Budget-Friendly Staycation Ideas For The Family

Staying home does not mean that you can’t have an exciting experience…

So, how can you market a staycation to your smaller children when Disneyland is one of the many, more appealing holiday destinations?  And without breaking the bank? Easy, by creating fun, memorable experiences for your family.

Below are eight budget-friendly suggestions that will make your holiday staycation equally as memorable as any other excursion.

Set Up Camp In Your Backyard

In your own backyard, pitch the tent, roll out those sleeping bags, and light the fire. Creating your own unique camping experience right at home.

Let’s Get Cooking

Play a game of “Top Chef” and put your munchkins abilities to the test.  Incorporate a mystery food or grab a partner and see what your family can do.

Not competitive? Take a trip to the market, see what new and exciting foods you and your family can incorporate into your supper.

Or take it a step farther and throw a bake off for something on the sweeter side.

Family Circus 

Create your own diverse experience.  By dressing up with your little ones, incorporating fair foods like funnel cake or hotdogs, and even setting up games like ring toss. 

Don’t stop there.  By inviting your friends and family you can make it even more memorable. 

Finish the night off with an outdoor movie simply by stringing a sheet up and using a projector.  Your family will have a fair like experience like no, other.

Try Something New

Take the family along to learn a new skill.  Using a class, book, or internet course you and your family can have hands on learning experience that is both fun and practical, such as learning a sport or new language. 

Construct A Fort

Gather up all boxes, blankets, chairs and cushions and start to construct a creative playhouse for your family.

Using tunnels, creating separate rooms, and building a moat out of pillows,

you can construct the best playhouse your family could want.

If you would rather have a quieter night.  Snuggle up inside for a relaxing movie night or bring in a couple books.  Don’t forget the popcorn!

Want to be the ultimate parent! Grab some flashlights or twinkling lights and turn the night into a sleepover in your own living room.

Cool Down With The Garden Hose

Hot summer day? Cool down by creating in your own backyard, a miniature water park.

Break out the sprinkler and fill up the kiddie pool.  Take the plunge with your little ones.  Not exciting enough? Grab water balloons and the squirt-guns and wage a war on your kids.

Take things away from home by visiting your public splash park or pool.

Craft Time

Find your inner artist and bring out your more creative side, creating little treasures you’ll remember for many years to come.

Perhaps tie-dye some plain T-shirts, produce your own modelling clay utilizing salt and flour, make beaded necklaces, or try out your knitting skills.  

If looking to keep things more simple use some sidewalk chalk, create a birdhouse from Popsicle sticks, or just get messy with some finger paint.

Scavenger Hunt

Make up a series of hints for your children to follow, guiding them all over the home and backyard. Incorporate rhymes to make it even more enticing.

End the search with a grand prize.  Baked sweets, a long desired toy, or even a chest of chocolate coins would be memorable to any child.  To go the extra mile, grab some costumes and show your kids your best Hook impressions.

These eight staycation ideas are perfect for any family.  Whether you’ve got a great deal of spare time or just a few hours, cash to spend or a restricted budget, these ideas are loads of fun and are easy ways to create a quality experience for your family.

Best Way To Get Started In Real Estate Investing

The moment you’re just getting started with a new business venture, especially those that revolve around professional investments such as real estate, you tend to make a lot of errors.

Most individuals who develop an interest in real estate investment end up looping from one mistake to another for years, even after devouring lots of ebooks, videos, and training courses on the subject.

What is the missing link preventing most aspiring real estate investors from achieving financial freedom with real estate investments? Why do some people attain huge success whereas some others see not even an iota of success?

Reasons Why Ebooks And Courses Simply Serve To Confuse You

Some weariless investors have been able to get started on their own and make lots of money, but they are the exception. When you find yourself failing continuously, what you need is a real estate coach.

E-books and courses drag you in different paths, but a real estate mentor sets you on the right course to success. You gain substantial knowledge from their experience, and through their coaching, you are able to focus on a single goal at a time, which is paramount to success.

They can also notice errors you’ve neglected and guide you on what to do as an alternative. It’s like they’re an instructor, gripping your hand and telling you exactly what to do. With that kind of support, your possibilities of success rise significantly.

The Only Real Estate Mentoring Program I Recommend

You’ll discover numerous real estate coaching programs online, all with identical assertions of helping you become a six-figure real estate professional in as little time as feasible.

All of these programs are clearly costly, so choosing the best one is of crucial importance. Choose the bad one and you’ll probably end up regretting losing time and money you simply cannot ever get back.

I’m a successful realtor, and I obtained my education from my mentor, Phil Pustejovsky. Phil Pustejovsky owns the Freedom Mentor coaching program – a program that explains to you the ropes on how to achieve financial freedom in real estate. Here are some Freedom Mentor reviews to help you guage the effectiveness of the program.

The Freedom Mentor coaching program is not really a program you can just buy whenever you want. You need to put in an application first, and you’ll only be accepted to the program if your request is accepted.

The actual fact that Phil Pustejovsky screens applicants goes to show how much he wishes you to be successful. He’ll only take coachable, action-oriented, and positive thinking applicants.

Phil was once an apprentice as well. He started from rock bottom and only began to attain success right after he met his mentor, Tom.

Ever since, he has been able to finalize tens of millions of dollars worth of deals while netting millions of dollars in proceeds throughout the process.

If you think Phil’s knowledge would have a positive effect on your real estate venture, then you need to give undivided attention to the next paragraphs as I talk about his Freedom Mentor program in even more detail.

Why Freedom Mentor?

Through subscribing to the Freedom Mentor coaching program, you’ll gain access to premium tools and resources to help you finalize your very first real estate deal.

These include access to a lender list, an instruction/lead-generating program to aid you get deals faster, and a customized investing plan.

That’s not all, though. You’ll also get 3 live mentoring calls every month with Freedom Mentor’s instructors, 2 conference calls weekly, and the ability to ask questions as well as instantly obtain responses from the coaches through an instant messaging platform.

There are two really good attributes of this coaching program which help it stand out from the competitors. The first feature is the array of experienced mentors and coaches it includes.

You won’t get access to just Phil Pustejovsky’s mentoring once you become a registered member. Freedom Mentor is made up of a team of mentors and coaches personally trained and mentored by Phil.

These are the coaches you’ll be receiving assistance from. You’ll get access to a consolidated pool of knowledge and experience from some of the best coaches in the industry.

The second feature that makes this program so impressively good at assisting aspiring realtors achieve success is its 50/50 split.

This basically means Phil shares all of his valuable real estate tricks with you, and you share 50% of the profits from your first few deals with him.

When you’ve finalized your first couple of deals, you may then proceed to become an independent real estate investor, equipped with all of the knowledge you’ve acquired from the mentorship program.

If you have a knack for teaching or coaching, you could even establish your very own mentoring program and teach your students the steps needed for success just like Phil does.

Some of Phil’s past students are currently running their own mentoring programs after becoming successful real estate investors.

Note: I know the program offering changes from time to time as they continue to refine it and improve it. However, this is current as of this writing.

Summary – Action Takers Wanted

The Freedom Mentor coaching program is tailored towards individuals who are 100% committed to becoming successful real estate investors. If you aren’t prepared to handle real estate investing just like a business, this specific program may not be for you.

The tools, resources, and mentoring offered in the program are more than enough to set you on the right path to financial freedom.

Since you’re sharing your first few profits with Phil, it’s in his best interest to make you succeed, and you have as much determination to accomplish just that. It’s a mutually advantageous arrangement, therefore you practically can’t fail if you put in the effort and time to help make this work.

Overall, the Freedom Mentor program is the most effective way to get started in real estate investing. You’re receiving all the support you need from a professional in the field. There’s truly nothing else you need to have to help make your real estate dreams come true.

Choosing The Right Investment Property

Choosing The Right Investment Property

Investing in real estate can be highly successful, or it can be a complete failure. You may believe location, location, location is the number one rule, but the reality is that knowing who you are dealing with is even more important. The sad truth is that you will find that there are some very unscrupulous people who deal in real estate. For instance, those people who tell you that you can be a millionaire on late night television should always be avoided.

You should never invest in real estate before having a few affairs in order. To get started, you will firstly need to have investment capital. Also, make sure that you get to know the real estate market and learn about the neighborhoods you are interested in.

On a personal level, you need to learn to manage and negotiate and you need to have people skills. You also need to be able to do repairs, or have a team of people to do this for you. Last but not least, make sure you hire a property inspector. In most cases, if you invest in property, you will become a landlord. Hence, you will need to learn how to find good tenants and how to be a landlord too. To make it in real estate investing, you need money to spend so you an make more. You will be unlikely to succeed if you don’t have any money of your own. Now that the practicalities are behind you, you can start looking into locations. There is all sorts to find out online, through local libraries and on town board meetings. You must learn about what the location is like and how it is likely to develop.

You can also decide to look into a real estate investment trust (REIT). Through a REIT, you can get started in investing with less capital behind you, although your returns will be smaller too. REITs are popular because you are essentially investing in real estate corporations. Hence, you could invest in anything from an apartment block to a retail park. You can find the value of a REIT on the stock exchange and NASDAQ. Basically, when you invest in a REIT, you are working with a type of mutual fund that looks solely at real estate. Before investing in a REIT, there are a few things to learn about. The economic conditions of the key holdings is one. Find out how the REIT has performed in the past. Also look into their future plans. Looking into the REIT’s manager and what their experience is. A final thing to look into is the state of the current real estate market and how this will affect the performance of the REIT.

Key Specifics When Thinking Of Selling a House

Step-By-Step Quick Suggestions When Looking At Selling a Property

Lots of individuals have been investing in the real estate market so if you’re likely to sell your property, you should do it now. The only dilemma here is that selling a house is extremely challenging. You might have seen some articles stating that selling a house is quite easy or there are adverts that may claim that they could help sell your house in just a few weeks. It’ll be quite easy to sell a house if you going to bring the value down, but this will not be a good suggestion. In the real estate market, the supply completely outstrips the demand, but there are methods on the best way to make your house more appealing. We’ll provide some suggestions to help you with this concern.

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Think About the Curb Appeal of the house

First impression lasts so your home should give a good impression to the buyers once they stop in front of the property. You could place yourself in the shoes of the buyer and determine if the curb appeal of your house is good enough to attract buyers. You should figure out if the house can offer a good impression to possible buyers or it needs maintenance.

The prospective buyer will see the exterior of the house firsthand and you have to keep in mind that they always pay attention on how the house looks outside. You need to get everything ready in the house and fix everything.

Make The Correct Upgrades

You will need to make the necessary improvements inside and outside the house to attract the customers. They always want a house that is already complete and they will not need to make any repairs.

If you are the seller, you need to make certain that you’ll check everything that needs fixing and improvement. You must never over improve your house as there are some improvements that will not really make a big difference in the price of your house.

Improvements can improve the price of your property and its chances to be sold, but you can’t make enhancements that would not pay in the end. You need to do your research and only invest in things that could provide you the best return on investment.

Eliminate Clutter in Your home

Some of you might say that adding a bit more design to your house would make it more appealing, but the truth is that any personal items, collectibles and art works that you’ve got in your property will not help you sell your house.

The best thing that you could do is just get rid of all of them and just leave out the necessary furniture to make the rooms larger. The main goal here is to enable the buyers to picture themselves residing in the house.

Most buyers will start pointing at every part of your house while visualizing what they need to put there if they will buy your home so if there are unneeded and personal items in the space, it would be hard for them to visualize what they need.

Put a Competitive Price

If you plan to sell a home in [LOCATION], you should put a good value for the property. If you will only put a low price, it will be similar to leaving money on the table and if you put a high value, it’s going to be unappealing to the customers. If you’re referring to home buying, the customers will always search for houses which are similar to yours and compare the prices. If your property is too costly, the buyer will absolutely ignore your property and check others. These customers usually depend on home financing so they cannot actually afford houses that are quite expensive. You can sell the house very easily if you’ll set a low value, but you cannot get your investments back.

Looking For A Real Estate Agent

It’s impossible to sell a house without the help of a professional and it could be a bad idea to do this by yourself. You do not really have the knowledge and experience to deal with this so it won’t be a good idea to sell your house without considering a professional real estate agent. If you’ll try to do this on your own, there is a major chance that your house won’t be sold or you won’t obtain a good deal from it. You might get lucky to find a great deal for your house, but you must understand that selling a house is not about luck since huge money is at stake.

You must consider the help of an agent and allow them to do everything for you. Of course, you’ll need to pay them, but it’s much better than getting a bad deal.

Before you choose to sell your house, you have to have a look at all of these simple suggestions so you will not make a mistake. Selling a property is quite difficult so you should know everything and anything about the real estate market.

Buying a House Is The Biggest Investment You’ll Ever Make. Be Sure That You’re Factoring In All Of The Following Things Into Your Decision

Buying a house is a big decision. You must ask yourself a lot of questions. You might be planning to live in your first home for only a few years. If you buy a house in a terrible school district or a house on a very busy street, when you are ready to sell the house, most families with children will be out of your list of potential buyers. It might seem counterintuitive, but when buying a house you need to think about later on down the road when you sell it as well. See: 10 Financial Factors to Consider When Buying a Home.

Home-buying is an emotional process. Ideally, you should set aside all your emotions when evaluating a house. Practically, that is impossible. Instead, make a checklist of your must-haves, and any other “requirements,” that you seek in a home. If you fall in love with the house, but it has none of the amenities you want, it will at least make you pause and think. For further reading, What To Know Before Buying Your First Home.

Look at ALL the expenses when you are budgeting for the house: When budgeting for the house, you must add in utilities, cost of commuting and upgrades. Call the utility companies that service the house you are considering and ask for an estimate of what the cost will be. Utilities and commute factors are often overlooked, which is unfortunate, because little costs like these add up to a lot of money.

If your long term plan is to rent out the house when you move away; keep in mind, once you identify the neighborhood you like, ask for a copy of the HOA contract after going to an open house in the area. It may be that none of the houses in your area can be rented out. If you are buying a house that is part of an HOA, it is absolutely essential to read the HOA contract before you do anything else.

There are many different options based on profession (grants for teachers, farmers, etc.) as well as the area of the potential house (whether it’s in a rural area, high-poverty area, etc.) Research all the grants and funding options you are eligible for before you automatically decide you won’t qualify for anything.

A house is probably the largest purchase you will ever make in your life, so make sure you understand the terms of your contract. If you don’t understand any of the terms, ask your mortgage broker and your real estate agent. If they won’t explain the terms clearly to you, fire them; there are enough people who will be more than happy to help you and work for your business.

Also be sure to learn about the neighborhood demographics. If you are buying a house in a neighborhood full of renters, it only takes a few bad renters or bad landlords to drive the neighborhood down fast. If the neighborhood is full of single people, will you be happy there if you have very young kids?

Be sure to look past the “staging,” of the home. This can be hard to do. Don’t be fooled by the recently decorated home. Unless you are also purchasing everything in the house, it is going to look different when you move your things in. Unfortunately, the psychology does work; staged houses look far better than houses that are still being occupied. When you are considering a house, mentally try to remove the staging. Pay more attention to the layout of the house and the structure itself. Ugly wallpaper and paint can be easily fixed later.

Both Buyers and Sellers Should Have Their Guard Up When It Comes to Realtors. There’s a Reason They Get a Bad Rep

0409_real-estate-agent_390x220Why Buyers and Sellers Should be Wary of Realtors

One of the most crucial assets in any profession is honesty, and that goes for the real estate industry. Everything is on the internet these days, and there is an argument that realtors are becoming unnecessary as you can get most information online.

For example you can technically even get access the MLS online if you tried hard enough. The reason that people still hire agents has a lot to do with trust; trust that they know more than you, trust that they are on your side and want the best for you. Unfortunately, the real estate doesn’t have the best rep in that department. Not to mention the fact that it is not that difficult to become a real estate agent.

Real estate agents often misrepresent their experience and credentials on their websites and / or blogs. Some spend inordinate amounts of time posting online to obtain maximum search engine exposure. The bottom line is if your agent isn’t presenting a truthful picture of herself or himself online, what else is your agent likely to lie to you about? Here are misrepresentations to look for on a real estate agent’s website and/or blog.

  • If you can’t easily spot a reference to the number of years the agent has been licensed to sell real estate, it’s because the agent has little to no experience. The agent may toss other numbers at you such as how long they have lived in the state or the number of years the agent was employed somewhere else. But only one thing counts, and that’s solid real estate experience. Realtor Experience is important because it means an agent should be able to anticipate problems and prevent them from manifesting. It also means you’re relatively assured that over the years your agent has learned how to handle just about any type of potential difficulty without running elsewhere for advice.
  • Most agent websites feature that agent’s active listings. You should check for a link to “my listings,” to determine whether that agent even has any listings. Only a select few, such as exclusive buyer broker agents, refuse to take listings. Listings are the backbone of experienced real estate agents. If you can’t find a link, it’s because the agent has no listings.
  • Agents generally advertise their specialty, whether it’s a neighborhood, type of property or specific types of buyers they may represent. For example, an agent might claim to be a specialist at selling homes in a trendy neighborhood but haven’t to date. Or agents may try to market themselves as an exclusive home specialist by showcasing only high-end homes on their website, yet they have never sold a home in that price range. Still, other agents may advertise that they are FHA specialists but have yet to close an FHA transaction.

Can I Ask the Seller to Pay Closing Costs? What To Know And Expect At The Closing On Your (Soon-to-be) New House

How to Get the Seller to Pay Full Closing Costs

Try paying full asking price for the home. Remember, that sellers are not obligated to pay your closing costs. It’s a nice gesture on their part, and they only do so because it helps sell their house quickly. They don’t do it because they woke up in a good mood that day.If you want to make this happen, you must get on the sellers good side.

When writing your bid or offer for the house, talk to your agent about offering the full asking price. Sellers expect bidders to offer a lower price for properties. Thus, many sellers pad the asking price to give themselves a little wiggle room. So, if you were to offer the full asking price and request closing costs assistance, there’s a good chance the seller will jump at your offer and comply with your request.

If the seller has already purchased another house and needs to move quickly, negotiate closing cost assistance in your contract and agree to a quick closing. This method works well with motivated sellers who need to get out from under the mortgage loan quickly. Some may be willing to pay for closing costs even if that means taking a lower profit or even no profit from the sale. You’d be surprised, and its worth a shot.

On average, it takes 30 days to complete a mortgage loan. But if you’ve already secured your financing and you’re ready to move, you can close on a mortgage loan in as little as two weeks. Get pre-approved before agreeing to a quick closing, and have cash ready for the home inspection.

Home sellers aren’t looking to spend a lot of money updating their properties before selling. They prefer to save this cash and put the money toward their down payment on a new place. Therefore, you may be able to get a seller to pay your closing costs by accepting the house “as-is.” If you request excessive demands, you may miss the opportunity to receive assistance wtih closing costs.

In some cases, sellers cannot pay your closing costs. Between Realtor fees and using the proceeds from the sale toward a down payment on their new home, there’s often little left over. Try seeing what the seller to see what they can afford to offer, and see what you can afford. Communication is key, and it is possible that you will both be flexible and meet in the middle.

If you still cannot get the seller to pay your closing costs, ask your lender to include all or a portion of the closing costs in your loan. For example, if the seller can only pay a small percentage of your closing costs, your mortgage lender can roll some of the remaining fees into your mortgage. This will increase your monthly payment.

If the buyer still will not pay your closing costs, recognize that it doesn’t have to make or break the deal. After you have exhausted all resources to try, see if you can still afford the home, or see if you lender will give you a little more, so that you can afford the home.