you have additional funds to invest?
• How much of your time do you plan to spend doing hands-on investing?
• How qualified are you now to do promissory note investing on your own?
• Do you need a mentor, or a guide, or an advisor to protect your investments?Final Thoughts• Don’t invest in hope. Do your homework, or pay someone to do it for you.
• Don’t try to run before you have learned to walk.
• Don’t try to become an “overnight expert”.
• Do smaller, safer, lower yielding deals as learning experiences.
• Use experienced professional help as insurance against big losses.

What Is Incentive Travel?

Incentive programs provide organizations and businesses with a way to reward individuals for notable achievements like meeting goals. Companies sometimes offer travel plans when staff members complete an action over a specified timeframe. They are often applied as a motivational approach in business management to attain new customers or boost sales. Program requirements vary based on the approach an organization wants to take. Motivation, recognition, a defined goal, and performance measurement are necessary for these programs to be a success. Rewards may be given in various other scenarios besides meeting sales goals. A company can use an incentive travel program to encourage better behavior, increase staff participation, gain improved performance, or to positively enforce management expectations.Companies using reward approaches typically want the result of improved staff performance. This could be in situations where employees are missing too many days, not arriving on time, turnover is high, or morale is less than desirable. Reward programs are also used in dealer environments to increase total market shares by acquiring more customers. Trips have a long lasting memorable effect not offered from any other type of compensation. They create greater enticement to employees because the supplied experience may not be conceivable unless it is given as a reward. Incentive travel services specialize in setting up compensation programs where those who meet goals get to spend time at a worthwhile destination.Incentive Travel Professionals: Exceptional Service Increases Program ValueIncentive travel professionals supply fitting reward programs geared toward motivating a group to succeed. A company must be selective when choosing who will manage the reward portion of their program. The wrong provider can create excessive overhead which takes the value away from this effective approach and makes these successful motivational tools less appealing. When a provider focuses on properly managing their operating costs an organization receives memorable rewards, great value, and everyone benefits including the outsourcing service. Competitive pricing along with exceptional customer service is a good sign of a dependable outsourcing decision. Great providers supply fascinating destinations, onsite travel assistance, and easy registration processes.Incentive travel professionals offer a comprehensive plan with an upfront budget projection. This makes it easy for any organization to estimate the total cost of this management approach. Participants are encouraged to succeed because a unique location is coupled with a one of a kind itinerary designed to provide an incomparable experience. The events and locations reinforce why the trip was received without turning it into a business oriented stay. Winning participants work harder each year to receive this same type of reward and their word of mouth increases the interest of others. Incentive travel experts work closely with the hiring company to learn about why individuals are being motivated, what they enjoy, and the organization to ensure the reward accomplishes the desired purpose. Travel plans require a lot of work to be effectively carried out and may become very expensive when not handled correctly. Professionals have the ability to negotiate pricing, obtain exclusive locations, and are able to keep the program within a reasonable budget.