How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

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The Right Fencing for your Property – At first glance, picking a fence may seem like a straightforward decision.

But a fence can make a huge difference to your house’s look and functionality.

Furthermore, picking the wrong fence for your area could end up in serious maintenance costs and possible issues later.

This is why it is not a decision to be taken lightly.

The best fencing for your land is…

With the variety of materials available today, it’s important to do your research and see which one will work best depending on your needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider before installing a new fence.

How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property
How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

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What’s your Priority?

There are many reasons why you may want to install a fence.

You may just need something utilitarian that will keep pets in and nuisances out.

Others will want something that looks good and enhances curb appeal, while some people care about privacy and security first.

All these options will end up affecting your choice.

If you need privacy, then you can rule out materials like wrought iron immediately.

But you could consider a wooden or vinyl fence, though the distance between panels doesn’t always make vinyl fences the best option.

You should also know that not everyone likes a closed-out backyard, so if you were thinking of selling the property any time soon, you’ll have to take that into consideration as well.

The best solution is to work with a contractor that is familiar with all sorts of fences, like Northland Fence, for instance.

They’ll be able to give you the best options depending on what you’re looking for and could spot potential issues with your initial choice.

What About Maintenance?

The type of fence you choose will also have an influence on how much time and money you’ll have to spend to maintain it.

When it comes to fence materials, wood takes the most care since you’ll have to stain and repaint it regularly.

But they’re also said to be the most aesthetically pleasing to a lot of buyers when cared for properly.

Vinyl and aluminum, on the other hand, require much less maintenance and are popular with many homeowners for that reason.

However, repairing a wooden fence is much simpler than repairing a metal one.

If there’s a storm, for instance, and you lose a few boards on a wooden fence, you can find new ones easily that will match and blend in with the rest.

But if we’re talking about a whole section on an aluminum or vinyl fence, you might not even be able to find the original manufacturer.

Some even had to replace their whole fence for a small section because they couldn’t find something that matched, so keep that in mind.

HOA’s Approval for Fencing on your Property

Last, but not least, you have to first know if your choice is even approved by your homeowner’s association.

Some will have restrictions on certain materials and others will obligate you to pick one type of fencing only.

So, make sure that the fence’s material and height are in accordance with your HOA’s rules before you do anything.

Choosing a fence is an important buying decision and one you’ll possibly have to live with for years to come.

Whatever you do, make sure that you choose the right contractor to install for fence and don’t be afraid to ask them for a second opinion, as they’ll be more than happy to help.

Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices You Need to Invest In

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Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices – Every day we make small efforts to make a smaller impact on the environment.

Whether you go for reusable coffee mugs, skip the plastic straw, or bring your own tote bag to the market.

Even with these attempts to not put more waste into the world, many who are serious about the environment don’t feel fully satisfied just doing this.

As smart homes and home automation devices become more and more common, we have more opportunities to make greener choices.

Environmentalists write about the negative impacts technology has on our environment pretty frequently, but there are also options out there that can help us use less energy.

Automated devices can be made to be conscious of how much energy we use, while we won’t be able to monitor our own behaviors as easily.

Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices

Looking for new ways to help make your smart home more eco-friendly?

Here are a few different green devices for you to try.

PUR Bluetooth Ultimate Faucet Filtration System

This filter system fits right on your kitchen filter and removes 99% of lead in your water and over 70 other contaminants.

Cleaner water from the tap means you can stop buying bottled water and switch over to a reusable water bottle to reduce the amount of plastic you use.

PUR’s water filter also comes with an app to let you track how much water you’re using.

Nest Thermostat

Nest makes a variety of different thermostats and other devices, including security cameras and motion sensor alarms, to help you build an eco-friendly smart home.

Their thermostat learns your daily habits to set the temperature exactly how you need it.

It also studies what time you need your house heated and cooled, and how your house heats and cools itself so that it only works when it needs to.

The Nest thermostat can help you reduce the amount of energy you use daily and save on bills, they claim the device pays for itself after the first two years.

Nest Thermostat Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices
Nest Thermostat Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices

WeMo Insight Smart Plug

Smart plugs allow you to track how much energy your appliances are using, even appliances that regular appliances like fans or lamps that aren’t automated.

You can also use the plugs to turn your appliances on or off with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Finding out which appliances use the most energy can help you use them sparingly if, you’re able to.

Hydrao Shower Aloe

By using LED lights, this shower head lights up with different colors as you shower to show you how much water you’ve used.

With an app, you’re also able to set a limit of how much water you want to use each shower and get information on your water consumption.

This shower head also uses the water flow from your shower to power itself with a mini-turbine.

Philips Hue

These smart light bulbs are controlled by a timer that allows you to turn them off from anywhere when you aren’t using them.

You also have the option to dim the light bulbs as much as you’d like so that a room can still be lit up, but without using more energy than you need.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

It’s estimated that more than half of the water we use to take care of our lawns and gardens goes to waste, making it obvious that we’re in need of smart and eco-friendly watering systems.

The EPA WaterSense certified Rachio sprinkler system adjusts to the needs of your yard to accurately water it.

It takes into consideration your area, weather, and the types of plants you have to ensure that you’re only using as much water as you need.

Zera Food Recycler

This food composter lets you cut down on your food waste.

The Zera Food Recycler can reduce the amount of food scraps by up to two thirds in just 24 hours.

By composting your food, you’ll reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and also gives you a homemade fertilizer.

The food recycler is fully automated and you can control it through an app.

Ring Solar Panel and Camera

If you’re looking for a new security system, Ring has one that entirely solar powered.

The device only needs a few hours of sunlight per day to work and stick on to the wall for an easy installment.

Robot Vacuum Cleaner

In addition to other eco-friendly smart home devices, you can invest in a robot vacuum cleaner.

Robot vacuums confer a number of benefits.

Many can be controlled through your WiFi.

Rather than needing to vacuum manually, you set the robot to work, and it roves around your apartment or home picking up dirt, dust, and lint.

There’s a WiFi-connecting robot vacuum available for any budget.

It’s ideal for cleaning the floors of your entire house, including carpets and areas thick with pet hair.

The vacuum cleaner is battery powered rather than running on your electricity.

It has an energy-saving design that’s environmentally friendly, and it’s made in the USA, so it complies with all environmental guidelines laid down by the US.

The robot comes with LaserSmart Wireless Technology for navigation, which means that it’s able to navigate the nooks and crannies of even oddly-shaped rooms.

Unlike randomly roving robots, it cleans the home in an efficient manner rather than treading over already-cleaned areas.

The vacuum’s D-shaped design allows it to move into tight corners and hard-to-reach places.

With the accompanying smartphone app, you can control the vacuum cleaner whether you’re in the same room, on a different floor, or even outside of the house.

Since it’s battery-powered, it uses significantly less energy than a standard vacuum that plugs into the wall.

The lithium battery provides up to 90 minutes of use per single charge.

As for performance, the robot vacuum cleaner comes with multiple features that make it ideal.

It’s made to deliver power cleaning through its spin-flow technology.

There’s a combo brush that can dislodge dirt and dust that’s caked into crevices or carpeting.

A high-performance filter helps the vacuum sort through debris, while the extra large dirt bin means that it can clean for a long time without needing emptying.

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4 Must Sees in Canada That Seasoned Travelers Love

beautiful mountain lake in canada

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Must Sees in Canada – We all know that Canada is a land filled with polite and friendly people.

As a traveler, we are aware that it’s the people that make our traveling worthwhile and memorable.

But if you think this 9.3 million plus kilometer land is all about maples and politeness then think again.

They are blessed with magnificent landscape, alluring bodies of water, and exciting activities.

They have most of the terrain you can think of from glaciers to beaches, from rainforest to rocky mountains.

A country deserved by seasoned travelers.

Must Sees in Canada Travelers Love

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the vastness of must-sees in Canada then let me help you out.

I’ll discuss four of my hand-picked destination in the beautiful Great White North.

 

Lake Simcoe

Around 50km or a 45-minute drive from the great city of Toronto, Lake Simcoe is a place to be when you think about water-related activities.

Known for its beautiful shores, clear water, and abundant fish, this lake needs to be on your must-see and visit list.

The lake covers about 52km of shoreline, perfect for swimming, boat riding, watersports, and fishing.

It is the perfect spot for anglers, from Canada even in the United States, due to its close proximity to nearby main cities and richness in variety of fish.

Only a handful of lakes in Canada have the same amount of abundance of fish species so remember to bring your trusty fishing gear if you want to encounter some trout, whitefish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bowfin, northern pike and many more.

Banff

If you think experiencing a winter wonderland is all about visiting malls with white winter decorations or visiting a skating ring in downtown, then you need to know about Banff.

Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada, located in the province of Alberta.

It offers the most surreal winter wonderland experience anyone can wish for.

Its known for its icy landscape, breathtaking lakes, picturesque pine forest.

This national park has the best of the best the winter season can provide.

You can chill in the backcountry lodges and indulge yourself with some magnificent snowy mountain views or experience adrenaline in the chilling weather by playing activities such as hockey, skiing, ice skating or even dogsledding.

Remember to book your accommodation early because this park is considered one of the most visited national parks in North America with around three million visitors every year.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

It should be no surprise that the Niagara Falls fall into this list.

With its majestic height, powerful might and beautifully epic plunge, failing to miss this spot is like failing to see Canada at all.

Niagara Falls is actually composed of three falls and divides the border between Canada and USA.

One of the falls and its biggest and most renowned is called Horseshoes Falls, also known as Canadian falls.

Majority of this fall is located in the Canadian border.

Seeing, living and breathing from a distance to appreciate this God-given nature may be enough but you can actually explore it a little bit more intimately by hopping in on a boat tour that will take you underneath its plunging waters.

In addition to that thrilling experience, there are many nearby child-friendly activities around and some impressive light show at night.

Victoria and Vancouver Island

You will probably be tired by the time you are done with Lake Simcoe, Banff and Niagara Falls.

Now it’s time for you to chill, relax and get your piece of mind.

Thankfully, there is a place in Canada called the Garden City, the city of Victoria in Vancouver Island.

Around 76 miles in the southwest of the bustling city of Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver island is a getaway from all the noise, hustle and stress of modern life.

Going to the island leaves you with a number of good options, you can take a 4-hour trip by car or bus and ferry; or a 35-minute flight.

This place is filled with colonial architecture, glorious heritage buildings, mesmerizing gardens, and scenic harbor.

The streets in this city are teeming with street vendors, cafes, and restaurants.

Perfect for a relaxing but interesting walk.

The best way to get around and do sightseeing on the island is by bicycle.

The city of Victoria prides itself with plenty of cycle routes that any city in the country.

Canada is a charming country no matter the season.

They have great population diversity, friendly and warm people, amazing nature and exhilarating outdoor activities.

A true haven for seasoned travelers.

Visiting Canada 4 Things You Need to Know

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Visiting Canada or are you traveling to Canada for the first time? Or perhaps want to visit Canada someday?

First-time visitors to any country should know how to travel safely and smartly – and travelers to Canada are no exception to this rule.

The foremost crucial thing you need to know for a hassle-free traveling experience to Canada is that you need to get the Electronic Travel Authorization (eta) to enter the country.

While some countries are exempted from this requirement, you would want to confirm your country is among the Canada eta eligible countries before taking the leap – more on this later in the article!

4 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Canada 

Canada has been one of the most popular tourist attractions for decades.

Here are some Must Sees in Canada

Lively vibrant cities, kind people, breathtaking scenic beauty, and advanced quality of education are some of the main reasons why people from all over the world travel to Canada, at least once in their lifetime.

Here are some tips that will ensure you have a great time in Canada.

It Is a Huge Country

Canada comes under Russia on the list of world’s largest countries and covers an area of 9.9 million square kilometers.

The fact that it is surrounded by three oceans i.e. the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific means that you will require more time and money to travel around the country.   

While flying might be an easier and faster option, it is expensive.

Hence, the best way to enjoy your time in Canada without breaking your bank is to choose a region or two to explore in advance and spend your time there.

It Is Less Populated

Canada is large if we speak geographically but not many people live there.

The population density is only 3.7 people per square kilometer, which explains a lot of empty space around the country.

 The majority of people live in big cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

This is why these cities are the top choice of tourists who are traveling to Canada for the first time.

The Requirement of eta

The eta is a must for all visa-free nationals with the exception of Americans.

You would want to confirm that your country falls in the category of Canada eta eligible countries before planning your trip.

Once you are sure your country is among the Canada eta eligible countries, you can travel to Canada without a visa.

However, if not, you would have to get an eta even if you just plan to pass through Canada on your way to somewhere else.

An eta is a travel authorization and not a visa – hence, it is easy to apply for and faster.

With an eta, foreign nationals belonging to visa exempt countries can live in Canada for up to 6 months.

Its validity period is 5 years but if your passport expires before that, it is deemed invalid.

Be Prepared for the Weather

While the natural beauty and wonderful parks of Canada may excite you to your core, you need to be prepared for the cold weather.

Yes, winter never really leaves Canada.

Especially if you are visiting between December and March, you should consider packing up many layers of warm clothes.

Even during the summer season, you are likely to feel cold if you are not a native Canadian.

With these tips in your mind, your time in Canada will likely be the best time of your life.

It is such a picturesque place, which with the friendly Canadians becomes even more lively and welcoming.

It may well be a welcome change from the rural lifestyle you are accustomed to.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your visit to Canada and brace yourself for a wonderful experience!

Just if you are a foreign national from any of the Canada eta eligible countries, make sure you apply for an eta first.   

Ways to Make Your Home a Wellness Sanctuary

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Wellness sanctuary – How do you feel in your home?

Do you feel comfortable and relaxed, or is your home a source of stress for you?

If your living space doesn’t bring you peace, change it.

You can turn your home from distressing to a place of tranquility.

Make Your Home Into a Wellness Sanctuary

It’s easy to come home after a long day and feel stressed out.

You might have dishes you’ve not gotten to, or there’s mail on the table you need to go through, laundry to put away or vacuuming that needs to be done.

You might just be tired of your old furniture and sick of looking at your walls.

You need a happy place.

What if that happy place could be your house?

All you need is a few small changes to achieve big results with house designs that are captivating.

Start with a deep clean to make your home into a wellness sanctuary

Deep cleaning is a lot of work but brings great rewards.

Remove dust and toxins, improve your home’s air quality and let the light in.

Your living space will look and smell better.

Declutter Your Home

2018 was the year of the purge for so many, and 2019 looks the same.

Go through your place and reorganize your belongings.

Remove the things you don’t want or use anymore and if they cannot be donated or recycled, throw them away.

You’d be amazed at how beneficial it is when you declutter.

Designate a spot to relax

Because your home is your happy place, create a spot just for you to relax.

It can be a sitting room, a library, or any place that makes you relax.

Use this space for your own personal endeavors and hobbies, personalizing the space.

Make it comfortable with a few candles, special pictures or a comfy throw.

Bring the outdoors into your sanctuary

Add natural touches to your home with plants.

They’ll improve the quality of your air and add a touch of the outdoors inside.

Create natural light

Clean your windows to maximize the natural light in your home.

Studies have proven the benefits natural light has on your mental and physical well-being.

Lighting can be a great and easy rural home upgrade.

Go ahead and let the light in!

It’s the perfect way to showcase your newly-cleaned windows.

Switch to non-toxic cleaning products

Who wants to breathe in chemicals?

You can easily make your own all-natural cleaning supplies, or purchase them at most stores.

They’re better for you, and for the planet.

Keep your goals in mind while shopping for homes for sale in Rio Rancho, NM.

Our agents here at Myers & Myers will help you find the perfect spot to create a wellness sanctuary.

Photo credit: unsplash.com

Best Ways to Get Rid of Possums and Other Pests

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The Best Ways to Get Rid of Possums Depending on where you live, pests are inevitable.

When they are attacking your crops, you need to act fast.

Below are some of the best ways to get rid of possums and other menaces.

It’s important to be self-sufficient.

Cultivating crops makes you less dependent on others.

One of the most important factors of a stable economy is that how much it is dependent on importing the necessary goods from outside.

You want to be sure possums and other animals aren’t undermining your efforts.

Poly tape two-strand electric fence
Poly tape two-strand electric fence

Best Ways to Get Rid of Possums

Possums leave urine and feces behind.

They also have a strong scent.

They can do serious damage to a garden.

You will need to assess whether the damage has been done by possums or whether something else is after the crops.

One way to make sure that the culprit are possums is by measuring the hole they created as they need at least 3 inches to squeeze into it.

If it is a raccoon, the gap will be around 4 inches wide.

It is much harder to protect something as open as fields and it is as important as protecting your house from possums.

How to protect crops from possums

Possums need to be controlled because they can eat over 65 types of plants.

They can completely destroy a farm full of crops in a matter of a few days.

They don’t need much to survive; a nesting place is enough as long as they have access to food.

You will find their nests in hollow logs, under masses of vegetation, or in trees.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Possums Trap Possum
Best Ways to Get Rid of Possums Trap Possum

Some people have tried installing a two-strand electric fence that has wires at 4 inches and at 12 inches.

This would help to not only protect the crop against possum but it would also protect the crops from damage caused by other pests.

Poly tape also works well for this purpose.

An electrical fence usually activates at dusk and remains on until dawn.

The Right Fencing for your Property
Wood or Vinyl Fencing – Which is the Best Choice

Trapping Possums

Sometimes you have to resort to catching possums and relocating them.

This is the most economically friendly way and the most effective method as well.

However, it requires daily commitment as you will have to put food in the traps and check in often.

The minimum sized box for catching a possum should be 10 x 10 x 32 for traps that have single doors.

Shooting Possums
Shooting possums

You could place the trap away from direct sunlight so that the possums do not suffer as much after being caught.

After catching them, you can release them off your property.

Killing the pests should be the last resort.

However, it is another option.

Shooting Possums and Pest

Landowners can shoot possums if they are causing a significant damage to the crops or other things present on their property.

However, you can only shoot if it is in accordance with the laws and the regulations of your town.

After trapping them, you could kill them by applying one or two sharp blows to their heads right behind their ears.

Poison Possums

Since the damage done from possums can be severe, some places like New Zealand doesn’t allow them to be released and instead they have to be killed humanely.

The poison regulations differ depending on where you live.

Poison Possums and Poison Control pests
Poison Possums and Poison Control pests

A common and cost-efficient way is to use phosphorous as a poison.

However, check with your area.

This won’t be an option if you have pets or raise animals.

Call a professional

To find a safe and humane way to get rid of possums, raccoons, and other critters, you can call a professional.

Professionals will be able to treat the nuisance safely and easily.

These are some of the ways on how to control possum that could really help you out.

Pest control for crops

There are over 6,000 types of species that can cause pest damage to gardens and crops.

However, the insects cannot travel very far and are limited to the accessible areas that take care of their biological and physical needs.

Some insects are pests only in some seasons, others cause crop damage throughout the year.

Pest control for crops is a must.

Natural methods to keep the pests away

Pests are a nuisance and can destroy your entire crop.

This will cost you money but also the time you have put into it.

You could always go for professional help if you are worried that the pests would damage your crops.

However, there are some things that you could do yourself that would keep the pests at bay and keep your plants safe.

Since these methods only keep the pest away and do not hurt them, it is the most humane way.

Natural methods keep the pests away
Natural methods keep the pests away
  1. Burn the crops that are diseased so that it doesn’t spread to other healthy plants.
  2. Mulch your crops regularly.
  3. Grow some plants around the crops to repel the pests.

How to use pesticides

Pesticides are poisonous.

You should only use them if there is no other option left to protect your plants from the pests.

You should read the guidelines and only spray till the allowed limit.

Overusing pesticides could not only damage the plants (and not healthy for Pygmy Goats) but also could make the plants unsuitable for human consumption.

You also have to take care of other factors like not spraying into the soil or elsewhere.

use pesticides pests
use pesticides pests

Use the pesticides only on those plants on which the pesticide is intended to use.

These are the best ways to get rid of possums, raccoons and other critters.

Pests can be a real problem for farmers and landowners as they can destroy the hard work done over months in merely just a few days.

While trying to get rid of them, it is important that we adopt humane ways because the pests are just looking for ways to survive.

You could use different pieces of equipment and ways to capture possums and raccoons to get rid of them so they don’t damage your plants further.

Killing the pests or rodents should be the last resort when there is no other way to stop them.

But, if you plan beforehand, there should always be a way to avoid having to kill pests in order to save the crop.

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DUE DILIGENCE WORKSHEET for Farm or Ranch Purchase

DUE DILIGENCE WORKSHEET for Farm or Ranch Purchase

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Due Diligence Worksheet is so important When you are considering the purchase of a ranch, farm or rural land, it is important to have answers to some very important questions before you actually close the deal.

This list can save you a lot of headaches and also help you prioritize what you will need to do to make your new “slice of heaven” livable!

I would encourage you to examine and answer to the best of your ability each issue contained here plus others that might be applicable to the land parcel.

If you don’t have an answer, give it your best shot and then note it as a “potential risk” item.

When you have completed with your due diligence process, you should have two results.

One is a very clear understanding of the potential risks associated with the property purchase.

The other is an idea of the added costs required–in addition to the purchase price–to make the parcel livable or ready for construction.

Download Our FREE Due Diligence Worksheet

DUE DILIGENCE WORKSHEET GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Does the proposed parcel meet your personal requirements and allow you to do what you want to do?

If not, what would be required to adapt it to your needs?

This question is site-specific as well as an individual-specific.

Make a list of your wants and needs, and then check it off.

What to Consider When Purchasing Farm or Ranch

If you want to farm, and a majority of property is forested, what will it cost to make the forest into pasture?

If you intend to use a pasture for haying purposes, will you have to renovate the field?

Is there enough water to irrigate or is it a sub-irrigated pasture that needs no irrigation?

What is the slope of the parcel?

What kind of sunlight does it get?

Is it on a hill, or behind a hill so it gets significantly less daylight?

North slopes tend to be cooler and can lose up to four weeks of a growing season compared to comparable parcels with full sun access.

Are there trees on the parcel?

If so, are they marketable timber?

Some stands are worth a lot of money.

Are any existing structures usable?

If not, what is your estimate to get them usable?

What kind of soil is on the property?

Is it fertile and deep, or hard pan?

What can you typically grow in it?

Neighbors can help here.

You can also get a soil map of the area from NRCS (Natural Resources and Conservation Service).

Look at the one including your parcel.

If there is a question, take soil samples and have them analyzed.

This is not a costly procedure.

PLANNING – city, county and state issues

Some parcels may appear to have no issues until you apply for a permit or pursue a development project, and then all sorts of things might pop up.

Before your purchase, go to the county planning office and meet with a planner.

Ask the planner to take a look at the parcel(s) you are considering and ask if there are any concerns about the properties.

Are there any apparent issues that would prevent you from using the land the way you intend?

Most of this deals with zoning.

Find out what is required for development and building.

This may involve some form of master planning or site planning.

This is actually a good thing, as it causes you to objectively think out what you plan to ultimately do.

Find out about the process for obtaining a building permit (if buying land only and you intend to build).

Review that with a person knowledgeable in construction who can point out anything unusual.

If there are any issues, get an understanding of what it might cost you. Also, find out how long it usually takes for the county to issue required permits or perform inspections.

Are there any red flags that should be investigated?

If so, find out what they are and who you need to contact to get specific resolutions.

Are there any designated wetlands on the property?

If there are, you will have some specific building setback requirements for anything you want to do.

Are taxes paid up to date?

LEGAL ISSUES When Purchasing Rural Land, Farm or Ranch

This is a very important yet often overlooked area of due diligence, as it can be hard to understand.

Because it might require professional help at a cost prior to the actual purchase, many people fail to do this part of due diligence.

Sometimes it is a judgment call as to what is really important.

The following items should be examined legally.

Water rights

This issue isn’t about whether there is water in the well, but rather, whether or not you have the legal right to drill a well or use water on the property for activities above and beyond personal use.

What rights do you have for irrigation?

Livestock watering?

Water for personal consumption is not usually an issue, but make sure you can irrigate a field if you intend to do that.

Property boundaries

Is there a recorded survey?

If so, get a copy from the county and verify it with boundary markers that you see.

Talk to adjacent neighbors with existing fences and ask them if the fence lines match their understanding of the true property lines.

Walk the property and see if there are any other fences that might infringe on future use.

If they have been there a while, they could pose a legal boundary issue in the future.

If there are any potential issues or critical boundaries to be verified, have a property survey done and put in the property corners.

This is another step often omitted by prospective buyers.

Evaluate your level of comfort and security vs. the cost of the survey, which will run many $1000’s.

Take a look at an aerial map by Google Earth.

This can really be an eye opener.

The county assessor maps also can be a great resource.

The point is for you to have a clear sense of the property lines.

One note here: Rural property lines, while very important, are not exact.

Obviously, a small discrepancy on a 20 acre parcel is not nearly as important as one on a standard city lot.

Easements on the property

Are there any recorded easements on the property?

There could be an easement for the electrical company to put a future 25,000 volt power line through the center of your property.

Or it could be access for a new natural gas line or any other kind of utility.

It could be one for a power line leading to a neighbor’s property or an access road for a neighbor to reach his property.

If there is an easement, is there a maintenance agreement in place?

You don’t need to contest easements; you just need to determine if there is something planned that YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF.

Again, know this before you buy.

Legal Access to Your Property

If directly from a county public road, you have clear access.

If from a private access road or if it crosses over a private parcel you must

Determine that the access use is recorded.

Determine that the county recognizes this as the legal access for the parcel.

Determine whether additional work is needed to upgrade the road to required county standards.

Talk to the owner of the property the road crosses and see what the owner’s understanding is.

If it is a road used by multiple parcels, determine if there is a ROAD MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT.

This will determine responsibility for routine and special maintenance of the road.

More gravel is needed– who pays?

Winter plowing is required–who does it?

Rural Property UTILITIES

Power to rural property.

What power is onsite or nearby?

What is the power company’s estimate to bring power to where you potentially want to put your structures?

One big question you need to answer–and it is a cost issue–should the power be buried or run overhead on poles?

Remember that buried power is less likely to be affected by wind, snow, and ice.

Determine if you need or want three-phase power.

Some utility companies provide it and some don’t.

It is really needed only for heavy duty shop applications such as welding equipment.

Rural Telephone Service

Sometimes this can be run with the power line but is a different utility from the power company.

How close is telephone to the parcel?

Again, relatively accurate costs should be quoted by the telephone utility.

Rural Internet

Is DSL or broadband internet available?

If not, your only potential is satellite internet.

Rural Cable Access

This usually is not an issue, as it isn’t usually available for rural properties.

Rural Water

Is there a public water connection?

If not, what water is available onsite?

A strategy for obtaining water is vital prior to your closing.

This may be one of your biggest risks.

Rural Wells

If you are buying a developed property, test and inspect any existing well(s).

There are many companies that can quickly and inexpensively test well capacity and water quality.

This will give you a clear understanding of existing water sources.

If there is no acceptable source of water, a well must be drilled or dug.

Drilled wells are very common.

Neighbors or a local well drilling company can give you an idea of what /where/how much/ water might be obtained by drilling.

There is no guarantee though.

Some sites CLEARLY will have water and some CLEARLY will not (stay away from these).

Many will fall in-between.

Costs of wells/pumps could be from $3000 to over @$25,000.

Surface wells are also called dug wells.

If there is water near the surface this could be one of your options.

Sewer Septic Systems

Is public sewer available?

Is there an existing system of septic tank and drain field?

If so, these should be tested and inspected so you know their condition.

If none exist, a new septic system must be installed.

The local health department can most likely help you with designers or installers.

A couple of phone calls can probably provide you some initial answers.

However, the design is fully based on the kind of soil that is used for the drain field.

Beware of wet ground!!

This could cause significant added costs for the system.

DUE DILIGENCE of EXISTING HOME AND STRUCTURES

Have inspections completed on a home and any other usable structures so that you will have a clear understanding of the condition of each one.

This will provide you the basis to estimate any additional work you may have to do to make it livable for your purposes.

Examine any abandoned structures on the property.

If they are condemned, the county may require you to either repair or remove them.

One example of this is a mobile home that stood on a piece of property.

Inside the mobile home was extremely bad mold and mildew that rendered the mobile home useless for any form of habitation.

In a case like this, you may decide to have the seller remove it from the site prior to closing on the property so you are not responsible for it.

After taking care of due diligence, you will be able to sleep better knowing that you have examined this major purchase reasonably and you are now ready for the next steps!

Download Due Diligence Worksheet

Real Estate Investing Rental Property Chicago Tips For Beginners

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Real Estate Investing Rental Property Chicago – If you have traveled in Chicago, you probably noticed its big potential when it comes to real estate investments.

As the third most populous city in Illinois, Chicago has 3 million residents within it’s city limits and 9.5 million in the entire metro area.

It only means that many people need housing, which provides a great opportunity for a first-time investor like you. 

Real Estate Investing Rental Property Chicago Tips For Beginners

If you’re a newbie in the real estate business, it’s crucial to take time researching and choosing the best rental property that can provide you a good source of passive income.

Real Estate Investing Rental Property Chicago Tips For Beginners
Real Estate Investing Rental Property Chicago Tips For Beginners

Focus on Your ROI

If you don’t want to take chances, it’s best to invest in a rental property location that promises a high return on investment.

The ideal cap rate is 7% or higher.

To know the highest ROI or Return On Investment, you’ll need to research the area and available houses for sale in the neighborhood.

Checking a trusted and reputable real estate directory can help.

Tips when buying rental properties focusing on ROI

  • Invest in rental properties in areas that you’re familiar with.
  • Gain a competitive advantage by drawing insights from your previous experiences. For instance, if you’re a doctor, you can buy a rental property for interns near your hospital. If you’re a young professional, you can buy a rental apartment for bachelors or young professionals near a business district.
  • Check the cap rates or single-family houses, apartments, and multi-family residences using online tools, such as Zillow and Bisnow. Doing so will help you assess if the prospective rental property you want to buy is within a reasonable price.

Take note that in Chicago, well-maintained suburban real estate properties are in demand.

Cap rates in this place are higher than that of San Francisco and New York City.

Weigh Your Financing Options

When using a mortgage for your first rental property, you have to weigh your financing options, such as borrowing from the bank or a lending institution.

Remember that investment properties may require higher down payments than regular buildings with strict approval requirements.

Also, consider the renovation expenses before paying the down payment.

You can check the cost of your financing options by filling out a form available on lending sites so that you can compare rates.

Choosing a financing option for your first rental property investment

  • Do you prefer a 15-year or a 30-year mortgage?
  • How about an adjustable or fixed rate?
  • Can you handle more than a 20% down payment?

Invest in Low-Cost or Single-Family Homes First

As a new investor, it’s a good idea to purchase properties in the low or mid-range price brackets.

Since you’ll need to spend money on the repairs and renovation before renting or selling the house, you need to buy a rental property that you can keep up, and you can always find maintenance tips online to help you.

Advantages of investing in single-family homes:

  • Single-family homes are easier to manage than multifamily residences or commercial properties.
  • With a single tenant, there’s less wear and tear on the property.
  • The risks are low even if you don’t meet your expected profits.
  • The first rental property serves as your training ground to test your actual real estate management expertise.

Screening Prospective Tenants

One of the things that a first-time investor overlooks is screening potential tenants.

Bad tenants can kill the ROI on your first rental property.

On the other hand, you’ll have peace of mind with a good tenant, knowing that the rent will be paid on time and your property will be kept clean and undamaged.

Tips when screening potential tenants:

  • You can try using MyRental, a monthly subscription for investors or landlords to verify criminal backgrounds, eviction history, and previous addresses.
  • Microsoft office templates, like OnSite or Tenant Data, also serve as free online applications for people looking for rental properties.
  • Contact previous landlords and neighbors.
  • It also helps to contact the employer to verify if a tenant has a steady and reliable source of income.
  • Run a credit check by ordering a credit report through Equifax Identity Report.
  • Run a background check through companies like ScreeningWorks or StarPoint.

In the future, you can hire a property manager if you’ve acquired several rental properties and can’t  handle the tasks and responsibilities of a landlord anymore.

It will make your real estate management a lot easier so you can focus on the most important aspects of your real estate business.

Investing in Chicago Rental Property
Investing in Chicago Rental Property

Understanding the Mortgage Market

Investing in real estate rental property is a major investment.

There are many factors you need to consider, such as the location, current mortgage market value, financing, type of property, and return of investment.

The factors that favor investors include increasing in single-family home permits, tightening vacancies, and rising rental prices.

As a new real estate investor, you need to understand the current mortgage market.

Having the right mortgage could keep the costs low. It also reduces the uncertainties about the cash flow of the property.

The mortgage leverage can save you some cash for repairs or other potential investments. 

Basic mortgage terms you need to know as a first-time investor:

Conforming Loan

Meets the standards of different government-affiliated enterprises.

Generally cheaper than non-conforming loans.

Conforming loans have guidelines including down payments, credit scores, income verification, and debt-to-income levels.

Non-Conforming Loan

This type of loan is more expensive compared to a conforming loan because it doesn’t meet the requirements of a traditional loan provider or bank criteria.

Non-conforming loans also don’t meet the purchasing guidelines set by the Federal Mortgage Association or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

Investing in Rental Property in Chicago

When investing in a real estate rental property for the first time, it’s crucial to learn the ins and outs of the business without losing too much or taking a big risk. Air Conditioning Maintenance

Starting with a low-cost investment is a good idea so you can gain experience and improve your knowledge, skills, and attitude towards managing a rental property.

Most of all, don’t forget to weigh your options and screen potential tenants for a successful business. 

Tech Solutions Help Your Remote Employees Feel less Remote

Female standing with laptop

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Not all small towns are dying as the population of remote workers or remote employees continues to increase to about 20 to 23 percent of the entire global workforce.

As more remote employees relocate to small towns and companies shift their labor force requirements to include a large number of remote employees, it has become critical that such businesses find ways of keeping the remote worker productive and connected.

For a mid-sized company, it is critical you integrate solutions and tools that foster good communication.

As your business grows, you will likely have remote workers in various locations, including rural America.

In fact, for such a company, remote working means that you can source talent from anywhere in America and the world.

The integral portion to achieving optimal communication between your headquarters and your remote workers is technology.

Home Maintenance Tips that Will Save You Tons of Money

Tech Solutions For Remote Employees Feel less Remote

With the right technological solution, managing your remote team will become so easy – it is as if they are literally next door!

Here are a few toolkit solutions that will help your remote workers feel less remote while promoting teamwork.

Voice over IP (VoIP) and Video Conferencing

When working with remote teams, you need to find creative things such as reinventing the typical conference room meeting. VoIP and video conferencing allow you to connect with your remote worker in the remotest of small towns.

These solutions offer you a unified means of communication over the Internet through local connections.

When using VoIP, your remote workers may have one office number that automatically routes calls to cell phones and delivers voicemails through email.

This way, it is easy for the remote worker to stay connected at all times – and they are available to you anytime you need to call them.

On the other hand, video conferencing involves a visual connection. Smart Home Devices

Instant Message – IM Messaging

Instant Messaging, also known as IM, has become one of the best and least intrusive means of conferring or getting a simple answer.

For instance, IM is perfect for getting answers to logistical questions or for one-off requests like asking for links to specific files.

IM involves any form of communication that offers you a chat function integrated with mobility capabilities.

Instant Messaging for remote employees
Instant Messaging for remote employees

Extra features in the best IM software include GPS functionality via a user’s mobile device.

This functionality allows a manager to easily identify where the remote team is at and relay critical information immediately; for example, companies like Executiveautoshippers.com can use the technology to find out where exactly a driver is.

In fact, some messaging applications allow you to connect to your employee’s calendar, automatically changing the status to ‘in a meeting’ if a meeting is scheduled or when making a presentation to someone.

Some of the most powerful collaborative features you will find in IM programs include group chat and screen sharing.

‘Pinging’ someone and getting feedback as if the remote worker was standing next to you will help him or her feel more connected to your company and other teams.

Cloud-Based Technology

Cloud-based solutions provide you a means of sharing real-time data in a format that is easily accessible.

In many businesses, the number of applications employees can access via the cloud usually defines their mobility and flexibility.

Organizations make it easy for employees to log into critical systems from any location, store files, and quickly tap into company critical information.

Another solution is Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

When your employees have to work on company sensitive information, a VPN is the best solution that offers flexibility, as well as security.

The VPN is essentially a gateway to your organization’s server or information for approved users with an Internet connection, a computer and the proper authorization credentials.

Expats’ Rural Living in Cyprus

Expats’ Rural Living in Cyprus

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Rural Living in Cyprus is a prime state that has cultural influences from Greece, Turkey and some Asian countries.

This multicultural effect, economic stability and political stability have lured expats who come here to start or expand their businesses.

According to Immigration Service experts, quite a good number of expats seek to know how they can live in rural areas in Cyprus.

Expats’ Rural Living in Cyprus

The cost of living in rural Cyprus is lower than in the cities or near the beach.

However, some newbies may find it hard to understand how people live in the rural areas especially if they relocate from the city in their states.

Therefore, this guide will highlight some crucial points on how expats live in rural Cyprus.

 

Rural Areas in Cyprus

Cyprus is a mountainous state especially as you move further away from the flat beaches.

Some of the Cypriot people still live in villages and small, rural towns, which the government encourages for sustainability.

Some of the best rural districts to choose as an expat include the following:

Expats’ living in Strovolos

it is further subdivided into smaller areas called parishes.

The Cypriot government controls this rural locality, and numerous expats are known to live here.

Most of them are engaged in farming or the mining business, which does well in this region.

Getting a house or land in Strovolos is easy when using an agent.

Expats’ living in Moutoullas

If you love high altitude and serenity, this is the village to choose.

It is mountainous and holds a rich history.

The village is part of the Nicosia District, and expats can work as heritage site workers or engage in business at the district headquarters.

Expats’ living in Amathus

Expats who want to feel like royals usually choose this locality.

Cyprus appreciates this area as a royal city.

It is the area where the ruins of the temple of Aphrodite sit, making it very significant.

You can acquire a house in this area with ease and still access major cities like Limassol for work.

Expats’ living in Achna

Most of the Cyprus citizens consider this rural village as abandoned.

It is located near the South East of Cyprus although ruled by the Northern part of the state.

What makes the village a great choice for experts is the fact that it is not too far from the beach.

Any investor can settle here for tranquility and development of their businesses, where raw materials and labor are readily available.

History of Expats’ Rural Settlement in Cyprus

According to government reports expats started moving to rural areas in early years.

The Cypriot citizens are friendly and welcoming no matter in which part you decide to settle.

The early expats moved from nearby countries like Portugal, Turkey and Greece just to mention but a few.

They were in search of raw materials to send back in the factories in their countries.

However, the Cypriot government has continuously encouraged settlement of expats who contribute positively to their government.

More so, it is also active in making treaties specifically to check on tax and investments matters.

With time, this has encouraged foreigners from all corners of the globe.

Today, most of them have become expats in Cyprus and continue to contribute to the economy.

Encouraging their settlement in the rural areas brings development all over the state in an equal measure.

Why Expats Choose Rural Living in Cyprus

According to a survey that questioned some expats, rural living in Cyprus is very economical, and the cost of everything is affordable.

The houses are of high standards yet cheap.

If you have a business that does not require a main city location, then this is the best place to locate it.

Your bills will be very reasonable.

Farmers and business people who can easily access raw materials in the rural areas are the greatest beneficiaries.

Cyprus allows the buying and building of properties under regulated guidelines.

Most expats who live in rural areas have their own properties that they have purchased through various plans.

The department of land and farming in the country promotes the productive use of abandoned land in the rural areas.

On the brighter side, most expats are also great investors in farming and other agricultural activities like raising rabbits for meat or Pygmy Goats.

Further, they also allow hiring of foreigners under specific guidelines which has also promoted more expats to join the rural areas.

Amenities like world-class schools and healthcare facilities are not concentrated in the major cities but are all over the state.

Therefore, expats can easily take their families to standard schools and access health care using their international or local insurance coverage.

Friendly regulations and taxation programs

Cyprus is a state that has imposed fair taxation programs for foreign investors.

Those who have become expats in the country have done so because of friendly taxation procedures available.

According to expats who have been in the country for long, they enjoy the taxation rates that apply to businesses they do both in the rural areas and the town areas.

Expat’s Housing in the Rural Areas

Expats in Cyprus are free to move to rural areas and mingle with other Cypriot citizens.

The government does not have any hindrances to such plans.

In fact, the housing department in collaboration with the government makes sure that the expats get the necessary tax breaks and other support to secure a house in the rural areas.

It is also notable that title deeds for a housing or farming land are easily processed, especially when the right procedure is followed.

An authorized agent is the right person to use when when expats want to secure such a land.

They can choose their settlement rural areas in any districts and start the process through the offices in any district capital.

Expats’ Moving to Rural Cyprus

As a final word, it is worth mentioning that the population of expats moving to rural Cyprus is increasing by the day.

This is an indication that they are not only enjoying this kind of settlement but also affording it.

Thanks to the Cypriot government that has played a great role in promoting expat’s rural settlement in Cyprus.

It is a program that other countries should emulate if they want to have an all-state development.

With some research, you can identify the best location that you want to live in when you become an expat in Cyprus.