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Decluttering And Getting Organized: Easy Ways To Get Your Home Into Shape

Photo by Pixabay by TheVirtualDenise

Decluttering your home can have major benefits for your entire family, and when paired with a good deep-cleaning it can help you improve everything from your physical health to your stress levels. That’s because living with clutter can cause anxiety and garners dust, mites, mold, bacteria, and bugs, all of which can cause serious issues where your health is concerned. If you’ve been wanting to get clean and organized but are worried about how to get started without help, rest assured there are several things you can do to get your house into shape without a pro’s assistance.

One of the first rules of decluttering is knowing when to give something up. Many people hold onto items because of sentimental value and fail to take into account the extra space they could have without them; others keep things they might be able to use down the road even if they haven’t touched them in years. Once you learn how to detach yourself emotionally from belongings, you’ll find that decluttering is much easier.

Here are a few tips on how to get started with a big decluttering job.

Store large items

If you have large items, such as furniture or antiques that have been in your family for a long time, remember that you don’t necessarily have to get rid of them; you just need to find a safe place for them so you can make room in your house. Renting a storage unit will allow you to get those pieces out of your basement or attic, so consider looking for a spot that will keep your belongings safe until you make other arrangements for them. In Chicago, your best value will be a $60 10×10 unit at SmartStop Self Storage in Crestwood. That’s a reasonable expenditure to open up space and know your belongings are safe. 

Go digital

Going digital with collections — such as music, movies, or photos — can be a daunting task if you have a lot to change over, but it can really be helpful when it comes to making room in your home. Digitizing one collection at a time will help to reduce the workload, so start with the smallest. There are several ways technology can help these days; using streaming apps like Spotify for your music will allow you to save your music collection onto an external hard drive and get rid of the physical items, while saving your photos to the cloud will allow you to remove photo albums and make room on your shelves. 

Utilize storage bins

Using storage bins all around the house can help you stay organized. Smaller bins or even decorative mugs can hold pens, pencils, art supplies, stamps, and envelopes on your desk, while over-the-door racks can keep everything from shoes to spices neat and easily accessible. The more you can keep small items off of countertops and other surfaces, the tidier your home will be. You can also find matching bins or furniture that doubles as storage for your child’s bedroom to help keep toys neat. 

Maintain it

One of the most difficult parts of getting rid of clutter is simply maintaining the organization around your house. But if you can come up with a good plan to stay on top of it, you’ll be able to dramatically reduce stress. Taking five or 10 minutes each day to tidy up will really help you keep things neat, and your family members can join in and help. Creating areas for mail and other paperwork, backpacks and shoes, and keys or purses will also be a big help.

Decluttering and getting organized can boost many aspects of your health and can improve your mood and ability to sleep well, so what are you waiting for? Get started in one room and work your way out to avoid becoming overwhelmed, and get the entire family involved to make each job a little easier. Soon you’ll have a home that caters to your needs while keeping you healthy and happy!

Homeowner Tips for Regular Maintenance and Major Repairs

Owning a home has many perks, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility, particularly when it comes to maintenance and repairs. In order to ensure you are living in a safe and healthy environment and to avoid crippling debt, it’s important to do your part in regular maintenance and to prepare the best you can for those inevitable major repairs.

Here are some tips to help you along the way.

Stick with Regular Maintenance

One of the best ways to keep your home in working order is to perform basic maintenance. This sounds easy enough, but it takes effort to remember all the tasks that need to be done to upkeep a home. Some examples of regular maintenance tasks are:

  • Change out HVAC filters every one to three months
  • Test smoke/CO detectors every three months and replace batteries every six months
  • Deep clean home every six months
  • Regularly flush toilets and run water in unused areas of the home
  • Inspect roof for any leaks or damages once a year

It can’t be said enough how important it is to replace your air filters, and you want to make sure you use good filters. You can tell the quality of a filter is by its MERV rating. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating is determined by how well the filter captures particles, such as dust, carpet fibers, and microscopic bacteria. A rating can be anywhere from 1 to 16. While the highest-rated filters are typically the best ones, more affordable filters with a rating of 6-8 can prove efficient for some homes (e.g., households without pets or allergies). 

Hire the Right Contractors

When major or emergency repairs are necessary, it’s essential to find a qualified contractor within your budget. Whether it’s leaky or bursting pipes, roof damage, or foundation concerns, the contractor you choose can make the difference between a smooth experience and a nightmare. Ask people you know for recommendations, interview several candidates, and have each candidate provide a written bid so you can compare. Also, be sure to check each one’s licensing, and put together a detailed contract in writing once you choose a contractor. 

And although you might not think so, the same rings true for pest control. If you discover that your home has become a haven for critters, you need to call in professionals to handle the job. This is especially true with termites, as they can do serious harm to the bones of your home, which could result in more money leaving your bank account. The average cost to hire a termite control specialist in Chicago, Illinois, for example, is $91 and $233, but it’s important to make room in your budget for something this important.

Create a Repair Fund

The best overall method for paying for home repairs is to create an emergency repair fund. This allows you to have the money ready for unexpected repairs without having to borrow funds or run up your credit card bills. Each home is different and you can’t predict every repair that will come your way. However, it’s generally a good idea to delegate 10 percent of your monthly mortgage payment to your repair fund. For instance, if your mortgage payment is $1,200 per month, put $120 in the repair fund each month. You may be surprised how quickly the fund builds. 

Consider Family/Friends or a Personal Loan

Of course, having a good emergency fund built up is ideal, but it may not always cover everything you need. In those cases, it should still be your goal to avoid racking up credit. Consider asking a family member or close friend to front you the money for the necessary repairs. If that isn’t an option or preferred method, then look into getting a personal loan. You can apply online and these loans don’t require you to hold your home or automobile as collateral. Furthermore, you can sometimes find loans with less than 5 percent interest and no origination fees. 

The responsibilities of home maintenance and unexpected repairs are less stressful when you have a plan. Keep your home safe and healthy by doing regular maintenance tasks, and be sure to hire a qualified and affordable contractor to perform your repairs. Create and build an emergency repair fund so that you’ll have money when you need it. Finally, if a need for a major repair surfaces before you’ve built your emergency fund, look into borrowing from a loved one or getting a personal loan. 

Photo Credit: Pexels

CCB Residential Service In Bolingbrook IL Help You Buying And Selling Homes

Creative Commercial Brokers announced the launch of their new residential real estate brokerage services for clients in Bolingbrook, Naperville and surrounding areas.The brokers help clients get a quick and stress-free buying and selling process.

Creative Commercial Brokers, a company providing commercial real estate brokerage and business services, announced the extension of their residential real estate services to Bolingbrook, Naperville, Romeoville, Plainfield, Lisle, Downers Grove, Woodridge, and surrounding areas. The company moved into the residential sector to help local homeowners sell their homes quickly and stress-free.

Whether it is a buyer’s or a seller’s market, Creative Commercial Brokers uses proven marketing tactics that will reach and attract high-probability buyers, make an outstanding first impression, and get their clients property sold at best price possible, and within their timeframe.

Creative Commercial Brokers helps both residential real estate buyers and sellers to avoid common mistakes in the purchase contract, prorating real estate taxes and other customary charges like; title insurance and closing costs. Their professionals have a strong working knowledge of the real estate market in 5 largest counties, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County and Kane County, IL.

The company’s top priority is to make real estate transactions as simple and understandable as possible for their clients. Thus, their team remain accessible to clients at all stages of the real estate transaction to answer any questions or address any concerns clients may have.

With decades of combined experience, they are dedicated to making the home buying and selling experience positive and straightforward for all customers. Thus, Creative Commercial Brokers decided to now celebrate each successful service by giving away 5% of the earned commission to a charity of the seller’s choice in their local community at the closing of every transaction.

Kevin Kaplan, the managing broker at Creative Commercial Brokers, said: “I think help is the most beautiful and important word in our dictionary. It brings the best out of people and creates a perpetual cycle that always comes back. The more we help, the more help we get.”

Visit our residential website ListRentBuySell.Com and check thousands of listings in every city of the Chicagoland area. Register and receive all new listings, price changes of listed homes etc., as it happens via text and email.

As seen on ABC News | Daily Herald | News 9 | NBC29 | Fox34 and many more.

Renewables: Cost-Benefit To Your Bottom Line

If you haven’t been watching the price per megawatt of renewables, you should be.  A decade ago the price of power from renewables was still considered above the reasonable cost threshold in comparison to conventional power generation, so few companies sought out power off-take agreements from renewable sources.  Price of power from wind farms was the first to see dramatic drops in price largely lead by the fact natural gas production was bringing the price of electricity down across all grids.  Manufacturers of wind turbines had to build ever more efficient wind turbines of higher production efficiencies to compete in a declining forward wholesale power curve.  Prices of power from wind farms has dropped from around $50mWh in 2009 to now under $15mWh in most parts of the upper Midwest in the US.  

If your company is a significant consumer of electricity, you need to be looking hard at entering into a renewable energy power off-taker agreement to keep your business competitive in line with your peers.  If you think renewable energy is something you would only consider because of “branding” it’s bigger than that, in this case, has everything to do with cost and your ability to compete against an industry peer who bought cheaper power than you.  No longer is buying renewable a solely ideological decision, in fact now it’s become so common place many companies don’t spend much time marketing that fact instead it’s about the competitive arms race every CEO, CFO, and Boards of companies deal with in the bottom line.  

If you think your company isn’t big enough to warrant a look into the competitive bidding processes which are going on every day in the wholesale power markets, then you need to consider engaging in an aggregated RFP with other companies to leverage collective volume of usage to get access to requests for proposals directly from wind farms.

As the western desert states move toward a standardized power grid and wholesale power market that region will open up wonderful opportunities for large scale solar farms to thrive. While the price of production of electricity from commercial solar farms isn’t as cheap as electricity from wind farms you as a reader need to understand that’s not a 1:1 comparison.  Wind farms are larger producers of wholesale power in off-peak night time hours conversely solar delivers the vast majority of its production during peak day time hours when the wholesale traded price of power is highest.  This means there are several ways solar can be just as cheap net to net of what you are currently paying and if solar is paired up with wind farms it makes for a remarkably cost-effective strategy. 

Of course, there is always the push back of what happens when the wind doesn’t blow, or the sun doesn’t shine talking point to which is why we have a power grid.  Power grids are dynamic and highly flexible systems designed to accommodate these fluctuations.  Texas wholesale power grid has demonstrated that over and over again successfully managing over 20,000 MW of renewable power in its system.   Also the Southwest Power Pool, the grid in the middle of the US where some of the fastest buildups of wind farms has occurred has seen days where over 50% of the power delivered to the grid was from wind farms, and consumers enjoyed that cheap resource of electricity and didn’t see any deviation in service. 

The old saying “you snooze you lose” still applies and couldn’t be any more accurate in explaining why you as a wholesale consumer of electricity need to be smart and proactive in getting on board the renewable energy wagon.

Author : Gary Aksamit LinkedIn : Gary Aksamit  Expertise Areas : Energy & Capital Markets

Hey, Looking For A JOB, SUCKS!

Hey, Looking For A JOB, SUCKS!

Just by looking at a few job postings on Craigslist and you understand what I mean… It SUCKS!

These people are either out of their mind or they think people are just too stupid and too desperate… They want you to be an expert not in only one field but in many for only $30K-$50K annual salary. They want you to be a marketing expert, an SEO expert, a content management expert, a social media expert, a secretary, a go getter, a salesman etc. etc. All of these for $30-$50K annual salary. WOW! I mean WOW! How low can they go!?

Ohhh… by the way, you also have to be available on the weekends or 24/7 on call…

I get very angry when I see a JOB posting like this. And this is NOT only CL. This BS is everywhere on every JOB site…they are not all that bad of course, just look at the positive side, at least they haven’t asked you to clean their houses and cook for them too, not yet…

That being said, Let’s get to the point. Shall we?

I am an entrepreneur and a true entrepreneur usually never works as an employee. Because being an employee doesn’t get you where you want to be in life. Therefore, they either work with like minded entrepreneurs or they work for themselves to achieve their life long desires.

I am looking for real estate brokers to work with me, NOT for me. You can do both commercial and residential transactions. I am offering you my help to get out of this rat race and achieve your goals in life. In the process, earn residual income for life and have equity in one of the fastest growing real estate company in the world.

  • We provide you an automated lead generating machine/website integrated with SMS auto follow up.
  • We teach you the business (if you don’t already know it)
  • We will train you and hold your hand as long as you need
  • We have 24/7 training online
  • We have more than 200 full time employees online to answer your questions anytime you get stuck with a transaction
  • Company profit share and stock purchase option at 20% discount (Listed on NASDAQ)  
  • Work on your time and terms whenever you want (You are NOT an employee)
  • Residual income for life when you build a team for yourself

Remember this quote from one of the richest man in the World, John D. Rockefeller, Quote: “I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.”

Also remember this Quote: “You miss 100% of the shot you don’t take”

Are you ready for a CHANGE for that ENTREPRENEUR inside you?

P.S. Please don’t apply unless you are ready to make a CHANGE in your life…

P.S.S. If you don’t have a real estate license, don’t worry. As long as you are willing to learn, I can point you to right school to get your license pretty fast…

Contact Us to get you going right away!

New Residential Service Gives 5% Back To Charities

New Residential Service Gives 5% Back To Charities

Residential Service & Helping Charities

Creative Commercial Brokers announced today the official launch of its upcoming residential real estate service to Bolingbrook, Naperville, Romeoville, Plainfield, Lisle, Downers Grove, Woodridge, and surrounding areas.

The first thing people should expect is a big improvement in quality of service and professionalism. Creative Commercial Brokers makes this happen by hiring very experienced real estate brokers who are already dealing with multi million dollar commercial real estate transactions at executive levels. This is to be expected from a business that places such value on customer satisfaction and delivering the results desired.

People will be interested to know how an commercial-only real estate company decided to venture into the residential sector of the market. It’s been a long time coming to put it together, from the initial idea to fully implementing the service by empowering customers.

And most notable, Creative Commercial Brokers will celebrate and publish the event by giving away 5% of the earned commission to a charity of the customer’s choice in their local community at the closing of every transaction. It is their hope that local communities in DuPage and Will County will benefit from this service tremendously. Because they are a part of these local communities, they want to give back to the ones in need.

Kevin Kaplan, Managing Broker, at Creative Commercial Brokers added, “I think “HELP” is both the most beautiful and the most important word in our dictionary. Because it brings the best out of people and thus creates a perpetual cycle that comes back to you. The more you help the community, the more help you get from the community! And this is the most beautiful thing in the world.”

It’s a WIN-WIN for consumers that are in the market to sell their house, and they can feel better at the end of the day by helping people via their Church, local food pantry, Red Cross etc.

Further information about this new residential real estate service to serve Bolingbrook, Naperville, Romeoville, Plainfield, Lisle, Downers Grove, Woodridge, IL and surrounding areas, please Contact Us to have a quick phone conversation.

If You Want To Sell Then You Must Provide Financials

Sellers To Work With Or Not…

We, real estate brokers, face some very unrealistic sellers in commercial real estate almost on a daily basis. These sellers want to sell their property and they want to sell it at a very premium price. But when you ask them to provide bare minimum financials, they have all the excuses in the world not to provide them.

They want an offer before they can provide any financials… This is very troubling. They either have no clue how it works in the industry or they are just plain ignorant and playing a hardball with you.

Based on what number will buyer make an offer in this case?

First off al, it’s impossible to convince any credible buyer to even make an offer on a commercial property without any financials provided. But let’s say, you were able to bring an offer because you are in good a relations with your buyer.

The offer will have multiple contingencies and the first one is gonna be seeing the financials… Hellooo… Back to square one… So you are chasing your tail here. This is not going anywhere as you can see.

That being said, if you bring an offer too low then it’s insulting to the seller. If you bring an offer too high (Which I doubt) then they don’t want to budge when the real value comes in picture with appraisal. It’s a losing proposition for a real estate broker to be in. Because your credibility is on the line due to couple reasons…

  1. Firstly, you would look ridiculous trying to convince any buyer to make a blind offer.
  2. Secondly, sellers like this wont sing any agreement with you to begin with. Therefore, it’s very easy for them to walk away from any offer you might have in order not to pay you. Or worse, to circumvent you if they know the buyer.

My advice to you, a) Never disclose your buyer in this kind of situations until you have some kind of agreement with those sellers. b) Don’t even waste your time with these sellers. You better walk away before investing too much of your time with those unwilling to work with you.

20 Best Commercial Real Estate Markets

20 Best Commercial Real Estate Markets

Commercial real estate investing is a wealth creating machine like no other when done wisely and it’s becoming more and more popular for investors in the know.

People often assume that commercial real estate investing can only be done by the very best experts. It’s true to a certain extent; however, there are a number of different options when it comes to financing a commercial real estate deal, including the unconventional route that incorporates utilizing private equity firms and Reits as capital. Although commercial investing isn’t necessarily the best place for beginners to start, it is certainly a perfect future goal to set as it is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio.

Curious about which commercial real estate markets are best for getting started?

It is important to keep a few priority items in mind. Commercial real estate markets that encompass these five criteria will be most profitable for investors.

Low Purchase Prices: This might sound like a no-brainer, but it is important to find property that is priced either below or at market value. If you want to make a profit off of your renters, consider finding a sightly distressed property that is being sold for a deal. There is also the option to buy from a motivated seller or a commercial foreclosure.

Low Unemployment Rates: Cities with a low unemployment rate indicate that there are more citizens in the job force, which means more office space is needed.

High Asking Rents: Be sure to do your due diligence before jumping into commercial real estate and research comparable markets to see what average asking rent prices are. If the asking rent rate is high, and your purchase price is low, you should make a substantial profit.

High Renters Demand: Search for up-and-coming markets that are creating new jobs and developing new residential complexes because there will be an increased demand for space.

Low Vacancy Rates: If you have high tenant demand coupled with low vacancy rates, you will be able to charge a higher rent price, therefore increasing your profits.

There are 5 different types of commercial real estate spaces investors can consider: Retail space, office space, industrial space, hospitality and multifamily complexes. If you’re looking to invest on a budget, start with either industrial spaces or multifamily complexes as those options tend to be slightly cheaper than retail and office space.

If you think you are ready to get into commercial real estate, consider rapidly developing markets below.

1- San Francisco, California
2- Oakland, California
3- San Jose, California
4- Miami, Florida
5- New York, New York
6- Austin, Texas
7- Charleston, South Carolina
8- Palm Beach, Florida
9- Los Angeles, California
10- Houston, Texas
11- Louisville, Kentucky
12- Dallas, Texas
13- Chicago, Illinois
14- Boston, Massachusetts
15- St. Louis, Missouri
16- Denver, Colorado
17- Phoenix, Arizona
18- Jacksonville, Florida
19- Portland, Oregon
20- San Antonio, Texas

Creative Commercial Brokers can help you get an SBA loan in all of these top markets. No up-front fees and a straight forward process. Find out more by Contacting Us.

Commercial SBA Loans in Dallas, Texas

Hard Money Loans vs SBA Loans

Financing for commercial real estate is a completely different game when compared to residential mortgage loans. Today I will touch upon hard money loans briefly.

Commercial Real Estate – Hard, Hard, Hard Money Loans

When purchasing commercial real estate, financing is the most significant factor in determining whether the project is worth pursuing. Although there are a variety of commercial real estate loans on the market, we are going to look at hard money loans in this article.

Hard money loans for commercial real estate are often a matter of last resort. They aren’t good deals, but they can save a financing situation that has gone critical. Most hard money loans come with significant upfront costs and astronomical interest rates. When you are facing the prospect of losing a commercial property, however, they can be a godsend because they also are granted very quickly if your project is a viable one.

Hard money loans are considered very risky and are issued by private financing groups, not banks or lenders. The loans tend to be only available as the primary loan on the property, which isn’t that rare of a situation in commercial property.

Unlike home loans or conventional commercial loans, including SBA loans, hard money loans are all about the potential sales price of a piece of commercial real estate. The party considering lending you money is not going to look at the current appraised value of the property solely. They are going to look at the probable future value and sale price of it, if the commercial real estate has to be sold a few months or a year after making the loan. Or, possibly until you refinance the property and take it out. Depending on the condition of the property, this figure will typically be between 50 and 75 percent of the appraised value of the commercial property.

Put another way, a hard money loan is a short-term loan designed to get you past an immediate problem. It is undeniably a loan of last resort and is not an ultimate solution to a financing problem with a commercial property. It does nothing other than buy you time, and at a fairly hefty cost. If you are in a tight spot and can resolve the problem with a few extra months time to a year, a hard money loan may be the answer.

That being said, if you need a more secure and reliable loan that will not break the bank then consider getting an SBA loan. Contact Us to see if we can help you getting an SBA loan with no up-front fees.

SBA loans can help you accomplish your long term goals without putting excessive stress on your shoulders. Due to the fact that of low interest rates of an SBA loan will help you create more equity in your business and at a much faster pace. In other words, while SBA’s objective is to make you and your business a successful endeavor and create more jobs in order to improve US economy as a whole, a hard money loan provider’s goal is to make as much money as possible in the quickest period of time. And hence, a hard money loan provider does not care whether you prosper or not in your business endeavor as long as they get paid their money.

The option is quite clear at this point about which loan will benefit you more I think. Now, the choice is yours …

The How To’s of Commercial Real Estate

The How To’s of Commercial Real Estate

Have questions? We have answers!

In these hard economic times, you certainly want to make sure your investments will turn out to be successful. Commercial real estate, if done wisely, can become a great source of profits. This article contains several easy tips to help answer your questions and help you make the most out of your investment.

In many cases, it is best to utilize the services of a commercial real estate broker. These brokers are trained and educated and fully understand the commercial market, the times to buy, and what to avoid. You could also save a great bit of time by utilizing the services of a broker.

Knowing the different kinds of commercial real estate brokers is going to help you find the one that will get the best results for you. There are specialists and generalists, as well as full service brokers. When buying, you will want to find a specialist to get the best results. CCB™ is specialized on “Off Market” hotels and can be a very useful source for you locating hospitality assets nationwide.

When it comes to a loan for your commercial property, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. if you are doing the process of applying for the loan yourself, which could be very frustrated and time consuming, it is best to get quotes from at least 3 different lenders (Unless you are in a rock and hard place) and decide from there. You want to get the best rate or deal you can and that is the best way to find it.

If you’re buying a piece of commercial real estate, make sure you investigate the immediate neighborhood. While you may like the property itself, consider that the neighborhood creates the ambiance that may affect your visitors or customers. Checking out the neighborhood keeps you aware of what you need to know and ensures that you are making a sound decision overall.

If your first commercial real estate purchase is a fixer-upper, then make sure you have the time and budget to make it profitable before buying. Not only do commercial sales take longer than home sales, but your property will also have to pass all sorts of inspections and receive special licenses from local and state authorities before it can be used for business. Preparing for such expenses and setbacks in advance is the best way to avoid a stalled project.

Weigh all of your property options before choosing what to invest in. Apartments are an easy choice, but there are a lot of people who are already in the apartment market. Look into other types of commercial properties such as hotels, office buildings, commercial land, etc. It may be best to step out of your comfort zone and find a unique goal.

Do not rush as you are preparing to purchase commercial property. The process often takes a lot longer to complete than other real estate purchases, and you do not want to make a poor decision because you are feeling pressured or frustrated. Commercial real estate can be complex and thus it’s wise to use professionals in the field to help you with the process. It pays to take your time and make a right decision.

Commercial real estate can indeed be a great investment and one that can turn into a long term asset. However, it is not only very difficult and time consuming, but it also takes a lot of input on your part. Apply these simple tips and methods to make sure your time and effort is worthwhile.

For questions please Contact Us or comment below.