How to Budget For Your New Timber Frame Home

One of the first things people think about before building a new timber frame home is “how much can I afford?” Many things affect the budget including site work, the design of your new home, the wood species you choose for the timber frame, choice of windows, and what materials you choose to finish your house.

There are a few big budget items that people do not typically think about when planning for their new timber frame home. One of the biggest factors people do not think about is their site. It can be very costly to prepare the site for your new home, however, it all depends on the complexity of the site. Does your property have a lot of boulders and trees to be removed? Or is your site already cleared?

The design of your new home can also impact your budget. The more complex the timber frame structure is, the more expensive it will be. For example, a Hammer Beam Truss timber frame system frame is more expensive principal purlin frame.

Also the more windows, gables, dormers and corners in your new homes design will have an impact on the overall cost. For example, a colonial style home with no dormers will cost less than a custom two story home with multiple dormers and extensions. Another thing to consider when budgeting for your new home is deciding on whether or not you want a finished basement. Using the finished basement as living space can lower your cost per square foot.

A typical timber frame package includes the exterior shell of the home (timber frame, Structural Insulated Panels, windows, doors, siding, roofing, and trim), and is only one part of the house, the exterior shell. The following are some other factors you will have to consider:

• What kind of heating system do I want?

• What kind of siding will we have?

• Will there be a fireplace?

• What kind of flooring will be used and where?

• What type of kitchen cabinets and appliances do I want?

• Am I going to build a garage right away?

How do you go about establishing costs that fit into your budget? First, interview local custom builders. Begin by consulting acquaintances who have built custom homes or check with your local chapter of the National Home Builders Association. Your builder will help you establish costs for all areas of the house.

Next, prioritize the rooms according to your main focus. For instance, most timber frame homes highlight the Great Room. And, if you’re an aspiring Chef or plan to do a lot of entertaining, the kitchen will also be a big focus. Look at those areas first and choose a timber frame system that enhances those areas but stays within your allowance for those rooms. Next work with your builder to establish a budget to work within. Then you can determine how the rest of the house can be finished to stay within your budget.

If your budget is tight, consider a hybrid system, combining timber framing with conventional stick frame construction for other areas of the house. Your builder can also recommend appliances, flooring, and finish materials to help you stay within budget.

Source by Molly Gagnon

Pick 4 Strategy Exposes State Lotteries' Greatest Fear

State Lotteries across the country protect their Pick 4 lottery systems by writing rules and regulations that prevent the Pick 4 lotto results from bankrupting their systems. They shut out Pick 4 lotto players who want to win the Pick 4 by cutting off a popular number.

Sometimes players go to their local retailer to play a Quad type Pick 4 number such as "7777" only to be told that this Pick 4 lotto number is not available. The players are using their favorite Pick 4 Strategy that leads them to choose this number. Or, players play it based on a particular date.

In the Illinois Pick 4 many players around November 11, 2009, started playing "1111" and continued playing this same number hoping the Pick 4 lotto results when drawn would bring them a cash windfall. For months of being shut out when attempting to play, "1111" exposed the State's Pick 4 Strategy. The interest in this particular number gained renewed life based on the date January 11, 2010, with 1.11.10. Pick 4 lottery systems based on dates continued to prevent players who wanted to win the Pick 4 to be shut out for another six weeks or more in Illinois from playing "1111".

With the payout of five thousand dollars ($ 5,000) for every one dollar ($ 1) Straight Ticket, the State Lottery coffers would have to payout $ 1 Million for every two hundred ($ 200) dollars worth of winning tickets sold. The Pick 4 lottery systems that advocate "date play" that form Quads bring fear to the heart and soul of every State Lottery Office in the country. The winning Pick 4 lotto results, in this case, means the State Lottery could incur a major financial loss.

The only way the State Lotteries could prevent themselves from going "bankrupt" is by writing rules and regulations that would limit the number of tickets that can be sold on a particular Pick 4 number. Their Pick 4 Strategy is particularly focused on the Pick 4 lottery results of a "quad" being drawn. The sale of 500 winning tickets at the basic level of one dollar would result in a Pick 4 lotto payout of $ 2.5 Million Dollars in most States.

Every time a Quad Number is overplayed, because of popularity, the State's Pick 4 Lottery System has to expose their Pick 4 Strategy by simply cutting off that particular number from being played.

On March 31, 2010, in the Pennsylvania Big 4, 7-7-7-7 was drawn in the evening draw. The PA Lottery had $ 7.77 Millions in payouts to over 3,100 players who invested wisely in this Big 4 winning number. The PA Lottery had to pay out more than $ 7.2 million dollars than it took in for that drawing. The Big 4 payout was a staggering 1,573 percent of sales according to the lottery spokesperson. Luckily for the PA Big 4 Lottery, quads which are very popular with pick 4 lotto players, are rarely drawn.

The last Quad to be drawn in the PA Big 4 was 2-2-2-2 on September 8, 2008, with a payout of $ 3.09 Million to 1,236 Pick 4 lottery players.

The Pick 4 Strategy to play Quads by so many Pick 4 lotto players exposes the strategy most State Lotteries use to counter pick 4 lotto results that could bankrupt them …. this is their greatest fear.

As a Pick 4 lottery player, when was the last time you were shut out with your favorite Pick 4 Quad?

Source by Robert Walsh

Apartments in Houston Where You Can Rent With a Broken Lease, Bad Credit And-Or a Criminal Record

Many apartments in Houston conduct criminal background checks and credit checks before approving prospective tenants. In the past, this practice was rare and even unheard of but this has changed due to first and foremost, security concerns. While in the past tenants could be easily approved after providing proof of income, today most apartments in Houston insist on credit checks and criminal background checks. This means that proof of income alone may not be able to secure one a decent place to rent in and within the Houston area. Is there a way to be approved for an apartments in Houston even with bad credit or a criminal record?

Renting in Sugarland, Missouri City, Clear Lake, Katy with bad credit or a felony

Many apartments in Houston will require a rental history check, background check and even a credit check. But there are apartments in some areas that will be willing to overlook these issues. One can find these apartments in:

  • Sugarland
  • Alief
  • Mission Bend
  • Clear Lake
  • Katy
  • Downtown Houston
  • The Heights
  • Texas City
  • Stafford
  • Pasadena
  • Greenspoint
  • Westchase

Before applying for an apartment in Houston, it is important to know why they conduct credit checks and / or criminal background checks on applicants. The first reason is so as to be fair to their prospective tenants and avoid being deemed discriminatory. Another reason is off course safety. Apartment complexes in Houston want to minimize crime and police activity within their grounds as much as possible because this causes existing tenants to decline to renew their leases.

Ways of being approved if you have a broken lease or bad credit in Houston

There are many people who are looking to rent apartments in Houston. But renting with bad credit or a criminal record can be a bittersweet experience. There are a few ways you can undertake in order to be approve in Houston. One of them is knowing your credit score.

Know where to rent

Knowing your credit score before the apartment does is wise. This is because in Houston if you have a tarnished credit rating, you may be denied an apartment. Knowing your score therefore becomes one of the most important initial steps to take in order to be approved. Knowing what is contained in your credit allows you to fix whatever issues that need to be fixed in order to raise your score.

know the locations

There are some apartments in Houston which will still approve despite of bad credit and / or a felony. One of the challanges is actually finding where these apartments are located. Since they rarely advertise, the applicant is left groping in the dark as to which approve and which ones do not. One place to search is badcreditapartments.net. Another can be Craigslist.

Are you looking for ways to be approved for an apartment in Houston with bad credit and / or a criminal record (felony or misdemeanor)?

Source by Jimmy Jamm

The Benefits And Disadvantages of Saving Money

It may come as a surprise, but saving money does have it disadvantages in some situations. In this article you will get to know the benefits of saving money but also the disadvantages.

The benefits of Saving Money

If you aren’t as fortunate that you have so much cash that you can do what you want, saving is a really good option. That way, you can afford something (like a new phone) after a few months. Saving for the future is the way to go if you want to do something nice in the future. When buying new stuff or traveling, you are offered to get something now and pay later. Don’t accept any of these offers ever. These offers are evil. It is basically debt, but when you lose your job or your financial situation changes you might not be able to pay for it later on.

When is it better to not save money?

If you have debt (a mortgage or a credit card) it is better to pay of this debt as soon as possible. It doesn’t make any sense to get 4% interest, when debt will cost you 6% (for example). You should pay off this debt, because it saves you a lot of money in the long run. Consider as much overpayments on your mortgage as possible, as soon as possible. It will help you to save hundreds of dollars on the short run. You will save even more on the long run.

The basic saving rule says that you will need 50% of your income. You can spend a maximum of 30% on the things you want in life. The other 20% you can use to save or to pay off any existing debt.

Source by Celly Kayser

The ABCs of Tax Lien Investing

Are you interested in yields of 6 percent to 50 percent on your money, secured by a property tax lien against real estate?

Author Joel S. Moskowitz explains how investors can buy little known tax lien certificates that pay high yields in his book, "The 16 Percent Solution"

As a bonus, although the author warns it rarely happens, the investor might get kicky and foreclose on the property. However, he cautions that property owners usually redeem, so investors must be content with just high yields.

What is a tax lien certificate?

When a real estate owner does not pay their property taxes, 27 states and 1,152 cities and counties sell tax lien certificates to investors. The government gets its property tax money immediately. The investor buys a tax lien, which is then secured by the real estate.

Tax lien certificate yields vary according to state law. Arizona's top rate is 16 percent, Florida pays as much as 18 percent, but in Michigan, the rate goes up to 50 percent in the second year. If the property owner does not redeem the property from the investor by paying the back taxes plus the high interest rate, the investor gets the title and possession of the property.

Investors are can start New small, investing Perhaps a few hundred or a few thousand dollars, and then buy more property tax lien certificates later. Although not all states are smart enough to offer tax certificates to speed up tax collections, after reading this book, they'll learn why they should.

At the time of writing, States currently offering tax certificates include Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New york, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The book's outstanding appendix lists the interest rates and state-by-state procedures. For real estate investors who want to earn high yields without physically managing property, this new book shows how to do so. It also explains the few pitfalls to avoid and how to buy die best certificates with the highest profit opportunities.

On my scale of one to 10, this excellent book rates a solid 10.

Source by Mike Spencer

A Credit Card For People With Bad Credit – $ 10,000 Guaranteed Starting Credit Line

The recent financial crunch has caused many would be credit issuers to tighten up on approvals for those consumer applicants with less than perfect credit. Even new credit seekers who do not have poor FICO scores, but also have not had the opportunity to establish a good credit profile as of yet are being turned away and treated as high risk applicants.

The problem for people who fall into either of these categories is that they have a legitimate need to either establish or re-establish their good credit profile and raise their FICO score, however without easy access to credit card approvals their ability to accomplish this necessary task It is extremely difficult. Ironically, it's these same card issuers who would like their applicants to have established solid credit histories who will not approve them in the beginning to help them prove that they are worthy of a new card approval. This vicious credit circle affects over half of the households in American today.

A few companies have recently stepped in to fill the credit needs of this growing consumer segment and offer instant online approval credit cards for people with bad credit or no credit history at all. These credit providers will typically issue new credit cards without a credit check and regardless of the applicants past or present credit history. Some of these cards are issued as major brand logo credit cards, prepaid debit cards, secured credit cards and online catalog shopping cards which allow the card holder to purchase household and gift items from the credit grantors web based store.

One such card offered with no credit check is a new Platinum Card that boasts a huge beginning limit of $ 10,000 for all of its approved applicants, even those with poor credit or no history at all. As long as the applicant is at least 18 years of age and has a valid US checking or savings account, the applicant will be approved. The Platinum Card also features 0% interest on any unpaid balance and there is no employment verification required for approval. The card does require a minimal initial membership fee, however once the new member is approved, the card issues each user a whopping $ 2,500 bonus to use towards unpaid balances in addition to the generous starting limit of $ 10,000.

For consumers who are having trouble getting approved for a traditional credit card with strict income and employment requirements, this particular card for people with bad credit may be a valuable option to acquire a high limit credit card with no credit checks or employment verification.

Source by Christian T. Rogers

Retail Malls and Shopping Centres – How to Make a Leasing Proposal Really Work

Retail investment property is special when it comes to leasing. There are special elements to handle in the marketing package if you are a real estate agent.

When leasing and managing a shopping centre, the creation of a marketing package for leasing is a frequent event. What we can do here is help you with that lease process and marketing document.

To start off we should say that the leasing of retail premises is not just about the rent and the area to be leased. A retail property is an investment to not just the landlord but also the tenant. The tenant runs a business and the retail property has to help them do that.

This is where the marketing package has to really handle the opportunity for the tenant. A well designed marketing package can also be reflected in the design of a brochure or flyer that is distributed to your target market of tenants.

Here is a checklist to help you design a great marketing package for the retail property vacancy.

  1. Area of the premises together with plans
  2. Details of the permitted fit out designs and qualities of finishes and materials to be used
  3. Rental asked and a breakdown of expenditure or outgoings that are in addition to the rental
  4. Details of the term of lease sought and any available options for the tenants
  5. Site plan including car park detail, access roads, and public transport drop off points.
  6. Demographics of the local shopper that visits the centre and the surrounding area
  7. Definition of trade area where 80% of your trade is sourced
  8. Tenant Mix across the property including plans of and to those locations
  9. Customer counts on different days of the week
  10. Trade patterns by retailer type over 12 months
  11. Trade patterns by days of the week
  12. Details of services and amenities available to the tenants and the customers
  13. Details of changes and improvements to the property that are known or expected
  14. Details of the common area and usage patterns.
  15. Details of property promotion and marketing for the tenants
  16. Details of signage and tenancy design as it applies to the subject tenancy
  17. Details of the anchor tenant and their lease permanence.

Expect the potential tenant in a retail property to visit your property before they make a decision to lease. Any retailer knows that trade varies on different days of the week and they will want to check that themselves and with other tenants.

Given that tenants in a retail property always talk to each other, the high value of good tenant relations with the landlord and property manager cannot be understated. Unhappy tenants in a property can detract or derail your endeavours to lease any vacancy.

This marketing package for a retail lease vacancy is comprehensive and will answer many of the tenant’s questions before they raise them. It also shows you to be the professional retail leasing expert.

Source by John Highman

Starting a Taxi Business in Uganda? There Is More Than Meets the Eye

A typical investor in the taxi business in Uganda is going to encounter two key issues even before they start making their first shilling. I explain these issues below.

When I first bought a used taxi from my grandparents, I took it for repair to a mechanic in the Wandegeya suburb. He "over hauled" it and told me it was in perfect condition. One week later, the differential had developed a few problems. Next the crank shaft had a few issues. I eventually over came these issues but then came the witchcraft story.

A typical Ugandan reader is probably surprised that I have not raised the issue of business and witchcraft before. It seems many Ugandans firmly believe that going to the witch doctor and giving your last white goat (and with no spot of black) is going to turn your business into an overnight success even if you can not differentiate (no pun intended) between cash as profit (which you can use as dividends) and cash from sales (which you should not use until all expenses are settled).

So the witchcraft story is this; I hired my cousin John [not real name for obvious reasons] to work as the taxi's first conductor. He according to the family rumour mill "bewitched" the taxi because:

* Day 1. The suspension broke.

* Day 3: The crank shaft developed further problems.

* Day 5. The differential was shaking again.

* Day 7: The taxi knocked someone crossing the road at Ndeeba.

In the 1 month that the taxi was in business, I made only Shs 7,000! Oh, I used that to bail out the driver at the police station. I am not one to consider the validity of the witchcraft story but that brings me to the taxi business and factors to consider if you are to invest in it.

First the CONS (of course)

1. Mechanics without ethics

There is a possibility that when I took the taxi for refurbishment, the mechanic to whom I entrusted the repair provided me with a pro-forma invoice for parts he did not install, obtained them second hand or third hand or even that he didn ' t carry out all the necessary repairs. How could I verify that with no knowledge of the intricacies of a car, let alone a second hand taxi from Bungokho?

You can of course get round this issue by instead taking your Toyota Hiace (the predominant model used for taxi business in Uganda) to Toyota Uganda's repair workshop. Do not expect of course to pay Shs. 7,000 for repair. They use computerised diagnostics and their mechanics use a logging system to bill you by the hour. Oh and of course they use new and genuine parts so forget that used crank shaft your mechanic Kakooza will find you from Kisekka market. As per the Toyota Uganda website, you can expect to start paying for servicing for a Toyota Hiace Model from Shs. 183.900.

2. Difficulty of revenue verification

Unless you are driving the taxi yourself or install cameras just like the London Buses or National Express buses in the UK, it is virtually impossible to ascertain passenger numbers on any given route at any given time. I know many a business owner will circumvent the issue by not paying the driver / conductor wages an instead demanding a fixed daily / weekly sum say 6 days a week with Sunday being the "driver's day". The driver's day being the day he does not pay you as all revenue will go to wards earning their keep. This may work to an extent until the driver / conductor tells you:

"Mukama wange, Walk to work etuletedde bizibu" [My Lord, we were unable to make sufficient money today owing to the "Walk to work" demonstrations].

He then proceeds to hand you half the agreed fee. How do you verify that driver's story?

Oh there will be numerous of those stories. Next time it will be that Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) is fleecing them and they have fought back, then another day; Traffic Police "search and stop" operations have resulted in massive delays followed the next day by a strike by drivers. Of course you as their "Lord" can not be inhumane and continue to demand the fixed sum can you?

Like I have hinted, if you are seriously considering investing in this sector, perhaps you can find a supplier for on board cameras. However for simplicity and line with the norm in Uganda, I will therefore propose that the potential investor stick to the common practice of agreeing with the driver a fixed "contractor" rate for a given route. I would however recommend that this rate be verified through corroborating with different drivers of the route the taxi will ply.

3. Starting capital and cost of financing

Owing to a vehicle being considered to be a key asset in Uganda, it is pretty common for this investment to be financed by a commercial bank loan or lease financing from companies such as DFCU Leasing Limited. In addition many car dealers are happy to provide loan financing. You can get a decent used taxi (complete with stripes and fixed seats) for about Shs 17m going by my research information from autotrader.ug.

Now the key issue in respect of cost of financing. Following the recent increase (November 2011) by Bank of Uganda of the Bank Rate to 29%, I can expect that the commercial banks will increase their lending rates to an average of 31%. The Bank rate is the rate at which commercial banks can borrow from the Central Bank as a lender of last resort. The significant cost of financing will as we shall see later on will have a significant impact on expected return on capital.

4. Long period over which to realise profitability and to recover your investment

I now set out my analysis of the estimated profitability for this business.

I have estimated that the investor is purchasing a taxi to ply any one of Kampala and its suburb routes. I am using the most common model which is the "contractor model". The model being that the driver provides the investor with a fixed agreed daily sum for 5- 6 days a week with the 7th day for the driver / conductor to earn their keep.

In this model, the driver / conductor therefore incur all day to day expenses that is; fuel, daily and monthly UTODA fees, loading fees, KCC fees, stage fees et al. The owner will however incur costs of repairs and maintenance as well as insurance costs.

Summary of profit position:

Revenue per month: Shs 750,000 (estimated at Shs 30,000 per day for 25 days)

Repairs and maintenance per month: 183, 900 (estimated from Toyota Uganda workshop information)

Financing costs: 439,167. (Estimated on interest rate of 31% on a 17m car. The rate is estimated on Nov 2011 Bank of Uganda Bank rate plus a 2% margin)

Insurance (3rd party): 4,167

Monthly net profit: 122,767

Annual profit (A): 1,473,200

Capital cost (1994 Toyota Hiace, used) (B): 17,000,000

Return on capital (B / A): 11.54 years!

As can be seen from the above analysis, forget your money in this sector. You can of course now at this stage if you like go visit the witch doctor who will perhaps use his spells so that customers prefer your taxi to all others and he will also magically my analysis above to give a return in perhaps 1 month. [Please note that the last statement is made in jest and I would not expect a serious investor to consider witchcraft for business success].

5. Saturation of the market and related moves.

There are too many taxis in Kampala or almost anywhere else in Uganda. It seems every where you turn there is a taxi and so I do not even need to go into the details of this but it is certainly worth noting the trend for this sector. As there are too many taxis in Uganda, judging by several reports from UTODA, eventually the politics surrounding this industry will be played out and then the several government initiatives to try to de-congest the new and old taxi parks in down town Kampala; and instead move taxis to out of town satellite taxi parks like Ndeeba will become a reality. Alternatively we may finally see a move to commuter buses instead of taxis as promised by former Mayor Nasser "Seya" Sebagala.

And Now the PROS

1. Fair return on capital, assuming no financing.

The main advantage for this sector therefore is for the investor who is going to invest without incurring the cost of borrowing. I set out below the projected return on capital without the cost of financing:

Revenue per month: Shs 750,000 (estimated at Shs 30,000 per day for 25 days)

Monthly Repairs and maintenance: Shs 183, 900 (estimated from Toyota Uganda workshop information)

Insurance (3rd party): 4,167

Monthly net profit: 561,933

Annual profit: 6,743,200

Capital cost (1994 Toyota Hiace, used): 17,000,000

Return on capital: 2.52 years

As can be seen from above, the return on capital without cost of financing reduces to a 2.52 years from the onerous 11 years in the first analysis.

2. Security for further financing

Assuming you have not borrowed to purchase the taxi then a further advantage is that in Uganda, vehicles are preferred assets to use as collateral for borrowing owing to the fluidity of the used car market.

3. Alternative one off uses

The advantage of the taxi of course is that you can use it for one off uses like private charters or for example for private uses of advantage to the investor for example; taking the children to school, for funerals or; like me in Uganda who in 2005 mustered the courage to take the taxi on a test drive in the night by going to visit that "Mzungu" girl I wanted to impress.

I think John's witchcraft was already at work because when I returned home from visiting the girl, I crashed into the neighbour's wall as I tried to reverse the taxi so as to make the tight turn into the home gate. I insist it was the witchcraft at work and of course not the fact that I had no experience whatsoever in driving a long vehicle!

SUMMARISING AND THE FINAL WORD

First the numbers.

On the basis of my analysis:

* Capital investment (A): Shs 17,000,000

* Revenue per year: 9,000,000

* Profit per year (revenue excluding all expenses and interest) (B) is Shs 1,473,200

* Return on capital (years to get capital back) (A / B) is 11.54 years.

* If you however do not incur the cost of financing then this return period is estimated at 2.54 years.

Now the basics you must get right before investing:

* Research on a fair contractor rate. As the preferred model in Uganda is to hire out your taxi to the driver / conductor, it is worth spending time speaking to various drivers and perhaps even UTODA to establish a fair price for your route and ensuring you get the agreed rate without any "mukama wange "stories.

* Consider cheaper financing options. Too often we ignore the advantage of pooling funds say from family members and friends. This can provide equity financing (interest free credit) rather than the crippling commercial bank loans.

* A decent and trustworthy mechanic is a must. Best of luck!

FINAL WORD

By principle I am wary of business models where you are unable to understand or verify the intricacies of the revenue recognition and can hardly verify the costs to establish efficiencies and so on that basis, for me this would be a "no-no" sector.

It however has the key advantage of simplicity of revenue stream and perhaps that is why this has resulted in the over investment in this sector including by [financially] illiterate people.

If you are therefore drawn to the simplicity of this type of investment plus the advantage that the vehicle is security for further borrowing then by all means invest in it and then all you have to ensure is that you do not hear tales from Kakooza of the " differential is shaking. "

Source by DE Wasake

HCFP Mortgage Loans Program Information

Not everyone has heard about the Housing and Community Facilities Programs (HCFP) because they provide funding for many types of loans other than the conventional home loan in the city or suburb of a city. The loans they provide begin with loans for rural individuals for housing. They also provide funding for rural community facilities, apartments for low-income persons and the elderly. They provide funding for so many different types of loans including housing for farm laborers, childcare centers, nursing homes, and schools. Also, included are fire and police stations, hospitals and libraries. The HCFP is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The HCFP has a Loan Guarantee Program that is similar to FHA or VA loans where they are not actually doing the funding of the money. With this type of program a borrower may borrow as much as 100 percent of the appraised value of the home they want to purchase. Borrowers that qualify for this type of loan may have 115 percent of the median income for the area they live in.

The Housing and Community Facilities Programs for Individuals is for the following:

1) single family rural housing;

2) renovations and repair of a home;

3) programs that supply assistance for the disabled, low-income rural residents of multi-family housing, and the elderly.

Then there is the HCFP Direct Loan Program which makes it possible for individuals or families to qualify for a home loan at a reasonable interest rate. There are limits for the loans made under this program and they are different depending on which area you live in. Also, the borrowers using this program must be in the low income range which falls below eighty percent of the median income for their community.

There are many programs that fall under HCFP and another one is the HCFP Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. This program is to help certain people construct their own homes. These borrowers must be in the very low-income range of approximately fifty percent of the median of the area they live in. The borrowers actually perform at least sixth-five percent of the construction on not only their home but on the homes of other borrowers in the same category. Of course, there are professional builders that supervise this construction.

There are also HCFP loan for refurbishment of very low-income borrowers. These grants or loans can be repaid in a period up to two years and the interest rate is only one percent. Also, there is a program for Rural Development Real Estate for Sale which includes real estate owned by the government and fall under the category of possible foreclosures.

The HCFP and the USDA makes it possible for those people in this nation that live in the rural areas of this country to be able to provide housing for their families. Most of the citizens living in the rural areas fall within the very low-income category and they are given the opportunity to help themselves by participating in building their own homes with the help of HCFP. The HCFP even helps the poor families that have to live in multi-family dwellings that are overcrowded and in areas where they actually have to live off the land and grow their own food, etc. If they were not assisted by the HCFP they would not even be able to do that.

Source by Addison Holmes

Advantages And Disadvantages of the Short-Term And Long-Term Lease

Understanding the short-term and long-term lease is beneficial when considering your next rental. There are pros and cons to both types of leases. Taking into account your needs and plans are important when considering which lease is best for you.

The first thing to consider is how long you intend to stay in your rental. If you are not planning on a long stay, a short lease agreement may be your best option. But the fact that your landlord can increase your rent more rapidly than a long-term contract or change other lease terms can make a shorter lease less desirable.

With a short-term lease, the tenant does not have to worry about being locked into a long contract. However, with a short-term lease the landlord can make changes to the lease at more frequent intervals including increased rental rates.

Theses lease gives both the tenant and landlord flexibilities. The tenant has the ability to move whenever they want or need. Conversely, the landlord has the flexibility to change the leasing terms more often.

Long-term leases are good for a more stable landlord-tenant relationship. Though the agreement is not as flexible as the short-term agreement, there are many advantages to this type of lease agreement.

In most cases, the rent for a long-term agreement is lower than the rent of a short-term agreement, which can be a big advantage to the tenant. In addition, landlords rarely raise the rent until a current lease agreement has expired.

This more stable lease agreement allows the tenant to better budget for their rent which is an advantage to the tenant. An advantage to the landlord is that a long-term lease generally provides for a lower turnover rate resulting in shorter vacancy periods and less advertising expenses.

Short-term and long-term leases both have advantages and disadvantages to all involved. Considering your needs as the tenant or landlord is important when deciding which lease option is best for you. No matter which you choose, always ensure an agreement is done in writing.

Source by Zach Marsh