Styling Modern Living Room

7 Affordable Tweaks To Make Your Home Stylish & Functional

If you ask anyone how would they like their homes to be, the chances are the vast majority of answers would be stylish and functional.

But, why aren’t they such at the current moment?

Well, the same people will say it’s due to the lack of space and funds.

We say free room and money have nothing to do with it.

The only thing that prevents your home from becoming the cozy haven you’ve always wanted is the lack of good ideas.

Let’s take a look then at some of the amazing upgrade suggestions that will make your home both functional and chic, without breaking your budget.

Multi-functioning Home Office

Replace the massive furniture pieces

Yeah, it’s that simple – simply replacing the massive and clunky furniture pieces with some affordable, streamlined, and preferably wall-mounted pieces can go a long way in making your space open and much more functional.

If you want to reinforce this clean, tidy look, all of the new elements should feature a streamlined shape and light colours.

Of course, multipurpose items that feature at least some degree of built-in storage are always a plus.

Play with colors

Repainting the walls was always one of the easiest and the most affordable ways to overhaul the look of a room.

The good news is that the same logic can be applied to wooden furniture as well.

As for the seating pieces, the colour issue can be addressed with nothing more than a couple of stylish covers.

Keeping all this in mind, the possibilities in front of you are limitless.

Your boring living room can be easily turned into a monochromatic wonder sprinkled with a couple of bright and punchy accent cushions.

Layer the lighting

What this simple upgrade will ultimately do is turn your boring flat lighting into a two-layer setup that splits the fixtures into two groups – the ones that set the mood and those that serve a specific purpose and put the focus on important items.

Keep in mind that this concept requires a bit of rewiring.

But, if we take a look at Australia where this trend is gaining much traction, we can see that a professional electrician from Inner West can easily perform this kind of upgrade so there’s no need to worry.

Functional Focal Corner Lounge

Create focal points

Focal points are nothing but the items you want to put in focus.

They can come in the form of TV screens, art pieces, and even interesting wallpapers.

But, if you lay the furniture around those items instead of keeping them in the background, the entire room will get a sense of purpose and internal dynamic.

Note that this setup works the best when combined with the layered lighting that puts an even stronger focus on the intended focal points.

Add indoor plants

Indoor plants are well-known for their numerous benefits.

They lift the mood of the occupants, purify the air, and even lend some help in fighting the flu and colds.

Speaking in strict design terms, all these species do a tremendous job of elevating the space they occupy.

Move them in, and even the rooms like bathrooms that are pretty impervious to various design approaches will instantly become livelier and more stylish.

Placing them in the least obvious locations will only make a stronger impression.

Break the space into zones

As of recently, the predominant trend in interior design has been turning the rooms into one cohesive, open floor space.

That, however, doesn’t have to mean that the space should be devoid of any sense of purpose.

On the contrary, breaking it into different functional zones (reading zone, productivity zone, social hub, etc.) can only make the room more interesting and functional.

These imaginary boundaries can be easily drawn with different rugs, wallpapers, textures, and similar details.

Display your hobbies

Although keeping the clutter at the bare minimum is highly prescribed (both for the visual and the maintenance purpose), you still need to find some room to display your hobbies.

The benefits are twofold.

First, things like cameras, paintings, comic books, and vinyl records always make a strong visual impression.

Second – by doing this, you will always keep the items you hold dear at your reach.

So, there you have it – style and functionality in one neat package.

We hope these few ideas showed you that a stylish and functional home doesn’t have to cost you tons of money.

On the contrary, some of the upgrades we covered take nothing more than rearranging your furniture pieces.

All you have to do now is roll up your sleeves and give your home the makeover it has long deserved.

Old Map & Travel Items

5 High-Tech Devices That Every Traveler Should Bring

The first rule of traveling is always to pack light.

Packing light means that an adventurer must only bring necessary things needed for the trip, nothing more nothing less.

Innovations that involve tourism have a breakthrough as technology becomes compact and easy to carry – thus resulting in adding convenience to travellers wherever they may be.

Whether if you are taking a cruise to an island, or taking a tour around the globe, technology has come so far in helping travellers in their adventure.

However, one shouldn’t be all too dependent on technology as it is known to surrender at the worst possible scenario.

So it is better to have survival knowledge, you won’t know when it would come in handy.

An All-Around Watch

Although there are lots of travel watches to choose from, such as the Omega Seamaster watch, picking the right one for your journey is highly essential.

There are many factors that travelers have to consider when selecting the right watch to bring with them like harsh weather conditions, which include heavy rainfall, strong winds, snow, or fire.

The best choice would be G-Shock’s Gravity Master watch.

This watch can withstand everything Mother Nature has to throw at it with its protective body and resistance to water for up to 200 meters.

The Gravity Master suits best for travellers due to its automatic time-zone synchronisation, calendar, and not to mention the watch’s built-in compass.

Anker Powercore 21000

An Accessory That Powers All Of Your Devices

Due to the age of technology, travellers never leave their homes without bringing their favourite gadgets.

Batteries power gadgets, and it slowly depletes throughout the day.

The best solution for that is to always carry a power bank with you all the time.

The best power bank as of date is the one made from Anker, the PowerCore 20100.

With a weight of little over 350 grams and a 20,100 milliamp-hour capacity, travellers would never worry again about their gadgets running out of battery when on a journey.

The battery pack can charge anything from smartphones to cameras and laptops.

The Best Mobile Hotspot

Traveling to a new place means that the data coverage is going to be different, and also the network providers.

People depend on technology and the internet nowadays that it would be challenging to last a day without the help of technology, especially when you are on a journey.

Travellers would need a mobile hotspot, and the best one is Huawei’s E5885 model.

When travellers have the device, all they would need is a corresponding network service provider of the place they currently reside.

Get the data service subscription of the network provider, and it would be good to go.

GoPro Hero 6

A Camera That Can Handle Any Situation

Photography is a critical part of traveling because you can’t just go to different places and not capture the moments.

Travellers may go on a journey once, but a photograph keeps the memories forever.

However, there are many components to consider when choosing the right camera, such as weather conditions and the quality of the picture.

The best camera overall for any travel situation is a GoPro Hero 6.

This camera is a little expensive, but the total package you receive is very rich in features.

The action camera from GoPro is very flexible that it has a variety of accessories to choose from to accommodate your situation.

Universal Plug Adapter

When traveling to different places, you will encounter a dilemma.

The problem is how you’re going to plug in your devices when the outlets look different than the ones you know.

However, bringing an all-in-one plug adapter is a lifesaver.

Because it adds the convenience of eliminating the idea of going out to get the corresponding adapter for the outlet.

Takeaway

Traveling, whether on a nearby island or to other continents, is a path to self-relief and satisfaction for an individual.

Giving distance away from your cramped home or an annoying workplace is very beneficial to an individual’s well being.

Not to mention that you get to see the wonders of the world that makes you realise that it is good to be alive.

As technology progresses over the years, traveling had never become this convenient and effortless.

From solar-powered chargers for your devices to pocket maps as compact as a mobile phone, you will never lose your way in your journey ever again.

Technology is here to help keep your day powered up and connected throughout your journey.

Iowa Farm Buildings

Travel to Iowa & Explore This Amazing Terrain

Iowa is a place that has a lot of roadside attractions.

There are several sight-seeing places in the region.

You and your family can even take a selfie with a concrete bull that is the largest in the world.

There are tall corn stalks and huge pots of Swedish coffee to greet you when you come to Iowa for a vacation.

Pop Culture & Historical Landmarks

Iowa is well known for its pop culture and historical landmarks.

In fact, the popular Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller are here in Iowa.

You can book a hotel room in the Historic Park Inn Hotel that has been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Presidential Library and the birthplace of Herbert Hoover are in Iowa.

You can visit the Grotto of the Redemption here.

It is a series of hand -made structures with a lot of precious gems and often referred to be the Eighth Wonder of the World.

It depicts the times and life of Jesus Christ.

Amish Horse Drawn Cart

Overcome Your Fear of Heights

When you visit Iowa, you can actually overcome your fear of heights.

There is a train on the highest and longest railroad bridge here.

You also have the option to ride on a tram to the steepest and shortest railway in the USA.

You can also visit the racing tracks at Praire Meadows and catch the majestic horses live in action.

The Land of Fertility & Flavour in the USA

Iowa is known for its fertile farmland.

Most of the crops are homegrown in the area.

You can visit the Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market in order to get a glimpse of the colorful produce.

You can also get a glimpse of the Gathering Table located at Wallace House.

This place is famous as it serves you food that has been grown on the soil that day in Iowa.

Check out the famous Pork Tenderloin when you visit Iowa.

This pork is a rare specialty that you only will find here. If you are fond of ice-cream and cheese, take out time to sample them fresh at the dairy farms in Iowa.

You will also catch a glimpse of soda shops that are old-fashioned in the region.

Dubuque Mississippi River

Discover the Significance of the Great Mississippi River

Last but not least, check out the Dubuque Historical Society in Iowa.

Visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in the region.

You will be able to see a rare collection of live animals, exhibits and other collections.

They reflect the geological and cultural significance of the great Mississippi River famous in Iowa along with the other national rivers famous in the nation.

The Mississippi River contributes to the livelihood of Iowa to a great extent, and it flows on the Eastern Border of the State.

Both the museum and the Aquarium play a vital role in showcasing the crucial role that the Mississippi River has on the state of Iowa and its surrounding areas.

The Best Affordable Alternative Quartz Worktops That Look Like Marble

While there is no denying that the marble is the king of natural stones and looks stunning, the market today is flooded with better, cheaper choices.

Home owners increasingly are opting for affordable alternatives to marble worktops, in the form of engineered stone, made up of a small amount of quartz mixed with a binder.

Quartz countertops typically comprise 90%-93% natural ground quartz (a hard mineral) and approximately 7-10% resins, polymers, and pigments.

Quartz stone’s appearance varies from coarsely ground quartz offering a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz offers a smooth look.

The results look like marble but are sturdier. Quartz can provide a marble-effect, on a more durable surface.

Natural stones like the marble and granite are not only unique, but they also may they require maintenance.

If you are on a lookout for hassle-free stunning looking worktops, that are practically maintenance free, consider quartz.

Marble Stone Worktop Closeup

Close-up image of an Opal Calacatta Gold worktop surface

Quartz does not stain and scratch easily, unlike natural stone. Quartz countertops can offer a clean minimalistic look, as well as looks with veining.

As early as 1963, Breton, an Italian company developed the technology of creating engineered stone/Quartz.

Over the last 50 plus years, it has licensed the usage of this marvellous technology to over 50 companies around the world, carefully ensuring there is only one quartz manufacturer on each country.

With this intention, Cosentino (who makes Silestone) produces quartz in Spain, Compac Quartz makes their slabs in Portugal, Caesarstone in Israel and so on.

Having an exclusive quartz manufacturer per country ensures the result of the slabs are manufactured perfectly and under strict guidelines.

The different manufacturers add their own flair and aesthetic enhancers to their engineered stone counter-tops, creating some delightful pieces.

Despite the brand you chose, the composition, hardness, water absorption statistics, heat resistance and other functional properties remain the approximately same.

What differs from one quartz brand to another is:

Designs

The range of designs is the single biggest difference between quartz manufacturers.

The slab’s visual appeal, the colour, size, shape, and striations vary from one brand to another.

Since the look of the stone changes based on brands, the selection requires careful observation.

Slab Sizes

The sizes of the slab vary per the manufacturer.

Check the details before selecting the ones that best fit your requirements.

Whereas during the last 20 years the average slab size covered an average 4.27 m2, the advent of larger stones has resulted in an increase of the average quartz slab sizes to 5.16 m2.

Prices

Quartz slab prices are wholesale-only and are confined to the supply chain between manufacturer and approved dealers.

While one cannot directly negotiate with the manufacturers, it is advised to speak to a few dealers and opt for the best offers.

This is so, because rather than just buying a quartz slab, people also require carrying out labour on the material which differs in its characteristics.

Some of the largest quartz manufacturers in the world are:

Cambria

Minnesota based; the company is the only American company in the quartz surfaces business.

Operating since 2000, the company is relatively new but offers a vivid selection of designs, colours, edges, and slab sizes.

Cambria Quartz is distinctive in that it is family-owned.

With a background on food processing, Cambria slabs are made with the highest degree of quality and with superior artistry.

Not only that Cambria uses its own quartz quarries to make their slabs, but the quality control of the material is second to none.

It results in stunning surfaces that are unparalleled by others when it comes to attention to detail.

Copper Faucet in Butler Sink

Cambria Brittanicca Warm worktops and kitchen splashbacks

Caesarstone

The company calls itself “original” manufacturer of quartz countertop material and this Israel based company has been in the business since 1987.

The Israel based company, was the first manufacturer to produce engineered quartz slabs for the market.

Before it, most companies were producing composite marbles.

It is this innovative approach and the constant search for new products, that made Caesarstone of the largest quartz makers worldwide.

Not only that the brand boasts trusted network on all continents, but it is also listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Rugged Black Concrete Worktop

Caesarstone Rugged Concrete worktops from the latest Metropolitan Collection of quartz stones

Silestone

A Spanish Company and currently the largest quartz manufacturer in the world.

The brand-wide range of choices and vibrant colours make it highly versatile for any project.

The products come with long 25-year warranty making it a popular choice for interiors.

A few popular marble lookalike quartz options may include colours such as, Cambria Brittanicca, Opal Quartz Calacatta, Caesarstone Misty Carrera, Carrara Quartz and Quarella Carrara Navona, Opal Calacatta quartz, Opal Statuario, CRL Verona Quartz, and CRL Regency White Quartz.

The market is full of vivid choices, select a well-known quartz brand and then select the product that matched your requirements to enjoy long-lasting counter-tops.

Social Media Icons on Phone Screen

9 Tips to Boost Your Social Media Marketing Productivity

While it is true that having a social media presence is helpful, any marketer who doesn’t more than just create some social media channels on the various social media sites is bound to fail.

To thrive on these platforms, it will take you so much more than just creating a page.

You have to be focused, socially aware of what’s trending, and have an organized marketing structure.

The need to balance between multiple tasks such as curation and content creation, handling and engaging with followers as well as getting involved in promotional and ad campaign activities is often challenging to marketers.

The following are 9 tips that can help you in this endeavor – help you boost your social media marketing productivity.

Digital Strategy Sketchbook

Have a Strategy, Plan, and Goals

Having a social media strategy, plan or goal should be on top of every social media manager’s list, if they are to boost their marketing productivity.

The right social media plan and strategy is crucial for success of any digital marketer.

In today’s world, customers expect brands and companies to be excellent at engaging with them on social media, respond on time and to add value with their products or services.

Failure to do this, businesses stand a very high risk of losing even their most loyal customers.

Marketers need to establish a social media strategy to help them focus on their efforts as well as understand their business objectives and goals.

Afterwards, they can come up with a plan to help meet these goals with less time wastage for improved social media marketing productivity.

Calendar on iPad

Use Content Calendars

If you want to carry out your SMM strategy the most efficient way possible, then you need to consider using content calendars.

Content calendars will allow you to come up with a schedule to help you plan out on what you intend to post or publish on your social media channels.

Moreover, with content calendars you are able to organize and do follow-ups on various social media activities about your content such as tracking customer engagement.

They also help you save a lot of time.

For instance, if you are blogging, your plan could entail creating several blog posts and then scheduling them for publishing over several weeks or months using the available social media scheduling and publishing tools.

Make an Impact with your Images

Whilst blog articles and links are important for driving website traffic, they are best accompanied by images.

The impact that images and pictures have on your target audience is the drive to get them to click on your product.

Make use of images on your blogging sections on your website, or you can use image based social media sites such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Exposure to share and increase your brand awareness.

Repurpose Old Content

If done the right way, repurposing content is a great way to help marketers save time as well as expand their brand reach.

Instead of constantly creating new contents for the same group of audience, try picking out key details form your previously published content and repost them to your social channels to reach out to more people.

In addition to resharing your old content on your social media platforms, you can also try adapting your content in a variety of ways.

For example, you can change your visual content and publish them as articles and share them on social platforms such as Slideshare.

Incorporate Video into your Content

In digital platforms, almost everything is visual, which is why incorporating and sharing video content will help your brand stand out in the market.

This will help you connect with your target audience and followers on a personal level.

Create customer testimonies, product presentations or trainings to reach to your audience in different ways.

The good news is, even when you don’t have any skills, with the help of social media video and editing tools, you are able to create high quality videos that are appealing to your audience.

Focus on Top Performing Platforms

To help you improve your productivity on social media, you need to focus more on social networking channels that provide your brand with highest return on investment.

Know what is working for you as well as what is not.

For starters, you can begin by analyzing your social media platforms, then proceed to compare their overall performance.

Use social media analytic tools such as buffer, Social Sprout, Hootsuite among others to help you gather more data and information.

The collected insights, will help you come up with a better marketing strategy so that you can dedicate your time and resources on social platforms that have high ROI.

Never Stop Learning

If you want to succeed in digital marketing, you need to be an expert in as many social media topics as possible.

As a marketer, being aware of the latest marketing developmentsas well what’s trending will give you an edge over other social media marketers in your niche.

As a social media manager, you need to:

  • Be skilled in using variety of social media tools
  • Be able to manage social media campaigns especially paid ads
  • Be to able to understand how to use web analytics tools and social media metrics

It is also advisable to continue improving your skills in different areas such as copywriting, marketing, data analytics, presentation, design as well as communication.

Outsource

Large organizations usually have a team of specialists based in different locations to carry out their marketing strategies outside their agencies.

Outsourcing social media tasks help brands reduce the amount of time they spend on routine social media activities.

Outsourcing will help you boost your social media productivity.

Taking advantage of social media specialists, come with them lots of experience and knowledge.

These specialists can help your brand with all sorts of social media activities including monitoring your performance on social media, marketing as well as administration services.

Give Customers a Reason To Provide Feedback

Getting real customer feedback is extremely important for marketers.

Feedback helps businesses know the reaction of their customers to their product offerings.

It also provides a basis for engagement between brands and their followers to drive up sales.

Usability tests, surveys, and questions are some of the methods that brands use when they want to gather information from those who buy their products and services.

As a way of encouraging them to provide you with the feedback you’re looking for, try offering them certain incentives, e.g. discount coupons.

With a little persuasion, most customers would be willing to spare a minute and give you their honest insights into how they think you can improve the quality of your products.

Views Over Barcelona Coastline

Top 10 Countries to Purchase An Overseas Property in 2019

Many different people will choose a variety of reasons for why they want to buy property in exotic countries.

For various reasons people have chosen to purchase abroad for more affordable property rates.

This article outlines and analyses the most popular countries that are listed online where many people have chosen to live.

Our rankings are based on experiences from other people and information we have gained.

Now if you want the top 10 list for the greatest places to move abroad continue reading below to read our list and the reviews of each place listed below.

Plane Flying Over Freight Ship

Spain

If you are seeking a lifestyle that is bathed in sunlight and warm summers then you may decide that Spain is a top place and a holiday hot spot.

It is common for property values to be around £117,000 and the property prices are continuing to rise.

This is a rather low price for those seeking sunshine and fair prices for property.

People who move to Spain typically go to places such as Torrevieja, Camposol, Estepona and Villamartin as well as Murcia’s Condado de Alhama which is known for golfing.

The UK has a large number of removals firms that have depots in both the UK and in various locations around the Spanish provinces, so finding a suitable mover who deals in removals to Spain should be a fairly painless task.

France

Another excellent location that many people choose is to purchase in France.

For those home buyers seeking full-time or retirement property this is a popular location where holiday homes are common.

The average property price is around £137,000 and it is very affordable.

You may have to compromise your space or location but property at these prices can go a long way.

Popular locations include Brittany as well as Morbihan.

Portugal

This is known to be a comfortable and relaxing location and it also offers great tax benefits.

It is not a budget based option but a typical property has an asking price of above £220,000.

People who have larger budgets embrace this beautiful country and the prices will continue to rise.

Many people have decided to make a full-time transition to Portugal.

Becoming a resident is incredibly easy and the lifestyle is affordable and a great getaway.

Greece

Despite the large problems with debt this country is a beautiful location that provides a lifestyle that many people dream of.

There are many properties available for sale in comparison to smaller locations and Crete is known as a popular island.

This island features many flights and luxuries that one must experience.

The top locations to purchase property include Agios Nikolaos as well as Elounda, Apokoronas, Neapoli and Corfu.

This is a worldwide destination and provides you with Mediterranean sun and comfort that can’t be found in other locations around the world.

Italy

Many people quickly fall in love with all that is Italy and what it offers.

It is known for it’s hospitality and absolutely beautiful and stunning stone houses that can be renovated and built even better.

The property prices have actually dropped since last year and the average price for a home is around £254,000.

This country has many different regions and landscapes that offer a variety of cultures and cuisine.

People typically choose beach homes in Calabria’s Scalea as well as Tuscany, and Ostuni.

Cyprus

Cyprus is a beautiful island that is economically growing and it is widely popular.

The average property prices are around £133,000 and they are steadily climbing.

This is a beautiful location with lots to do and many people choose it as a place to relax and unwind.

USA

The state of Florida is known for it’s endless sun, numerous beaches and friendly culture.

The property market is growing steadily and your budget will be larger for this place too.

The average price of property sits at around £385,000.

There are plenty of dreamy locations and places to visit and enjoy.

There are many theme parks, shopping malls, sports facilities, business districts and more.

There are plenty of locations that are great including Davenport and Kissimmee.

Other great locations include the city of Orlando as well as the community of Reunion and the Windermere areas too.

Turkey

This is a popular location and has many different beach front communities that feature British citizens.

There are plenty of great locations to visit which include Ovacik, Hisaronu, Uzumlu, Calis, Yalikavak and Bodru.

The price of living there has increased as well and the average price for property is around £83,000.

If you are on a budget this can be a driving motivator to find a home away from home in Turkey.

Bulgaria

This is an amazing country and it has a very price based market with the average property reaching around £58,000.

Many people love this country for its seaside towns and ski resorts.

Many people will choose to live in the province of Veliko Tarnovo. Other locations that many people choose include Dryanovo, Pavlikeni, Polski Trambesh as well as Elena.

Barbados

This is a top choice among British citizens for it’s wonderful tropic atmosphere and the beautiful sun and sandy beaches.

There are many different locations people choose to buy in that include Westmoreland, Holetown and Sandy Lane as well as Speightstown.

The typical price for a home in this area will cost around £343,000 and this country is our number one choice for British citizens looking to escape.

Conclusion

This concludes our list of the top 10 countries to buy a vacation home or to immigrate too.

This list has been carefully reviewed and under analysis these are the top locations around the world that people choose.

Researching these countries has lead us to detailed information that has led to these locations being our favourites.

If you are seeking to escape the confines of England and move into a different area with different cultures, cuisines and lifestyles these are the top choices.

Visiting each of these countries in advance to see how you feel by booking a trip with your local travel agency is your best first action.

The average prices of properties were analysed based on 2018 figures and they can possibly change.

Living in a different country is something that many people can only dream of and by following our suggestions you will not make a wrong decision.

We recommend you travel these locations and put them in your to-do list and one day we are sure you will call one of these stunning countries your very own home.

Apartment Block Balconies

5 Tips to Buying a Condominium Investment Property

A condo which is the short form of the condominium is not as the same as buying a single-family home.

One must consider a lot of factors before purchasing the condo.

At times, the purchase of a condo in real estate market comes at a lower price than in the purchase of a single-family residence.

Typically, a condo is a shared piece of property where there exist individual owners of each condo or unit.

Quite often, condos offer many services that are not limited to pools, tennis courts and fitness centers among others.

Condos are known for their lifestyle of living as well as the less maintenance which makes many people buy them.

One must be aware of the fact that each condominium community is different from the others when buying a condo.

You should know that each community has its amenities, Management Company, association fees, and its own community rules.

The number of condo communities in a certain area depends on the community.

There may be hundreds of condos or even just a handful of them in a certain area.

Therefore, there exist many tips that you should be aware of before buying a condo investment property.

Real Estate Agent

Check with an Experienced Realtor

Since the sale of condos is different from the sale of vacant lands, multi-family or single family, it is very essential to hire a real estate agent experienced in the sale of condos.

This is because the purchase contract for a condo is different from that of the other residences.

One difference that exists in the sale of condos is that most communities require a deal to be signed before closure of the sale contract.

The agreement that you sign states that you clearly understand and agree to the rules and regulations stipulated by the association.

With the existence of such differences, working with an experienced condo selling agent is very relevant since the agent will easily guide you through the whole process and ensure that the most critical details are not overlooked.

Check the Comps (Both Sale & Rental) & Calculate the Cap Rate

Any Realtor with sense is bound to show you the comps of the property you are considering to buy if they do not have access to a new Realtor.

However, most of the Realtors do not possess enough know-how in analyzing the rental comps.

However, it is not a very sophisticated process.

Just review the condo docs very carefully.

Ask for the closed, pending and current rentals for the past six months if the agent you are dealing with is not specialized in the analysis.

This gives you a rough idea of what you expect in the rent for your property. Through this, you can come up with an idea of what to offer for the purchase price.

You need to be as close as possible to the 10% Cap Rate. It is okay if it surpasses this Cap Rate but anything above 5% is okay in areas with the high market such as Florida.

The Cap Rate is calculated by taking the monthly net income, multiplying it by 12 and then dividing it by the purchase price.

Know What the Condominium Includes

The idea of knowing what is included in the condo sounds silly, but it is very relevant.

When you are purchasing a condo, it is relevant to know whether the condo has any additional storage or includes reserved parking.

Does the condo community offer any parking for your visitors? Is the spot reserved for parking in the covered garage?

An example of this is the recent condo sales in Rochester, NY where the seller had rented the parking spot to one of the members of the community.

Fortunately, the agreement between the two was not a long-term.

Thus, it could not have inconvenienced the buyer as such.

Therefore, it is relevant to make sure that the parking space, as well as the additional storage space, are available before purchasing the condo.

Also, make sure that the property has or allows a washer and dryer.

This is an essential part of every home since you can always charge a monthly rent of $200 to $500 more if the condo has the washer and dryer in it.

People always pay premiums for such facilities but do not be discouraged if the washer and dryer are not in the condo you are interested in.

If it does not exist, you can always put it up to increase the bottom line.

Talk to the Home Owners Association

Having an in-depth talk with the association is one of the most critical things that one should consider when purchasing a condo.

This helps you to know the number of association fees that you are supposed to pay.

Condo communities have annual, bi-annual, quarterly and monthly fees charged per residence.

Such association charges are used to cover for maintenance, insurance, and other common expenses. Therefore, being aware of these charges is essential.

Also, it helps one to be acquainted with the association rules.

Since every community has rules and regulations that govern it, the condo community rules and regulations are drafted and exercised by the condo association.

To ensure that you do not break these essential rules speaking to the association and reviewing their rules and regulations is very necessary.

For example, many condo communities do not allow pets.

The last thing that you would hate about the place is learning that the association does not allow pets in the community if you love having them around.

Another example is being aware of the short-term rental restrictions and if there are quiet hours.

This is essential especially to persons who had to put up with bad neighbors in their past residences and also for those who like the idea of renting their places of residence on a short-term basis.

Therefore, you should understand that the existence of the association rules is essential before you book your Essex removals company and that they are part of the condo community.

To make sure that this works out for you, make sure that you talk to the association and review their rules and regulations.

Superyacht in Port

Seafarers Earning Deduction: Do You Qualify for this Exemption?

Earn Tax Free Income If You Work At Sea

A great piece of legislation offered for seafaring United Kingdom employees came into effect as of the 1988 Finance Act that is not very well known but is an excellent tax exemption for those who qualify. As of 2012, this piece of legislation became a 100% tax exemption for those employed in foreign waters around the world. Many people who would be entitled to this great tax break do not know it or do not use it because it is not that very well known and the HMRC is incredibly vague. We will dedicate ourselves to helping you understand the Seafarers Earnings Deduction and whether or not you can benefit from it.

A long battle has occurred over 18 years between seafaring unions and the HMRC since the 1988 Finance Act was introduced that allows certain United Kingdom citizens who work in the seafaring industry to keep 100% of their earned income but only if they meet certain criteria. This piece of legislation was put together in 1988 and only got to its current incarnation as of the 2012 Finance Act. Within this article, we intend to dive into the full details of the rules and regulations that govern the Seafarers Earning Deduction. It is an excellent resource for citizens of the UK who are employed on ships that embark and disembark in foreign countries. If you qualify for this tax exemption you will be able to keep all of your earnings. Not all seafarers are eligible for this tax deduction. We aim to educate and inform you within this article because the HMRC has kept this tax exemption elusive and secretive and we have decided it is time to shed light on this topic. Continue reading below to find out if you qualify and all the different intricacies that make this a valuable tax exemption.

Magnifying Glass Looking at Wallet Full of Money

Seafarers can now see their savings grow after paying no income taxes. Image credit: Pixabay

First of all, as we stated briefly the HMRC does not provide much information about this tax law. The details they do provide is hard to understand and apply. To begin with, the Seafarers Earnings Deduction was created to help those employed in the seafaring industry to deal with the competitive global marketplace. This tax exemption was also created to provide a solution for the national defence needs of the The UK in foreign waters. Although national defence is one of the reasons for this tax break, unfortunately, those employed in the military that spend time in foreign waters are not able to take advantage of this exemption.

When one reads through the HMRC 205 Helpsheet it seems to be written in a foreign language that does not provide a lot of detail or information. What it does contain are certain rules that you must follow to qualify. The very first rule mentions that you must work on a ship. What qualifies as a ship is not explained however what a ship is not has been listed as follows, floating and fixed production platforms, mobile offshore drilling units, and flotels are not considered ships. If you work on one of these then, unfortunately, you will not be able to use
the SED.

Some individuals will choose not to file their offshore earnings and may face penalties as well as investigation. As for other people they may choose to be more proactive and set up a limited company ashore or companies in foreign countries for tax reasons. If you choose to avoid filing your taxes you will suffer. It is worth harnessing the Seafarers Earnings Deduction if you are able. You really do not suffer when you don’t have to pay anything on your tax bill.

There are a few more requirements that you must adhere to in order to take advantage of this tax exemption. This includes that you spend no longer than 183 days in the United Kingdom within a given tax year. You will be required to have documentation and stubs that show how many days you spent ashore. A day ashore is considered when you are in the UK as of midnight that day that counts as a day ashore. You will need to have documentation in case you are investigated. Another rule is that you must embark or disembark from foreign ports. If you were to embark or disembark on your journey within the United Kingdom then you would not be able to take advantage of the Seafarers Earnings Deduction. You will also have to spend a certain amount of time outside of the United Kingdom to qualify. You can use Helpsheet 205 from the HMRC to get further details.

It is incredibly important that you file your annual tax return as you can declare all of your earned monies without having to pay taxes. If the HMRC would make this tax exemption more understandable then maybe more seafaring employees would take advantage of it. Filing your taxes is integral as the Open Exchange of Information can easily investigate you and penalise you. Without paying taxes you will not be able to do anything with your earned income including acquiring loans or mortgages. The Seafarers Earnings Deduction is a great tool for those that meet the criteria and should be harnessed by seafaring UK citizens.

External Credits

Material was kindly used from the following websites in creating this article:

Timber Double Carport

Benefits of Owning a Timber Framed Carport

Carports Keep Your Vehicles Safe, Secure & Dry All Year Round

Have you been thinking of purchasing a carport? Within this article, we will outline the positive attributes and benefits that a carport provides. We have listed the features they offer below and we will show you how a carport can create a safe, covered addition to your home to park your car as well as for adding extra resale value to your home. Continue reading below for all the benefits you will appreciate using a carport.

To begin with keeping your vehicle covered and protected from the elements will protect it from weather damage such as paint fading from the hot sun all the way to snow and hail damage in colder months. You can maintain the value of your vehicle even more so by harnessing the use of a carport.

Speaking of colder winter months, when your vehicle is protected by a carport, you will not have to spend the extra time during snowy and icy winters scraping ice off of your windshields and shovelling snow off of your entire vehicle. Think about how much time and frustration this will save you in the winter. You won’t have to spend the extra ten to fifteen minutes in the morning doing these undesirable tasks.

Small Blue Garden Shed

There Are Some Stunning Carport Designs Available on the Market. Image credit: Houzz

Another added benefit of a carport is that they are cost-effective and inexpensive compared to a garage. They give your vehicle the protection it needs without the large expenses associated with building and using a garage. If you are on a budget but require the same protection from the weather for your vehicle at the fraction of the expense of a garage, a carport is your optimum solution.

Another added benefit of using timber carports is that they are not just for cars. You can store anything from motorcycles, sport utility vehicles, RV’s, trucks, boats, and trailers among other things. This will protect these items and give them the added protection of being parked beside the house rather than out down on the street. You can also use your carport space as a sheltered outdoor entertaining area where you can host events like BBQs and get-togethers with family and friends.

Your choices are unlimited with where you can position your carport, unlike a garage. You can place it anywhere you desire allowing that you can park your car under it. You can use it as an extension to the garage you already have or as an extension to your home as a covered outdoor entertaining area as well.

Another wonderful benefit of using a carport is the added safety that it offers. You can place it next to a front door so elderly or single homeowners do not have to travel far from their car to their front door. This gives the homeowner the added comfort and safety being much closer to their home and less vulnerable while getting in and out of their vehicles.

Constructing a Car Port Frame

A Carport Can Be Erected in a Matter of Hours. Image credit: Donnies Home Services

The last feature we will address is that adding a carport can easily add home resale value to your property. Your prospective buyers will find your property more usable and attractive with a carport and when it comes to finding buyers installing a carport will act as an added incentive for buyers looking to purchase your home.

There are many different options available when it comes to purchasing or building a carport. We suggest that prior to going ahead with installing a carport that you check with your local authority regarding planning permission beforehand so you are not left disappointed. There are two options when it comes to installing a carport. You can build one yourself or you can purchase a prefabricated unit. Ideally, you want your carport to blend in with the architecture of your home and choosing a design and colour scheme that highlights your home will be best. It is suggested that you browse the internet and look at the different options available for your home. They can be built from almost anything including materials such as brick, wood, and aluminium.

The added comfort that a carport offers is second to none and it is much less costly than building a garage. When it comes to building a garage you will generally have to follow municipal laws and hire contractors which is costly. Another thing about garages is that they require a lot more material and space which could be a problem if you were to be on a budget. The last benefit that we will share with you of carports is the fact that you do not have to spend any extra money on electricity, unlike a garage. Overall you will appreciate a carport and if you are thinking of installing one now is the time to get started.

Acknowledgements

The author wishes to mentions the following websites for using their awesome material in bringing this blog post together:

Office With Stunning Views

How to Create An Amazing Looking Office on a Budget

Get a Low-Cost Sleek & Contemporary Workspace

When it comes to running a business the success of your company is usually the biggest priority. However, there are other things that are necessary when it comes to success and that is how you use your office space. It is common for a lot of office interiors to lack style and design features. Your office is the place where you do consultations and daily work with clients and employees and making your office space carry a distinct design and character are what we will discuss within this article. We will show you a few ways on how to make your workspace more visually appealing and comfortable.

We will discuss different methods to invent a new look and style for your office without spending a lot of money. You can make your office space look good so follow our suggestions for the best results. Having a warm and comfortable office is essential and decorating it with arrangements can make it that much cosier.

Colourful Office Breakout Area

Colour Plays a Massive Role in Changing Workplace Mood & Atmosphere. Image credit: Azure Magazine

If your office feels boring and bland you can always freshen it up with splashes of colour. Having certain colours featured throughout your room can alter the mood and feel of it. When it comes to picking a colour choosing within your company brand colours is ideal. The right tone of colours will also depend on what type of company and industry your business is within. For more creative companies, warmer colours are generally agreeable. Whereas when it comes to a lawyers office or a corporate setting, neutral tones like grey and blues are ideal. The colours of your office will reflect on both you and your company and will set the mood of the room.

Another thing you can always do is purchase accessories, chairs, and tables that reflect the colour scheme you are aiming for you in your workspace. They can make your office feel more comfortable and appealing when your furniture matches the colours and hues of your office.

When you are busy running a business one inevitable factor is that paperwork will pile up and within a short amount of time, it will clutter and take over your office. Knowing how to organise your paperwork is of the utmost importance and doing this will prevent a cluttered, messy office. We have a suggestion for managing the countless pieces of paper you deal with below.

We suggest that you invest in a small filing cabinet that can handle all of your important paperwork and files. Our best recommendation would be one that features wheels so you can roll it into place or easily tuck it away so you don’t bump into it. A filing cabinet on wheels makes the office that much more usable and clutter free.

Velcro Headquarters Reception Area

Having a Stunning Reception Area Makes a Great First Impression. Image credit: Velcro

Our last featured suggestion is one that may be slightly controversial. It is now becoming a common trend for offices to do without reception areas, clearing up valuable space if you do not deal with a lot of clientele coming into your office. If you don’t have a lot of business coming to your office then consider removing the reception area. You will save money on the expensive rental space and you can use it for other things.

When it comes to your business, having a stylish office interior design is the cornerstone and face of the company.

Acknowledgements

The author would like to take a moment to mention the following external resources for using their material, imagery and reference material: