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8 Mistakes with Choosing Apartments and How to Avoid Them




Did you know that around 13 percent of Americans move every year? If you’re part of that demographic, you might already be looking at some new apartments to choose from. As exciting as it is to scout for a new home, it can also be overwhelming.

To alleviate any stress, you should know the common mistakes with choosing apartments. This will ensure that you skip any headaches and can focus on finding the right place. 

Ready to learn more? Let’s get started. 

1. Having an Unrealistic Budget

One of the first things you should have in mind before starting your search is what your budget is. Generally, you don’t want your rent cost to be more than one-third of your monthly income. If you exceed this limit, it can be a costly mistake. 

The more you pay in rent, the less you have to cover the rest of your necessities. 

As you look at different apartments, it can be tempting to raise your budget, especially if there’s a place that seems ideal. You need to consider all of the expenses in your life so you don’t end up making a mistake that will cost you.

After all, you also have to pay utilities, food, transportation as well as a variety of other bills. Track your total income and make a realistic budget then stick to it.

2. Falling in Love Too Quickly

As you look at different apartments, you’re sure to be disappointed by a handful of them. On the other hand, you might finally find a good option and get too excited. You want to avoid falling in love too quickly and missing out on potentially better options.

Apartment hunting usually begins online and it’s easy to browse through the photos before even viewing these places. Don’t let the photos sell you, landlords do their best to make sure their rental units look attractive.

There might be an apartment that seems nice in photos and is a lot more worn down in person. That’s why it’s important to look at the apartments in person and find the top options before deciding on the right one.

3. Overlooking Damages

If you look at most rental agreements, they include a damage deposit. This is money that the landlord holds to pay for any damages that the tenant may cause during the lease.

If you’ve found an apartment that you love, be sure to document any damages that were already there. That way, if you decide to move out, you won’t be charged for them when the lease is up.

4. Not Reading the Rental Agreement

Speaking of the rental agreement, you always want to read any documents that your landlord gives you. The lease / rental agreement is very important and could contain information that is useful to know. 

While many landlords use a generic lease template, some have custom clauses that affect your use of the apartment. If you decide to just skim the lease, you might miss out on details that affect you during the duration of the lease.

Take your time and don’t be afraid to ask the property manager to explain any legal terms that you don’t understand. 

5. Choosing the Wrong Roommates

If you’re not living on your own or with a partner, it’s safe to assume you’ll have roommates. More likely than not, this potential roommate will be looking for apartments with you. Having roommates is a great idea because you can save money on rent and have a person to spend some time with if you’re feeling lonely. 

However, you’ll want to sit down with your roommate and talk about expectations for when you live together. Everything from cleanliness to noise levels to guests. This will help you avoid any future conflicts down the line.

6. Not Considering Your Commute 

Before you look for your new apartment, consider the big picture. It’s easy to get wooed by impressive amenities but if it’s an inconvenient location, it might not be worth it. Think about how long the commute to work will be or if it’s close to your favorite park or public transportation.

Seeing the big picture and understanding what is important to be close to will help save you a lot of stress after moving in. After all, what good is a nice apartment if you’re far from everything in your life?

7. Forgetting to Analyze Details

In addition to checking for damages, it’s a mistake to overlook the details of your potential new apartment. Take your time to think about how it will feel to live there.

If you love natural daylight and it’s important for your mood, are there enough windows? If you’re a big fan of cooking and entertaining, is there enough kitchen space? Do you have a pet that needs extra space? 

An apartment could seem perfect but it’s easy to get clouded by elements that won’t matter in the day-to-day. That’s why sitting down before looking at different options and deciding everything that matters to you is key. 

The perfect apartments may not exist but this penthouse collection comes close, view here for more information. 

8. Not Vetting Your Landlord

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes you can make when searching for apartments online or in person is not talking to landlords. Additionally, you should be vetting them.

Some landlords care about their properties and tenants, they’ll answer your calls quickly and fix any issues that come up. Others treat their properties like cash machines and if you have any issues, too bad.

That’s why you’ll want to run a check on your landlord before signing anything. Do a quick Google search, talk to previous tenants or check with the Better Business Bureau. If any serious problems come up, you’ll be better off finding a new place.

Common Mistakes with Choosing Apartments

Around 37 percent of renters live in apartments so there have been plenty of people who have gone through the process of searching for a new home. Many of those people have made mistakes along the way and were kind enough to share them with others. 

Instead of following in their footsteps, learn the common mistakes with choosing apartments so that you don’t hinder your process in finding the home of your dreams. 

Looking for more articles like this? Be sure to check out the lifestyle section of our blog!

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Debt Consolidation: A Smart Move To Manage Your Finances



Debt Consolidation

In this fast-moving world, managing your finances can be tricky. It might be tough to keep track of payments and balances on existing bills when you have credit cards, school loans and vehicle loans. To be on top of this issue and find a way to achieve your financial goals, all you need to have is a solid debt consolidation strategy. Consolidating these loans into a single loan may help you to simplify your budget.

This article covers the topic of Debt Consolidation in a nutshell.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is a rational financial approach that combines various bills into a single debt that can be paid off each month through a debt management plan.

By following the debt consolidation strategy, you can reduce the interest rate and lower monthly payments on the debt, thus making your debt more affordable and easier to manage.

Types of Debt Consolidation

It is important to have choices when it comes to Debt consolidation, as the right option can improve your financial situation significantly. Debt consolidation is the process of repaying various debts with a new Personal Loan or Balance Transfer Credit Card, which usually has a reduced interest rate. Let us look at the two options in more detail.

        I.            Personal Loan

A Personal Loan is a type of consolidation strategy with the source being from either the bank, a credit union or from a friend or family member. You can use this plan to clear credit card debt or any other type of debt that may have a higher interest rate. The advantage of a Personal Loan is that even though this type of loan comes with higher interest rates when compared to that of a Car loan or Home Loan, there is no need to show any collateral.

Furthermore, approval of a Personal Loan will depend on your credit score. Once approved, you will receive a lump sum of money fortnightly, which you will be agreeing to pay a certain amount of money back for a specified period with an agreed interest rate, thus making it an Installment loan. Plus, interest rates may be reduced depending on your credit score.

By making payments for the personal loan each month, you can have your monthly budget planned accordingly and at the end of the loan term you will have fully paid off your consolidated debt.

It is advised to consider not just the interest rates but also the total cost of the loan in the long run. This will give you an idea of whether opting for a Personal Loan is the best way to go.

   II.            Credit Card Balance Transfer

Some companies like Coles or Virgin Money, offer a balance transfer onto your credit card, but the stipulation in this case is that you have a good credit score. You can use this to apply for a new credit card and then channel the loan debt to the card. The advantage is that there will likely be a promotional 0% interest rate for a certain period (generally 12-18 months). After this period is completed normal interest (generally above 20% p.a.) will be applied.

The cons that come with credit card balance transfer are –

·         Credit score might take a serious blow

·         You may not save money after the balance transfer fee is added

·         There is a risk of ending up with more debt

·         After the promotion period concludes you could end up with a higher interest rate.

From the above two options, you can easily understand why there is a need to have a debt consolidation plan in place. In the next section, we highlight the importance of debt consolidation.  

Significance of Debt Consolidation

1.  Pay off your debt faster

What’s more stress-free than clearing off debt quicker than you initially thought? With debt consolidation this can be achieved. If your Debt Consolidation Loan has a lower interest than individual debts, try to make extra payments with the money that’s saved each month. With a long run of interest, you can save money as well as consolidate your debt.

2.  Can lower your interest rates

If you combine loans like credit cards and Personal Loans, which have high-interest rates, in the long run you pay lower interest rates, especially if your debt consolidation loan is at low interest.

3.  Improve credit score

Payment history is the deciding factor that can boost your overall credit score if you make on-time payments on the loan.

4.  Life, stress-free

Fewer debts, less stress. It is wise to have a single debt that has the advantages of easy managing, easy repayment, and more importantly, can consolidate all the loans into a single, consistent payment.

Act now. Do your own research. Live a debt-free life.

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6 Ways On How It Boosts Sales And Business Growth



Business Growth

The retail industry is ever-growing and ever-changing. To remain in the game, one must constantly assess their strengths, weaknesses, ups and downs, consumer behaviour, etc.

Some of you might be aware of what mystery shopping is all about. But for those who don’t know about this term, you’ll find this article very helpful. Before you get into the details of this topic, you should know that more customers do not affect business growth. It is more challenging to retain your current customer and not allow them to get diverted to a cheaper competitor. Now scroll down to learn how you can retain them.

Businesses appoint agencies that offer mystery shopping services. It is amongst the most cost-effective solutions to find out about customer experiences. The agency you appoint will appoint mysterious shoppers. The agency then asks the mystery shopper to visit different stores and locations and gather the information that the client needs. All the collected data reaches the agency, where it is analysed and provided to the client to understand customer loyalty, progress, customer satisfaction, and much more.

How does a mystery shopper help in growing your business?

As you appoint an agency to give you an insight through their mystery services, you can attain many benefits from the outputs it generates. Below is a list of benefits you can attain with mystery shopper service.

  • You get honest feedback from your customers.

The most valuable information is the customer review to boost sales for a company. Unless you know where your product or service lacks to satisfy the customer, you won’t have any scope for improvement. Knowing what the customer thinks about you is essential, and through mystery shopper ideas, you can get real answers from your current customers.

  • You can direct and manage your sales team.

Knowing what your customer thinks about you makes it much easier to direct your sales and marketing team to plan a strategy that’ll work best to please the customers. You can review your techniques and give feedback to your staff on what works and does not work for your business.

  • Spreads awareness and motivates employees to perform better

If the feedback from mystery shoppers is positive, it will encourage the staff to perform better and maintain the company’s graph. But if the response is negative, it will make the staff aware of their flaws so they can plan on improving them and move forward.

  • It gives you a reality check about your competitor.

In a fluctuating market environment, it is always better that you constantly know what your competitors are doing. A mystery shopper can visit your competitor’s store and get you information about how they are placing and marketing their products. Or how the customer is responding to their campaigns and more. Keeping an eye on the competition and levelling up your game should be your priority.

  • Helps in customer retention

Retaining customers is the biggest challenge, and you can overcome it with mystery shopper service. Once you know what your customers think about you, you can start working on aspects that require improvement. You can plan a marketing strategy that gives additional benefits to unique customers to keep them happy.

Look for a mystery shopping agency that has an edge in the market. Ensure you thoroughly research the agency and read reviews to learn more about their service quality. Discuss what type of information you expect to get from them. Also, you can seek a free trial before you sign a contract with the agency.

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Launching A Business? Here’s What You Need To Know About Different Insurance Plans



Launching A Business

Insurance is a way of securing your aspiring business against any form of risk that can occur, but most individuals get confused when it comes to choosing the right type of business insurance. If you are one of such people, don’t worry, as we will share with you information regarding different types of insurance plans so it can become easier for you to pick a suitable one. 

Understanding the Types

Insurance companies usually provide their services in the form of different coverage categories which can be availed individually or collectively. Examples include commercial property insurance, general liability insurance, and professional liability insurance to name a few. Most companies and businesses make a business owner’s policy that allows business owners to add different insurance coverages to get the best outcomes. Most common insurance policies include general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, business income insurance, and professional liability insurance which are mostly availed as a collective by an aspiring business. Without further ado, here are some types of insurance for businesses.

Business Income Insurance

If your business experiences a decrease in revenue due to unexpected property or equipment damage, business income insurance can provide you with sufficient capital so you can keep running your day-to-day expenses like utility bills, payroll, or the rent of the commercial property.

Commercial Property Insurance

This insurance helps in keeping your owned or rented property protected against damage. However, you would need to get additional coverage and take certain measures if you want protection against unexpected natural disasters like a flood or an earthquake. However, don’t forget to compare the coverage of the available insurance services in order to make the right choice.

Industry-Specific Insurance

 Let’s say you live in Canada, for instance, then you need to look into the country’s and the industry’s laws and regulations in terms of the insurance. Canada is a country with flexible laws for businesses and has policies that allow smooth business operations. Still, businesses must have insurance policies in place to protect their interests. When it comes to business insurance in Canada the regulations should be looked into in detail. Professionals in the field suggest looking for industry-specific insurance as it will be able to provide you full coverage. For example, if you have a business providing services, industry-specific insurance for your business will include professional liability protection so you can be prepared when facing lawsuits filed against your services. Nowadays, it is easier than ever to sign up for an insurance plan. You can even find insurance providers offering their services online also you can pick the right insurance policy with ease.

Data Breach Insurance

Big data, automation, and AI are revolutionizing the way we conduct business. User data, their activities, and behavior are all pieces of information used by companies to target specific marketing campaigns. It’s the responsibility of the business owner to secure information and take adequate security measures. However, if there is a cyber-attack resulting in a data breach, this form of insurance will assist you in contacting the affected individuals, managing public relations, and providing you with the right tools that keep valuable data protected in the first place.

Getting the right type of insurance is crucial for your business, especially for those who have just started their journey. Therefore, dedicate some time to research different insurance services, read about the offered coverage, and then make the decision that will guarantee the best business outcomes.

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