Archive

Monthly Archives: January 2022

5 Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home

Owning a home is a treasure trove of opportunity. You can keep the home and live in it for your whole life. You can buy and quickly sell the home for a profit. You may also choose to do both and live in the home while slowly working to improve it and build equity.

If you’re looking to turn a profit on your home at resale, you’ll have to work to make it better than it was when you bought it. Take a quick peek at this compilation of some of the most useful ways to increase the value of your home, and get to work today.

Add livable space outside

Upgrading your home while you live in it will add value to the property, but not all upgrades were created equally. Some upgrades are more lucrative than others, and you’ll get a better ROI (return on investment) when you upgrade the hotspots of your home.

For instance, adding an outdoor living space will draw a comfortable return. Adding a DIY outdoor kitchen will do even more to raise the value of your property. Spending money adding a kids play area outside won’t bring as good of a return.

Upgrade the kitchen

The kitchen is a central space in a home, and homebuyers value a capable, comfortable kitchen setting. Investing in your kitchen will almost always bring close to a 100 ROI, so it’s always worth the money to spruce up the kitchen.

Quality countertops, solid storage options, energy saving appliances, and plenty of seating options will give you a good start on a stellar kitchen design.

Pay higher payments on your mortgage

You can always build equity in your home by paying it off faster. If you pay more than your minimum payment each month, you’re saving yourself the cost of interest. Every time you knock off a payment cycle, you gain equity. Pay double payments each month, and you could save thousands on interest.

Pay a bigger down payment

Making a bigger down payment in the very beginning is also helpful. A large down payment means that there will be less to finance, less interest to accrue, and a shorter repayment period. All of those things are extremely helpful in maximizing the return on your real estate investment.

Time is also a big helper

Of course, you could always just live in and maintain the home for a while. Time is a proper tool for increasing the value of your home. Real estate waxes and wanes in value, but the overall value of your home will always increase over the years. Just wait long enough, and you’ll be able to sell the home for more than you paid for it.

 

Why the Supply Chain is Breaking Down – Victor Restis

It’s no secret the supply chain is facing a major crisis, and the shipping industry is a key player. Shipping experts like Victor Restis and others say there are some major reasons for the crisis.

1) An Aging Fleet

An analysis of the shipping industry’s problems shows that one of its main issues is an aging fleet, which makes up about 60-70% of the world’s maritime transport ships. “Aged” means these vessels are 20 years old or more, and ship owners have been trying to get rid of them for some time.

2) Abandoned Vessels and Old Ports

Many ships and ports were abandoned because of the crisis. According to Restis, there are about 300 million deadweight tons (DWT) in old, abandoned vessels. If we take into consideration that only 1million DWT is enough to move one ship per day, then it’s easy to conclude that the industry has a 30-day supply of vessels – an extremely low number compared to historical standards.

3) A War Against Shipping Values

The value of shipping rates has been reduced by 45% over the past nine years; this is another issue hampering the shipping industry. It appears that many companies operating in the sector are not ready for the crisis, which manifests that they have no idea about the industry’s problems.

4) Over-regulation and a Global Crisis of Confidence

Many shipping businesses have been going through a global crisis of confidence, while over-regulation is also to blame for bringing down the sector. Experts say there should be dialogue between the regulator and the regulated in order to help fix things – not to add more regulations that will make things even worse.

5) The Supply Chain’s Dependence on Shipping

A significant issue affecting the global supply chain is its dependency on cheap, efficient shipping services. If all major industries depended on air transport instead of sea transport, we would face a huge problem: Many countries simply don’t have enough airports, so it wouldn’t be possible for them to provide enough aircraft. This issue has been the cause of oil crises in the past, and it could become a reason for a global economic recession.

6) Restricted Access to Credit

The shipping industry is also facing a lack of access to credit because banks are not willing to lend them money due to high risks. In fact, according to some experts, this is one of the reasons why the debt crisis in Greece came about – Greek shipowners were having trouble getting loans from European banks because these financial institutions considered their vessels as major collateral.

What Should Be Done?

Well, that depends on the country’s economy and other factors. If we take into consideration that there have been no big changes since 2008, then it might be time for the authorities to take more serious actions.

That’s why experts say the crisis of confidence is not only between the regulator and the regulated; it’s also among different parties, including regulators, shipping companies, and even banks. The financial problems in Greece are also affecting other European countries that have close business ties with Greece, which means that changes in the country could lead to global political instability.

 

How Student Housing of the Future Will Look – Nelson Partners

Student housing is changing with the times. What was once a place where students could come together to drink and party while their parents paid the bills has evolved into something more. University housing units are increasingly becoming hubs for interaction between college age students, faculty members, and the surrounding community. After all, colleges want to attract smart students, so they need to create an attractive environment. The advent of firms like Nelson Partners and others that specialize in student housing renovations shows that colleges are trying to create a community on campus rather than just a place for students to live.

So what does the future hold for college housing? Here are a few things we can expect to see:

More Dining Options

College dining halls have been closing, prompting colleges to open up catering businesses. In turn, this will cause a larger demand for on-campus housing because more and more students will be looking to take advantage of the increased food options. Increased demand for college housing means bigger buildings and more space for students. This increased density is a good thing because it will allow more young people the opportunity to attend college.

24-Hour Spaces

In order to accommodate demand from students who wish to have a place where they can socialize past curfew, colleges are going to start opening up spaces with 24-hour access. This could be anything from a bar on campus to a place where students can play video games. Colleges want to create places for their students, which is one way they can do it.

Café and Coffee Shops

With the recent popularity of Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and other such businesses, colleges are realizing that they need to get in on the action too. These stores provide more than just caffeinated beverages (although that’s not a bad thing). They also serve as inexpensive meeting grounds for students who wish to socialize or study together during the day. This will give campuses another space where people congregate and make friends…but don’t expect alcohol to be banned completely; we know how much college kids love cheap beer!

Technology Amenities

In recent times colleges have been moving towards free wireless Internet on campus. In addition to this, businesses like Google Fiber are making a dent in the student housing landscape by giving away gigabit-speed Internet for free for seven years! Now that students can get lightning fast speeds from which they can watch their favorite shows and download music, colleges will have to upgrade WiFi connections so people don’t complain about lack of bandwidth.

Open Space Designs

Another way colleges are trying to make their campuses more attractive is by allowing students to spread out. This means redesigning the existing housing units or building new ones that allow for more open space and less cramming everyone into one room. Some campuses like MIT and Purdue University boast impressive designs that take up entire city blocks, giving students ample space to roam around, relax and take it all in.

There will always be a need for college housing as long as there are higher education institutions; we can expect to see these types of changes throughout 2022 as schools try to compete with other colleges on campus amenities and tuition costs.

Photography Hacks Professional Photographers Use – Bruce Weber

You’re in a photo shoot, and you want to take a group shot, but the light is flat and boring, and your clients are getting restless. It would help if you had that perfect moment, that perfect expression, the magic of a touch of light. Where do you look? Professional photographers like Bruce Weber have tips that can help you find inspiration in any situation.

1 – Get closer

Shooting at your usual distance is fine if you’re setting up an intimate portrait. But for big groups, editors like images with tight cropping because they can draw viewers into the intimacy of the subjects. So use a wide-angle lens (14mm or less) or step closer to your subjects.

2 – Shoot at angles

Composition is key in getting the subject to look their best. Shooting from below, above, or directly side-on can help you achieve flattering angles. Also, always look for strange perspectives when shooting large groups of friends, family, or kids. You never know what you might find!

3- Frame your shot

Carefully created frames are always flattering. Try crouching down low or shooting from a window or to find an unusual perspective that puts your traveler in context. If you have the opportunity, move in close on something that tells a story, like a hand holding fruit at the market, hair being braided, or someone’s shadow falling on a wall.

4 – Take multiple shots

Experiment and take a lot of pictures! You will probably get lucky with one or two good shots among all the bad ones. Don’t be shy; ask your subjects to do different things, walk around, change outfits, look over their shoulders, and smile at you (or not!) The more images you have to work with, the better your chances of getting something you can use.

5- Take advantage of natural light

The best light is always right outside your front door. Shoot outdoor portraits early or late in the day, when the sun shines through buildings and casts dramatic shadows. Always try to shoot with the sun behind you, so it lights up your subject’s face. If you are shooting indoors, wait for great light outside to illuminate the inside of your shoot.

6 – Look for interesting backgrounds

If you want an unusual background that makes your vacation portrait stand out, look around and see what backdrop might work best for you (a mural on a wall, an animal-topped tower, a church). Then, ask your subject to stand close to it and shoot from a low angle.

7 – Slow down

If you’re shooting a city portrait and people walk through your frame, try to wait for them to turn their heads towards you, so they don’t “leave” the photo. If you want couples or groups looking at the camera, shoot as soon as someone looks into the lens. Once you get that perfect moment, hold the shutter button down and don’t let go until you get all of your shots.

8 – Play with light

Shooting through a window or door creates shadow patterns on your subjects that make for interesting photos. You can use these shadows as part of your composition to frame pictures or draw attention to an important element.

9 – Shoot from low angles

You can make people look thinner and more statuesque by shooting from a low angle as if you were photographing a model on the catwalk. This will also make your travelers look like they’re walking towards something (the viewer), which impacts the photo.

3 of the Best Thrillers of All Time – Ronald Phillips New York

Movie buffs are an opinionated lot. One dares not mention Cecille B. DeMille’s Ten Commandments to a film fanatic like Ronald Phillips New York without expecting an argument about the relative merits of Charlton Heston as opposed to, say, Yul Brynner.

Despite the varied opinions, there are some movies in the Thriller genre that are universally acknowledged as classics. To borrow a term from the recording industry, these are “Certified Classics” and have been known to reduce even the most cynical to jelly when they appear on the screen.

These Thrillers, in chronological order, are:

The 39 Steps (1935)

Alfred Hitchcock’s first masterpiece, this film is still considered by many to be the quintessential Hitchcock thriller. Based on John Buchan’s novel, it stars Robert Donat as Richard Hannay, an Englishman who is falsely accused of murder while visiting the Scottish moors. No sooner has he cleared himself than he finds that someone else has been murdered in his flat and then that this woman was killed because she knew where a vital list of British spies could be found. He becomes involved in a cat-and-mouse game with foreign agents who are trying to get their hands on this list so they can pass it on to their bosses before England can decode it.

He manages to outwit them by using the “39 Steps” (a secret agent group), but only after several exciting chases around the Scottish countryside, including on foot, by train, by car, and even in a biplane.

The Thirty-Nine Steps has been remade several times, most recently as a color version starring Kenneth More which was released recently.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Hitchcock himself considered this film to be his finest work. It stars Joseph Cotten as Charles Oakley, who is visited by his nephew Charlie Newton (Teresa Wright) at Christmas time, only to find that she knows far more than she should about how her uncle’s former girlfriend met her death.

His suspicions aroused, he follows his niece back to Santa Rosa, where she reveals herself as an undercover agent for Scotland Yard. But before he can get out of Santa Rosa, he becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders.

The film is notable for Hitchcock’s use of “subjective tone,” wherein the protagonist experiences what Charlie is thinking and feeling—something that had never been done in this fashion previously.

Berlin Express (1948)

This highly successful murder mystery was later remade as Numbered Woman (1949), with Lawrence Tierney playing the part originated by Robert Ryan. The story begins aboard a train en route from Paris to Berlin, where ex-OSS agent Frank Fenton (Ryan) must transfer secret documents. After an unexplained killing on the train, the contents of Fenton’s briefcase are missing; he is forced to stay behind in Berlin after the others on the train have been evacuated.

In Berlin, he is taken captive by a Nazi organization led by a woman who turns out to be his former lover. He escapes and joins up with a French agent (Charles Korvin) in search of the missing documents. They finally find them being used as part of a plot to assassinate two major foreign leaders attending a peace conference in Paris.

Frank Lovejoy costars as an American journalist assisting Fenton and his companion uncover the conspiracy.

 

Arlo Hotels insights: Why a hotel is a fantastic option for those working remotely

We at Arlo Hotels believe that if you’re looking for a change of scenery and some peace and quiet while you work, consider heading to the nearest hotel. You might even be pleasantly surprised at how much you can achieve and how productive you can be in such a comfortable and inspiring environment.

 

People can also do almost anything they want — including work remotely in peace and quiet. Today’s article discusses several incredibly valid reasons why hotels are the best places for people who want to work remotely.

 

Hotels are ideal places for those who work remotely. Assuming you have a little bit of extra cash, you can stay at almost any hotel, anywhere. That means no cumbersome internet connections or long-term rentals. We at Arlo Hotels also point out that you don’t need to sign up for anything, and the only person keeping track of things is you.

 

Hotels offer a host of advantages that make them perfect for anyone looking to get work done while on the go. For example, they often come equipped with fast and reliable Wi-Fi, a spacious desk, comfortable seating, and a great view. Moreover, hotels are usually located in prime spots in cities, making it easy for people to get out and explore their surroundings.

 

Another big advantage of hotels such as Arlo Hotels is that they provide a sense of privacy and isolation that can be hard to find in other public places. This can be a huge plus for people who need to focus on their work and eliminate distractions.

 

In addition, many hotels offer business centers with printers, scanners, and other office equipment that can come in handy when working remotely.

What Makes Real Estate So Profitable? – Eugene Bernshtam

The real estate market is booming, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. More and more people are moving to big cities, boosting their economies. These cities are then growing outward from their centers, increasing the need for housing. This expanding market has created many business opportunities for investors like Eugene Bernshtam. It’s fairly easy to understand when you look at all the factors that add to success in this investment area. The following will explain what makes real estate so profitable:

Size Matters – The size of your property determines its value. In general, your property should be at least ten times larger than your needs. So if you have a family of five and want to buy a house or condo that’s big enough for everyone, you’ll need something 100 times bigger than what your family is going to use.

Location is Everything – Your location in a major city will determine your property value. You can be two blocks away from a major city’s prime location, and the value of your home will go up considerably. The closer you are to the center of the action, the more your property will be worth. This is why it’s important to consider the location of your property before you buy.

Neighborhood Income – Your neighborhood has an income average that affects your property’s value. If you live in a poor neighborhood, chances are your property won’t be worth much. But if you move to a higher-income neighborhood, your property value will increase because of the surrounding area’s income.

Population Zoom – While the real estate market is booming, be careful about where you buy. If your area’s population is growing at a rate slower than the national average, it’s unwise to invest your money in that area. This is because when new properties are created, there won’t be enough people to fill them up. However, if your neighborhood’s population is growing at a rate faster than the countrywide average, then it might be an interesting investment for you.

Inflation – Inflation is a huge boost that will add to the value of your property. Take advantage of inflation and buy while real estate prices are low. In other words, when people don’t have money, they’re forced to live in poor neighborhoods with little potential for increasing their property values. The more inflation we see in our country, the more people won’t be able to afford their homes, so they’ll have to turn to less expensive neighborhoods. That’s when you should strike and buy properties in that area for a great price.

Price It Right – Selling your property is one of the most important factors in determining is it profitable or not. If you price your property too high, buyers may pass you up for someone else who lowered their prices to get the sale. But if you price too low, your home might sit on the market for weeks and months with no offers coming in at all. Set a fair selling price that will attract buyers while keeping your property profitable.

Tips for Using Instagram to Grow Your Business – SimplyGram Reviews

Instagram is a powerful social media platform that can be used to promote your business. However, it is a newer platform and one that is less straightforward than, say, Facebook or Twitter. Because of this, many businesses aren’t using Instagram as much as they could be. According to sites like SimplyGram Reviews, this is a huge mistake.

Here are some tips for using Instagram to grow your business.

Focus on Quality Posts, Not Quantity

Instagram is not like Facebook or Twitter, where you can post hourly. Because there are only images on Instagram, every post counts more than it would if it were text-based. If you’re bombarding people with one hundred posts a day, they’ll ignore the majority of them and just unfollow you.

Instead, focus on making every post count. Post one or two times a day if it’s an account that focuses on selling products to customers, but for other types of accounts such as restaurants, fashion brands, etc., posting 10-20 posts per day is not unreasonable. It will take time to build up your follower base, but the number of posts per day can increase accordingly once you do.

Post Engaging Images with Little or No Text

According to experts, this is where Instagram really stands out from the rest of social media platforms. On Facebook and Twitter, people are used to reading through text-based posts before they decide whether they want to read it all the way through. However, on Instagram, people are expecting images with minimal amounts of text. Even if you post an image that has your company logo or tagline at the bottom, you should still include more images than text.

This is because photos communicate much faster than words can. If you want to convey a message quickly and efficiently, look for stock images like those offered by Snappa. The best ones include large, high quality images that can stand alone without any additional text. That way, you won’t have to stretch your point with long blocks of copy. Avoid Brand Pitches

Use Hashtags Effectively

Hashtags play a big role on Instagram and allow you to grow your reach. However, if you’re using hashtags for everything, it will be too much, and people will not engage with your content.

When choosing hashtags, focus on those that are relevant to the image you post and use between one and four of them per post. If users click on the hashtag and find it full of unrelated posts, they may choose not to engage at all. On the other end of things, if there aren’t many posts using that same hashtag, then its engagement rate is likely to be below as well.

Take Advantage of Instagram Stories

Stories play an important part in engaging with followers, both new and old. That’s why experts recommend taking advantage of Instagram Stories and using them frequently.

Just like Snapchat, you can use stories to share videos, photos, and quick text-based updates with your followers. Although the average person isn’t going to watch a ten minute video or read through 500 words of copy, they will watch your story all the way through as that is what it was designed to do.

 

Home decor ideas during the lockdowns

Home improvements and home decor become a popular thing for homeowners to turn to during the lockdown periods with them looking at ways to upgrade their homes with the newfound spare time that they had due to the pandemic.

Outdoor improvements have taken off recently due to more homeowners wanting outdoor spaces to either host friends or family members. One outdoor improvement that has become very popular over time is an outside building or extension that can be used as an extra room with homeowners using these rooms for many different reasons.

A lot of homeowners would turn the rooms outside into entertainment rooms where they would have friends or family members around and whilst having a few drinks which usually led to groups of friends visiting non UK licensed casinos like the ones at TBC where they would have a weekly games night in their entertainment or games room.

The casino industry has become very busy over the past year with a lot of website traffic coming from people having a weekly games night at their friend’s home sports room or man cave as some people call them. These rooms have not only been popular additions outside, but homeowners have also been having them created inside their homes as well.

When the pandemic first started it brought in the introduction of lockdowns across the world which led a lot of people to turn towards decorating and improving their homes with them having the time to now do so during the lockdown periods. Even with the pandemic easing and lockdowns being lifted, home improvements inside or outside are just as popular as ever before with homeowners wanting to get their homes ready for the summer months to have friends and family over.

Most homeowners are wanting to provide a room where they can unwind and relax or for some turn the rooms into a games/entertainment room where they have a weekly game or film night with friends. Home decor become one of the most popular things for people around the world to take part in with building firms becoming busier than they ever have been before. Some building firms even had to turn work down due to them being so busy during the pandemic with homeowners wanting to improve their homes.

Some house buyers are only looking to buy a house that is already kitted out with one of these rooms either inside or outside the house due to them being used to spending time in them during the time they spent at friends one during the lockdown which has led a lot of house buyers looking for homes that already have one.

 

A Startup Checklist Every Entrepreneur Should Follow – Reddy Kancharla

Starting a business is hard. There are so many things to take care of in so little time, which is why it’s important to plan ahead in order to launch on the right foot. Few startups manage to do that, but when they do – they succeed immensely, according to experts like Reddy Kancharla and others.

Here is a startup checklist all entrepreneurs should follow before establishing their business operations:

1) Make sure you have a unique selling point (USP)

The USP is the single most important factor in deciding your success as an entrepreneur. If you don’t have one, it’s time to take another look at your business plan. No idea is perfect, but there are ways to make yours stand out, like targeting a specific industry or customer demographic.

2) Marketing is a must

The age of effective yet scaled marketing campaigns is long gone. If you want people to buy your product or pay attention to your startup, you have to win them over through collaborative efforts on social media and other platforms. This also includes paid ads on Google and Facebook – so save up for it.

3) Instead of going solo…

No man (or woman) is an island when running a business, contrary to popular belief. Going at it alone seems like the best idea when starting, mainly because there’s no one else in control sharing their opinions and ideas. Hiring employees will help you focus more on the core aspects of your business while delegating tasks to meet your overall business goals.

4) …create a team

Starting out with just one person is okay, but having at least two is ideal in most cases. It’s always good to have an extra set of hands or another point of view on the table when trying to solve difficult problems or deal with legal issues – especially for new entrepreneurs who are likely eager to please everyone, which can lead them down the wrong path more often than not.

5) Determine if you want investors…

Perhaps the biggest decision every startup entrepreneur must make before starting is whether or not they need outside investors for their business idea. It might seem like the best idea to get things off the ground, but it also means giving up the majority of your company to someone else who might not have your best interests at heart.

6) …and how much equity you’re willing to give away

Investors won’t work for free, so it’s important that you establish a fair rate in which they will be compensated before reaching out. Saving up for this part is helpful when it comes time to negotiate with investors – otherwise, you’ll end up giving away too much of your company before everything is said and done.

7) Are you ready to work extra hard?

If you want to succeed in business, there isn’t an easy way around the long hours and grueling days that come with it; especially when starting on your own without any help. It’s important to remember how much you’ve invested in your business and the countless hours of work it took to get everything off the ground – that alone will give you all the motivation needed to succeed.