How do You Know if Being a House Flipper is for You?

renovations

Recently, there has been a lot more property shows focused on flipping houses – the process of buying real estate to renovate and then sell on for a tidy profit – and this has sparked the idea in many people’s minds to do the same.

Although shows like Masters of Flip make the process of flipping houses look so simple and the returns seem to be astounding ins some cases, it really isn’t as easy as you might think to make a profit from this process. So, if you’re interested in flipping houses for a living, you’d do well to work out if it’s really for you.

Here are some signs that you might be ready for a new career as a house flipper:

You Know More About House Flipping than What You See on TV

If you plan to get into house flipping after doing little more than watching a few of the shows on HGTV, then it’s highly unlikely you’re ready for a career as a real estate renovator. As I mentioned earlier, these shows make the whole process of buying, renovating and selling real estate a lot easier than it really is. In their world, you can see a condo for sale one day, buy it the next and have it ready for sale within a few weeks. In the real world, it isn’t that simple, especially when you’re just starting out, and you need to source good contractors, learn how to manage projects and do a lot of hard work.

If you’re serious about being a house flipper in the future, and if you don’t want to be disappointed, or even worse end up losing money, you need to take the time to really learn about the process first.

You’ve Done the Studying

Like most things in life, you will have better results with house flipping if you know what you’re doing. Being educated is never a bad thing, and it will help you to get things right from the off. You’ll need to study everything from property prices to project management if you want to stand the best chance of making money from real estate and you will not want to start the process before you know everything there is to know.

You’ve Talked to Other House Flippers

Websites like biggerpockets.com allow you to connect with other real estate flippers, and doing so is a really good idea. It will help you to get a better picture of what is involved, any pitfalls you might face and how to go about starting your first project. If you make friends with local flippers, they will be able to support you with your first project, so that it is a successful flip rather than a total flop.

Your Finances are in Order

You really shouldn’t take on a house flipping project if your finances a are all up in the air. Investing in real estate represents a big commitment, and you need to be financially in a good place if you’re going to secure a mortgage.

You’ll also need to know exactly what your financial commitments will be before you buy, as well as having an idea of how much money any property you’re interested in is likely to need spent on it before it can be sold on for a profit.

If you are bad with finances, please don’t start playing around with real estate until you’ve educated yourself and you’re confident you know what you’re doing!

You Understand Your Funding Options

You should also take the time to work out your funding options before you start flipping houses. Although mortgage loans are still the most common way of obtaining real estate, they are not the only one available to you. There are lots of attractive loan offers which are made available to house flippers with no money down, but many of these are little more than scams, aimed at house flipping newbies who don’t really know what they are getting into, and which could put you under serious financial strain now and in the future. Looking at all of the options and checking out the integrity of financial backers before you sign anything is, therefore, a must.

You Have the Time

Those houses on Masters of Flip might be renovated in the blink of an eye, but that is unlikely to be the case for your projects. A lot of people have the idea that they’ll be able to renovate properties in their spare time, and although this is not impossible, it is unlikely unless you can afford to hire a large team of contractors. So, if you don’t have plenty of time to work on a house, perhaps do not jump in and start investing right now. Wait until you have a lot more time to dedicate to the project and things will work out a lot better for you.

You’ve Found a Good Team of Contractors

You should never start the house flipping process before you’ve found a good team of contractors who you can trust to get the work done on your property. If you haven’t already researched local contractors to see how affordable, efficient and professional they are, you simply aren’t ready for house flipping. By not doing your homework, you could leave yourself with a half finished house, a poorly renovated property or empty pockets if you make the wrong choice. In the house flipping business, you really do need to be confident that your contractors will do their best and won’t leave you in the lurch.

You Understand the Risk

Although there is no doubt that investing in real estate can be an extremely profitable and enjoyable way to make a living or save for your retirement, it is not easy, and there are lots of risks. You need to understand that there are many things which can, and quite often do go wrong. From undisclosed mold problems to faulty wiring, few homes are issue free, and you need to bear this in mind and plan accordingly if you want to be ready for a career in real estate flipping.

You’ve Researched Local Real Estate

You really shouldn’t plunge in and buy a property to renovate before you’ve thoroughly researched the market in your neighborhood. This is important because it will enable you to ask questions. For example, if a property in your area is selling for significantly lower than average, that’s a good indicator that there may be something really wrong with it, or if you know that a particular area is known for its crime, you’ll know that buying there might not get you the best return, even if you do a wonderful renovation job. Of course, knowing the market will also ensure you don’t pay too much for a property and then struggle to make any profit once you’ve renovated, too.

Your Expectations are Realistic

If you don’t want to be disappointed, then you need to do all of the above, and you need to set your expectations at a realistic level. If you have your head in the clouds, you might end up spending too much because you think you can get more from a property than you really can, or you might put all of your eggs in the real estate basket, when really you probably shouldn’t.

The harsh truth is that real estate flipping isn’t for the delicate. You have to be willing to put your money on the line and invest lots of your time and energy to the project if you want to be successful.

 

Image credits to Gili Chupak – https://flic.kr/p/7AAH4x

 

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How Self-Employed Workers Can Prove They’re Professionals

Stories abound every year about how unscrupulous self-employed contractors and other professionals take advantage of people and don’t, or can’t, perform the services they were hired to do. These types of news stories make it very hard for honest and respectable self-employed individuals like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and roofers to gain the confidence of potential customers so they can get hired and earn a living.

 

Self-Employed Workers

 

Here is an overview of what you as a self-employed individual should do to help convince a potential customer that you are a true professional and the right person to hire to get a job done.

 

Certifications

Regardless of what services you offer to people, you should show that you have the knowledge necessary to fulfil your promises. The best way to show you have the training necessary to do the job which you are trying to get hired to do is by showing your potential customer your certificates from the training you have received from trade schools and other places. You should put copies of the certificates in a binder to keep it and other paperwork on hand to show potential customers you know how to do the work.

 

Experience

If you have a track record of doing the type of work your potential customer wants to get done, you should create a list to show it. You can keep an on-going log of completed jobs in a database on your computer that you can print up and put into your binder. The list should be broken down into the different tasks you perform. For example, if you are a plumber, you should have separate lists showing the septic service repairs or maintenance tasks you have done and a separate list of the indoor plumbing projects you have done like emergency pipe or toilet repairs.

This way when you are talking to a customer, you can look up a task you’ve performed that matches what the potential customer needs and have a discussion on how you handled the previous repair or service.

 

Before and After Pictures

You should take pictures of what the job site looked like before you started and what it looked like once you were done. You should also add pictures of what you did to complete the job. The pictures should also be put into your binder and will provide you with a visual aide you can use while explaining what the problem was and how you fixed it.

 

Tradesman Insurance

Reputable self-employed home improvement contractors and tradespeople will have a tradesman insurance policy. A tradesmen insurance policy protects both you and the customer in case of injury or property damage that might occur while you are working on a project at a business or home. Contractors who skip on getting a policy is a warning sign to potential customers that if anything goes wrong they could be liable to cover the cost of the damage or injuries that occurred on their property. You should have a policy and a copy of it should be put into the binder.

 

Trade Association Memberships

Trade association memberships show a potential customer a number of things including that you appear to be a valuable member of your professional, are aware of updated procedures and laws affecting your profession, and that you have easy access to continuing education courses.

Trade associations typically don’t allow disreputable contractors who could bring dishonour to the association to be members. You should keep copies of the certificates of membership and continuing education courses and seminars you have attended in your binder to show your potential customers.

 

References

People appreciate when they have been treated well and a job has been performed to their satisfaction. You should always ask a satisfied customer if they would be willing to provide you with a character and job reference that you can give to potential customers to give them an understanding of your work performance.

In some cases, especially if the work you have done can be viewed from the outside, a satisfied customer may allow a potential customer to stop by and view first-hand the work you have done.

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Career Options for Social Work Graduates

Graduating with a social work degree doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go on to be a social worker. Your skills and qualifications would allow you to find work in other fields. If you did choose to become a social worker, there are many different specialties, and different groups of people you could work with. Being a graduate of a masters in social work could open up many doors and allow you to have a long and rewarding career in whatever path you chose. Here are some of the great career options available to you.

Social Work Graduates

Social Work

Social work helps many different groups. From helping veterans finding their place in society and dealing with any issues they may have, looking after the elderly or children and families, to assisting the victims of domestic violence. Social work can be challenging, but there aren’t many more rewarding careers out there.

Advocacy

A social work degree would allow you to work as an advocate. Advocates use their skills and knowledge to represent their clients. Advocates work to ensure their clients’ voices are heard, defend their rights, challenge decisions on their behalf, and make sure they understand outcomes. Advocates work in a variety of different situations, from court rooms, to medical meetings.

Family Support Work

Family support workers work with families, children and young people to ensure they get the best help possible when they need it. Working with families who are facing either short or long term issues, family support offers both practical and emotional support. This could be anything from finding affordable housing and applying for benefits to being a shoulder to cry on.

Therapist

Therapists help people dealing with conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression, by talking to them and helping them to find their own coping strategies. The work of a therapist often reduces the need for medication and long term care.

Mental Health Worker

Mental health workers not only help to identify mental health conditions and care for patients, they also play an incredibly important part in educating society about mental health conditions and treatments.

Probation Officer

Probation officers work with those who are leaving and have left prison, to make sure they lead productive and innocent lives upon their release. Probation officers play a large role in educating offenders, as well as helping them readjust to society and find jobs, all while ensuring the safety of the public.

Charity Worker

Your skills as a social work graduate could help you work within a charitable organization. Charity work is exceptionally varied. You could find work with rehousing organizations, in sheltered accommodation, as an advocate or counselor within an organization, or as part of a fund-raising team.

Youth Worker

Youth workers work supporting young people who need help. Some may have problems with their families, while others may be in legal trouble, or struggling with mental disorders. As a youth worker, you would be responsible for identifying your client’s needs, and working with them to find solutions, offering emotional support along the way.

There are many ways you could use your social work degree to help others. While some of these careers might require you to complete further education or training, they are all incredibly rewarding and fulfilling choices.

 

Image credit: By PITER – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Consider Getting an Online Nursing Degree

The face of online education has changed greatly over the years, with an increasing number of healthcare facilities honoring online degrees when choosing candidates. Online degrees offer many advantages over traditional nursing schools and it would be wise to weigh the pros and cons of each option to see which one fits your needs the best. Here are five compelling reasons every aspiring nurse should consider getting an online degree.

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High Demand

One of the most compelling reasons to attend a nursing program is because of the increasingly high demand for qualified nurses. Demand is becoming more and more specialized and NPs with a bachelor’s degree will often be asked to have a master’s degree in a specific concentration to fill positions.

For this reason, job prospects are very high and there’s actually a shortage of nurses in many domains at the moment. As a matter of fact, jobs for registered nurses are expected to grow by 16% from 2014 to 2024, more than double the national average according to the United States Department of Labor.

Added Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of online education is the added flexibility it offers students. This is especially important in a field like nursing, where many nurses holding a bachelor’s degree may have to further their education while maintaining a job. You can set your own schedule and complete your degree in the time you want with an online program, which is something you can’t do as easily with a traditional program.

In addition, you can finish your masters or bachelor’s degree much faster online. For instance, you can finish an online FNP program in as little as 18 months, much faster than through most traditional brick and mortar institutions.

Variety

While the choice for specializations was very limited not too long ago, the various choices available through online courses are almost endless these days. From a family nurse practitioner, all the way up to geriatric nursing and nursing forensics, there is an online program for everyone. You can choose to specialize based on specific organs or organs groups, age, treatment type or specific health conditions.

Accreditation

Most institutions will accept qualifications from an accredited school. While online education used to be frowned upon, online degrees are being increasingly recognized, especially in the healthcare industry. This is especially true for those who already possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from a traditional school, but this applies to first time students as well. In order for a degree to be valid, it has to be accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Pursuing an online nursing degree is a great way to add a few notches to your belt without having to compromise your current position. It’s also a great way for new students to cut down on tuition costs and study at their own pace, wherever they are across the globe. So if you believe online education is the choice for you, don’t hesitate to contact some of the institutions in your area, as they will be more than happy to answer all of your questions.

 

Image credit: By Vlastimil – originally posted to Flickr as Studentky, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

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4 Benefits Of Vocational Education and Training

Vocational Education and Training (VET) means ‘work-related’, and offers a variety of benefits to choosing it as a learning pathway. Fields of study in VET usually include IT, community services, building and construction, tourism and hospitality, meaning you are gaining qualifications in industries that are readily available no matter where you’re from, or where you go in the future. Below are some other benefits of choosing VET.

Future call center operators
Image credits: Marcin Monko – https://flic.kr/p/apqMUj

1. Flexibility

One of the most lucrative benefits of undertaking a VET course is the flexibility that this type of study provides. Courses can be taken full-time or part-time, depending on your availability, and can be studied via distance education or through online learning institutions such as Careers Australia. These courses are also very accommodating, from students who didn’t get the highest marks in school, to parents, or people working full-time. Skills learnt and qualifications received can also be used to gain you credit into university degrees you may not have been accepted into otherwise.

2. Hands-On

When it comes to studying, the biggest challenge is usually not the study itself, but what to do with your life once it’s over. University degrees, although high up on the scale of academic education, do not always offer a lot of hands-on experience, which prospective employees want. A benefit of vocational training is that these courses provide you with the practical skills you need to work in your industry of choice. For example, internships are a rare requirement for the undergraduate degree, but there are very few vocational courses that don’t have mandatory work experience placements.

3. Transferable

The skills you learn through a VET course have been developed to be relevant to the expectations and standards of the industry. This means that through regular assessment, students will be gaining skills that will be able to be directly transferred into the ‘real world’. For example, if you study a VET nursing course, you will become a nurse; if you study a degree in medical science, you may have to specialise your degree with post-grad diplomas before you can enter the workforce down the track.

4. You Can Earn Quicker

Depending on the industry, many VET courses allow you to start earning an income while you’re studying. For example, doing an apprenticeship in hospitality or construction means you are learning and gaining valuable qualifications, while getting some monetary reward to take home at the end of the week. Even for courses that don’t offer this type of earning/working environment, you will still find you can enter the workforce quicker, as you have practical skills to boost your job prospects, and can even start working towards qualifications while you’re still in high school.

Often thought of as the ‘easy’ way out, VET courses are actually a highly beneficial way to ensure you are ready to start earning money immediately – or even as you go. The truth is, university degrees and VET courses shouldn’t be compared. Where VET is more practical, university is more academic. Maybe the best form of education is a combination of them both!

What VET courses would you love to study and why? Leave your answers in the space below.

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