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I’m Moving: How Much is My House Worth

Understanding the value of your property is important when you are moving and looking to buy a new home. You might find that your real estate investment has gone up since you originally bought it, that it is about the same price, or that the market has dipped. Even if you are not looking to move right now, it is still useful to know the approximate market value of your house.

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Finding Values Online

Some online estimators can help you determine the worth of your house, based on details such as its location and what prices homes sold for recently in that area. The good thing about these calculators is that they show a figure almost immediately when you enter the data the software asks for.

You will likely be prompted by an online calculator to enter the type of home it is, the year it was built, how much you paid for it, and the number of rooms (bedrooms and bathrooms). However, that figure is only an estimate of the neighbourhood.

The number is only as accurate as the amount of public data that the specific website has access to. A real estate agent can provide more accuracy, as well as additional information from other sources.

Getting a CMA

A realtor understands how to do a comparative market analysis (CMA) to find your home’s value. To be as precise as possible, this professional looks at nearby homes that are similar to yours (comps); they have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as yours, as well as a similar-sized lot.

Next, the realtor typically averages the figures of the handful of comparative properties. Then they have an accurate idea of your own home’s worth. This professional also likely has a lot of experience with the market that the online calculator mentioned earlier does not; they will factor in their knowledge with the numbers.

Assigning a Value is Difficult

When it comes to putting a number on your home when you’re selling it, this activity is very difficult for most people. It is tough not to think about all the memories you have had there and the effort you have put into home improvement projects.

It is hard to be objective, which is why a realtor will help you to do a CMA and suggest a price. Of course, that is only a suggestion and always remember that you are in control and can set the price. But if you go significantly higher than suggested, you have to be ready to explain why to those who are looking to buy.

Why is Knowing Your Home’s Value Important?

Understanding the worth of your existing home will help you to understand how to price it and then calculate what you can afford when looking for a townhouse or another type of house. After all, you are both a buyer and a seller.

When looking for a new property, the bank will look at the appraised value of your home as part of the mortgage approval process. So, it is in your best interest to know as much as you can beforehand.

What Else to Consider

Other details affect the value of your home too. For example, you don’t want to include comps that are on opposite sides of major roads or railways. While you might not realize it, these dividing lines can make a difference from a financial perspective.

Also, when comparing similar properties, try to get within a 10 percent variance of the square footage, if possible. Look at properties that were built around the same time as yours when making comparisons too.

Another factor that affects your home’s market value is curb appeal. If it looks outdated, it is likely to get a lower price than one that has a beautiful garden and was newly painted.

Finally, consider any upgrades you or the other owners of the other homes have done that increase its sale price. There might also be additional amenities in them that increase the property value.

Final Words on Home Value

When you are ready to buy a house, it makes sense to know the worth of your current property going into the process. Getting a CMA from a real estate professional is part of the process, as is looking at online listings to get an idea of what you can afford and what kind of house you would like to live in one day.

When you sell your home and buy a new one, you are moving into the next phase of your life. It is an exciting time, and you can feel good about the investment you are making in your future.

These Mistakes Can Cost Your Business Serious Money!

Whatever the other aims of your business, staying economically viable is likely to be right at the top of your list. Unfortunately, doing so is often easier said than done. In fact, many businesses go under because they end up paying out more than is coming in. The good news is that you can avoid paying out for costly business mistakes. Just keep reading to discover what they are and how to dodge them! 

These Mistakes Can Cost Your Business Serious Money! - business success image

Employing the wrong people.

Unless you can run your business entirely alone, you will need employees. However, employing the wrong people can mean you risk a great deal of money. After all, the recruitment and training process is never cheap. Not to mention the impact on the day to day running of your business that a poorly chosen employee can have. 

That is why you must make the right choice when it comes to new employees. Of course, this means paying due care and attention to the recruitment process. Additionally, considering potential employees personality types and ways of working can make the process of picking the right people a great deal more accurate and cost-effective. 

Not attending to your tax correctly. 

Tax is something that all businesses will need to attend to. Unfortunately, there can be a great deal of cost and risk involved if your company taxes are not dealt with properly. 

For example, if you do not declare the correct tax status for the type of business that you run, the government can take a very dim view. Sadly, the guidance that covers this known as the IR35 is very complicated. Therefore, it can be very confusing as to whether your business counts as inside or outside of these laws. 

The good news is that there are tax specialists such as https://www.qaccounting.com/ir35-contract-reviews/ that can review the contracts that your business operates under. Thus being able to tell you whether you fall under the IR35 regulations or not. Something that can help minimise your business’s risk of breaking the rules, and so reduce any chance that you will need to pay levies or fees because of this. 

Not asking enough for the products and service you provide.

Believe it or not, some businesses lose out finally because they do not realise what the products and services they provide are actually worth. Unfortunately, this tends to apply mostly to smaller and independent businesses. The reason being that they tend to be so eager to establish their brand, that they end up undercutting their competitors and even their own costs to gain pole position. Of course, this is not a sustainable model and can cause some severe issues in the long term. 

With that in mind, knowing the real value of the products and service you provide is essential. Luckily, this can be gleaned fairly easily with a little market research. In fact, where possible testing the market before you launch your products, perhaps with a soft launch can help you avoid costing your business a greedy deal of lost money in the long run. 

Can You Help Your Children Onto The Property Ladder In 2020?

Owning a home of your own is getting harder than ever. With spiralling rental rates, increasing cost of living and slow growth in wages, many of the younger generation are finding their dream of owning a family home of their own is getting further and further away. So if parents are in a position financially to help, it can be a wonderful thing to do – and help to give your kids security for the future. If they are already saving hard to pull together the money required for a deposit, it can still be slightly beyond reach without a parental helping hand. And with mortgage costs frequently lower than the cost of renting,your children will be able to save money in the long run if they get that first time house. So how can you help the situation?

Can You Help Your Children Onto The Property Ladder In 2020? - family photo image
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Gift A Lump Sum

If you can afford to give a lump sum, this will really help towards the considerable costs of a deposit. Often affording the mortgage isn’t the issue, it’s overcoming the barrier of having a high enough Loan To Value (LTV) amount. If you can supply part of this, your children could be able to get on the property ladder with a new build home. When planning this move, it’s important to consider the full picture of your own future finances and possible retirement. Speak to an independent financial advisor is critical to help you make the right move. 

Provide A Loan

If you can’t afford to gift a large amount, you could act as a lending facility instead. This can be a good option if you have access to savings that you don’t need now, but will need in the future. With interest rates at a historical low, you’re not losing out on much by not having them sitting in the back, and you may be able to make borrowing some of the amount of a deposit affordable for your kids, through either not asking for any interest or keeping it very low and the repayment terms flexible. In all these matters, it’s very important to be able to have an honest discussion about money with your family and be very clear exactly what you are expecting to be repaid and when – also get this in a formal legal contract notarized by a solicitor to avoid any confusion.

Take Out A Family Mortgage

Offset mortgages, where 100% of the property value can be borrowed, are also sometimes an option. These loans would be secured against the value of your own home, or sometimes allow you to deposit money into a savings account that acts as a security in the event of non-payment. However, if your child doesn’t keep up with payments, your own home or retirement funds may be at risk. Make sure you talk about affordability and contingency plans with your children before deciding on this option.

There are lots of ways you can help out financially when it comes to getting your children onto the property ladder, but don’t forget that emotional support is just as important too – always be ready with a cup of tea and a listening ear.

5 UK Organisations That Offer Funding For Start-Ups And SMEs

Starting your own business is both exhilarating and challenging. One of the main reasons that startups can’t get off the ground is due to lack of finance. If you’ve got a winning business plan, it’s a shame to be held back by money. Luckily there are a number of schemes available in the UK which can help budding entrepreneurs, and existing small businesses, to access the funding they need.

5 UK Organisations That Offer Funding For StartUps And SMEs - successful business meeting image
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1 . Princes Trust 

The Prince’s Trust started providing grants to entrepreneurs back in 1976. As well as funding, they provide an enterprise program, mentoring young people who want to set up their own companies. Grant applicants must be aged between 18-30, and applicants can start the process by filling in the form on the website. The Prince’s Trust believes that all young people should have access to career building tools. On the site you’ll also find links to free professional courses, and other career based content. 

2 . CRACK IT Challenges

CRACK IT is a challenge-based competition which funds collaborations between SMEs and academics. The goal is to solve science or business based challenges in society. Previous challenges have seen winners secure three year contracts and £1 million in funding. Current challenges in process include a handheld device for monitoring rheumatoid arthritis, and developing a method for tracking gene therapies. 

3. Tradeshow Access Programme 

The tradeshow access programme helps companies with promotion by offering grants to visit overseas trade shows. TAP offers businesses support with market knowledge, foreign export, and funding. To apply for the grant, you should be a UK small business who has been exploring a few export opportunities already. You should also attend one of TAP’s events. Many entrepreneurs forget all about trade shows, due to all new digital marketing techniques. Marketing yourself in person is more authentic and suited to expressing brand story.

4. New Enterprise Allowance

This grant is specifically for those who are currently unemployed, and would like to set up their own business. Successful candidates on the scheme receive weekly payments over 26 weeks, in the past these payments have been around £120 a week. The New Enterprise Allowance scheme also offers mentoring and help to set up your business.

5. Innovation Programme 

The Innovation Programme was made for small businesses who are creating innovative products or services. As far as criteria goes, past companies have worked in areas of assistive technologies, IT connectivity, data or energy. To apply for the program, your company should have under 250 staff members. Applicants should be made through Coventry City Council. 

When you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, should you take all the personal finance tips you can get! These are just a few of the funding options for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. Be sure to apply for everything that you are eligible for, you never know what big opportunities your applications could lead to.  As a small business or startup it’s important to take care of your financial health. To help you do this, MNE Accounting offers some great outsourced accounting services, which can be accessed on their website here.

Study Finds American’s Most Burning Financial Questions

The corona virus pandemic has jolted people into thinking more about how they manage their finances. Even those who still have income are asking serious financial questions and considering how to save more given the uncertainty of the future. 

A recent study researched what American have been searching for during the pandemic — and the results stuck out to us. 

Study Finds American’s Most Burning Financial Questions - man searching for financial help online
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Increase Demand for Basic Necessities

Feeding America, a network of 200 U.S. food banks, says that it projects a $1.4 billion shortfall in the next six months. This shows how much the coronavirus has impacting American’s ability to afford a basic necessity. 

And, the study backed that up with an increase of searches around how to get food stamps and where local food banks were located. Top searches included: 

  • Emergency Food Stamps: up by 130%
  • How to Apply for Food Stamps: up by 50%
  • Food Banks Near Me: up by 50% 
  • Apply for Food Stamps: up by 50%
  • Food Pantry Near Me: up by 40%

Experts don’t see the demand slowing down until the unemployment rate begins to drop. 

Americans in Pursuit of Financial Literacy

Online learning is nothing new. However, the financial impact of the coronavirus has catapulted Americans into wanting to learn more about how to manage their finances. Demand for finance-related courses is up by 200%. 

  • Online Finance Courses: up by 200%
  • Foundational Finance: up by 170%

As people have learned to accept the new normal, millions have turned to the internet to learn. There are a wealth of opportunities to learn more about investing, managing finances and entrepreneurship. 

The CEO of Skillcrush, Adda Birbir, said that she’s seen an uptick in interest in online learning since the coronavirus started, specifically from those who were working in the hospitality industry or the performing arts. And, that trend is growing. With the rise of unemployment, Americans are interested in learning new skills that can help them in their life and career. 

Uncertainty Around Affording Housing

The study found that a majority of searches around mortgages were related to how to afford paying it including terms like “deferment,” “forbearance,” and “assistance.” This was a category that had the most increase in searches month-over-month with “rent and mortgage cancellation act” up by 5,000%. The top trending search terms were: 

  • Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act: up by 5,000% 
  • Forbearance on Mortgage: up by 500% 
  • Mortgage Deferment: up by 300% 

Overall, the study on what Americans are searching for during the pandemic reveals their most important financial questions and tells us that people are more interested than ever on how to save, manage and make money. 

Sarah ArcherSarah is a writer at Money Crashers who covers money management tips and the financial impact of the pandemic. When she’s not investigating personal finance strategies, you’ll most likely find her outdoors hiking, biking or running.