Archive | May 2018

Should You Really Invest in Property?

In some ways the very opposite of making money online would be to invest in bricks and mortar, and start a property development business, however, when you compare the two methods of making money there are some huge similarities, as in both cases, people are building assets they then leverage to create passive income.

In the case of the property developer, they are doing this by renting out their property whilst the blogger for instance, is renting out space on their website… in both cases, they are leveraging an asset to create income rather than trading their time for money in the linear way most employees do.construction-process

The best way to make money, of course, is to invest.  A lot of people today are looking into cryptocurrency and concepts such as IHT Coin, which is relevant to real estate, yet an equal amount of people are a little timid about the prospect of all these “new” ways of making money and prefer something more traditional such as investing in property.

This article offers some give some general guidance for people thinking of dipping their toe into the idea of buying an investment property.  It’ll help you think about where to find a property, what to buy, and who to rent it out to.

WHERE TO BUY

Many amateur property investors choose to head to an auction, thinking this might be the best place to grab a deal, and in some ways they are right – however, one must thoroughly look into the reason the property is being sold at auction rather than by a real estate agent.

It can be as simple and innocent as the bank that has foreclosed on the house has a policy to sell at a specific auction, and in these instances, that’s fine… but just be aware that some houses might be going through auction as the owner knows you won’t be able to do a full inspection of the property.

Furthermore, it can be very easy to get caught up in the psychology of the situation at an auction, where your bids can well exceed your budget for a particularly property as the bids almost hypnotically spiral upwards.

WHAT TO BUY

There are several factors to consider that will require significant research; such as crime rate, the quality and proximity of local schools, transport links, and social amenities.  

If you are able to get your hands on some insider insight, such as from the local council, to understand what the next five years will bring to the area that would be helpful; for instance you would want to find out if a new sewage treatment was opening up in a few years time.  The point is, to do your homework, as whilst it might feel onerous and perhaps even costly, it will definitely pay off in the long run.

On this point, you might want to consider purchasing in an area that you are already acquainted with rather than going in blind.

WHO TO RENT TO

The next question is why to rent to, and within this, there are three core markets: students, professionals and those on government benefits.

Now, the wonderful thing about students is that their parents will often act as guarantor and are often willing to pay up front for a whole semester, or even academic year, which means this can be a very financially reliable way forward.

That said, the downside, is that students can be messy, disrespectful and noisy to the point they could disrupt neighbours and not always look after your property very well.

 For this reason, if you are buying a property with a view to renting it out to students – you’ll want to essentially buy a basic shell of a property that is fitted with relatively cheap carpet and furnishings that are all easy to replace.

The pros of professionals are that they are the most likely genre of people to keep the house tidy, conform to the rules, and pay their rent on time.  That said, there are plenty of professional people that end up falling behind with rent, and interestingly enough a large portion of eviction action, in court, is pursued against professional people.
Whilst there are some social disadvantages to consider in terms of the reputation and stigma of this demographic, there are plenty of people in receipt of government benefits that will take good care of your property.  

The main advantage when renting to someone on benefits is that you can set it up so the government pay you directly, meaning you are getting a reliable check in the mail from the government. This, therefore, makes renting out your property to people on benefits a surprisingly attractive and reliable option.

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5 Ways To Lower Your Company’s Electricity Bill

Companies are more reliant on electricity than ever before. If you’ve noticed your company’s electricity bill going up, here are a few tricks that could help to reduce costs.Energy Power Consumption Socket Electricity Current

#1. Switch to the cloud

If you currently use your own local server, switching to the cloud could save you a lot of money by reducing your electricity consumption. Private servers use up a lot of energy to stay cool, whilst you don’t have to pay any energy bills to use a remote cloud server.

The cloud can also have other advantages, such as allowing employees to work remotely. With more employees working from home instead of in the office, your company energy bills will be reduced saving you further money.  

#2. Install a meter

You could also consider installing an energy meter. This could help to make you more aware of your electricity consumption by showing you exactly how much you’re spending on it as you’re using it.

You can install a meter by hiring a level 2 service provider. You could even get a smart meter installed which you can check readings for on your phone.

#3. Unplug appliances that aren’t in use

Appliances that are constantly left plugged in could be adding huge costs onto your electricity bill. This includes computers, printers and extension cables. Check every evening before leaving the office that all machines are unplugged or switched off at the wall.

You could enforce this as a rule that your employees follow if you’re not always the last to leave the office.

#4. Upgrade old appliances

Old computers and printers could be worth replacing – many of these appliances are likely to guzzle power compared to modern appliances. You can even save money by replacing old light bulbs for modern LED bulbs.

When shopping around for new appliances always check their energy rating. Appliances that have a good level of energy efficiency are usually given an Energy Star recommendation, which is something to look out for.

#5. Consider adding a renewable energy source

You could even consider taking your energy source off grid and never having to pay an energy bill to a provider ever again. Solar energy is the most common way of doing this – by installing solar panels on the roof of your commercial property, you can generate all your own electricity.

Solar panels aren’t cheap to install, but you’re certain to make your money back over time. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a clear sky to generate power and many modern solar panels can generate electricity even on the cloudiest of days.

On top of solar power, you can also generate electricity using wind power. Commercial wind turbines don’t generate as much power as solar panels and are unlikely to power up a whole office, however they could still be a good supplement, especially if your office is located in a windy area.