Two Ways to Invest in Gold without Buying the Bars

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GoldTo become wealthy, it is important you do know not only how to save, but also how to invest. The latter allows you to grow money passively – earning while you are sleeping. Fortunately, there are different kinds of passive portfolios to choose from, and these include gold.

The shiny, shimmering metal from earth is one of the most valuable in history. Although its value in the market fluctuates, overall, it increases. The demand for gold is high. From electronics to medicine and finance, a piece of gold is useful.

Investing in gold does not have to break the bank or collecting gold bars. You can consider these two ways.

Gold sovereigns

Gold does not come in big packages only. They can also be as small as coins. Sovereigns are gold coins produced as early as the 1800s. It has a nominal value of only pound sterling, but a coin can have a 22-carat weight of gold.

These are some of the most popular coins, once referred to as gold standard currency, and there are many of them in the market. But if you are buying gold sovereigns in the UK produced during the 19th century or before 1932, you can also get yourself a collector’s item.

In the process, you have a good source of gold and a potential moneymaker if you decide to sell it.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

ETFs work similarly as mutual funds. Investors pool their money to invest in certain commodities. A manager handles the account. A large difference is the fact ETFs invest like a stock exchange. A gold ETF means the price of the asset is hedged on the value of gold at any given moment.

Gold is a volatile asset, which means its price can change significantly very quickly. But if you pay attention to the changes inside and outside the financial market, as well as choose a good ETF company, you can earn huge returns in a day.

Investing gold in this manner gives you better flexibility on how to use your money. You also do not have to worry about excessive safekeeping measures.

New Zealand Homeowners Face $32.8M Repair Bill

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Residential property being repairedThe second most expensive residential property repairs in New Zealand could amount to $32.8 million due to several reasons.

The repairs concern the Mountain View Apartments complex in Auckland, where inspectors discovered leaks and structural problems, as well as fire-safety and electric-related work. Most of the bill comprises $26.3 million of construction costs.

The residential complex’s owners, however, could end up not paying the entire amount, as taxpayers would shoulder $7.8 million due to the Government’s Financial Assistance Package.

Business Losses

Some of the major renovation projects required for the apartment complex include working involving upgrades for structural strength, new roofing and cladding, according to Stuart Wilson of project manager Maynard Marks. It will also require “extensive passive fire remedial works,” Wilson said.

The level of necessary repairs has incurred losses from rental revenue for unit owners, including Paul McCormack, who owns an apartment there. McCormack stated that he lost an estimated $50,000 due to the uninhabitable state of the property.

The case represented a clear example of why doing maintenance checks to your residential property will spare you from huge costs.

Electrical Wiring

The cost of repairing Mountain View Apartments will also cover plenty of electrical work. Each homeowner should make it a habit to check for faulty wiring, proper grounding and the correct amount of insulation.

Another option involves hiring an expert to do electrical testing in Wellington or Auckland, a service offered by firms such as Adam Tulloch, depending on your residential area. They will help you in identifying whether or not you live in decades-old homes, which have outdated electrical systems.

Homeowners can avoid paying a hefty amount for repairs by routinely checking for potential issues. Maintenance work also allows them to be proactive in preventing damages to their property, which could lead to more serious and costly problems in the future.

4 Things to Consider When Buying Gold Coins

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Golds piled upThere are many types of investments you can make, not just real estate or stocks. For instance, if you prefer tangible and low-risk investments, you can opt to buy gold and silver jewellery or even bullion and coins.

In recent years, more and more people are finding great benefits (and peace of mind) when they buy gold coins. If you’re new to this type of investment, here are the three key things you should consider.

The price of gold bullion coins

Sovereign governments that mint gold bullion coins charged a fabrication fee for the coins. This is why the gold bullion coins are traded at a small top price compared to the actual gold price on the spot. Experts advise both new and veteran gold bullion buyers to contact a handful of reputable shops and dealers so they can shop for the best price they can get. Many experts also advise that buying gold coins on eBay to avoid bidding wars.

Avoiding collector or rare coins

If you’re new to investing in gold and silver coins, you need to know the difference between normal gold and silver coins and collector or rare ones. The value of bullion coins typically changes based on the current gold’s market price. As for the collector or rare coins, the values are based on the so-called “historical supply and demand.” Moreover, buying rare coins require more expertise. So unless you’re really into the collector coins, try to dip your toes into the normal bullion first.

Delivery of Purchased Coins

Normally, it can take between 10 to 14 days for the deliveries to be made. If there are any delivery issues from the mint, your dealer should inform you right away about the delays. Whether you are buying small or large quantities of gold coins, you should always read and understand the delivery options and ensure that the coins are delivered in mint conditions.

Invest in Gold and Silver Coins Today

Unlike stocks, gold and silver coins are tangible investments. And because these precious metals have limited supplies, the demand for them often always stay high. Consider these types of investments and enjoy great returns and peace of mind.

Here’s How You Can Become a Nicer, Better Landlord

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Landlord Holding the House KeyBeing a landlord is not an easy job. Many times, you’ll be compelled to put up with your tenants’ idiosyncrasies and complaints. Other times, you’ll be dealing with repairs and problems with fixtures. These problems, however, should not cause you to be irate and nice.

Being a nice landlord has many benefits. It will inspire tenants to become considerate when it comes to payments and property care. Here are some tips that will help you become a better landlord — other than getting insurance for landlords in California.

Be patient and consistent

Patience is the epitome of being a good and nice landlord. As mentioned, you’ll be dealing with a lot of problems with your tenants. And it’s important that they see you cool. Never ever attempt to shout at your tenant.

When it comes to service, you should practice consistency. Your tenants will appreciate your consistency, which in turn may inspire them to pay their rent on time.

Define your availability

Your availability matters a lot to your tenants. It’s also part of your legal obligation as a tenant to be available when the need arises, especially during emergencies. You must provide your tenants with different ways to contact you. Other than giving your mobile number, you should also give them an alternative mobile number and your email address.

Help them adjust

Your role as a landlord doesn’t end in the paper. You will also need to help them adjust to the neighborhood. For new tenants, you’re expected to walk them through the neighborhood — from parks to supermarkets. You may also give them a welcome letter or a gift, such as wine, cake, or anything that will make their first week in your property memorable.

Being a nice landlord is much easier than it actually is. All you need are a set of sharp social skills and a deep understanding if interpersonal dynamics.

Common Metals Used by Jewellery Manufacturers

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Jewellery ManufacturersBirmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is a quaint place, a favourite stop for many tourists. More than 40% of jewellery in the UK comes from Birmingham. There are more than 500 jewellery companies there today. In fact, many modern developments came from the area.

To know anything about jewellery, Birmingham is where you should go. You can learn about the history and art of jewellery making, and find places to buy tools and raw materials for making your own. The most common metals for jewellery are gold, silver, and platinum.

Gold

Most people associate jewellery with something made of gold in all its forms. Gold is a relatively soft, rare metal that is easy to work with. You can make jewellery using a variety of methods, including casting and threading. You can make a thread 50 miles long or a flat sheet that covers 100 square feet with one ounce of gold, Jewelcast.co.uk states.

Jewellery designers can create unique pieces with gold that is not possible with other metals. It is also non-reactive, which means it will not tarnish or corrode. In most cases, however, jewellery makers do not work with pure gold. They mix it with other metals to make it less soft, especially in casting. Gold alloys show more detail than pure gold and keep its shape longer.

Silver

Silver is not as rare as gold, but it is also a popular metal for jewellery because it is beautiful. It is harder to work with than gold, however, because it conducts heat instead of melting. This is the reason students practice soldering on silver before moving up to gold.

The main problem with pure silver is it tarnishes, so you have to put more effort to keep it shiny. It is also soft, so jewellery makers mix it with other metals to make it more durable. Britannia silver has 95.4% silver, and the rest is another metal, usually copper. However, the most common silver alloy used for jewellery is sterling silver, which has 92.5% silver. Sterling silver is also popular for high-end cutlery and teapots, hence the term “silverware.”

Platinum

Platinum is a metal that looks like silver, but it is much rarer than gold and silver. It is more durable than gold and does not tarnish like silver. Many wedding and engagement rings today are made of platinum. However, its use for jewellery is quite recent. This is because platinum was hard to refine back in the day. Some people even thought it was unripe gold, so it was worthless. Jewellery makers only started to realise its value and use it in 1900, and it works well with most methods. Today, jewellery makers use a mix of 90% platinum and 10% iridium, which has very similar properties to platinum.

Jewellery manufacturers work with all kinds of metals, not just gold, silver, and platinum. The metal and method used to depend on the design. Your best bet to get it right is to go to Birmingham.

Housing Loans: The Responsibility Involved in Homebuying

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Mortgage LoanBuying a house takes a lot of responsibility — from searching for the perfect home and dealing with real estate agencies to preparing legal documents and negotiating with contractors — and the process can drain you in no time. The most challenging part, however, is the preparation for your current and future financial obligations. It’s best to take time and weigh your options to make smart decisions. To point you to the right direction, here are some suggestions when applying for housing loan:

#1: Know your financial capacity

Wasatch Peaks Credit Union and other lending companies say that knowing your financial capacity is important, as it can leverage your loaning options. Put yourself in the lender’s perspective and evaluate your income, credit history, and debt service ratio. Compute the interest rate and your monthly expense. This can help you determine your capacity to repay a loan. And as everyone would say, “never buy anything you can’t really afford”.

#2: Find out the amount you need to borrow

By now you should know the property’s appraised value. Mortgage loan companies usually lend up to 80% of the property’s selling price depending on the circumstances. Discuss the amount you need to borrow from your loan officer, and consult a financial advisor if necessary. Repossession or property foreclosure is the last thing you want to happen, so be smart with your decisions.

#3: Evaluate your financing options

Now that you have fully sorted out your financial capacity, you need to evaluate your financing options. Find out which is the best scheme for you and be familiar with the terms and monthly amortizations.

Keep in mind that mortgage value may differ. Even if your prospects offer the same interest rate, you should also check other hidden charges. Compare the offers thoroughly, so you can have accurate numbers. Late payments can cause you a headache, so know your priorities to avoid penalty fees. Set your calendar for your financial obligations.

These are only some of the things you should know when dealing with housing loans. Again, always take your time and gauge your options.

Mortgages and FICO Scores: What’s The Deal Between the Two?

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fico passed mortgage house loanHome buying can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. However, because it involves making one of the hardest decisions that can alter your finances and life in the long run, it can also be very stressful.

Since buying a home usually involves borrowing a huge amount of money, it is necessary that you are well-prepared to handle this responsibility, or you can end up swimming in a big pool of debt. One way to prevent financial catastrophe is to make your FICO score look more attractive to lenders.

The Role Your FICO Score Plays in Securing a Mortgage

Keeping a good credit score is one of the most effective ways to secure a mortgage with low interest rates with the help of a reputable mortgage broker. Salt Lake City lending companies agree that the higher your FICO score is, the greater your chances of finding great mortgage offers. This basically means lower interest rates and more options.

Almost all types of lenders take a good look at your financial history. This is how they can tell if you are a high-risk borrower. High-risk borrowers are those who have low credit scores. They either get rejected or are given higher interest rates because their rating may mean being unable to make mortgage payments on time.

Improve Your Credit Score Prior to Mortgage Shopping

With FICO scores being a major consideration in mortgage applications, this is the first thing you should focus on before you actually shop around for a home or a lender.

To start, get a copy of your credit report from all the major credit reporting companies. Ensure there are no mistakes or discrepancies in it. From there, start coming up with a plan to boost your score and make it more attractive to lenders.

Getting help from a mortgage specialist is also very helpful, as they can guide you towards the right path and help you make better financial decisions. Talk to a mortgage broker Salt Lake City homeowners and buyers highly recommend to find out what you can do to groom your FICO.

Alternative Ways to Earn Extra Income When Money is Tight

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MoneyLate on your rent and payday is still nowhere in sight? Does your car need a costly emergency repair yet your credit cards are maxed out? When money is tight, especially during unfavorable economic situations, you may think about turning to non-traditional ways to earn extra cash (by non-traditional, we also mean legal). Here are some of the things that you can try:

Sell Metal Scraps

Check your basement, tool shed, or garage for some scrap metals that are just lying around and sell them to your local recycling center. If you’re not exactly a metal scrap hoarder, you may want to check the refuse areas in your community. Alternatively, you can also ask your neighbors for their discarded metal objects, such as those from broken appliances or play sets. If you want, you can split the profits with them. Since you’re doing them a great favor by cleaning up their junk, they will surely agree to your proposal.

Apply for a Title Loan

If you own a car and have its title, go to the nearest car title loan provider and take out a car title loan. Unlike with other types of loan offers, title loans give you access to some fast cash without the hassle of credit check and income verification.

Invest in Your Creativity

If you love creating arts and crafts, there are plenty of sites that will let you showcase your talent and earn some money at the same time. Etsy and Café Press are two samples you may want to check out.

These are just some of the alternative ways that you can try to earn extra cash. Many of us have been in that humbling situation before — so broke that you’d rummage for loose change in every corner of your house. So, there’s no shame in being proactive and trying any of these.

Why Contractors Give Homeowners the “Wrong” Quotes on Remodelling Projects

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HouseA home renovation is one of the most popular ways a homeowner can increase the value of their property. But, the process isn’t as linear as the call-contractor, approve-the-budget, move-the-bus process that most are led to believe. This is especially true when it comes time for the contractor to calculate the budget of the project, specifically the considerations added in the budget that contractors don’t tell homeowners about.

Just to be clear before we begin, this is more about collective quotes for overall projects such as room remodelling. Specific services such as wall cladding from http://peterbracey.com.au have a more straightforward quoting system, which the following explanation should clear up.

Drumming Up Drama

A contractor needs to be in the industry for at least a few years before they get enough confidence to be able to provide a reliable quote, but even then, they can get it wrong. The best examples of these are the supposed experts on home renovation shows that often have to tell the client they might go over budget, only to pull the project out of the fire at the last second.

Most observers would explain this situation through producers trying to drum up the drama of an otherwise bland project, which is true most of the time. But, how do producers ensure that such a drama occurs without completely endangering the integrity of the contractors on the show? The quotes for projects are dependent on the specific needs of the projects, and are mostly sound if everything goes smoothly, which is the secret behind the drama.

TV and Reality

Problems are inevitable in every project, and contractors know that, which is why they inflate the quote a little bit just in case something goes wrong. If a contractor on a show proposes a budget, they’re quoting the lowest number possible to entice both the homeowners and the viewers. This doesn’t offer a lot of wiggle room when a problem arises, which ensures much needed drama.

Quoting a budget with a buffer is common practice in any industry, because it means that a contractor knows the ins and outs of the industry and prepares for potential obstacles. Not accounting for such difficulties just increases the stress of the project, and makes the contractors look like they have no worldly idea what they’re doing; great for TV, horrible for real life.

Can You Afford a Million-Dollar House?

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HouseSomething worth a million dollars is a colossal undertaking in all manners. Aside from the figures, fulfilling payments for an investment this size will drive anyone to their emotional edge. That’s why choosing which house to buy require serious deliberations before making a decision. It’s nothing like buying an expensive television, where one only needs to be frugal for a few months.

Financing a Million-Dollar Purchase

A considerable amount of money is needed to even think about a million-dollar purchase. A person must have at least $200,000 yearly, after-tax salary. In a major city, mortgage will cost around $60,000. Plus, there’s the interest that comes with the mortgage loan. 30 years fixed is a common mortgage type for Americans, where they need to pay $5,000 monthly amortization for three decades.

The Echelberger Group reminds people that the first headache a buyer will have is the down payment. Before anything starts, they must cough up about $200,000. For some, that’s the amount of a house. But this is the price one will pay for choosing a property worth seven figures.

Looking for an Alternate

Losing interest in buying such an expensive house can hardly be a disappointment. If the buyer can afford it, then yes; but for most people, it’s something they can pass on. An ideal alternate is a house that’s worth less than what’s affordable. Why’s that?

For families, it’s only wise to have some funds tucked away in the bank. Taking care of kids requires money. In addition, a house of less worth doesn’t always mean a buyer is settling for an uglier house. More often than not, it just needs work and it’s good as new again. That’s why the good estate agents always say don’t discount the ugly houses.

Money can buy a big property, but that doesn’t mean guaranteed satisfaction and happiness. A million-dollar house can only give so much before the buyers realize that they overpaid for something they don’t need. Think before buying, and know your limits.