Buyers Beware: 5 Factors That Can Lower Property Value

Searching for your dream home is a right of passage for many Americans. Having the means to delve into the world of homeownership is both exciting and scary. It’s exciting because owning a house is a great milestone and it’s scary because of all of the things that can go wrong. Luckily, there are ways to navigate through the homebuying process that will help to make sure that you come out on the other end without too many cuts and bruises. 

When looking for a home, it’s important to be on high alert for anything about that home that could potentially lower it’s property value. These items can cost you a lot of money in the years that you own the home and make it harder for you to sell it down the road (if you plan to). Here are five factors that lower property value according to top real estate agents.

  1. Maintenance Isn’t Up to Date

In order to remain in good shape, houses need to be regularly maintained. These maintenance checklist items can range from anything as harmless as paint to somethings more crucial, like plumbing and HVAC. Left unchecked and untreated, pieces of your home can begin to wither away. Down the road, the fixes will likely be much more time consuming and expensive than if you were to acknowledge them right away. All in all, a home that hasn’t had up to date maintenance has lost its value and is something that buyers should be aware of. 

  1. Kitchens and Bathrooms that Need Some Work

These two rooms are arguably some of the most important in the house, and dilapidated ones can really put a damper on how much value the house holds. Outdated sinks and bathtubs aren’t going to hold the same value as they did years ago and will make a negative impression on future buyers. As a buyer, if you’re down to take on the challenge of updating these rooms, note that there will be a high return on investment. However, if you’re in the business of finding a home without having to look forward to remodeling, stay clear of older kitchens and bathrooms. 

  1. Poor workmanship

Sloppy workmanship on a house can go much further than some cabinets coming unhinged. It can indicate larger and more expensive issues down the road. If pieces of a house were rushed during the build process, then they are more likely to fall apart. Keep an eye out for any crooked or unfinished looking railings, floors, siding, and walls. 

  1. Unsightly landscaping

Curb appeal goes a long way, and a bad looking yard can really put a damper on how valuable a home is. Landscaping should be tended to regularly to keep it looking lively and clean. Maintenance doesn’t have to be arduous and expensive either if you’re smart about what you place in your yard and when. Opt for native plants, good irrigation, and stones/gravel to keep it looking nice without having to spend too much time and money. 

  1. External factors

External factors, though beyond our control, can play a major role in the value of your home. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Nearby hospitals and other instigators of noise pollution.
  • Neglected or abandoned homes in the neighborhood.
  • Power Plants, dumps, and other nearby eyesores.

These are among many external factors to keep an eye out for!
These among other tips from top agents for buying a home in 2021 will help you to choose a place that is not only valuable now, but that will also be valuable in decades to come. Be on the lookout for well built homes that aren’t run down and that are in well kept areas!

iFOREX Trading Platform Review

There are several advantages to using the iFOREX platform but none more beneficial over the long term than their education package. This package focuses on trading education, with several opportunities that could allow you to become a successful trader. In addition, the company offers two dynamic trading platforms that provide real-time price updates, breaking news, as well as 24-hour technical support. The educational data that is offered by iFOREX sets the company apart as they offer several comprehensive tutorials and videos.

Learning How to Trade

Before you trade a market, you need to learn how to develop trading strategies as well as some of the nuances associated with each market. The iFOREX educational portal helps both novice and advanced traders, attain additional information that will provide them with the tools they need to make money. The company uses several modes to relay information including videos, articles and 1-1 training.

The steppingstones to successful trading can be started through the iFOREX online courses. The company offers several videos that touch on investment related topics. One of the most important is how to handle your emotions when you are trading. This factor can is an issue that traders need to deal with daily. Successful trading means that you win more than you lose, but it does not mean that you will win all the time. How you handle your losses, is just as important as managing gains. The iFOREX educational portal will also focus on risk management which is a process that will allow you to develop a strategy that will provide you with long term gains.

Online Teaching Resources

iFOREX provides several different resources such as the A-Z of trading which will provide you with an online tutorial which describes how to make trading decisions. There are several different videos and articles that will help you through the trading process.

Using a Demonstration Account

The iFOREX demo account, is an educational resource that will provide you with the experience you need to begin to risk your capital. Once you feel comfortable that you have a strategy conceived you should test-drive your strategy using a demonstration account. This is an account that that allows you to trade the markets in real-time using demo money instead of real capital. It will allow you to determine if the strategy you plan to use has merit. Since it will consider the bid/offer spread the profit and loss that is generate reflects a real-time market environment. You will be also able to monitor you balance and margin and get a feel of how trading will work when you are risking your own money. You will also be able to test the execution model. This will allow you to see how trades are executed and how they will look as positions in your account.

The iFOREX trading platform is a dynamic software product that facilitates access to the capital markets. In addition to offer robust efficient software, the content including their educational information sets they apart. The platform offers a demonstration account that will allow you to experience trading in demonstration mode, before you begin to risk your own capital.

Home Owner Expenses

When you purchase a home, you need to factor in costs. Not only do you need to factor in the price of the home and mortgage/taxes. You also need to consider the actual costs of maintaining your home. Don’t forget about the following bills that could add up and require a big chunk of cash each year.


Each home usually pays utilities such as electric, phones, cable/internet and water. One thing I learned the hard way is that these items can really add up. Is your home well insulated? Your heating and cooling bills may be high if your windows don’t keep the warm air in and cold air out. Your thermostat will be pumping to keep up with the temperature. This means a hefty electric bill. Make sure you shop around for electric and do an apples to apples comparison to make sure you are getting the best deal on electric. Do you have a large family that requires many baths/showers or loads of laundry. This could affect your water bill. Depending on how big your house is and what you and your family desire you may have a large cable bill. How many cable boxes do you need? The more you need the higher your bill will be. Do you have a lot of members of your family? That may require a higher quality and faster internet speed, which means charges added to your bill. 

Outdoor Maintenance

Do you have a lot of land and landscaping? Your yard needs to be mowed in spring, summer, and fall. If you plan on doing it you may need to purchase a large lawnmower which could be a large amount of money. If you plan on paying someone to do it than you need to add that to your monthly budget. Same with landscaping and weeding. Who will mulch and weed? If you are doing it yourself it still costs money to purchase the materials. If you are paying someone than you need to take that into consideration as well. Do you have a large driveway? Do you live somewhere where it snows? A snow removal service may be required, or a purchase of a snow blower is needed. Fall also requires a cleanup of the leaves.


Most people don’t want to think about it but often times things may happen to your home that may require fixing or maintenance. Roofs, plumbing, heating and cooling equipment, etc. are not only high maintenance but highly costly to replace and fix. This means that it is expensive to have someone come out and repair or maintain, but the cost of materials is high as well.

All of these things need to be considered when evaluating your budget or even when you are going to purchase a home.

Why it’s Hard for Low-Income Earners to get a Loan

If you don’t make a lot of money each year, getting a loan can be a complicated process. Lenders give preferential treatment to people who earn substantial incomes and have had a long track record of loans in the past. Don’t worry, though: getting a loan isn’t impossible, even if you’re not making much. Here’s what you need to know.

You do Have Borrowing Power

Even if you’re living on a small income, you have plenty of borrowing power to draw on. While salary is an essential factor as you seek to qualify for a loan, it’s not all lenders look at. They’ll also consider your payment history and credit score, for example. If these things aren’t as strong as they could be, go above and beyond to improve them in the coming months. Decreasing your debt load will also go a long way to make you a more attractive borrower.

Is There a Minimum Required Income for Lenders?

Wondering if there’s a set minimum annual income for taking out a loan? The answer is no. Instead of looking at a one-size-fits-all number, lenders are much more likely to consider the following factors:

  • The size of the loan requested. If the amount of the loan you’re asking to take out is much greater than your annual income, you’re not likely to be approved. If the loan is small, however, a lender probably won’t mind that you don’t make much each year.
  • The history of your payments. If you’ve missed loan payments in the past, you’re going to have a more difficult time getting a new loan. In fact, payment history is a larger and more heavily weighted factor than your income. If you’re currently delinquent on any payments, bring them current before you seek a new loan.
  • Your credit score. While there’s not necessarily a minimum income requirement, there is something approximating a minimum credit score. As a general rule, lenders will only approve people with credit scores between 580 and 600 for a loan. That’s about as low as the score can go without risking approval, although that number shifts slightly from lender to lender.
  • Your monthly expenses. Your monthly expense total looks at all your fixed costs each month. This includes your rent or mortgage payment, bills, other debt payments, and anything else you’ve got to pay. As a general rule, lenders won’t make loans if the payment would push your monthly expenses up to or above 40% of your monthly income.

Getting the Loan

Now that you know what lenders are looking at, you can go out and flex your borrowing power. Remember, you can get a loan even if you don’t make millions each year!


You’re probably having a hard time trying to strike balance between the things that need to get done and the low income you have. In fact, the idea of budgeting may sound a little naïve. Notwithstanding the pain that comes with living within the dictates of a budget, it is a necessary precautionary measure to enable one to live within their earning means.

To help you get started with your budgeting needs, the following tips will be indispensable. It is paramount to keep things simple and manageable.      


To begin with, handle debts raking up most of your income through exorbitant interest rates. The goal is to get and stay out of bad debts as much as possible. Monthly debt repayments simply mean more money that would typically be saved is spent on paying interest on loans. For this reason, develop a plan to pay existing debts.

Give Due Consideration to Housing

Housing costs such as mortgage payments, rent, maintenance costs, and utilities gobble up huge chunks of money from low-income earners. For this reason, buy or rent a house with low costs so that you can free up more money for savings. If possible, carry out repairs on your own. If the house is rented, you may want to do additional maintenance work if that will help reduce rent. Importantly, keep a close watch on utilities, avoid wastage of power. If the house is bigger than what you really need, consider renting out some room (s).


Buy only necessary foods. Little indulgences here and there may appear harmless until you compute the hole dug into other essential budget areas. For this reason, avoid wastage of food by preparing only adequate meals.  

In addition, prepare own meals to save on costs cut down on an intake of unhealthy foods.

Save Your Loose Change

Certainly, when you are on low income, frugality makes a lot of sense. Therefore any loose change should be kept well for a rainy day. 

Shop With the Aid of a Shopping List

Keep it revised to reflect only what’s necessary and in order of priority. You do not get to buy gas for your car before you pay for your essential groceries, for example.

Cut Down On Expenses

The whole purpose of budgeting is to cut down on expenses and give priority to what really matters. Review and cut down on your telephone bills. Give up a few calls. Walk to your neighbor, if possible, instead of making calls.

Secondly, cut down on entertainment costs. Sometimes it is simply illogical to get wild in the wild when your pressing bills are yet to be settled. Avoid events that will eat into your pockets. You may opt to attend events hosted in homes rather than inexpensive joints. Further, you can cancel any premium cable services and opt for streaming services such as This also requires purchasing data plans that are within your reach.

Maintain a Lean Budget

Keep your budget lean. Keep things simple. Give priority to pressing and necessary things. Avoid expenses that you can do without.  

The Best Money Saving Tips to Keep In Mind In 2019

The new year has started a while ago. It was a time of counting New Year’s resolutions… and by the time you read this, you have probably failed yours (New Year’s resolutions almost never stick, and that’s a fact). So, it is time to get serious about saving money in 2019. If you haven’t become a millionaire by now, chances are you won’t make your first million in the short term, unless of course you win the lottery or place some great bets at Betway Thailand. So, let’s take a look at a few methods that you can use to pinch pennies and spend less in 2019.

Start a spending diary

If you haven’t already, this is the best time for you to start a spending diary. If you wonder what a spending diary is, let me tell you that it is exactly what it sounds: a diary of every amount you spend, much like the accounting of a company. A spending diary has many benefits, with the most important one of them being that you will be able to see how much you actually spend on various things in a month (and probably be surprised of it) and start building a budget based on that information. The other major benefit is that, most likely, once you realize just how much money you are spending on unnecessary things, you’ll find yourself cutting back right away.

Build an emergency fund!

A survey conducted last year has revealed that the vast majority of US citizens couldn’t handle an emergency expense worth $400 – repairs around the house, medical emergencies, and such, in turn, tend to cost a lot more. So, you’d better be prepared. Building an emergency fund doesn’t have to be tedious – you can add a small amount to a piggy bank or a separate bank account each month and stop whenever you feel comfortable with the amount. What’s important is to have some money to reach out to when unexpected expenses emerge – and not stressing about where to turn for money when they arrive.

Reduce your social media use

If last year’s repeated scandals were not enough of an incentive for you to use as little social media as you can, here is one more reason to cut back on Facebook and Instagram: it will make you spend a lot more money. The reason, of course, is one of the most widespread internet-related conditions today: FOMO – your fear of missing out.

Seeing all your social media peers share pictures of trips and meals, gadgets and jewelry online will make you feel like you need to keep up – and spend more. A study conducted last year by a credit rating company in the UK has shown that around half of all social media users in the country have taken out credit to buy stuff they’ve seen on social media and that a quarter of them had trouble paying it back.

Keeping away from social media will help you feel more contempt with where you are – and spend much less in the long run.

How to Improve your Finances

Every family has gone through a financial slump in some form. Whether you got in over your head with student  loans, credit cards, spending, medical costs, etc. you probably are looking for a way to improve your personal finances. It seems pretty simple, lower your spending and increase your savings, but it isn’t always that simple. How do you take the first steps to improving your financial status? It can be overwhelming! I was able to come across an app that can help you in this area of your life as well as many others. The app Setapp offers you access to many personal finance apps that can you help you in this journey. The idea behind the app is that you are given access to dozens of apps for a minimal monthly fee. Below are a few apps that I found to be helpful in this subject.




Chronicle is an app that allows you to track and pay bills as well as manage your personal finances. It includes a bill planner that is very easy and simple to use. It allows you to be notified when bills are due and makes sure you do not miss the deadline. You can also analyze and plan your budget to see where you are going wrong and also what you should continue doing.




Moneywiz is similar to chronicle in that it helps you organize your finances. However, it is more than just a bill organizer. It is a robust personal finance software. It allows you to track your spending in your accounts. You can run reports instantly across all of your devices to check your status. It works with your online banking accounts.


Home Inventory


Assets are not only in the form of money in your bank account, but also physically in your home. By using the Home Inventory app you can manage your home and belongings. Similar to warehouse stock taking and home inventory control, it is great to use with collectibles as well as simply organizing your home. Moreover, a separate iOS companion app is available outside of Setapp for remote entry and backup of your catalogues.


These three simple apps can greatly help with your personal financial standings. Just by being organized and knowing where you are spending your money can help you tremendously. It makes the equation of spending less in order to save more more achievable. Enjoy setapp not only for this benefit but for many other areas of your life that need help.


Don’t Order Your Checks From The Bank

In order to save some money there is a great option for you.  It won’t cause you any suffering due to the savings, meaning, I am not telling you to stop eating out or to sell your prized possessions.  All I am telling you do it start ordering your personal checks and business checks online! It’s that simple.  You were probably expecting something big.  While it is something small and you won’t be saving tons, it’s something easy to do so why not make the move.  No, you won’t be able to quit your day job with this kind of move, but it’s a start for your savings and it’s without breaking into any sort of sweat.

So many of us are used to doing what we have been doing for years, therefore we don’t put much thought as to why we go about doing certain things.  A good example of this how you go about getting your checks.  Before just about everything was so easily accessible online, if you wanted checks you called up your local bank and ordered them.  Now there is a far better option.  So even if you have been ordering checks for the last twenty years from the bank, I’m telling you that you are far better off buying your checks online.  The main reason, as I mentioned earlier is the savings that you will find with buying your checks online.  When you buy checks online you are buying straight from the check printers themselves.  When you buy checks from the bank on the other hand, you are paying the bank to take your checks to the checks printer.  The bank offers you checks as a service to you, but they are really not in the business of printing checks.  Therefore when you purchase checks through them, they cost you more because you are paying the middleman too. This may not save you big bucks, but you will be saving with only increased benefits, quicker turnaround time, customized checks, QuickBooks checks and so much more.

What Secure Ways Are there To Play with Real Money on Online Casinos?

Online casinos can provide casino gaming options either for free or using real money. To be able to play with real money, players must use one of the many payment methods to add funds to their account. Online casinos will only support secure methods of payment as they do not wish to risk their customer’s sensitive information. Since the concept of online commerce began, many different banking services have been developed.

One choice that is becoming a favorite amongst those who use online casinos is ewalletXpress. EwalletXpress allows players to move funds from there bank account to their online casino account. A wide range of currencies are supported by this system and conversions can be made when necessary, making it easy to play on sites worldwide. EwalletXpress is a fast and secure method for transferring funds and is recognized by many casino sites. The company behind EwalletXpress uses up to date encryption software and stringent security measures.

When setting up for the first time, all financial information is only needed once, this is a positive feature for amny customers as it means there is no need to constantly type in the same information everytime you want to play online.

As soon as you have real money deposited into your online casino account, then you are ready to participate in casino gaming for cash. You can choose to play one of the many varieties of poker. Some of these games are community poker games. This means that there are certain cards revealed that anyone can use in building their hand. Texas Hold ‘Em is a common type of community poker game found at online casinos. Some community poker games like Omaha Poker have two winners. One player wins for having the highest ranking hand while another wins for having the lowest. The pot is split between the two players

5 Ways to Get Money During a Financial Hardship

If you’ve fallen behind on your payments, you’ve likely had to deal with creditors calling.  While fielding these phone calls (or avoiding them, as the case may be) is annoying and stressful, they likely aren’t your greatest concern.

If you have trouble keeping up with bills thanks to a pay cut, job loss or an injury, you’re probably even more likely worried about bigger problems–paying your mortgage and keeping your home, paying your car payment so you can keep your vehicle and continue looking for a better job, paying your taxes so you don’t owe Uncle Sam and face having your wages garnished.  Besides these pressing concerns, you also need to worry about keeping your family fed and keeping the lights on at home.

If you’re in this financial bind, there are steps you can take to relieve the financial pressure.

1.  Borrow from family and friends.  If you’re not uncomfortable doing this, you can borrow money from family and friends to meet immediate pressing financial needs such as paying for housing and food.  Just make sure you have a plan for paying back the money when you get on your feet.  To make the borrower feel more comfortable, sign an agreement, have a repayment schedule, and have a notary public witness it.

2.  Take a cash advance on your credit card.  If you can’t borrow from family and friends, you could take a cash advance on your credit card.  Only do this to meet your most basic expenses, though, because the interest rate can be high.

3.  Take a payday loan.  Sometimes payday loans can be a life saver if you’re in a truly desperate position.  Applying online for a loans has never been easier, and in many cases you can have the money in your account within 15 minutes.

4.  Borrow from your 401(k).  This is truly the last resort.   Borrowing from your 401(k) is only a good idea if your money crunch is temporary and you can see a time in the not so distant future when you’ll be able to pay back the money.

5.  File for Bankruptcy Protection.  If you’re at the place where you need to borrow from your 401(k), you may want to consider bankruptcy instead.  If you leave your retirement savings intact and file for bankruptcy instead, in most cases you will be able to keep both your home and your retirement.

If you’re in a difficult financial position, you have a number of options available to survive this rough patch.  Which option you choose depends on the severity of your situation and when you think you’ll be back on your feet again.