Everyone wants to do work that is meaningful. But what does “meaningful work” mean?
Here’s one take from author Adam Smiley Poswolsky: “Meaningful work is about finding alignment between your unique gifts and the impact you want to have, in a way that supports your desired quality of life. That might mean starting your own business, or it may mean aligning your personal mission with an organization’s mission,” Poswolsky writes.
“Any job, however unfulfilling to you, might be incredibly meaningful to someone else,” he adds. “Don’t worry about whether your job or company is more meaningful than someone else’s — this is a fool’s errand — instead, discover what’s meaningful to you. Not what’s meaningful to your friends on Facebook, your parents, or your boss, but what’s meaningful to you.”
Conscious Lifestyle magazine offers an insightful list of things to keep in mind as you make your way toward that all-important determination, noting that “like anything in life, with the right knowledge and tools, anyone can be empowered to accomplish whatever it is they set their mind to.”
That’s a notion that Habitat for Humanity certainly embraces in our work, and here, the opportunities for doing meaningful work are plentiful. Each role with Habitat, whether paid or volunteer, is a way to help more families build and improve a place to call home. And that brings us all closer to our shared goal of a world where everyone has a decent place to live!
1. Make Sure It’s for You
Do you know your way around a toolbox? How are you at repairing drywall? Or unclogging a toilet? Sure, you could call somebody to do it for you, but that will eat into your profits. Property owners who have one or two homes often do their own repairs to save money. If you’re not a “get your hands dirty” type and you don't have lots of spare cash, being a landlord may not be right for you. (See Becoming a Landlord: More Trouble Than It's Worth? for more insights.)
Your first property will take a lot of your time as you learn the ins and outs of being a landlord. Think of it as another part-time job. Do you have the time?
2. Pay Down Debt First
Savvy investors might carry debt as part of their investment portfolio, but the average person probably shouldn’t. If you have student loans, unpaid medical bills or your triplets will soon attend college, purchasing a rental property may not be the right move..
3. Got the Down Payment?
Investment properties generally require a larger down payment than an owner-occupied building and have more stringent approval requirements. The 3% you put down on the home you currently live in isn’t going to work for an investment property. How much will you need? At least 20%, given that mortgage insurance isn’t available on rental properties.
4. Beware of Higher Interest RatesThe cost of borrowing money might be cheap right now, but the interest rate on an investment property will be higher. Remember, you need a mortgage payment that’s low enough so that it won’t eat too heavily into your monthly profits.
Read more: Buying Your First Investment Property? Top 10 Tips | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/090815/buying-your-first-investment-property-top-10-tips.asp#ixzz4a651hvLe
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....will the trend continue this year??
FLORIDA HOME SALES END 2016 AS THEY STARTED – UP!
Despite inventory squeeze, sales rise 0.8% .Higher median prices and fewer all-cash sales marked Florida's housing market in December, according to data released by Florida Realtors® Tuesday. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,332 last month, up 0.8% from December 2015.
"The trend of tight housing supply continued to have an impact on Florida's housing market in December," said 2017 Florida Realtors President Maria Wells, broker-owner with Lifestyle Realty Group in Stuart. "Last month, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties rose year-over-year for 61 months in row. While that's good news for sellers, it's continuing to put pressure on inventory for first-time home buyers and those who may be looking for their next 'move-up' home.
Vow No. 1: Get realistic about how much your home is worth
People vow to do all kinds of things—hit the gym, get more sleep, quit Froot Loops—and if you plan to sell your home this year, making a few promises matter here most of all. After all, selling your home for top dollar takes work and the right mindset to strike a deal.
To help make that happen, we put together a list of good habits all home sellers should start now so that you’re fully prepared once opportunity knocks.
It’s natural to think your home is priceless, or hope it’s worth at least more than when you bought it. As such, many sellers make the epic mistake of placing a pie-in-the-sky price on their home with the hopes that some buyer somewhere will bite. But the reality is, overpriced homes tend to languish on the market.
Before you make an offer on a house, it pays to ask a handful of questions. While the answers might scare you off or make you rethink your bid, they could make you feel more confident that you're making the right move on the right house.
As you prepare for buying a home, here are 7 questions to ask before you make the offer.
What is this property worth in today's market?
For ethical reasons, agents can't tell you how much to offer, says C.D. "Chip" Boring, broker/owner of Re/Max Realty Plus in Sebring, Florida. Instead of asking directly how much the home is worth, you ask indirectly, by seeking information about comparable sales, or "comps."
An agent should arm you with plenty of comparables -- prices of similar, nearby homes that have been sold recently -- along with high and low ranges for a particular property, Boring says.
Your agent can tell you how long homes are staying on the market, and the percentage of the asking price sellers are getting, says Dick Gaylord, past president of the National Association of Realtors and broker with Re/Max Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, California. This information tells you how hot the market is where you are looking, he says.
Also ask how long the property has been on the market. If it's been languishing for months with nary an offer, it could be a slow market or it could be overpriced, says Robert Irwin, author of "Tips and Traps When Negotiating Real Estate."
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How flexible is the seller on the asking price?
If you insult the seller with a lowball offer, you could lose your shot at the house. To avoid offending the homeowner, ask the seller's agent how firm the seller is on price, Irwin says. You can have this conversation directly with the seller's agent or have your agent ask the question.
Keeping it in terms of "how flexible are they on the price?" instead of "how much less will they take?" allows you to feel out the situation without offending the seller, Irwin says.
Not every seller will be willing to bargain, so if your strategy is to make lowball offers, plan to make "offers on several properties before you connect with a seller who will deal," Irwin says.
A question that often goes hand in hand: Is the seller willing to help with the closing costs?
On foreclosed homes, a seller's contribution to closing costs "certainly is common with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because they want to sell their properties," Gaylord says. "And sellers who have equity in their property and want to help are helping."
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Rising, Reinvented Hotels By Steven Witkoff Along Times Square’s glittering strip, studded with modern hotel brands standing next to historic icons, a customized boutique hotel is rising: the Times Square EDITION.
Designed to reside at the top of a 39-story mixed-used tower on the Bowtie at Duffy Square, the hotel will be Manhattan’s second EDITION, and one of two EDITION projects in development by Steven Witkoff.
On the opposite coast, his second, the EDITION hotel in West Hollywood, will be the first EDITION-branded hotel on the West Coast.
A collaborative concept merging the imaginative direction of hotelier and developer Ian Schrager with the respected Marriott name, EDITION is designed to be an intimate and individualized experience in a globally expanding collection of boutique hotels.
For someone who’s new to the real estate business, there’s nothing quite as valuable as the wisdom of an experienced mentor. The same holds true in the nonprofit world.
That’s why REALTOR® Magazine and the Good Neighbor Society—a group composed of all past winners of the Good Neighbor Award—last year launched a mentoring program called Volunteering Works.
Through the program, five REALTORS® who want to expand their charitable work are given a $1,000 grant to support their volunteer efforts and are matched with a past Good Neighbor honoree who will serve as their mentor.
One of last year’s participants, Ellen Kiss, of Kiss Properties in Del Mar, Calif., says the experience gave her "incredible recognition and credibility throughout the community."
Kiss used the program to expand her organization, Adopt-A-Classroom, which helps fulfill classroom needs for a poverty-stricken elementary school in South East San Diego. Her mentor, 2001 Good Neighbor Winner Craig Conant of Elsberry Realty in Warrensberg, Mo., helped her develop creative fundraisers like selling a cookbook and holding a casino night. He also suggested that she ask a local college to create her charity Web site for free.
This year, five new grant recipients will benefit from the guidance of accomplished volunteer leaders who also know what it’s like to juggle busy careers in real estate.
If you’re seeking to expand your charity efforts and would like to learn more about Volunteering Works, visit REALTOR.org/GNA.
“Every morning at 4 a.m. a low—and very, very loud—jetliner arriving from China roars overhead my house,” says Murray Suid, who lives in Inverness, CA. He wouldn’t go so far as to say he would have backed away from buying his home if he’d known this in advance, but he has come to a firm conclusion: “Different times of day really change the reality of a home.”
The neighborhood might feel charming and laid-back during a warm Saturday morning open house, but what is it like when you’re driving to work? Or waiting for Sunday church traffic to clear out?
That’s why David Feldberg, broker/owner of Coastal Real Estate Group in Newport Beach, CA, advises his clients to spend some time at their would-be house at all hours of the day and night to find out what it would really be like to live in the neighborhood.
Let’s check out some of the times during the day and night buyers might want to visit a home they like, paying extra attention to local goings-on.
8 a.m.: Is your commute a slog?“It’s just 10 miles to work as the crow flies,” Lea Jacobson heard about a home she had her eye on in Portland, OR. But Jacobson was skeptical.
“I am not a crow; I don’t fly,” she says. So she decided to see for herself by driving around the area at rush hour. While her commute ended up being doable, she definitely recommends doing the test drive. Track the actual time it takes to commute from your driveway to your office to determine how long those red lights are and how bad the backup is on the on ramp—and if you can stand it. If you’re planning to take public transportation, give that a try, too.
10 a.m.: Do you hear what I hear?Glenda Cook of San Antonio gets literally rattled by noise coming from the quarry a mile from her house.
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Sign Up“I wish I had known how badly it would shake my house when they detonate rock in the middle of the day. The home builder never said a word during the buying process, and it still startles me when I’m working in my office.”
Sussing out crazy noise from construction, traffic, or barking dogs isn’t the only reason to visit your home midday.
“I would also drive my street on a weekday and see how many people have cars in their driveway. Are there other neighbors around, or does it look like a ghost town?” Feldberg says. For safety’s sake, it’s nice to know that neighbors might be keeping an eye on your house if you’re at work all day, and maybe even accepting your UPS shipments.
3 p.m.: School’s outIs the home near a school? If so, you might want to hang out and see if the schoolchildren are going to be cutting through your yard and trampling your flowers—or if the traffic is so busy you don’t feel comfortable having your own kids walk home.
5:30 p.m.: Happy hour or sad hour?Now’s the time to check for traffic returning home—yours and everyone else’s. If you are envisioning sitting outside relaxing with a glass of lemonade watching your kids ride bikes, you don’t want to find out too late that Waze is redirecting traffic through your quiet neighborhood. And, adds Feldberg, you can check to see if other kids are out; it’s impossible to underestimate the allure of built-in playmates.
Another less-likely eventuality might concern your neighbors’ cooking habits—if dinnertime brings odors you find unpleasant, you might want to stay away.
9 p.m.: Time to par-tay?It’s a good idea to find out if your neighbors like to live it up, advises Liane Jamason, broker associate at Smith & Associates Real Estate in Tampa Bay, FL. Her client drove by for a week and discovered his potential next-door neighbor liked to have loud, wild parties nearly every night. “Since my client worked in TV broadcasting and had to be up at 3 a.m. daily, he opted for a more peaceful neighborhood,” she says.
Feldman recommends that his clients park their car in front of the house and roll down the windows to check the noise level, whether it’s urban commotion or suburban parties. A late-night visit can also give you an idea of how safe the streets feel after dark.
If you can go in the house, do. Tyler Hanway, who recently bought a house in Fairhope, AL, didn’t realize until his first night in the home that his neighbors’ outdoor lighting shines into his master bedroom windows, filling the room with an orange glow.
3 a.m.: Planes, trains, and automobilesAnd to return to the transportation theme that we started with, it’s not just airplanes that can disturb your sleep. Shawn Steen of Madison, WI, wasn’t the least bit concerned about the train tracks behind her house: As a kid, her grandparents lived near train tracks, and her previous apartment was just two blocks away from a track.
“I barely notice trains and thought, ‘no big deal’—until the train behind my house started coming through every night at 3 a.m., blowing its horn less than 100 yards from my bedroom window. It was ludicrously loud.”
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Northeast Florida had a year of outstanding growth and activity in 2016 with economic project announcements that will create nearly 3,000 jobs and $641 million in new capital investment.
“The Jacksonville region is a competitive player in the global marketplace as international companies choose Northeast Florida as the location for business attainment and success”
Tweet thisAmazon, Mercedes-Benz USA and KLS Martin were among the 10 new company locations announced, joining the seven local businesses expansions, including Ernst & Young, Kraft Foods – Maxwell House and BMW of North America.
Amazon, the global Internet retailer, committed to bolstering its footprint in the area and selected Jacksonville as the ideal location for a fulfillment center to handle the company’s diverse array of products that will create 1,500 new jobs and $200 million in local investment.
The region’s direct access to a consumer market of 61+ million people, ease of doing business, thriving local economy and land availability at Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center helped secure Amazon’s decision to invest in Jacksonville.
randrr, a software development company, will release its machine-learning-based career-planning app with plans to increase its tech workforce by hiring 200 new workers within the next 24 months.
These company announcements contribute to the robust business environment in Northeast Florida, further supporting Forbes’ ranking of Jacksonville among the top 40 best places for businesses and careers and Realtor.com’s ranking of Jacksonville as the #2 hot spot where Americans are moving.
High-end retailers are also making the move to Jacksonville because of the city’s central location and direct access to a large consumer market. Swedish-based IKEA plans to open its first Jacksonville location this fall, across from where TopGolf recently opened in October 2016.
Continued revitalization of Downtown Jacksonville along the St. Johns River is occurring, with increased activity around EverBank Field. Companies are taking advantage of the area's talented labor force, low operating costs and pro-business environment.
“The Jacksonville region is a competitive player in the global marketplace as international companies choose Northeast Florida as the location for business attainment and success,” said JAXUSA Partnership President Jerry Mallot. “The area’s access to talent, natural environment and unique personality continue to draw companies looking for a new market to grow operations.”
About JAXUSA Partnership
JAXUSA Partnership is Northeast Florida’s regional economic development organization. Economic development partners in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties, the independent authorities – JAXPORT, JAA, JEA and JTA – CareerSource Northeast Florida and private-sector investors comprise the strong partnership that drives our business development process forward. A division of the JAX Chamber, our purpose is to market the Jacksonville region and recruit new companies and expand our existing business community.
ContactsFor JAXUSA Partnership
Ginny Walthour, 904-645-6200