Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kitchen Improvements That Will Increase Your Homes' Value

If you're trying to sell your home, you naturally want to get the most out of it. In some cases that means sticking a little into it first. There are many areas of a home that would benefit from a little spritzing up. Curb appeal is important, as is the overall integrity of the building which could be improved by redoing the roof. Remodeling the bathroom or home office could add to the structure's sale price.

Some people think the kitchen is the heart of the home. It's where people congregate before, during and sometimes after meals because it seems like something is always going on in the kitchen. When showing a home the kitchen is always important to the buyer. It stands to reason that improvements to the kitchen will increase your home's value.

Updated Kitchen Equals Increase in Value

According to some, improvements to your kitchen can produce a return on investment (ROI) of 80% to 100% of what you spend. That is a tremendous percentage. If you could be guaranteed of that kind of result from stock purchases you wouldn't hesitate to jump in with both feet. Updating your kitchen to increase your home's value is a proven path to greater equity. You also get to enjoy the improvements until the house sells.


Since the person who does the cooking and cleanup will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, giving it an open, inviting look is important. Having a large window over the sink that looks out into the patio or backyard can provide something interesting for them to look at while preparing a meal or washing the dishes afterward. Installing new windows that are easy to keep clean will not only add to the value of the kitchen, but offer them a chance to daydream while they labor.


One of the most popular improvements to modernize a home is to put in granite countertops. Quality granite countertops are well made, durable, and expensive. Those are all reasons they will add to the value of the home. Because they are tough as well as attractive, they provide the perfect combination of usefulness and value.

Stainless Steel Appliances

A standard kitchen improvement is to replace the old appliances. By installing matching stove, refrigerator and dishwasher, you add a sense of continuity to the kitchen. Stainless steel appliances are among the most popular upgrades available. They look good, will last a long time, and give the kitchen a modern, luxurious look.


If there is sufficient space in your kitchen, you may opt for an island. They are becoming increasingly popular because of their functionality. Useful as a place for the kids to do homework or just hang out and talk to mom while dinner's being prepared, an island provides extra space that's sure to be used. It is also useful as a place to eat informal meals that are easy to clean up. The top of the island would naturally match the countertops, giving the kitchen a flowing, finished look.


A modern, updated kitchen needs lighting to match. Installing overhead and under cabinet lights should match the overall decorating scheme.


The same goes for flooring. Many people appreciate wood floors, while others would go with vinyl or tile flooring. Whatever your choice, make sure it enhances the looks of the kitchen.

Cabinets and Drawers

Installing updated cabinets and matching drawers will also increase the value of your home. There are many styles and varieties to choose from, and they come in a wide range of prices.

On a Budget

As you've no doubt noticed, it's possible to spend a great deal of money on a kitchen remodeling project. Perhaps more than you're able to justify. Any kitchen remodeling project should maintain an overall flow with the rest of the home. If you have a modern, up-to-date kitchen but the rest of the house is falling apart you may be better off disbursing that money throughout the property. There are ways to improve your kitchen on a budget, but the results will be commensurate with what you spend--so will your return on investment.

Guest post from Bailey Harris, who writes about home insurance and related topics for

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ladies, Have More Money in Retirement

My sister has two youthful little ones. She just lately produced the comment that there were two milestones with every single of her children that made her experience like she received a elevate. Initially was once they switched from drinking method to milk; 2nd was once they became potty trained. She no lengthier had to purchase pricey formula or diapers (she didn't use cloth diapers). I recognized that I, too have provided myself a raise by removing some expenses around the previous couple of decades in my quest to simplify my life. I built the following variations, leading to substantial savings:

 * I give up getting my hair highlighted. Annual cost financial savings: $1,120. I was a all-natural blonde in my youth. As my hair naturally darkened, I started out highlighting my hair in salons when I used to be 19 (I lived in Texas in the time - it was pretty much a requirement). It grew to become a vicious cycle to break simply because I generally needed to keep up with my 'roots.' Final yr at 36 I decided to conclude the madness. I obtained a superb colorist to match my organic color, and I obtained a few high-quality haircuts to eliminate these fried ends. I really like the flexibility!
 * I stop getting manicures and pedicures. Annual price savings: $480. For a quick time (once again, even though residing in Texas) I obtained sculptured nails. But I won't even handle that expense. That fad ended for me right after a few decades. Following that madness, I might frequent the inexpensive nail salons in people strip purchasing centers to get a monthly mani/pedi. At any time my toenail polish would commence to chip, I felt the need to head back again to the salon. I loved the feeling of staying pampered in this kind of a girly way. But I realized two items: initially, there is no reason my nails can't look wonderful and presentable without nailpolish and second, there is no reason I cannot do it myself. I invested in a very superior manicure set, and now I do my very own nails just about every week whilst watching my favored show, Nova, on PBS. I actually delight in doing my nails, I do an improved position than the salons, and I get instant gratification.
 * I give up obtaining department keep cosmetics. Believed annual charge savings: $200. I will not use considerably makeup - just blush, eyeliner, mascara and lipstick. I use for being a victim of all those cosmetics gift sets which can be provided in the department keep in case you shell out a certain quantity of income. I might acquire items I didn't require simply to obtain the present set. Talk about consumerism at its best. Due to this fact, I had a drawer filled with unpleasant lipsticks. I ended that madness by switching to drug save brand names and effortlessly, I cannot tell the variation in my cosmetics at all. I no lengthier purchase needless items, and I can affordably exchange my mascara just about every three months without having taking out a second house loan. .
 * I quit purchasing cheap clothes. Believed annual cost financial savings: $800. I use to purchase various garments things every single period from retailers like Old Navy and Target. I believed I was becoming thrifty by searching there. They've cute designs, but obviously the garments will not previous more than a 12 months or two. As I entered my mid-30s, I realized that getting stylish wasn't as crucial to me anymore. Now I favor classic models and I only purchase quite higher top quality items from outlets like Brooks Brothers and Harold Powell. I shop very much less generally and simply maintain the garments that I very own. My winter season do the job wardrobe includes several turtlenecks, several cashmere sweaters, and three pairs of pants. Almost everything mixes and matches and I constantly feel good in my apparel. After the initial investment in clothes, I find I only must purchase underwear and socks on an ongoing foundation.

The total believed annual price cost savings is $2,600. Which is almost adequate to fully-fund my IRA. I really like raises!

Friday, April 08, 2011

5 Ways to Get Out of Debt

Everyone’s looking for the best (and quickest) ways to get of debt. The problem for a lot of consumers trying to get their finances back under their control is that they’re so steeped in unpaid debt, they don’t know where to begin paying it all back.

Here are 5 tips from My Credit Group for helping you chip away at your debt:

1: Pay according to highest interest

I won’t get into the Dave Ramsay debate because yes, I agree there’s something to be said about making small, quick mental victories on your road to debt repayment. But this article is about getting out of debt in the shortest amount of time possible, not small mental victories. With that said here’s our recommendation.
List your credit cards from highest to lowest interest rates -- including their minimum monthly payments. Then figure out every single penny you have to put towards getting out of debt.
Start making the minimum payments on all your cards EXCEPT for the one with the highest interest. That one gets every available penny. Once it’s paid off, move on to the next. Rinse and repeat

2: Have a garage sale

I’ve never personally had a garage sell, but I’m a fan now. We are moving into a new office in 2 weeks, going from a traditional space with individual offices, to a more open, modern environment. So, it was the perfect excuse to ditch all the Cherry wood, executive looking furniture and redecorate with all looking modern couches and bean bag chairs.
 Now, because I’m lazy I voted we just donate all our old furniture so long as whoever was taking it picked it up so I didn’t have to deal with it.
Eventually, I was convinced to put it all up on Craigslist. I said fine, as long as I didn’t have to do anything (yes I’m that lazy sometimes). It was gone in two days and we made nearly $4000. In used furniture. Holy crap!
That kind of money could go a long way to pay off your credit cards or other outstanding debts. Do you have anything you could put on eBay or Craigslist?

3: Get all Abe Lincoln on Impulse Shopping.

Retail stores are experts at merchandising. They know exactly what to display and where to increase their chances of getting your money. Impulse shopping is one of the biggest killers of our bank accounts
I read a book on Abe Lincoln once where I learned Honest Abe had a habit of writing down anything he wanted to do when he was angry. He put those thoughts down on paper and locked them in a trunk for 24 hours and would later revisit those “impulsive” thoughts.
Apparently that 24 hour wait changed the course of history more than once. In fact, historians say that had he acted on those impulse thoughts, life today as we know it could be totally different. So the next time you see something you “have to have,” wait 24 hours before you buy it. It will still be there, but you might just find you don’t need it as bad as you thought you did.

4: Keep a monthly spending log

Last year we had a little experiment here at the office. Everybody was encouraged to keep either a little notepad, or handheld device with them at all times for a month. The purpose was to log every single purchase we made; right down to a pack of gum.
The results were pretty eye opening. Most of us don’t think twice about buying coffee, a pack of gum, a bagel or a little $2 ATM fee.
But after 30 days of logging all those little expenditures, the results might shock you once you add them all up. We encourage you to try it for a full 30 days. I’m willing to bet you’ll see an entire credit card payment’s worth of small little purchases you could have gone without.

5: Use coupons

Much like garage sales, I didn’t believe in clipping coupons. I shop for food pretty infrequently, and never really thought twice about bringing coupons along with me – even though my mom kept a vast coupon book which she took with her on her weekly grocery store trips.
Then I saw a show on TV about extreme coupon clippers who’ve turned the practice into a science. They showcased one lady in particular who brought over $600 worth of groceries to the checkout counter, and only ended up paying around $11 when all her coupons had been scanned and processed.

Now think about all the money you spend on groceries every time you make the trek to fill up your pantry. If you aren’t clipping coupons, you might wanna think about doing so before you throw out that Pennysaver.

This is a guest post from Marc Chase, President of Product Development for MyCreditGroup, a leading  credit services company.

5 Simple steps to avoid credit card disaster

In today's life credit is very popular among consumers because it maintain a standard of living . People can purchase any kind of their needs with the help of credit card but it can be a disaster for you if you will not maintain it properly. There are millions of people which are facing the disaster of credit card debt in recent days. So there are some easy tips by which you can reduce it .

1. Avoid excess use of credit card : Now a days lot of people purchase their their most of needs with the help of credit credit card and then then fell into credit card debt. Because if you keep your utilization ration of your credit card more than 30 % it will reduce your credit score. So you need to keep this below 30 % to maintain your credit score.

2. Avoid late payments : According to the new credit card rules you no need to give penalty of late payments of your credit card but it does't mean you cansleep peacefully and make late payments because according to new FICO rule lot of late payments can also affect your credit score . So always try to make payments on time.

3. Avoid variable rate cards : After the Credit Card Reform Act , most of the credit card companies are encouraging people to take variable credit card because in this the company can charge intrest on you so it is better to avoid it.

4. Don't take 0% balance transfer card : Most of the people take 0 % balance transfer card after the credit card law but you should avoid this because the credit card insurers has increase its fees from 3 – 5 % . It means you have to pay higher amount of noney for consolidating your credit card debt.

5. Don't take cards for kids : It is better to not take any cards for kids because you have to take the full the responsibility of all the payments . It means if your kid fell in the credit card debt then you need to pay it.

So that was some useful tips by which you can decrease the rate of credit card debt as well as it also help you to build a good credit score.

Friday, April 01, 2011

A study to see the condition of the investing market

Singapore is the most fruitful and profitable place for the investors all over the world. Due to the debt crisis and inflation in US, the investors are shifting their base to other places such as Singapore. Investment is lucrative in all fields such as gold, real estate, stocks and shares. This also has given a few people chance to go for debt reduction options as the returns are better than other markets.

What does ING survey result show?

The survey results of ING Survey Dashboard result shows that the investing in Singapore market has increased 5% in the quarter 3 of 2010 that is, from 140 in Q2, it has increased to 147 in Q3. The investor sentiment is on the positive side as there is around 100% improvement in the investing market in Singapore from 73 for quarter 3 in 2008 to 147 for Q3 in 2010. The investors owe their confidence in the Asian market to the debt crisis in the US financial market.

The returns are very good and improved and the investors are very happy with the results. People are now buying properties and other stocks in the Singapore market to get better returns on their endeavors as well as get help of debt reduction options if they had any money overdue. Singapore ranks 5th in the real estate market in Q3 in Asia after India, Philippines, Thailand and Honk Kong. This result excludes Japan. South-East Asian has emerged as top performers in case of investment.

What positive do banks say?

Seeing the huge market shift from the Western countries to the South East Asian countries, the banks have commented in the reason for this. They say that after Q2, the South-East Asian countries Singapore being one of them have a seen a surge of investors. They had feared that since the debt crisis in US markets has improved a bit, people will invest there. But investors are not taking any chance and investing in Singapore and other neighboring countries. The most important reason for investors to invest in Singapore is the optimism in the housing market. But some of the optimism was removed and replaced with some of the other measures.

What negative do banks say?

But there is also some downfall in this type of market upsurge. Investors have to watch out for global currency war in 2011 as the US dollar will be weak for sometime. The US Federal Reserve may implement some measures to make improvement in the consumer price index. The interest rates in South-East Asia will be low but will create asset price overheating and pressurize the market currency in Asia to increase their value. Until the economic conditions improve, Asia has to deal with inflationary measures.

The interest rates are quite low so the most lucrative areas to invest in Singapore are gold, bonds, real estate and telecommunications. The personal financial market in Singapore and other Asian countries have improved so much that investors are forecasting for better market conditions in the future.