Understanding Real Estate Tax Re-Appraisals

New real estate tax assessments raise eyebrow and wrinkle foreheads unless you are aware of the facts.

Even if your house was up for sale like Ed McMahon’s Mediterranean-style estate near Beverly Hills, California, you are still beholden to pay the real estate taxes until the house is turned over to a new owner. In the meantime, what does it mean should you get a notice about an upcoming real estate tax re-appraisal?

Every number of years, when property values on a town’s record keeping tax role seem to get out of line, a municipal-wide appraisal is made. It’s called a mass appraisal and usually is done every 7 to 15 years.

Mass real estate property appraisals are the process used by the local government for valuing a group of properties as of a given date. There are about 70,000 different taxing jurisdictions with different deadlines and revaluation criteria to impose.

For the taxing authority to employ an appraiser would be too costly. A mass appraisal is determined by legal and budgetary decisions and each town has its own agenda.

A real estate mass appraiser does not go inside a home unless the property owner happens to be there and they invite him in. The mass appraisers are contracted to view the properties front and back, which is commonly referred to as a walk-around appraisal.

A professional fee appraiser, on the other hand, would look at one property at a time. He will go into the house and look at all the elements, record and analyze various criteria, consider the depreciation factors into his account as he weighs those results against comparable homes before rendering his final conclusion.

Consider who’s doing the re-appraisal. The mass appraisal process provides valuation, although quickly obtained, on forms that become transferred to your property record card. To the person measuring your home, time is of the essence and errors occur.

Sometimes the appraisal process involves merely driving by to note if there are any changes (called a “windshield appraisal”). Ask yourself, how much attention was given to your property if less than $15 or $20 was allocated per appraisal. The people employed to gather the information (hired by a mass appraisal contractor tying to make a profit) are on a quota, have questionable appraisal skills and are not a substitute for careful analysis.

So what can you do about assessments that seem inflated?

As a homeowner you need to check for mechanical errors! Facts are often omitted, inaccurate data is often recorded or the comparable properties are totally off base! Many property tax experts claim that 50% of homeowners may be paying more taxes than they should be due to mistakes in property assessments.

Do you know what the experts say? They say that property tax assessments are not reliable.

– Consumer Reports has published that property tax records show an error rate of 40% exists in estimating property taxes. (Nov.1992 v57 nil p.723)

– The National Taxpayers Union writes that as many as 60% of homeowners are over assessed — their assessments are not in line with their home’s value. (“How To Fight Property Taxes” 2004 p.1)

Tax rates are an entirely another matter. The tax rate has nothing to do with the results of the appraisal. The tax assessor can neither raise nor lower the tax rate. It is independent of the law. That tax rate is derived from the budget expenses and arrived at by the City Council.

Dispute your assessed values if you think it’s too high. Put it in writing and make an appointment to go before the board of equalization where you can appeal those values and you can potentially save yourself many thousands of dollars. These appeals must be put in writing to the board by a certain deadline.

Get consumer help in matters relating to real estate property taxes.

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Should You Consider Commercial Real Estate Investing?

Many people have made a good living in the residential market. The sad thing is that some of these people do not realize they could have made more money quicker by investing their money in commercial properties. Even seasoned real estate veterans have missed many commercial opportunities. Many people that are good at residential real estate do not know how to invest in commercial real estate. There are many people that are interested in getting into real estate but they only know the strategies that they have seen on television such as flipping a home. There is a multitude of ways to make money in real estate and many of them do not include residential properties.

Do not misunderstand there is money to be made in the residential market but the reality of the situation is that commercial investments are much more stable. The current economy has affected residential properties much more than commercial properties. For instance if you purchased a house just before the economy went bust you probably still have that home since all the buyers and their financing has disappeared. Even if there are buyers they cannot get financing so here you are holding a home that is bleeding you dry with the cost of holding onto it and no buyers on the horizon. You do not have these worries with commercial properties since you are mainly dealing with large companies that have money to spend on real estate. Not only do they have money to spend they are generally looking for long-term commitments.

This is where learning about investing in commercial real estate can save the day. Potentially you can make more money and you can definitely widen your portfolio and investment options. There are many properties that fall into the category of commercial real estate. This offers a wide variety of opportunities to make money. Office buildings, apartment complexes, hotels, motels, factories and storage buildings all fit the definition of commercial properties. There are other types of commercial properties also. You can rent properties, or sell them for profit. If you own huge warehouses you can set up long term leases with major companies. If you own a building there are other ways to create income. You can add vending machines or a laundry area just to mention a couple of ideas. You can also cut cost or pass the cost onto your tenants. These are just a few examples of how to make money on the commercial side with a little research you will be able to find many other ways to make money.

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How Much Should I Pay For Internet Marketing Consulting?

The new style of Internet marketing includes much more than just getting ranked on Google and Yahoo or Bing. However, these are still very large components of successful web marketing strategies. Qualified, targeted, web leads are necessary to succeed in our technological age.

Our current business clients average about 25-75% of their web traffic from “organic” search engine ranking results depending on where they focus their marketing dollars. “Pay-Per-Click” generates about 35-55% of web visitors and the rest of the leads come from blogs, listings, press releases or links from other sites linking back to them. Let’s talk about the “WHAT” you are getting for the money you will spend.

There are a number of Internet marketing strategies that will generate user traffic to your website. Let’s cover the 2 major ones.

1. “Organic” Search Engine Marketing – SEO(Search Engine Optimization) – This method involves getting your site ranked on the 1st page of Google by optimizing your site “naturally” so you don’t pay when someone clicks on your link. The basic SEO techniques used for this are:

· Keyword Analysis – What are your customers searching for? What words didn’t you think of?

· Volume Analysis – Which keywords are being searched for more often?

· Website Layout – Relevant SEO friendly content and good SEO link structure. So important.

· Keyword Density – The keyword ratios of your content and text. Too much can hurt you.

· Link Building – “Quality” SEO links on and off your website. Beware of link farms.

2. “Sponsored” Search Engine Marketing – PPC(Pay-Per-Click Advertising) – This method involves paying to have your website link placed at the top of search engine ranking results. You bid for the placement and only pay when someone clicks on your link.

· Creating a Google AdWords Account

· Targeting Ad Campaigns to Your Industry

· Keyword Specific Ad Groups

· Tracking Better Performing Ads and Cheaper Ads

· Managing Daily and Monthly Budgets

· Tracking Conversion Leads

Are They Good “Qualified” Leads?

You can always generate random, junk, web traffic that is not “targeted” with 10,000 website hits a day with a scam or something crazy. But, that person is not “qualified”. Make sure you are spending your Internet marketing budget on quality web leads who actually want your product or service.

The Internet search engines now allow a person to search for exactly what they want. A “Baby Blue Burton Snowboard” is very specific. Where as, “Chicago Pizza” is more general. Both produce ten top search results which any online merchant with a website can market to.

If you sell that type of product, and your “Organic” and “Pay-Per-Click” search engine marketing campaign is set up correctly, your website’s link should be showing up on the 1st page of Google when someone searches for it. And if your SEO marketing copy is well written, they will click on your link instead of your competitor’s link.

Which Internet Marketing Strategy Should You Use? Good question. Simple explanation.

All clients need a customized marketing strategy on the Internet to succeed. If you are a doctor’s office, you need to be marketing to sick people. If you are an auto garage, you’ll need to market to car owners. We always recommend to clients that they pursue both methods.

Pay-Per-Click advertising will give you immediate results with cost per clicks. But, once you stop paying for PPC ads, the leads will stop as well. Organic SEO marketing will take longer to rank, 3-9 months sometimes, using ‘White Hat” companies and best practice techniques, but could cost you less in the long run. (“Black Hat” marketing can get you banned from Google.)

Why? Because once you’ve paid 1,000’s of dollars for organic search engine optimization in the search engine rankings, clicks are coming in and it can be a low expense to maintain it’s position into the future while the clicks keep coming.

This is where the expertise of your Internet marketing consultant pays off the most. They will focus your marketing dollars so that you are displayed in front of those “qualified” people who are looking for your service or product. These are the areas you should be getting upgraded and consulting on to increase your web traffic.

How much should I expect to pay for a Internet advertising and marketing?

It usually costs about the same as advertising in the Yellow Pages Directory or in a Big City Newspaper. You pay more for bigger coverage. It can be less depending on how competitive your industry is.

Promoting a “Los Angeles Law Firm” or a “Houston Plastic Surgeon” is going to be more than marketing a website for a “Denver Auto Mechanic” or “Wyoming Vacation Ranch”. The reason being is that certain industries are willing to put more money into their marketing success.

Some web marketing campaigns can be as little as $600 a month for 9-12 months of marketing support for a small niche company or service, while others can be $10,000 per month for 2 years. And, you should always continue with SEO maintenance once you start ranking in Google or Yahoo otherwise your labor will be wasted once your competitors come after you.

Remember, your competitors are always after you too. In order to get one of those top ten spots on Google, you’ll need to push someone else off the page. They will notice…I promise.

In the end, when you choose an Internet marketing consultant to work with, they should provide you with monthly reports showing:

1. How much web traffic you are getting?

2. Where the web traffic is coming from?

3. What pages on your site get more traffic?

4. What pages you are ranking on Google, Yahoo, Bing(MSN) with for your specific keyword phrases?

We believe you should see the results that you are paying for. Your Internet Marketing provider should always be sending you a monthly report with the above listed tracking information on it for your marketing campaign.

Other than that, look for credentials and previous client results. If they have a good rating with the BBB and they can show you a list of 1st page ranking clients, you are probably on the right track to a successful web marketing campaign. Enjoy the new leads.

Web Marketing Example:

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Are Online Payday Loans Right for You?

Online payday loans are incredibly useful for when payday is still far away, but you need cash immediately. However, most people don’t know what payday loans are or if they’re the right financial option for their needs. Read on to learn about online payday loans and how to determine if they’re right for you.

What exactly is a payday loan?

Also known as a short term loan, cash advance, fast cash, cash loan, bad credit loan or deferred deposit, a payday loan is an unsecured loan, usually for a small amount ranging from $100 to $1,500, that is intended to be a temporary solution to meet your financial needs until your next payday. Another way to look at a payday loan is that you are making out an electronic check for the amount of the advance, plus a fee, to be held until your next payday.

Payday loans are designed to get you through a financial crisis or to help pay unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repair costs, until you receive your next paycheck. They are an invaluable financial tool that can help nearly anyone in a tough financial situation.

What are the requirements?

There are very few restrictions to receive a fast cash advance, but the minimum requirements are:

– You must be at least 18 years of age.

– You must have a job (or be able to prove you have another regular source of income).

– You must have an active open bank account (this can be a checking or savings account).

There also might be additional requirements depending on the lender that you choose. Other factors such as income, past payday loan history, direct deposit of your pay, and the state you live in, can also affect whether you are eligible.

The more up-to-date, honest and verifiable information you put on your loan application, the more likely you are to be approved. For instance, entering a cell phone number instead of a home phone number makes it more difficult to verify your information and many lenders will not accept applications that cannot be verified.

How quickly can I get cash?

While some lenders can wire the money to your bank account immediately, most will typically process the advance so that it will be available in your account the following business day after the loan is approved. If you apply on a weekend or holiday, the money will be sent to you by your lender the next business day.

How do I receive my cash?

Typically the money from your advance will be electronically deposited into your bank account by the lender, but you can choose the payment option that works best for you. All payments are processed by your lender by electronic transfer from your bank account.

How much money can I have advanced to me?

Based upon the information that you provide on your application, your lender may offer you anywhere from $100 to $1,500. You may be eligible for larger amounts of money once you have established some payment history with them.

How long do I have to pay back the loan?

Payday loans are typically due on your next pay date; however, most lenders will allow you to extend your loan by paying a fee. Depending on your lender, you may have the following options as to what happens on the due date:

– Pay off the entire amount.

– Renew the loan and pay interest and fees only.

– Renew the loan and pay interest and part of the principal.

How can I apply for a payday loan?

There are many different websites that offer online cash advances, but one of the easiest ways to get one is to apply with a lender matching service. With a lender matching service you simply fill out a short application and their network will identify lenders that can provide you with the cash that you need in a matter of seconds. Because they work with so many different lenders with all sorts of different terms and options, they can find the best match for your requirements in a lot shorter time than it would take you to apply to a bunch of different websites.

Once you are matched with a lender, you may be a required to electronically sign and agree to the terms of the loan. However, there is no obligation to accept the loan when working with a lender matching service. If you are not satisfied with the terms, simply do not sign it, and apply with the service again to find a different lender.

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