Investing in an Apartment Building

One of the most important decisions we will all make is to choose where to live. While some people would rather own their own property, others prefer to rent. However, there are also people who both rent and own their properties at the same time. They live in the apartment building they manage and rent out the rest of the apartments. Finding the best place to live in is a serious task which requires proper research and background information.

What is the latest in hip are renovated farmhouses which have been separated into many apartments. This way the residence might look like a big old house from the outside as it has one main entrance but from the inside you can see that the house is split into separate apartments. From my point of view investing in buying a renovated house is a great business decision. Usually the mortgage is cheap so consider taking one in order to realize this great business plan. Not only will you be able to pay back the mortgage but you will also make a profit from the income you will receive monthly from the renters.

A more traditional apartment building is a large square one with long hallways on each floor and many identical apartments. Some people consider living in such a building an adventure but a risky one. The traditional apartment building has three stories and from fifteen to thirty apartments. Of course, living on any level has its own pros and cons. In case you live in a lower level apartment you will hear your upstairs neighbour’s footsteps. If your neighbours above have kids then it could get quite noisy. Thus, it might be better to live in the upper level of a building, though you will have to climb stairs or take an elevator to get to your home. The worst case scenario is to live in a middle apartment in a large apartment building as not only will you have noise from above and below but you will also have to climb the stairs or use lift, as well.

You should not get confused or worried when it comes to choosing the right place to live. You can find the right apartment building which will be comfortable and inexpensive if you do a meticulous research and get some background information.

Flat Roofs for Houses

Every flat roof is the same, isn’t it? Absolutely not. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that there are 4 basic types of flat roof. While the price for these roofs is relatively similar, different types of roofs offer different benefits. If you are considering installing a roof on a new home, you should carefully consider your options and discuss them with an experience roofing contractor. In the meantime, let’s discuss the 3 main types of flat roof: built-up roof, modified bitumen roof, and rubber membrane roof.

Built-Up Systems

These are the most common type of flat roofs and include the traditional hot-tar-and-gravel roof. Featuring at least 3 layers of waterproof material with tar and gravel between each layer, these types of roofs are relatively inexpensive while benefiting from improved technology that makes them more durable. Among the main benefits of built-up roofs is that they offer excellent protection against fire as gravel is an excellent fire retardant. They are also the cheapest flat roof system and are an attractive choice if you have windows that overlook the roof. On the other hand, built-up roofs tend to be very heavy and joists may require extra support. Moreover, installation and repair is not recommended for the DIY-inclined as it can be difficult to find the source of leaks and this system is messy to install.

Modified Bitumen Systems

Modified bitumen roofing systems were first developed in Europe in the 1970s as an alternative to low performance asphalt systems. These are usually single-ply rolled roofing systems that are similar to ice-and-water shields, but they feature a mineral-based wear surface. There are two subtypes of modified bitumen roof: torch-down systems and peel-and-stick systems. Torch-down systems must be heated in order to activate the adhesive whereas peel-and-stick systems do not need to be heated making them safe and easy to install.

Peel-and-stick roofs should always be installed by a professional roofer, but they are easier to manager for a DIY homeowner. However, torch-down application is much more challenging and poses a significant fire risk so should only be applied by professionals. Moreover, torch-down systems should not be installed on occupied buildings. Another benefit of these roofs is that their light-coloured surface helps to reflect heat and reduce energy bills. These types of roof systems are moderately priced.

Rubber Membrane Systems

More expensive than built-up or modified bitumen roofing systems, rubber membrane roofs feature a durable construction made from rubber. Engineered to resist damage from sunlight, rubber membrane roofs are usually anchored with fasteners and may be ballasted with stone or glued.

Rubber membrane roofs are easy to install and the material is very light. These roofing systems are also highly resistant to damage such as scratches or tears and they are also easy to patch. Unfortunately, the black material of these roofs tends to absorb heat so they may require a light-coloured coating to reduce energy costs. Unfortunately, this coating can add as much as 30% to the cost of the roof.

How to Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Many home buyers find it difficult to provide the required 20% down payment and are forced to pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, in order to buy a home. Private mortgage insurance solves the down payment problem but creates another two: it increases monthly payments and on top of that it is not tax deductible. Fortunately, there is more than one way to get your desired home without having the 20% down payment and avoid PMI at the same time.

Terminating PMI When You Already Have One

The use of private mortgage insurance has been a great way to make it possible for a borrower to buy a home with as little as 3-5 % down payment and give the lender insurance in case the borrower defaults on the home loan. However since PMI payments can be significant, the borrower starts to ask himself/herself how to get rid of those payments.

The Homeowner’s Protection Act includes rules for automatic suspension of PMI payments and cancellation of PMI when 22% equity in the borrower’s home is reached. Those rules apply to mortgages signed on or after July 29, 1999, and exclude government-insured FHA or VA mortgages that are considered high-risk to default.

Additionally, disregarding the time when the mortgage was signed, the borrower may ask for PMI termination once s/he exceeds 20% equity.

Avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance via a Piggyback Loan

Piggyback loans are a very popular way of avoiding private mortgage insurance. It consists of taking a loan (first mortgage) covering 80% of the sale price of the home and taking and placing additional 5%, 10% or 15% on a second mortgage. A combination of 80% first mortgage, 5% second mortgage and 15% down payment is referred to as 80/5/15. Accordingly, the other two loan combinations are 80/10/10 and 80/15/5.

Although second mortgages generally have higher rates, in the end the borrower may save money because in contrast to PMI payments, now the loan payments are tax deductible.

Choosing a Finance Single Premium Option over Private Mortgage Insurance

Since an increasing number of borrowers are turning to piggyback loans in order to avoid PMI, the mortgage insurance industry came up with this solution claiming that it lowers monthly mortgage payments to the same or lower level as a piggyback loan. With this option homebuyers pay a single premium on their insurance and it is amortized over the term of loan.

One of the pitfalls of this solution is that few lenders offer this option, since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not work with this kind of PMI structure.

Finding a Loan with No Private Mortgage Insurance

Loans with no PMI have one great disadvantage – they typically have higher interest rates. Instead of paying regular PMI, the latter is included in the higher rate of the mortgage.

Which of the above solutions will be best for you depends entirely on your particular case. Sometimes paying the private mortgage insurance might turn out more beneficial than choosing to avoid it with a second mortgage. Therefore you should consider your decision carefully and make all the necessary calculations in order to make the right choice.

Interior Design Retro Style

You've made the decision to completely revamp your home and you've decided you'd like it to be in Retro style but just how do you go about incorporating that into your home. First of all it might help to have an understanding of what a Retro design style actually is.

What is Retro?

The post war fifties and psychedelic sixties saw a move towards more brighter and bolder colors most likely as a backlash to doom and gloom of the war torn forties. Basically, Retro style of interior design can be described as taking a little bit of the past few decades into the present in order to create a new style of interior design that is both modern and fun. As there is so much material to choose from, what you decide to include will absolutely be your own interpretation of the past, so entirely unique.

During each of the past three decades there have been different materials, shapes, colors, artefacts, and gadgets that have left a lasting impression on all of us. These days, anything from the 50's, 60's or even the 70's is fashionable again. However, because there are so many different ways to go about incorporating a Retro style into your home, it can be difficult to know where to start. There is not a standard look that can be described as Retro and yet everyone is able to recognize it when they see it.

Where to start

The first step would be to browse through magazines and search on the Internet, visit show rooms and exhibitions for the color schemes, furniture, layouts etc. that appeal to you. Ask yourself what artefacts have been used, how the furniture is laid out, what it is made of, look at the lighting and any effect it creates, take note of the color schemes, the ornamental touches and do not forget the wall and floor coverings. From there you can literally mix and match elements that appeal to your own taste to produce a retro style that reflects your own identity with the past.

Getting the look

After the war new materials were being produced that led to a dramatic change in styles during the fifties and sixties, for example, Formica, plastic, fiberglass and plywood were introduced. The mood of the people was buoyant, and the future looked bright, supposedly so were the color schemes. For example:

* Turquoise

* Jade

* Mint green

* Pink

* Sunshine yellow

* Cherry red

* Blue

* Black and White

Highly polished chrome was very popular and used for furniture or for ornamental purposes. The furniture was often abstract in style with weird and wonderful shapes. Think of low lying round or oval or kidney shaped coffee tables, or anything in a curvy boomerang type shape. Teak and Pine were popular materials. Blow up furniture was introduced along with disposable materials like cardboard so no longer did furniture have to last for years; it was possible to change the look of your home as often as you felt the urge.

Who could possibly forget GPlan furniture that was all the rage and that revolutionized home interiors? For the first time, people could develop a coordinated look to their home over a period of time and mix and match pieces to create their own style.

Imagine black and white chequered linoleum offset against chrome furniture and black vinyl coverings. What about the wet look wall paper and bold floral patterns? Or even the bright and bold red and black contrasting color schemes.

Geometric patterns and shapes were ever popular and as the space age was well and truly upon us during the fifties and sixties wall hangings, shapes, pictures, lamps, ornaments or anything that was reminiscent of space was well and truly in. For example, rockets, the planets, satellites, and space ships were very trendy and atomic wall clocks were a feature in the most fashionable of homes.


Visit antique shops or search on eBay to pick up vintage ornaments and objects in order to complete the vintage Retro look. There are not any hard and fast rules about what you should or should not include and that is what makes the Retro style so exciting differently. Do not be afraid to be bold with your design ideas, as long as it looks good to you and feels right then you can not really go wrong.

A Peek Inside a Retail Store

Janine is the proud owner of a retail store located on the outskirts of the famous New Jersey shore. She sells anything from vintage clothing to vinyl records to refurbished home decorations and furniture. As a small business owner, it took Janine almost five years to learn the ins and outs of the retail business in order to own a successful store. Today, she opens her doors to give us a behind-the-scenes peek of her business.

Each corner of the sales floor represents a theme. One corner is music and another is clothing and accessories. The third corner displays home decorations and furniture. The fourth corner is a miscellaneous section that presents books, stationery, gift baskets, and more. The center of the store resembles a café, without food or drinks. She has six tables set up, where each morning she places the daily newspaper, some magazines, and any interesting books she might have just finished reading.

“When I opened up shop, I didn’t want to be ‘normal.’ I wanted a place where people can meet up to talk about the news or sports. This isn’t just a store, it’s a social setting. We don’t sell food or anything, but that doesn’t take away from the appeal,” says Janine. “With all of the social media going on, it’s refreshing to know that people are still interested in face-to-face, old-fashioned conversations.”

To learn about how to run a retail store, Janine took advice from her uncle Dan who owned a shoe store that closed after 45 years.

“Uncle Dan taught me that it takes a lot of patience and dedication to run a store. He taught me that a store owner has to take pride in how the store looks. He said that first impressions determine whether or not a customer will even come in.”

Taking that into account, Janine made sure that the storefront display stood out to potential customers. Her store sits on a street with high foot traffic. She changes the storefront display every two weeks so that it never gets dull and remains interesting.

Another piece of advice that Janine took has been valuable to her business. “Uncle Dan said that the only way a store really stays alive is if customers return and then refer their friends. Once in a while someone I don’t know will come into the store, and most likely I won’t see that person again. Loyal customers keep a business running.”

To keep customers coming back for more, Janine purchased a Zebra printer, which produces customer loyalty cards. “I actually got the idea from someone who owns a bakery. She gives every customer who comes through the door a card, and any time they come back they receive points with that card. They receive discounts when they reach a certain amount of points. I do the exact same thing here.”

Janine searched the internet for a printer to make the cards because she did not want to hire anyone to do the job for her. She chose the Zebra printer because it was small rather than bulky. “I can’t have an eye sore behind the counter. It’s little and blends right in.”

Janine says that customers with loyalty cards frequent the store the most. “Each of them gets an ID holder with their card and for some reason that makes them feel special! I guess it’s because it shows that I care about keeping their things safe. I don’t know! Many stores just give them their cards, and some don’t even make the cards themselves. They have the cards sent to their houses. I think giving them an ID holder makes it feel more personable to them. I don’t get it, but it makes my customers happy.”

Janine wants to her store to have a classic mom-and-pop feel. She refuses to have a website, and she does not do any online marketing. “I am only 25 years old, so it’s not like I don’t understand technology. I use it in my personal life. However, I still believe that stores can succeed without using the internet.”

Janine was asked if she thinks that her marketing tactics of posting flyers, running newspaper ads, and word-of-mouth are working. Her answer: “So far, so good.”

Extra-Long Insulated Boxes Have Their Own Uses

When you are looking around for different cooler boxes, a particularly effective ice box is one that is insulated with at least 2.5 cm of PU foam on the walls and bottom of the box. The lid of the box should have even more insulation as this is typically exposed to more sunlight and sufferers from a greater heating effect than the sides. Aside of this insulation, the outer shell of ice boxes has typically been treated to resist ultra violet rays, as well as being able to resist scratches and the kind of color deterioration that comes with age and use.

There is a range of insulated boxes produced as shipping boxes. These cooler boxes are specifically designed to transport meat, poultry, fish, chemicals, tropical fish and other items that need to be sensitively shipped in temperature controlled conditions. There are many kinds of insulation used, depending on the specific requirements. These insulation materials may be bubble wrap, foamed plastic, thermal blankets or even corrugated cardboard. The one thing these all have in common is their ability to be able to trap the air and utilize this trapped air for insulation properties.

Insulated boxes that are used for shipping various items vary in size and shape depending on the size and shape of the items that are transported. Generally, however, we are looking at an oblong box or earning heights. As an example, some suppliers market a mackerel box which is an extra-long cooler suitable for storing mackerel, king fish and tuna. The external shell is made from tough polyethylene in rugged finish. Although made of lightweight materials, these mackerel boxes are usually particularly durable, made to a high specification for commercial use.

Mackerel boxes come in various sizes. Common sizes are boxes with 100 liter, 210 liter, 260 liter and 700 liter capacity. The empty weight of these boxes varies with size and can be as little as 14 kg while a 700 liter box can weigh as much as 50 kg. When it comes to the average length of a mackerel box, they are much longer than a standard box with the same capacity. For example, a 100 liter mackerel box from one manufacturer is 136cm long, while the 100 liter standard cooler is only 92cm long.

When it comes to the thickness of the walls you can imagine just how much CFC-free PU foam insulation has been pumped into each of these mackerel boxes: the walls of a typical high quality 100 liter box has 30 to 40 mm thick walls; the lid is usually extra thick, measuring 50 to 70 mm, allowing for a reasonable amount of insulation to be pumped in between the two shells. The walls of larger mackerel ice box usually are even thicker, with the walls measuring 70 to 80 mm thick and the lid being 90 to 100 mm thick. That is a lot of insulation so it is seriously surprising that any ice stored in these mackerel boxes may stay viable for up to 7 days.

Seven Things You Should Do On Your Next Texas Vacation

Being able to take a break from life is something we all look forward to, which means that when it comes to taking a vacation, we really want to be sure to make it count. Earth is a pretty big planet, and while there are a number of places on the globe you could travel to your next vacation, you might consider Texas vacations to be requisites for your next few getaways.

Texas? Really? Absolutely! Before you begin to scoff at the idea of ​​spending your well-earned time-off in the Lone Star State, you might want to consider what it is that you do on standard vacation. You travel by either land, sea, or air. You make it to your lodging, and more often than not, you might just call your first day a "chill" kind of day. You figure you'll regroup, get refreshed with a good night's sleep, and when the morning comes, vacation mode will be in full-effect. You take in the sights, buy meals out, take in more sights, and then head back to the hotel or vacation rental. You're absolutely tired, and you very quickly begin to think that maybe a "hotel day" would be a good option instead of seeing more sights. Eh.

With a vacation in Texas, you can not help but run into things to do, see, and experience everywhere you go. Moreover, why not make it a really memorable getaway by renting a car & having an epic road-trip through the state? The options are really pretty endless.

But before you get overwhelmed thinking that you would not know where to start, here are seven things that need to be part of your next Texas vacation:

Take a Picture with a "Do not Mess with Texas" Sign – As iconic as they are important, Texas prides itself on maintaining the stunning looks of its land.

Take a Pit-Stop at A Buc-ee's – If you think you've been to a convenience store on a road-trip before, you will be sorely mistaken. Be prepared for an experience.

Cruise on I-35 – It's the major thoroughfare in Texas. You can not say you've driven in Texas unless you've hit this highway.

Check Out Historical Markers Along the Way – With as much history as there is in Texas, you'll find countless historical markers everywhere you go.

Visit the George HW Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station – Fmr. President Bush is the longest-living president in history, and his decades of service to this country make this destination a must.

Check out an Antique CW Parker Carousel in Brenham – Tremendous craftsmanship that is over a century old & is the only example of a CW Parker carousel with Herschell-Spillman horses.

Explore Washington-on-the-Brazos – See "Where Texas Became Texas" with the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence in 1836.

Texas vacations may not seem like they would provide you and your family with much in the way of entertainment and excitement. You figure if you've seen one part of Texas, you've seen pretty much all of Texas. Therein lies the biggest mistake you could make about the Lone Star State. Texas has a rich history and cultural heritage that makes it statehood one of the truly interesting benefits to prominence in the country. You owe it to yourself to make Texas a major candidate for your next getaway.

Using Architectural Salvage to Create a Link to a Simpler Time

As the world gets more and more complicated many "lovely decorating addicts" are finding unique salvage items discovered into new uses to create a nostalgic link to simpler times! A stair baluster becomes a one of a kind candle holder, a pair of corbels (the more blistery the better) becoming amazing shelf brackets for
a salvaged piece of fence or barn wood to "make hearts break" at your next dinner party of get together with friends and family. The message here is anyone can go into the widget store and get the same widgets that everyone else has. Why not stretch your creativity (and probably your budget) and hit the local flea market, thrift store, antique store or (if you are lucky enough to have one close by) the "Architectural Salvage Yard".

Been looking for one of these salvage yards? Let's explain how to not only find one but find the right one for your taste and budget.

Architectural Salvage Certificates are primarily divided into two categories:

1) Salvage yards that also do their own demolition of old buildings. These I call "Primaries"
2) The other type of yard is a buyer and reseller of salvaged items from demolition companies, remodeling home owners, builders, private parties. These I call "Secondaries".

Within both categories are grades and qualities of salvage yards. Some carry the relatively common items such as old windows, door and hardware and generally are relatively modestly priced. The second type involves impassioned operators who either deconstruct items (sometimes even buying salvage rights for the
demolition) and carefully transport them to their warehouse. Tearing down things is easy. Deconstructing historically significant artifacts without destroying them is labor intensive, highly skilled work. The end product usually commands a price commensurate with the time and effort needed to rescue it from its present location to a new one!

So which type of place should I frequent?

The answer is according to your budget and taste. I intend to focus in future articles on sharing unique design ideas from the "secondary" category. I believe that great design (with no concerns about budget is simply a "search and acquire" game best performed with a internet link and a phone. tag!

Each article I publish shall deal broadly with reuse of relatively modest price architectural items that are capable to be re-engineered with "medium level tool skills", tools and the "ever popular" drywall screw and screw gun. You will not need to have a "contractors license" or a "building permit". Simply a passion for a really great item that reflects your creativity not the "widget stores"!

Here is the design idea # 1 in a series of "too cool … reuse ideas" that will be a theme of each article.

Design idea # 1-

Materials needed:
Baluster Candle Holder. A baluster is one of the spindles that you find between the upper and lower support railing on a stairwell. Most salvage stores, a good day at the flea market or a building supply
store have new (if you can not find old) balusters. Old ones are ready to go into production. New ones create a old look with a bottom coat of crackling medium, or a combination of glue mixed with water and a top coat of whatever the finished color should be. 1 piece of 2 "x8" wood approximately18 "long. (Scrap cuts of wood are plentiful in home improvement stores or just pick up a 8 'piece (about $ 6) and save the rest for later.

Tools needed:
One drill. One 3/4 "paddle drill bit One Phillips head # 2 screw head One small box of course thread 2" drywall screws. One bottle of wood glue. One 1/8 "drill bit One hand or power saw.


Step 1- Cut your 2×8 wood piece to desired length based on what your eye tells you the right relationship is in proportion to the height of your baluster.

Step 2- Cut any angles off of your baluster so that it is flat on the top and bottom.

Step 3- Take your paddle bit and cut aa 3/4 "wide (the width of the paddle bit) and 1" deep in one end of the baluster. (this is your candle holder opening).

Step 4- Take the other side and put a small amount of wood glue on base of 2×8 where you want the balluster to be attached. Turn the 2×8 upside down and drill a 1/8 "hole from back of 2×8 into the 2×8 and into the baluster about 1/2 inch.

Step 5- Screw the baluster to the 2×8 with a 2 "drywall screw and set overnight overnight for the wood glue to get good and dry. .

Step 6- Add any other decorative elements you like to the 2×8 base. Old peices of door hardware, old tools, and any other trinkets that inspire you.

Step 7- Paint as desired.

Step 8- Insert a inspiring candle to opening in baluster.

With a little creativity, basic tools and very modest expense you have created a "unique expression" of your sense of style. And a "really great" non mass produced, "anti-me too" product to amaze your friends
with your decorating style!

Alternatives For Plastic Bags

If we take close look, plastic (shopping) bags really have a imaging effect on these environmental systems. Plastic is non-biodegradable, toxic and not recyclable in many sense of the word. Nowadays people feel more and more the need for an attempt to seek alternatives in eliminating the use of plastic and reducing plastic waste. These plastic bags are not bio-degradable and they affect the environmental balance in various ways. This situation foster the individual practice for sustainable earth and a friendly environment.

Some shoppers sometimes bring various items wrapped in plastic bags and throw them away after use without any concern for the environment. This caused damage to earth life. Plastic bags pose a threat to marine life too, because, if ingested, the bags can block the animal stomach and cause starvation. For example, sea turtles were reported fake plastic bags for jellyfish. How can it be plastic bags present in the bellies of wild animals. In a news it was reported that a whale that washed up on a beach at Normandy was found to have 800 grams of plastic and other packaging in its stomach! Studies said that several plastic products contain bisphenol which is dangerous for our health.

Stray plastic bags can also clog sewer pipes, leading to stagnant water and unmistakably associated health hazards. In 2002, Bangladesh banned plastic bags after drains blocked by bags contributed to widespread monsoon flooding in 1988 and 1998. Even in the province of Himachal Pradesh (India) there is a strict plastic bag regulations, where people caught with plastic bags are fined $ 2000.

Here, it is a good things to do if we use minimal plastic (shopping) bags, or using them repeatedly for an optimum period. Another suggestion is making alternative bags, made of reeds, cloth, paper, or other media that we can use repeatedly. With some creativity, we can recycle some old things to make new (shopping) bags too. It is good to be creative while at the same time we save our life and others. I think we need alternatives for plastic products, healthy alternatives for our health and our earth.

Exciting New Methods for Preparing Succulent Salmon

As far as delicious dinner is concerned, salmon is always a reliable and solid pick. After all, it tastes great in a pasta dish, atop of pizza, made into burger form, or simply drizzled with olive oil, grilled, and accentuated with a squeeze of lemon. And while perfecting any of these different recipes and having a delightful dinner is possible, the fact of the matter is that moving beyond that and trying something different is even more admirable, especially when the end result is truly succulent salmon.

While using planks and different methods to get a new salmon flavor are sometimes embraced by those who are really great in the kitchen and at the grill, a misconception that there is some elusive quality, the trick to smoking salmon well sometimes dissuades those who would otherwise be game to trying something new. And the truth of the matter is that the trick to smoking salmon is less about a complicated secret and more about trying it a couple of times to perfect technique. Starting with fabulous ingredients is also key, so picking up some tasty Alaska fillets that are on the fatty side is highly recommended, since when fish cooks for an extended amount of time, it should not be on the lean side. It will also help to ensure that, while smoking, the salmon does not dry out, which can result in a less than delectable final product.

Actually, the trick to smoking salmon is about the small details that go into the process, like remembering that the smoke is going to add a particular flavor, and that accordingly, it is important to keep that in mind when selecting what to marinate the fish in before the actual smoking process. Many people go the route of molasses for a sweet and smoky final product, though it's also worthwhile to mix up a mixture that is equal parts soy sauce and brown sugar, which will be that perfect combination so salty and sugary that goes so well with smoky hints of flavor.

There are plenty of people who set up their smokers perfectly, use the proper kind of charcoal, but do not take that little bit of time to choose wisely when marinating fish the evening before, so the end product ends up lacking the subtle flavor differences it could actually have. Remember, anytime that one is marinating something, leaving the object in question soaking in juice for at least eight hours is recommended to really get the necessary flavor. And of course, do not leave a smoker unattended if unsure about whether or not it is going to get the job done properly!

Try This Healthy Eating Diet Plan

How many times have you decided the time had come to loose a few pounds but everything you tried left you frustrated and feeling deprived. Have you ever considered a healthy eating diet plan?

If you aren’t familiar with a health eating diet plan you might be surprised at just how simple the concept is and you’ll be wondering why more aren’t using it to lose those extra pounds.

The healthy eating diet plan starts by recognizing that weight will only be lost when the number of calories burned exceeds the number of calories eaten. It also recognizes that if you drop your calorie intake too quickly your body will go into what’s called starvation mode storing fat for that rainy day.

The healthy eating diet plan goes one further stating that you can eat anything you want as long as you don’t exceed your calorie count for the day and in fact you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories but no more. While at the same time increasing your calorie burn by 500 calories. That means you are going to have a 1000 calorie difference which is going to be noticeable on the diet scale.

The healthy eating diet plan also looks at the type of foods you are eating. Of course although it says you can eat anything you want it expect that you will not fill your diet with foods high in saturated fats but rather will mix your meals up with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables but it gives you the flexibility to mix it up how you like it without being restricted to certain foods.

So what would a healthy eating diet plan look like? Well it might look something like this:


o 1 cup Cheerios

o 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries

o 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk

o 1/2 whole-grain English muffin, toasted, topped with 1 teaspoon light margarine

o Coffee if desired

Mid-morning snack

o 4 pieces dried apricot

o 1 cup tea with lemon


o Sandwich: one 6-inch whole-wheat pita, spread with 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise and stuffed with 2 ounces deli-style roast beef, 1-ounce slice of reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, 3 tomato slices and lettuce

o 4 baby carrots

o 1 banana,

Afternoon snack

o 5 ounces fat-free yogurt

o 3 vanilla wafers


o 3 ounces grilled or broiled salmon brushed with 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed before cooking

o 2/3 cup brown rice

o 3/4 cup sliced asparagus spears steamed

o Salad: 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves topped with 1 tangerine, peeled and sectioned; 1 tablespoon chopped almonds; drizzled with 1 tablespoon sesame seed vinaigrette salad dressing

o Water or other no-cal beverage

Of course this is just an example of a healthy eating diet plan for a day. There are so many options that you will never be bored and remember you can eat which ever foods you want as long as you don’t exceed your daily calorie intake. So if you love fish eat as much as you want or perhaps you hate asparagus but love baby carrots then don’t eat asparagus but do eat all the baby carrots you want.

So what will your healthy eating diet plan look like?

How Important Is a Good Property Sales Brochure?

When selling a house, the printed property sales brochure should be fundamental to your property marketing strategy. Alas, all too often many sellers do not think of the brochure as a 'pro-active sales tool' and they simply regard it as nothing more than a point of reference for prospective buyers, giving them room dimensions and an idea of ​​what the property looks like along with the estate agent's details on should they wish to make an offer. Many vendors do not realize how, with just a little effort, their humble printed property details can become a highly effective promotional aid that actively entices buyers.

Many people selling homes in the UK go down the traditional route of simply listing their property with a local estate agent. They then leave all of the marketing and promotion in the hands of the professionals – after all that's the agent's job is not it? However the quality of sales particulars produced by estate agents varies broadly, so it is in the vendor's interests to ensure that the printed details given to prospective buyers are as effective as possible.

In most cases the estate agent's fee will probably include some local advertising, listings on property websites or a photograph and summary details of your property in their shop window. Most estate agents will also produce a printed description of your property to give out to prospective purchasers. This will very often be in a pre-formatted standard template design.

A typical house buyer may cast their eye over hundreds of properties when searching for their next home, it is there before important that your house stands out from the crowd. To have any chance of being noticed among the dozens of other similar properties for sale in your area or buyer's price range, it is imperative that your property looks as appealing as possible when prospective buyers first see it on-line or in the estate agents window .

Capture the imagination:

Estate agents in the UK are of course legally bound by certain rules regarding the descriptive content within a property sales brochure, but it is the photographic content that usually lets the side down. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so ensure the photographs of your property are the best they can be. If your leading photograph is an outer shot of the whole house then simple things like ensuring the frontage is tidy will make a world of difference to the overall impression, also try to take the photograph on a sunny day. If your house has a driveway or garage then leave the car off the parking space while the photograph is being taken, this will draw the buyer's attention to the fact there is parking available rather than to what kind of car you drive. Additionally buyers will not be attracted by interior shots of kitchens with washing-up on show or scruffy laundry-strewn bathrooms – remember you're selling a lifestyle – and they will not be enticed by photographs of homes taken at night with only pitch darkness visible through the windows.

To avoid such mistakes ensure your house is clean, tidy and well lit before the photographer arrives. If your estate agent visits at night time to list your property, ask him to come back during the day to take the photographs. You would not expect your estate agent to bring along 'David Bailey' to take photographs of your home, but if you feel your agent is not a good photographer and has not captured the best possible image of your house, then find someone who is proficient and supply the photographs yourself.

One of the most common photographic errors is not keeping the printed details up-to-date; for example still using a photograph taken in winter with snow on the ground to sell a house in the middle of the summer. Sometimes the worst off is an out-of-date photograph that shows flags in neighbouring windows taken during major sporting events – especially if the football word cup finished over a year ago! These kind of errors effectively 'date' your house and you could be giving buyers the impression that there must be something wrong with it to have been on the market for such a long time.

Retain the interest:

Once your beautifully presented property sales brochure has addressed the buyer's eye, it should then entice them to come and view your property. Apart from containing an accurate description (fixtures and fittings, room sizes, floorplan, tenure etc), your sales brochure gives you an ideal opportunity to tell prospective buyers all about your property's unique benefits over other properties they may have viewed. You do not need to write a lengthy essay, but a few carefully chosen points in an opening paragraph that outlines your property's attributes can quickly give the buyer a 'feel' for how your house could become their next dream home.

A small section on local amenities, highlighting local schools, shops and entertainment facilities can also go a long way to enticing a buyer to view your house.

In summary then, a well-designed sales brochure should firstly promote your property and attract the right buyers to view your house by capturing their imagination. Secondly it should be a reliable piece of informative literature that retains the buyers' interest by answering many of their questions; highlighting the unique benefits of the property to make it stand out against the competition. Finally it should be kept up-to-date and underpin your entire marketing and sales campaign and complement any other marketing activities (such as advertisements or websites promoting your house for sale) by carrying the same sales message and clear, quality images.

What Qualifies As Scrap Gold?

If you have watched any television lightly, or surfed the internet, you have probably come across advertisements trying to entice you to sell scrap gold for cash. While the idea seems nice, most people disregard it sure that they would know if they had scrap gold lying around the house to sell. The fact is, that you probably do, the trick is knowing what you are looking for, because most people consider those gold items useless and then have no idea that they could have cash in their pockets for these items.

Scrap gold is simply gold that is placed into an item in a form different than its natural form that is still worth a lot of money, but it is usually not over ten ounces. You may find scrap gold in a lot of your old pieces of jewelry that you no longer wear. A great example is an earring that you lost the match to long ago but have been hanging onto it anyhow.

This one earring could fetch you some cash based on the current high gold prices in the United States. Other similar examples to the lone earring are a gold watch that no longer keeps time, a necklace or bracelet with a broken gold chain, or even the gold casting of a ring that has lost its gem. All of these items you have probably considered tossing at one time or another considering them worthless, but not sure if you should throw out or not because they were made of gold.

Well, turns out you were right to keep them, because the gold inside can make you instant cash for gold if you send them off to an online gold buyer.

Other items that you can add on your scavenger list for scrap gold, now that you are intrigued, are service pins, old class rings, gold coins (both foreign and US), casted gold items, pendants, and even a tooth that has a gold filling in it that you may have lost.

The list of how many items that qualify as scrap gold can go on and on, because the condition of the items does not matter, simply the fact that they contain gold. When you send your unwanted gold to be appraised, the shape of the item is not evaluated, simply purity, weight, and condition of the gold inside the item. Thus, you really can send in just about anything made of gold and expect to receive some amount of cash in return.

With all of these possibilities, there is no better place to start hunting through your home for possible scrap gold items then now, because there is no guarantee on how long the price for gold will remain so high. Obviously, you want to make sure you receive top dollar off of every item that you sell, so that means you will need to act now to make sure that you get it!

It does not cost anything to send in your items with a gold kit, but you can reap a wonderful cash reward if you act now!

Web Hosting Ecommerce Merchant Accounts

Ecommerce is doing business online, the buying and selling of services and products over the web. It allows you to promote your goods or services, advertise promos, and tap into your sales goals in an easier way. Your clients will make their orders by browsing on your web site and send their payments through your merchant account, which in turn, transfers these payments to your bank account.

Thus, a permanent connection of your web site to the Internet is a basic requirement. This is what web hosting merchant accounts offer. They provide this complete and continuous link by allowing your site to occupy a space on their own web server, where all the information about your site is stored. Being connected to this server will enable you to acquire the all-time web accessibility, for it stays on for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

These web hosting merchant accounts will save you the cost of owning and maintaining the needed server. You just have to pay for their service. In looking for a web host, you need to consider their reliability and reputation history, the disk or storage space of their web server, and its ability of accommodating simultaneous access to your web site. Make sure there is a database server and scripting software, operating and web content management systems, and web interface.

And most significantly, make sure your web host offers payment processing capabilities such as SSL or Secure Sockets Layer, a communications protocol that provides security. This is very important since there are sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, that need to be encrypted to ensure that the information passes securely between you and your client, so as to prevent opportunity for fraud.

A web hosting ecommerce merchant account offers you the ability to accept all modes of payment in a faster, safer and more accessible means. It ensures you that all your payment transactions can be continuously processed anytime, may it be day or night, and that no piece of information in the communication and payment transaction process will be missed since your web site is online all the time.