Shadow Inventory – What Is It and How to Find It

Many Investors have been asking me about shadow inventory how much is out there and how to get their hands on it. Shadow inventory usually refers to the supply of homes that has not yet hit the market, but “hiding” in the background. In Real Estate this refers to foreclosures (REO or bank owned properties) or those close to the process.

Banks and mortgage loan servicing companies typically hold onto properties that haven’t seen a mortgage payment for 90 days and in some cases even 2-3 years.

Why do they hold on so long?

Banks hold on since it allows them to release their inventory over time to keep their books in check and also to provide that easy liquidation to stimulate the real estate economy when necessary. Banks will now be getting more money for those newly released properties, then say 2 years ago, due to the steady increase in home prices and low inventory levels. If they chose to release all at once, it would flood the market with “distressed properties” and bring down property values.

How much “Shadow Inventory” is still out there?

Foreclosures have been steadily declining since 2013 with the highest shadow inventory then at 2.2MM. According to the National Association of Realtors, there is still about 4 years still on the books and it is possible that we could soon see more!

More “Shadow Inventory”? Why? (HAMP) Home Affordable Modification Program

In 2017 and beyond, many homeowners may find it difficult to make their mortgage payments due to “resets” with HAMP thus pushing them into foreclosure. The government’s Home Affordable Modification Program provided temporary relief to borrowers during the housing crisis. These reliefs ended after five years and now payments will be “reset” thus causing loan payment increases for nearly 900,000 homeowners. Some of those are likely to find it difficult to keep up with the payments in our current economy.

Where do Investors find “Shadow Inventory”?

Forget about calling the loss mitigation department or asking the cashier at your Big Bank. They won’t be able to help you. Instead, savvy real estate investors can approach the REO departments of smaller regional banks, credit unions and portfolio lenders to find out what could be “lurking” in the shadows. This presents an opportunity to beat out the competition and purchase at greater discounts.

But my favorite way to locate “Shadow Inventory” is what I call “Driving for Dollars”. Simply drive through areas that have high foreclosure activity and look for the white sticker posted on the front window or door of the house. This typically contains the information of the bank or asset manager of the property and their phone number. Give them a call and see where they are in the foreclosure process and if they’re ready to make a deal!

The NEW kind of “Shadow Inventory”!

There is a new kind of shadow inventory on the market these days and I’m not talking about the REO kind. Many successful agents have their own shadow inventory. If you’ve been in the business for an extended period and built up a clientele, these clients typically contact you well in advance of the property going on the market. You advise them of the steps needed to get the house ready to show which typically means doing repairs such as paint, carpet, landscaping, staging, etc. Therefore, there is a period of time before the property actually hits the market creating a different type of shadow inventory. Contacting your favorite realtor about this type of inventory can definitely increase your chances of finding that Dream home.

Happy House Hunting!

Strategies for Improved Efficacy of Construction Project Management Software

The ever-changing digital technology is gradually making life on earth easier and less hassle-free. Benefits of digitization encompass the construction industry as well. These days, a range of efficient construction project management software is readily available to make things easier for those, who are involved with the industry.

The assortment of software applications comes with many innovative features that help managing:

 All communication with your subcontractors and crew

  • Every electronic correspondence
  • Project schedules
  • Budget estimation
  • Timesheets
  • Site photos and much more

Extra spadework is required

However, if you’re planning to get such a helpful software tool to drive your projects to successful completion, here’s a word of caution! Just procuring construction project management software will not help you achieve your goal. After all, it’s not any magic wand that will do wonders. You need to do some extra spadework, like preparing a foolproof plan, regularly monitoring the work progress, facilitating personal interaction with both the stakeholders and team members. Moreover, it is important to take care of the cash flow to ensure your project(s) wind up on time. To put it in simple words, the more efficient you’re in handling your responsibilities in the construction industry, the more efficiency you can expect from the range of software tools.
The core competencies
Now, at this juncture you must be wondering if there’s any core competence of the modern software tools. As far as the building and construction industry is concerned, project management software applications help you in the following ways:

  • Accessing critical information right at your fingertips
  • Having everyone on the same plane, so that there’s no missed information or error
  • Alternative plans ready at hand to keep the workflow moving
  • Ensuring systematic progress of every project right from the word ‘go’
  • Facilitating communication with the peers, colleagues, stakeholders and team members even from remote locations

Considering all these benefits the range of software offers, it’s obvious that there’s hardly any necessity to rework on a module. Thus, project management software helps successful winding up of construction projects right within scheduled deadlines.

Just like any other commercial sphere, the construction industry too expects you to thread in the latest version of technology to achieve greater heights of success faster. However, you should have realistic expectations from technology to help your business grow bigger. Use the web to update your knowledge pool about the benefits these virtual resources offer. This will help you stay at-par with the best performers in the industry.

Ford Mustang Car Rental – The Only Way to Do Las Vegas Nevada

When life gets too hard on you, get out, have a day trip. Go to some place that has loads of attractions that will keep you occupied. Where is that place? Where else than in the glory that is Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World. So start getting a map because we are going to ride our way to Las Vegas. Now, no day trip is ever complete without the set of wheels.

It is good to know that Las Vegas has a lot of car rental dealers that offer grand sports cars to take you speeding through the road. And one of the most stunning cars that is available is a Ford Mustang car rental. The Ford Mustang won the Tiffany Gold Medal for excellence in American design becoming the first automobile ever to do so. In 1983, 1987, 1988, 2005, and 2006 it was on the Car & Driver Ten Best list. In 1974 and 1994 it won the Motor Trend Car of the Year . And in 2005, it was runner-up to Chrysler 300 for the North American Car of the Year award and was named Canadian Car of the Year.

All of these awards is just proof that the Ford Mustang is a best choice for this Vegas day trip. So be sure to reserve Ford Mustang car rentals by checking out their website. This is truly coming out as one of the best day trip you will ever have. So start revving those Ford Mustang engines because we are now going to one of the best destination for a day trip in Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon is visited by approximately 5 million people every year. The park consists of 277 miles of the Colorado River and its massive erosion effects on the massive landscape. The Grand Canyon is located 250 miles from Las Vegas. Choosing highway 93 as our route from Las Vegas to Interstate $0 east to highway 64, our route will take about 4 an a half hours and get us right over Hoover Dam. In reaching Grand Canyon, we can visit Grand Canyon Village to get oriented with the National Park.

The visitor center which is located in the village offers videos, lectures and rangers for assistance. From the village, we can then get to the Bright Angel Trail which will bring us to the bottom of the canyon. Better be prepared for the long trek though because its a good 9 miles to the bottom. So you now have the best car for the trip and the best day trip destination in Las Vegas. What else do you want to do? I’ll tell you what you going to do, better reserve that Mustang car rental now, book a flight, and buy a map to the Grand Canyon. Las Vegas is waiting for you.

The Do’s and Don’t of Workplace Injury Claims

When an employee is injured while on the clock, they have the option of accepting workers’ compensation benefits through their job. These benefits are meant to help cover the cost of the damages and losses incurred as a result of the accident. This may include lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, prolonged therapy, and more. If you were recently injured at work, it is in your best interest to learn what you can about workplace accidents and injury claims so that you may make the right decisions regarding your physical and financial recovery.

If you have not been injured at work, it is still wise to learn these tips so that you are prepared if it ever happens to you or someone you love. Continue reading to learn what you should and should not do in the case that you are injured at work and considering workers’ compensation.

Here’s What You Should Not Do:

Do not hide your injury or fail to report it.

Do not decline medical attention. This can be harmful to you both physically and in terms of filing a claim.

Do not let the company’s case manager into your hospital examination room while you are with the doctor if you do not want them in there.

Do not let the workers’ compensation insurance carrier take too long to approve or deny your injury claim. There are state laws that mandate when they must respond. It is usually within 30 days after the claim is officially filed.

Do not believe your employer if they tell you there is a “minimum period” of employment that you must retain in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to benefits immediately, no matter your length of employment.

Do not miss or reschedule any appointments that are made by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Missing too many appointments can revoke your right to certain benefits.

When you return to work, do not let your employer place you into a line of duty that violates your work restrictions.

Here’s What You SHOULD Do:

Report your injury immediately, whether you think you need medical care or not.

Demand that a written accident report is made on the spot and be sure to get a copy for yourself.

Immediately seek or accept medical attention.

Retain all paperwork and documentation of your accident, injuries, and medical care. Keep track of all the written restrictions and instructions given to you by your doctor.

If your employer makes any retaliations or threats in regards to your claim, contact the Department of Labor immediately and report the harassment.

If you are unsatisfied with your medical treatment or diagnosis, ask for a second opinion.

If you are denied certain benefits due to a “pre-existing condition”, be sure to protest with the help of a licensed personal injury lawyer.

Posted in Law

Summer in London 2017

One of the top festivals that take place in the capital city during the summer period is Lovebox, which is a two day music and dance festival which takes place at Victoria Park. This event welcomes the top DJ’s and live bands and a host of performances. It is fun for the yonger generation that are looking for fun and excitement during their city break.

The next top event that draws millions of people to London each summer is the famous Wimbledon Tennis Championships that takes place for two weeks at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. This tennis championship is the oldest tennis championship in the world dating back to 1877 and today it is one in four major grand slams, yet the only one that is played on a grass court. It attracts some of the best names in tennis right now and is brimming with excitement, strawberries, cocktails and a day of fun in the sun.

The Somerset House Summer Series is a reputable open air festival that attracts thousands of visitors who are looking for a day of music, dance and festivities. It is definitely not one you will want to miss when next in London.

The Lambeth Country Show always attracts hundreds of visitors to London. In 2017 it is celebrating forty two years with home grown vegetables on display, a flower competition, sheep shearing and even a mini farm for the younger children. It’s a fun day out for the whole family.

AfroPunk and Sunfall are both top dance festivals with leading DJ’s and bands that arre guaranteed to get you dancing. Not to mention the famous Notting Hill Carnival, which is the largest street party in London with calypso music, a parade and over thirty sound systems placed strategical through the streets which sees over fifty thousand participants.

There are a few things to remember when traveling to London for the summer season. Whether you are visiting for a mini break or for a couple of weeks, you want to ensure the accommodation you choose isn’t only comfortable, but is ideally located. All the events that take place in London are throughout the city and you will want to be close to the public transport links to ensure you can get to them with ease.

Take a close look at the top attractions and sights you may want to visit during your stay. Do you want to experience the famous London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel that will provide you with staggering views as far as your eyes can see, sitting on the edge of the River Thames. In fact this is the ideal place for some romance, a sunset ride and maybe even a proposal.

Buckingham Palace changing of the guards is another event not to be missed. This attracts hundreds of visitors to the palace gates to watch the guards doing their change, a routine that has been done for years and is a procession like no other.

Remember that there are some fantastic restaurants in London, owned by Michelin star chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay. The concierge at your hotel will be able to advise you and make your reservation on your behalf for added convenience.

Finding a Good Family Lawyer

Family lawyers are needed in different situations including divorce. Such situations are very stressful and if you are not careful, you may have a very hard time during such times. There is a need to have a professional with a deep understanding of the law on your side so as to handle different situations that you may not know how to handle completely. This can make the process much easier for you and the whole family.

When you are looking for a family lawyer, there are some qualities that should be outstanding. These will help you know whether the person you have chosen to represent you is capable of handling himself and the case at hand. Some important qualities include:

  1. Communication: the lawyer should be able to communicate and communicate well. This is very critical. The lawyer needs to be able to communicate in an easy and clear manner. When you have a lawyer, it is necessary that you are able to voice your expectations and concerns. It is the job of the lawyer to explain things clearly to you as well as those that have to do with the case and to give you expectations that are realistic. The lawyer should also be able to communicate with other parties to the case. Good communication leads to effective negotiations keeping costs down. A good communicator will also be very helpful should the case go to court.
  2. Experience and skills: while it is important to have an attorney to represent you, it is important that he is able to represent you well. So as to do this, skills are required. A case such a divorce can touch on many aspects of family life as we know it. This may include career, retirement, finances and so on. The lawyer should be experienced and very knowledgeable so as to make sure that all your interests are protected. Experience in family law cases is an added advantage especially if such a case has a lot of similarities with yours.
  3. Availability: when you are searching for a representative, make sure it is a person that is available in all the important points of your case. If he can’t be present all the time, he should have support available to cover when he has other matters to attend to. The lawyer should avail himself to respond to questions in a good and timely way, he should work with timeframes so as to reassure you of his dedication. He shouldn’t be too held up with pother cases so as to be able to pay attention to yours.
  4. Composure: your family lawyer should be able to maintain his composure at all times. This isn’t only about staying focused and calm, but also exhibiting a lot of self-control when in the courtroom or when dealing with other lawyers, even if he feels frustrated, your interests need to represent very strongly but he shouldn’t take things too personally when the turn of events isn’t completely to his favor.
  5. Support and resources: lawyers have other clients too, and it is not possible that they will always be available to answer questions every time something comes up. It helps when the lawyer has a team working with him so that even emergencies can be handled swiftly.
Posted in Law

What Is the Story Behind the Ferrari and Norwood?

The Man, The Myth, The Legend, Bob Norwood, has been building, racing, restoring and servicing vintage/race Ferraris and other vehicles for over fifty years. He’s known for incorporating innovative developments into high-performance automotive design.

His passion for automobiles started at a young age. At 13, he drove a 1946 Ford Coupe in his first competitive drag race. He continued drag racing while in high school, driving a six cylinder GMC G-Gas Coupe and later an A-Sports Corvette. In 1971, he raced a Superstock Hemi-Cuda and made it number two in the world A/FC point standings.

Norwood got into Cam AM racing in 1982 with the purchase of the 1979 Citi-Corp Championship car from Carl Hass. He ran SCCA A-Sports with driver Phil Compton and continued on in 1983 with the addition of a second Lola 333 driven by Mike Rowe. The Norwood team partnered with Don Walker in late 1983, bought Team VDS and won Cam AM in 1984. At one point he was the proud owner of 137 listings in the Guinness Book of Automotive World Records.

In the mid ’80s, Bob’s modified Ferrari 308 QV, the first with programmable fuel injection, set two class speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats and one of them stood for 26 years.

His Ferrari 288 GTO rebody still holds the record as the fastest Ferrari in the world and his intercooled twin turbo Ferrari Testarossa won a Road & Track Magazine Shootout.

In the late ’80s, Norwood equipped a Ferrari 12-cylinder Boxer engine with a locomotive sourced supercharger. It featured a lightened flywheel and knife-edged crank and could rev from the engine’s 1200 RPM idle to the 9,000 RPM redline in just over a tenth of a second. It was certified on a Superflow 901 engine dyno to make 1,400 horsepower on 120-octane gasoline at 60 psi boost.

The short-stroke 3.2-inch bore engine was upgraded with a billet Crower crankshaft, extra-long Crower rods and custom forged pistons. It was managed by a Haltech F3 EFI controller and a Firepower Direct-Fire 12 coil ignition system. Fast forward to today and he is making (including the engine block and heads) custom 5.0 liter 4 cylinder engines from scratch that produce 3,000+ horsepower!

Drawing on his racing background and passion for Ferraris, Norwood’s first Ferrari restoration projects were a 330 2+2 road car and a Boano club racer. He then built his first Ferrari replica, a 59/TR (Testarossa), and went on to build four more. He has since built numerous Ferrari replicas, including the 330/P4. After years of building P4 replicas, GTO rebodies, and 250 Testrossa 59s, he decided to build rebodied Ferrari 250 GT SWB Spyders (scroll down to learn more about these and his 330 P/4s).

In addition to his own projects, he builds race and street motors for several racing teams and is one of the leading service and restoration providers for Ferrari owners/collectors around the world.

What Makes a Hotel Receive Five-Star Status?

So you’re planning a holiday, maybe you’re visiting a city in your own country or you’re experiencing abroad. Whatever your reason for travel, understanding why five-star hotels are more expensive and what makes them more appealing can help you identify if this is the right choice for you.

It is important before you start looking at five-star establishments, that you understand that every country has its own rating process and result. There are certain things you should expect from your hotel and when paying five-star luxury prices, the one thing you can be certain of is the finest quality elegance and luxurious guest accommodation that is spacious and well-appointed. All guest rooms should be en-suite with their own bathrooms, either shower or bath, or both and toiletries and amenities.

The next thing you will find when choosing a five-star hotel is that they have a twenty-four hour reception desk, which can be beneficial. You can leave your key at the hotel when you go out, reducing the risk of losing the key and you can get it from the open reception desk whatever time you decide to return back to the hotel. Smaller hotels and those with a lower rating, may not have a twenty-four-hour reception, this means that you need to take your key with you, sometimes you have to allow yourself into the building on your return to get back to your room with ease.

Five-star hotels have a certain level of cleanliness and maintenance that they need to maintain. In addition to their luxurious accommodation, hallways, restaurant and public areas must be spotless and gleaming without broken lights or lamps or taps that don’t work.

Further, a five-star hotel should always have a concierge service. A concierge service will handle everything for you during your stay. Do you want to hire a car? No problem the concierge will arrange it for you. Do you want to dine at a top restaurant? They will make recommendations and make the booking on your behalf. Do you want to see one of the top West End musicals? They will book your tickets for you so you don’t have to.

In addition to this, a five-star hotel is also to have certain facilities that you expect. They should have an on-site wellness centre where you can enjoy a range of top quality treatments. They should also provide you with access to a fitness facility and swimming pool.

The hotels in the United Kingdom with five-star status also provide their guests with a restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis. You can also enjoy the added convenience of twenty-four hour room service, ordering food to your room, sitting back and relaxing after a long day in business meetings or touring the city to see the sights.

The staff at these top establishments are all trained to the very highest standards. They are all qualified and experienced in the area to provide their guests with a first class service.

Drupal SEO-Friendly URLs For Google First Page Rankings

Google First Page Rankings and Drupal

Drupal SEO-Friendly URLs to Get Your Drupal Site Listed in Google

Drupal manages the URL aliases for your Drupal site.

The URL aliases are the addresses for your website. A node is a content item for your Drupal site and the following address represents the first content item for a node within your Drupal website:

  • Default URLs for new content on a Drupal website: /node/1
  • URL Alias module allows new content added to become more human readable and most important, SEO-friendly: /articles/title-of-the-article

This format is not exactly human-friendly, nor is it SEO-friendly. Let’s fix it…

Drupal Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Building a professional business plan includes SEO for your Drupal website. It’s that important!

When you first install Drupal, by default, you will most likely have “Path Auto” enabled. This is the reason your URLs are not by default, user-friendly. The good news is that this is an easy fix.

Drupal Modules

Drupal out-of-the-box is pretty lean. It doesn’t do a whole lot. But there are over two-thousand Drupal modules that can be easily installed and enabled to enrich your Drupal website. Contributed modules provide new features for your Drupal website. Just like the App Store, if you need something, there is probably a module for that. When you’re looking for a new “feature”, you are looking for a Drupal module. Modules can also change how existing features work.

Modules for Clean URLs

There are a couple of modules that allow us to automatically change URLs to something more memorable. It gives us more human-readable, search engine optimized “friendly” URLs. This is very important for the long-term success of your Drupal site.

SEO-friendly URLs can help you achieve the business success you are looking for. Install the Drupal PathAuto and Token modules. Once you have these two two modules installed and enabled, it will remedy your ugly URLs problem.

  • PathAuto (requires Token) – this module automatically generates URL/path aliases for various kinds of content (nodes, taxonomy, terms, users) without requiring you to have URL aliases like “category/my-node-title” instead of “node/123”.
  • Token (provides a user interface for the Token API).

You can enable both of these modules at the same time (after you have them installed). If you do not have these modules installed and enabled already, you will want to download and enable them in your Drupal back end. You can download these modules at the Drupal website:

  • /project/pathauto
  • /project/token

Install both of these modules and enable them to benefit from search engine-friendly URLs on your Drupal site.

SEO-Friendly URLs Better Than Just Human-Friendly URLs

Now, you will notice that your Drupal URLs will take on a completely different pattern. The URLs will represent something such as /content/article-name

This is an improvement, but still not best practice because as your Drupal content increases, everything will be “content” plus the article name. So, let’s take your Drupal SEO a step further.

  • Hover on “Configuration”
  • Hover on “Search and Meta Data”
  • Hover on “URL aliases”

If your not seeing URL aliases, it’s OK since you just recently enabled these modules.

Enable Clean URLs

Enable this search and metadata option to make clean URLs possible for your site. This will allow user friendly URLs like example.com/user instead of example.com/?q=user

To accomplish this, it’s pretty simple.

  • Hover on “Configuration”
  • Hover on “Search and Meta Data”
  • Hover on “Clean URLs”
  • Put a check mark in the “Enable Clean URLs” box and click the “Save Configuration” button.

Once this is done, you will notice that your new content will have human-friendly URLs.

Setup Patterns For Your URLs

  1. Setup patterns by clicking on the “Patterns” tab on the top of your Drupal dashboard.
  2. Highlight /[node:title] with your mouse and copy.
  3. Advance to the next “pattern” field that is empty.
  4. Type the name for each path and paste. For example, for your “book” content type, you will have the pattern book/[node:title]
  5. Complete this step until every pattern is defined.
  6. Click “Save Configuration”

Now click on the “List” tab and you will see that the URLs have not yet changed. This is because the content in the “List” tab was already created prior to you enabling your new URL patterns. All future content on your site will now reflect these new patterns.

NOTE: Don’t change the URLs of existing content articles on a live site! If you already have content indexed in Google, you will not want to make any changes to your URLs. Rather, you can set this up BEFORE your site goes live.

  • Click on the “Delete Aliases” tab at the top.
  • Check the “All Aliases” box.
  • Click on the “Delete aliases now!” button.
  • Click “Bulk Update” tab at the top.
  • Choose all the boxes.
  • Click “Update”

Now all your URLs have been re-generated. You now have a pattern of your URLs that actually makes sense. You can test this by adding a new content item. Any testing data will do. Leave the default day and time enabled, then save it. You will notice in the URL that the address is not only human friendly, but it’s also SEO-friendly. The importance of this cannot be understated. Without SEO, your Drupal site will have few visitors. This solution is not difficult nor is it time consuming, yet the benefits are vast.

Drupal is an amazing tool for creating advanced websites and applications.

Posted in SEO

Organic Hair Salon

This hair salon is one that uses products that are natural-based with no synthetic chemicals. In the United States in order to call the salon organic it has to be certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to qualify as organic. The products are safer for a person’s hair because they do not have any chemicals that can damage your hair. These salons are Eco-friendly and are becoming more popular in the United States.

The products that are used in these salons must also be organic certified and includes any dyes, styling products, conditioners, and shampoos that the salon uses.

Even though the organic hair salon offers their customers healthy beauty services with a smaller amount of exposure to products containing chemicals there are some disadvantages with visiting this type of salon:

  • They are more expensive both in services provided and the products they sell
  • The organic products can also be shorter-lived and less effective
  • Many times the hair dyes used are not as potent so their effects can lose color quicker
  • Although the products are organic they can also trigger allergies in people like the synthetic products.

Because using organic hair products are more expensive there are some unsavory people who advertise that they offer hair services that are organic even though they do not properly supply them. Even though they are certified this does not protect customers completely from hair salons that use this practice. Before using an organic hair salon it is best to do a back ground check on their claims to make sure that they are legit. One way to help ensure that the salon is really using organic products is to learn about the qualities and types of popular organic hair care products. If the salon has products on display that are not organic are usually not real organic hair salons. Learn to read the labels so you can spot ingredients that are not organic.

Types of organic hair care product

  • Organic shampoos-these products make use of ingredients found in nature and herbs to help create a blend that will help to remove the excess dirt and oil from your hair. Most of these shampoos contain herbs that will leave a clean scent and remove the dirt and oil form every hair follicle. Some of the herbs used can include aloe Vera, rosemary, and peppermint. All of these are noted for their cleaning action and ability to nourish your hair.
  • Organic conditioners-this product is made with natural materials that help to cleanse and nourish your hair. Often they are made using rosemary, honey, mint, and other essential oils and herbs.
  • Organic hair spray-the common ingredients include extracts, water, and oils.