Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Psychology of Persuasion-Why People Act the Way They Do

So how can you utilize the subconscious factors that come into play when people are making decisions. These are some of the more common ones:

1. The Likeability Rule: It may seem obvious, but people will more often say "yes" to someone they know and like, rather than to a complete stranger. Familiarity through repeated, ongoing contact with someone-increases this, as long as the contact was positive rather than negative. Likeability includes physical appearance, which is why advertisers use beautiful models to sell products, rather than ordinary looking ones. Within your own industry, think of the people who have reached the top of their game, who are liked and respected and known for their ability to persuade other people. What is it about them that attractsother people? Being associated with these people, can have a "halo" effect on those around them.

2. The Reciprocity Rule: one of the most powerful social "rules" is the reciprocity rule, whereby people feel compelled to repay a good turn to someone who has done a good turn for them. There was an experiment where sociologists once sent out Christmas Cards to complete strangers to test how strongly they would feel obliged to reciprocate and over 95% of them sent cards back-even though the sender was a complete stranger to them. According to sociologists and anthropologists, this rule makes possible the development of continuing relationships and knowledge and resource sharing that is beneficial to society in general.

3. The Social Validation Rule: Given fewother clues, or limited time in which to make a judgement, the majority of people will react towards others by copying the behaviour of the people around them. If other people act well towards you, then it will encourage the same behaviour from others. An older, less attractive man may compensate for his "shortcomings" by acquiring a "trophy wife" which will increase the man's perceived value when others see him with an attractive, younger woman.

Another example is when a long-term unemployed person may negatively viewed by potential employers, even if they are highly skilled and experienced, as people will automatically attribute their lack of employment to some inherent character fault or weakness rather than because of an external situation. At the same time, someone whoseems to be in high demand, a CEO of a major company, for instance, may effortlessly attract better job offers and bigger pay packets, even if his/her performance is actually rather lacklustre. "Success attracts success" so the saying goes, and when people appear successful, then other people subconsciously look for other positive factors to explain that person's success, and overlook their faults.

4. The Authority Rule: People are more likely to believe, follow the recommendations or directions of someone they believe is an expert in some way, even if their expertise is in a completely different area to the one that requires a decision. Having a Dr. in front of your name, or a PhD after it will also increase your perceived authority, even if is not relevant. Another way ofdemonstrating authority, is by the outward symbols of it, even if they are not backed up by anything; status symbols in the form of titles, clothes, cars, houses (even post codes) are part of this.

5. The "Rejection-Then-Retreat" Rule: This rule relies heavily on the social pressure which pushes people to reciprocate favours. By asking for an extreme request that you know will be rejected, you can then follow up with a lesser request-the one that you wanted all along-which will be more likely to be accepted.

6. The Public Commitment Rule: When a commitment is made by someone in a way which involves the person actively, voluntarily and publicly, it increases the likelihood that the person will follow up on that commitment. This is largely what weddings areabout. Why are they so elaborate and public? Why are the vows exchanged in front of family, friends and witnesses? Why does society require a marriage certificate or contract which is signed by both parties in a public setting?

The abstract and ritualized combat way in which people get married increases the likelihood that the promises will be kept, because the internal and external pressures will require the married couple to live up to what they promised in public.

Equally, during other sorts of negotiations, it's important to get small commitments agreed and written down, even if they are small steps along the way to the much bigger commitment that you are aiming for.

7. The Scarcity Rule: This can be summarized as "Scarcity breeds Desire". (see also under"Social Validation Rule"). People tend to assign more value to things when they are perceived to be less available. The use of this principle for profit can be seen in the "limited offer" and "ends today" tactics. On a personal level, by having a unique or uncommon skill or expertise ("USP") that makes you something of a rarity, you can create a demand for your product or services, that wouldn't otherwise exist. Never put your mobile ' phone number on your business card-this makes it just that little bit harder to contact you and it also suggests that you have so many contacts, you need to restrict your availability to them all.

8. The Reverse Psychology Rule: People use reverse psychology to "trick" people into choosing the opposite of what they really want, by playing onthe instinctive human reaction against being told what to do. A real life example of this was used in promoting the classic Queen song "Bohemian Rhapsody" which lasts 5 minutes and 55 seconds when played in its entirety. At the time of its release in 1975, most record companies felt that it was far too long to play on the radio, but Mercury gave a personal copy to his good friend, DJ Kenny Everett with specific instructions NOT to play it, knowing full well that Everett wouldn't be able to resist, which proved to be the case. If you've ever suffered from insomnia, you'll know that deliberately focusing on trying to fall asleep, will have the opposite effect and make the problem far worse.

9. The Simple Theme Rule: a theme is a verbal picture which communicatesideas far beyond the basic meaning of the words. If you are invited to a party with a theme-say, a murder mystery them or an Italian them, you will already know broadly, without being told what to wear, what you will do at the party, the type of music, the type of food and so on. The theme has already given you a "word picture" which conveys a lot of information. Having a "microbrand" which moves around with you will instantly convey "Brand You".

10. The "How You Say It" Rule

It's easy to assume that a sentence like "I can't promise you that result." has only one meaning, but in reality, emphasis and tone provide much of the actual meaning. To test this, look at the each of the sentences below, each with a different word de-emphasized, and followed by the impliedmeaning.

1. I can't promise you that result. (But maybe somebody else can.)

2. I can't promise you that result. (There's no way that is possible.)

3. "I can't promise you that result. (But you may get it anyway.)

4. I can't promise you that result. (But I can promise it to somebody else.)

5. "I can't promise you that result. (But I can promise you another good result.)

6. "I can't promise you that result. (But I can promise you something.)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Welfare in the United States of America

The public welfare in the United States is formed to save money instead of people and to provide better living for all the people, but it transpires doing neither of them. There are two main reasons for it:

First, it neglects a large number of people who are in need and if they are provided with some support will be much more productive and autonomous. Some millions of them are not aged, disabled, handicapped or parent of minor children; they are just needy unemployed and underemployed men and women waiting for protection by government.

Second, people who are included in the welfare programs, but they are provided with minimum assistance to live an honorable life will remain dependent on the welfare, with a lot of restrictions, undermining their self-worth anddignity.

There is a confusion of statutory administrative practices and regulations that the recipients are measured unrestrained, untrustworthy and lazy. The newly arrived ones to the states are not provided with the assistance, because of the residence requirements, for instance. If officials search their homes ' agents it is privacy violation. More problems are combined with unacceptable social services. I know, it is not a well-balanced whole.

The term welfare in the u.s. commonly refers to the programs that are government-funded. Unemployed and underemployed men and women are provided with economic supports, goods and services. Professionals call it social welfare that contains any programs that support people to perform better in the society.

There are more thanone hundred and twenty welfare programs in the federal government of the United States. There always have been controversies over it and the main question has been on its existence, whether it should be or not. The number of programs is so many that actually some think, the government interferes the free enterprise system, though it must subsidize the system. The principle investment of major industries such as telecommunication, aerospace and biotechnology has not been provided by the government to run their tasks, government funds are given freely to corporations but they do not announce it. Corporate Welfare has not been considered debilitating.

Welfare system should protect citizens of societies against anguish and agony effects of poverty. Since it does not end the dependencyof people on governments; many believe it can not create a society free from unemployment.

On the other hand not all people can work, very young, very old and disabled are among those. There are sometimes not enough work opportunities even for those who can work properly. The United States is one of the countries with free-market economy and a certain percent of working-age adults capable will always remain unemployed and that is both the technological and job skill changes happening day by day. The rates of unemployment regionally and from season to season are different. So can assist the welfare and fragments of population segments.

Early19th century That was that local governments started to provide new opportunities for poor, by different ways such as contractingwith wealthy families to help them, locating them in workhouses or providing them with cash or goods. Some politicians expressed their concerns however. A reform movement happened in many states 182os and 1830s to rehabilitate the poor by replacing outdoor relief with workhouses. The second reform efforts happened in 1880s and early to improve their social functioning and encouraging them to be independent through social work. Opposition existed, but welfare did not disappear. The Congress supported different programs to expand public provisions for the poor. Establishing mother's pensions for poor mothers mostly widows and workers ' compensation programs came in to being by early twentieth century.

During the worst years of great depression nearly one-fourth of labor force wasjobless and much more poor households were poor by current standards. The development of The US modern welfare dates to 1930. President Franklin d. Roosevelt was the one who led a new reform movement, economically and socially. The Social Security Act was part of his New Deal program which established a number of welfare programs. Each of them was designed to protect different segments of population, for retired people and their families, for dependent children and those who lost their jobs temporarily. In 1946 The Social Security Administration was established by government.

The other establishments were Federal Security Agecy1939, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare 1953, the Department of Health and Human Services 1980 and the Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment 1965. The Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Treasury as well as the Department of Labor manage some different welfare programs. Funding for such programs has increased especially for working poor families.

Government's welfare programs are performed in different ways, direct cash, distributing certain goods such as public housing, subsidized rents, and coupons to buy food or the means to obtain services. The government decides to whom or how much welfare must be provided and that is based on the economic well being. As soon As the recipient's income increases, the welfare programs fall. Some are restricted programs to control those meeting additional benefits. Members of specific groups deserve certain forms of welfare. For example,elderly people or those with mental or physical disabilities get several supports that are especially for them. Other disadvantaged people are students, unpaid workers like mothers and caregivers and minority groups who are provided with a minimum level of income.

Welfare creates problems, too. If the recipients earn more money their benefits may fall and they will have to pay taxes, so some people prefer to remain on welfare and not to look for jobs. Some other people who work but their income is not enough can not neglect the benefits of welfare, either. Moreover, some change their behaviors to be eligible for advantages could be obtained from welfare, for instance a young parent may not marry again just to enjoy the benefits of welfare.

Democrats and Republicans havedifferent ideas over the issue of welfare; Republicans desire is to make conditions well enough for more work and less dependency on welfare.They support time limits on welfare. They believe welfare should promise the recipients and their children's education or job training. The welfare recipients must be free from drug and they must get proper immunizations. The welfare reform should not cost more than existing programs.

On the other hand Democrats vote against requirement of time limits on welfare and the programs making recipients work. Under the present Democrat administration Florida for example, gives away millions of dollars each year to individuals who do not deserve receiving the benefits.

PR Careers

Careers in PR are really sought after nowadays, especially by those who love challenging work environments, lucrative pays and are not afraid of hard work or stress. Following is a simplified description of what careers job in PR mean and the kinds of roles PR officials are expected to play.

Functions of employees work in PR

Some other names by which public relations specialists or officers are known are press officers or media specialists. They act as the link of communication between the general public and an organization. Whatever message an organization has to send across to the public or to the media is conveyed through the medium of a PR official who has to make use of his/her own creativity as well as his/her media contacts in such cases.

PR personnel hasto make use of the same weapons for deftly and dexterously handling potentially damaging circumstances which is called crisis management. So as you can understand, strong communication and media management, people skills are extremely vital for those aiming at careers in PR. Besides, to be successful in PR jobs you must be a prompt thinker and be able to think on your feet because you will be bombarded with various kinds of unpleasant queries or googlys especially from the media.

One of the main functions of people in PR careers is to draft and create, research, write and edit or oversee all these things during the preparation of press releases and media reports. These press releases then have to be sent off by PR personnel to different kinds of media outlets.

These pressreleases act as public alerts for some kind of upcoming events or create awareness in the public and release information on new just launched or to be launched services or products.

If an organization undergoes any sort of change, like business expansion plans or hiring of new personnel, then such changes have to be announced to the public and the media through press releases written by PR guys.

Those involved in PR work also have to create media liaison that is, between the media and the organization for which they work. When the general public or other organizations or the government requests for information from a company or the media asks for interviews, such requests are directed to the PR department and the employees in PR careers of that company entertain the queries andquestions. When PR officials have to answer sensitive questions or respond to confidential matters, they often first consult with the company heads.

PR employment officers often have to take part in strategic planning and have to implement, develop and oversee the groundwork beneath planning campaigns or strategies for particular events.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Is the Meaning of the First Commandment, "You Shall " Have No Other Gods Before Me "?

"It means to only have one God, which is God. When we find something, we don't go gaga over it. We still pray to God and not to the new thing, "says Ashley, 11.

For a fuller understanding of "gaga," Let's go to Cory, 11: "When the commandment says to have no other gods before Me, ' it means to love something more than God."

Lee, 8, gets specific: "You should worship God instead of your bike, Nintendo, PC or TV. You should read the Bible more. "

The average American watches more than four hours of television a day. Lee, do you mean I shouldn't veg out in front of the tube for 28 hours a week? After all, I don't actually worship. I spend at least two hours a week in church on Sunday. Does God want more?

Yes, says Haley, 11: "The first commandment meansdon't spend more time on anything than God. God is more important than TV or radio. "

The first commandment is starting to get too personal. Lynden, 9, illustrates: "It means like not to say, ' Um, sorry, Jesus. My friends are coming over in about 10 minutes. ' I don't spend time with him in those 10 minutes. "

Even in a fast-paced world, we always seem to make time for important relationships. For example, people who have good marriages order their lives so that they spend time with each other. To put it simply, God wants to be our first love.

"God is kind of jealous and also the one and only true God," says Amber, 12. When God is jealous, it's a good kind of jealousy. We usually think of jealousy as being small and petty. God's jealousy is big and benevolent. He wants ourwhole heart because only his love can bring us into a deeper, larger place where he is our all in all.

"The first commandment means having no god but Jesus. For example, a lot of people mistake money for a god, "says Chris, 10. "It means don't worship money and the things that can take over your life," adds Will, 9.

It's the love of money that is the root of many kinds of evil, the Apostle Paul wrote. There's nothing inherently evil about money, but loving it will lead you into many forms of evil. When the love of it takes over, everything is seen through the eyes of money.

My good friend Tony Carnes has written a book on idolatry. He's an accomplished author and scholar. I've asked him to share a few thoughts. Here's Tony:

"An idol is anything or anyone other thanGod that we allow to drive our lives. Take that popular idolatry, money or wealth. God cherishes every human being, but when you put making money before God, you redivide your world I know that some people get pushed aside. You gravitate toward friendships with people who have money and avoid ' the losers '--the working class, the poor and the unemployed.

"Kids know quickly when an idol is controlling you. Parents and relatives are the sunshine of their lives. When your idol directs your life's light away from them, they immediately notice and start to wilt. "

Idols, ancient or modern, always result in frustration, dissolution and ultimately despair. People and things can never fill the longing God put in our heart for an intimate love relationship with him and truecommunity with his people as they gather under his headship.

Think about this: If God isn't our first love, life will become an endless scramble to fill the emptiness we sense.

Memorize this truth: "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Deuteronomy 5: 7).

Ask this question: Is there anything or anyone in your life whom you love more than God?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Effects of Unemployment

The US market for instance is a highly unstable market in today's times. In fact, our current market trend is quite low. Although it is possible that we have higher economic growth compared to any other country and during our peak negative cycle, there is no doubt about it-we are in a recession right now. Millions of Americans are suffering such problems like job cuts, kao3 lv4 withholds and more in stock. Although this is quite "detrimental, this is actually a very common phenomena and occurs naturally in any global business setup and will regain its stability within a short span of time. In this article, we will evaluate the effect of unemployment on commerce and business so that we have a better understanding of these matters.

Our recent recession has affected globallyunemployment and will continue to do so at astronomical rates. Many economists predict that the effect of unemployment has changed the inflation rate and the price of the commodities and has led to a very unstable market. once the job cuts in business and commerce took place the manufacturing of raw materials which needed to perform a certain level gets decreased output. Many companies have been forced to undergo such hardships like maintaining the global value of its companies. This has caused a tremendous effect on unemployment, commerce and business too.

One might wonder then, how can we fix this problem? Well, here are a few suggestions that can inevitably help. First, we must convert the unemployment crisis into opportunities. For instance, if one finds themselves> unemployed and unable to find work in their past, they should seek new opportunities or go into business for themselves. By doing this, more people can explore new areas and find other interesting careers that suit them. Second, we must have an evaluation plan of the global companies set up for the last 30 years. By doing this, we can carefully evaluate the key areas such as productivity, quality, marketing, workforce, customer feed-backs and then make significant improvements to the framework of the failing company/industry Third, we must not be heartbroken about the recession and instead use it to our advantage. For instance, now is the time to invest in the market, buy foreclosed homes, etc. By doing this, you will be able to rebound when unemployment and kao3 lv4commerce and business profits increase.

Take Google for instance-they are a company to be followed and patterned after. Although they are consistently employees turnover, they have boasted that their profits are high as ever. This is because companies like Google, learn from their bouts of unemployment and are constantly figuring out ways to increase commerce and business. They are the leaders in innovation and not afraid to start and exploring new ideas.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wells Fargo Principal Reduction Helps Unemployed and Underwater Homeowners Today

The Wells Fargo principal reduction plan could help many struggling homeowners who are currently underwater in their mortgage or unemployed. President Obama and his staff continue to work hard to make the Making Home Affordable plan work and they recently extended this plan to include help for those who are underwater or unemployed.

Wells Fargo is consider one of the big four banks along with Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. President Obama has urged these big banks to take part in the principal reduction program which is part of the Obama Making Home Affordable Refinance and plan. Do not be surprised to see many speeches and announcements about this program in the near future as our President is working very hard in an attempt to slowforeclosures.

Over the last few weeks we have seen mortgage rates start to move higher which is another bad sign for the overall housing market. Even though some homeowners did not have access to these low home loan rates they were still doing a lot to prop up housing prices. If rates move up drastically over the next few weeks and months we could see many problems in the housing market.

President Obama realizes that this is a possibility and this is exactly why he continues to work and modify his mortgage plan. There are some very valuable parts to this program that could help American homeowners avoid great foreclosure. Luckily these programs are completely free and could be just what it takes to lower the overall foreclosure rate.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Goat Jokes and Funny Goats

Humans love hilarious moments. Some crack jokes to make other laugh. Some funny antics of people make others in vicinity to laugh. Many consider animals as funny, hence goats also comes under funny animals. Goats are curious and strange at times. Playful antics of funny goats can make one laugh in a big way.

You can watch a great deal of funny goats ' videos on some television channels, youtube, and other online websites. There is numerous jokes related to goats are there in usage.

When goats become scared they do certain weird stuffs, and it will look extremely funny to us. Goats feel itchy about their heads. Therefore, they search for anything that can help them in scratching. Do not be amazed, they might scratch their head even to our body. There are many bizarrescratching instances involving the goats. While talking about funny goats, their curiosity makes them hilarious.

If you give something say a cap, they will be curious enough to check whether it could eat. Since goats can't climb, you might find them in some unusual places out of their curiosity, entangled in mess. Many a time, you will not be able to stop laughing seeing goats kicking down kids and elders. Do not make goats to chase you; you might end up in a funny brawl.

In one sense, the fainting goats are termed as the funny goats. It is because if they are startled or excited their muscles stiffen and hence they faint down. After a few minutes you will find them, jumping and running as if nothing happened. It is quite a funny scene to see a group of fainting goats "faintingdown together, by deliberately exciting them. The scenery of goats "fainting sometimes looks funny though it is painful for them.

What do you call a royal goat wearing denim? Billy Jean King.

What do you call a goat with a beard? It is goatee!

Why is it hard to carryon in conversation with a goat? Because they are always butting in.

What do you call a goat that ORB-little fluffy clouds? Billy Vanilli.

What do you call a goat at sea? Billy Ocean.

What do you call a goat on a mountain? Hillbilly.

Who did the goats vote for as president? Billy Clinton.

What do you call a goat who is in charge of a university? Billy Dean.

What do you call an unemployed goat? Billy Idol.

These are some of the popular funny goat jokes.

Kids are very fondof funny goats and they enjoy playing with them. Kids tease the goats and make them do some silly things. There are some funny goat cartoon characters.

Many companies use the images of funny goats in their merchandises. What a smart way to lure customers, right!

People involved in goat care come across numerous goat jokes as well as funny goats. Goat care becomes enjoyable when the person giving care and the goat enjoys each other's company.

Goats are so affectionate and playful. Hence, there will be some hilarious moments all the way.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How to Help the Homeless

Is there any ways that really help the homeless? Does handing the panhandler a dollar do any good? Are you looking for the quick help or do you want to help solve the solution? The biggest problem is the homeless are not a group of the same person know their problems are not the same so the same solution will not work for everybody.

First off the reason for their homelessness is not the same. Yes some are due to both alcohol and addictions-drugs. Others have psychological issues. And then the fastest growing segment is those running from spousal abuse. And some simply have out spent their income and ended up on the streets with the downward spiral that leads to loss of job and loss of everything else.

So you have 2 avenues to help the long term solution and the shortterm fixes. The long term solution includes finding them jobs and affordable housing. The long term solution also focuses on fixing the other issues-the addictions, the psychological and emotional help, career and family counseling. I know the long term solutions help with economic means to get them off the streets and the mental issues to help them cope so they don't end up back on the street.

But since most people only want a short quick answer we will now comment on the ways to help the homeless deal with their everyday issues. Though these solutions are vital to them surviving they do nothing to help get them off the Street-they help them deal with the street.

What do you do when you see someone holding up a sign, "Will Work for Food"? Do you roll down your window and givethem money? Do you pretend you didn't see them? Nobody likes to be: confronted by the homeless-their needs often seem too overwhelming-but we all want to treat them fairly and justly.

Here are some simple guidelines to equip you to truly help the homeless people you meet:
First off please do not give money to the homeless. If you want to donate money, give it to the shelter that takes care of them. Too often, well intended gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol-even when the "hard luck" stories they tell are true. If the person is hungry, buy them a sandwich and a beverage. Taking time to talk to a homeless person in a friendly, respectful manner can give them a wonderful sense of civility and dignity. And besides just being neighborly, it gives the person a weapon tofight the isolation, depression and paranoia that many homeless people face.

The homeless are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. The person you meet may be battered women, an addicted veteran; someone who is lacking job skills ... the list goes on. Please do not treat them ALL as the addicts addicted homeless old man we all pictures is only 25% of the population. So try and treat them with respect-remember they are still people too as you deal with them help them to help themselves. Take them to the appropriate homeless shelter. Most shelters offer immediate food and shelter to the homelessness through their emergency shelters. Many offer long-term rehabilitation programs that deal with the root causes of homeless. Many also offer "tickets" that can be given to homeless peoplewhich can be exchanged at the shelter for a notorious safe meal, overnight lodging, and the option of participating in a rehab program. Exposure to the elements, dirt, occasional violence, and lack of purpose to drain years from a person's life. God can use your prayers and the brutality and the futility of life of the street to bring many of the broken to Himself. So please pray for the homeless.

So you want to do little more. Their immediate needs are the basics-food, clothes, and shoes. I know you can take food to the homeless shelters. Get with your local grocery store and ask if you can have the daily leftovers and date expired food. Take to the shelter. If you like set up a weekly trip and take them enough food every week-now you are making a big difference. Take along yourkids. Another great way to help is to take your extra shoes, coats and clothes. Have a clothes drive in your neighborhood, Do it on a monthly basis-if you like-the homeless residents next month are most likely not the homeless residents who were there this month.

The homeless in America are growing at a rapid rate and we all need to pitch in and help. Listed below are some staggering facts in regard to the homeless numbers and their conditions:

1. Family Homelessness: A New Social Problem
Except during the Great Depression, women and children have never been on our nation's streets in
significant numbers. During the 1980 's, cutbacks in benefits coupled with rapidly increasing rents and a dearth of low-income housing jeopardized the stability of all people withreduced or fixed incomes. At the same time, the number of female-headed households dramatically increased. As a result, the nation's population of homeless families from almost becoming negligible numbers swelled to nearly 40% of the overall homeless population today. The United States on unique among industrialised nations in that women and children comprise such a large percentage of our country's homeless.

2. More Than One Million Homeless Children
Although counting the exact number of homeless children is difficult, consensus is emerging among researchers. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 1.2 million children are homeless on any given night. Supporting this figures are estimates from the U.S. Department of Education report that almost 400.000 homeless childrenwere served by the nation's public schools last year. Since more than half of all homeless children are under the age of 6 and not yet in school, a minimum of 800.000 children can be presumed to be homeless. On the basis of these data, the National Center on Family Homelessness concludes that more than one million American children are homeless today.

3. Family Homelessness Will Increase
Looking beyond current numbers, The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) predicts that
tight housing markets accompanied by decreasing availability of cash benefits as a result of welfare
reform will lead to an increase in family homelessness. To determine which states will have the biggest problem, NCFH created an index of seven risk factors for family homelessness. Thesefactors were identified from epidemiological research conducted over the past ten years. The ranking of states is presented in the report.

Part II

1. Homelessness Makes Children Sick
Researchers from NCFH have isolated homelessness as a direct predictor of specific childhood illnesses.

Homeless children:
or Are in fair or poor health twice as often as other children and four times as often as children whose families earn more than ,000 per year.
or Have higher rates of low birth weight and need special care right after birth four times as often as other children.
or Have very high rates of acute illness, with half suffering from two or more symptoms during a single month.
or Have twice as many ear infections, five times more diarrhea and stomachproblems, and six times as many speech and stammering problems.
or Are four times more likely to be asthmatic.
or Go hungry at more than twice the rate of other children.

2. Homelessness Wounds Young Children
Every day, homeless children are: confronted with stressful, often traumatic events.
or 74% of homeless children worry they will have no place to live.
or 58% worry they will have no place to sleep.
or 87% worry that something bad will happen to their family.

Within a single year:
or 97% of homeless children move, many up to three times.
or More than 30% are evicted from their housing.
or 22% are separated from their family to be put in foster care or sent to live with a relative.
or Almost 25% have witnessed acts of violence within theirfamily.

The constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experiences has profound effects on the cognitive and emotional development of homeless children.
or Homeless babies show significantly slower development than other children do.
or More than one-fifth of homeless children between 3 and 6 years of age have emotional problems serious enough to require professional care.
or Homeless children between 6 and 17 years struggle with very high rates of mental health problems.
or Less than one-third of homeless children are receiving mental health treatment.

3. Homelessness Devastates Families
Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, now accounting for almost 40 percent of the nation's homeless. More than 85% of homeless families are headed bysingle mothers, with the average homeless family comprised of a young mother and her two young children, most of whom are below the age of 6 years.

Homeless mothers have an average annual income of under $ 8000, living at 63% of the federal poverty level for a family of three.
or Only 21% of homeless mothers receive money from family, partners or friends.
or 39% have been hospitalized for medical treatment.
or 22% have asthma, compared to 5% of other women under 45 years.
or 20% have anemia, compared to 2% of other women under 45 years.
or 40% alcohol or drug dependency report at some time in their lives.

Although 70% of fathers of homeless children are in touch with their children, most do not live with the family. The downward spiral into homelessness for achild is often accelerated if a father loses his job, becomes injured or ill, has a bout with alcohol or drugs, or is involved with the criminal justice system.
or 50% of fathers are unemployed.
or 43% have problems with drugs or alcohol.
or 31% have physical or mental health problems.
or 32% are in jail or on probation.

Homeless children are at particularly high risk for being placed in foster care; 12% of homeless children are placed in foster care compared to just over 1% of other children. The National Center on Family Homelessness has identified placement in foster care as one of only two childhood risk factors that predicts family homelessness during adulthood.
or 44% of homeless mothers lived outside of their homes at some point during their childhood;20% of these women were placed in foster care.
or 70% of homeless mothers placed in foster care as children have had at least one of their own children in foster care.

The frequency of violence in the lives of homeless mothers is staggering.
or 63% have been violently abused by an intimate male partner.
or 27% have required medical treatment because of violence by an intimate male partner.
or 25% have been physically or sexually assaulted during adulthood by someone other than an intimate partner.
or 66% were violently abused by a childhood caretaker or other adult in the household before reaching 18.
or 43% were sexually molested as children.

When the violence from their childhood is combined with their experiences as adults, 92% of homeless
mothers havebeen severely physically or sexually assaulted; 88% have been violently abused by a family
member or intimate partners. These repeated acts of brutality result in unusually high rates of serious
emotional problems among homeless mothers.
or 36% have experienced post-traumatic Stress Disorder; three times the rate of other women.
or 45% have had a major depressive disorder, twice the rate of other women.
or 31% have attempted suicide at least once, primarily during adolescence.
or 12% have been hospitalized for treatment of mental illness.

Among homeless children:
or 8% have been physically abused, twice the rate of other children.
or 8% have been sexually abused; three times the rate of other children.
or 35% have been the subject of a child protectioninvestigation.
or 24% have witnessed acts of violence within their family.
or 15% have seen their father hit their mother.
or 11% have seen their mother abused by a male partner.

4. Homeless Children Struggle in School
Despite state and federal efforts to provide homeless children with improved access to public school, at least one-fifth of homeless children do not attend school.

Homelessness takes children far away from their own schools and classmates. For many homeless
or There is no transportation from shelters to school.
or Improvised living arrangements are too short to make enrolling in a new school worthwhile.
or Lack of academic and medical records creates obstacles to registration.
or Daily demands of finding food and shelterpush children's educational needs aside.

Homeless children who manage to attend school face discouraging barriers to their academic success.
or Homeless children have four times the average rate of delayed development.
or Have more academic problems that other children.
or Are under-served by special education.
or Are suspended twice as often as other children.

Among homeless children, there is twice the number of students with learning disabilities and three times
the number of students with emotional and behavioral problems.

Homeless children are twice as likely to repeat a grade.
or 21% of children repeat a grade homeless because of frequent absence from school, compared to 5% of other children.
or 14% repeat a grade because they have moved to anew school, compared to 5% of other children.

Within a single year:
or 40% of homeless children attend two different schools.
or 28% attend three or more different schools.

So they need your help. Start with the short term help-provide food and clothes or shoes, And as you get involved start thinking of ways to help with the long term needs. With the current economic conditions its only going to get worse, And more help will be needed, And when you picture the homeless please picture the homeless child and not the drunken, pan handling bum. That homeless child so desperately needs your help.

What Are the Monthly Expenses You Need to Show on a Loan Modification Application? What Will Work?

What Are the Monthly Expenses You Need to Show on a Loan Modification Application? What Will Work?

Before you fill out your loan modification application and send it in for review, make certain the you know how to itemize your monthly expenses and monthly income. You will be asked to complete the three page form, called a RMA Request for Modification or Affidavit. The second page is where you breakdown all of your monthly expenses, income and cash in the bank. Most borrowers do not realize how important it is to prepare this section of the form correctly-it can literally make the difference between approval and denial! Here is some information on what you need to be on the look out for:

Loan Modification Application Monthly Expenses-TIPS

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pros And Cons Of Self-Employment

Pros And Cons Of Self-Employment

Most people have been at the point where they would love to ditch the 9 to 5 routine and work for themselves, but unless you have actually been there and gone the self-employment route, it is hard to determine whether or not it will be right for you. There are a number of different benefits and drawbacks of being your own boss and here are just a few to think about before you make that final decision.

Pro and Con: You are your own boss and answer to no one but yourself. The basic idea behind this is that while you do not have someone over your shoulder making sure you get things done is the temptation to take too many days off and let yourself get behind in your work. Self employment requires a significant amount of self-control and making sure that you know how to keepyourself on task and making money.

Con: Dealing with employees is not as fun as you might think. You not only have to make sure you stay on task, but also that your employees stay on task. And do not forget the possibility that you might have to fire someone who is not performing.

With: Obtaining loans in your first couple of years in business can be difficult. If you are just starting out in self-employment, you may have a hard time getting a loan for anything. Many large companies require you to show them two years ' worth of tax returns proving that you can repay the loan. If you have been unemployed for a time before turning to your own business, you may not be able to get a loan without a co-signer.

Pro: Health insuranceyou purchase for yourself and your family is tax deductible.

With: You will have to do boring tasks having to do with overseeing your business, such as maintaining records for tax purposes, client information, and etcetera.

Pro: You get to choose who you work with and who your clients are. Everyone has had a co-worker or a client they could not stand and if you find yourself having either a client or an employee, you simply cannot stand the sight of, you are not obligated, in most cases, to deal with them.

Paying For Truck Driving School

Paying For Truck Driving School

Now is one of the best times to get your CDL and pursue a job in the trucking industry. Truck driving is an honorable profession, is a vital part of our economy and it continues to be one of the highest paying careers available without a college degree. There is a high demand for skilled truckers right now. The American Trucking Association estimates that there is an annual shortage of over 20.000 truck drivers and that shortage is rising. This means that people graduating from driving school are almost guaranteed employment with a local or regional trucking company.

One of the main questions people considering a career as a truck driver has is "How am I going to pay for truck driving school?" Driving schools that offer 4 week courses charge on average $ 4,000 for tuition.This covers the school's cost to pay for instructors, insurance, fuel trucks, rent and advertising. There are other costs the students must pay that go toward drivers training and obtaining a CDL; these include: driving permits, licenses, copies of your motor vehicle record, DOT physicals and drug screens. It is important to remember that these upfront fees are an investment in your future. Truck drivers can earn an annual wage of $ 30,000 to $ 80,000 based on experience. That is a q return on your investment in just the first year.

So what are your options to pay for truck driving school? The first option is to pay for your tuition out of pocket using money from a checking, savings, money market, certificate of deposit or other financial accounts. If $ 4,000 is not availablein a bank account you could consider borrowing the money from a friend or family member. Tuition can also be charged using a credit card, or you can apply for a loan from a bank, credit union or other financial institution.

Another alternative to pay for truck driving school is to apply with a trucking company that offers tuition assistance. Contact the trucking company you're considering working for and ask their human resource department if they offer a tuition payment program. Some trucking companies will front you the costs for your driver training school and will then have you repay them after you begin employment. Most will deduct a reasonable payment from your checks until the balance is paid off. Other companies may offer tuition reimbursement programs. They'll payyou back the money you spent on driving school after you've been driving for them over a certain amount of time. After reimbursement you've essentially received your driver training for free.

If bank loans or company assistance programs aren't available then discuss payment options with the driving school you'll be attending. Truck driving school financial advisors have information and resources available to help you apply for private or government funding that is offered to provide grant money for skills training. Some of these programs include the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), vocational rehabilitation (VocRehab), Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA/TRAY), and the welfare-to-work (WtW) programs. Military veterans have the additional option of applying for funding throughthe Veterans Administration (VA).

The important thing to remember about paying for truck driver training is that you have options. So don't wait. Waiting will only cost you more time and money.

Fast Cash Advance Payday Loans For Unemployed

Fast Cash Advance Payday Loans For Unemployed

Are you hard pressed for finance? If you need cash advance to meet your pressing need consider using Fast cash Advance payday loans online to find out the loan company and the type of loan which best fits your circumstances. Why are you in need of finance?

Need to pay up urgent bills, there's an inevitable circumstance that has arisen due to some accident and you need to cover up the medical bill, your salary pay outs for the month is not sufficient enough to cover up such financial emergencies. Then, cash advance loans paid on the same day or within 24 hrs is your true answer for emergency circumstances like these. You need not wait for your documents to be sent or collateral to be verified. No long waits, unlike other> loans ...

No more questioning on your credit scores, you will definitely avail fast cash loans despite bad credit standing. It will hardly matter to the fast cash lender whether you have good credit or bad credits as they don't carry out any credit check. Fast cash advance payday loans are actually much easier than you may think to get.

No fax, simple paperless loan!

Don't forget to ask your lender what the duration of your loan is, how much you can borrow, and what interest rate you will be paying. Gather all of the essential information and get fast cash loans in times of financial catastrophe. If you have faced any financial crisis today, with urgent cash loans, there's apossibility of getting approved for your loan the next day, say roughly around 24 hours of time. These are quick and easy to get and allow you to receive help fast.

You know where to look for loans in tough time. As long as you are employed or receive regular recurring income and have a bank account, you are eligible for a payday cash advance! The process is fast and simple for new consumers as well as anyone one that has previously signed up before. Once you have submitted your information, experts will quickly review it and match you with a payday loan lender.

Friday, March 23, 2012

How to Borrow Money Against Your Home

How to Borrow Money Against Your Home

Before you borrow any money against your home, you need to think about all the pros and cons of this decision.

One positive is that the money you borrow against your home will be repayable at a lower interest rate than you may get from other lenders. This means that you will be able to reduce your monthly credit repayments by using the money from your house to pay off your higher interest borrowing.

You'll be able to repay your loan over a longer time, which will mean your monthly payments will be much reduced. Create a budget, and work out how much you're currently paying for your outstanding debts. Now, work out what your repayments would be if you consolidated them all into one single loan against your home.

You'll be able to see if this is thebest way to manage your debt problem.

If property prices are going up, the equity you have in your house will increase, so you'll be able to borrow more than when you originally took out your mortgage. The disadvantage of borrowing money against your home is if you are already finding it difficult to pay your mortgage. By borrowing more against your home, you will risk losing it altogether.

It would be a bad idea to increase the amount you borrow against your home if foreclosure is imminent.

When you do your budget, you may find that will be unable to make the mortgage payment added. In this case, it would be more sensible to sell of any possessions which have been borrowed against. Doing this will reduce the risk of losing your home.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Payday Loans Can Be Obtained With No Job and Disability Income?

Payday Loans Can Be Obtained With No Job and Disability Income?

payday loans for people without jobs:
The payday loan lenders do not need any collateral. All they need in the proof that you have got a steady source of income. The loans are almost guaranteed once the proof is shown. It might be very hard for unemployed to get payday loans. Lenders would not be ready to take risks and give loans to such people. But there are some solutions for the unemployed. These solutions will be given in this article.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Debt Settlement Letter-Example of a Good Debt Settlement Letter

Debt Settlement Letter-Example of a Good Debt Settlement Letter

Debt settlement letters are very important because they set terms to help you rid yourself of debt. They're a binding contract and can help fix your credit rating if done correctly. There are a number of things that should always be included in one of these letters to make sure you aren't setting yourself up for trouble. Here's an overview of what you need to include along with a sample letter.

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Always make sure your name, address and zip code are located on the letter, along with today's date. The collector's name and address should follow, along with your account number. Address the letter to someone helpful you spoke with by phone if possible. Explain your debt situation and what you plan to do. List the amount of debt you have and what you can do to improve your chancesof repayment, such as a new job. Be sure to include a proposed settlement amount, along with your terms. When you receive a letter back agreeing to your terms, includes a payment. Sign the letter and date it.

Your name
City, State and Zip
Today's date

Creditor Name
City, State and Zip

Re: Your Name
Creditor's Account Number
Your Social Security Number

I (name) wish to settle the outstanding debt with (creditor). (Explain why you've fallen into debt.) I strongly wish to pay back this debt.

Currently, the outstanding debt balance is (dollar amount). I am willing and able to settle this amount for (amount you can afford to pay). As part of this settlement I am making the following requests:

My account will be shown paidin full.
Any ligitation is dropped.
All negative listings will be deleted from the three credit bureaus below.

Upon acceptance of this letter (creditor name) agrees to the terms and conditions and the settlement (name) will send an overnight money order in the amount of (settlement amount) paid to (creditor).

(Creditor name) agrees to forward this letter to the three credit bureaus listed so negative listings may be deleted.

(Print Your Name) (Print)
(Sign your name)

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Owing to Tax Debt To The IRS-6 Ways To Keep From Drowning

Owing to Tax Debt To The IRS-6 Ways To Keep From Drowning

No refund this year ... After you've filed your income taxes you find out that you owe money to the IRS. Maybe the debt was from taxes on your business, or the debt is because you just claimed something or someone you shouldn't have. No matter how you've gotten the debt, it's there and you need to do something about it.

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"Here comes the cavalry ... The Hitman wants to give you some help in this tough time and give you some steps to help you with this debt.

1. Make sure you actually owe the debt. Go back over you information and make sure you did the math right. If the IRS has audited you, you can always use the services of the Tax Payer Advocate Service to verify your debt is accurate. You will need to get all paperwork together to prove any taxdeductions or tax credits that you claimed.

2. If your debt is accurate, don't panic and don't put off dealing with it. The IRS debt is not going to go away. Interest and penalties start adding on to the debt immediately and if you don't do anything the IRS will start taking more aggressive collection actions.

3. You can buy yourself some time. Send a written request to the IRS stating that you can't pay the tax debt right now. You'll be given a 45 day grace period before they start sending intent to levy letters and threatening collection actions.

4. Do something! If can borrow money to pay off the debt in full, do it! Owing your bank or a creditor gives you a better interest rate than the IRS does. Between interest and penalties theIRS is increasing your debt by about 25% per year.

5. If you can't get a loan you can try to negotiate with the IRS. For a complete list of the options for settling an IRS debt read my article, "Tax Problem Help: How to Give Yourself a Fighting Chance". If you feel too overwhelmed by the IRS bureaucracy then you can consider using a tax professional service to help you with the right plan.

6. don't wait for the IRS to contact you! Because of the size of the IRS everything moves slowly, at first. When I was a Hitman some people wouldn't get notification of their debt for up to a year. And once you get that first notification we would have you targeted and then we sped things up. Not to mention interest and penalties would add on starting fromday one of your tax debt.

One more thing ... The best advice this reformed Hitman can give you is to act immediately! Don't put your head in the sand, and don't hope things will work themselves out. The IRS is not just a collection agency; they're not bound by State laws. They can take whatever they want from you, and they can destroy your life if you let them.

Now you have the smoking gun ...Use it!

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Personal Loan-Unsecured Unemployed No Job, No Problem in Loans

Personal Loan-Unsecured Unemployed No Job, No Problem in Loans

If you are an employed person who earns a set amount of salary per month or week, you can easily get payday loans from a land based money lender. But then, you need to put in papers of your proof of employment, salary, and other papers to avail the loan. But in case you are unemployed, you are not considered for a loan. Even then, if you need money Vietnam, you can go for the unemployed unsecured personal loan which the money lenders on the internet offer.

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As the name indicates, these are the unsecured loans. Unsecured loans carry a higher rate of interest as compared to the secured loans. They are also for a short term. This means you can take a loan of up to 500 pounds and you will haveto repay it within one year. Some money lenders offer up to 5000 pounds for a three year term. You have to do small research on the internet to find the best deal.

As these are unsecured unemployed personal loans, you do not have to place any collateral. You need not find any surety too. You just have to fill in a free application form available on the website of these money lenders. Once you submit the loan application, it is processed and verified within hours. Thereafter you are notified of the amount you can avail as the loan. If you agree, the money is wired to your checking account.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Unemployed Loans: NO JOB?

Unemployed Loans: NO JOB?

Unemployment according to The Columbia Encyclopedia is a condition of one who is able to work but unable to find work. Unemployment is often accompanied by a scarcity of funds. The situation becomes grimmer if the job lost is the primary source of income. As unemployment continues, the individual contracts gradually many more malaises like poverty, indebtedness, and mental and physical disorders that characterise the lives of such people.

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Almost every unemployed person faces a situation similar to the above until they are exposed to unemployed loans.Stable financial income is a prerequisite for the normal loans. Going by this logic, an unemployed person would have never qualified for a normal loan because of an absence of anysource of income. However, since unemployment is not a rare incident and because the unemployed people cannot be left to fend for themselves " loan providers have designed a few criteria that will make the unemployed people eligible for financial assistance.

Unemployed loans present various options before unemployed people to enable them to purchase the various necessities along with a lump sum payment for repayment of debts, buying holidays, and for purchasing cars.The first question that first comes to the mind of an unemployed is-whether an unemployed can get a loan? The answer to this is yes. It may not be difficult but it certainly isn't impossible to finding unemployed loan. Loan lenders usually stay clear of unemployed for they don't have a regular income to guarantee the payback of loans. Unemployed loans is formed exactly to tackle this inconvenience. Unemployed loans are ideal for unemployed people for they are offered with low interest rates and other benefits.

Just like any other conventional loan unemployed loans can either be secured or unsecured.

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Needs Without Income! Instant Loans for Unemployed

Needs Without Income! Instant Loans for Unemployed

Unemployment is the root of many problems which occurs due to financial incapability. Every individual faces such problems while he or she is unemployed. These problems are related to poverty, indebtedness, mental and physical disorders. Absence of source of income can be the hurdle when he is looking forwards towards getting a standard loan. At such situation all the doors may be seen as closed for you but there is always a way out, and that way is instant loans for unemployed.

Fast Unemployed Loans

About the loan...

Instant loans for unemployed are the right way to support the financial needs of jobless individuals in meeting their contingencies as fast as possible. These loans are short term loans and offersyou smaller amount as compared to standard loans. There is no security no collateral and an unemployed borrower so the risk of the lender is high. The interest rate on these loans is slightly higher to cover up the risk of the lenders. To cover up for this single negative point an instant loan for unemployed offers you benefits such as:

Benefits of instant loans for unemployed which a borrower should look for

oInstant approvals-cash loans are quickly approved for your instant needs such as medical expenses on health of problem, emergency repairs at home or any other requirement. It just takes 24 hours to get the money deposited into your checking account.

oAvailability of loan irrespective of credithistory: Instant loans for unemployed are no credit check loans. These loans are easily available to people with bad credit history. These include CCJ's and IVA 's, defaulters and arrears, people with a lot of debts with them or any other reason due to which they may have a poor credit score.

Instant loans for unemployed loans are same as payday loans for self-employed people. Being unemployed you will not be able to get a payday loan where as you can easily apply for instant loans for the self-employed. With these loans you can borrow amounts ranging between ₤250 to ₤1000. The borrower can repay the loan after they hope to regain employment. But it is recommended to pay off theseloans as early as interest rate is high.

To search and choose a deal for instant loans for unemployed which suits your circumstances to the fullest, you should look towards every aspect of the loan. For this you can go through small prints or terms and conditions of the loan. This will help you avoid any disagreements with the lender later. Instant loans for unemployed can alleviate your life giving your life with proper fiscal support.

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Government Backed Bad Credit Used Car Loans?

Government Backed Bad Credit Used Car Loans?

With the recent changes in the White House and with so many bills being passed in the Senate, it's hard to know what's really going on these days when it comes to government funding for private loans. Not long ago, people were running out to buy houses because of a credit that the Obama administration was offering for home loans. cash for Clunkers, an incentive for people to trade in their older model cars for newer fuel efficient models, was all the rage on the internet until that program came to a close.

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Now, people are still wondering if there is such a thing as a government backed loan used car available for people with bad credit. There are loans available for people with bad credit, based on your income. It's very easy to get approvedand interest rates, payments and other terms are much more favorable for you in comparison to traditional financing through car dealerships. You'll receive a draft that you can use to go car shopping. The amount of your loan is based on your income and financial situation.

These loans are not government funded, endorsed, supported or backed.

There are online lending sources that can provide you with quick car loan approvals in seconds, without the need for you to go from dealership to dealership trying to get approved. Arranging your financing online vs. at dealers is faster and there are no dealer addon's to the interest rate. This results in lower payments and more car for your money.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Loans For People in Foreclosure-4 Tips For Getting a Loan

Loans For People in Foreclosure-4 Tips For Getting a Loan

Millions are currently facing the threat of foreclosure or are actually going through foreclosure proceedings right now. Despite the fact that this has unfortunately become something of a trend lately, knowing that others are going through it as well does not lessen the pain and frustration of foreclosure.

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The reason for having to go through a foreclosure usually has to do with not being able to make ends meet-not only with mortgage payments, but with all financial obligations. In other words: it's a money thing. If you are going through a foreclosure, you are probably facing a number of heavy financial worries that only add to your problems: car payments, mounting credit card bills, and even trying to come up with rent so you can find a place to live after you leave yourhome.

loans for people in foreclosure can be just what are needed to get through a tough time in their lives. If you are in need of a personal loan, credit card, or a new mortgage loan right now, here are 4 tips for getting a loan:

1. A foreclosure saps your already-strained financial resources

If you are currently in foreclosure, you are already strapped for cash. Now, you face moving out of your home and finding somewhere new to live. This can force you to incur a number of related costs, such as the cost of searching for a new place to live, the cost of taking time off of work to make the move, buying some new furnishings, and even paying for movers and gas. All of these additional costs just add to the burden ofwhat is already a very tough financial situation for you.

2. You can get a mortgage or car loan even if you have bad credit

The good news is that there is an entire cottage industry of special lenders who are dedicated to extending the car and new mortgage loans to people facing foreclosure. This is true even if your credit score is currently dismal, given that it has been battered by this whole process.

3. You can still get credit cards even if you have bad credit

Having another credit card right now may be the last thing you think you need, but think again. New credit card can provide you with the ability to make short-term purchases to help you through this transition time, after which you can set upa short time period to pay it down.

Trouble is, with standard credit card companies it can be hard to get approved for a new credit card when you are going through a foreclosure or have bad credit. Fortunately, there are multiple credit card companies who are more than willing to open a card for people in your situation. Of course, you may have to pay a higher interest rate than if you had stellar credit. But, if you look at this as a short-term loan to get you through this tough time and you pay it back down quickly, the higher interest rates will not cost you much extra.

4. You can even get an unsecured personal loan

Even for people going through foreclosure, it is even entirely possible to secure an unsecured personal loan."Unsecured" simply means that you do not have to put up any collateral for the loan. You just get the loan, no questions about collateral asked. You can use a personal loan for anything you like, including paying extra expenses during your current transition period or even taking a vacation with your family while you sort out what you are going to do next.

Loans for people in foreclosure are a reality. Today, there are dedicated, completely legitimate lenders in the financial market who know that times are tough, and they are willing to help you get through this rough patch.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Served a Summons Or Credit Card Debt Lawsuit-don't Call the Creditor!

Served a Summons Or Credit Card Debt Lawsuit-don't Call the Creditor!

I receive emails every week from people who have had the misfortune of receiving a summons notice on their doorstep or the joy of having a stranger sidle up to them and say, "You've been served."

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Not fun. Oftentimes, these same people tell me that the first thing they did was to pick up the phone, call the collection agent or collection attorney in many cases and try to work out a payment plan or settlement agreement. This is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Once you have been served a summons, this means that the collection agency is SUING YOU. You are being sued and the collection agency is now the Plaintiffs and you are the Defendant. Any and ALL communication with the Plaintiffs should be done via written correspondence only.

It's too late for "I'll send you $ 50 buck tomonth, I promise. " Way too late. Now is the time to take responsibility for your financial future and face your fears head on (debt). Even if the collector was to agree to a payment plan, they cannot be trusted. While you are "working it out" they could be in the process of putting a lien on your property and searching for your bank account information in order to seize your assets.

Here's what you need to do. First of all, DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED. This is difficult, after all I'm sure you feel badly about the debt in the first place and it's probably been haunting you for years. The sad truth is that many of these debt lawsuits are brought about on out-of-State statute debt and the collection agencies and debt attorneys are notorious for re-aging the DOLA or Date of Last Activity on yourcredit report. It's in your best interest to dig up any old credit reports and bank statements to prove the date of the last payment you made on the defaulted accounts. If that date is past your state's statute of limitations on open credit card debt, they have the right to try and collect, but they cannot sue you and must drop the lawsuit.

Additionally, very rarely is a debtor sued for the actual amount they owe ... penalties, interest, and other assorted fees are generally tacked on to the balance. Make them prove their case!

There are many other defenses that can be raised against one of these collectors. The key is that you need to communicate with them through the court system. They don't expect you to fight back, over 96% of debt lawsuits end in default judgment. Thechances of them backing off and dropping the lawsuit are HUGE if you take the time to properly format what is called a Notice of Appearance, Answer, and Certificate of Service.

It takes some time and research to properly file these documents, but it's your financial future at stake. A default judgment can not only freeze your bank account or garnish your wages but it will also ruin your credit for a minimum of 7 years. A few states offer basic templates for the forms you will need to file with the court, a simple Google search should offer up some resources. You can purchase Word templates (w/affirmative defenses for third-party debt collectors) for the "Answer to Complaint" document and more at www.IHaveBeenServed .info and alternatively there are very helpful people on several"debt" internet message boards who can offer up advice when drafting your own documents.

Additionally, you should fax and mail (certified, return receipt) to Cease & Desist Letter to the creditor informing them that they must communicate with you via written correspondence only and now that they know how to communicate with you, they must refrain from contacting any of your neighbors, friends, relatives or employees in an attempt to collect their debt. If they violate your request, you can threaten to sue them for an infraction of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) which allows $ 1,000 for each violation.

Now is the time to action. If you do nothing, the creditors will find your assets and take them. Bottom line. File your Answer and other supporting documents andwait and see. The best that can happen? They won't want to fight you in court and drop the lawsuit (they rarely have the supporting documentation to back up their claims) or you'll receive a courtdate and you'll be given the chance to work out a settlement agreement at that time. Either way you will have avoided a default judgement which is looked upon as poorly as bankruptcy in many cases.

Fight back! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Loan Modifications For Investment Properties

Loan Modifications For Investment Properties

Do you have rental or investment properties that are causing a financial difficulty for you? Are the payments too high due to adjustable rates or do you owe more than the property is currently worth? An investment property loan modification is an option that may provide the help you need. Here is some helpful information that you may be able to use when speaking with your lender.

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The fact is that as the market continues to deteriorate, lenders have become more and more willing to modify loans on all types of properties. While some of the government subsidized programs are targeted at primary residences, many other programs are available to investors. After all, when renters are evicted by the bank and properties are left vacant, it hurts the already decimatedhousing market and costs the banks millions of dollars. Whenever it makes sense for the lender, they will modify the terms of an investment property to keep the loan performing.

The trick to getting a loan modification on an investment property is proving to the lender that it will cost them less money over the long run to edity the loan instead of foreclosing. How do you do this simply and clearly? The first step is determining the approximately market value of the property-if the loan balance is higher than what it could reasonably sell for, you have some leverage. Secondly, if the rents do not cover the current loan expenses and the property has a negative cash flow, use a form called a Rental Schedule to prove this to the lender. You canalso show how a new modified payment would cure this problem.

Keep in mind that your lender is a debt collector and anything you say or give them can and will be used either for or against you. Many borrowers contact their bank to apply for an investment property loan modification before they take the time to learn and prepare. It is critical to prepare your budget, financial statement and rental schedule before you speak with your lender. This way you have time to fine tune it, make any changes and be sure that it will meet the approval guidelines. Do not contact your lender until you know what you are talking about. Investing just a couple of hours of your time now could mean the difference between getting help or being denied.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Do Upside Down Mortgage Holders Have Another Option Besides Short Sales?

Do Upside Down Mortgage Holders Have Another Option Besides Short Sales?

Are there any other options for upside down mortgage holders besides short sales? There answer is now yes. A new program known as a Principal Balance Reduction is being offered to homeowners upside down a few that meet basic qualifications. As long as the mortgage (s) is worth at least 25% more than the value of the property and the applicant can document a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less (based on the new, lower monthly mortgage payment) the negative equity can be completely eliminated through a Principal Balance Reduction program.

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A Principal Balance Reduction program is essentially a large scale Note purchase program consisting of heavily upside down homeowners, some current on their payments and others that have already stopped making their mortgage payments. Due tothe fact that property owners who owe more than their property is worth are very likely to default in the not so distant future, the Notes are sold to the new buyer (in this case a $ 5 Billion dollar hedge-fund) at a steep discount to current market value. The new owner of the Notes, the hedge-fund, then turns around and changes a couple of terms of the existing Note they just acquired. The outstanding mortgage balance is reduced to 95% of current market value and the interest rate is changed, to either 6.25% 7.25% or depending on the homeowners credit score. The once upside down homeowner now has a permanent principal reduction often amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings and the hedge-fund makes a quick profit and turns around and repeats the process with newclients.

Short sales Are a thing of the past? Possibly. If a homeowner qualifies for the program, why just walk away from the property and let someone else get a great deal. Also, short sales have negative tax implications and don't do your credit any good. A Principal Balance Reduction program allows the homeowner to essentially short sell the property to themselves without the negative tax implications or ruining their credit rating.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Buying Country Acreage and Rural Properties, To Buy or Not To Buy

Buying Country Acreage and Rural Properties, To Buy or Not To Buy

Almost anyone can become a rural property owner; if you are willing to set goals, establish what your purposes are, plan ahead and set targets that are all aligned toward the same result. And, if you can be patient instead of requiring instant gratification.

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There is no more $ 50-an-acre land; unless you count some of the inaccessible and unusable properties that are sometimes available in blocks of 10.000 acres or more; and even these properties are rare. But you can get rural properties more reasonably now than in the past IF you are willing to be creative in your expectations and in the ways you use and modify the property.

If you are in a big hurry to find rural property, you will likely not be able to find what you are looking for. Rural properties have fewerbuyers who want to purchase them, but there are plenty of dreamers who have not considered the realities. There are seldom bargains available because most folks who own rural properties know exactly who to call first when they want to sell. If the property really is a bargain it is gone with one of the first ten phone calls the seller makes. However, if you are willing to "think outside the box" of convention you may end up with what is a bargain property for you.

Twenty and thirty years ago thousands of folks bought into the "live on a farm and make a fortune" dream of owning a chicken house, home and acreage in Sussex County Delaware--the chicken capital of the world--where there are several million chickens for every person who lives here. For a short while it was possible totake the "contract" from a chicken plant to the bank and with only that as collateral, get a loan for about 10 acres, at home and at least one chicken house. Many folks soon discovered that the so called contract had fine print and clauses that were all in favor of the chicken plant and none in favor of the chicken grower. Soon most chicken growers were working full time to help support the chicken business they had bought, along with it's mortgage of $ 200,000 or more, sometimes much more.

Now when I appraise a chicken farm with house and acreage I appraise the working chicken farm at zero--and that is really too high a value in some cases. There are lots of easier, better and cleaner smelling jobs you can purchase with $ 200,000 or so. If you want to make a living growingchickens you should prepare to spend at least a million dollars, you can finance it of course, and get several chicken houses built around your home on 15 to 20 acres, if you don't mind the smell, and then the best bet is to lease the business to someone who is running 20 or thirty chicken houses at least.

There are some sensible things you can do in contemplation of moving to and living in the country. First among those is to start by renting a small home in the area you want to live--and either move there or at least visit there often enough to get to know the area. If you already live close enough to drive to your dream area daily, start doing that and start frequenting the shops, churches and restaurants there. Stop at yard sales and to check into cars, trucks and equipmentthat is for sale in people's front yards. Be honest, tell them you are planning to move into the area and want to learn about your neighbors and only stop to shop if you are really interested in what they have for sale and are willing to purchase it at your price. Rural folk have a built in truth-detector and it is usually accurate. Don't try to BS them or your reputation will precede any other data about you.

I suggest that you can subscribe to good magazine on rural living, or two or three. One of the best to begin with is Backwoods Home Magazine; Start by visiting and reading EVERYTHING online, then get a subscription, then purchase ALL of the back issues which are bound into soft cover books.

If you yearn for the simple life of old fashionedliving in a log home, for instance, and away from the downward pull of civilization, check out:

If you are able to take your income with you, to maintain your current income, and don't need a job where you are going. Then I recommend you just rent a place first and start spending more and more time in a good area as you begin to test your transition resources. While renting get to know the people and see if you fit in with them. They are not planning to change to meet your parameters, I assure you. MOST of the folks who come from the city to the country start by trying to change the area they have moved to and the new neighbors, to be more like where they left. They should not have left or they should get on back there--and most of the neighbors will tell youI know.

If you move to an area as a renter and find the people to your liking and they find you to their liking, you have probably found the right area. However, in rural areas ten miles can make a huge difference in lifestyle and area ethnicity. Please don't move to a resort town, like Rehoboth Beach where I work, and then without checking try to move into a place like Oak Orchard (the little rural waterfront town where I live) or you will experience some near terminal culture shock. I love where I live and the people who live here but hopefully not one of them thinks that I have some intention of changing the way they live here!

Once you have zeroed in on an area and visited it many dozen times or better yet rented a place there and started living there for short stays; THEsuggest that you start joining various groups and organizations as a part-time member and let them know that you are not full time yet, but hope to be. They help. Don't try to instruct them or help them do what they are already doing better; just try to help them on their own terms. You need to learn the rules of this new game, it's their game and their community. At most you will be a welcome member of the community. You will never be the equal to those who have four or ten or thirty generations of family buried and established there. For instance in our area for those who have only been here for sixty years are still not considered "from here" by those who have been here since the 1500s or soon after.

Once you have looked at several dozen properties that interest you, and that maytake a year or two or more; you will begin to appreciate different micro-cultures in the area. You will begin to notice differences in soils, roads, water well, septic system functionality and road access; not to mention the differences in governmental rules and enforcement of same. Each time you find the perfect property; put a contract on it "pending research and discovery" and during that time check the neighbors and professionals about the property. You should check the neighbors first, lots of them, they already know everything the professionals are going to charge you to tell you.

Hopefully by the second or third property you put a contract and deposit on; you will have the one that is right for you. Remember, if the property is a bargain price, you have missed something inalmost every case. What you need to do is figure out how it is a bargain for you; because you have an unusual use, ability, or way to change the property easily to suit your needs.

Buy through a Realtor if at all possible. Sign a buyers agent agreement with your agent so that his allegiance is to you--otherwise, by law his allegiance is ONLY to the seller and by law, you are in an adversarial position to the seller and the Realtor. With a buyer's agent agreement signed, your agent is now on your side, by law, and is an opponent of the seller and the seller's agent. Ask your agent then to provide you with all the comparable sales data from the multiple listing service if there is one. Hire an appraiser If not, once you have the property under contract, (make the contract contingentupon a satisfactory appraisal) and pay the price to have evaluated. If you have contracted for too high a price, renegotiate the contract; if you find you have a real bargain; you of course double check with your agent and the appraiser to find out why. It may be that the reason for it's "reasonable" price the reason that keeps it from selling is not that important to you--and you do have to bargain.

Possibly your employer or the consulting work or your self employment activities may allow you to telecommute. But if you can't telecommute to maintain your current income; before buying in an area, find out if you have a marketable skill, one which is in demand in that particular region. This will give you some assurance that you will not become a financial fatality. Most of the folkswho move to rural communities, without checking into how they will make money in the new location, have to sell their property at a loss within 5 years, due to lack of income.

If you are retired, be certain that hospitals, doctors, stores, restaurants, etc. are suitable for you in the new location--or be very certain that you will be able to comfortably reside in the new area regardless.

Some of us are not be able to save enough money for a cash purchase of our rural dream property before we reach retirement age. It is however likely that we can provide a small sum for a down payment, and we're reasonably certain that we can market our skills locally to meet payments and put bread on the table (but please don't just guess about this, check it out).

Even if you findsmall acreage (10 to 50 acres) for $ 5,000 or less per acre that has good soil, good water available and a good prospect for an inexpensive, workable septic system--many banks and mortgage companies are not optimistic about raw land financing. BUT, seller financing is often to alternative and easily structured method of purchasing raw land. In fact it is not unusual to get twenty, thirty or even forty year financing at 10% or less interest--from the seller. Of course, in order to build on the property, you will normally have to pay off the seller's mortgage with your home financing loan. Any of the money you have paid on the price of the land, down payment as well as principle payments during your ownership period, and any appreciation of the land value will be considered aspart of your down payment on your home owners loan.

Be careful to set your payments so that you can afford the land payments along with your current cost of housing. You can save thousands of dollars in interest by keeping your loan to a term as short as possible. Also, make sure that there is no prepayment penalty on your seller financing notes.

You can however often purchase an existing home on acreage for a lot less than the cost of acreage and building a similar home. You can also often rent out the property to cover part of your expense while you arrange your affairs for your eventual relocation to rural bliss. If you are interested in purchasing a 100 acre horse farm complete with buildings, fencing, paddocks, etc. you can often save nearly 50% of thereconstruction cost; but there is little market for renting such a property.

If you find "more than five acres" with a home and buildings that need work but are structurally sound, you may save 30% to even 60% of the reconstruction cost. Be certain in this area, Sussex County Delaware, that you get more than five acres as five acres or less falls into a nonagricultural zoning classification that you may not wish to be involved with as you develop your rural lifestyle.

Most people ask me for 20 to 30 acres, or more. But let's take a look at reality here. A football field is three quarters of one acre. Thus 5.1 acres or more is a very roomy place to live wise acreage. If you want horses however think 15 acres or more. Each horse will need an average of 5 to 9 acres depending onhow you decide to raise the horse; that acreage is in addition to the land that your home, driveway, out buildings, garden and other non-fenced areas take in. Many people are thinking of one, two, three or four horses for the family enjoyment; if so they need about 3 or more acres for the home and other human related improvements and should figure an average of seven additional acres for each horse or pony.

If you have a dream of self-sufficiency; living off the grid power, being away from it all ... this is virtually impossible in reality yet most prevalent when you are in the dream stage. Coming to terms with what you can realistically afford and what you can realistically live with before you buy can save you a lot of headaches later.

Solar power is far more expensive thanbuying electricity from the power company, wind power is unreliable, water power is expensive and hard to arrange; now I expect to get a lot of argument on this from those who have read all about it but have no real experience--but I won't get any valid argument from anyone who has done it (unless they are simultaneously trying to sell the idea to others).

There are many good articles in Backwoods Home Magazine; but most of them leave out the initial expense, maintenance expense and almost always the expense of replacing worn components of these so called money saving off-the-grid systems. You can however passive solar home design, one with most windows facing south west facing and few other directions. Most older farm houses are already designed like this, not all of them arewell insulated however.

Location: is paramount. We Realtors are wont to chant "location--location--location" like a mantra. It isimportant, just learn what it means as location hasdifferent parameters for different purposes. Location on a main road is mandatory for commercial activity; location near pleasant living and good jobs is imperative for residential property; location regarding rural principles is sometimes a matter of life and death or at least a matter of doable and undoable for a rural home.

I suggest that the proper location for rural living is NOT usually closest to the best beach, ski slope or lake but the more sensible location is near to a rural town where many or most of the locals are living on rural acreage. Everyone wants to be In our area ten to thirtyacres near the beach; after finding out the price, they dream about 1 to 5 acres but seldom end up getting it and if they do the difficulty of finding it, using it for rural purposes and enjoying it when your neighbors complain about your rooster, tractor noise or fertilizer odors will often make this semi-rural location less than your dreams.

If you're not rigidly set on purchasing land in some popular or scenic wonderland, some good buys can still be found in the less "romantic" parts of the county, particularly on the edges of small farming communities. In Sussex County, I suggest the south west part of the county, west of Millsboro, nearer to Gumboro, Delmar, etc. for the best rural surroundings and lowest prices. There are few properties available in that area but even fewerbuyers who have faced the reality of where rural living is better lived.

If you are independently wealthy, that is a different matter. There are some lovely farms on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific near Carmel California; where the movie stars reside and if you can find a hundred acre farm you may be able to get it for a hundred million dollars or so, plus the value of improvements. That is about what you can expect to pay for acreage near Rehoboth also; and it's a little easier to find. The farther you go away from the "ideal" locations, the fewer people are looking to purchase it and the lower the price is. An interesting anecdote here; I had a couple come to me a few years ago looking to purchase a hundred acres or so on the oceanfront near Rehoboth, for horses; they couldeasily afford the price of a million an acre or so, but they ended up purchasing land twenty minutes inland after they did more reasonable research.

Before you go out looking for property, sit down with paper and pencil and any partners or family that will be involved. You may find numerous surprises when you all start writing down importances, desires, and things not wanted. It is most important that you know what you must have, and what you can do without. Make a list of the features you feel an area MUST have in order for you to consider relocating there. This might include things like climate (and, thus, growing season), being within a certain radius of a population center (or maybe a certain distance AWAY from one), and availability of certain facilities or services. Beingwithin 20 miles of an airport or hospital may not matter to one family, but could be of vital importance to another.

The most important item on this list is consideration of the social and economic climate of the area, and how you will fit into it. Even if you're independently wealthy, the economic circumstances of an area can affect how you will fit into it. Will a well-heeled but bored-with-society person be able to move into an economic Appalachia and truly find contentment? Perhaps, but first consider the "necessities" of the life you'll be leaving. Do you need to regularly attend the symphony or visit a high-quality library? Is high quality clothing shopping or other shopping important to you?


Those of us who aren't independently wealthy need to consider some means of supporting ourselves in our new surroundings. "Living off the land" is certainly NOT all it's cracked up to be, and isn't even legal unless you become a vegetarian; year around hunting for meat is illegal everywhere. Even gardening or collecting wild edibles is not legal either, if you try to do it on public land.

Before moving to the country ... One of the important questions to ask (and find out for sure the answer) is; "Does the area have a large enough population base to give a person a good shot at finding a job? Another is; "Does it have a diversified economy? Many communities seem to have good employment opportunities, but on closerinspection they all turn out to be based on the same industry, such as recreation, chickens, fishing camps, skiing, ocean swimming and water sports, timber or mining or farming. If the bottom falls out of a single industry, or suddenly there is no snow or the water becomes polluted and is posted against use ... as folks from many towns can attest has happened, the economy of the entire area falls apart-- FAST... to fast to get out with your investment.

If an area's economy is primarily based on tourism, such as ours in the Lewes, Rehoboth, Dewey, Bethany, Fenwick area, there may be many jobs available in the service sector (motels, restaurants, etc.) But most of these jobs pay very low wages, and often these jobs are seasonal. Land prices tend to be inflated in manyresort areas, and ours more so than most.

I was surprised a few years ago to find that the most expensive areas of California were not all that expensive compared to Rehoboth and surrounding areas.

Minimum wage income is not likely to enable a person to live comfortably in a resort community, much less enable a person to purchase property! An extreme example is the city of Aspen, Colorado. This beautiful ski resort community is an extremely expensive place to live. The local fast-food restaurants have trouble getting employees because there is no reasonably priced place for them to live. Some of these businesses actually have to provide housing in order to get employees! It is somewhat like that in Rehoboth area. As you may know, Grotto's Pizza, our largest employer inthe area at one time provided space for many of their employees. Now, a lot of our resort help lives communally in "three bedrooms, sleeps twenty) type apartments and homes. Many more of our seasonally employed folks are imported from Ireland and elsewhere--and how to live in dormitory style, often sleeping in shifts.

If you are a computer professional, you are very fortunate as the "Information Age" has created a class of professionals who can survive in depressed rural areas--the computer entrepreneur. With reasonably good dial-up ISP service, perhaps a cable modem (Millsboro and some areas of southern Sussex County) to cell phone, computer, printer, and fax modems, people can now roam across the country and the world by phone and the Internet. Some folks, and this is a> segment of our fast growing, buyers can either work at home for a distant company (perhaps once a week commuting or once a month or even in the case of one of my clients twice a week) or create a new business as a consultant, doing the same job for the same company they are currently employed by. With a business card and digital tools one can appear to have a large conventional business, albeit to laptops and other portable digital tools, and it can be quite profitable.

Computer-based businesses are ideally suited for rural living. They are becoming increasingly more important as a means of breaking loose from the grind of commuting to work in big cities that are fast becoming too dangerous to live in. If you're not yet into computers, you'll have to consider whether youhave a skill that's marketable in the area you're interested in.

Make sure the place you choose (a) has a use for that skill, and (b) isn't saturated with unemployed people who have the same skill. One of my best friends is a fabulous home builder, carpenter, cabinet maker, and skilled in many other fields such as welding, auto mechanics, gunsmithing to some degree and perhaps a couple of dozen more marketable skills. He moved to a rural area of Virginia to his dream home on over a hundred acres and his income plummeted. He is back here now and I'm glad he is even though I don't see him very often; it's just pleasant to drive by his business and know he's back in the neighborhood.

Please, please, please ... before you move to an new rural area; subscribe to the nearestnewspaper for the area you are considering and read the economic and community sections as well as the help wanted ads. If there is a skimpy "help wanted" section in the local paper ... beware. On the other hand, could this "depressing" state of affairs regarding employment news probably means that real estate is bargain priced in that area?


What about your health and age? Do you now or do you expect to have frequent need for the type of medical services mostly found in large cities?

Although they're necessary, think seriously about staying at least 25 miles away from the nearest freeway system. These "conduits of crime" that cross the country not only carry law-abiding citizens but solitary criminals and gangs as well. The gangs and other thugstend to use the corridor towns in proximity of the freeways as their "banks" and they excel in "withdrawals on the run." One small town the writers lived in was only a few miles from a freeway exit. One night, two men left the freeway, robbed a motel and got back on the freeway a short time later. They were never caught. Imagine what these corridors may become as our cities and suburbs continue to deteriorate!


Once you've decided where you'd generally like to relocate, visit it several times, preferably at different times of the year. Learn which areas are desirable and which have problems. Check for flood plains, areas with access problems, water problems (not enough, too much or poor quality), noise problems (yes, even rural areas canhave noisy spots), or other problems peculiar to a given area. Some rural "neighborhoods" have earned a bad reputation. Find out why before buying there. If the price seems too good to be true, maybe somebody's trying to unload a problem.

If you're looking for undeveloped land on which to build your retreat, find out about the water tables: depth, quality, and reliability. Find out what it costs to drill a well to the necessary depth for that area. Water should be one of the most important considerations in any land purchase. In Sussex County we are fortunate that we have generally good water (no matter what the press and Pseudo-envoronmentalists say) and wells are relatively cheap to drill.

Find out the proximity of utilities and costs to bring them in and hook them up, ifthey're not already in place. In some areas, costs to hook up to the power grid lines are prohibitive. Some of those same areas may not be conducive to an inexpensive well or septic either. BUT that can be an advantage if you are able to think outside of the norm. For instance our Fowler's Beach property is not conducive to running electric wires, getting good water from a shallow well or building and inexpensive sewer system. As a result you can get waterfront acreage for little money on a private beach and the cost of electric, water and sewer when added to the cost of the property is minuscule!

Once you've narrowed your search to a few areas within your target community, look at several properties! Realtors such as ourselves, can be a big help, not only by showing you individualproperties, but by telling you about the area in general. It's not necessary to restrict yourself to one Realtor. But as soon as possible you should choose ONE to work with, get their allegiance and preferably sign a buyer's agent agreement with them so that they are looking out for your best interests! If your Realtor is too pushy for you or isn't showing you the type of properties that interest you, find another one; make sure you void the buyer's agent agreement if you have one (in writing) and get a Realtor who will listen to what you want and provide you such.

And don't forget to watch the newspapers and check out properties in your price range and area of interest being offered for sale by owner. Sometimes the best deals can be had by working with owners; and if you have abuyer's agent, the agent can make certain that you are well informed and protected even after you view the property with the seller.

You will also need an attorney in Delaware to assist you with the closing on the property. It is important to know that all attorney's CAN do real estate settlements but only a handful are worth using. Attorneys specialize and only three to five of them specialize in real estate--for the rest of them, real estate settlements are awkward and no matter what they say ... they usually make errors and those errors can be horrid.

When you do find a property you like, don't let it blind you to its drawbacks. Whether or not you're working with a Realtor, do your homework. Remember, unless your Realtor is a buyer's agent, he or she is working for theseller. Most Realtors will be up front with you about all your questions, but they are also bound by contract to get the best possible price for their clients, the seller. And, by law--when they are working for the seller, there are numerous things they may NOT divulge to you even when they know about them.

First, ask the seller or Realtor all the questions you can about the property. For an older dwelling, this might include questions about the age of the wiring and plumbing, type of foundation, and in some parts of the country, when it was last checked for insect problems. This is particularly important regarding the beaches and wooded properties--where termites are prevalent.

Then talk to the neighbors. In the rural sense, the "neighbors" are folks living within afive-or-so-mile radius of the property; sometimes even more, if the property is down a long road without intersections. Ask them about the area, its people, any problems with the area, and particularly if they know of any drawbacks with the property you are considering purchasing. If they seem reluctant to talk to you, this might be a red flag you shouldn't ignore: maybe they'd like to buy the property but can't afford it, or maybe they don't like outsiders buying property in their area. If you run up against this in several conversations, you might have a hard time getting along with the neighbors. Buying--and holding onto--that chunk of land, with or without a home and buildings on it will take creative planning, patience, and caution on your part!


Today's expensive properties will be tomorrow's bargains. Don't be discouraged by short term obstacles. Land prices seldom go down in the long run. Obviously, there are a lot more things to consider when buying rural land as opposed to buying a house in a city. One of them is the possible problems of buying in a "boom town" area when you don ' t want to be part of the boom.

It is important to consider whether your dream location will become less desirable as more people relocate there. For this reason it is not uncommon for people who move to a rural area to want to "close the gate" after they get there. They realize that if too many people move to the small community they have chosen, that it will eventually lose the qualities that drew them there in the first place.Unfortunately, people WILL find these wonderful places, no matter how hard some people try to keep them a secret. Some communities handle growth well, others don't. Check to see what kind of planning and zoning is present in your chosen area. A community that looks ahead and plans for growth fares much better than communities that keep their heads in the sand, thinking "it can't happen here." Growth not only can happen, it will.

But short of a natural disaster or a man-made calamity devastating, land won't come down in value. Buy it, use it, live on it, improve it, and love it. Land is the best investment you'll ever make, for yourself and posterity.

Good luck in your search!

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