Trump Administration’s 2019 Budget Proposal; Employees’ Benefits & COLA Take a Major Hit in Pekin, IL

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – While the share of nation’s workers the federal government employed in 2017, equaled its lowest level ever recorded, new Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the level is too low for government to perform basic functions. And with alarms ringing over the rising costs in Pekin, Illinois could less us to fewer firefighters serving the community. With two firefighters down in the department due to retirements of last year, the union’s president, Tom Veatch explains, “It’s a safety concern. You know, not only for our taxpayers but our members too. We’re always here. We do our job 100 percent all the time. And we will never stop doing our job, no matter what.” However, the city has not filled those 2 positions and leaders are pointing at rising costs as they are looking towards a budget plan for the next fiscal year. The Local Records Office reviews how the 2019 budget proposal will impact federal jobs; employees’ benefits and the cost of living adjustments (COLA) will both a take a major hit.

“It might sound better to say ‘cuts’. We’re maintaining the employment levels in the proposed budget,” proposed Carson.

Carson described that the city faces 60 million in pension liabilities for the fire and police retirees and is the reason staffing levels in the proposed budget are under consideration.

“They offer great service to our residents. They’re going to continue to do a great job. I have confidence in their abilities. We’re not short staffing them,” expressed Carson.

Though, CBP has documented how, due to lack of personnel, basic governmental functions –ie. administrating the nation’s Social Security and even tax systems –are being performed inadequately.

Recently, Sens. Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., recently announced they are closing a two-year budget deal, which lifts budget caps and would require appropriations committees to develop detailed plans within six weeks.

The 2019 Budget proposes a pay freeze; federal employees will take major compensation cuts

With the 2019 presidential budget in place to include a pay freeze for federal employees; with the administration’s intention to rely on a “pay for performance” basis rather than a standard pay increase on a schedule, the American Federation of Government Employees national president J. David Cox Sr. explains that “by stripping employees of their due process rights and firing those who reject his politics, President Trump is opening the door for rampant corruption, discrimination, and worker intimidation.”

With the 2019 budget proposal relying on employee compensation cuts and changes to reduction to the deficit by more than $70 billion by 2028, by mostly coming from reducing the government’s contributions to the retirement and health programs, and eliminating some programs, such as special retirement supplements and the Federal Employee Retirement System cost of living adjustments, the 2019 budget proposal estimates adjustments to will reduce the U.S. deficit by $192 million by 2021 and achieve a total reduction near $2.8 billion by 2028.

Similarly, this 2019 budget proposal estimates these changes to the federal retirement benefits will also reduce the deficit by nearly $2.6 billion in 2019 and adds up of more than $68 billion in reductions by 2028. And members will receive a 2.5% raise, according to the 2019 document.

Though the president is proposing a pay freeze for civilian employees next year, the Congress has multiple opportunities to suggest and pass laws otherwise.

New changes to the federal employee retirement benefits

-Increasing the employee contributions to retirement by 1% per year until it reaches 50% in the Federal Employment System (FERS) –phased out over a period of several years.

-Replacing the current high three average salary to calculate the retirement annuities with the five-year average salary baseline.

-Eliminating FERS annuity supplement for eligible employees retiring 2018 and beyond.

-Eliminating the cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for current and future FERS employees

-Eliminating the FERS cost of living adjustments and reducing civil service costs (CSRS) and cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) by 0.5%

With the White House plans to indicate plans to propose a seismic shift in federal retirement systems in the future, as it could remove defined benefit pensions altogether, officials wrote that “the TSP is a particularly attractive benefit to young, mobile workers not intended to make a career of federal service.” And that “the budget, therefore, funds a study to explore the potential benefits, including the recruitment benefit, of creating a defined-contribution only annuity benefit for new federal workers, and those desiring to transfer out of the existing hybrid system.”

As the proposal would change other federal employee benefits and do away with the current leave system, which offers time off for regular leave, sick days and vacation, in favor of Paid Time Off would effectively reduce the number of leave workers receives each year.

Healthcare –Proposed changes to Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

The trump administration is recommending changes to the formula the currently directs towards the government’s contribution rate for the participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB).

With the budget contribution rate on an FEHB plan’s score from a performance assessment, the OPM rates all FEHBP carriers on all 19 health outcomes, quality, and efficiency standards.

The formula set under law determines a share the government and enrollee pay towards FEHBP premiums each year. The government pays 75% of participants’ premium up to a certain cap. The cap equals to 72% of the weighted average of the previous years’ premiums.

The Trump administration wants to alter the formula slightly, so the government would contribute more towards the employee’s health care depending on how well the specific FEHB plan performs under the OPM’s standards.

The Office of Management and Budget projects the government will contribute a range of 65-75%.

“Under the current structure, enrollees have few incentives to choose less expensive, higher value plans,” the budget cites. “This proposal would incentivize enrollees to select high-performing, high-value plans by making them more affordable. The proposal would also provide carriers with greater incentive to compete on price and quality, help driving down overall program costs.”

And according to the budget, this change to FEHB premium contributions would save over $2.7 billion in the next decade.

Annual leave –impacts paid time off and sick days

The 2019 proposal also suggests combining all leave into one “paid time off category.”

“This would reduce total leave days while adding a short-term disability insurance policy to protect employees who experience a serious medical situation,” according to the 2019 request.

And currently, the federal employees receive 10 paid holidays, 13 sick days and 13-to-26 vacation days, depending on the tenure.

  1. David Cox, the national president of AFGE, had told reporters that Trump’s budget is a significant threat to the federal employees’ livelihood, particularly following years of austerity during the Great Recession.

“Federal workers already make 5 percent less in inflation-adjusted terms than they did at the beginning of the decade,” Cox said. “If we don’t stop the pay freeze for 2019, they will have given up $246 billion in wages and benefits since 2011. No other group has lost more to deficit reduction than the federal workforce.”

And Tony Reardon, President of the National Treasury Employees Union described the budget in a statement as a “full-scale assault” on our federal civil service.

“This should alarm every member of Congress and all Americans,” Reardon said. “Weakening our civil service system and attacking the pay and benefits of federal workers will backfire and leave our country unable to tackle the complex issues we are facing.”

 

 

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Employment Wages Continue to be Stagnant as the Working Class Seeking Employment has Nearly Diminished in Pekin, Illinois

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – The top industries that stimulated Pekin, Illinois’ economy are diminishing industries that once stimulated the economic growth in Pekin, Illinois. With companies avoiding corporate taxes by outsourcing and avoiding paying for the employee wages and taxes here in America, the wage growth is continuing to diminish, which has resulted in fewer people in the seeking work. The Local Records Office reviews how the unemployment rates are merely hitting the tail end of the crisis our economy is in.

Service industries, manufacturing, exports, agriculture, and mining

Service industries contribute the largest dollar amount to the Pekin, Illinois economy, according to the Local Records Office. Leading the way of our community, business, and personal service sectors are: hotels, law firms, accounting firms, engineering powerhouses and private health-care providers generate a majority of the dollar share in Pekin, Illinois’ economy. And following close behind are Pekin, Illinois’ finance, insurance and real estate conglomerates, the Local Records Office said. Thirdly are the wholesalers and the retail industries from car dealerships, department stores to supermarkets.

75% of the U.S. economy gains its shares from the service sector. As it is well-known, American boosts more of the service industry and thus outsourcing forms a major part of their operations. Therefore, U.S. firms that rake off a sustainable GNP growth must bring a balanced dependency on each other, to bring improvement to productivity is the only mantra for a successfully growing economy.

Manufacturing is the second largest, in fact, Pekin, Illinois is known as a major manufacturing leader in the entire company, said the Local Records Office. While building machinery makes a huge portion, including the assembling of construction equipment, farm machinery, and machine tools. And the second largest is the processed foods sector. Primary food products being created in Illinois include baked goods, breakfast cereals, candy, sausage, and spices. Chemical manufacturing makes up the remainder with the production of pharmaceuticals, cleaning solutions, and paint.

Exports sustain thousands of Illinois businesses as a total of 23,252 companies exported from Illinois locations in 2014, 333,674 U.S. jobs supported by goods exports from Illinois in 2015 and 86% of these jobs were supported by manufactured goods exports. While Illinois depends on world markets, the exports from Illinois have helped contribute a total of $59.8 billion out of the $2.21 trillion of U.S. goods and services exports in 2016. And Peoria, being relatively close to Pekin has contributed to export a goods value of $9.8 billion which is a 13.6% share of the state’s exports.

Though, the controversial issue of free trade is moving businesses out of the country costing us to lose tax revenues from corporate profits and the workers, and puts people out of work, which put pressures on the government to raise taxes, borrow money, print money, and still add onto our growing debt, to eventually collapse.

As some question a policies aimed towards looking only at consumer prices and not seeing the bigger picture, as well as keeping American jobs in America, bringing back the jobs we have left, and creating an environment for people to start and continue to grow companies, as outsourcing has contributed to the scourge of unemployment and denies the worker a just wage and the security of the worker for his or her family. But at the same time, some see the factor of production as an alternative to achieve improved levels of efficiency.

In Pekin Illinois’ the 2018 Governor’s Export Awards Applications –are due by Friday, April 20th, at 4:00 Pm.

Company Application

Organization Application

To fill out the application, right click and save on your computer. If you’re having trouble downloading, please email Godfrey Angara at godfrey.angara@illinois.gov for an emailed copy.

Agriculture -as CAFOs hurt property values, contributes to pollution and other environmental problems, question the impact of the proposed facility on 40 houses and cabins within a two-mile radius of the proposed facility, and roads as well as nearby ponds.

Opponents also question whether the site complies with “setback” rules requiring facilities with 7,000 or more animals to be at least a half mile from an occupied residence and a mile from populated areas.

Johnson’s concern of the number of swine CAFOs in her home country also mentions how pigs are raised in CAFOs tightly confined crate-like pens.

The odors, gases, and particulates are said to rise nearby neighbor’s health issues and meanwhile, proponents are keeping up the increasing international demand for pork as farmers are updating their facilities and lead others to argue whether these facilities will be enhancing the local economy.

Coal mining is now more apart of Illinois’ history than the present, as coal production has decreased since the 1920s, with technology and natural gas being the two culprits for the industry’s decline and mining jobs dissipated after the Harsey’s mine shut down, and many workers were let go. The Local 1825 still comes together to celebrate the history of coal mining every year on April 1st.

Despite Chicago’s gains in employment and the declining unemployment rate across the state, the rest of the state of Illinois.

Springfield, Decatur, and Danville have experienced dips in the employment rates because more residents are unable to find a job.

Policies are pushing smaller businesses into paying higher taxes, while corporations are ‘beating the system’ by outsourcing and getting a corporate tax break

And policies are not helping the issues of forcing smaller businesses to pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, the highest workers’ compensation costs in the region or raising the overall tax burden to fix Springfield’s spending problems.

Yet, a vast majority of these jobs have decreased their average weekly wages. And to determine whether wages have increase broadly and consistently, after adjusting for inflation, economists measure that wages were only 10% higher in 2017 than they were in 1973, with the annual real wage growth just below 0.2%.

So while corporations get a larger cut on their taxes and even a larger corporate tax break by from outsourcing, the companies start hiring more people and the continuation of inflation of prices rises only higher. And with more people employed and stimulating the economy buying from these large corporations, they continue to have a larger profit margin and become more powerful.

Reasons wages have lagged behind U.S. job growth

Diminishing wages is resulting in fewer people entering the labor force, and as Baby Boomers are retiring and Millenials start earning relatively lower salaries

Andre Chamberlain, the chief economist at the jobs and recruiting company Glassdoor has said even as unemployment fell to a 16-year low recently, the wage growth has slowed. As the Labor Departments’ numbers show wage growth averaging 2.5% in the last four months of last year’s peak at 2.9% in December. Though, Chamberlain says wage growth during this stage of economic recovery should be closer to 3.5%.

One theory is many young, inexperienced workers are entering the job force getting paid less and dragging the nations’ earning growth down as a whole.

Another factor the unemployment rate does not reflect is the people ages 25-54 –the prime working ages – are the ones’ not looking for a job, but might if the condition is right, Chamberlain says.

Replacing workers with technology will reduce costs in the long run, as workers lose out on employment. And while opposing views of whether or not the technological advances are economically significant or simply, are a better alternative for companies to increase productivity. The overall impact of job losses has slowed those looking for work under the right circumstances and the overall wage growth has gotten worse for those who are entering the labor force.

So as people justify that the economy has improved, due to the lower numbers of unemployment rates and the amount of 1.5 million entering the labor force, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco have recently argued that people entering the labor force are earning relatively lower salaries.

Consider These Architectural Home Designs in Pekin, Illinois to Brighten Up Your Next Home

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – While you may be either building a completely new home or searching for your next home, it is one of the most exciting times and is important to start looking for your ideal home design. As we are growing out of modern architecture, you may be wondering if building a ‘fad’ for your newer structure really worth it? Tiny houses have been the big craze for many families looking to downsize and still be able to access an adequate amount of surrounding land, but will it still be a popular choice for potential homeowners in 20 to 30 years?

Either way, looking into styles of homes that fits both you and your family needs and wants is your main objective. And here are the few ideal architectural home designs that are both popular and offer significant features with each having its own unique style. This can be overwhelming, as there are many different housing designs, so I put this list in alphabetical order, in case you already know what design you are looking for.

Acadian

These house plans share the ideal Country French architecture and are found in Louisiana and across the American southeast, maritime Canadian areas, and exhibit the Louisiana and Cajun influences. Rooms are arranged on either side of a central hallway and the kitchen is in the back. And these stylized homes typically feature a steep, sloping roof with gables that shed snow and moisture effectively.

Adobe

Is a regional architectural style that draws inspiration from the Pueblo and Spanish Missions located in New Mexico, and typically are made with stucco and have a flat roof with rounded edges. These decorative features often found in this style home include wooden beams projecting from the roof line, hand-hewn lintels inset above deep window openings and walls that slope inward.

A-Frames

The popular style A-Frames have come back into style and are great for that cozy, ‘cabin look’ and most offer acres of land surrounding rivers, a lake or a body of water. And they are well-underpriced for what they have to offer. The A-frame is shaped like an equilateral triangle and its distinctive peak is formed by rafters or trusses that are held together at the top and bolted to the floor joists or plates down below. And the cross-piece of the A is created with horizontal collar beams to stabilize the structure and typically supports a sleeping loft.

A-frames meet the earth on the rubble of cinderblock walls, concrete or even wood columns, but their essential nature is for them to float slightly above their natural environment, with a viewing platform for an expanse of nature.

Beach

These houses are often raised houses suitable for shoreline sites and are adaptable for vacation homes near water or mountain areas. The Tidewater house is typical and features the wide porches, and are constructed of wood with the main living are raised one level.

Bungalow

These house plans are common to Craftsman, Rustic and Cottage home designs. These typical home designs have a great porch for your rocker and are typically one-level with over-hanging eaves as some of the most classic features.

Cape Cod

This small, symmetrical style is typically 1 ½ stories, and typically people will add on additions behind or on the sides to increase the square footage. These first Cape Cod homes were also built in the 1600s and were inspired by Britain’s thatched cottages, but with steeper roofs and larger chimneys to withstand the cold Northeastern winters. New builds in this style are rare, says Rob Brennan, principal at the Brennan + Company Architects in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Carriage

Get their name from the outbuildings of large manors whereas owners store their carriages. Today, the carriage house generally is in reference to the detached garage with living space above them.

Colonial Revival

Has a symmetrical look and floor plan and has been a popular style throughout 19th and 20th centuries. These are typically two to three story house plans with symmetrical façade and gable roofs and often are expressed in temple-like entrances with porticos topped with pediments. Multi-pane, double-hung windows with shutters, dormers, and paneled doors with sidelights, topped with rectangular transoms or fanlights, and include entry-hall floor plans, fireplaces and simple, classical detailing.

Contemporary

Offers today’s building appearances, and can vary in design. The most common characteristic is clean lines, large windows devoid a decorative trim, and with the focus towards function. It is comparable to connecting the indoors with the outdoors by emphasizing energy efficiency, sustainable materials, with large, floor-to-ceiling windows offering lots of natural light and uses recyclable non-toxic materials. The exterior is a mixture of siding, stucco, stone, brick, and wood. The roof is either flat or shallow pitched, and often with great overhangs.

Cottage

This smaller design is a storybook charm that will fit near a lake or in a mountain setting. These are sometimes also referred to as bungalows.

Country

As are one of the most popular styles, these styled house plans embrace the wraparound porch and have a gabled roof. And they are offered most commonly in either one or two stories high.

The French County style is rooted in the rural French countryside and includes the modest farmhouse designs and estate-like chateaus. This style exudes warmth and comfortable design elements such as curved arches, soft lines, and stonework. The inside has wooden beams, plaster walls and stone floors as the most common thematic features.

The Low Country house plans are suited for coastal areas and the coastal plains of the Carolinas and Georgia. Typically, they are elevated and have welcoming porches to enjoy the outdoors in the shade.

Craftsman

The Craftsman displays honesty and simplicity of a truly American house. These homes emphasize natural materials –wood, brick, and stone with wide porches and low-pitched, gabled roofs (often hipped) with exposed rafters. The porches are either full or partial width, with tapered columns, and or pedestals that extend to the ground level. The interior’s open floor plan features built-in furniture, big fireplaces, and exposed beams.

Dutch Colonial

A Dutch Colonial is similar to Colonial-style and it most recognized for its gambrel roof and has a shallower pitch with must steeper sides –a look most commonly used on barns. Dormers are where second-story windows pop out of the façade and are also a more common feature of Dutch colonial homes.

European

These houses have typically steep roofs, subtly flared curves at the eaves and faced with either stucco or stone. The roof comes down to the windows and the second floor is often the roof, or as we know it, the attic.

Farmhouse

Reflects the American simpler era when families gathered in an open kitchen and a living room. This version of a country home style usually has bedrooms clustered together and features the friendly porches. The lines are simple and often faced with wood siding.

Federal

The Federal-style became popular during America’s first decades as a nation in the late 18th century and 19th centuries. These homes tend to be symmetrical with tall windows. The Federal homes were originally built in a similar box shape, and it is common to see in additions to the side or expanded depth.

Florida

A Florida house plan embraces elements of several styles that allow comfort during the heat of the day. This Mediterranean house with its shallow, sloping tile roof and verandas is faced with wood and has one or more porches, verandas, and windows to allow a breeze to flow freely throughout.

Georgian

These home plans characterize with proportion and balance and typically have square symmetrical shapes with paneled doors centered on the front façade. The paired chimneys are a common feature of added symmetry. The common building materials use stone with red, tan or white being the most frequently used colors.

Hill Country

This Texas Hill Country style is a regional historical style with roots in European immigrants that settled the area, with available white limestone and later brown sandstone that were used with the local cedar to construct these well-crafted and attractive homes. During the settlers’ movement and due to these lean times, the result of these homes is simple and has an authentic style with modern elegance.

Log Home

Log Homes originally were small cabins in the 1600s and were built as one room using no nails, sort of like the same concept of when we were kids building our own homes with the logs. Now, they are built as functional and large luxurious getaways. These log homes are ideally found in a rural setting. The climate of the surrounding area will dictate the type of wood you should use to build the home. And can be handcrafted or milled (built of manufactured wood).

Mediterranean

This is usually a one-story home design with shallow roofs that slope, with a wide overhang to provide shade in warmer climates. The courtyards and open arches allow for breezes to flow through freely the house and verandas. There are typically open, big windows throughout and the verandas can be found on the 2nd floor. The exterior is stucco and the roofs made with tile, making these great vacation homes in southern latitudes.

Modern

Features glass, steel, and concrete. The open floor plans are a signature characteristic and from the street, they are dramatic to behold. And even though there is some overlap to the contemporary house plans, they are two different looks.

Mountain

Mountain home designs commonly feature huge windows and large decks with rugged exteriors and exposed wood beams. These prow-shaped great rooms are quite common. There is some crossover to vacation home plans.

Neoclassical

From Greek and Roman architecture for inspiration, the Neoclassical design embraces large columns and smooth surfaces. Some of the well-known homes in the U.S with the Neoclassical design, include the White House and Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello.

Northwest

Designed by architects from the Northwest, this home is simple in design, devoid the excessive exterior details and it is mostly made of wood. The roof usually is medium to low-pitched with deep overhangs. Windows being large can bring light into the interiors.

Plantation

The plantation home plans are typically boasted with white pillars, a symmetrical shape and sprawling porches mostly associated with the South, though, found all over the country. The grand scale features are spacious and suggest the charm and genteel lifestyle of the South.

Prairie

The prairie style home plans came around the turn of the 20th century and are often associated with one of the giants in design. With seeping horizontal lines and wide open floor plans, the common features of this style include overhanging eaves, rows of small windows and one-story projection, and in many cases, a central chimney.

Ranch

Is also known as “rambler” for the way the rooms spread out over only one level, but it also becomes a raised ranch or a split level with room for expansion. These styles became popular in the 1950s and had inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style, says Brennan. The asymmetrical shapes are common with the low-pitched roofs and a built-in garage. And the exterior is faced with either wood or bricks or has a combination of both.

Shingle Style

Shingle style house plans were born in England and popular throughout the West Coast, they are informal and highly imaginative –a summer style “cottage” often built for the wealthier clients. This architecture of an American summer is known for their casual style with their ability to blend into their surroundings, with wooden shakes in natural colors. The wide porches are fairly common and are an invitation to spend more time outdoors in the sun.

Spanish Colonial Revival

These Spanish styles are easily recognizable by the terracotta tiles roof that is perfect for warmer climates, and stucco or adobe walls, and arched windows and doors that complete the look.

Split level

Its variation of the ranch but has more of an up and down feel as you walk through. Essentially is a ranch house with a garage stuck underneath it. The short staircases lead up and down to different levels and to rooms throughout.

Traditional

This being one of the most common styles in the U.S. is a mix of classic, simple designs that commonly features little ornamentation, simple rooflines, and symmetrically spaced windows. The building materials are in either wood or brick.

Tudor Revival

The Tudor Revival homes only use timber cosmetically and are easily recognized by its steep-pitched roof and a framing of typically half brick or half-timber with stucco. Often, is misrepresented as the Tudor which refers to the English architectural style in the 16th century.

Tuscan

These house plans combine modern elements with a classic Italian design and resulting in an attractive Old World European charm. Though similar to Mediterranean house plans, the Tuscan designs typically feature stucco exteriors and stone accents, terracotta roof tiles, narrow, tall windows with shutters and enclosed courtyards. Additionally, this style often features decorative ceilings and wooden beams.

Vacation

Vacation home plans have central, open living spaces and with few or many bedrooms to suit a couple or a family with lots of friends.

Victorian

Is best marked with its steep roof, asymmetrical facade and elaborately crafted trim on overhangs and roof lines, giving it a ‘gingerbread house’ look. San Francisco’s Painted Ladies are a prime example of the Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the U.S.

 

 

These 7 Things Are Lowering Your Credit Score and Will Make it Difficult to Buy a House in the Future – Local Records Office

HARRISBURG, PENNSYLENIA – Several factors come into play when calculating your credit score. “According to FICO.com, your credit score is affected by five major elements, in this order of importance: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit used” say, the pros from ‘Local Records Office’ in Harrisburg, PA.

 

  1. Credit Score Plays a Big Part in Buying a House

 

That said, here are some things you might be doing that could knock your score down a few pegs.

 

  1. Banning Credit From Your Life

 

If you don’t use it, you lose it — your good score, that is. Credit score is a measure of how responsible a borrower you are. If you cut up all of your cards — literally or figuratively — “lenders won’t know what to expect from you should the day come when you want to open up a line of credit” says, ‘Local Records Office’. If you want to minimize the amount of credit in your life, try to use one major credit card for small purchases and pay it off in full monthly to keep your credit active.

 

  1. Closing Old Accounts

 

You might think since you’re happy with your current credit card that you might as well kick your old ones to the curb, but be careful. If you cancel an account that you’ve had open for a long time, you could be damaging the credit history portion of your credit score. Essentially, when you close an account, you erase that account from your history.

These 7 Things Are Lowering Your Credit Score and Will Make it Difficult to Buy a House in the Future – Local Records Office

  1. Opening a New Account

 

Doing this affects the “new credit” portion of your score. Every time you apply for or are awarded a new line of credit, your credit score takes a dip. If you’re planning on applying for a home mortgage or a car loan in the near future, hold off on opening a random charge account. The higher your credit score, the better interest rate you may qualify for, and that could mean thousands in savings over the life of a home loan.

 

  1. Owing Too Much, Even if You Pay on Time Every Month

 

You might think that as long as you pay your bills, you’ll have great credit. “While that is the most important aspect of a credit score, creditors think that if you carry high balances, you’re only one emergency or layoff away from being in financial trouble. It’s important to try to keep your debt utilization ratio low – that’s how much you owe as compared to how much available credit you have” say, the pros from ‘Local Records Office’. Experts say keeping it at 30% or lower is best, so if you have a $1,000 credit limit, you shouldn’t carry more than a $300 balance.

 

  1. Paying a Bill Just One Day Late

 

Once your credit card company flags you for a late payment, you can expect a ding on your credit report. The damage will be greater if you go beyond 30 or 60 days without making a payment, but even one day late can be enough to hurt your score.

If you’re thinking of making any moves when it comes to your credit, do some research first to see how your plans might affect your credit score. You’ll be glad you did.

 

  1. Joint Credit Score

 

There’s no such thing as a joint credit report – for married couples or anyone else. Married or single, you have your own credit report, one that’s linked to your Social Security number. If you’re married, you and your spouse may have a lot of joint accounts, such as mortgage loan, car loans and shared credit card accounts. Those joint items will appear on both your credit reports and will affect both of your scores. But your credit report is yours and yours alone.

 

  1. BONUS – Thinking a Credit Repair’ Company Will Magically Make Your Credit Score Go Higher

 

There’s nothing that a “credit repair” company can do for you that you can’t do yourself. No one can remove accurate information from your credit report. Reputable credit reestablishing services can help you come up with a plan to repay your debts, but the only legitimate way to enhance your credit score is to practice good credit management.

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Home Maintenance Checklist That Go Along Way – Local Records Office

This ultimate checklist created by “Local Records Office” that will insure that you have everything you need to to the best maintenance to your home.

Home Maintenance Checklist That Go Along Way – Local Records Office

HARRISBURG, PA – “When you think of summer cleaning, things like scrubbing floors, sprucing up cabinets and straightening closets come to mind. But spring is also a good time to perform routine home maintenance”, say, the pros at ‘Local Records Office’. Ignore these crucial home upkeep tasks at your peril. Fail to clean the gutters, for example, and you could end up with a flood in your basement. People know they should perform these routine maintenance chores, but do they actually follow through?

 

“Almost no one does, in my experience,” says Dean Bennett, president of Dean Bennett Design and Construction in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, whose company gets called in to make repairs after a crisis. He says “a lot of it is selective memory,” where people think they recently changed the furnace filter when actually they did it two years ago. “There’s kind of an amnesia about things like that,” he adds.

 

The Only Home Maintenance Checklist You Will Need Created by the Pros at Local Records Office

 

The most important maintenance chores are those related to drainage. Failing to keep water out of your house could result in mold, rot and foundation problems. “That’s most of your big bills – water coming in,” Bennett says.

Home Maintenance Checklist That Go Along Way – Local Records Office3

Tasks vary by location. In coastal areas, spring maintenance chores include preparing hurricane shutters and checking generators. In the North and Midwest, spring is the time to assess damage caused by bad weather during the winter and make repairs to protect against next year’s snow.

Here are 12 home maintenance tasks you should do this spring to save money later:

 

Clean the gutters. Make sure they don’t have holes and all the downspouts are still attached and taking water away from the house. “Gutters are one of the most valuable and affordable methods for homeowners to protect their homes from the elements,” says Allison Hester, editor of eClean Magazine, an online trade publication for the home cleaner industry. “By channeling water off the roof and directing it to a location away from the home, properly working gutters help protect the home’s shingles, wood under the eaves, siding, flooring and landscaping from a whole host of problems and expensive repairs.” Clogged gutters can also cause mosquito infestations, mold and mildew from decomposed leaves and other problems.

 

The good news is cleaning gutters is an easy job. You can do it yourself in an hour or hire someone to do it for about $35 to $40.

 

Seal holes where insects and varmints can get in. That includes openings around the foundation, especially entry points for wires and pipes. A spray can of foam, which you can buy for about $6, will handle most holes, Bennett says.

Home Maintenance Checklist That Go Along Way – Local Records Office

To prevent insects from getting into your house, you should keep moisture away from the foundation and eliminate sources of standing water, according to the Local Records Office. Termite’s cause $5 billion in property damage every year in the U.S., according to the NPMA. These destructive insects need moisture to survive, which is why the NPMA advises fixing leaking faucets, pipes and air conditioning units; repairing fascia, soffits and rotted shingles; trimming tree branches away from the house and replacing weather stripping around windows and loose mortar around basement foundations.

 

Get your air conditioning system ready. You can hire a service company or do it yourself. Change or wash the filters, which should be done monthly. Clean the coils and wash the condenser outside, if needed. Trim away any shrubs from the unit, and make sure its drain line isn’t clogged. While you’re at it, change your furnace filter so it’s ready for fall.

 

Clean your roof. Most people are better off hiring a professional for this chore, but it’s important. “Those ugly black streaks on asphalt shingles are doing a lot more harm than simply looking unattractive,” Hester says. The stains are caused by algae that feed on the limestone filler in shingles, “so those black stains are essentially eating your roof,” she says. The algae spread quickly before the wind blows them to neighboring roofs.

 

Power wash driveways and walkways. You can rent a power washer for about $30 if you want to do this yourself, Bennett says. The biggest benefit is removing mildew and discoloration. He advises caution before power washing decks because the force of the water may damage the wood fibers, don’t forget to check for water damage too.

 

Make sure your windows are sealed. “You want to keep water out and cool air in. You may need to replace caulking or weather sealing to accomplish this” says the company, Local Records Office.

Home Maintenance Checklist That Go Along Way – Local Records Office2

Clean your refrigerator coils and dryer vent. The Electrical Safety Foundation International notes that these chores not only improve the efficiency of the appliances, but also guard against electrical hazards.

 

Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. There should be at least one of each detector on every level of your house, and they should be working. Be sure to replace batteries, if necessary.

 

Fertilize the lawn. About $30 will cover enough fertilizer for 10,000 square feet, Bennett says. If you don’t have one already, you’ll also want to buy a basic push fertilizer spreader, which you can pick up for about $35.

 

Restain and seal wood decks. Rescuing your deck from the elements is not a task you should overlook. “Outdoor wood decks get hammered by the elements, including snow and rain in the winter and harsh sunlight in the summer,” says John Bodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada, an online home management tool. “These temperature cycles and absorption cause the wood to wear out quicker than if you regularly seal them. This can lead to rotting decks and an expensive replacement.”

Declutter. We all have too much stuff. Get rid of items you don’t use, including the stuff you have stored in the garage or basement because you “might” need it sometime.

 

Organize your paperwork. Not being able to find an important document when you need it can cost you. Get rid of the paperwork you don’t need while filing the paperwork you want to keep so you know where it is when you need it.

 

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59 Illegal Aliens Were Arrested by Custom Boarder Patrol in Texas

Border Patrol Claims to Have Rescued 59 Trapped Illegal Immigrants in Texas local records office

The Border Patrol (CBP) said on Monday it had rescued 59 undocumented immigrants in the first two weeks of the month when they were brought into dangerous locations.

Forty-eight of those allegedly rescued immigrants were caught inside a refrigerated container.

The fact, according to Border Patrol, occurred last day 2 on Interstate 35 in Texas during the inspection of the refrigerated container. The 48 immigrants were nationals of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala.

Border Patrol Claims to Rescue Over 50 Illegal Immigrants

The driver of the truck carrying the container was a US citizen and was arrested. According to ICE, these immigrants were in danger because of the low temperatures inside the container and because it could not be opened from the inside.

Another 6 immigrants were rescued on the 5th of the interior of two wooden cabinets. The incident occurred on the 5th of this month, also during an inspection at an immigration checkpoint on Highway 35.

In this case, the vehicle was a van . Border Patrol said the lockers were locked with the six immigrants inside.

Also in this case the immigrants were nationals of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala and the driver was a citizen of the United States who ended up arrested.

Read complete story here

By Simply Doing These Simple Things I’ve Been Getting So Much Real Estate Business – Local Records Office

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – LOS ANGELES, CA – When I first started in the business I loved doing fix and flips, but wasn’t so keen on selling houses to strangers. I sold enough houses to get by, and focused on the flips since those were much more fun. I always thought it would be smart to buy rental properties, but I was young and not very good at saving money.

 

Then in 2008, I started selling REOs and completing broker price opinions for banks. I loved the REO side of selling houses and I have become very successful at it the last few years. I am a HUD listing broker as well and love HUD, I can’t buy HUD homes myself, but I have a great article on how investors can great deals ion HUD homes here. I think the reason I love REO is because I can communicate through email and I am a natural introvert (another popular forum discussion). With REO came more money, more savings and a desire to grow that money into something more. I did a lot of research on franchises, business, the stock market, bonds and decided rental properties were the best investment out there.

 

When I was doing fix and flips with my father, we bought most of our properties at the public trustee auction and it did not matter if we had our Real Estate license or not. When we sold our homes, we saved 3% on each transaction, because we did not have to pay a listing agent a commission.   When I started buying rental properties for myself in 2010, I bought everything off MLS and saved a commission on each purchase.   We are buying more flips off the MLS now as well, we are now saving a commission on the buy side and the sell side.

By Simply Doing These Simple Things I_ve Been Getting So Much Real Estate Business – Local Records Office 1

Even though we save a ton of money on commissions by being agent that is not the biggest advantage to having a Real Estate license. The biggest advantage is having a huge advantage buying properties over those that do not have a license.

 

Saving Money on Commissions

 

I will take you through an example of how much we save on a typical flip. The savings is similar on a long-term rental purchase, except there won’t be any commission on the sale since we are holding the property. Let’s assume we purchased a flip on an REO property for $100,000, fixed it up and then sold it for $170,000.   The bank offered a 3% commission to the Real Estate agent that represented the buyer on this property. Sometimes banks do not like it when the buyer is also the Real Estate agent and they may have stipulations they won’t pay a commission in these instances.   We use an LLC to purchase our flips and my dad will usually sign for the LLC and I will be the agent on the deal. That way the agent is different than the end purchaser and the bank will pay a commission.

 

On the purchase end we can structure the deal so we get paid $3,000 for our commission or we will waive our commission and pay $3,000 less for the property. The benefit to getting the $3,000 is the extra cash in our pockets for repairs or other investments. The benefit to reducing the price is, we won’t have to count the commission as income and pay taxes on it. It saves money in the long run to reduce the price if that is an option.   However, many brokers will only allow agents to take no commissions on one or two deals a year. We can do it as much as we want, since we are on a 100% split and the monthly fee brokerages may allow you to make as many no commission deals as you want as well.

 

On the sell side we save the 3% as well since we are the listing agents and do not have to pay someone else to sell the property for us. Again, commission are negotiable and you may be charged more or less for an agent to sell your home.   Three percent of $180k is $5,400 that we save by not hiring another agent. We structure this as a no commission deal, since we will not have to pay taxes on the income again.   Total savings is $8,400 on this one deal alone. We flip about ten homes a year, and it is easy to see we save a lot of money by being agents.

 

Finding Deals

 

The biggest reason I would suggest every Real Estate investor get their license is because of the advantage it provides when finding deals. I still buy most of my long-term rentals off of MLS and we buy flips on MLS as well. We purchase short sales, a few REOs and even a few fair market sales off the MLS system. As an agent I have access to MLS and an investor without their license does not. Most properties listed in MLS are listed on other sites like Zillow, Realtor.com and others, but the information is not as accurate or updated as quickly.

 

If I were not an agent, my time frame for making an offer would be much longer. I would have to do more work to find new listings on Zillow or another website. Once I found a great deal, I would have to contact my agent. I would have to wait for them to find time to set up the showing and show me the property. Then I would have to wait for them to write the contract and I would have to come in and sign the contract, before it was submitted. I have to hope they understand they importance of time and getting that offer in ASAP. Even if they are a super fast, great agent, it may take them half a day or an entire day to get all that done. Someone else could have already submitted an offer and had it accepted before my offer was submitted.

Knowledge of the Market

 

As a Real Estate agent MLS also provides me with a wealth of sold information. I can look up sales from 10 years ago if I want to, as long as the sale was completed through MLS. MLS is a great tool for me to determine value quickly, and easily.   I am also constantly around houses as a Realtor, I am constantly determining values for my sellers and buyers and I almost always know the market without having to pull up sold info. Knowing values is the most important thing for a Real Estate investor to know an being a Real Estate agent gives me a huge advantage.

 

Connections in the Business

 

As a Real Estate agent I am constantly talking to lenders, other agents, title companies, buyers and sellers. I found my portfolio lender, because other agents referred me to them. My portfolio lender is awesome and will give me as many loans as I want as long as I qualify. That may change at some point, but without them I would be struggling to finance properties, especially now that I have 10 mortgages.

 

Other agents have referred me to sellers looking to get out of their homes, because they know we buy flips. I know the best title companies, the best lenders and the best Realtors. I also know which companies and Realtors to steer clear of, because they may kill a deal with their incompetence.

 

Disadvantages to Being an Agent

 

There are some disadvantages to having a Real Estate license and being an investor.

 

The biggest one for me, is I am limited to what houses I can purchase, but this won’t apply to 99% of agents. Since I am a HUD broker I cannot buy any HUD homes no matter who has them listed. None of my immediate family or any agents and their immediate family can buy a HUD home either. Bank of America will not allow me to buy any of their listings or even short sales because I list REO for them. There are a few other companies I work with that have the same policies and I can never buy an REO that I have listed. It is a clear conflict of interest for me to purchase I home I listed that I determined value on for the banks.

 

  • I have to disclose I am Realtor when I market to sellers. I don’t think this is a big disadvantage, but some people on the forums think they get a better response if they are not an agent.

 

  • Some people feel a code of ethics is too restricting for Real Estate investing, I do not feel this way. If you are a Real Estate agent, it is easier for buyers or sellers to file a complaint against you with Real Estate commission or whatever body governs Real Estate in your area.

 

  • The biggest reason most do not get their license is the cost and time it takes. Getting a license is not easy in most states, it takes hours and hours of classes and tests and the tests are not easy. Once an agent has their license, they have to take continuing education, keep insurance, pay for MLS, pay board dues, pay to hang their license or split their commission.

 

 

Conclusion

 

It can cost thousands of dollars a year to be a licensed Real Estate agent, but one or tow deals a year will easily make up for that money. Not only are you saving commissions, but the biggest advantage is the deal you get, because you were faster than everyone else. To a flipper, one deal can mean $20k, $30k, $40k or more in profits. To an investor buying long-term rentals, one deal can mean thousands of dollars a year in cash flow.

8 Steps That Guarantee You To Be a Real Estate General Contractor

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – I’m closing on a triplex (two 2bed/1bath units and one 1bed/1bath) on Monday that needs renovation and I’ve decided to GC this project on my own. I sat down and started getting my thoughts together about a calendar and timeline and I realized that this process would make a great article for anyone doing their first renovation or anyone who wanted to get more organized. My golden rule for renovations is to make a realistic budget and timeline and stick to them.

Here are the 8 steps I follow when renovating a property:

Step 1: Demo

Maybe the most critical step because having a clean working environment will actually save time and money. Have your demo crew take down walls and get everything out of your way before making any improvements. Also have them remove any trees or bushes that are in the way of progress. Then have the demo crew remove all of the trash and debris.

(Note: A beginner mistake is to perform these steps room by room or unit by unit but that actually ends up costing more time and money when contractors have to return so whenever possible have the contractors perform their task for the entire project before moving to the next step.)

Step 2: Waterproof Building Envelope

Another critical step because nothing would be worse than renovating a property only to have some or all of the renovations ruined after the first rainy day. In this step I focus on making the property is completely protected against the elements. This includes fixing or replacing the roof, the gutters, the windows, the window capping, masonry work, gradation issues, sidewalks, basement, parging, and foundation work. Make sure that by the end of this step the building is 100% waterproof.

Step 3: Preliminary Framing

Now that the property is a blank pallet and watertight you can be begin any structural or light framing you are doing on the project. Not every project requires this step but if you are moving or installing walls now is the time to build them. Also use this opportunity to repair or replace joists and sub-flooring if necessary.

Step 4: HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical

In the next phase the heating, cooling, electrical, gas and plumbing systems are put in place. Here are some common tasks that occur during this phase of the renovation:

The HVAC contractor will run the ductwork so it can properly distribute to each

  • Floor

 

  • Plumbing lines are installed

 

  • Water lines for kitchens and baths are installed

 

  • Main electric panel is replaced or cleaned up

 

  • Electrical wiring is repaired/replaced

 

  • Switches and outlets are changed/upgraded

 

After all of the ducts and lines are installed your framing contractor will return for some secondary framing. All this entails is dry-walling and boxing in the ducts/lines that were just installed.

Step 5: Insulation and Drywall

The next step requires the installation of insulation and drywall. Make sure that the drywall contractor hangs, tapes, spackles and sands the drywall and leaves it ready for the painter to begin painting. Painters can sand and prep the walls but they are usually more expensive than dry-wallers so try to have the dry-wallers do most of the wall prep.

Step 6: Paint, Lighting, HVAC, Plumbing, Kitchens, Baths

This phase of the renovation covers interior paint, lighting installation, HVAC, and finalizing the plumbing. This is the home stretch and a great deal of work is done in this step. Common tasks include:

  • Prime and paint interior walls

 

  • Install kitchen cabinets

 

  • Order/install counters

 

  • Install new interior doors

 

  • Order/install flooring

 

  • Install trim/molding

 

  • Install light fixtures, switches cover plates and outlet cover plates

 

  • Make sure HVAC system is installed and fully functional

 

  • Install sinks, vanities, toilets and kitchen/bath fixtures

Step 7: Interior Punchlist

If you’ve made this far take a deep breath because you are almost done! The interior punchlist phase is the time when you go around and put the finishing touches on your renovation project. Common puchlist tasks include installing HVAC trim covers, outlet light switch covers, doorknobs, cabinet handles, touching up paint and all of the small items that really make the project look great. Make a list and go down item-by-item and cross them off as they are complete.

Step 8: Exterior

The final step is exterior renovation. This step includes exterior landscaping, exterior paint touch up, mailbox installation, property address number installation, flower boxes, window shutters, door hardware and any other item dealing with exterior curb appeal.

Congratulations you’re done! As you can tell overseeing your own renovation project really isn’t that scary if you are super organized and stick to a timeline. Follow these steps and over time you will streamline your process and become more efficient. Best of luck and make sure to let me know how it goes.

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The House That the Dealer Abandoned – Local Records Office

LOS ANGELES – Once upon a time there was this 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom rancher set back from a busy road in an extremely desirable area of town. The home, purchased for $289,000 two years before at the peak of the market, was barely worth what the owners had paid for it. But the owners, a lovely husband and wife, had found themselves having to move away and sell the home.

 

The realtor, wanting her clients to come out ahead on the deal after they paid her commission initially listed the home for $329,000 at the start of 2010.

 

For Sale

 

This home, with its striking red door, caught our attention the minute the “For Sale” sign went up but we didn’t pay much attention to it until a few months later we noticed the sign said “Price Reduced!”

 

We pulled over so I could call the realtor. The realtor explained that the property was now reduced to $319,000. We made arrangements to see the property the next morning.

 

We went and viewed the home, and while it is in good condition, showed very well and was one of the lowest priced homes in the area, it’s only a 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom home. Having a second bathroom is pretty important in this market. But the price, for that area, was interesting. I asked a lot of questions and discovered that the sellers would probably go to $305,000 because the realtor had agreed to cut her commission so they could still make money on the deal. Turns out, she’s the one that sold them the home at the peak of the market.

 

I told the realtor we could probably do something around the $300,000 mark – maybe $305,000 – if the seller would be willing to carry a second mortgage on the property for us.

 

After a long chat, we left, and she agreed to contact me about the second mortgage option.

 

A few days later, I actually sent HER an email to follow up because I hadn’t heard from her. She said that VTB’s are hard for people to understand. I wasn’t sure if that meant that the sellers wouldn’t do it or if she had even talked with them about the option. Either way, it didn’t sound like $300,000 was a go for them.

 

The market really started to move in late March and early April but still, the home sat there. On April 8th, the price dropped to $309,900. I didn’t hear from the realtor before the price dropped but I didn’t think anything of it since I had made it clear that I was only going to play at $300,000.

 

How the Realtor Lost the Deal

 

Here’s the kicker though … and here’s where the real estate agent really failed to make this deal happen:

In May the list price dropped down to $299,000.

My phone didn’t ring. My inbox didn’t fill up with emails from her. I didn’t hear a thing. Of course, we follow the market closely so we knew it had dropped, but most folks wouldn’t know that. Yet, she never bothered to call. She had my business card; we had exchanged phone calls and emails. She should have had my contact information. But I didn’t hear a single thing from her.

 

By this time we had our hands full with 3 other deals so I wasn’t about to chase this one down. Instead, we kept an eye on it.

 

But then something sad happened last week … something I have seen happen so many times … the sellers changed real estate agents and the new agent listed the home at $284,000 with the caption “PRICED TO SELL”!

 

Is the Home Sold?

 

So this poor home that we would have considered buying at $300,000 is now probably going to sell for $278,000. And at that price, it’s under it’s market value. But it will sell down there for the simple reason that the market has slowed down again and now everyone looking at it is wondering why it’s been on the market for nearly 6 months when it’s in such a good area!!

 

The sellers are going to take a loss, the realtor that tried to sell it won’t make a penny, and the whole story could have ended differently if only she’d made one single phone call.

 

There’s a Japanese proverb that says, “Money grows on the trees of persistence“. Or, put another way, money rots on the trees of laziness. I can’t say for sure we would have purchased it … but I know Dave, my husband and investing partner, was pretty keen on this home. And if she would have called I can guarantee she would have had an offer in her hand at the very least.

 

Instead she lost the listing, and she lost me. I won’t ever deal with her and I certainly would never recommend anyone I know use her.

 

This is a great failing on her part, and she’s not the first to make this mistake. My Grandma’s words ring through my head reminding me that this home wasn’t meant to be for us which is why she never called. I couldn’t agree more. Even now, at such a low price, I am tempted but not that tempted, for the simple reason that it’s going to be tough to rent out with only one bathroom. So it wasn’t meant to be for me, but who was looking out for the sellers?

 

Follow Up

 

In the short term a single phone call could mean the difference between doing a deal or not doing a deal. In the long run it’s your reputation and your deals at stake.

 

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Should I Work on my Own Home by Doing DIY Projects or Hire a Professional Contractor?

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – You don’t need the construction skills of Bob Vila to start working on your own home, yet it’s no secret that you can save money if you do some of the work yourself, of course not all projects could be done by a rookie DIY’er. As a general rule, estimates from contractors in our area run 1/3 for materials and 2/3’s for labor. So theoretically, we save 66% by doing the project ourselves, right?

Doing it Yourself Projects Has It’s Benefits but it Also Has it’s Downside

To decide, consider:

  • Cost of materials: Can materials be purchased at contractor cost or will you pay a hefty up-charge? Is it possible to find materials at salvage or a Habitat-type store to increase your margin of profit?
  • Cost of time: How much longer will this take to DIY? And in real dollars, how much will this add to holding costs? Holding costs include but are not limited to mortgage payments, insurance (generally higher when property is empty and/or under construction), utility bills, and lost rent. If it takes 2 weeks working nights and weekends to complete a project your contractor can finish in 2 days, add 10 days of holding costs.

Great DIY Example

The decision to DIY should be a simple mathematical equation where you:

  • Price materials
  • Estimate the time needed to complete the project
  • Multiply the number of days/weeks by the daily/weekly rate for holding costs, then
  • Subtract that amount from the contractor bid

Of course it’s not that easy… how much fun would that be?

For starters, you may not be delaying completion of the project if other work is going on anyway. Contractor delays are a common problem and if yours has a history of putting off your projects for another day, you might be able to finish sooner than he can anyway. But besides that, there’s value hidden away in DIY projects that can only be mined by rolling up the sleeves and getting your nails encrusted with something icky.

Learning New Skill Will Help You on the Long Run

By learning a new skill, you increase both ability and confidence. You’re also learning to identify quality work, the amount and difficulty of labor, special tools needed for the job, and reasonable time estimates for completion. If you decide to hire someone next time, you’ll have a much better idea what’s involved in the project and if bids are reasonable. That type of knowledge is invaluable to the rehab professional, paying dividends with every new project.

Just Another Opinion

Consider taking on at least one new project with each rehab, even if it’s as simple as replacing a light switch or changing out a doorknob. With experience, you’ll learn which repairs save the most and which are best left to others. During your first few houses, try to be as hands-on as possible and consider it part of your rehab education.

You Don’t Have to be a Professional Handy-Man to do Great DIY Projects

If you have no handy-man skills whatsoever, you might try working alongside your contractor (if he’ll have you). He may tell you to pound sand (politely of course), but if you have a good working relationship, it’s worth a shot. Later, you may find that hiring reputable contractors for most (if not all) of the work will save enough in holding costs to justify the expense.

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