Purchasing Your Copper Sink – Helpful Tips & Information

Selecting a kitchen or bathroom sink use to be easy. There were just a few large companies selling ceramic, enameled steel, cast iron and stainless steel sinks. In the past decade, there has been an explosion of new products in the sink category and a growing demand for hand crafted and custom work. There have been several “new” sink mediums gaining recent acceptance – glass, various stones, brass, copper, and even wood. This article will focus on copper sinks and what to look for before making your purchase.

Copper is man’s oldest metal, dating back more than 10,000 years. Its use in the home in modern times ranges from copper tubing in your plumbing system to some of the finest cookware available. Restaurateurs, hoteliers and interior decorators look to copper and brass as naturally inviting metals that make a statement of quality, comfort and beauty. It is no wonder that copper has also become a popular material for sinks in the kitchen, bath and bar.

Copper artisans abound throughout the world, however the artisans that have gained a reputation for making sinks has been primarily centered in India, Mexico and the US. Most of the shops making “hand crafted” copper sinks are small and the methods used to construct sinks goes back centuries. The term “hand hammered” has recently become synonymous with Mexican sinks. This term refers to the original ancient techniques that artisans have been using for centuries in this area. Copper sheets are literally hammered into shape and hand finished.

The results are somewhat rustic, but truly unique and one of a kind. Copper sinks in the US are made with similar techniques but are more often “smooth” rather than “hammered”. US copper craftsmen are dominated by shops doing custom work primarily for commercial projects such as restaurants. You can see examples of all these sinks at Sinks Gallery. They specialize in artisan crafted sinks and have one of the largest selections of copper sinks available, as well as sinks from all different mediums including glass, ceramic, various stones and even wood.

There are three primary differentiators determining quality – construction technique, copper thickness and the company you are buying from. Construction quality is made up of several factors – how corners are constructed, welding technique and proper dimensions for ease of installation. Quality can vary even when considering sinks made in the same town such as many of the sinks from Mexico. The buyer should make sure they are buying from a legitimate company that knows the product and is not selling “seconds”. In the world of hand crafted products, not all sinks are created equal and oftentimes there are two or more quality levels sold by the same shop (i.e. “firsts” and “seconds”).

Copper starts out in sheets of various thicknesses or “gauge”. The thickness of the metal can also be referred to by the weight per square foot. The thicker the gauge copper, the lower the number. Most bath sinks are made from 20 gauge (the thinnest) to 16 gauge (the thickest) and most kitchen sinks range from 18 gauge to 14 gauge. When shopping for copper sinks, always ask about the gauge and be aware that a thicker gauge sink will cost more – and in many cases is worth it! A lightweight gauge metal can result in a “tinny” sound when running the faucet.

Finally consider the store you are buying from. If a copper sink seems “cheap” in price, there is usually a reason. I have seen many of the copper sinks sold on the most famous “auction site”. All I can say is “buyer beware”, or more to the point “you get what you pay for”…. If something goes wrong with your sink or there is a problem when it arrives, you want to make sure the company you purchased from will stand behind their product. Think carefully about buying internationally. Too often, a sink that is received isn’t as represented. A reputable dealer should identify their shipping location, clearly state their warranty and return policy and be available for consultation.

I am a fan of copper sinks. I think they are rugged yet elegant – especially as they age. The rich highlights and undertones of the patina process are constantly evolving. A copper finish is a “living finish” and never really stops changing in color. That being said, the evolution of a copper finish is gradual, and as it ages it becomes even more handsome. You can greatly reduce this change with the use of wax or even a lacquer product, but personally I like to let the copper evolve. Most often this process results in a mellow brownish weathered copper patina. I like to refer to it as the basins soul.

Copper sinks often come in various finishes from a bright copper finish (like a new penny) to a dark patina (we call ours “Dark Smoke”) and everything in between. The copper finish you choose is a matter of personal taste, but oftentimes our clients prefer the more “weathered” patinas to avoid the upkeep or uncertainty associated with shiny copper. If you want to slow down the patina process, try applying a wax like “Renaissance Wax”. Applied every few months, the wax will provide a barrier between the copper and the environment.

Copper sinks for the kitchen come in two basic forms: Under Counter Mount or Farmhouse style. The rustic nature of copper sinks lends itself well to the farm sink style. Sometimes referred to as “apron front” sinks, these sinks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and with different configurations – i.e. single bowl, double bowl and even triple bowl. Bath sinks are generally available in three styles: vessel (above counter mount), “drop-in” or under counter mount. Usually the lip style determines whether the bath sink is a drop in or undermount. Be sure to order the proper lip style to accommodate your project. A recent trend in bathroom design is matching a copper mirror frame to the sink in the same patina. This can help create consistency in the look and feel of the décor.

If you have any other questions before you purchase any sink, feel free to give us a call at Sinks Gallery or Copper Sinks Online – 1-877-320-0800. We would be happy to answer any other questions you might have.

FAQs and Buying Guide of Blackhead Removal Mask

If you noticed a few blackheads popping up here and there, it may be time to nip the problem in the bud and get yourself a mask specifically made to remove blackheads. There are many reasons for the new onset of blackheads on your complexion. Whether blackheads on your face have been around for quite some time or are a new occurrence, don’t panic. All you need to do is to find the perfect remedy, which happens to be a blackhead removal mask.

What is a Blackhead Removal Mask?

Also known as a blackhead peel off mask, a blackhead removal mask is something you apply on the skin of your face or affected area that removes blackheads. You may be wondering what blackheads are and how they are different from other skin blemishes. Unlike other skin blemishes, blackheads are dead skin cells that clog the pores of your skin. Aside from dead skin cells, your pores might also be clogged with extra skin oil, called sebum. People who produce more oil in their skin compared to others are more prone to blackheads. The reason for this is that the oil that the skin produces tends to attract dirt and grease from the air, thus forming more blackheads than others. The good news is that there is a way to get rid of blackheads and a blackhead removal mask is one method.

Do The Best Blackhead Removal Masks Work?

Generally, a good blackhead removal mask works by getting rid of your blackheads without too much fuss. Some of the best blackhead removal masks work by trapping the blackhead and hardening as it air dries. Once the top part of the blackhead is trapped in the mask, the blackhead is peeled off the pores of your skin once you peel off the actual mask. Other masks work by heating your skin in such a way that the pores of your skin open, releasing the blackhead. In other words, the blackhead becomes part of the mask and this makes it easy to remove multiple blackheads in one go.

The reason for the increasing popularity of best blackhead peel of mask selections mainly because they do work. Depending on your skin type and the product you decide to purchase, you should be able to enjoy blemish and blackhead-free skin in the soonest possible time. After all, aren’t you worth putting your best face forward each and every day? Indeed, taking care of yourself indicates self-love and is a rewarding experience in all situations, including job application, going to a social gathering and the like.

Revolution of Blackhead Removal Mask

In the past, blackhead removal was a tedious process. This was particularly true when you had a lot of blackheads in a concentrated area of your skin, such as on your face or on your back. People with a blackhead dilemma would have to go to a skin specialist or a dermatologist. The dermatologist would then use several gadgets and tools to try and remove each and every blackhead one at a time. This took hours and even days. Patients had to book another appointment just to get the rest of the blackheads removed. There were even instances in which a patient would come back for the rest of the blackheads to be removed only to find out that the blackheads previously removed have returned.

The revolution of best face mask for blackheads really made progress when masks were invented. The reason for this is that blackhead sufferers were now able to tackle the challenge of blackhead-removal in the comfort of their own home, at their own pace and chosen time. Gone was the inconvenience of having to see a doctor. With the arrival of the best face mask for blackhead removal, everything became easier.

Are Blackhead Masks Good for Your Skin?

Many blackhead removal masks contain ingredients that are good for the skin. Depending on what kind of mask you purchase, you can reap the benefits of the other ingredients that the mask contains. The secret is to know which ingredients to look out for and how each one works.

Advantage of Blackhead Removal Mask

There are many advantages you can gather from using blackhead removal masks. For one thing, these masks come in handy packs that are portable. You can bring a few masks with you in your traveling bag to use on your travels. The masks don’t take up a lot of space either, making it easy to store and keep in your dresser or bathroom.

Types of Blackhead Removal Mask

There are various types of blackhead removal masks. One type is the kind in which you apply it on the face and it hardens, trapping the blackheads in the process. Other kinds of masks are self-heating and work by opening your pores wide enough to release each blackhead. Some are combined with charcoal, which draws out impurities along with the blackheads. There are also clay type mud masks and clear gels. Others need a facial brush to be applied while others are thin paper masks saturated with gel that you lay gently on your face. There are cut-out holes for the eyes and nose in these types of masks. You can purchase ready made masks in your favorite online or actual beauty store, or you can even make your own.

How to Make a Blackhead Peel off Mask at Home?

Do you want to make a homemade blackhead removal mask? To make your own blackhead peel off mask at home, you will need sheets of tissue paper and egg white from one to two eggs. The first thing you need to do is to separate the yolk from the whites of the eggs. Using a facial mask, begin to apply the egg white to the area of your face or body that has a concentration of black heads. Once a layer of egg white is on your skin, apply a layer of tissue paper on top of the egg white.

Paint the tissue with another layer of egg white. Next, apply another layer of tissue and then another layer of egg white. After the application of two layers of tissue, you can then wait for the egg white peel off mask to dry. This will take between twenty and thirty minutes. Make sure the mask is thoroughly dry before you attempt to peel it off.

To begin to peel off the mask, begin on one end by lifting the bit of tissue and then slowly peeling off the entire mask from your face. The egg white mask would have hardened in such a way that the mask will stay whole without tearing.

Do Charcoal Masks Really Remove Blackheads?

Charcoal masks contain activated charcoal as an ingredient. Activated charcoal has been known to be very absorbent, pulling toxins and sebum up from the deep layers of your pores. This is what makes them an effective facial ingredient. More and more people are becoming aware of the advantages of activated charcoal and its effectiveness in blackhead removal. More informed consumers look for charcoal as an ingredient in facials in order for pores to remain free from debris, leaving users with glowing, vibrant skin year after year.

Factors To Consider When Shopping

Now that you have decided to go ahead and buy yourself the best face mask for blackhead removal, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

The first thing to keep in mind is to determine if your skin is sensitive or not to clay masks in general. Do you have experience using clay

Do an allergy test on the inside of your wrist before you actually apply the new product to your face. If nothing happens after ten minutes and no allergies occur, then you can go ahead and apply the product to your face.

Find out whether you have dry, normal or oily skin. You will need to find products that address the skin type you have. Find clay masks tailor-made for dry skin, normal skin or oily skin depending on your skin type.

When To Start Using Blackhead Removal Mask?

Ideally, you need to consider using some of the best blackhead remover masks available in the market if you begin seeing blackheads where there were none in the past. The earlier you deal with the issue of blackheads, the faster you can enjoy renewed, clear and smooth skin. Use a blackhead removal mask the moment you notice that more than one blackhead has begun sprouting up in your face or neck. At times, you will find groups of blackheads appearing in other parts of your body. You can also use a blackhead removal mask on other areas of your body if necessary. You won’t really need a mask when you see just one blackhead now and then that disappears on its own. However, once the blackheads have appeared in groups, a mask is definitely the way to go.

Conclusion

A blackhead removal mask is an effective, convenient, quick and easy method of getting rid of blackheads in a hurry. Effective products do work and tackle the issue of blackheads sooner rather than later. Unsightly blackheads never need to be an issue for you when you know what to do. Whether you decide to make your own facial or find a product that works, dealing with unsightly blackheads is important the moment you notice that more than a few have sprouted up.

Beginner’s Guide To Buying Paintball Equipment

If you’ve never played paintball before, it’s best place to try this game first to make sure you like it before investing in your own gear as the equipment can be fairly expensive. Many players have their first experience at camp or a local commercial field or park. It is a lot easier to rent all the equipment needed, than spend hundreds of dollars on paintball supplies you only use one time because the game was too intense. Renting equipment at a field will run a player from $10-$30 per day; this is recommended for the first few times you play to make sure you will want to play enough times to warrant purchasing your own. Rental paintball guns and gear is often basic models and very easy to learn on. Shooting a paintball gun is not a complicated matter, however it can take a few games to familiarize yourself with the intensity of this venture when other players are shooting at you. When you get hit, you’re not only out of the game, but it hurts! The fear of getting hit causes many first time players a type of paralysis that takes some getting used to.

Once you’ve played with rental (or borrowed) gear a few times and decided paintball is the sport for you, a bit of research is in order. The first decision a new player who’s in the market for buying new gear is to decide what type of paintball they want to play. There are basically two different types; scenario and tournament paintball. Scenario paintball is played on an open course often in a natural setting (also called woodsball) with players carrying out military style missions using realistic looking assault type rifles and camouflage clothing. Tournament paintball is played on a closed course often with inflatable bunkers to hide behind for timed elimination matches (which team can eliminate the other in the given time period). These players use faster, electronic paintball guns and wear professional athletic jerseys and/or uniforms. Once you’ve determined which game you like best, the first piece of gear to purchase is a beginner level paintball gun. Starter paintball guns are simply made so they are easy to maintain and keep clean. Whether you choose woodsball or tournament play, beginner markers are easy to distinguish because they have the cheapest price tags.

After you have a good beginner paintball gun, the next required item on your list is a protective mask. You are not permitted to play without one, so this is mandatory equipment. There are other pieces of protective gear like elbow and knee pads, neck and chest protectors, however they serve only to keep the game more enjoyable/less painful but are not required. Paintball masks come in a wide variety of styles and price ranges yet all offer the same level of protection. Cheaper, entry level masks have less features and often single pane lenses that tend to fog up more. Expect to pay a bit more for thermal lenses but this feature is definitely worth the extra money. Generally, when it comes to protective gear, there is no specific gear for a specific type of play. However, manufacturers do make more “flashy” gear for tournament players and more “military pattern” gear for the scenario players.

The final piece of your initial set-up is an air tank; this is what powers your paintball gun. Some beginner paintball gun packages come with a CO2 tank but if yours doesn’t, this is a necessary expense. CO2 tanks come in different sizes but for the longest play choose the largest available; these are either 20 or 24oz. tanks and you can expect to pay $30-$40 for one. Air tanks come empty so you will have to get it filled before you can use it. Refills can be found at commercial fields, big box sporting goods stores (like Dick’s, Bass Pro or Cabellas) and some gun shops that sell air rifles. If you don’t have access to these types of facilities where you live, you can buy an adapter for your marker to use CO2 cartridges. These are cheap and readily available at Wal-Mart or gun stores however only offer a few shots/cartridge (25-30 depending on the gun). Depending on this method requires constantly changing out cartridges during play and will drain the fun right out of your game. If you have to go this route, paintball is probably not the sport to get into.

Unlike renting equipment, owning your own equipment will require you keep up with maintenance. Paintball guns work on bursts of high pressure air/CO2 to propel the ball at a high speed. The constant high pressure makes it common for little things to go wrong like busted o-rings causing malfunctions with your marker. Paintball is also very messy; the very nature of the game is shooting paint and getting hit (marked) with paint, so expect to have to clean your gun regularly after playing for even just a short period. Most paintball guns come with a barrel squeegee, cleaning cloth and extra o-rings for maintenance. Beginner markers are also usually very easy to take apart for cleaning and maintenance however this is not necessary but for maybe once/year for re-oiling and more thorough cleaning. Even though break downs occur regularly, most issues can be handled by yourself however it’s smart to purchase equipment from a well known brand name so there’s a good warranty in case you need to send something back.

Once you have everything you need to play, you will be excited to play and want to practice every chance you get. If you’re interested in climbing the tournament ranks, getting on a team or organizing your own will be paramount. To do this you will want to play with as many different teams/players at as many different fields/venues as possible. Even if you think you aren’t ready, choose a beginner level tournament and go ahead and enter. Getting tournament experience early will help you shape your skills, strategies and practices to hone yourself into a competitive player. Waiting until you feel ‘ready’ to compete will just put off learning important skills you need early on in your career. Competing will also tell you if it’s something you want to follow through with. Some players think they want to compete but after their first tournament change their mind and only end up playing recreationally; this is of course fine, but will shape how you play and what type of equipment you end up eventually buying.

Know going into it; paintball is not a cheap hobby. It can be quite expensive, but just like any hobby, if you love it, it’s not expensive at all! Test the waters first before diving into this investment by playing with rental or borrowed gear first. If you like it, buy a beginner’s set up to keep expenses down while you learn the game and what equipment you might like. If you fall in love with the sport (like most players end up doing), save your pennies for more expensive, higher performance markers and supplies. Once you have your dream set-up, costs go down, however ongoing expenses such as air refills, paintball ammo, tournament and travel fees must also be considered. If it’s all too confusing, don’t hesitate to ask a more experienced player for their advice about how to play or what to get and why.

Boxing Gloves Buying Guide: Tips to Remember

Boxing is one of the most effective ways to workout, socialize, and enhancing and maintaining the wellbeing of your health. However, one’s health can only be sustained if they have just the right type of fitness equipment for boxing. The most integral part of the boxing equipment is a pair of boxing gloves and a fighter may incur many injuries to their knuckles if they don’t use the right kind of boxing gloves, when they get in the ring to spar or if they just need to trade blows with a punching bag.

In order to purchase a decent pair of gloves for boxing, you must do a short research prior to your heading out for shopping. Here are few points you have to keep in mind;

First of all, are you familiar with the fact that boxing gloves are available in a variety of materials? Amid all these different materials, leather boxing gloves are the trendiest and admired by large quantity of professional boxers and they are considered to be the best for training and fighting purposes. Now these may be a little on the expensive side, but they can retain integrity for a longer period of time. Whether you are a professional boxer or simply an amateur beginner, it’s better to purchase gloves with laces; although if you need to use them during a practice session in a gym, you may need to go for Velcro wrist straps which would be better to fulfill that purpose.

On the other hand when you are buying boxing gloves, you need to carefully consider the size of the gloves that you are going to put your hands’ fate in. You can find them in large, medium and small sizes. An average man generally goes for a medium size but it will be better to ponder on whether the gloves will be stretched during their use or not; so it’s good to buy them accordingly.

Moreover, the weight of boxing gloves should also be considered before purchasing, as you may need to weigh in the regulations under which you may be fighting. You should always have a detailed discussion with your coach to get his recommendation regarding the right pair. Your boxing instructor will be the most helpful person in suggesting you about the right weight and material of your gloves. The weight generally ranges from 10 to 20 ounces, however, for kids such as preteens, it ranges from 4 to 8 ounces. The thicker your gloves the more protection will be on offer. Amateur fighters should go for 12 to 16 ounces, for added protection of course, whereas 10 ounce gloves are usually more appropriate for professional fighters.

Another significant thing you must keep in mind during training or a fight is that your hands must be covered with another layer under the gloves you are sporting. Hand wraps are important as they provide extra padding to your wrists, knuckles and smaller bones in hands. So, buying hand wraps prior to buying boxing gloves is extremely important.

Hope this article will help you in providing sufficient information regarding the right kind of boxing gloves for you own needs.

Your comments will highly be appreciated…

Here’s a Guide to Buying Electronics Online

Buying products online is more common than ever now, as it is difficult to argue against the convenience it offers. Consumers save tons of time buying from the comfort of their homes or wherever they are. They no longer have to go down to the shop, suffering through traffic and burning fuel along the way, to make a purchase.

It has been pretty much the same with electronics, as people have gained more confidence in buying such products online, even though they were unsure of it before. A great reason behind this has been the flash sales or the discounts on certain festivals, with online e-commerce websites encouraging such sales through different campaigns. But, there are still things that can go wrong when you are purchasing such goods online, even from the best electronic stores. There are a few things a consumer needs to be aware of, to avoid mishaps in buying electronics. Some of these are listed as follows:

Make sure to compare prices

A lot of the times people are buying products online, they see a sale sign and they instantly rush to buy that item. It is possible, especially in the case of electronics that the specific product could be at a sale at a cheaper price on a different website. Thus, it can be beneficial to you to check prices on all the major, reputable online websites you can find. Additionally, there are a few websites that do offer that same functionality, so visiting them might also be an option.

Keeping track of price history

Speaking of these price comparison websites, some of them also allow you to check the price history of a certain product and to determine when it was at its highest, or when it declined the most. Using that information, you can find out the best time to buy the product you want at the cheapest rate possible.

Considering refurbished or used items

It used to be the case that people generally advised against buying used or refurbished electronics, as they did not last very long and more often than not, there were problems with the product. Such problems exist even today, but there are guarantees in place that provide the user with more confidence and faith in the product. There are also certified refurbished items from the manufacturing company itself and can be a great money saver for a lot of people.

Check for reviews

If you have doubts or fears about a certain product, they can be put to rest by consulting reviews that can be found in abundance on the website. A general rule of thumb indicates that if a review of a certain product is hard to find, it would be a wise decision to refrain from buying that product. Electronics are no different, as there seems to be an endless amount of brands releasing all sorts of products every week. The best electronic stores and websites too, provide a rating system for products that can be useful in determining the customer satisfaction, which can in turn help other customers make an informed decision.

Electric Planer: Complete Buying Guide

An electric planer is used to shave wood from a surface in order make it level. If you are planning to do a lot of planing for a large project, then you should use a stationary planer that is also designed to handle larger and denser material.

On the other hand, if you need to take your planing capability with you on multiple job sites or only need the planer for small projects, a handheld electric planer will do the job. This article is designed to help you choose the right handheld electric planer.

What should you consider when buying an electric planar?

Power

You can choose between corded and cordless electric planer models. Cordless models give you the flexibility to operate without access to electric power while corded models are generally more powerful.

How much power you need depends on the material you’re planing and the size of your project. A lightweight cordless model may be fine for small projects in less dense wood material, while you will probably choose a corded model with plenty of power to complete a large project like a deck or a project that uses denser material.

Cordless models are also more expensive, so if you are watching your budget, a corded model will be a better choice.

Despite inroads by cordless models, corded models still dominate the electric planer landscape. So, when considering power, you’re generally looking for the Amps rating.

For most applications, an Amp rating of 7 Amps or more should be adequate. If you’re planning to do heavy-duty planing in dense material for frequent large projects, you can buy an electric planer with a 10-Amp rating or more.

The larger the motor the heavier the electric planer, so keep that in mind when choosing.

RPM

An electric planer uses a cutting wheel that rotates at high speed to shave wood from the surface you’re working with. Higher speeds usually translate to more even, consistent cuts. You should choose a model with an RPM rating of 15,000 or more.

Maximum Cutting Depth

The maximum cutting depth determines how much material you can remove with each pass. A deeper cut allows you to finish faster, but only if your planer is up to the task. If you have the right amount of power and the right RPM, you can cut more material per pass if the electric planer has the right maximum depth capability.

Cutting depths from 2/32 inch up to 5/32 inch or more are available. Planers also come in various widths achieving faster passes by removing more material area than depth. Generally, wider planing widths mean shallower maximum cutting depth, but may end up removing more material faster overall.

Maximum Cutting Width

A common maximum cutting width for an electric planer is 3-1/4 inches. If you need to remove more material, larger widths are available. Wider electric planers are usually more powerful and more expensive.

Cutting Blades

Most common handheld electric planers have dual blades that remove the material. Blades take a lot of abuse spinning at over 15,000 RPM which means that each blade is hitting the material 15,000 times per minute. Depending on the material, blades can go dull very rapidly. Blades for light to medium duty are made from high-strength steel (HSS). If you will be using your planer for frequent heavy-duty use, a better choice are carbide blades if they are available.

Some blades are reversible for double the use before they need to be replaced. Still other blades can also be sharpened so you can use them multiple times before having to replace them with new ones.

Depth Control

The depth of the cut you’re using to remove material is one of the most crucial factors in effective planing. Most models come with some sort of depth adjustment.

Typically, they include a depth control knob that allows you to adjust the depth of your cut down to the maximum cutting depth.

One important consideration is whether the depth adjustment is calibrated. If you need highly accurate material removal, make sure the depth gauge or adjustment knob is calibrated.

Some models come with click stops at standard increments that provide more positive control over the depth if the click stops are properly calibrated.

Power Cord

Since you’re tethered to a power outlet, it’s nice to have a long power cord that keeps you from having to carry an extension cord. The length of power cords that planer manufacturers provide varies like the wind. Suffice it to say, a longer cord is more convenient.

Accessories

Some common included accessories that can be very helpful are a planer guide/fence and some sort of dust control capability.

If you work with wood, you have to plane wood. Wood is an imperfect material with only rough dimensions from the mill. If your project needs finished dimensions, you will need to plane the wood to achieve the excellent results you’re looking for. I sincerely hope that this guide has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the best electric planer for your needs.

Land Buying Tips and Information

As a Realtor and a Registered Forester I have some qualifications to write about buying and selling rural real estate primarily land. I have sold thousands of acres as a Realtor and managed hundreds of thousands as a Forester since 1973.

If you are considering buying rural land this article may help you with some good tips and information. The points below will give you some basic information and insight into what you need to look for as well as look out for in a land purchase.

Kind of Land. Do you want a farm, timberland, development potential, home site, hunting, agricultural use? One tract of land can rarely be all of these. Think what you plan and seek from there. Of course most tracts will have multiple uses but sometimes there are local use restrictions to consider.

Access. Hopefully you will have highway frontage for access. Some tracts may have only an easement. If so, look at the deeded easement layout and the width of it. A 20 'wide easement to a property that you later want to develop is a major negative if the county requires for instance a 50' wide access easement for a street.

Utilities. Water of course is critical but for drinking and livestock. Is there an accessible waterline? If not what are the costs of a drilled well in the area and is there water quality problems in the ground water? Will there be water in a drought? Is there a creek for livestock and does it flow year around? Does anyone have the water rights? Is electric power available? Internet, cable, cell phone or land phone? Easy to check now, hard or impossible to get later.

Income from the property. As a forester I know the value of timber. When looking at rural land look closely at the timber and if there is a significant amount have a local consulting forester appraise it for you. I have seen timber be worth as much as 3/4 of the value of an asking property price even in recent years. Make sure your purchase contract states that existing timber goes with the sale. It may have already been sold! Look at other income potential like hunting leases which can easily pay the property taxes and minor management costs. There are also agricultural leases. Always make sure the tract deed includes all mineral rights.

Making an Offer. Research what local sales have been on similar and nearby land. If you are not using a buyer representation Realtor you might want to consider one. Usually their fee is paid from the seller's funds but not always so verify this. Check to see if land values ​​are going up on down in the area. Allow yourself an inspection time and right to go on to the property by yourself or others you may hire to make inspections. Give yourself a way out of the contract if inspections fail. Make sure timber and minerals are included. Don't make a low ball trying to steal it offer, you will just make the seller mad. Make a fair workable offer and go from there.

Closing. Use a real estate attorney to check title and close. They will know what to look for in deeds, easements and liens on the property. Ask the seller any questions you may have come up with and if they have any reports, old plats and maps that you can have. Ask about the history of the land before its lost as you may never see the seller again if they are moving away.

Outdoor TV Antenna: HDTV Antenna Buying Guide

The advantage of choosing to use an outdoor TV antenna instead of an indoor TV antenna is reception. An indoor TV antenna has the disadvantages of being smaller and having to receive TV signals through the structure of your home or other building. That typically translates to a less powerful signal and poorer reception. An outdoor TV antenna can be larger and can achieve line of site with the transmitting antenna with no obstructions.

Some disadvantages of an outdoor TV antenna include a possibly complex installation and longer cable runs. If you want the best TV reception in your area and you're either trying to cut the ties with your cable company or you don't have the option of cable TV, then an outdoor TV antenna has the best chance of meeting your expectations.

TV antennas and antennas in general are difficult to understand. You could place the same digital antenna in two different locations and get vastly different reception results. That means that the performance of any TV antenna is going to be highly dependent on its location. The best thing to do before you buy any outdoor TV antenna is to perform some signal analysis.

Signal Analysis

What is signal analysis? Websites like AntennaWeb.org and TVFool.com give you the best shot at predicting what type of antenna you need before you buy. You provide them with some basic information about your location and their software will perform an analysis of the HD antenna type that is most likely to deliver the best results.

By way of example, I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It happens to be the largest city in Virginia and as you might expect, has several TV stations close by. In fact, I live within 10 miles of several stations and they all happen to be in about the same direction from my house.

To do an analysis, I entered my zip code into AntennaWeb.org. Its analysis showed me that there are no less than 48 channels from 23 stations that I should be able receive at my location. For each local TV channel, it lists the RF channel, its distance from my location, and the relative direction to the channel's broadcast antenna. From my location, most of the channels are southwest of us within 25 miles. That means that most UHF / VHF antennas should work fine for us.

Not everyone lives in a big metropolitan area with lots of choices for local TV channels and where just about any digital TV antenna will do. If you live in a small town in eastern Montana, for instance, you might only be able to get four channels from two stations and then only if you use a large directional outdoor HDTV antenna mounted high on a mast.

The AntennaWeb.org site can be a little daunting. If all you want to see is a nice map of your local TV stations and their relationship to your location, you can go to CopRadar.com. Enter your address and distance to your local towers and it will produce a map showing the TV towers oriented around your address in that range.

You can also get similar information from TVFool.com and AntennasDirect.com.

What should you look for in an outdoor antenna?

Power

Antenna power is misleading because antennas are passive and don't actually generate any power. It actually refers to the antenna's gain, which measures how much power of the transmitting antenna's power your antenna can actually receive. The higher the gain, the better the reception. Gain is also a complex topic so most antenna companies choose to publish the range of the antenna in miles. It's not a good comparison tool since range is sensitive to a number of local conditions between you and the transmitting antenna. That said, for the average consumer, it's probably about the only specification that you will be able to compare.

Frequency

TV stations broadcast over UHF and VHF frequencies. To have the best chance at receiving the most channels in your area, you should choose an antenna with both UHF and VHF capability. The only time you would want to choose an antenna with a single frequency range capability is when you only have the choice of one or the other at your location. For most, a dual UHF / VHF TV antenna is the way to go.

Directional or Multi-directional

You point a directional antenna in a single direction in attempt to improve the signal strength of a single station or set of stations in that direction. If your stations are far away in a specific direction or there is a lot of interference, a large directional outdoor TV antenna would be the right choice.

A multi-directional antenna does not need to be oriented in a particular direction as it is capable of receiving signals from multiple directions simultaneously. If your channels are all around you in multiple directions, then a multi-directional antenna would be a good choice.

Antenna Height

You might have guessed that if you place an outdoor TV antenna higher, you will improve its range. You might not know that it can also reduce the effect of nearby interference and improve the quality of the reception. For channels that are very far away from your location, you may need to mount your directional or multi-directional antenna on a mast to get the best reception.

Interference

Interference makes it more difficult for your TV's receiver to distinguish the TV signal from the background noise.

Electronic interference is everywhere and it's getting worse. When you add wireless devices, electrical equipment, and appliances to your home, you are increasing the potential for interference. In addition, you may have to contend with physical interference from tall buildings, water towers, hills, and other tall objects that reflect, distort, and interfere with TV signal reception.

You can improve reception by raising your antenna higher above the ground, moving it outside, or moving it away from local noise sources.

Indoors or Outdoors

This article is about outdoor TV antennas, but of course most people would like to mount a simple indoor TV antenna near their TV that will do the same job. Unfortunately, despite the claims of antenna manufacturers, the Laws of Physics are still in effect. In other words, all other factors being equal, a larger outdoor antenna will deliver better reception than a smaller indoor antenna.

Indoor antennas also have the disadvantage of receiving their signals through the building materials of your home or other building. Dense materials like concrete and metal are particularly problematic. An antenna placed near your TV will most likely have to fight against the most electronic interference. Interference from both your building and electronics will negatively affect signal strength and degrade reception.

So, the obvious answer would be to locate your TV antenna outdoors (even in your attic), high, and away from interference.

What's obvious is not always practical. If you live in a strict subdivision that prohibits outdoor antennas, you may be stuck installing it inside. Placing it high up in an attic is better than placing it inside your home. An attic is higher and is also farther away from interference inside the building. Without an attic, you may be forced to go with an indoor TV antenna.

Amplifier

A TV antenna amplifier is normally placed at the antenna to amplify the signal from the antenna to your TV receiver. It can improve reception quality, but it's not a miracle cure for poor signal strength. Whatever noise arrives at the antenna is also amplified by the amplifier and may degrade reception. Placing the amplifier near the antenna delivers the best possible signal to the amplifier and reduces noise that can be introduced into connecting cables and connectors.

An amplifier's best use is with an outdoor antenna where the antenna is very far away from the TV receiver or in the situation where you need to provide the signal to your whole house. Some antennas have built-in amplifiers.

A mid-range, low-cost outdoor TV antenna will give most users the range they need to bring in even longer range channels effectively.

We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the outdoor TV antenna that best fits your needs!

Using Subject 2 Contracts to Buy Real Estate With Less Than Perfect Credit

Subject 2 is a way to buy real estate without applying for a home mortgage loan. This financing option requires buyers to assume mortgage debt from the property owner. Real estate investors often use Sub2 contracts when selling houses to buyers with less than perfect credit.Subject 2 is a great option for buyers unable to qualify for a conventional home loan. The property owner transfers the real estate deed to the buyer who becomes responsible for paying remaining loan installments. Loan documents remain in the original mortgagor’s name and the new buyer piggyback’s off their good credit.  Instead of entering into a high interest bad credit loan, buyers can take advantage of assuming low interest payments. Buyers should engage in credit repair strategies so they can obtain financing within a year or two.The primary purpose of entering into a Subject To contract is to let buyers buy a house without a down payment or credit check with the intention of refinancing the loan into their own name as soon as their credit allows them to obtain financing through traditional means.Entering into Sub2 contracts requires both parties to engage in due diligence. Sellers should obtain financial records to ensure the buyer is financially capable of paying home loan installments. When buyers default on the note, the note holder is responsible for missed payments or runs the risk of losing the property to foreclosure.Most Subject 2 contracts require buyers to submit loan payments to the servicing lender. However, some sellers require buyers to submit payments directly to them and they will submit payments to the loan provider. In this scenario, buyers run the risk of losing vested funds should the seller default on the mortgage loan.Subject 2 contracts should be drafted by a real estate attorney to minimize risks for both parties. Sub2 contracts are used in place of bad credit lender loan mortgages to give buyers time to restore their credit rating. Buyers should refinance into a conventional home loan to purchase property rights as quickly as possible.  In order to be legally binding, Sub2 contracts must be recorded through the court. Subject 2 records the transfer of property rights to the buyer. However, property rights are “subject to” the buyer adhering to contract obligations. If buyers default on their agreement, ownership rights revert back to the seller and the buyer loses all funds invested into the property purchase.Sellers determine the duration of Subject 2 contracts which typically extend for 2 to 5 years. At the end of the contract, buyers must apply for a home loan or obtain financing through another source such as hard money lender loans.Hard money loans consist of high-interest loans provided by private real estate investors or investment groups. This is a risky and expensive option for borrowers with bad credit. Therefore, buyers who enter into Subject To contracts should carefully strategize the ability to obtain financing in the future. If buyers cannot obtain financing at the end of the Subject 2 contract they could end up being in default and run the risk of having property rights transferred back to the seller.When mortgage notes are refinanced the buyer is responsible for costs typically associated with entering into a home loan. Common costs include loan points, home inspections, property appraisals, mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance, realtor commissions, legal fees, and closing costs.

What to Look For When You’re Buying Real Estate

When you’re going shopping for real estate in the middle of an economic recession you can pretty much guarantee that whatever you purchase, you’re going to be able to make a profit. There are certain parts of the country that take a little longer to be affected when a recession strikes, but sooner or later every place is going to start to feel the pinch-which means you can basically stick a pin in the map when you’re trying to decide where you want to make your investment.Of course, just because you can make a profit just about anywhere doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take measures to maximize that profit. If you were sitting in the middle of a giant room of sweets that were yours for the taking absolutely free, would you go for the Godiva chocolate or the M&Ms? When you have the choice between a property that you’re going to make a minimal investment on and a property that you will make an incredible profit on when the economy starts rising up again, go for the property that’s going to bring you the best return!Where are you going to find the best deals? Urban properties and homes in the suburbs of these urban areas are always more highly in demand than those that require a lengthy commute to get to life’s essentials. Homes in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. are going to sell for a greater profit (and much more quickly) than a home in a small town like Rexville, NY. (Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it-most of the rest of the world hasn’t either!)When you first begin investing it’s usually recommended that you pick a property close to home, where you know the neighborhood, the general ambiance and, most importantly, what sells! If you choose to do your own rehab this is particularly important, as there are many areas in the country that are particularly prized for their historical value and which will bring a much lower return on your investment if they’ve been stripped and decked out in the latest style than if they’d been carefully restored. An experienced rehabber will know this. A beginning investor will not.Other factors you may want to take into consideration before closing the deal are:o The quality of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, all urban areas have their slums. An area with a high crime rate, a wide-spread amount of graffiti and property damage, regular drug activity and daily visits from the police is going to be much less desirable to a prospective buyer than a home situation in a nicer part of town, where they can safely allow their children to step out the front door without having to worry that they won’t come home.o The condition of the house. There have been many, many investors that have plunged right in to the world of real estate and rehabilitation and bought a handyman’s special only to discover that by the time they got done paying for the repairs to the property the profit margin was considerably less than what they were hoping for-and what they would have made investing in a property that needed a little less work.Before you commit to buying a property, take the time to have the home inspected carefully. Certain factors, such as a leaky roof, faulty foundation, termites and extensive mold, are going to be both difficult and expensive to fix. Unless you can quite literally get the property for a song, justifying the amount of time and expense you’re going to put into the restoration project, it may be best to allow that one to pass you by.o What you plan to do with it afterwards. This is probably the biggest factor when it comes to real estate investing, because what you plan to do with the property after you purchase it makes all the difference when you’re determining what types of properties are suitable and what are not. If you’re planning on rehabilitating a property, then reselling it as a single family residence, purchasing a small ranch house on the edge of the city may be a perfectly profitable proposition. You’ll likely be able to sell the property for more than you paid for it and justify the investment.On the other hand, if you’re planning on renting the property out you’re going to want to investigate the current rental rates of the neighborhood before you’ll be able to determine the success of the investment with any degree of accuracy. There are some areas where income based housing drives the average rental price of the neighborhood down, which is good news for renters but could result in major inconvenience for the investor who has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a property that they are only going to be able to rent for a couple hundred dollars a month.The moral of our story? Take the time to carefully consider your options and do your homework before closing the deal, no matter how appealing that deal may be.Of course, if you’ve been investing in real estate for the past ten years none of this is news to you! Experienced investors who are familiar with things like market trends and identifying weaknesses in potential properties will find the buffet of low priced real estate spread out before them a tempting proposition, and reaching beyond their immediate demographic boundaries may offer a new wealth of possibilities for tremendous profit gain.Just remember that investing during a recession is a slightly different proposition than investing when the economy is booming. You’re going to hear me say this over and over again, because it can’t be emphasized enough-when you’re investing in real estate during a recession you’re investing in the long term. Many of today’s real estate investors have made their fortune in the market by taking advantage of today’s “Now, now, now!” mindset and investing in and disposing of real estate in a very brief amount of time. When the economy is strong it’s not at all unusual for an experienced investor to be able to purchase and flip a property within the space of a week-experienced rehabbers in a month of less. Any property that you invest in during a recession may remain in your possession for several months before you are able to realize a maximum return, because the whole point of investing during a recession is to purchase an asset at the lowest price possible and sell it when the economy goes back up.It’s rare for the experienced investor to find themselves in this situation, but it’s entirely possible to spread yourself too thin when the temptation of pages upon pages of available property was just too much to resist. Suddenly they’re responsible not only for the amount they’ve paid for the initial investment to purchase the property in the first place, but for the taxes, rehabilitation and maintenance required to keep it maintained and prepare it for sale.Try to limit yourself with a realistic expectation of what you can afford in the long term. If as the recession continues you find you have more than enough capital in hand to pick up a couple more properties you always have that option, but disposing of a property you can no longer afford during a recession can be more difficult than taking a submarine and going diving for Atlantis-which is the reason that investing in real estate during a recession is so lucrative to begin with.