Monday, 21 September 2015

Furnished Property or Unfurnished One?

There’s always a dilemma when buying a home on choosing between a furnished and an unfurnished property offered by a developer or an individual seller. It’s not just the cost difference that will play in your mind, but also whether the finished product will comply your needs and taste. With many developers today offering fully furnished properties for buyers who always wanted to give their personal touches to their house, it’s a decision that demands some thinking.

With both unfurnished and furnished houses having their own merits and demerits, we will, in this article, take a look at the factors based on which you will be able to easily decide which one suits you best.

Furnished Houses
Furnished houses come in a selection of styles. Some are all inclusive and have everything you need from a bed, sofa, appliances, plates and cutlery.
Pros for Furnished
Moving into a furnished house is so easy since all you have to do is bring your clothes and personal articles. There is no need for lugging up heavy furniture or packing and unpacking. Additionally, you do not need to spend any time or extra money shopping for anything-it is there already.
Cons for Furnished
Furnished houses cost more to rent because everything is easily accessible. The furniture may be an outdated style. There is a chance that an item might get broken or dented, and if that does happen, the renter is responsible.

Unfurnished Houses
Unfurnished Houses do not consist of furnishings such as beds, couches or anything else. Also, some may not have any appliances at all.
Pros for Unfurnished
An unfurnished house gives you the liberty to decorate it the way you wish. You can paint the wall personal colors, add memorable artwork and pick out your own style of furnishings. Meanwhile, you wouldn’t have to be bothered with the idea of causing damage to the landlord’s property, in case it is rented property.
Cons for Unfurnished
Unfurnished houses can be annoying if you have no patience for shopping, or have no idea how to decorate a home. Furnishing an apartment is quite expensive, and a bother to deal with is bringing up bulky pieces. At the same time, it is your responsibility to move everything in and then once your lease expires, you’d have to take it all out.  


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Advantages of Real Estate Investment

Real estate is usually held as part of a larger portfolio, and is generally considered an alternative investment class. Real estate fits well as part of a portfolio because it has several qualities that can enhance the return of a larger portfolio, or reduce portfolio risk at the same level of return.

1. Cash Flow
Advantage of real estate investing is the rent derived from rental property. It can result in ongoing, additional income. Positive cash flow is derived from the revenue collected in the form of rent. The cash generated by a real estate investment will always be a much larger percentage cash-on-cash return than any other investment. Over the time, additional income may enable you to take a dream vacation, buy a long-awaited speed boat or grow your retirement fund.

2. Leverage
Leverage is the ultimate power of investing, and the fact is that there is no investment where the application of this tool is more powerful than real estate. In real estate, the leverage is based on the asset itself, and even the notoriously conservative banks will loan up to 75-80 percent and sometimes higher of the total asset value. Banks are comfortable lending large sums of money for the purchase of real estate because they know it is one of the safest and most profitable investments available. Also when you leverage an investment, you reap the benefits of appreciation on the total asset value, while only having a small percentage of your own money in the deal.

3. Appreciation
Real estate generally is a long term investment, and its benefits are best realized over the long term. It takes time for real estate to appreciate in value; however, while the property is being appreciated the residents are paying down the mortgage. On top of this, the rental income grows on a percentage annual basis.

4. Hedge against Inflation
Many people feel that the commonsense thing to do is to take your money and put it into a savings bond or bank account that yields 2 to 3 percent per year. The main argument for this type of investing is that it is “safer” than real estate or other types of investments. The problem with this strategy is that you do not actually make any money, due to inflation.

Inflation is the price we pay for goods measured against a standard of ability to purchase those goods. Consider a case where the inflation rate is 3.5 and you have invested your money into some investment option that yields only 2 to 3 percent, this earns you no purchasing power in the future. You are actually losing wealth because inflation is higher than your returns. The gain in form of interest is wiped out by the rising cost of living. You are not becoming wealthier; you are becoming poorer because the cost of goods is growing faster than the value of your money.

The beauty of real estate is that it is a tangible asset. Meaning it will generally rise either at the rate of inflation or much higher. Historically real estate has risen at 5 percent per year -a full 2 to 3 percent higher than inflation. And that is just appreciation. That does not take into account the cash flow generated, nor the tax advantages such as depreciation, refinance, and tax deductible mortgage interest.

5. Depreciation
Depreciation is an income tax deduction that allows a taxpayer to recover the cost of wear and tear, deterioration or obsolescence on an annual basis. For real estate, it is non-operational expenses that can be used as an advantage during the tax time.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Design Your Home, Your Way!

Whether you’ve just moved or are looking for a quick, little home pick-me-up, or perhaps something more significant, there are some well-known interior design tricks that designers employ that you too can easily do with minimal effort and cost.  Sometimes the smallest things make the greatest impact. It could be the addition of a mirror, a painting, a lamp or even a plant. Take a look at these clever design tips and see how they can inspire you!

#1: Personalize your space.
Your home (or room) should reflect who you are. If someone were to walk into your home, they should know that it’s yours. The best way to achieve this is by including accessories that reveal your hobbies and interests. What’s important is that you distance yourself from what the stores are telling you to buy. Often times we are drawn to ideas that are trendy or pre-done: “Of course this white lacquered elephant statue would look great in my bedroom” But is that really you? Maybe not. Instead, aim for pieces that compliment your personal clothing style. You may be surprised to discover that styling an outfit isn’t too different from decorating a room. So take a look in your closet. What colors are you drawn to? Do you prefer mod or modern? Clean cuts or lacy ruffles? Use your taste in clothing as a style guide for your home–it’s an easy way to ensure your space is 100% you.

#2: Work with your surroundings.
It’s important to understand your design limitations. Be familiar with the size and scale of the room. Also, consider your environment and respond to it. Whether you’re in the city or the countryside, it helps to take a cue from your surroundings. In turn, you can narrow down your choices based on the context of your space.

#3: Keep comfort in mind.
Have you ever purchased a piece of furniture simply because it was pretty, only to discover that it’s painfully uncomfortable (or useless)? When we think of “home sweet home,” the first word that comes to mind is cozy. Making your home comfy and cozy is a must. Nothing is worse than going to a friend’s house and awkwardly balancing on their post-modern chair. Your space should be inviting and comfortable.

#4: Stick with the classics.
Incorporating pieces that have withstood the test of time gives you the freedom to translate them as your design style evolves. Using classic furniture, prints, and fabrics provides you with a basic foundation to build on with trendy or personalized accessories and finishes. There are plenty of ways to transform an older, classic shaped piece of furniture. If it’s a sofa: reupholster, add throw pillows… An aged dresser: paint it! The possibilities are endless when it comes to updating a timeless piece.

#5 Less is more.
Keep it simple. You don’t want to overcrowd your space. If you edit the items in each room, the area will appear to be clear and even bigger. Just remember, you can always add more!