Category Archives: Finance

Three Things to Look for in a Real Estate Broker

Handshake of a real estate agent and a client

Handshake of a real estate agent and a clientIn 2015, a survey found that Florida had almost 29,000 new real estate brokers. This is the highest the sector reached in the past 9 years, and the number has steadily grown in recent years. This is good news for the real estate market, as well as people who are looking to buy homes in the state.

But, with so many real estate firms and brokers to choose from, how do you know which one can meet your needs? Remember these when you look for a seasoned and reliable realtor in Florida.

Years of Experience

Shayla Twit, a seasoned realtor in Saratosa, FL, notes that not because a person is new to the field, it doesn’t mean that he or she is not fit for the job. However, when it comes to a commission-based career such as brokerage, someone must be capable of offering quality service to be able to survive long in the trade. With years come experience, so it’s good to look for a broker with at least a few years of experience.

Number of Current Clients

Most people think that veteran brokers have a long list of clients. Maybe yes, maybe no. It really depends on how the broker decides to handle his or her clientele. Sometimes, in order to provide better quality service, even veteran brokers turn down new clients. The better question to ask is the average number of clients he or she is currently handling. Asking this would give you an idea if your broker can handle your requests effectively.


If you’re expecting your broker to answer inquiries as fast as you need them to, look for brokers who are tech-savvy. Let’s be honest here, some of the veteran brokers are not that comfortable using a smartphone or even answering emails. So, if you want someone who is always raring to answer, try to look for someone who is quick to reply to your inquiries using all channels possible.

Of course, you need to look for a real estate broker with the right and complete credentials, as well as people skills. Keep these in mind if you’re planning to buy a home in Florida and you need a broker to navigate the real estate market.

A Strategy to Make Your Home Ownership Dream a Reality

Front shot of modern homeBuying a home has and will always be part of the American dream. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to realize it. There are many reasons, one of the most common is making a down payment.

Although it’s possible to secure a funding program that doesn’t require putting down payment to purchase a home, there are benefits to still doing so. In Ogden, you’ll find housing grants that offer first time homeowners down payment assistance.

Making your dreams of homeownership become a reality

In a typical setting, home buyers would need to put down at least 20% of the property value they wish to purchase. For instance, a house that sells for $100,000 would require the buyer to make a $20,000 down payment. While you can save up for it, it’s still a lot of money, which may discourage you to push through with your buying plans.

Down payment aid is available, with some offering as much as $5,000 assistance for those who qualify. If you meet the requirements, this would mean that you would only have to save up $15,000, and you can already purchase your dream home.

The reasons to strive to make a down payment

There are several good reasons you’d still want to make a down payment. First, doing so allows you to the additional (and expensive) cost of private mortgage insurance. Most lenders require PMI when borrowers can’t complete a down payment, and because this is long-term insurance, it can quickly add up and balloon your overall mortgage expenditures.

Besides, putting down money also makes it easier to pay off your mortgage, since the interest will apply on a smaller amount of borrowed money. The sooner you pay your debts, the sooner you can live a debt-free life as a homeowner.

Trending: Mobile Banking Usage Rapid Surge and Benefits

Person using phone and laptop

Person using phone and laptopThe usage of mobile banking in the United States has seen a steady growth since 2009, according to The Statistics Portal and the Forbes Magazine. The share of mobile phone owners using electronic banking and mobile banking applications surged from only 18% in 2009 to 46% in 2015.

The figure was expected to increase to 51% in 2016. Furthermore, from 57 million, the number of mobile banking users in the U.S. has been expected to spike up to 111 million in 2016.  This trend might continue over the next few years.

The reasons for the rapid increase in mobile banking new account applications and usage are apparent. But do you know that eBanking offers competitive advantages not only to the users but also to financial institutions?

Tool for Financial Institutions

According to research, mobile banking helps financial institutions study the market trends and the behavior of their clients. This allows them to map and draft the best strategy to stay ahead of the competition.

Each bank is also using mobile banking apps to establish a customized eBanking strategy that would appeal to their clients. In the long run, mobile banking also helps banks keep their clients, aside from winning new customers.

Business Banking Benefits

Mobile banking also works for businesses, as it allows management to track transactions and secure accounting notes. Companies can also observe the capital market trend through the mobile banking apps. The best benefit for businesses is that it allows finance officers to manage their accounts anytime and anywhere.

Most Convenient Personal Banking Experience

For bankers managing personal accounts, mobile banking is one of the wisest developments in the finance industry. It enables them to pay bills anytime, anywhere, and secure their salaries and savings with just a few clicks.

These advantages work for the general banking population as the mobile banking processes are evolving. Banking institutions are also addressing concerns regarding online security to keep clients from worrying about the hacking of savings and business accounts.

Home Purchase: Can Your Finances Handle It?

A couple discuss with the purchase of their new house

A couple discuss with the purchase of their new houseIf you’ve been renting a place for quite some time now, you may be considering buying your own home. Making the final decision, of course, is hard since you need to think whether or not your current finances or income can take on a mortgage payment. It is most confusing, especially if you’re used to paying a fixed amount for your rent every month.

Buying is definitely more expensive than renting, as you move on towards owning a home. You also need to get qualified for a mortgage to finance the property. There are, however, many benefits to this like building equity, tax deductions, and creative control over the house. These are something you can’t do with a rental, as you don’t own the home.

Additional Monthly Payments

If you’re thinking of buying, the monthly payment is probably one of your biggest concerns. The payment will include not just the principal, but also the interest, taxes, and insurance. This may cause your monthly loan payment to change from year to year. Mortgage companies in Tempe note that this will also depend on the type of loan you choose.

Putting Money Down

Down payment is probably the biggest hurdle. The good news is there are some loan programs that will allow you to get a loan even with little money down. If you have been saving for a home for some years now, it is even better. You can also get help from family members, as some mortgage programs allow gift funds to cover down payments.

Utilities and Maintenance

Paying for utilities is a part of renting and owning. If you want to get a property that is bigger than the place you’re renting, you may need to pay more utilities, especially for cooling or heating a larger house. There is also the maintenance, as every home will need some sort of routine care. You will need to cut grass or even a hire a contractor if something breaks.

A home purchase is mostly a financial endeavor. Be sure to assess your financial readiness and check your credit score. Your payment history and debts are important for all lenders. You can also get pre-qualified first to know the amount you can qualify for and learn more about different loan options.

Ways to Fund Your Small Business

100-Dollar Bills on a White BackgroundBusiness financing is often a challenge, especially for entrepreneurs who are just starting on the path of business ownership. Whether you are looking to start your dream business, expand your start-up company, or introduce new products and services to your clients, here are a few ways you can get funding for your business.

Business Loans

There are many lenders out there offering various loan products for small businesses. Some are banks while others are independent financial services providers. When checking out a financial business company, look at their loan terms and rates, and evaluate which one is best suited to your needs. Do your research and find out if there are any hidden terms or fees before you sign up for a loan.

SBA Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration also helps entrepreneurs to start and run their business by giving them loans. An SBA loan, however, is stricter and requires a guarantee that it will be repaid.


Factoring involves the selling of a company’s receivables at discounted prices to get cash up front. This method is good for companies with poor credit. However, factoring is expensive since a percentage, usually about 2% to 3% of the total amount, is charged as fees.

Credit Card

If you need to clear small bills when in a cash crunch, your credit card can come to your rescue. However, using one to fund your operations is a little risky as the rates are expensive and you can get into a financial mess if you fail to manage your debts well.

Whether you are just starting or already growing your business, you will need to seek financing help to keep it up and running. Make sure to weigh all your options well before you make any decision.

The Many Benefits of Startup Business Loans

Businessman pressing a Business Loan concept button. Instagram styling applied.Turning an innovative idea into a business is easier than ever. Thanks to the Internet, anyone savvy enough can market products and services and become a successful entrepreneur. The real challenge, though, is taking your venture to the next level. If you believe and can prove that it can be more profitable down the road, you need extra capital to scale up your production.

Fortunately, there are many ways to beef up your coffers. Many founders behind early-stage startups court investors, but TAB Bank noted that some are more willing to take the risks involved in obtaining a loan from a reputable bank.

Here are the notable advantages of online startup business loans overseed and Series A rounds:

No Equity Sacrifice

By and large, banks wouldn’t take a share of your business. They only want to make money from the deal through interest, which means you get to own 100% of your startup after the deal. If your venture becomes financially sustainable in the long run, you’d reap all of the potential rewards for yourself alone. You may eventually have to reach out to investors for further growth, but a loan could make your business more valuable by then.

Low Interest

Many bank startup loans come with low interest. Non-traditional lenders usually charge higher rates since they tend to work with unconventional borrowers. Of course, the amount of interest you could get depends on how risky your venture is. But if you show that you have it all figured out, you’d find a bank that’s comfortable to lend you money with a favorable interest. Plus, you could enjoy tax benefits from the interest you pay over the lifetime of your loan.

Fast Process

Securing a loan from a bank you’ve had a positive history with is simpler. Of course, many other factors could affect the speed of your application. Startups with a decent track record generally obtain loans faster than businesses that are not yet up and running.

In business, everything involves some form of risk. The key is to take a 360-degree evaluation of your venture to see the best source of funding you should seek. If you feel securing a business loan makes sense for your situation, and you qualify for one, don’t pass up on this great opportunity.

3 Things an Accountant Can Help With in Your Company

An AccountantAccounting is an integral part of doing business. If you have a small shop or a startup, you need the services of an accountant. They are there to make sure that you record your daily transactions in a proper, timely and correct manner. Accountants are trained to make sure that a business follows standard procedures for recording their transactions. Also, they are also well versed in tax computations and laws.


Tax laws are meant to designate how much a person or an entity owes the government. There are several levels of taxation, including national and local tax laws. An accountant needs to know these things as part of their job. A trained accountant would know of any permissible deductions for specific cases. There is also the matter of the value-added tax (VAT) and its implementations. Although the business owner should know these, it is not the core business, and he has better things to do. Tax jobs in Cork, Ireland, like the rest of firms all over the world, are better left to the accountant knowledgeable in them.

Daily Transactions

Strictly speaking, an accountant is not a bookkeeper. However, an accountant relies on bookkeeping to keep track of all business transactions. There may be a separate bookkeeper, but an accountant is still required in filings with regulatory bodies and the tax office. The daily transactions are noted in the journal, placed onto their corresponding ledgers, and the rest of the accounting books are built up by accountants.

Business Filings

Business filing is part of the job of an accountant. Financial documents which are attached with filings for tax and business purposes have to be signed off by a registered or certified accountant. This means that the filings are correct and adhere to accounting practices and standards. Once signed off by a qualified accountant and submitted these documents become a matter of public record. Some of the financial papers which are usually submitted to the government include value-added tax deductions, tax remittances, balance sheet, statement of assets and liabilities, as well as other tax filings.

Accountants may be perceived as mere number-crunchers, but they play an integral role in businesses and companies.

Three Questions to Ask Before Finalizing a Mortgage

Mortgage loan agreement application with house shaped keyringYou’re ready to purchase a house. You’ve got the down payment covered. You’re itching to sign on the dotted line. Before you do, however, check some details about the mortgage, to make sure it’s favorable to you for the entirety of the loan duration.

Ask these questions before signing the mortgage:

Is a Fixed-Rate or Adjustable-Rate Mortgage More Favorable?

The repayment amounts will mostly depend on whether you have a fixed-rate home mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage. When you have a fixed-rate mortgage, you won’t have to worry about the interest rate continually changing. You are locked into a certain rate, which is favorable if the adjustable rates get higher. Conversely, if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll benefit if the current rates are lower and you pay accordingly.

Are There Refinancing Fees?

Refinancing seems like a great idea if you find a rate that works for you. However, you will only be able to take advantage of the savings if your present mortgage has favorable terms. Some lenders allow for refinancing without requiring you to pay for adjustment fees, while others may do this in a completely different way. Talk to your lender about the possibility of refinancing and if you’ll need to pay to have the old mortgage closed.

Is the Area Expecting Major Changes?

This isn’t about the interest rate; this is about the value of the property. If there are any major developments to be completed anytime soon and they will affect the value of properties in the area, you need to ask yourself if the property is worth it. If the development is something that enriches the local community, it could improve the property’s value; if it’s detrimental to the community and a setback for many residents, however, you could be in for a sale that will only have you paying for more than what the house is worth.

Want to Downsize Your Wedding Except for the Ring? Here are Some Ideas

Female photographer photographing beautiful happy bride indoors.The price for a wedding has continued to increase, as evidenced by the average cost in 2016 amounting up to $28,000 without the engagement ring and honeymoon, according to The Knot and WeddingWire.

For this reason, some couples have wanted to downsize their budget to spend the money on other important things. Others have decided to focus on just reception, or simply invest in a fine wedding ring.

Cost Cutting

The venues for the ceremony and reception, food, music, and photography and videography account for 60% of most couples’ budgets, according to the WeddingWire. From these four items, focus on what you want to be less expensive. A buffet will be a good alternative to a tabled service. This allows you to save on the need to hire wait staff.

Those who dislike skimping on food may choose to save money by hiring a wedding DJ instead of a live band. Wedding planners are important, yet try to ask a friend or a family member to do it for you. Otherwise, you can hire a so-called “day-of planner” to help with preparations a few days before the occasion.

Ring Collection

An expensive ring could be another reason behind your decision to cut expenses. It makes sense, though, since wedding rings will be among the few that will remain with you after the wedding. Unlike in the past, you can choose to buy different kinds of rings online. From classic ones such as solitaire rings to more modern types of stones such as moissanite.

When comparing moissanite vs. diamond, cost estimates will likely incline practical couples to buy the latter. A moissanite ring has almost the same qualities of diamonds, although they come with a cheaper price tag.


Your wedding budget will ultimately decide on how much you intend to spend or save, on the special occasion.

Here Are Smart Ways to Finance Your New Home

Couple Outside Home With Sold SignFor new homebuyers, visions of beautiful driveways, elegant yards, gorgeous interiors, and nice neighborhoods can dominate your mind. That’s fantastic, if you don’t forget that important step called financing. Here are tips to keep in mind when raising money for your dream home.

Know Your Mortgage Options

There are various types of loans that aspiring homebuyers can choose from. If you can only afford to pay minimal cash for your down payment, your best move may be applying for FHA multifamily financing with established companies such as Bonneville Multifamily Capital. These loans allow incredibly low down payments and come with attractive credit underwriting. If you are a veteran, on the other hand, you can opt for VA loans that come with no down payment. The alternative, of course, is taking a conventional loan.

Get Your Credit Report

Once you’ve decided what loan is most suitable for you, it’s time to get a credit report from the three relevant credit bureaus. Start early. Typically, you’ll be ordering your national credit files to confirm whether there are any inaccuracies or information that is out of date. Once you discover any errors, move swiftly to rectify them so you don’t face delays when you finally apply for financing.

Gather All Essential Documents

Besides your credit report, lenders will ask to see documents detailing your income, IRS filings for the last two years, bank accounts and other assets. Be sure to compile them before even looking for a house. Determine an estimate of your monthly expenditure too as it will play a role in how much loan you qualify for.

Besides financing your new home using your personal savings, there are other options that can help out significantly. Rather sell your current home to buy the new one, it’s a wise idea to explore those other financing options.