Whether you’re becoming a landlord for the first time or just looking to maximise the income from properties you already own, precautions can be taken that ensure your investment is safeguarded. There is a lot to consider when you own property and a lot more to consider if you have a database of tenants to deal with if you have more than one property. To help you out we’ve got a few tips to ensure your investment remains profitable.

Increase the energy efficiency
Maximising your property investment isn’t just about renting it out to tenants it’s also about knowing when the right time is to sell and making sure you get the best possible price. Upgrading aspects of the property are things you can do that make the property look more appealing to potential buyers, ensuring the property is as energy efficient as possible will be a big plus for a potential buyer. One of the very least things you should ensure is that insulation is installed, but really have a think about added extras which could increase the value of property, like heat pumps and solar panels.

Make sure you’re covered
Insurance for landlords covers everything from valuables to the bricks and mortar that hold the house together. You will also be protecting yourself from any seasonal occurrences that could damage the property – burst pipes or an attack of mould. Notices may have to be produced and served on bad tenants or you could lose your tenants through property damage caused by fire or an accident that results in structural damage. Protecting yourself from these potential accidents will ensure you are protecting yourself from a loss on your property investment. If your property houses tenants then insurance for landlords is the first thing to tick off.

Keep it fresh
If you’re looking to cash in on your investment by selling or keep the money coming in with new tenants it’s always advisable to keep the property clean, bright and lively in look and feel. If you keeping the property to house new tenants don’t go too overboard on fixtures and fittings, but do try to improve the look of the property with basic accessories and necessities. A professional carpet cleaning service or a quick run around the garden with a mower will create a good impression of the house. Selling the property may require a bigger investment from you, so look at what can be done in areas such as the bathrooms and kitchen.

Choose tenants wisely
When looking to maximise your income on your property investment it’s not just about getting people in who can pay the rent, you have to ensure they are going to be good tenants. Ask for references from employers, ask for a guarantor if these are not credible and run credit checks with official credit companies. Any estate agent would perform these checks so don’t think you are asking for too much, it may take a little longer to get the tenants, but this shouldn’t stop you from doing all you can to ensure your tenants can and do pay the rent on time.

We do hope you find the above helpful, for further related housing information you can read more at www.webuyanyhouse.co.uk Allan Freeman is the Comms manager who put this piece together.

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Money Bank Account

Good morning Dinks.  Do you remember not so long ago when I was super excited because my boyfriend finally agreed to open a joint account…finally after all these years together.  Well I’m sad to say that after three months our account is still empty.  I never would have given this a second thought except the subject of our joint account recently came up in a conversation and my boyfriends reaction actually hurt my feelings.

Join expenses need a joint account, right?

I am not one of those girlfriends who always wonders if my boyfriend loves me and reads too much into everything he says or does, after 15 years I would expect a little more from myself.  However I’m only human and as much as I would love to live in a world without emotions (because they complicate things), sometimes my feeling do get hurt.

You may remember that we are moving next month and our next four paychecks are unneeded because the rent in our current apartment is already paid in full.  Since my boyfriend is in charge of paying our rent I suggested that he put all our extra money in the joint account over the next few weeks, because we have yet to use it.

Should every couple have a joint bank account?

I thought it was a good idea to use our joint account because as of October 1st we will have a lot of joint expenses such as the firsts month’s rent in our new apartment, the cost of furniture to fill our new apartment as well as moving costs.  So it only makes sense that we store all the money for our new expenses in our not-so-new joint account.  However my boyfriend disagrees.

What does it say about our relationship if my boyfriend doesn’t want to keep any money in our joint account?  I know, I know I’m being one of those needy girlfriends who I hate, but I really don’t know what it means.

The first question I had was why would my boyfriend agree to open a joint bank account if he didn’t want to use it?  We only opened a joint bank account because I felt that a couple in their 30s who have been together for almost 15 years should have a joint bank account.  I should have known this was a mistake because in 2007 this is the exact reason why we bought our car and that was my biggest financial mistake to date.

What does this REALLY mean?

After many days of analyzing the situation internally – because I don’t want to let my boyfriend in on my inner narcoses – I decided that my boyfriend is just not used to managing our joint account.  We have been managing our money separately for a long time and it may just take some getting used to for him to welcome this new account into his monthly money routine with open arms.

What do you think?  Could that be the reason or is it just the easiest explanation to make myself feel better?  Nick and I have always been open with our money but we have always managed it separately.  Is this new account putting commitment pressure on Nick that he is just not ready for or is it a sign that my boyfriend doesn’t want to move forward in our relationship?

Photo from Flickr

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You’ve got a few hundred pounds to start trading in forex, but this isn’t enough – or so you’ve been told. You keep hearing about people trading with £10,000 or more. How do they do it? Answer: leverage. Leverage is very common in forex and, while it doesn’t sound like a good idea, it’s one of the best ways to build up a bankroll. Here’s what you need to know about this amazing financial strategy.

What Is Leverage?

Think of leverage as a loan. You’re borrowing money from a broker in order to trade in a financial market. In forex, you’re borrowing money to trade in the currency market. This money is not yours, and normally you would pay interest on borrowed funds, but you don’t in the forex market unless your position does not close out before the delivery date. If this happens, your loan will be rolled over and you may be charged interest depending on your position.

In the U.S., Americans are limited to a 50:1 leverage. This means for every $1 they invest, they can only trade with up to $50. In the UK, of course, the limitations aren’t as bad, so you may find yourself trading £100 to £400 for every £1 invested.

So, let’s say you’re trading on something like the Metatrader platform and you want to do high margin trading. You would set up your account, and deposit your funds. Of course, you would already have filled out an application for the account and taken care of the small details. When you deposit money into your account, you would be ready to trade at multiples of your own investment. You would never be required to trade with all of your capital, but you will need to obey the margin rules of the broker.

What Are Margin Calls?

A trader’s worst nightmare is a margin call. This is when your loan comes due, and sometimes it happens at inopportune times. The broker wants his money back and he wants it immediately. Your positions can be force-liquidated, and you could be pushed out of the marketplace.

If this happens, you may end up owing the broker money – especially if you’ve gone into the red. Some trading strategies require you to wait things out, so this can be especially stressful, since you may be about to make a profit in your trade when the margin is called due.

However, it’s rare for a broker to arbitrarily call your loan due. Usually, this only happens when your drawdown is significant and the broker is concerned that you won’t be able to repay the debt.

Brokers set a minimum maintenance margin, and if your account falls below this amount, your broker will automatically call the loan. You may be given the opportunity to add more funds, but many brokers simply flatten your account to minimise your (and their) losses.

Use Of Leverage

Traditionally, the use of leverage was antithetical to sound principles of money management. It’s one of the riskiest positions you can take. But, many traders compensate for this by using a combination of stops and a large bankroll.

Usually, leverage is kept low for new traders, and you should never risk more than 1 to 2 percent of your total savings on any one trade.

This helps you control losses, which is at least as important as seeing gain. Many traders use automated trading schemes to take emotion out of the trading equation too, though this does not necessarily guarantee success.

Tips For Using Leverage

If you’re going to use leverage, cap your losses. If you want to profit big, you first have to understand how to minimise losses. Start with something like a 5 pip stop. This means when the market moves against you 5 pips, you’re going to exit your position. It’s a weak loss, but it will get you some practice and it will also teach you just how quickly the market can move sometimes.

Many traders use 20 pips as a general starting point.

Use strategic losses – this is another way to cap losses. Sometimes you want to not just stop your account from going red, but from losing profits you’ve made. Many times, you’ll enter a trade at night, go to bed, and wake up in the morning to find the market has moved significantly. Strategic stops can protect profits you’ve earned early on in the trade, and prevent you from having to start all over the next day.

Don’t get emotional about your trades. This is a common mistake made by new traders. Revenge on the market never works. Likewise, don’t stick to losing trades when there’s no rational reason to. When the trend is clearly gone, it’s time to pack it up. When the range is clearly not working for you, then you need to pull out of your position.

Finally, don’t get crazy with leverage. Even if you’re allowed 100:1, you don’t have to use it. Start with 25:1 or even 10:1 to get the hang of it. If you lose, you won’t lose a lot.

Logan Francis is a self-confessed Forex fanatic who is constantly learning as much as he can about it. When he finds out something new and helpful, he likes to share it with other readers on the web.

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Buying Auto Insurance for Teens

August 18, 2014

Parents with teenage children have a lot of expenses and may find it hard to balance the household budget. Along with food, clothing and school-related bills, there are also expenses that go with having a teen driver in the family. When it comes to teenage drivers, one of the main expenses is auto insurance. Consider […]

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Why I don’t tell people I’m a financial planner

August 18, 2014

Good morning Dinks.  As you may remember I am a financial planner.  When I first received my designation I was so proud of my accomplishment.  I would tell anyone and everyone who would listen, I wanted to shout it from the roof tops.  But that was in 2007, now seven years later I keep my […]

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Save with Online Discounts and Coupons – A Guide

August 15, 2014

We are living at a time when prices of consumer goods and services are ever rising. As a result everyone is looking for a way to save money when shopping for different items. One of the best ways of spending less on items is finding coupons. Whether you are buying products from online stores or […]

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Weekly roundup: TMNT, Goals and Faith

August 15, 2014

Happy Friday Dinks.  As you read this I am at work counting down the hours until I can leave at noon.  My office has this perk during the summer months called Happy Fridays that allows us to leave every second Friday at 12 pm.  So as of noon today I am only working half a […]

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Do your co-workers like you? 

August 14, 2014

Good morning Dinks.  Yesterday I witnessed a heated argument between two co-workers in my office.  As I sat at my desk (a cubical with high walls) I could hear these two women having a disagreement about how to pitch a presentation they are supposed to work on together and have ready for our team meeting […]

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Tips for Expats Moving Money Abroad

August 13, 2014

If you’re thinking about moving abroad you may already be in that stage where you are beginning to cost everything up. You’d be forgiven for finding it a rather more expensive proposition than you were originally expecting, especially if you are working across two different currencies. There are often large sums of money involved in […]

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