Home Buying 101

Whether you’re buying your first home or your 21st home, it’s never easy to find exactly the right house. Finding your dream house requires patience and persistence.Let’s be honest. Buying a house is an emotional decision, as well as a rational, financial one. Take my friend Trina, for example. Trina was house hunting one day in the early spring when her broker showed a house with daffodils blooming by the front door. Trina instantly fell in love with the house, despite the fact that it had 2 bathrooms instead of 3, and a den but only 3 bedrooms. It also had a formal dining room, not the great room that Trina really wanted. But, it had daffodils blooming by the front walk. Trina and her husband bought the house, and started expensive renovations. Five years later, they have the house they’ve always dreamed of, but at a price.”Looking back, it would have been a lot cheaper for me to find a house with all the features that we needed, and plant daffodils!” Trina says.It’s important to know exactly what you are looking for, when you buy a house. If Trina had made a list of her wants and needs before she started house hunting, she could have saved herself years of noisy, messy renovations.Before you open the real estate section of a newspaper, or contact a real estate agent, sit down with a pencil and paper and make a list of your wants and needs. If you are buying the house with someone else, have them make their own separate list. Then, compare the two.The first question you need to ask is, “What do I need in a house?” For Trina, the answer was 4 bedrooms and 3 baths in her children’s current school district. With the birth of her third son, the family had simply outgrown their current home.Your list of needs might be totally different. Maybe you need a house on one level, so that you won’t have to climb stairs. Maybe you need a big, sunny kitchen, a spacious family room, or a yard large enough for soccer. Maybe you need an area with no restrictions on having a home-based business.Next, ask yourself “What do I want in a house?” Maybe you’d love a great view, open, sunny rooms, cathedral ceilings, a fireplace, a walk-in closet or solar heating.Finally, ask yourself “What do I hate?” Make a list of the features that you will not accept in your new home. For Trina, Tudor-style architecture is high on that list. “Our old house was Tudor style. It was so dark, and the rooms were so ugly, that I soon hated it!”Now, compare your list with your partner’s. Are there items that both of you want or need? That’s a good start. Are some of your “hates” on your partner’s “wants” list? If so, you’ll need to discuss it and compromise.Finally, create a master list with all the needs, wants and hates for the two of you as a couple. This is your home buying guide.
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Automotive Attorney to Repair Your Problems

Automotive industry has a great effect on the world economy. There are many production and service industries which support this industry. There has been a major increase in the number of automobiles in the past decade. Therefore, the repair shops have also increased. Many issues can arise during repair and thus there is a need for an automotive attorney.IssuesSome of the major issues can include protection of intellectual property and safety concerns. The clients for an automotive defense attorney can include suppliers of component parts, domestic and foreign companies, original equipment manufacturers, automotive trade associations, and consulting firms. Whether the clients are facing regulation, litigation, prevention and counseling, or legislation there is a lawyer to help them.These lawyers are well-versed with different case scenarios and have vast experience in representing clients who are dealers, suppliers, or trade groups. A defense lawyer will be able to serve the interests of all the repair facilities and technicians. Clients prefer attorneys who have a familiarity and understanding of the common issues that repair shops and technicians usually have to deal with.What Does the Law Say?According to the Automotive Repair Act, there are certain rights for the consumers. It is advisable that the repair shops and technicians should know and understand these laws first before they approach a Bureau of Automotive Repair attorney. The Required Disclosures law says that the repair shops must furnish the client with a written estimate. The estimate should include price charged for parts, diagnostic test, and labor. It should also include details like date, duration, and odometer reading. The price should be charged according to used or new parts used. A statement should be there to show if the repair is actually needed or whether it is only recommended.The repair shops and technicians should know that the consumers have a right to a written estimate. It can either be an itemized or a non-itemized estimate. However, an automotive attorney can tell the client that sometimes the consumers may not want an estimate. They can just ask the shop to do the repairs but the total cost should not exceed the amount set by them. In that case, the technician can get this written and signed from the consumer in case of any issues that may arise later. A customer also has a right to a copy of invoice. The invoice is an itemized list of the price of parts and labor, total price, warranties, and the odometer reading.The technicians should know that they are prohibited from asserting lien charges for any unauthorized repairs. Consumers have the right to pick up a vehicle from the facility if they pay according to the charges disclosed to them before repairs. Auto repair shops have to, by law, post consumer rights at a place where they are easily visible. The post should tell the consumers that they are liable to a face-to-face contact, a written estimate for repairs costing over $100.There are many other laws which prohibit the repair shops to perform unlawful practices. An automotive attorney can guide the technicians and repair shops about other laws. These include guiding them about laws relating to non-business hours and unforeseen repairs.

How to Make Your Shop Decor Shout

Decorating the walls of your shop. The first thing you need to attack is the walls. A bare wall gives out one simple message…which is blank. In fact, without proper office or shop décor on the walls, it makes the place very unwelcoming and dull. Who do you think would walk into a shop that has bare walls that sings an uninviting song? To entice your customers to walk into your shop and purchase something from your shop, you’ll need to use the right color for the walls…some shade or color that attracts the right customers. If you want the walls décor to give out a warm and welcoming feeling, you can use a darker shade; on the other hand, if you want to make your customers feel happy to be in the shop, color your walls with a lighter shade. Then use some clever slatwall panels to decorate and display your products.

Give your shop décor an alive feel. Apart from decorating the shop’s walls, you’ll have to add plants into the shop décor as well. Having a couple of potted plants will instantly give the place an ‘alive’ feel and your staff and the people who walk into your shop will feel less removed from the outside world. Each type of plant gives out different signals, so play with the type of plants that you use to decorate your shop. If it’s within your budget, assign someone to come into your shop to work out the décor and accentuate the placement of the plants with lighting. Having plants as part of your shop décor can be tricky, though because plants require maintenance. However, you can hire people to take care of your plants for you or you could actually ‘rent’ the plants for your office décor.

Don’t mix and match concepts and furniture in your shop. Maintain a consistent look throughout your shop’s décor. It would give the customers a very mix-and-match feel when they walk into your shop when the furniture don’t match. For instance, you can’t very well decorate your shop with an antique piece together with a modern looking sofa in your shop. It would give the customers a really odd feeling. What you want to avoid with your shop décor is to give it a ‘thrown together’ feel…you want it to shout, CLASS ACT instead of ‘last minute thrown in together’.

Clear the clutter. And of course, just as any professional shop décor artiste or designer can tell you, clutter is an absolute no-no. It’s been said before so keep this clear in your mind…a clear desk clears the head even before you sit down and start your work. This principle applies to your shop décor. Keep things that should not be seen in your shop tucked away in a storeroom…for instance, stuff that you don’t use very often or products that you don’t intend to sell. Don’t leave boxes of products lying strewn all over the place. Ask your staff to regularly check and rearrange the products on the display areas, the desk, the slatwall display unit and of course, the walls. Some customers tend to pick up products and then leave them somewhere they don’t belong. Your staff should make it a point to return the item back to where they belong.