Commercial Real Estate Investing Courses – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

With a recently adverted financial Armageddon in the rear view mirror people are looking around the ruins to see if there are any money making opportunities, and that’s where commercial real estate investing courses come in. These courses and others like them are exploding in popularity as people are wanting to diversify their investments, find a new line of more secure work or replenish their now pitiful 401Ks. Just like any other money making opportunity commercial real estate investing courses run the gambit from the awesome to the useless. So how can you separate the garbage from the gold? Come grasshopper, let me show you.

Unfortunately there are a lot of unscrupulous people out there who have seized on the increased desire and need of people find alternative sources of income. Many of these so called gurus and experts are great marketers of themselves and their systems but lack true in-depth knowledge of the market. Some have that knowledge but don’t want to pull back the curtain 100%. They would rather throw some pictures, tables and basic information together and let you bang your head against the wall thinking you’re a failure because you can’t follow their “easy path to riches”.

The first step in evaluating one of the commercial real estate investing courses you are looking at is by looking at the source of information. Can you independently verify what they are saying? Do they have a good reputation amongst investors? What does Google have to say about them? Here’s a good litmus test; if you’re being bombarded with pictures of their mansions, hot cars and even hotter women then you’re better off just dousing a pile of cash in lighter fluid and setting it ablaze. Are they giving you the hard sell? Do you have a limited time frame to decide? Then, again, just walk away friend.

Start by doing some basic research on commercial real estate or the specific subject of the commercial real estate investing courses you are considering. Get a handle on the information and see for yourself if they are just talking in circles or know what’s really going on. Join or sit in on a real estate investment club and ask around about what they studied to get where they are now.

Building Residual Income Using Real Estate

There are endless ways to make money in this world, but if you’re looking for the kind of investment that can not only help you in building residual income but also freeing yourself from the daily grind then real estate investment is for you. With the recent crash in the equities markets and 401Ks being cut in half many people are looking for more stable, secure and hands off investments. Real estate investment fits that bill and can set you free.

Every working stiff knows how to collect a paycheck. You dust off the ol’ resume, put on your best interview clothes and start to pucker up. Working for someone else, forty hours a week can make you well off but it will never make you truly wealthy. You’ll never control the means of production so you’ll never be truly rich, or independent for that matter. The tidal wave of layoffs going through the country is reason enough why many people need to work on building residual income.

Residual income is money made from an investment or business that pays you dividends over time for work done up front. Many people create these kinds of businesses through the Internet or through traditional means and turn them over to talented managers. Yet a great way to make some extra money, maybe even enough to quit the daily grind, is to build up real estate investments over time.

Imagine this scenario. You take 10% of your annual income and put it aside. This amount is then used as down payment on a piece of real estate. You rent that real estate out for more than the monthly expenses and keep the profits. The tenant covers your costs and you make extra money. This is one of the best tactics when it comes to building residual income because you will continue to make this money as long as you own the house. You can even pass it down to your children!

While many people think about real estate as a traditional single family home rental, the options are endless. Commercial real estate like office buildings, retail shopping centers and apartment complexes all offer the same help in building residual income yet spread the risk out amongst many tenants.

The Skinny on Commercial Real Estate Buildings

So let’s get into it and break down the various kinds of commercial real estate buildings.

Retail – Strip Malls, Store Fronts, Big Box Buildings

Retail commercial properties are investments with the primary purpose of supplying space for stores and businesses to sell their goods or services. Anything from a mall to a stand alone gas station would be considered a retail commercial building.

Industrial – Warehouses, Manufacturing, Storage

These properties are designated for manufacturing businesses or other similar set ups. In most areas industrial property is strictly zoned as to limit noise, traffic and other elements that don’t mingle well with residential uses. Industrial property can be multi-tenant or stand-alone.

Office Centers, Medical Office and Sky Scrapers

When most people think about commercial real estate they think of office buildings or even high rises. Offices provide non-industrial workspace for companies and businesses. They can be as large as a corporation’s headquarters campus or a small office building offering suites to small businesses and professionals.

Multifamily Residential Properties

Just because this category of buildings houses living space for people doesn’t mean its not commercial real estate. Apartment buildings and other multifamily dwellings are valued the same way as other commercial real estate properties and can be a valuable addition to your real estate portfolio.

Mixed Use Buildings

There always has to be an exception to the rule, and in many markets the mixed use commercial building is becoming more popular. These properties mix housing, commercial and retail spaces all in one and can be very popular.

The Other Types Of Commercial Investment Properties

There is a large amount of properties that don’t fit nicely into any category. Retirement housing, hotels, motels, storage businesses and many others still are valued as commercial real estate.

The biggest difference in commercial propertiesis how they are valued as opposed to single-family residential properties. The latter are valued based on comparable sales while the former are valued on the income they produce. This allows the commercial investor to increase their property’s value by making improvements that increase the income.

Packing Tips For Motorcycle Trips

Most people who ride motorcycles, from enthusiasts to occasional riders, have at one time or another thought about getting away for a long road trip. For such a trip, planning is a very important part of the preparation. In this article we’ll talk about what to pack on your bike.

Make a list First, after the initial rush of energy and excitement when you finally are able to arrange your dream trip, the first thing you need to do is relax and start making a list of all the things you might need. Some suggestions:

Road map. You can buy fold up maps, or if your cell phone has internet access, you can use one of the many free map services (Yahoo, Google, Mapquest). If you really want to get fancy, you can purchase a navigation system for your motorcycle.
Tool bag/kit. Don’t forget to bring along some simple tools in case the need for minor repairs arises. Cable ties, screwdrivers (Phillips and standard), pliers, a couple of standard size wrenches, and a repair manual may save the day in case of a problem. You certainly don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere and be stuck because of a minor problem that could have been easily fixed with a simple tool.
Clothes. Keep an extra set of clothes handy, and don’t forget your rain gear. It’s best to pack the rain gear last, so you can get to it in a hurry if a sudden rainstorm kicks in.
Snacks. You should pack some light snacks for the road-nuts, dried fruit, power bars, granola bars, water, and a couple candy bars are OK if you have a sweet tooth. Don’t forget to take care of your trash.
Think of anything else you might want or need on your ride, and include that on your list. You can always remove non-essential items if you are getting too loaded down.
After you make your list, gather everything together, and go through each item, checking it off. It may seem like overkill, but sometimes this is the stage where you remember a critical item that you forgot when making your initial list.
Packing Make sure that as you pack your luggage, the weight is balanced on both sides of your bike. An off balance bike is harder to handle, takes much more energy, and safety is always a major issue for riders. When your bike is fully packed, take it on a short test drive to ensure that everything is packed tightly and well-balanced.

How to Pack, Ship, and Follow Up on eBay Items

One of the things that most directly effects how customers will leave you feedback is how you pack and ship their items. Even if you are a new seller, a lot of customers don’t take that into account when they get a poorly packaged item. This is one area where you don’t want to skimp if you expect to be in business for a long time.

As a rule of thumb, pack your items as you would like to receive them had you purchased them from someone else. Use the correct size envelope, mailer, or box when available. Wrap breakable items in bubble wrap to prevent them from getting damaged. If you have to ship something in an oversized box, make sure to use plenty of packing peanuts or other soft packing material to cushion the item.

Sometimes the post office isn’t so gentle when shipping your items. It’s a good idea to offer shipping insurance in case all of your protective measures aren’t enough to combat the treatment your package receives during the shipping process. Plus, offering shipping insurance gives you an extra source of income. The customer benefits by knowing that their item will be replaced or refunded if damaged in shipping, and you benefit by making a few extra dollars. Plus, if you pack your items correctly, the odds of having to replace a broken item are almost nil, leaving you with a few extra dollars for your effort of packing your items properly in the first place.

Follow up with your customers to make sure that their packages have arrived safely. This is also a great way to make sure that people leave you positive feedback. Plus, doing this will give the buyer a sense that you actually care whether or not they were pleased with their purchase. This simple gesture can lead to repeat business again and again.

If you package your items correctly and ship them on time, you should have little to worry about as far as your feedback rating is concerned. As long as you’re honest about your product and take care to make sure that your customers receive it in tact, you should have a long successful future in eBay business.

How to Get Six Pack Abs – Simple But Very Effective Tips to Flatten Your Midsection Fast

Wouldn’t it be great if you can transform flabby areas in your stomach into a six pack abs? Having a firmer, define abs would take a lot of patience and discipline to achieve. It is difficult to have a flat tummy, let alone a toned abs, if there’s a thick layer of fat over them. Read on and learn more about how to get a six pack abs the natural way.

Before you even think of shaping your abs, you must first get rid of the fat that spreads over them. To do this, you must spend time doing aerobic and cardiovascular exercises like bike riding, dancing, swimming, and jogging. There’s no way you can get rid of belly fat by directly hitting it. Your stomach doesn’t work that way. The best way to drop excess fat in your belly is to work out the whole body and burn every fat lingering at every inch.

After a few weeks into these exercises, you will notice the difference. Your stomach would feel firmer and rock-solid. If you’re already into this phase, it’s about time you do exercises that build the muscle around the belly area. These exercises are important on how to get a six pack abs because they are the ones responsible for shaping this section. They include sit ups, crunches, leg lifts, and tummy twisting. Repeat each exercise at least twenty times a day, five times a week in order to achieve maximum results. Note you will have to stay focus on your goal and motivate yourself if you want to transform your body into a sexy new you.

Don’t Get Scammed! How to Find the Best 6 Pack Abs Workout Program

Everyday we are bombarded with new internet scams and infomercials promising a sleek set of rock hard, 6 Pack Abs…and it can all be yours…for only three payments of $29.99! But wait…there’s more… (Sound familiar?)

The truth is that many of these ‘systems’ offers false promises and little chance for gaining any real definition. Behind the flashy exterior is a loose set of exercises and weak nutrition principals. Most often the program may have worked for the person promoting the product, but will have little chance of working for you. However, there are some quality online programs available that can help you succeed. Use the following 5 secrets to weed out the scams.

Secret #1: Not All 6 Pack Ab Workout Programs Are Created Equal

There is no one workout program that will fit everyone, regardless of which body part you are trying to shape! With that said, you need to look for an Ab program that can be tailored to fit your specific needs. Whether you have access to a Club Gym or a Home Gym, the program should offer you options for both. One set of exercises is not enough; the program should offer various workouts; broken into beginner, intermediate, and advance routines. Also, look for documents or virtual demonstrators that will show you how to properly perform the exercise. Having proper technique can reduce injuries and encourage faster results.

Secret #2: A Solid Nutrition Plan is Key!

If you want real results in minimal time, then you need to look at your eating plan. If you don’t already have the strong, sexy abs that you want, then you’ll need to make changes to you diet. Make sure the Ab program you join incorporates a comprehensive meal plan. It should offer at least 12 weeks of meals and include options for Vegetarians.

Secret #3: It will take Time!

Depending on how much belly fat you need to lose, developing rock hard, 6 pack abs could take some time. Usually several weeks is not a realistic time period; unless you’re already is great shape. However, with dedication, in several months you can, and will make incredible progress with the right program. Don’t get scammed by claims of 6 pack Abs in only weeks, it’s physically improbable!

Containers Make Edible Garden Landscaping Accessible to Just About Anyone

One of the main goals of Edible Garden Landscaping is to provide people with the information and knowledge they need to grow more of their own food for both health and budget reasons. Interest in gardening in general is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s important to realize that you don’t need a dedicated plot of land to join in the fun-all you really need is a pot, good dirt, some seeds or plants, water and sunshine.

What Should You Plant In?
The size and number of plants that you want to grow in a container will determine the size you should use. Keep in mind that deep rooted vegetables, like carrots and parsnips require deep pots. In any case, you’ll want to stay away from small pots because the plants will quickly become root bound and won’t produce as well as they could.

Be sure that your containers have adequate drainage. One way to make sure the planter is well drained, but that the soil doesn’t leak through the drainage holes is to line the bottom or the planter with a unbleached coffee filter. The soil will stay put and the excess water will be able to properly drain. Also, if the containers will be on a hard, flat surface, you’ll want to raise them up on bricks so that the plant can drain properly.

Select your containers based upon your style. Just keep in mind that pots or planters made of clay are extremely porous so the soil will dry out faster as water evaporates through the sides. That’s not to say, don’t use clay, just know that you’ll need to water more frequently. To get a good start with a clay container, presoak it so that it starts out saturated. In the heat of summer, it could also be advantageous to set your clay pots in water baths for a few hours to saturate from the outside in.

Start with Good Dirt
For best results, don’t use straight garden soil/top soil in a container, it could introduce pests and diseases, plus it’s too heavy to maintain a healthy environment for your plant’s roots. Instead, use a soil mix. It’s easy to make your own. Just mix equal parts of loamy garden soil, sand, and peat moss. To quickly sterilize garden soil you want to add to your mix, you can “cook” it in your own kitchen. Put it in a roasting bag and microwave at full power for 1 minute per pound of soil.

You can then customize the soil used in your containers to specifically benefit the plants it holds. For example, for an acid loving plant like a small bush blueberry add coffee grounds or decomposed pine needles to increase acidity. Or if the plant prefers more alkaline soil add small amounts of wood ash.

What You Should Know About Landscape Equipment Financing

Any business venture that is starting out will have constraints over the cash available to them at any particular time. This cash may be required to fulfill other transactions which are crucial to the take off of the business. Therefore, if the business is about landscaping, and you are in dire need of the equipment required for such a venture, for example, the best option for you would be to lease the your needed items instead of purchasing them immediately.

Leasing offers many benefits to the business including flexibility, credit preservation, simplified budget procedure and much lower cost. If you are starting out on your business venture, learn to take full advantage of investment insulation and credit flexibility. Use your available cash for other important investments.

When you sign the lease for your landscaping equipment you are provided with a single date of payment in the future for the equipment, in exchange of full use of it at present. This is a great advantage for a new business as there are bound to be cash constraints on them. You can instead use your working capital to buy other resources like transport facilities, raw materials and even labor. Leasing is a good way of preserving your cash.

Accounting for the leased items of you business becomes simpler since these items are treated as line items in the profit and loss accounts. This allows you to avoid confusing and heavy depreciation accounts. They are also usually recorded as pre-tax expenses of the venture and as such you could receive heavy tax benefits. Consult with a financial representative to find out more.

Alternatives in Desert Landscaping

Desert landscaping is a challenge for both beginning and experienced gardeners. Soils are poor, natural sources of moisture are lacking, and extreme variations in heat and cold tax many traditional “fair weather” plants.

However, for the gardener willing to put in a little extra time and effort, desert landscaping can be so much more than gravel and cacti. For a start, consider ground cover choices, and a personal favorite, periwinkle, known botanically as vinca major, large periwinkle, and vinca minor, small periwinkle. Vinca minor, the small periwinkles, are the drought resistant species, and are thus most suitable for low moisture environments.

The benefits of periwinkle to a desert landscaping environment are numerous:

First, there are vinca minor species suitable for virtually any US climate zone, from zone 3 to zone 9.

Second, vinca is fast growing once established, the slender trailing stems which grow 3 to 6 feet long and keep low to the ground, frequently take root where they touch the soil, so you can space plants (potted or bare root) 10″ – 14″ apart.

Third, they tolerate light foot traffic well, and are perfect for those expanses that don’t see heavy use.

Fourth, they are evergreen and provide a welcoming year round verdancy when other plants and grasses have grown dormant or died off.

Fifth, vinca require virtually no care once established – no mowing, no trimming back, perhaps some supplemental watering during extreme heat (depending on the species and climate zone), and some occasional containment measures, as with most fast growing species, they don’t know what boundaries you’ve intended for them!

Sixth, the plants tolerate many soils, even heavy clay, although as with most plants, a loamy soil (equal mixture of sand, silt and clay) produces the most vigorous growth. And finally, periwinkle is beautiful. Besides the delicate green ovoid leaves, trimmed in white in some species, periwinkle produces a beautiful delicate five petal flower in purple, white or pink, depending on the species.

Now, can your high maintenance grass, or your gravel or mulch surface covers, provide as many benefits to your desert landscaping theme as can little vinca major? Time to get busy and plan a space for them!