Pending Home Sales in US Rose 1.6% in December 2016

US Pending Home SalesU.S. pending home sales by the last month of 2016 increased 1.6% month over month to an index of 109, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The increase represented a rebound as home buyers have adjusted to higher mortgages rates, which apparently didn’t affect the number of homes under contract. The pending home sales gauge dropped 2.5% in November 2016 due to the recent increase in interest rates.

On an unadjusted basis, however, the index fell 2% in December 2016 year over year. Still, home sales rose 0.3% in the same comparable period.

Property Sales

The NAR regularly releases a report on pending home sales that calculate the number of properties that went under contract. These may include turnkey rental properties for sale from Americas Housing Alliance, LLC and the like, multifamily homes or single-family properties.

Those looking to sell their house may strike a deal with a property investment company that focuses on buying standalone homes. You can also transact with individual buyers, although the chances of closing a deal with an institutional buyer are higher.

Take note that the NAR’s pending home sales report is only an indication of home sales, as transactions may still fall apart for different reasons. Its existing-home sales report provides a better picture of the market by measuring sales after closing.

Diminishing Supply

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said that home prices might reach above moderate levels if supply continues to be on a downfall in the first months of 2017. Despite steady growth in employment, salaries and the economy, the property sector will not likely maintain a continual increase in sales unless more homes are put on the market.

The Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate increases this year may also further prevent buyers from acquiring individual homes, probably even those that are priced on the lower end.

The NAR expects existing-home sales to rise 1.7% in 2017, while median price will increase 4%. It’s better to buy properties while prices remain low, but make sure to consult with an investment company if you’re undecided on your preferred type of property.

Become a Better Writer with These Ideas

Essay WritingEssay writing, whether it is for a college application or in one of your classes, is an important skill that you will still use after your years in school. Learning how to write takes time and practice, as the cliché goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

These are some of the strategies that help you become a better writer:

Understand the Academic Format

When writing an essay, you must always use the right format as this shows mastery of the basics, which is important once you enter college. All essays need an original title that must give an idea of what it’s about. It must also contain introductory paragraphs, several sentences in the body that explain and elaborate your argument, and a paragraph or more to conclude it. If you are unsure about the formats, take online high school courses.

Use the Appropriate Words

Word choice matters when you write a formal essay, using colloquial language is cool among friends, but these are unsuitable for college applications or school requirements. You want the reader to believe you know what you’re talking about, you want them to respect you and you want them to think you’re credible. Depending on whom you’re writing, the tone must be formal and professional-sounding.

The Elevator Pitch

This is a technique used by salespeople when they condense arguments into short summaries that increase the likelihood of a sale. In this concept a salesperson imagines being in a lift, during the time it takes to reach their floor, they must provide compelling reasons for someone to buy what they sell. The essay you write must sell an idea to the reader or at least make them read more.

Essay writing is a skill that you develop, so don’t worry about not having talent. This takes time, a lot of practice and several hours of reading every day.

Boosting Your Business by Enhancing Your Employees’ Work Experience

Shrink SleeveTime is an essential unit of measurement that's constantly connected to efficiency. People want to get things done as quickly as possible so more can be accomplished in a day. Make this possible by showing your team the right perspective at work.

Hire for Attitude First – The great Virgin founder and entrepreneurial guru, Richard Branson believe in this principle and has admitted its role in enlarging his business empire. The most important part of a good workforce is their attitude regarding the work they do. If at the start of your interview they’re already unwilling to ask intelligent questions or make eye contact and own up to their resume, they might not be the right person for the job, even if they seem qualified on paper.

Focus on Employee Retention – A person who is appreciated works much smarter, faster, and sees their job in a better light. Stressed out employees can be grumpy and on edge, but you can always take the motivational approach and give them breaks during long hours and feed them at work. Ultimately, it’s how you respect and treat your people that shape their view and performance during office hours.

Upgrade and Improve – The right supplies or tools provide excellent motivation. Make your employees’ work easier by providing them with the most updated equipment to keep them from overexerting themselves. If your packing business can cut the packaging process by ten seconds with a shrink sleeve and vacuum upgrade, then productivity will eventually rise. The same can be said with computerization, technological advancements, and other work upgrades that your employees, and your profit, will definitely appreciate.

An educated team works fast, avoids wasting time, and treats their responsibilities with respect. By giving them the proper education, encouraging them, and rewarding their efforts, you enhance your staff's performance and raise your profitability at the same time. With constant improvements and motivation, your business and your people are bound to go the distance.

How to Choose the Right Location to Call Your New Home

Choosing a New Home Location in Salt Lake CityNow that you are ready to move out of your cramped apartment to a new home, you won’t have to worry about your family’s needs for more living space and the right number of bedrooms for your kids. Here are some tips on how to choose a location that’s right for you and your family.

It all boils down to priorities and lifestyle.


If your focus is to get your kids closer to a good school, consider a place that’s known exactly for that. For instance, you want to look at a middle school in Salt Lake City, drive down there and get a better idea of how the school works. If your priority is to enroll your kids in a free school, there are lots of options out there.

For graduate studies for yourself or for your spouse, look for a house located near a good university that offers the program you’re looking for.

An active lifestyle

For people looking to go outdoors more and spend lots of hours exercising, check the parks and gyms in the area. A good, safe place for exercising is what you want. You may also want to look at the pools, basketball or tennis courts, and other similar facilities.

An active social life

If your primary concern is to have an active social life, look for a community that offers the activities you desire. Determine the kind of socialization activities you enjoy. For instance, are you looking for great clubs for nighttime partying, or do you simply want to be involved in neighborhood activities like cleanups and such? You may also want to try a location that offers plenty of opportunities for citizens to run and join clubs.


For those who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, it’s a bad idea to go to a location where there’s hardly any business. You want less competition, but you don’t want a place where no local business ever survives. Find a place where local businesses are known to thrive because of local government and community support.

No two places are exactly alike, so allow room for adjustment. For example, if want a place that offers all of the above, then your list will obviously shrink, but at least you’re ready and armed with information. So when you finally have to choose, you’re also ready to make some compromises so that everything you want in your new home will come true.

Financing 101: 4 Factors that Matters When Choosing a Loan Program

Home FinancingHome financing is one of the most complicated decisions you’ll ever make. It covers many things, from selecting a mortgage plan to finding a trustworthy lender. At this time, there are a bunch of grants and institutions willing to offer you loans, but how do you pick from them? Get some useful tips below.

The Amount You Want to Borrow

Before you think about anything, think about how much you’d like to borrow. At today’s market, there are multiple types of home loans. Whether you’re a professional or not, you’ll certainly find something that matches you. This will vary, however, depending on the size of your loan, so be sure to specify it first.

Will You Need a Broker?

Working with a mortgage broker in Gold Coast provides certain advantages, MediPro Capital Finance explains. It’ll save you time from doing certain work especially when you’re finding and negotiating with lenders. While it is beneficial at some point, choosing the wrong broker might just drag you down.

Understanding the Interest Rates

Loan rates vary depending on your future plans. If you’re a starting professional, for example, a doctor, the terms are more flexible. Even if that’s the case, it still helps to look at your own financial goals. Is it long-term? Or for a start-up? Whatever the purpose, be sure you’ve considered everything because you’re going to deal with it for a long time once you start with the repayments.

Knowing How the Industry Works

Know the industry. Various factors directly affect loan rates and mortgage plans. You need to understand these things to create a better judgement once you’re finally ready to make a decision.

With thousands of loan programs and plans out there, it can be quite terrifying to pick one. This is why it is important to carefully consider every option you have.

Secret Revealed: Key to Warehouse Tool and Part Organisation

Warehouse Tool One of the most common problems a lot of warehouse owners and operators face is the organisation of their tools, parts, stocks, supplies, and other important items as well as materials. This leads to numerous problems, including disorganisation, clutter, loss of productivity, waste of time, and sometimes even hazards.

Fortunately, there is a way around this. With the right high-density tool storage equipment, you can better organise your warehouse’s tools, parts, and other items, saving you space and boosting safety too, says an expert from Containit Solutions.

Organisation of your warehouse for efficiency

Arguably the greatest benefit of making use of these tool storages is that they considerably improve workflow and efficiency. Because you can compartmentalise everything, you and your employees and team members will immediately know where each type of tool, art, stock, or supply is. They will know exactly where to find the things they need for the job.

As a result, no time is lost looking here and there for a material. Ultimately, this will then lead to a more efficient flow of work and increased productivity.

Decluttering for increased work area

Another great thing about these containers is that they deliver an ideal solution that does not only save space, but money, too. With these space-savers, such as heavy duty drawer cabinets, bolt racks and parts cabinets, tool and parts trolleys, workbench systems, and workstation workbench systems among many others, your warehouse will definitely have much greater space for other important equipment or devices. They also help eliminate the need for having to expand or relocate workstations or workplaces.

Systemising for safety

A big problem that these space-saving storage solutions help fix is the potential of hazards in the workplace. Since you can systemise everything and make sure that each item has their own location, you can reduce the risk of work environment dangers such as slips, trips, or falls.

Ultimately, when you add all these benefits up, you can enjoy increased productivity, which translates to higher revenues and profits.

Flashy Promotions: Using USBs as Promotional Products

Personalized USBUSBs make great giveaways, considering how something so compact could be so useful. From business conferences to educational orientations, these prove to be a great way to promote your business.

Speedex Group recommends using USBs as your next marketing move, as it is one of the most popular promotional items used by different companies today. Here are a few ways your company can make use of these custom branded merchandise.

Giveaways at Conventions

USBs are a great and memorable giveaway at conventions. What’s good about getting flash drives with your logo on it is that while these are used by the recipients, the more they are exposed to other people; the recipients somehow become endorsers of the company as they carry your merchandise with them. Plus, they can use these items for a long time, as they are both compact and necessary, especially for those who constantly work with digitised documents.

They also serve as alternatives to business cards as USBs can contain pre-loaded data, such as small presentations about your company.

Catalogue Alternative

Meeting up with potential partners or someone interested in working with your company? Instead of carrying around a catalogue of information about your company, why not give them a flash drive containing the necessary documents – less paperwork to deal with, as everything they need to know is digitised and easily accessible.

USBs Through Direct Mail

Direct mail is a marketing strategy in itself, as it aims to reach target audiences directly. Couple this with promotional items, and you’ve got a recipe for garnering more potential customers.

If you haven’t thought of using USBs in your promotion scheme, then the best time to start is now! Apart from flash drives, businesses can use promotional screen cleaners, chargers, computer mice, speakers, earphones, and phone cases. The best thing about using USBs for promotion is that they are more affordable than other means of advertising – this goes for custom branded merchandise in general.

The Noodle Bar Experience: Newbie Primer on Asian Noodles

Asian Noodles in ThailandThere’s more to noodles than your typical Italian fare of spaghetti, lasagne, and angel hair. Asians have their own unique and colourful brand of noodles that can be deceptively simple for newbies. Here are some differences between them, including the etiquette needed to enjoy them thoroughly.

Ramen – This is perhaps the most popular Asian noodle, thanks to the widespread love for Japanese culture. Chopstix noted that ramen is a staple in most noodle bars. Restaurants usually serve it in broth and can be simple like shio (salt) and shoyu (soy sauce) or more filling like tsukemen and tantanmen. It is from wheat flour and is best when made fresh in the restaurant.

Soba – These buckwheat noodles are likewise as popular as ramen. Restaurants serve this in soup and sauce. However, you can eat in many peculiar ways that aren’t common in the Western dining table. Restaurants can serve soba chilled and with a dipping sauce on the side. There is cold soba where they add a thick sauce right at the table by the diner.

Glass – Popular in Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, and China, these noodles are made of bean thread, sweet potato, or mung bean. They have a gentle, translucent colour that takes up a lot of the liquid it’s cooked in, taking on its flavour and colour. Restaurants serve this noodle in a soup or deep fried. Chap jae, nyonya, and yum woonsen are some of the most popular dishes using this noodle.

In ancient times, noodles were only to alleviate starvation during the famine. Nowadays, you can’t go into Asian restaurants without expecting a wonderful and unique noodle experience. Enjoy your meal and be aware of the necessary etiquette to enjoy the experience.

3 Things to Remember When Buying a Home for the First Time

New Home In PlymouthBuying a home for the first time ever can be exciting but terrifying at the same time. That’s why you need to go at it carefully and make sure you’re fully informed before making any final decision. This way, you can enjoy your home purchase and not regret it after some time.

Keep these advice from MN Property Group in mind so you can make the right choices when buying your first home.

Build Your Credit Score

If you don’t have a credit history yet, then start building it now. If your credit history is bad, then try to recover now. The better credit score, the better your mortgage loan and interest rate. A great credit score also gives you an advantage because you’ll get plenty of offers from different lenders. This allows you to compare and contrast until you find the best mortgage loan you can get.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

Few people, couples, and families try to buy a home without a real estate agent because it’s too much to handle. On the contrary, when you have a real estate agent, you can focus on the biggest decisions because your agent will be responsible for all the technical stuff. Your real estate agent will be with you every step of the way, from accompanying you to open houses to signing the contract of your chosen home for sale in Plymouth. Their expertise and experience are your guarantee.

Prepare Your Finances

A house is a big purchase, so you must be financially stable to afford it and not sink in debt. The rule of thumb is to prepare 20% down payment or more and have enough savings to last you six months of mortgage payments and other expenses.

Follow these tips to make the home buying process a breeze. This way, you can just enjoy moving in, decorating, and living at your new home.

Vintage Timepieces: Caring and Preserving Your Watch

Man With Wrist Watch In BoiseA watch tells more than just time. For vintage pieces that were passed down through generations, it can symbolize many things and tell countless of memorable family stories. This is why it's important to store and preserve them. The right amount of care will ensure that they will stay in your family for more generations to come.

Proper Storage

Dust and humidity can compromise watches, so it best to keep yours in a dry and cool environment. Humidity and moisture, furthermore, can get into the pieces, which can rust the components and destroy the dials. Hal Davis Jewelers and other watch repair shops in Boise, ID suggest storing them away from direct sunlight or intense temperatures.

Test for Magnetization

Experts say that vintage mechanical pieces can also be magnetized, affecting the accuracy of timekeeping. You can test yours by placing a compass near the watch’s movement. It is likely that your timepiece is magnetized if the compass needle vibrates with the watch’s movement. A jeweler or a watch repair expert can fix or reverse this.

Wear Right

Whether you should or should not wear the vintage timepiece depends on the age of the watch. Keep in mind that those in the 30s or 40s may be a little more sensitive to humidity (this varies depending on case design), while those from the 60s onward may stand better to heat and moisture. Water-resistant watches may also hold better over time, as they can keep out oil and water.

Regular Service

Experts suggest having the watch serviced every few years by a reputable jeweler. Frequently worn watches should undergo servicing every three to five years. It might be tempting to skip the maintenance until the vintage piece stops running, but then you might run the risk of being late to repair internal workings. The right jeweler or watchmaker is your ally in preserving your watch.

Original Bracelet

Genuine watch bracelets have increasing value and can sometimes provide an aesthetic feature. If possible, keep the original bracelet. It is now rare to find the right strap on vintage piece, as they need replacement over time. If yours is worn out, try to find a vintage strap or ask a jeweler or a matchmaker to help you find an authentic bracelet.

Keep your vintage timepiece in top condition. Follow these hacks and ask a watchmaker near you for more care suggestions.