Saturday, 29 August 2015

Ways to Invest in Real Estate

Real estate investment is one of the safest investment where appreciation is mostly guaranteed. That is why, investing in real estate has become increasingly popular and has become a common investment vehicle. Although the real estate market has plenty of opportunities for making big gains, buying and owning real estate is a lot more. In this article, we'll explore different options to invest in real estate.

A. Basic Rental Properties
This is an investment as old as the practice of land ownership. A person will buy a property and rent it out to a tenant. The owner, the landlord, is responsible for paying the mortgage, taxes and costs of maintaining the property. Furthermore, the property may also have appreciated in value over the course of the mortgage, leaving the landlord with a more valuable asset.
There are, of course, blemishes on the face of what seems like an ideal investment. You can end up with a bad tenant who damages the property or, worse still, end up having no tenant at all. This leaves you with a negative monthly cash flow, meaning that you might have to scramble to cover your mortgage payments. There is also the matter of finding the right property; you will want to pick an area where vacancy rates are low and choose a place that people will want to rent.

B. Real Estate Investment Groups
Real estate investment groups are sort of like small mutual funds for rental properties. If you want to own a rental property, but don't want the hassle of being a landlord, a real estate investment group may be the solution for you. A company will buy or build a set of apartment blocks or condos and then allow investors to buy them through the company, thus joining the group. A single investor can own one or multiple units of self-contained living space, but the company operating the investment group collectively manages all the units, taking care of maintenance, advertising vacant units and interviewing tenants. In exchange for this management, the company takes a percentage of the monthly rent.

C. Real Estate Trading
This is the wild side of real estate investment. Like the day traders who are leagues away from a buy-and-hold investor, the real estate traders are an entirely different breed from the buy-and-rent landlords. Real estate traders buy properties with the intention of holding them for a short period of time, often no more than three to four months, where upon they hope to sell them for a profit. This technique is also called “flipping properties” and is based on buying properties that are either significantly undervalued or are in a very hot market. 

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is created when a corporation (or trust) uses investor’s money to purchase and operate income properties. REITs are bought and sold on the major exchanges, just like any other stock. A corporation must pay out 90% of its taxable profits in the form of dividends, to keep its status as an REIT. By doing this, REITs avoid paying corporate income tax, whereas a regular company would be taxed its profits and then have to decide whether or not to distribute its after-tax profits as dividends.
Much like regular dividend-paying stocks, REITs are a solid investment for stock market investors that want regular income. In comparison to the aforementioned types of real estate investment, REITs allow investors into non-residential investments such as malls, or office buildings, and are highly liquid. In other words, you won't need a realtor to help you cash out your investment.

Conclusion: We have looked at several types of real estate investment. As with any investment, there is much potential with real estate, but this does not mean that it is an assured gain. Make careful choices and weigh out the costs and benefits of your actions, before diving in.


Monday, 17 August 2015

Vastu Tips

In the present times, Vastu Shastra is the most commonly used term, especially when it comes to purchasing or constructing a new home. To have a happy and prosperous household you must lay stress on enhancing the positive energy inside your home. Vastu Shastra increases wealth, well being and prosperity if you live in structures that allow positive cosmic forces.
History is replete with cases where the most inauspicious buildings have been made favorable for living just by applying the principles of Vastu. The tenets of Vastu Shastra facilitate us to lead a more contented, healthy and blissful life. By the correct implementation of Vastu, we can gain peace of mind, happiness and prosperity in life.
According to Vastu Shastra, if you please Kuber, the God of Wealth, and get his blessings, you can improve your financial health. In order to increase your financial position, following tips can prove to be of great facilitation:
  • Locate the cupboard or safe for keeping cash and jewellery in the south or south-west. It should open towards the north, the realm of Kuber, who will keep it replenished.
  • Keep the north-east portion of the house open and free from clutter. Never have a staircase at this location, as it causes loss of wealth.
  • Never have a dripping faucet or plumbing as it drains the finances of the house.
  • A south-east room, being the agni corner, is not fit for a bedroom. However, if it is used as one, it helps in the accumulation of wealth! Also the bed inside the room should not touch the walls and the room should not have a slanting floor.

Follow these steps and enjoy financial stability and monetary well being forever!


Monday, 10 August 2015

Ancient Architecture

Even at an early stage, mankind strove to build higher and higher. We built on a ridiculous scale and spent thousands and millions of hours of labor on a single piece of structure, which may or may not be prone to earthquakes and other ravages of time.

Some of our most impressive structures are actually incredibly old and it is difficult to determine the precise dates they were built.

We still don't have a clue how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built, or its precise purpose. Despite what you may have heard, no mummy has ever been found in the Egyptian pyramids, they were all found in the Valley of the Kings. So the true meaning of the pyramids is actually a mystery. As is the technology used and the matter of how multiple cultures in Africa, the Middle East and Central America, all built pyramids roughly around the same time. The matter has had archeologists, both professional and amateur alike, scratching their heads and theorizing why and how this could have happened.

Why do we aspire to such grand heights? Perhaps, it’s ego.
In some cases we might not have much of a choice but to build upwards, if the population grows very dense and land close to water and food is scarce.

We thrive in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth, and we always build upwards.
There is no precise beginning of the history of architecture either. Our earliest buildings date from either the end of the last ice age or during the ice age, which was only 10 to 15 millenniums ago.

Likewise, there was no precise ending of the ice age. We presume it phased out slowly, but it could have changed quite quickly in a matter of decades or years. We really don't know. It was a time of dramatic changes, massive floods and earthquakes. Such dramatic earthquakes that people in two separate parts of the world (Egypt and Bolivia) started building earthquake resistant structures that still stand today. Elephantine Island in Egypt and the Ruined City of Tiahuanacu in Bolivia used identical techniques to securely fasten the stones in their buildings and make the overall structure more impervious to time.

Pyramids are the prime example of the pioneering human spirit to build something indestructible. The earliest pyramids are not Egyptian, but were instead built in Mesopotamia and Zimbabwe.

The fact that the people of Zimbabwe started building pyramids first is incredibly interesting. Africa was after all the birth of civilization. This is where we find the oldest surviving structures and the beginning of our aspiration to build higher.

The Greeks spoke of Mount Olympus and strove to emulate the gods by building on top of 

People of the Middle East built massive Ziggurat step pyramids and inspired the story of the Tower of Babel.

We can only assume that the early people who built towers of stone in Zimbabwe had some kind of religious or even scientific reasoning behind what they were building.

When we talk of such structures, we cannot ignore the scientific aspect. These were obviously cultures with an interest in engineering, science and exploring the boundaries of what they could build.

Regardless of whether it was a temple, a palace, a coliseum for games, an amphitheater for dramatic performances and politics, there was always that underlying engineering and creative spirit.

All they really needed was hands to carry the stones, tools to cut the stones, the brilliance of their engineers and above all else:
The will to build it!


Friday, 7 August 2015

Feng Shui Ideas to Decorate your Bedroom

Feng shui is an ancient practice that has become widely accepted. It has knowledge that has been accumulated over years of perfection, as a result of which people can use these tips without being scared of failure. When it comes to feng shui in the bedroom, there are a lot of options that people can follow. These options will make it easier for people to get a harmonious and happy personal life.
A good feng shui bedroom is one that has positive chi and a harmonious and sensual energy. There are certain ways in which the bedroom can be redecorated to keep up with practices of feng shui. Having good and strong feng shui in the bedroom can be really useful for people who are trying to maintain some balance in their life.
Here are the most important methods that are to be followed.
  • Keep the southwest strong: The southwest part of the room must be strong and clean. Do not let anything disrupt this corner of the room. It will not be beneficial to have any laundry related things in this area or to have the bathroom located in this corner.
  • Use earth feng shui: Feng shui symbols for bedroom should be strongly linked to the earth element, since these are the ones that promote tranquility and calmness.
  • A cluttered bedroom leads to a cluttered mind: Clutter is always a bad symbol in feng shui. It is certainly something to be avoided. A cluttered mind stands for commotion and lack of peace and that is not what you want in the bedroom. The bedroom is to promote calm and peace and you have to make sure that it is free of all clutter. If there is no need for something in your bedroom, let go of it. This should apply to the rest of the house as well, for it will promote the energy level in the house.
  • Connect to your bedroom: It is essential for you to establish some form of connection with the bedroom itself. This can be done through small things, such as personalizing your own house with pictures.
  • Let the natural light flow in whenever it can: A dark room is certainly not a good symbol, so it is essential for people to make sure that the room is really lit up. The curtains should be drawn open and one has to make sure that they keep some amount of natural light stream in at all points of time. Keeping windows and curtains open would also let you get some fresh air, which is a sign of rejuvenation.
  • The position of the bed: Pushing the bed to one corner would be a bad idea. It is best to put the bed in the centre of the room, where it can be accessed from all the sides.
  • Keep a lot of twos: The bedroom is a space that is shared by two people. When you put any feng shui symbols for bedroom in there, you have to make sure that they are in twos. Have a double closet for both. If you are getting a Double Eight symbol, get two. Get two flowers. This is to symbolize the two parts that have been brought together in the bedroom.
  • Avoid problematic symbols: There are some symbols that stand for power, aggression, etc. Avoid putting them in your bedroom for they can cause some disruption in peace and calm that has to exist within the room itself.

Feng shui for bedrooms can be highly beneficial. These are tips that almost anybody can integrate within their life, no matter whether they have already constructed the bedroom or if they are yet to start the construction. These tips are also quite simple to follow, and cheap, for they don't involve purchase of anything expensive. This is symbolic of the fact that one can derive happiness, calm, peace and balance in one's life by just shifting the energy around, without spending lots of money and relying on symbols. The symbols do help harness the energy or increase its importance but they don't really run the whole show.
People should keep in mind that feng shui is supposed to bring balance in their lives. If following the above tips still doesn't bring the required peace and stability in your life, you can always change things around, according to some other feng shui laws that you have not tried out yet.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Newly Built Home

As per the latest survey, twice as many people prefer new homes to existing homes. “New” means exactly that: brand new properties that have never been lived in before, or homes purchased in the pre-construction phase. On the flip side, “existing” or resale homes are pre-owned properties.
While shiny and new sounds nice in theory, what’s actually behind the allure of these properties?  Let’s dive into the advantage and disadvantages:

The Pros

  • You’re able to have the builder customize the home before construction is completed, so it will be built with your personal touch and painted in your color palette – a big bonus!
  • With new construction or pre-construction purchases, the work is done for you. You don’t have to lift a finger, a paint brush, or a hammer.
  • New homes come with some of the design elements that today’s lifestyle demands: open, eat-in kitchens, walk-in closets, and large master baths to name a few.
  • A big financial benefit of new properties is that you won’t have to do much maintenance. With brand new appliances, plumbing, heating, and air, you should be repair free for at least a few years.
  • Utilizing new construction materials, just-built homes are usually more energy efficient; that means potentially lower utility bills.
  • New homes and condos are often equipped with the latest technology built right in – think alarm systems, speaker systems, Internet wiring, and cable – saving you lots of time, money, and holes in the walls.
  • You’re moving into a house that should be totally complete and absolutely perfect. That “new house smell” is definitely a luxury!

The Cons

  • Brand new homes can cost more – sometimes up to 20% more than a similar existing home.
  • All those fabulous amenities you saw in the model can really add up.  Upgraded features are marked up heavily for the construction company’s profit and can end up costing you far more than you ever intended.
  • Many times, new construction neighborhoods and developments are built far from necessary destinations like schools and your usual supermarkets and shopping centers. Also, if you’re one of the first to move in, you’re essentially going to be living in a construction zone for years to come.
  • If you’re looking for a lovely, quaint, tree-lined older neighborhood that has a well-established community of neighbors, you won’t get it for many years in a new development.
  • Often, new homes have less architectural detail and charm that many older homes.
  • New properties may not excite buyers who like to do lots of customizing and upgrading themselves. Those who take pleasure in fixing up a home or tailoring it to their preferences might find that brand new homes aren’t a good fit.
  • New homes are built on smaller lots than most older homes. If you’re looking for that big backyard – and lots of space between your house and the next door neighbor’s – you may not find it in a new build.
While it may seem like new construction is the perfect choice, there are lots of lifestyle factors to consider first.  After all, you’re not just buying a house – you’re buying a home and a neighborhood!


Saturday, 1 August 2015

Vastu for a Healthy and Successful Life

Vastu Shastra, the science of construction, propounds that the laws of nature and directional alignment impact human dwellings. To very rational minds, the claim might seem a frivolous one yet to your surprise, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Have you ever tried to figure out the origin of the feeling that we refer to as contentment, comfort and warmth of our home? Do spaces and materials in the home have physical significance only? Or can there be some psychological and spiritual attribution to them? Vastu Shastra is an answer to all these mystifying questions.

As per Vastu Shastra, a person’s dwelling effects his/her well being on three parameters; physical, psychological and spiritual. The quantum of influence is governed on the basis of numerical calculations of energy received and spent.  Let’s elaborate this.  In an architectural structure, space, ventilation, position of materials in an organized manner, colors, shapes, surroundings, etc. contribute to the physical stimulation of the inhabitants.

Similarly, the flow of energy in an architectural structure that conforms to the Vastu norms creates a feeling of contentment, eases out tensions and keeps the mind of the inhabitants relaxed even in the tensed phases of life. Spiritually, Vastu compliance takes one to a divine path where there can be a spiritual connection between the individual and the Almighty.

Vastu Shastra may defy logic, but what is evident needs no evidence. Despite its intricacies, the art of Vastu has tempted several professionals to study it and implement its principles in modern day constructions. In fact, Real Estate Sector is very serious in this regard and has witnessed the emergence of professional Vastu Consultants. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that when science and technology are progressing with spiraling pace, Vastu Shastra too has earned a distinguished space in common life.