Simple, Organizational Tips For Cleaning Your Home

Cleaning your home can occasionally seem like a full-time job. When you finally complete the last room, it seems like it’s time to begin again. If you want to end this stressful cycle, it is essential to have an organized strategy.

Begin with a system. The most efficient system seems to be one that breaks down all the cleaning tasks over a period of a week. With this system, you can appoint various jobs to different days and spend less time cleaning your house and more time unwinding in it.

To use this system, you have to break down your cleaning jobs into three classifications, light cleaning, everyday cleaning and deep cleaning.

Light cleaning jobs include dusting, Windexing the windows , sweeping, vacuuming and laundry. These jobs can be done just once each week and completed on various days of the week. Always arrange the dusting initially so that any dirt that is knocked to the floor will be swept up later.

Daily cleaning tasks are the tasks that have to be frequently done when you are cleaning your house. These tasks include cleaning up; doing the dishes and wiping down counters and other exceptionally made use of surface areas. By spending at least fifteen minutes daily tackling these tasks, you will certainly keep them from piling up.

Deep cleaning tasks such as cleaning the restroom, mopping and wiping down the walls and devices. Many people like to arrange these tasks for the weekend when they have more time to commit to cleaning. This is time well spent and can give you a clean house throughout the week.

After your system remains in place, utilize the list to appoint chores to all of the members of the family. If each person takes on simply one or two tasks then cleaning your whole home can take no time at all.

Experienced Realtors needed on both sides of a distressed property transaction

REO_Short_Sale

The article is a stab at “inexperienced” agents.

A complaint I often hear since the housing downturn is how difficult some REO brokers are to deal with. They are unresponsive, unhelpful, uncommunicative and difficult to transact business with.

I’ll be the first to agree that some REO agents do suck, but I’d like to shed some light on another serious problem in the “real estate owned” and distressed property world. If this issue were properly addressed, it would would dramatically cut down on the headaches and overall angst that go with brokering REOs, short sales, HUD and other distressed properties.

I am a Realtor in Anderson Indiana running into banks that are requesting the properties be listed on the so called “auction sites” that suck. Hubzu in my opinion is one of the sites. It gives the consumer the idea that they are an typical auction site. Normally the bank pay the listing agent a basic fee to list it in the MLS/BLC and do nothing more than put a sign in the yard.

Hubzu then charges the buyer a “technology fee” and sometimes the buyer is responsible to pay the buyers agent fee. The tech fee is paid to Hubzu for processing. Hopefully there are no problems during the transaction because the listing agent can do and knows nothing. They don’t even take listing picture. That is the responsibility of the preservation company.

I make sure to inform all my clients of the pitfalls in dealing with REO properties and especially the ones listed through the crappy auction sites. I just finished a purchase with Hubzu that took 60 days for a cash transaction that should have only taken 14 days. Buyer was ready to close but Hubzu took their sweet time.

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UPDATE: 11/24/2014

Since the original article was written I am glad that a rep. from Hubzu has contacted me for feedback. We have spoken many times and the result was a gift certificate for the buyer to help mend the relationship for the mishap during the transaction.

I am happy to hear that the company is taking the effort to improve the process for Realtors and Buyers.

Butterfly farm is a surprising job creator

One industry that’s adding jobs? Butterfly farming.

Yup, raising butterflies and selling them to zoos and museums, or to release at weddings and funerals, is a real business — with growing demand.Butterfly PicJane Breckinridge has been doing it for more than 20 years. Her team at Euchee Butterfly Farm in Oklahoma puts on exhibits, or “butterfly houses,” at places like the Minnesota State Fair. There, people can walk through large garden spaces to watch and even feed (with cotton swabs dipped in red Gatorade) thousands of butterflies.

“It’s an exploding industry and there are just not enough butterflies out there,” she said. Everywhere from big institutions like New York City’s Natural History Museum and the Bronx Zoo to elementary schools want to buy caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies.

The Euchee Butterfly Farm raises about 20,000 butterflies a year, but that’s still not enough to keep up with demand. So it imports another 20,000, mostly from Costa Rica, to make up the difference.

A single butterfly can cost anywhere from 75 cents to $7 on the wholesale market, depending on the time of year and species.

Breckinridge hopes to expand Euchee’s operations with help from a $500,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture, which aims to create jobs. The funds will be used to train Native American members of the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town to raise butterflies of their own to sell to the Euchee farm.

The money in butterfly farming certainly isn’t equivalent to a full time job at first. Tribe members can expect make between $400 and $500 a month from about March through October, Breckinridge said. She hopes to get 100 members of the tribe up and running within a year.

Any chance to earn some income will be welcome in the area, a county where unemployment is higher than the rest of the state, said Brian Wiles, a director at the USDA’s rural development office in Oklahoma.

For now, the Euchee farm will handle operations on the sales end because, logistically, it’s a tricky business.

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Tourists flock to Colorado to smoke legal weed

Tourists from around the world are going to Colorado to get stoned legally.

“We have a flow of tour buses coming in every day now,” said Toni Fox, owner of 3D Cannabis Center, a Denver dispensary with an influx of Japanese and Saudi tourists. “We even get charter buses from Texas!”

 

Tourist

 

Fox is billing her dispensary as a “tourist friendly” destination. It has a living-room-style reception room and an 80-foot long viewing corridor with rows of windows so customers can see inside the marijuana greenhouse.

“You can literally watch the cannabis you are purchasing grow right in front of your eyes!” boasts the dispensary’s web site.

Fox estimates that 70% of her 200 daily customers are from out of state.

In Boulder, the Terrapin Care Station recreational dispensary gets at least of third of its income from out of state, according to manager Jarrod Guaderrama.

“I can definitely tell that all the people from Texas, Georgia, California made this their vacation spot because of legal marijuana,” he said. “They’ll say they’re here because it’s beautiful and they’re going skiing. They’ll say right after that, ‘Plus, there’s legal pot here.'”

The Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting says the state took in $19 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana during the first half of the year.

marijuana tourism

Colorado dispensaries like the 3D Cannabis Center in Denver are sparking a boom in marijuana tourism.

But the state doesn’t calculate how much of that is from tourism versus local buyers, and hard numbers are difficult to come by.

Colorado retailers began selling recreation marijuana on New Year’s Day, and in what may or may not be a coincidence, the state also posted a record ski season for 2013-2014. Colorado hosted 12.6 million ski visits according to a local industry group, up 10% from the prior season, but industry executives can’t say whether legal pot was a factor.

Most ski resorts and hotels don’t allow smoking, but there’s a niche industry popping up offering so-called “420-friendly” lodgings catering to this segment of tourists. Some bars and music venues also allow smoking in outdoor areas.

Related: Want a job? Try the pot industry

Entrepreneurs from outside Colorado are also cashing in. Rick Moore owns a bus tour company in Dallas, and started running buses to Denver dispensaries after marijuana was legalized. He charges $400 for the 12-hour trip, which leaves on Thursday and returns on Monday at 3 a.m., and includes two nights in a hotel. Colorado tours now account for about a quarter of his business.

“Some people might try to bring something back, but I discourage it,” he said. “It’s legal in Colorado but outside Colorado it’s not, so I don’t want anybody bringing it on the bus.”

He added that not all of his Texan tourists smoke weed, but they still want to visit the dispensaries.

“They just want to go because they’re curious,” he said.

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Is Fraction Ownership Right for You NOT a Timeshare

 

Fractional ownership offers entrée to million-dollar vacation homes for far less money than buying outright—but financing options may be limited.After doing the math, some homeowners are set on fractions.

On a trip to affluent ski town Steamboat Springs, Colo., in March, Dennis and Pamela Stearns discovered One Steamboat Place, a Timbers Resorts development that offers fractional ownership of luxury vacation properties. The couple, whose primary home is in Greensboro, N.C., were intrigued by the thought of a second home without the maintenance hassles. Fractional ownership with Timbers Resorts also enables the Stearns and their two young daughters to stay in luxury properties elsewhere. “We didn’t want to feel like we had to go to the same place all the time to justify having it,” says Ms. Stearns.

Fractional real-estate ownership differs somewhat from timeshares. It typically applies to high-end properties, and ownership is split among fewer people. Periods of annual usage are typically three to four weeks rather than one to two, and privileges may extend to more than one luxury property. Another draw is concierge-level services that a guest would receive at a luxury hotel.

Like deeded property owners, fractional owners can sell their stake, leave it in a will or put it in a trust. Fractional owners pay a share of property taxes as part of their annual dues, ranging from $8,100 to $21,000, depending on the property, which also covers their concierge services and utilities. Some borrowers are able to write off mortgage interest on their taxes. On the down side, owners who want to make changes to the property are limited.

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Can the kind of ‘stuff’ Leigh Brown says really help you sell houses?

Leigh Brown, broker-owner of Re/Max Executive Realty in Concord, North Carolina, has already stated for the record her belief that “the best way to get more business is to be your most outrageously authentic self.” Now Brown has put out a video promoting her real estate training and coaching services that portrays just how outrageously authentic she can be .

How young tech millionaires invest

 

As soon as the sale of his company was announced in 2012, Mike Zhang, who was barely above the legal drinking age at the time, started getting a flood of phone calls.

Mike Zang Picture

Wealth managers from some of the largest Wall Street firms — including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse — started pursuing the freshly minted millionaire. Some even sent him gifts in an effort to woo his business.

But Zhang, now 23 years old, was turned off by their approach.

“When I have a rainy day, I don’t want to talk to an opportunist,” he said.

Zhang instead turned to Andrew Palmer, a managing director at Bel Air Investment Advisors. The two had met in the summer of 2011 at an event where Zhang was being honored with an entrepreneurship award for his success as the founder and CEO of Airsoft Megastore, an online store for lifelike toy guns and plastic BBs used in simulation combat competitions known as airsoft games. It’s sort of like paintball.

He started the company in 2004, when he was just 14, after returning from a trip visiting relatives in China. Zhang found that the airsoft guns and gear were selling for much less in China than they were in the U.S. He convinced his parents to let him import products from China and sell them online.

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