Category Archives: Finance

House keys over mortgage application form

Buying a House with Cash? Consider These Factors First

House keys over mortgage application formThese days, many aspiring homeowners have various options to buy their first home. The programs offered by the government, for example, allow more people to own a house.

But some people think they should buy their homes with cash if they have the money anyway. While it also has its pros, here are three disadvantages that you should consider when buying your new home upfront.

You lose the chance to get financial help from lenders and the government

Let’s assume that your preferred property increases its market value in the next two or three decades. If you get a mortgage to buy your home, your ROI becomes higher knowing that you didn’t pay it in full in cash and you take advantage of the tax benefits you can get. If you don’t want to be tied to a mortgage for 30 years, you can have it refinanced when you get more money. You may also opt for an FHA loan program to make the process of home ownership easier. With proper planning, you can become debt-free in as little as 10 years or even less.

You’ll have to sacrifice your liquidity

For most people, it’s hard to sacrifice liquidity. If you do end up selling your property in the next few years, the process can take more time. If you buy your home in full today, it might take some time to recover what you paid for if you end up selling it.

You’ll end up putting all your eggs in one basket

If you buy your new home in cash, it’s like putting all your eggs in one basket. It has its own set of downside. Diversification is key to making your assets grow. For some people, real estate is a liability because of all the other expenses tied to it. While it is tempting to buy it in cash and not worry about monthly mortgage payments, getting a loan could be better because you’re not putting all your money in just one asset.

There are more benefits to getting a loan instead of buying your house with cash. If you’re planning to buy a house, weigh your options carefully to make the right decision.

A Borrower’s Guide to Getting the Best Mortgage Rate

Couple signing a loan contract

The ability of a borrower to get the best interest rates on a mortgage doesn’t just depend on comparison shopping or his credit score. Lenders look at different factors when deciding if a consumer qualifies for a loan and what interest rate they should offer. Mortgage rates can vary by many percentage points based on which payments can burgeon by thousands over the lifespan of a loan.

Lenders always look at specific criteria to ensure that borrowers are well qualified for affordable interest rates.

Evaluation Criteria Used by Lenders

Credit Score

The current lending market is based on tier pricing, which means interest rates may depend on credit scores. It is important to have a score of 750+ to qualify for the best mortgage rate in Salt Lake City or elsewhere. If your credit ratings are stellar, you can get a good rate. The lowest score that a lender will consider is 620, with a down payment of at least 10%. People with poor credit scores can do a variety of things to improve their scores and qualify for better interest rates.

Stable Jobs

Lenders also look at a borrower’s work history. Being unemployed for a long period, as well declining income, won’t help an applicant’s cause. For those who are self-employed, getting a loan could be more difficult.

Income to Debt Ratio

There are two aspects to this ratio considered by lenders – the front end and the back end. The back end ratio takes all of the monthly debt payments into account and divides it by the gross income per month. The front end focuses on housing related costs. Lenders want the front end to be around 28% and the back end ratio to be about 36%. This is considered the ideal number, but lenders do offer a bit of leeway to borrowers based on their general history.

Down Payment Amount

Whether you are trying to get a loan in Salt Lake City or in Houston, the minimum down payment required by lenders is at least 20% of the purchase price of a home. Those who are able to pay 20% will get the best possible mortgage rate. Those who cannot need to shell out more toward the cost of a loan.

Once a borrower meets these criteria, the next step is to do comparison shopping. Many reliable websites provide information on mortgage tables. Shop around and get a loan that meets your needs.

The Benefits of Trading in Foreign Exchange

Foreign Exchange RateForex trading used to be the domain of banks and corporate clients. However, with the rise of the Internet, it has become easier for retail traders to trade foreign exchange and make profits from their trading.

Forex trading is the buying and selling of currencies. If someone says the EUR is trading at 1.3500, the Euro costs 1.3500 per US dollar. The main goal of a Forex trader is to buy a currency at a low price when it is weak and sell it for a higher price when it becomes stronger to make a profit.

There are many ways you can benefit from trading foreign exchange.

1. The market is open 24 hours a day.

There are four major foreign exchanges spread out across various time zones, and they overlap with each other so that the market is open all day from Monday to Friday. The best trading times are when two exchanges are open, such as when the New York and Singapore Forex are both open from 3 to 5 p.m. EST.

2. Volatility gives way to opportunity.

In trading stocks and futures, volatility is a disadvantage. However, volatility in Forex is a different thing. Volatility refers to the rate at which currency prices change. Without volatility, prices remain stagnant, eliminating the opportunity to make profits.

3. There is little barrier to entry.

You don’t need $10,000 to start trading. You can start a micro account with only a phone, Internet access, and $50 in your account. Moreover, the cost per transaction equals the difference between the bid and the asking price. Brokers make money out of each transaction, but the cost is much lower than trading stocks or futures.

4. You can use leverage.

Forex allows you to trade on credit, which is called leverage. For example, you have $1,000, and you are trading on a 50 to 1 margin, giving you a trade value of $50,000. The trade nets you 100 pips, which translates to $500 in profits. If you were not trading on margin, you would only have $100 in profits.

As you may have surmised, the world of Forex trading is fast-paced and exciting, but it is not for the faint of heart. It is best to start off with a small amount and continue learning as you go.

Odds in Your Favor: Be an Attractive Mortgage Applicant

Mortagage ApplicationIf you’re like most buyers, you probably need a mortgage to finance a home purchase. While there is no sure way to get the loan you want, you can do some things to become an attractive borrower. The goal is to boost your financial situation, making sure that you have the capability and finances to afford the loan.

Mortgage companies in Tempe share how you can improve your chances of scoring a mortgage:

Have an Accurate Credit Report

Lenders use your credit report to determine if you are eligible. Be sure to get a credit report from major credit rating agencies for checking and making sure it is error-free. If you found a discrepancy, contact the agency to fix it. The ideal time to check your report is six months before the application, so you’ll have time to correct the mistakes. You should also work to improve your score.

Lower Your DTI Ratio

Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio matches the amount of your debt to your income. If you have a low DTI ratio, you’re likely to qualify for a loan. Lenders prefer a ratio of 36% or lower, with no beyond 28% of all debt going to monthly loan payments. Some still qualify as a borrower with 43% DTI, but beyond that results in denial because of the high amount of debt.

Make a Big Down Payment

A large down payment shows the lender that you know how to save and have financial discipline. This also lowers your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, increasing your chances of getting the loan you want. A higher down payment also lowers the amount of mortgage you need to borrow, making qualifications a lot easier. The ideal payment is 20% or more, which helps you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).

If you want to be attractive in the eyes of lenders, keep these things in mind. Begin the process by checking your credit reports and improving your score. Then proceed in lowering your debt-to-income ratio by reducing your monthly recurring debts and increasing your income. Saving for big down payment is also essential in improving your chances.

Beat the Investing Gap: Investing Mindset Hacks for Millennials

Rentals in Turnkey Millennials are known to be risk-takers. They relish challenges and dive head first into anything that excites them, be it learning a new language or traveling on their own. But there is one thing that millennials aren’t so much fond of — investing.

According to a survey, only 9% of millennials see themselves as investors. More interestingly, only 62% of them said they have investment accounts. While the survey also said that they are willing to be educated about investing, a majority are still hesitant about actually doing it.

What’s stopping them from being investing-savvy? One probable reason is that they still don’t have the mindset of an investor. It’s how they look at the personal wealth that’s making the difference.

If you want to know how to develop an investor’s mindset and finally reach your financial goals, take a look at the following:

Make money work for you

Make your money work for you, not the other way around. Create a proactive plan where you consciously lower your spending and allot more budget for investing. One example is to set aside a part of your income to savings and investments then use the remaining as your budget for the whole month.

Arm yourself with options

If you keep stumbling upon the phrase, “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket” — it’s because it’s true. The key here is to spread the risks that come with investing. If you already have investments in mutual funds, consider investing in real estate. Turnkey rental properties, for instance, historically give decent returns in the long run. In case the stock market hits a snag like what happened to China in 2015, your entire portfolio will not that affected as you have other investments.

Have a plan B

Investing is all about taking risks. To protect yourself and your financial future, make sure you have a plan B. Create a sizeable emergency fund that should cover 3 to 6 months worth of your monthly expenses. Get insurance plans so you’re covered if ever you find yourself in a financial or health problem.

Think long term

Lastly, think long term. This is probably the hardest part as sometimes it’s hard to feel the difference when you’re just starting. But invest diligently and smartly and your future self will thank you for doing so.

A change in perspective can be all that millennials — and you — need to set yourself to financial success. When you have in your finances order, you can breathe easier and take on life’s other challenges head on.

Have Your Car Repair Service Stay Ahead of the Curve in a Tough Market

Car ServiceWhile the number of cars on the roads is increasing every year, car repair shops have to put more efforts to remain competitive. Some car repair service providers often have trouble landing more clients, and it lowers their bottom lines. 

People no longer patronise your car repair shop simply because you are open for business. Rather, you have to give them a reason to become your customers and have the privilege to fix their vehicles.

Market efficiently

One of the most effective ways to grab the attention of the prospective clients is to display a profound sense of knowledge. You should not embark on a self-praising promotion of your service. Instead of telling customers how efficient and your service is, opt to demonstrate your knowledge. It would entail establishing a professional website for your business. Be sure to populate it with thoughtful, informative, and helpful pieces. People regularly turn to the internet when facing car trouble. By positioning yourself as an authority figure, people will come to trust and depend on your advice. The rapport that results from post engagements makes it easy to sell your services to them.

Go green

Demonstrating a work culture that attests to your commitment to conserving the environment earns you brownie points. It helps you to stay ahead of the curve and win over more clients. You can begin your journey by contacting Waste Petroleum Combustion Limited, one of the popular petroleum recovery services in the region. Such services recycle used engine oil into other useable products. As a result, it reduces the amount of oil-related pollution on land and in waterways. Raising awareness of your commitment to such environmental conservation initiatives could increase your client base. People often appreciate such thoughtfulness and will reward you by getting your services.

Have excellent service

People treasure their cars. They will only frequent your premises if you demonstrate the ability to deliver a superior service. Ensure that your staff members have the relevant qualification and skills. Similarly, make sure that you have the best tools and equipment on the market. Use of superior replacement parts will also win over clients.

Growing the client base for a car repair service can prove to be a bit tricky. Fortunately, you can stay ahead of the competition with a little bit of planning and preparation.

Things to Keep in Mind when Buying Your Second Home

Buying Your Second Home in ChristchurchYou may not have fully considered it, but getting a second home can be a great investment, too. Whether you want a rest house or you’re preparing for retirement, a second real estate property can serve different purposes.

But this is not an easy undertaking, especially if you don’t have a sizeable budget in your hand. There are also a lot of things to research about, as this is an investment.

If you’re still at a loss, here are some tips that will help you out in this:

Your Financial Standing

The first thing you need to consider is your current financial standing. You need to make sure that your finances are secure. Otherwise, you’ll lose money when you buy a new house. If you’re planning to get a new home, make sure that you have a stable cash flow. Other than saving up for it, you always have a choice to make more money by opening a business or getting a second job. Lessen the burden by taking a flexible mortgage.

The Price

Keep in mind that acquiring a new home comes with a lot of expenses, from mortgage to insurance. Make sure to take into account all the costs involved, so you have all your bases covered. You can lessen your expenses by getting the right agent or representative. Consider other factors that affect the property price, such as location and amenities.

The House

Once you have chosen a location, inspect the property thoroughly. This is especially true when it comes to buying an old home. If you can, take a professional or someone who can properly inspect every nook and cranny, such as a Christchurch plumber like Walton Plumbing or a civil engineer.

These are only some of the things to keep in mind when buying your second home. May they help you find the home that is right for you and your family.

Food Business Trends that are Highly Profitable

Coffee ShopsMaking money from food isn’t easy. However, if you know how to keep up with the trends and work out a good strategy based on those, then the food industry may just be right for you. Below are four of the most profitable food businesses for 2017.

Coffee Shops

Coffee shops pop out everywhere, yet surprisingly, the demand seems to have no end. The coffee shop industry is increasing rapidly because apart from the interest, putting up a coffee shop only necessitates a modest and manageable capital investment. As consumers consider coffee shops as businesses out of love, the client-customer relationship turns out better, resulting in a loyal and passionate audience.

Bread and Pastry Shops

“Let them eat cake, ” they say. Wel, how about “let us sell cake” instead? Bread and pastry shops are increasing in number not only because their products are delicious, but also because there are many ways to sell them. Entrepreneurs can establish a bakery with a retail location or sell their goodies through retailers. Online pastry businesses are also becoming more popular, building bigger audiences and higher profits.  

24/7 Food Establishments

Food is a basic need; anyone can crave for a burger at 2 am or a smoothie at 5 am. Decades back, people would have a hard time satisfying their odd cravings, but thanks to 24/7 food establishments, anything is possible to consume at any hour. 24/7 food establishments are highly profitable due to their increasing and one-of-a-kind demand. You can easily please consumers whether you put up a day-drinking pub or a joint serving 24 hours of pizza.

Food Trucks

Food trucks are all the rave in the past few years. Other than looking exceptionally cool, food trucks are also easy to set up. Unlike traditional restaurants, you can establish a food truck almost anywhere. Since you don’t have a retail location, your business turns out more exciting and your customer base more diverse. Someone with minimum experience in the food service industry can benefit from this kind of venture.

When planning a food business, make sure to identify your target audience as to create a strategy that is ultimately beneficial for you. Invest in good food, good location, and excellent customer service.

The Key to Streamlining Financial Operations

Streamlining Financial OperationsRunning a business requires you to have knowledge of financial operations. Finance is the lifeline of any business, and it only makes sense that you take care of it properly. In this respect, you need to know how everything works, from releasing of petty cash to creating annual reports.

The first thing you need to do when managing your financial operations is to keep everything streamlined. Keeping things simple (but not simpler) will promote transparency. To keep things secure, you just have to implement a set of strict access protocols.

Here are the other things you need to keep in mind:

It’s all in the invoice

Invoice is not just a simple way of turning your customer’s purchase into a document. It’s one way of making sure that the other party fulfils their payment obligations. A proper invoicing system will ensure that payments arrive on time, which in turn makes the company’s cash flow efficient. Every time you send the invoice to the client, make sure that it comes with a courteous follow-up.

Set flexible payment terms

To perfectly complement the invoicing system, you must have a payment plan that suits the capability of the client. More often than not, many clients fail to pay for the product/service on time just because the payment terms are not flexible and the interest rates are high. When payments are late, the cash flow suffers. You may offer small incentives for on-time payments. But it also helps to implement penalty fees for late payments.

Hire a great team

While you may have an idea of how the entire financial mechanism works, the fact that you can always do everything on your own remains. With this, you’ll need the help of a company specialising in finance recruitment, such as KennedyPearce Consulting Ltd. To initiate and keep financial efficiency, you’ll need an accountant, tax specialists, auditors, and even an advisor.

An efficient financial operation doesn’t happen overnight. You may encounter some challenges and obstacles along the way, but they’ll surely improve your learning curve.

6 Business Ideas in Utah You Need To Know

Business Idea in UtahUtah is home to 86 of the U.S.’s fastest-growing companies. In fact, the start-up scene in Utah is enticing both locals and business people from across the across. If you’re planning to start or buy a business in Utah, here are top 6 business ideas that you can check out.

  1. Debt Management Services. Getting out of debt is so difficult that most people don’t know where to start. This type of business offers people not just debt management, but also counselling.
  2. Baby Proofing Services. If a home is not effectively baby-proofed, it can lead to accidents that are otherwise avoidable. Baby proofing services are great because it’s something that can be done by a small staff.
  3. Home or Business Errand Services. Admit it, there are many errands that you simply don’t want to do. It could be as simple as delivering a package to a friend, tending to your garden, or even cleaning the house. Errand services care great because you don’t even have to have a mobile app. Just a website would work for a startup.
  4. Laser Hair Removal Services. Beauty services never run out of style or steam in Utah. People will gladly pay for hair removal services. It’s a great business idea and the technologies keep on getting better.
  5. Digital Marketing Services. The rise of startup businesses has also benefitted companies who offer digital marketing and website services. Digital marketing is a continually evolving science and art that helps businesses grow.
  6. Solar Power Services. The solar power industry has made several leaps in recent years. And as more businesses and consumers continue to see the benefits of going green, solar power services will only get bigger in the years to come.

Build Your Business Today in Boom Town

Utah’s business scene is one of the fastest growing in the country. In fact, even foreign investors and business people are visiting the city for business ideas. If you’re planning to open a business in Utah, keep these top business ideas in mind.