Friday, 28 November 2014

Things to Consider Before Buying a New Home

“Owning a home is a keystone of wealth - both financial affluence and emotional security.”
~ Suze Orman
So, analyze and research all the aspects of home ownership before heading for a final conclusion.

4 Things to Think of Before Owning a Home

To be able to get the best out of your home loan and you own your dream home, here are some important things to keep in mind.
1.      Analyze your budget: Analyze your financial capability and the amount of money and the installments that your home loan will account for to get a clear understanding of your financial position. Try not to get trapped into buying a house that tightens your purse strings to breaking point. Consider all the important aspects, such as property tax, utility bills, maintenance bills, homeowner association dues and other related expenses that might make your expenses skyrocket beyond your comfort zone. After all, owning a palace and living like a pauper makes no sense!
2.      Hire a professional: Buying a house requires a lot of information, in the absence of which you can easily be a victim of fraud. This is why seeking professional advice can help you get a better picture of the neighbourhood, legalities, schools, markets, etc, and can guide you in the bidding process to get you the best price possible. Just ensure that your realtor is exclusively your buying agent, one who has your interests in mind and not the seller’s.
3.      Current and future needs: Are you buying this home for resale purposes or do you wish to live here? Based on this, you should choose a house that not only is well located but is also well connected to important amenities, such as the railway station, airport, hospitals, recreational centres, shopping centers and educational institutions. It should also have sufficient room and space for kids and guests.
4.      Return on investment: With your home loans and savings plans, your equity in a home can be a wonderful asset. But before buying a home, a cost-benefit analysis is a must. This will help you ensure that the amount of your home loan, interest paid, plus other expenses can be recovered with the resale value of the asset. However, even the smallest decision needs cautious planning, such as if you plan renovations, you must think whether this will enhance the value of your investment or just drill a hole in your pocket. Is the value of the property going to increase with time or is this are reaching saturation? How long do you plan to stay in this home to allow the investment to grow and make profits? Once you think on these lines, your asset will fetch you benefits.

But, before you finalize your house, make sure you personally inspect the area, locality and research about the credibility of the real estate owner. Learn more about home loans too before applying for one.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Art of Moisturizing

The skin is the largest organ in the body and since it’s the most exposed to the environment, you need to nourish it. A regular cleansing, toning and moisturizing for dry skin routine will help your skin look fresh and supple even as you age.

Tips for the Face:
·         Use a gentle cleanser, say a coin-sized drop at least three to four times per day, especially when you step-in from outdoors. Next, use a toner to remove traces of oil and dirt. Toner is a mild astringent, however if your skin is oily, switch to an astringent during hot, sweaty months. Make sure that you use a moisturizer for dry skin, not only on your face, but also your body, especially dry areas such as the hands and elbows.
·         Do not use bleach or scrub more then once in three weeks as using these frequently can damage skin.

Tips for the lips:
·         Among the driest parts of the body are your lips, which chap easily as they have no moisturizing glands. Apart from dry weather, overexposure to the sun, frequent biting or licking, and vitamin deficiencies can cause chapping. Applying lip balm can only offer temporary relief.
·         Use a balm with sun block before stepping out. Matte lipsticks are moisturizing compared to frosted products, always apply lip balm before using a lipstick.

Tips for the Nails:
·         Nails that are brittle peel or break easily. The most common causes of brittle nails are nutritional imbalance, anemia and thyroid disturbance. The main culprit, however, is overexposure to water. Nails absorb up to 25% of their weight in water. Add to this harsh detergent, nail polish removers and minor traumas such as nail-biting or finger-drumming, and you have nails on the brink of breakdown. Improving your nutrition is the easiest way to keep your nails healthy. Increase the protein content of your diet.
·         Soaking your nails in oil works well after bathing or using detergents to replenish the moisture lost. Just brush on the oil and massage it into the nails. If your nails still remain brittle, get your hemoglobin and thyroid levels checked.
·         Remember that your skin and nails indicate your overall health status. 

The Workings of a Systematic Investment Plan

Systematic Investment Plan is considered to be a smart method used for the purpose of investing in mutual funds. This facilitates investment in specific pre-determined amount at accepted interval periods, which may be weekly, monthly or even quarterly. This is considered to be a planned method of investment and is also said to instill a saving habit, which is primarily why it has become popular.

How it works

An SIP is designed to be flexible and come out as an easy and simple investment plan. The money you agree to is automatically debited from your account, which is then invested into a predetermined mutual fund scheme. The units are allocated based on the present market, which is called the net present value or the NAV.
So, this means, upon further monetary investment, additional units of the said scheme will be added to your credit. Therefore, you will possess units that have been bought at different going rates, ultimately benefitting from the Power of Compounding and Cost Averaging at the time of valuation.

Cost Averaging and Power of Compounding

The markets are always volatile, causing most investors to be unsure of the best time to enter the market of investments. Cost averaging ensures that your investments are not troubled by such uncertainties. As a regular investor via SIP, you can get more units depending on the phase of the market, which is more when the price is low and less when the price soars.
The rule for compounding is very easy and universally accepted. The golden rule is that the sooner you start investing, the more time your money will have to grow and multiply. Albert Einstein once stated that according to him compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world!

Advantages of Systematic Investment Plans

1.      Saving: Regular savings facilitate successful investments. Through SIP, you develop the habit of saving, without the risk of procrastination.

2.      Flexibility: Investments over the long term can be extremely beneficial. Having said that, there is no compulsion and you as an investor have the freedom to discontinue the scheme at any given point of time. Also, there is flexibility in the amount of investment made.

3.      Convenience: It is considered an uncomplicated method of investment, which easy to understand and simple to execute, with a standing instruction for automatic debit given to the financial institution you hold an account in. There is no penalty on discontinuation   of this hassle-free mode of investment. This makes it an ideal mode to save and multiply money.