Ways to Make a Profit Off of Land

You can make money by investing in property. However, what most people don’t know is that buying land is also a great way of investing. At Manor Lakes, a reputable land development in More »

Could You Include an Office Desk From Your Tax Deductions?

Companies should know that they can deduct their office furniture to their tax returns, but there are certain rules for doing this. If you plan to add an industrial office desk you More »

EECA Offers Funding Grant for Home Insulation Among Low-Income Kiwis

Low-income households in New Zealand that need home insulation services should consider applying for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) funding grant for homes that are built before 2000. EECA plans More »

How to Avoid Stress During House Construction

So, you’re currently in the process of building your new home. You’ve worked out the floor plan, agreed on an interior design and the landscaping, and found a plumber, electrician and an air More »

Multifamily Sales in Salt Lake City Amounted to More Than 1$B in 2017

The Salt Lake Board of Realtors reported that sales of multifamily units in 2017 amounted to more than $1 billion, due to an increase in median sales prices. Despite the increase, there More »

 
Glasses of beer

Homebrew Competitions: Consider These 5 Things Before Joining

Glasses of beerHomebrewing has become a popular hobby over the past years. Garages are being turned into mini breweries and new flavors of beer are starting to emerge.

Hop Havoc, a trusted supplier of Galaxy hops, notes that independent beer brewers have multiplied in America alone. There are many competitions happening all over the country that it won’t be difficult to join one. But before you take your chances on your first competition, here are a few tips to help you prepare:

1. Know the Process of the Competition

Most competitions have the same process, which starts with an online registration. Then you’ll need to submit your entries and send or drop them off at the designated drop-off point. The entries are judged, and the results are sent out. This follows a certain timeline, so make sure you’re also familiar with that.

2. Plan Carefully

It’s better to brew early than to brew too close to the submission date. So, make sure you know all the deadlines and all the other timelines of the competition. You should also know the rules for dropping off or sending out entries. Sometimes, entries can get held because the contest rules weren’t followed.

3. Know and Follow the Guidelines

Each competition has its own rules and guidelines, some of which are more complicated than others. Be sure to know what you can and can’t do. This will help you avoid any disappointment from being disqualified just because you missed one simple rule.

4. Start Small

Since it’s your first time to join a competition, it’s best that you start with those that have less than 150 entries. This will help you get used to the practice of competing. In addition, being in small competitions will give your more chances of winning and you need that confidence boost as a newbie.

5. Do Your Research

As with every other endeavor, research is always important. This means knowing what recipes have won before and what styles best fit the competition.

Joining a homebrew competition is one way to test your skills and see if you are as good as you think you are. It’s also a good opportunity to learn new techniques and meet new people who share the same hobby as you. So, get your game on, follow these tips, perfect your brews, and go have fun at your first competition.

Choose a Funeral Plan — Here Are Your Options

Last will and testament, under pen and a pair of glassesIf you are thinking of buying a plan to cover the cost of your funeral, there are several things you should know before making a choice to purchase.

The cost of funerals has increased dramatically in recent years. The average cost of a funeral is now £4,078. Depending on where you live, the bill could exceed £5,000. In 2004, the cost was only around £1,500 — a rise of 80% to current times. One in 10 Brits cannot afford a funeral.

That’s why more people are thinking ahead and purchasing a funeral plan in which the payment is either in a lump sum or by instalments every month.

Funerals plans don’t cover everything so make sure to read the policy and terms and conditions. Prepaid funeral packages from providers such as Golden Leaves Funeral Plans could include:

Basic Plan

Basic plans include a simple cardboard coffin, transportation to the crematorium or cemetery and direct cremation or burial. The service is not normally part of a basic plan.
This is the least expensive type of plan. Relatives will not be able to attend a wake or say their goodbyes, but they have the option of having their own memorial service at home.

Standard Plan

Standard plans include funeral director fees, chapel of rest viewing, a wood-effect coffin, transportation in a hearse, burial and interment fees, as well as church service or secular service. Standard plans with a church service usually cost more than secular ones.

Medium Plans

Medium plans include all the services of a standard plan and some extras, such as a limo, flexible funeral procession, choice of funeral date and time, as well as floral tributes. Burial plot fees might not be included.

Premium Plans

Premium plans could include more than one limousine, solid wood coffin, pallbearers, thank-you cards, a counselling service for relatives and other extras.

You don’t have to leave your family in debt. Funeral directors can assist in choosing a policy and help with all the arrangements so that you have peace of mind they won’t be left in debt after your death.

Modern interior of a living room

One for All: Achieving Harmony and Unity in Your Home’s Design

Modern interior of a living roomHave you ever walked into a room, a neat and clean room, yet feel that everything seems to be out of place and just too much to take in? That design most likely lacks harmony and unity.

It’s important to hit these two principles when decorating a space. Interior design experts in Utah apply these concepts to achieve impeccable visual appeal.

Each One Belongs to One

It sounds like unity and harmony are the same. Yes and no. Yes, they’re similar in a way that the goal of the two principles is to create one cohesive design. No, because there are a few distinctions for interior design experts.

Harmony refers to sameness, meaning the design elements belong together in the same category. So, for instance, your walls and furnishings have the same earth-toned colors. The important thing here is elements should have a similar visual style or mood.

Unity, on the other hand, describes the repetition of elements, like colors or shapes, again in the goal to create a sense of order in the space. Symmetry is one way to achieve this because there’s already a sense of repeated pattern there.

You could use curtains for this. Or, you can also have French doors; Salt Lake City’s modern homes have this design element that creates visual order in the space.

All Taken as One

Again, the goal of unity and harmony is a cohesive design. Cohesion simply means each element is linked to another in some way. So you ask, why does this even matter?

When the brain is trying to process information, it sees something as a whole. And for it to make sense of the whole, it looks for patterns and similarities so it can put them in a category, and send you the message of what it is you’re looking at.

When the brain is able to do that with ease, confusion is avoided. Thus, you’re able to appreciate the space and be at peace where you are.

In other words, when designing, you treat each one as a seamless part of the whole. When people look at your design, they see the whole as the brain picks up the details.

Harmony and unity are principles you cannot not apply in your design unless you want a confusing space. Use these concepts to make your home more aesthetically pleasing.

Ways to Make a Profit Off of Land

a land for sale signYou can make money by investing in property. However, what most people don’t know is that buying land is also a great way of investing.

At Manor Lakes, a reputable land development in Melbourne’s West, an investor can buy land for sale granting that property will sit on it in the future. After all, land can be used to develop endless things, such as retail spaces, multi-family homes, office spaces, and single-family homes. But you need to understand the processes involved before you buy it.

Here are different ways you can make a profit out of this investment:

Buy and sell

With this approach, the investor is fundamentally flipping the land. The land buyer believes that they bought the land at a lower price than the current market price, so they hope that they can find a buyer who will pay the price higher than the market price. Also, the investor hopes for a quick sale that will generate profit with no extra work on the land.

Buy and hold

Besides the buy and sell approach, the buy and hold strategy entails buying land and holding onto it for some time. The investor, in this case, believes that the value of the land for sale will appreciate. However, the investor should know that they are required to pay for taxes or other extra costs necessary for maintaining the land.

Buy, develop and rent

Investors can buy any land for sale and develop it, then rent it out to tenants. For instance, you can buy land, build a parking lot, then rent it to tenants. After all, you can get a tenant who owns a huge business and is looking for an additional parking lot for their clients.

Now that you are aware of land buying strategies, you can choose the most suitable approach depending on your goals. It’s advisable to take your time to search for the best land for sale deals. Make sure you study the market and other opportunities and challenges in that area.

Chatbot and marketing concept

How Real Estate Companies are Using Chatbots to Their Advantage

Chatbot and marketing conceptOne interesting aspect of digital marketing that’s piqued the interest of many entrepreneurs today is the technology called chatbots. Imagine landing the perfect retail property in Vancouver using a messaging interface on your mobile phone or laptop.

Sounds crazy? Well, that’s what chatbots can do. A chatbot can interact with a customer and gain conversion using a chat interface. It can be programmed to respond to specific questions or it can be as advanced as artificial intelligence that can understand a language and become smarter as you continue to interact with it.

That said, here’s how the real estate industry is taking advantage of this technology:

Building Trust with Their Prospects

By making their information available in a chatbot conversation, real estate companies can gain the trust of their prospects. They can even program their chatbot to send out daily helpful tips that are customised to what the prospect is looking for.

Spending Time with the Right People

Chatbots can filter out people who are actually looking to buy out of the sea of people who are just enquiring. They do this by having the prospect go through a series of qualifying questions, giving them only the information that meets their requirements. Once they pass the qualifications, the agents can step in and have a face-to-face encounter with an actual buyer.

Qualifying Potential Agents for Your Team

Not only do chatbots qualify leads, they can also qualify those applying to be real estate agents. Interviews can be handled through the chatbot and it will send a message to the HR team to call those who pass the qualifications.

Give Prospects Exactly What They Want

Since chatbots can be programmed to ask the right questions, they can provide the exact information to their prospects based on how they answered the questions. When people get what they want, there’s a bigger chance of turning them into actual customers.

It is not going to be long before more advanced technologies emerge and make buying or selling real estate easier. Anyone can use a chatbot to their advantage. Real estate chatbots are definitely starting to make history in their industry today.

How to Increase Your Water Heater Efficiency

Repairman Inspecting Water HeaterWhen it comes to water heaters, efficiency can be the difference between a regular bill and huge heating costs. An inefficient water heater will drain your cash and impact the environment negatively. The good news is that you can boost the efficiency of your commercial or domestic water heater.

According to the figures released by the Australian Department of Energy, water heating accounts for about 25% of a household energy use. There are only two ways to reduce water heating costs: to heat less water or boost the efficiency of water heating systems. Whether you are using an electrical or gas central heating system, these tips will help boost efficiency.

Remove sediments

Clean your water heater to remove sediments and impurities that may be affecting the boiling process. To remove residue, turn off the cold water valve, place a bucket beneath, and turn on the hot water valve. Wait for the tank to lose pressure before removing sediment. This process can be complicated and is, therefore, best done by a professional.

Install efficient faucets and showers

Showers and leaking faucets account for a huge percentage of water loss in homes. Install a low flow showerhead to reduce water output in the shower. You should also conduct regular checks on faucets to ensure that they are in a good working condition. You should also fix or replace any leaking pipes and faucets.

Insulate water pipes

Pipes have a responsibility to transport water from the tank to the shower and faucets. If they aren’t appropriately insulated, showers can lead to loss of heat. Make sure to insulate pipes and water heater tanks to keep water warm, resulting in more heated showers and low bills.

Heating expenses make up a large part of your expenditures on utilities. However, these large heating bills may be as a result of an inefficient water heater. Taking that extra step to make your water heater more efficiency could leave you with more money after paying your bills.

Kitchen Design: Small Improvements That Make a Big Difference

a kitchenKitchens are more than a place for preparing food—it’s where most family conversations happen, and bonds with friends strengthened. So, it’s understandable that most homeowners splurge on their kitchen renovations to improve the look and function of the space. If you have the budget, well and good. But if you don’t, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to stay with an ugly kitchen.

There are many small kitchen improvements that can make a big difference to the entire space. Here are some of them:

Organize Better

People don’t notice this, but sometimes, it’s just the clutter that makes the space unsightly. If you have too many items in your kitchen, throw out the unnecessary and keep in cabinets what’s needed. Consider visiting an RTA kitchen cabinet store like Knotty Alder Cabinets to know your storage options.

Paint the Walls

Have you been looking at the same gray walls for decades? That’s probably the reason your space looks drab. Remember, colors affect the mood in the kitchen. Change the walls up a bit. Apply fresh paint.

Blue is a good choice, as it creates a crisp, clean look. You might just want to consider layering different shades of this color, so the kitchen look isn’t monotonous.

Fix Your Lighting

Lighting dramatically affects the look of your kitchen interiors and the way people feel about the space. Overly bright kitchens make people restless and offer no visual variety. Lights that are too dim make kitchen design not visible; plus, they can make people sluggish, which is a no-no for a space like the kitchen.

So, invest in good lighting. It’s best to have recessed, pendant, and under-cabinet strip lighting. These will effectively give accent to kitchen design and create the right kind of mood for people spending their time in your kitchen.

You don’t have to make big changes just to make your kitchen look better. Sometimes, a fresh, new paint, functional cabinets, and good lighting are enough to make a difference.

Waste Management Services

Strategies to Starting a Green Workplace Initiative

Waste Management ServicesIt is never too late to join the ecological bandwagon towards responsible business practices that conserve energy and cut costs in the long run. Not only that you help the environment but also your company’s bottom line when you institute a Green Workplace Initiative.

Here are a few practical steps to getting started bringing sustainable practices in your workplace.

Engage Employees in Working Towards Sustainable Business Values

  • Involve the employees in the effort to commit to an environmentally conscious workplace.
  • Select a committee of individuals from across different departments passionate about conscious living and environmental issues.
  • Work with the committee to develop programs and training materials for existing employees and new hires alike.
  • Consider allocating a small training budget to cascade the plans designed by the committee to help employees understand the new guidelines and motives behind them.

This will help the rest of the employees align their personal values with the business goals of a Green Workplace critical to the efficacy of the whole effort.

Start with the Basics

Fortunately getting started with a Green Workplace initiative does not require too much technical know-how in the beginning. Just start with the basics of translating conscious living values and practices into the workplace setting.

  • Promote the prudent use of office supplies and resources and replace single-use pantry supplies like paper plates and cutleries to reusable versions.
  • Manage waste paper efficiently and effectively for recycling. Cascade easy-to-follow instructions on settings for optimising energy used by individual workstations.
  • Replace CFL light bulbs to recyclable and energy efficient LED and OLED light bulbs to cut on energy consumption.

Encourage Employees to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

  • Encourage employees to be mindful of their carbon footprint by promoting carpooling, biking and telecommuting.
  • Provide bike racks and locks at the office lot to encourage bikers to ride to work.
  • If budget allows, provide a salary loan program to enable non-bikers to purchase a bike immediately.
  • Organise carpool routes based on employee home addresses and if possible, consider vans for hire as employee shuttle services with predetermined pick-up points and paths.

With these simple strategies to launch a Green Workplace Initiative, you can lead your business and employees towards sustainable values and practices that not only help the environment but can also cut costs in the long-term.

Could You Include an Office Desk From Your Tax Deductions?

Brown Office FurnitureCompanies should know that they can deduct their office furniture to their tax returns, but there are certain rules for doing this. If you plan to add an industrial office desk you bought from vendors such as Urban95 to your deductible, you should only declare the amount you spent on the item.

Startup firms are also restricted from deducting more than $5,000, or else it would be tagged as a capitalization cost.

Proper Deductions

One of the most common mistakes for tax deductions on office furniture includes an improper identification of items. The risk of an audit from the Internal Revenue Service awaits you if any type of furniture is redundant for your business, or seem to have a vague purpose, yet you still added it to our deductible.

You would need to pay a penalty and cover the underpayment of taxes since the IRS won’t acknowledge personal office furniture as a deductible expense. Some companies may include the design of their office, as long as it helps with their workflow.

Commercial Designs

Non-traditional office designs have emerged due to a need for trendier workplaces, especially among millennial workers who represent a huge part of the working class. Most companies are responding to this common design trend by adopting open-floor layouts and collaborative office spaces.

Certain designs include a large industrial office desk in a common area, where workers can brainstorm ideas and hold meetings like those in the creative industry particularly like dynamic offices within the last three years. This type of design is “marked by usually continuous and productive activity or change.”

Sustainable offices are unsurprisingly a trend as well since the property industry has become more aware of their environmental footprint.

Conclusion

By knowing the right way to declare your office furniture as a deductible, you avoid the risks and maximize its benefits. You can likely stretch your chances of a higher deduction if your office design supports business operations.

Lawn Mower on Grass

Seasons of the Lawn: Why Year-Round Lawn Maintenance Matters

Lawn Mower on GrassLawn care is one of the most important house maintenance services — Utah homeowners know this. But, the lawn care routine you have for the summer may not be the best idea when winter comes along.

Keep in mind that lawn weed control in your Utah home varies depending on what the season is. Here are the things that you have to focus on during specific months of the year:

Summer

The dry heat of summer days may disrupt the moisture levels that keep your backyard grass, plants, and trees green and healthy. So, during summer, remember to fertilize, watch for weeds, and water regularly. Don’t deprive your lawn of the moisture it needs.

Fall

The end of summer doesn’t mean your lawn care routine should end. In fact, you have to be more attentive than ever to make sure the lawn remains healthy until spring comes along. During this season, remember to mow the lawn and aerate the soil. Get rid of fallen leaves that tend to suffocate grass and breed fungal diseases. Also, fill in any bare spots of lawn that may have dried out in the previous season.

Winter

You don’t really need much lawn care during winter. All the work — aeration, fertilization, and mowing — occur during the fall, before everything freezes over.

Spring

If you – or your lawn care provider –  are meticulous with maintenance late in the fall, then you won’t have much to worry about during spring. But, of course, you still need to watch for weeds, check the moisture levels, and keep the soil fertilized.

A beautiful lawn is the result of a comprehensive lawn maintenance routine. And, a comprehensive lawn maintenance routine is the result of sufficient knowledge on what the plants, shrubs, and trees in your backyard need throughout the year.

Get in touch with your local lawn care provider to educate you on this and to help you come up with an effective plan to keep your lawn healthy and boost your curb appeal.