Top Ten Tips when Buying Real Estate!

In today’s financial climate, real estate continues to be a strong investment in many areas. Educated buyers will always make the most out of the real estate market. These top ten tips to buying real estate will help you enter into your next real estate transaction with confidence.

TIP #1: Hire the right Agent!

Hiring the right Real Estate Agent is invaluable. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the realtor you choose is your link to important information regarding schools, zoning, city and county regulations, neighborhood trends, building and remodeling and rental restrictions, and property values. Every city has different laws governing what can and can’t be done with a property. Sanibel is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States due in part to its strict building codes and city planning. Having experienced many aspects of real estate transactions on a personal level, I understand situations and concerns of my buyers and sellers. I have been an island property owner for many years and have walked through several local real estate transactions myself. From buying and selling lots to building new homes with local builders, to investing in rental income producing properties and utilizing 1031 Tax free exchanges, I don’t just sell island real estate; I invest in it because I believe there is no place in the world like Sanibel and Captiva. Whether you work with me or someone else, finding the right realtor is invaluable.

TIP #2: Utilize 1031 Tax Exchanges and Save Money!

1031 Tax Exchanges are tax free exchanges of investment property. Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code is one of the last great tax shelters. If you purchase an investment property of “like kind” within 180 days of the sale of a similar type property, and you are willing to increase the amount of debt or value of the property, your capital gains taxes can be completely deferred. Having just completed a Reverse 1031 tax exchange myself, I believe in using this powerful tax shelter. Feel free to contact me if you are considering using a current Sanibel, Captiva, or Ft. Myers property in a 1031 Tax Exchange, or want to purchase an investment property that might qualify in the future for a 1031 Tax Exchange. A Reverse 1031 Tax Exchange is the same exchange concept as a 1031 Tax Exchange except you have purchased your replacement “like kind” investment property first, before selling the property to be exchanged. Learn more about 1031 Tax Exchanges, and how to use them to your financial advantage. Keep in mind that a neutral party must have act a Qualified Intermediary. Real Estate may also be bought and sold through your self directed retirement account. Whether you utilize a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, or company plans such as 401 (k) plans, Keogh, or profit sharing plans, investigate your options.

TIP #3: Pre-qualify for Financing!

Pre-qualifying for a loan may not seem that important until you find your perfect paradise property at the same time as another buyer. When a property is priced to sell, it will usually attract more than one buyer. Once a seller receives an offer, the two most important things they consider are …the price, and the contingencies. For some sellers, a contract contingent on the buyer obtaining financing makes them uncomfortable with the offer. Eliminate any doubt in the mind of a seller, by pre-qualifying for the amount you may spend on the purchase of any property. This is especially important if your dream property suddenly has a price reduction. When this occurs other buyers might come into the picture, that didn’t look at that property before it went “On Sale”! Often times a seller will take a financially solid contract over a higher offer. Be ready to put a deal together!

TIP #4: Location, Location, Location!

“Location, location, location”, while overused as a real estate phrase, is still and always should be a huge consideration to you as the buyer! If something about the location of a property bothers you, be aware that the same location drawback will bother any buyer you hope to attract when and if you need to resell the property! It’s important to ask a lot of questions, but often times it is difficult to know the right questions to ask if you are unfamiliar with the community. This is why it is so valuable to choose and hire the right real estate agent to represent your interests when buying a property.

TIP #5: Get a Home Inspection!

Obtaining an inspection report performed by a licensed professional building inspector of your choice, can protect you from many defects that are hidden from view. Why gamble with such a large financial investment? Let a professional building inspector point out areas to be fixed or replaced that aren’t obvious. A good inspector will give you a lengthy report covering all systems in the home from electrical, to plumbing, to roof conditions, and structural concerns. Once you receive a report you may begin negotiations again concerning repairs. Often a seller will agree to make necessary repairs up to a specified financial amount. When a seller lists their property “as is” they are letting you know that they are not willing to fix or replace any part of the property. If you are interested in an “as is” property and aren’t going to level the structure and build new, it is still in your best interest to obtain an inspection report. Don’t rely on the building inspector to look for termites and other harmful pest problems. Although an inspector will see pest damage, it is best to have a separate termite inspection conducted by a licensed company that understands pests and can eliminate them.

TIP #6: Obtain a Survey and Title Insurance!

Surveys will show easements, encroachments, and boundary lines of a property. By surveying a home in an established neighborhood you are assured that the property boundary lines have been maintained. As homeowners add on the their properties over time with fences, sheds, docks, garages, and other structures, boundary lines can be crossed placing part of their structure on your property, or vice versa. Surveying vacant land is also important for same reasons as a home, plus a survey will help determine the size home, or amount of coverage the lot will allow.

Title Insurance will protect your investment from another party claiming ownership interest in your property. Title searches will uncover liens placed on a property by vendors, or mistakes in past transfers of the title. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, or leases. Should a claim arise after the purchase of a property, the title insurance company is there to protect your ownership interest in that property.

TIP #7: Be Realistic!

“Wants” and “Needs” are very different when is comes to real estate features. If every home you see has the upgrades you “want” but exceeds the price range that you “need”…. be realistic. Who wouldn’t love a large, oceanfront, professionally decorated home or condominium, with all the bells and whistles? Looking at properties that exceed your price range is always fun, but it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting. Be realistic by looking at listings in the price range you “need”, keeping an eye out for that special property that has the potential to evolve into the dream home you “want”. Always look beyond the furnishings, wallpaper, and floor coverings to the architecture of the home; it is then that you will find properties with potential.

TIP #8: Use Contract Contingencies Wisely!

Contingencies in a contract for the purchase of a property are designed to protect you, the buyer! This may seem silly to mention but it’s important to remember that you need to work with the seller to come to an agreed upon contract. Valid contingencies to an offer are expected by the seller. Common contingencies include building inspections, termite and pest inspections, financing, and surveys. Many deals fall apart over small details, and easy to fix issues. Remember that sellers are emotional about their property. If you can see that major repairs or replacements need to be made due to neglect or age, make allowances for this in your offering price. The old adage “Everything is negotiable” still holds true, unless you upset the seller so much that they refuse to work with you. Try to avoid listing cosmetic changes you would like the seller to make as contingencies. Cosmetic changes are subjective, be objective when writing a contract.

TIP #9: Understand Regional Health and Safety Issues!

An informed realtor will help you understand other health and safety issues that should be considered when purchasing a property. Safety and Health topics can include EIFS (Synthetic Stucco), indoor air quality, mold, radon, and lead paint. Many of these require the seller to sign a disclosure statement, while others may not apply due to the age, type of construction, or location of the property being purchased.

TIP #10: Ask for Information!

Don’t be shy. When you have hired a realtor to work for you, ask them for information. Do you want to look at all the properties in your price range, with the features you need, or just the houses a realtor wants you to see? You deserve all the information you need to make an educated decision. Can you imagine buying the home that you felt was good for your family, only to find that you never received information on a similar property that is perfect for all your needs? I provide many services to insure my buyers always have information at their fingertips.

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5 Tips to Buy Cosplay Costumes on a Budget

If you don’t opt for the right cosplay costume, you won’t be able to have fun. Unfortunately, students can’t buy these costumes over and over again. This is especially true about students who don’t have a lot of money. So, what they do is use the available supplies to make a costume. If you are also on a budget, you can try out cost-effective options. Given below are some tips that can help you purchase cosplay costumes that can fit you well. Read on to know more.

5 tips for Buying Cosplay Costumes Online

On the internet, there are a lot of shady sellers looking to rip off customers. As a rule of thumb, you may want to compare the sellers before choosing one. Comparison can help you save a lot of money. However, make your preferences clear. You will find that some sellers offer faster shipping, while others offer lower rates.

Use Filters

One of the greatest benefits of buying online is that you can buy from user-friendly websites. Buying online can also save you a lot of time as you won’t have to walk through a lot of aisles. With the handy filters, you can choose from a variety of genres of costumes based on your size, color choice, and budget.

Consider the Size Chart

Different sellers offer different size charts. Every manufacturers has their own chart as there is no standard pattern. So, you should check out the size chart rather than depend on the size number. After all, choosing the right size is of paramount importance.

Read the Description

Your buying decision shouldn’t be based on the images displayed at the store. Often, manufacturers include items and accessories that are not offered with the product you want to buy. However, they will clearly describe all the information in the description. So, you may not want to forget reading the description.

Consider the Refund Policy

Since cosplay costumes are bought for a specific day, receiving a cosplay costume after the day has passed won’t be of any use to you. Therefore, you may want to place your order in a timely fashion. If you don’t have much time, make sure you opt for the fastest delivery service available. Also, you may want to be on the safe side as delays may happen because of many reasons irrespective of the shipping method you opted for.

Make sure the return and refund policy is flexible. You may also want to find out what other buyers of the product say about the size, durability and quality of the cosplay costumes.

Read Customer Reviews

Apart from other things, make sure you consider the opinions of other customers. Online buyers make their buying decision based on customer feedback. So, the goal of online retailers is to ensure customers leave positive reviews. Word of mouth is still the most important.

In short, you may want to follow these 5 tips when buying cosplay costumes online. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the best decision.

Important Tips on Buying a Life Insurance Policy

Introduction

Life Insurance comes with many benefits. Nowadays, life insurance isn’t just a contract between the insurer and insured, which provides protection against risk of life by paying a premium. For sustainability in the market, every company and product need to adopt the current demand and circumstances and same goes with the life insurance products too. In these years of change in the market, regulator and life insurance companies have taken major steps to meet the changing demands which have provided customers with following options and benefits:-

  • Wide range of product portfolio
  • Options of saving and investment
  • Added benefits with life insurance
  • Different ways of getting low premium and high coverage
  • Additions in list of key features of life insurance polices
  • Transparency and hassle free procedure

With a pool of different companies, products and benefits to choose from, you need to pick out the best one for you. There are many things which you need to keep in mind before buying insurance and there is no specific guideline for choosing the best one, it all depends on your need and situation. But there are some important points related to every policy which can help you to filter the best insurance policies. Based on those important points, we have outlined following important tips for buying a life insurance policy.

Tips

  • Start early

Buying a Life insurance when you are young, gives you a lot of benefit. You will be able to get high coverage at a very low rate of premium because age has a direct effect the premium rate (younger the buyer, lower the premium is). In addition, with low premium, you will get better financial planning, long duration of coverage and your premium will be locked at a very low rate for your entire policy term.

  • Choose the right coverage amount

Don’t decide your policy coverage on your feelings or on calculations based on single factors (like 10 times of your salary). While deciding upon the coverage amount, always consider your current lifestyle, debts, assets, future obligation (college education of children, settlement of your family to different locations, etc.), and rate of inflation. Choosing low coverage will give you zero benefit while choosing a high coverage will be a costly deal for you.

  • Comparison is the key

Comparison is very much necessary before buying an insurance policy. It helps you to choose the best policy at the best rate. There will be many polices which will not offer benefits which you are looking and may be available at different rates. There are many IRDAI certified comparison portals which provide a comparison of different policies on their websites which is unbiased and easy.

  • Choose the right policy

Different policies have different benefits, eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, exclusions and inclusions. You can choose the right policy for yourself only if you know about it well. So the key in choosing the right product is better understanding about it. Know about the riders available, add on benefits, what is not covered under your policy, premium rates and all other aspects related to your policy. Know your needs well and then find policies accordingly.

  • Choose the right company

There are more than 20 companies in India and it very much necessary to choose a trustworthy company. There are some companies which provide best insurance policies and are trustworthy also. You need to check the claim settlement ratio, review (by customer and experts), claim settlement process, product portfolio, price, etc. of different companies to choose the right one.

  • Understand the brochure

There is a brochure available with every Life Insurance product which is available on the company’s website. It contains all the key benefits, features, eligibility, inclusions, exclusion, term and condition related to the policy. Go through every fine line of the brochure to understand your policy well. It will help you to use the available benefits and avoid any bad surprises in future.

  • Disclose your information correctly in the proposal form

Some people hide facts about themselves while filling the proposal form and giving personal details to the company. For example, some people tick themselves as a non-smoker while giving details to get low rate of premiums. But later, at the claims stage, it could result in zero benefit as the claim will be rejected due to misleading information provided by the insured. You can’t fool the company by giving wrong information. So to avoid any hassle during the policy or at the time of making claims, it is always necessary to provide the right information about yourself to the company.

Never buy a Life Insurance policy in a hurry because it’s a decision which will have an effect on your whole life. Give some time for research and understanding your needs well because a policy bought with precision gives you exactly what you want.

7 Tips to Help You Enjoy a Safe Online Shopping Experience

Buying online offers a great shopping experience. You can enjoy lower prices and the package is delivered to your doorstep in a couple of days if not hours. Given below are a few tips that can help you enjoy a safer online buying experience.

1. Use a Secure Connection

First of all, make sure your computer is free of any malicious software or your password may get stolen. Despite the risk, only a fraction of US residents protect their computers from viruses. So, it’s better that you use a secure connection and keep your firewall always on.

2. Buy from a Reputable Merchant

Buying from a reputable merchant is a must. After all, you don’t want to end up compromising on the safety of your credit card details. All you need to do is do your homework before buying from a new merchant. If the store you are going to buy from is not reputable, look for a different store.

3. Avoid Unreasonable Offers

If an offer seems too good to be true, leave it. The prices offered by a store should be fair. If the prices are unreasonably low, know that something is fishy. Often, disreputable online stores sell items at unreasonably low prices. You should keep away from such scammers.

4. Don’t Forget to read the Terms and Conditions

Before you buy a gift card, make sure that the store is legitimate. Also, you may not want to forget reading the terms and conditions. They will help you make the right choice. After all, you don’t want to end up paying for hidden charges.

5. Don’t Work with a Seller that asks for too much information

When buying online, you have to provide a lot of required details like your email address, mobile number, shipping address, and payment method. However, if a merchant asks for additional information, close the page and walk away.

For instance, if you are asked for your driver’s license number, social security information and bank account information, know that they are scammers.

6. Create a Unique, Strong Password

Often, you have to create an account when buying online. Typically, signing up is not mandatory. It’s better to place your order and check out without creating an account unless you are the regular buyer of the store. Even if you choose to create an account, make sure your password is unique and strong.

7. Use your Credit Card or PayPal

It’s always a great idea to use your credit card to buy online. Actually debit cards don’t come with enough security, unlike a credit card. If someone makes unauthorized transactions using your credit card information, your bank will limit your liability to $50. On the other hand, your debit card will not offer this protection. So, you can either use your credit card or PayPal for making payments.

So, make sure you follow these tips when buying online to ensure you are always on the safe side. Hopefully, these tips will help you enjoy a safe online buying experience.

Tips to Buy the Right Replacement Battery for Your Laptop

Unlike a smartphone, a laptop computer will give you a lot more power. Since it’s a portable computer, it requires more battery power to perform its functions. Therefore, you can find a lot of battery types on the market today. With the help of a replacement battery, you can use your laptop for an extended period of time. Here, it’s important to keep in mind that batteries with a lot of capacity may not be a good fit for your laptop. Plus, they are a bit heavier than normal batteries, which makes them difficult to carry around.

If you are experiencing reduced performance while working on your laptop, we suggest that you look for a replacement battery. Given below are some tips to help you pick the right one.

1. Find out Your Laptop Brand (as well as the model)

First of all, make sure you know your laptop brand. For instance, you may have a Dell Inspiron or Acer laptop. Other brand batteries may not work for your laptop. Aside from the brand, if you know the model number of your device as well, it will make it easier for you to get the replacement battery.

You can find the model number on the back of your laptop. Also, it may also be found on the inside of the battery compartment. You can unplug your laptop and open up the compartment to read the model number.

2. Look For Your Battery Model Number on the Internet

if you can’t see the model number in the compartment, you can take a closer look at the battery itself. Some batteries have the model number printed on them.

At times, it’s the fast way to finding the information about your battery on the Internet. For instance, you can go to any of the popular websites to do your search.

All you need to do is enter the brand, model number and the name of the battery that you want to get the information for. This is the quickest way of getting the required information.

3. Conduct Necessary Verifications before you Buy

Before you buy a battery, make sure you take a closer look at its images online. The connectors of the battery should be the same as on the original battery. If they are different, it won’t fit inside the battery compartment.

For some reason, if you don’t have access to the original battery, or if you already own a replacement battery, you may take a closer look at the connectors inside the compartment to see if they match with those on your new battery.

So, if you are going to buy a replacement battery for your laptop, we suggest that you take into account the tips given above. They will make it easier for you to make the right purchase. Make sure the battery you are buying is original. Typically, reputable buyers only sell original stuff. So, it’s a great idea to buy from a reputable seller whether you are buying from a physical store or an online one.

7 Tips for Buying Urns Online

In the past, purchasing an urn involved going to the funeral home, which handled the funeral arrangements of your beloved family member, and picking one from their display selection. Now, since the advent of the Internet, one can simply type in the search term “urns” in any search engine and find literally hundreds of companies selling a wide variety of cremation urns online. Purchasing an urn from an Internet company can be painless and done from the comfort and privacy of your home. Yet, with such an enormous selection of urn vendors, how does one determine which vendor to purchase from?

It is difficult if not impossible to know who is genuinely interested in helping the customer and who is out to make a buck. These 7 tips are designed to help you evaluate the companies on the Internet selling cremation urns. Hopefully the information will help make this part of the process a little easier for you and your family.

1. Research the Urn Vendor

You want to deal with a business that is experienced and ethical. Invest a little time to educate yourself about the vendor you are considering doing business with.

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Where are they located?
  • Are they members of the Better Business Bureau?
  • If so, have they had any complaints?

Look within their website for an About Us or Company page that offers more information about them. You can also contact them by phone or email and question them.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they are a member and if they have had any complaints for the last three years. Members of the BBB Online Reliability program will prominently display the BBB seal on their website.

Be skeptical of vendors that do not fully disclose simple yet important information such as contact phone number, email address, and where they are located.

2. Examine Their Customer Service

Good customer service is shown by being focused on helping you instead of just getting the sale. They need to be oriented toward fulfilling your needs and not theirs.

  • Can they be contacted by phone or email?
  • Do they appear knowledgeable about their products?
  • Are they helpful in answering your questions?
  • If contacted after hours did you receive a reply within a reasonable amount of time the following business day?

It is more comforting to talk to an actual person and this should be possible during regular business hours. Contact them with any questions you have or just to see how they handle your call. You can learn a lot just by interaction with the company before you make the purchase.

You want to feel comfortable when discussing various details with them and they need to be helpful.

3. You Need a Guarantee

You want some kind of satisfaction guarantee especially with this type of product. If you get the urn and decide you don’t like it, you should be able to return it as long as it is in resalable condition.

  • Does the vendor offer a money back guarantee?
  • Do they accept returns?
  • If they accept returns, is there a restocking fee?

If your urn has been personalized or if it is custom made, then it is understandable if the company cannot accept a return just because of a change in heart. However, if it is damaged upon arrival or they personalized it with the wrong information they should replace it at no charge to you.

4. A Privacy Policy

With the amount of identity theft going around, you want to make absolutely certain your personal information is protected by the vendor you are dealing with.

  • Is the vendor’s privacy policy easily accessible?
  • Does it clearly outline what information is gathered?
  • Do they inform you how your personal information is handled?

Certainly you have heard how many Internet users are having their information given or sold to spammers. Take the necessary steps to ensure it does not happen to you.

5. Secure Payment Processing

You’ve taken the necessary precautions to ensure your credit is healthy. Don’t ruin it by making an online purchase from an unsecured website, which in turn may lead to fraudulent charges.

  • Does the website offer secure encryption?
  • What types of security measures are offered?
  • Do they have a security guarantee?

If a company is asking for your credit card information over the Internet, then it is very important that they have secure payment processing.

On the webpage where you submit your credit card information make sure the webpage url begins with https://, whereas there is an ‘s’ at the end of the http and a closed security lock at the bottom right hand side of the window. If these elements are not visible, the page is not secure.

Check the vendor’s website for a security guarantee and what measures are taken to protect your credit card information.

6. Watch Out for Hidden Charges

Most people dislike when they’ve decided to purchase an item only to find there are hidden costs such as delivery charges or other unexpected costs. Look more closely at the bottom line price and be aware of additional charges.

  • Is delivery included in the price or is it separate?
  • If buying cremation jewelry, do they charge extra for the chain?
  • Is their pricing easy to understand?

After you’ve added the items to your cart and are ready to check out, look to make sure no additional charges have been added that were not previously selected.

If you are purchasing cremation jewelry, take note that many vendors charge a lower price for the pendant and then add an additional charge for the chain. This is to create the illusion that their prices a lower whereas the total price is higher than the one that got your initial attention.

7. Multiple Payment Options

Don’t get stuck having to pay for the urn with a credit card when you would rather pay by check. Make sure the vendor has different options in place for making payment that fit your preference.

  • Do they take all major credit cards?
  • Does the vendor accept check payment or money orders
  • Can you mail or fax in your payment?
  • Are you able to phone in your order?

Most individuals will choose to pay online with a credit card, but a good number of individuals are more comfortable calling in their order or of their choice or using a different form of payment altogether.

Make sure the company can accommodate your preferred method of payment.

These 7 tips should help you to select the vendor from which you will purchase your urn from. Even then, sometimes the simple things such as visual elements (professional website appearance, user friendly interface, good product images) or resources of information will lend to the trustworthiness and credibility of a company.

In the very end what it boils down to is asking yourself: “Do I feel comfortable purchasing from this company?” and hopefully this article helped you to find that answer.

Beneficial Tips To Use As You Purchase Your Next Auto

Everyone loves a new car, but almost no one enjoys shopping for one. Knowledge makes it more enjoyable, though. Going through the tips here is a great place to begin. Don’t let a salesperson talk you into buying a vehicle you can’t afford. Many people get hoodwinked into buying a sports car because salespeople say the person looks good in it. Remember, the salesperson is after a commission.

Make sure you do some research on a dealer prior to making an offer. If you are familiar with their financing choices and trade-in policy in advance, you will negotiate from a stronger position. Also, knowing about the customer reviews will assist you in avoiding getting scammed. Never pay full price for a car. This number is not an accurate reflection of what each dealer believes it can get from you. Bring a friend that is a good negotiator if that is not your strong point. Have a ballpark figure in mind before you go.

Test the merchandise before you buy. This will give you a feel of how good the car drives. It’s possible that the vehicle has some defect or issue that might affect the way it handles on the road. When you are looking for a car to purchase, make sure that any vehicle you consider is equipped with the latest safety features. The brakes and suspension are two things to take into account when car shopping. Check for air bags too, in the event of an accident. Safety is important since you will be in this vehicle a lot. Bring someone with you when you are shopping for a car. Have a friend or family member go with you to assist in asking the important questions and negotiating a price. Brief your companion on your vehicle needs and how much you have available to spend.

Put the Internet to work for you. There is a wide variety of cars and car information available online. Find out all you are able to about the cars you are interested in before you go and look at them. By researching online, you can find specs, gas mileage data, resell value, ratings and almost any other information that you desire. Few things are as exciting and overwhelming as the process of trying to find a new vehicle. The Internet is often your best friend in this situation. You can look up a variety of vehicles and compare prices right from your home. Many online sites offer side-by-side comparisons and other features to guide you through the selection process. This will help you to figure out what cars you should actually go out and visit a dealership to test drive.

Be cautious about giving out your social security number. It is common for car dealers to ask for this right away and use it to pull your credit. If you do not purchase a vehicle at this dealership, then your chances of obtaining the best deal at another dealership can be damaged because the credit run will be shown. Make sure the deal is ready before you start spouting out your Social. Most people would agree that buying a car is not their favorite activity. Actually, with preparation and the right mindset, you can shop for a car, truck or SUV with relatively little stress.

Ten Tips for Evaluating a Home Builder Website

When researching potential new home builders to hire, you need to rely on quality, professionalism, customer service and relevance to your wants and budget. Because most new home searches begin online, evaluating a home builder’s website is crucial to deciding whether or not the home builder deserves to be contacted. If you want to purchase a house, this helpful article offers home buying information and ten tips for evaluating a home builder website.

Because the website of New Home Builder Orleans Homes exemplifies many features indicative of a quality homebuilder website, it was used as a model for what a potential new home buyer should look for in a new house builder website.

House & Floor Plans

When you are considering the purchase of a new home – maybe the biggest purchase you will ever make – you need to know the house is what you want, inside and out. To save potential home buyers time, some homebuilder websites let visitors preview new home plans online. A typical home builder will offer several floor and house plans and a home builder whose website boasts interactive floor plans suggests both technical savvy and awareness of what site visitors want of a residential home builder.

Printable Brochures

Just as the availability of house and floor plans show an awareness of what those in the market for a new home want, the ability to print plans and brochures reinforces that awareness. If you print a plan, you have something tangible to use for reference and to use if you choose to tour new model homes.

Words, Pictures & Interactivity

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes, but different people gather information in different ways. Some people are visual, others interactive while still more prefer to read to gather information. A home builder website should be equally open to these various ways of gathering information. And for those visual site visitors, if the pictures are of decent quality, it likely means the home builder invests in quality in other aspects of their business. One additional note on the pictures that appear on homebuilder websites: if the picture doesn’t show the actual home interior or exterior – shows instead a flower vase, say – it may mean the homebuilder is hiding something.

Usability & Navigation

For government and government contractor websites, the site must be accessible to persons with disabilities. Websites not obligated to this level of accessibility – but that are accessible nevertheless – are indicative of a company sympathetic to the needs of all potential site visitors. This is good, naturally, but accessible and usable websites also lead to a more rewarding site visit. In short, an open, easy-to-navigate website likely means open, easy-to-navigate homes.

Solid site navigation suggests, in addition, an awareness of how visitors will move throughout the website and a desire to make this process as intuitive as possible. A thoughtfully designed website means a thoughtfully designed home so look for sites that are both usable and accessible.

Interactive maps

To find a home, you need to know where it is. Maps, obviously, make the search for a new home easier. Furthermore, an interactive map – one where you can simply click on a location to view homes available in that area – makes the home search that much easier. When a website gives you multiple tools to find a new home for sale, it reinforces the notion that the homebuilder wants to make the search for a new home or new home development easier.

Easy-to-Find Content

Visitors to a homebuilder website may be looking for several unique types of information: new homes, home plans, home locations, financing information, company history, employment information, and home care tips. The content sought by a visitor should be easy to locate in a few simple clicks. Site maps, search fields, information architecture – these all help the visitor through the site. Again, an easily-navigable site suggests the homebuilder knows how to build well.

Search by Various Factors

A visitor in search of a single family home for sale, for example, may be seeking unique features. It so follows that a website should allow visitors to search by various factors such as location, neighborhood, price range, number of rooms, amenities, etc. There are many types of people in the market to buy a new home and a homebuilder should offer information to a variety of individuals. Even a luxury home builder builds a variety of models and a site that lets you search for factors pertinent to your home search suggests the company may be one worth further investigation.

Site Speaks to your Wants and Needs

Just as a site should allow for you to search according to your unique new home needs, a site should also speak to your new home wish list. If you are a first time homebuyer looking to buy a new house, evaluate the site content to see if they speak to needs similar to yours. If the site does not – there is no need to contact the home builder.

Links

A link is a vote for a website because, if there is a link to the site, the linking website owner decided the site content was worth referencing. So check to see if the site is linked to because links are essentially votes of confidence.

Financial Information

It is often said that the decision to purchase a house is one of the biggest most people will ever make. Most people have to think very carefully about investing in a new home, and how to finance it. Even if you have your own plans for financing a new home purchase, look for homebuilder websites that offer financing and mortgage information. It demonstrates a familiarity with the financing process and the ability of the company to give you good, reliable information. Some sites even offer a mortgage calculator [http://www.orleanshomes.com/buy/calc.cfm target=] – a very helpful tool to use during a new home search.

If you evaluate home builder websites based on these factors, you are better prepared to decide which new home builders to contact. One final note. If you like a home builder website, look for interest list forms or forms to request additional information. Filling out these forms not only ensures you are only provided relevant information, they will likely automatically qualify you for special offers, discounts and VIP openings. If you like what you see, fill out the interest list.

* You may republish this article provided you retain the active hyperlinks. Copyright 2006, Robert O’Shaughnessy.

Tips to Help You Buy a Laptop Power Charger

Theoretically speaking, a laptop charger should stand the test of time. However, in reality, they don’t last that long. They may get damaged or stolen, for instance. If your charger is not working, you won’t be able to charge or use your laptop. So, it’s important that you get a new one from a nearby office supply store or electronics/computer shop. You can also buy them online. Given below are a few tips that can help you opt for the right one.

Don’t Opt for a Universal Power Charger

While the universal charger is a good choice, it may not perform to your satisfaction. This type of charger supports a lot of models but their components can’t meet the specific power requirements of some laptops. Typically, the problems are related to the fit, power tips, price, and voltage. So, it’s better to get a branded one.

Don’t Buy a Solar Charger

Solar chargers are eco-friendly and efficient. There is a difference between these and OEM models. Although they can be safely used with most types of machines, we can’t say for sure if they can work with all models.

Don’t Go for a Cheap unit

Buying a cheap charger is not a good idea as it won’t stand the test of time. In addition, cheap models tend to overheat the computer due to the inconsistency of power inflows. Therefore, they can’t be considered a good solution.

Don’t opt for Another Brand

If you choose a charger of a different brand, chances are that it won’t fit. Due to low or high voltage, it may cause problems even if you manage to connect it to your device.

Go for The Recommended Charger

Make sure you opt for the right type of charger. You can get this type of information from a number of different places, such as your laptop bottom, old charger box, and the website of the manufacturer. If you are going to buy online, the item’s specs can help you get this information.

Do Opt for an OEM unit

Ideally, most experts suggest that you get an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) unit as it’s designed for the type and model of the computer you own. It can be hard to opt for the OEM unit. So, it’s better to order online. Often, online stores have a huge selection of products that you can buy at competitive prices.

Choose a Generic Charger if you can’t get an OEM one

If you want to buy a unit that is not designed for your own model, make sure the unit you want to buy is safe. Typically, they are compatible and safe to use. Although a generic unit may help you save a lot of money, it may not have enough power. Therefore, we suggest that you find out the power requirement of your charger before you get a unit.

Long story short, if you are going to buy the right charger for your laptop, we suggest that you consider the do’s and don’ts mentioned in this article. Hope this helps.

Tips And Resources For Playing And Buying A Bass Guitar

The bass is the back bone or the heart beat in a band.

The bass is the instrument that hold things together, creates consistent cohesion. The bass requires a player who can stay focused and steady. There are times where a bass player will get the chance to solo or jam, but unlike a lead guitar or other instruments the majority of time the bass plays the same notes over and over throughout the tune. Everyone in a band, an orchestra, quartet or most any other group of instruments playing together, will depend on the bass as a guide, if the bass makes mistakes it can throw everyone off.

The bassist propels the tune along by aligning each chord so that the other players move smoothly through the cord changes in the music.

To play bass well is not an easy accomplishment. The physical stamina in your fingers and arms alone requires strength. You have to work up to the endurance and stamina needed in your hands to actively and consistently play bass well. Practice and preparation with finger and hand strength building exercises are needed to handle the strings of a bass.

The bassist must keep excellent time, they are the time keeper. The other players depend on the bass to be always consistently on time though out the tune.

While the bass most often has four strings there are five and six string bass guitars as well. Most bass guitars are electric. The stand up acoustic bass is used most often in classical and jazz music. The Ibanez brand does also make an acoustic electric bass, which allows you to play with and without amplification.

The bass has a much lower tone pitch than a guitar or other string instruments. The longer a string is the lower the tone. The bass has longer strings than other string instruments including the acoustic and electric guitar. The bass is responsible for taking care of the lower sound spectrum.

An electric bass is most often built for left hand fretting. The tuning keys are at the top of the headstock. The nut is the piece of material where a grove is provided for each string to sit in. The flat part of the neck is known as the fretboard where the strings are pressed to create the separate notes. while the strings are actually a part that is separate from the bass itself, the bass is incomplete and non functional with out the strings. The strings create a vibration that is the sound of your bass.

An electric bass will have pickups that pickup the vibration of the strings and send the sound through the amplifier. On an acoustic bass there is a soundboard and a hollow body that transmits the string vibration into the sound you hear.

The Ibanez company builds and sells acoustic electric bass guitars that have a pickup to allow for a louder sound when required by the player. When playing with other acoustic instruments most often no amplification is needed and so the acoustic electric bass can still play where the electric bass guitar can not function without electricity and an amplifier.

The bass is available in a wide price range. You can buy a quality brand bass for under a $150.00 and you can pay well into the thousands for top of the line professional models. Ibanez while being a quality builder offers some very low priced models for beginners. They also offer comparatively high quality for the price.

Ibanez is known for their acoustic electric bass guitars as well as their standard electric bass.

Even when you are just beginning to play bass it is a good idea to start out with a bass of reasonable quality that has good action and fits your hand size and feels comfortable.

When going out to try different bass models ask lots of questions and if possible bring along a friend that plays bass to help you find a fit.