How to turn must-do home improvements into things of beauty

When “want to” and “have to” meet, they create the opportunity to make a smart buying decision – and choose an upgrade that will look good and improve the livability of your home. The key to making smart home improvement decisions is to recognize these opportunities and take full advantage of them.

Here are a few “have to” improvements that have the potential to turn into a good-looking, energy-efficient, enjoyment-enhancing “want to.”

Replacing the hot water heater.

You probably don’t care what a new hot water heater looks like sitting in your garage or basement – or wherever it resides in your home. But the right replacement water heater can help your house achieve a lovely shade of green. High energy-efficiency water heaters can help reduce energy usage, thereby trimming your energy bills and your home’s environmental impact. Solar water heating systems take the beauty a step further by using the power of the sun, collected through low-profile solar panels on the roof, to heat water – at a monthly savings that’s about 80 percent less than the cost of traditional heaters.

Getting some light in here.

Do you really need a bunch of scientific studies to tell you that a home filled with natural light just feels better? Probably not. Illuminating your home with natural light is a smart buying decision on multiple levels. First, you don’t pay to power the sun. Second, natural light delivers a host of mood-enhancing benefits. If you have the wall space, by all means add some windows.

But for rooms where a window is impossible (like a powder room) or where you don’t want to sacrifice privacy (like a master bathroom) a tubular skylight is a good alternative. Some are easy enough to install that a seasoned do-it-yourselfer could accomplish the task. They cost less than traditional skylights and bring natural light to hard-to-light areas like closets, hallways and other small spaces.

Getting some air in here.

Just as natural sun is good for your mood, ventilation can be good for your health. An Energy Star qualified venting skylight is a great way to passively vent stale, moist air from inside your home, especially from baths and kitchens. While some skylights are “fixed,” those that do open can be controlled by a remote to open when you want fresh air and close when you want to retain warmth. They can also close automatically in case of rain. In addition, they introduce free light into your home. Adding blinds – also remote-controlled – can help you better control the amount of sun a skylight admits into your home. And blinds are not just functional – you can get them in colors and patterns to complement your decor while increasing energy efficiency. Compared to other venting solutions, a skylight is a relatively low-cost, great-looking way to address ventilation issues while adding drama to a space. Log on to to learn more about skylights.

When one door opens …

Beat up, weathered garage and front doors not only look bad, they can be a source of air leaks that make your heating, ventilation and cooling system work harder. Exterior doors aren’t something you buy every day, but they can have a big impact on how your home looks and on its energy efficiency. They can definitely be a smart buying decision if you opt for doors that not only look good, but are also highly rated for energy efficiency. If you’re not sure how to choose, look online, where you’ll find guides for buying garage doors and front doors.

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Credit Repair

Avoid paying repair specialists to help with your improvement efforts. You as a consumer have rights and all the means at your disposal that are necessary for clearing up issues on your history. Relying on a third party to assist in this effort costs you valuable money that could otherwise be applied to your credit rehabilitation.

If you have decided that bankruptcy is the only way to deal with your credit, it is best to file as soon as possible. Don’t waste your time or money on strategies that you don’t see working. Filing bankruptcy sooner will allow you to start the process and begin to get your life back in order.

Having between two and four active credit cards will improve your credit image and regulate your spending better. Using less than two cards will actually make it more difficult to establish a new and improved spending history but any more than four and you may seem unable to efficiently manage spending. Operating with about three cards makes you look good and spend wiser.

Fixing your credit is not an overnight fix. Make sure that you are fully committed to repairing your credit. Get organized and come up with different plans to help repair your credit and make a list of what you actually need to do. This will help your success on your journey.

Bad credit isn’t as bad as you might make it out to be. Sure, there is a pretty intense social stigma against those who have bad credit, If you have some money coming in, then all you really need is a little patience and a little planning. Before you know it, with the help of this article, your credit will be repaired.

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Real Estate Investing – Killeen, TX

Psst! This Article Has The Secrets About Real Estate Investing You Want To Hear

If you’re looking for a way to make some extra cash and you have some savings to invest, think about going into real estate! Renting out property for a business can give you sizeable profits as well as a good impression among clients. Read this article for tips on how to succeed.

Remember that there are always more fish in the sea. It is easy to get your heart set on a certain property or deal. However, if that one deal takes too much time and effort, it is not really a deal in the first place. Move on and make sure you do not miss out on the other great investments out there.

Your reputation is essential to the success of real estate investments. This is why you should stick with your word while being sure you don’t tell potential clients lies. Your credibility will ensure people will trust you and be loyal to you.

Be careful about choosing properties with strange room layouts. You may personally find it interesting, but many people don’t like these strangely developed properties. They can be extremely hard sells. Picking one up without a potential buyer in mind can lead to it sitting in your inventory for months, if not years.

If you want to get into real estate investing, but do not have enough money to buy a piece of property on your own, do not fret. Look at real estate investment trusts. Operating much like mutual funds, you can invest what funds you have available into a larger group pool and still make some money off of real estate mortgages.

Rather than jumping into an investment right away, remember to think about all of the options you have. Investing in real estate is a great way to grow your income, especially if you have extra money sitting in the bank. However, you must keep all risks and responsibilities in mind when moving forward.

Click here to learn more about investing using our online investor center provided by Exit Homevets Realty in Killeen, Texas.

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Real Estate And How To Invest In It Properly

A great way to invest money and have better control over life is by investing in real estate. Choosing a property to rent out has lots of perks that can help you take control. If you’re interested, keep reading.

Learn all you can about the market before investing a dime in real estate. Doing so can give you a lot of useful advice about how to make money in real estate. You can read books, watch DVD programs, sign up for workshops and take classes to learn all about real estate.

Invest as much time in learning the business as you do working the business. This will reduce the complications that you have when making deals. Stop playing softball or poker to focus on becoming better.

Purchase properties in a niche about which you are knowledgeable. It is better to find a groove with your investments if you focus on a single segment of the market. Whether you’re buying and selling homes, only working with starters, or dealing in properties that cost low in the down payment department, stick with the things you are familiar with.

Location is crucial. Property condition and other factors are usually subject to change. It’s not smart to invest in depreciating areas. When you are looking for real estate to invest in, always check the area and property values before you commit your money.

Learn all you can about real estate investments prior to spending any money buying properties. Errors in investing can generate some major losses if you don’t watch out. Get someone to train you on the real estate market before you jump in.

Beginning a real estate investing career can help ensure financial freedom. You must consider every option, and choose the one that fits what you need. Your money shouldn’t be sitting in a savings account making diddly-squat. Remember the information located above to help you build wealth.

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Real Estate Killeen, Large 5 Bedroom

189598Gorgeous 5 bedroom home plus an extra bonus room or office. This is a custom built Symphony home and features the master bedroom and office downstairs and the other 4 bedrooms upstairs. Also features a family room and a formal living room, a breakfast area, breakfast bar, kitchen island and a separate formal dining room. Beautiful large back yard with lots of trees and a large relaxing covered patio. This wonderful home is truly a one of a kind and a must see!

To View Home Click Here: 5704 Tourmaline, Killeen, Texas

Exit Homevets Realty – Killeen, TX

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How to choose a chainsaw

Featured Home: 5 Bedroom, 3.5 Baths, with 2 master bedrooms.  Located at 2707 Black Orchid, Killeen, TX Brought to you by: Exit Homevets Realty

Millions of chainsaws are sold every year and – although not every purchase is punctuated with a Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor grunt – it is clear Canadian men (and some women) still love their chainsaws.

So is Tim right? Is it always just about “more power”?

Not according to Edward Andria from Husqvarna, a company that is reported to be the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products: “There are many factors to consider when buying a chainsaw, but the first question you should ask is: What kind of work do I need the saw for? Models range from full-time professional saws to leisure or hobby saws and you want to make sure you get the right one.”

Here are few more tips to help you choose the right saw:

• Unless you are very experienced with a chainsaw, go for a lighter saw which will be much easier to handle.

• Ergonomic engineering and design, such as low vibration levels in the handles and a slim and well-balanced saw body, are welcome features, even if you only use the saw part-time. Good ergonomics can be just as important as low weight.

• Efficient kickback protection is a requirement in most countries. Also pay attention to small details. For example, how easy it is to replace a simple part like a chain catcher stud? Do you have easy access to controls?

• Is the saw easy to maintain and service? Good access to the air filter and spark plug, and easy chain tensioning save time and effort.

• Look for approved protective equipment like safety trousers, safety boots, helmets with visors, hearing protection, and gloves.

• And don’t forget, your saw will appreciate regular service by a qualified professional, so look to purchase one from a dealer that can service it.

More information is available online at

Courtesy of Newscanada

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Reinvent yourself: How to start your own (creative) business

(BPT) – Many graduates in creative fields like graphic design, interior design or Web design are opting to start their own businesses. This is because recent figures show only a slight reduction in the unemployment rate, and job growth is at its lowest in six months. So, how can you make your business a success?

Bruce McCain, director of career services for The Art Institute of Tampa, a branch of Miami International University of Art & Design, and Kathleen Holland, director of career services for The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, share five essentials they identified as success factors in starting a business.

1. Self-assess and research. It is imperative that you are honest with yourself and truly understand what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Doing a SWOT analysis (a way to analyze Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) is a great way of assessing that.

2. Know your niche. A business plan is highly recommended to help identify both those industries with a need for your services and your competition. This exercise will also help identify whether there might be a smaller and important niche market where your business can focus and be profitable.

“If you’re a graphic designer, will you be a generalist, offering services to all types of industries, or do you have specialized experience handling retailers that you can build on?” asks McCain.

Knowing your niche will enable you to develop a consistent brand identity in every aspect of your business. The business plan also sets the goals and objectives that will guide many of your decisions.

3. To incorporate or not to incorporate. Many students in creative fields are familiar with taking on freelance work while still in school. But after graduation, it is important to formalize the business. It’s a good idea to invest in some legal and accounting advice to help you make the best decision about incorporation. There are significant advantages and disadvantages to each type of business structure.

4. Develop a stream of business. New business owners often envision being successful within a short period of time. Developing and building a business from the ground up takes time, energy and hard work, but it can be very rewarding. The industry research you did for your business plan will come in handy in determining what a realistic rate of growth means for your industry and area.

5. Network, network, network.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of networking,” says Holland.

Networking may be your only means of marketing for quite some time – it is important to get in front of as many people as possible and give them your “elevator pitch” (a quick story about your business that you can say in 90 seconds or less). When meeting each person, make sure you take his or her business card; this comes in handy when writing a “nice to meet you” note the next day.

“Yes, you should write a quick note to each person you meet. In this note, you should mention where you met them, refer to your conversation, and remind them what your business does and how it can be helpful to them,” Holland says.

It takes a lot of hard work to be a creative business owner and there are no shortcuts to success. So put in the time to reap the rewards.

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