It is Important to have A Renters Insurance Policy

Posted: July 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

If you live in an apartment in West Columbia, SC it is important to have renters insurance. Obviously, the owners of your apartment community have insurance, but it probably only covers the building not your belongings. 

In the unfortunate event that your possessions are stolen or damaged by a fire or severe weather, a renter’s insurance policy will allow you to recover their value. But, also as important is liability insurance with the renter’s policy. If someone is injured during an accident in your apartment, renters insurance will help protect you in the case of a liability lawsuit.

Renters Insurance covers but is not limited to fire or lightning, windstorm or hail, freezing of the plumbing system, and theft.

Many renters believe that the landlord's insurance will cover them. But your landlord's insurance generally only covers the building where you live - not your personal belongings or your liability. Many renters also believe that they don’t need personal liability insurance. But your landlord's policy most likely does not include liability for something that happens in your rented apartment. Without liability coverage, your current and future earnings could be at risk. Renter’s insurance coverage may also provide legal defense costs.
 
You may think that you don't own very much. But look around you and consider what it would take to replace all that you own. Most of the time, one’s belongings are often worth more than you think.


New Jersey Completes 10,000 Solar Power Installations

Posted: July 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

New Jersey set new single-month records for installed solar capacity and number of installations in June, according to the state’s Governor, Chris Christie.

The achievement brings the State’s installed solar capacity to more than 380 MW generated from over 10,000 solar arrays statewide, a new milestone.

“Reaching 10,000 solar installations in New Jersey demonstrates this Administration’s commitment to continue to promote and expand the state’s solar industry and is a critical element of our long-term energy strategy,” said Governor Christie.

“This ground-breaking achievement is the latest example of New Jersey’s leadership as one of the largest and fastest growing solar energy markets in the United States.”

New Jersey is second in the nation in both installed solar capacity and number of installations; only California has more.

New Jersey has 10,086 solar energy array projects installed across the state providing over 380 MW of installed capacity, due in large part to the State’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Registration Program.

Projects

During June 2011 alone, 520 solar projects totaling over 40 MW of capacity were installed, representing the most projects and the largest amount of solar capacity installed in one month.

 “Solar energy is more than just a form of clean distributed generation. These projects provide an opportunity for the involved business to improve its bottom line and grow in New Jersey, stimulating economic development,” said Lee A. Solomon, President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

Recognizing the critical nexus of environmental and economic benefits, Governor Christie has called for more solar projects on landfills and brownfields as an important element of his draft 2011 Energy Master Plan.

Last year, he signed legislation exempting solar panels from certain land use restrictions, identifying solar energy developments as an environmentally important land use.

Market
New Jersey had one of the strongest growth markets for solar energy installations in 2010 and in the first quarter of 2011.

For the first quarter of 2011, New Jersey installed 42 MW of solar, representing 49 percent growth over first quarter 2010. The state has primarily become a market for non-residential projects over 100 kW and most growth over the past few quarters has been in larger projects over 1MW.

In addition, New Jersey has the nation’s most robust and mature SREC market, along with the best availability for long-term SREC contracts, which make project financing much easier to obtain.

Solar energy—along with clean, in-state power generation from offshore wind, natural gas and nuclear, and new technologies such as alternatively fueled vehicles—is a key component of a greener, more affordable vision for New Jersey’s energy future,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.

“The draft 2011 Energy Master Plan reinforces the Christie Administration’s commitment to promoting solar where it makes both environmental and economic sense, expanding implementation of commercial and industrial solar projects.”

Original article – Solar Energy News


Businesses can Take Advantage of this Real Estate Market

Posted: July 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

...by Warren Kirshenbaum


There are great deals out there for qualified buyers in the residential market. But businesses, are often able to capitalize on real estate deals during depressed and booming markets. There are many advantages and opportunities for businesses in financing, leasing and ownership today’s real estate market.

Lease Vs. Own

Depressed market conditions can create an environment in which some businesses that typically lease properties would wish to take advantage of the low prices and become property owners. Prices for commercial real estate in some markets are attractive, and businesses are often able to secure loans with as little as 10% down. Owning real estate as a business asset can provide certain financial advantages, including financing options and tax incentives.
The value of real estate does not necessarily increase simply because the business is doing well. The success of the business does not automatically increase the value of the real estate where it is situated. The decision to lease or purchase is complicated, and businesses need to compare the short- and long-term costs associated with each and consider the opportunity cost of ownership.

Anticipating Future Needs

Large businesses spend lots of money researching trends and determining where the next hot spot is likely to be, or where a hole exists in a given market. Often, these businesses are ahead of the curve when it comes to finding out about new housing developments. Retail space, for example, is likely to become more expensive when a new condominium is built nearby - new condo equals more customers. A business that sees this coming in advance can purchase land or retail space before the values skyrocket in response to the new development.

Economic Incentives

Economic incentives from local governments can encourage businesses to expand or open in a new location. Municipalities that are trying to retain or add to their employment base may offer incentives, including credit against the payment of income taxes, credit for building "green" properties or property deals that aren't available to the general public.

Commercial Leases

Many businesses are able to secure percentage rent leases where they essentially share profits with the landlord. Generally, a base rent is set, and a percentage of the monthly or annual gross sales made on the premises is added to the base. For example, a property may have a base rent of $20 per square foot, plus 5% of sales over $250 per square foot. The idea behind a percentage rent lease is that the landlord and tenant can both take advantage of the property's location. When sales are up, more rent is paid, and during slower periods, the rent is reduced. This type of lease can help businesses gain traction in new locations and weather slow times without being burdened by high rents. Landlords benefit by attracting and keeping tenants and receiving potentially greater returns, particularly as the business grows.

Loan Incentives
The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Loan Program is a long-term financing option designed to promote economic development within communities. The 504 Program provides businesses that have a net worth of less than $7.5 million and an average net income not exceeding $2.5 million with long-term, fixed-rate financing. The loans can be used to purchase land and existing buildings, or to finance the construction of new facilities or the renovation/modernization of existing structures. Businesses must contribute at least 10% of the project cost, and the total amount of the loan may not exceed $1.5 million, $2 million or $4 million, depending on the type of business and the level of job creation and/or economic impact.

Leverage
Businesses are often able to leverage more attractive lease terms. Tenants who have paid rent consistently and on time are often able to negotiate with present or future landlords for favorable lease terms. Particularly in markets where landlords have difficulty finding reliable tenants, or where commercial space is plentiful, those businesses that have a proven track record can be rewarded with lower rents and better benefits and concessions.

What this all means

While many businesses prefer to lease rather than purchase properties to avoid tying up cash, there are instances where ownership makes economic sense. Businesses can take advantage of real estate opportunities through special financing options, being in the right place at the right time, economic incentives and negotiating for more favorable lease terms. 


Seller Financing is a Creative Option to Sell a Home

Posted: July 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

...by Kiley Black

Sellers can finance a real estate transaction by taking back a second note or even financing the entire purchase. Usually sellers do this when a buyer has difficulty qualifying for a conventional loan. In essence, the seller holds the mortgage, and the buyer directly pays the seller the monthly payment.

Seller financing differs from a traditional loan because the seller does not give the buyer cash to complete the purchase, as does a lender. Instead, it involves extending a credit against the purchase price of the home while the buyer executes a promissory note and mortgage.

The necessary paperwork is prepared by an attorney after the terms are worked out between the buyer and seller. If you are a seller considering such an arrangement, it is critical to thoroughly evaluate the creditworthiness of the buyer first. You should consult with your attorney and your accountant regarding the potential consequences of this type of arrangement. Fear of default makes many sellers reluctant to pursue this avenue. But seller financing can complete the sale sooner in some situations.

Seller financing offers tax breaks for sellers and alternative financing for buyers who can't qualify for conventional loans. If you are a seller, the risks you face are the same as those facing any lender: Is the borrower a good credit risk? Will the property hold enough value over time to allow for the repayment of all loans made against it? You should run a full credit check on the borrower, require hazard insurance on the property and include a due-on-sale clause. There also are financing, disclosure and repayment-term requirements that need to be met. Again, it is wise to consult a real estate lawyer when putting together this kind of transaction.

Seller financing typically costs less than conventional financing because sellers don't charge loan fees (points). Interest rates on an owner-carried loan will also be influenced by current Treasury bill and certificate of deposit rates. Sellers usually aren't willing to carry a loan for a lower return than they would earn if their money was invested elsewhere.


Seller Financing is a Creative Option to Sell a Home

Posted: July 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
 

...by Kiley Black

Sellers can finance a real estate transaction by taking back a second note or even financing the entire purchase. Usually sellers do this when a buyer has difficulty qualifying for a conventional loan. In essence, the seller holds the mortgage, and the buyer directly pays the seller the monthly payment.

Seller financing differs from a traditional loan because the seller does not give the buyer cash to complete the purchase, as does a lender. Instead, it involves extending a credit against the purchase price of the home while the buyer executes a promissory note and mortgage.

The necessary paperwork is prepared by an attorney after the terms are worked out between the buyer and seller. If you are a seller considering such an arrangement, it is critical to thoroughly evaluate the creditworthiness of the buyer first. You should consult with your attorney and your accountant regarding the potential consequences of this type of arrangement. Fear of default makes many sellers reluctant to pursue this avenue. But seller financing can complete the sale sooner in some situations.

Seller financing offers tax breaks for sellers and alternative financing for buyers who can't qualify for conventional loans. If you are a seller, the risks you face are the same as those facing any lender: Is the borrower a good credit risk? Will the property hold enough value over time to allow for the repayment of all loans made against it? You should run a full credit check on the borrower, require hazard insurance on the property and include a due-on-sale clause. There also are financing, disclosure and repayment-term requirements that need to be met. Again, it is wise to consult a real estate lawyer when putting together this kind of transaction.

Seller financing typically costs less than conventional financing because sellers don't charge loan fees (points). Interest rates on an owner-carried loan will also be influenced by current Treasury bill and certificate of deposit rates. Sellers usually aren't willing to carry a loan for a lower return than they would earn if their money was invested elsewhere.