Heidelberg Germany

In the country of Germany you will find many interesting cities and towns like Heidelberg to visit. This charming city can be found in the Baden-Wurttemberg region. The city is located in the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis rural district. Heidelberg is situated close to the River Neckar where the river leaves its home steep valley in the Odenwald to join with the Rhine River. You will find this wonderful city is part of the region which is called the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region.

For the interested visitor you will find a visit to Heidelberg to be most pleasurable. This city has a number of interesting places for you to visit as well as many modern amenities to enjoy. You will find there are a number of hotels, inns and other accommodations which will fit the budgets of many visitors. The shopping and fine dining that you will be able to enjoy alongside with that of sightseeing is sure to enhance your pleasure of this city. As there are many interesting places for you to visit while you are in Heidelberg you may wish to take some time planning the sights that you wish to visit well in advance so that you can enjoy all of the pleasures that Heidelberg has to offer you.

Of the many places that you can visit while you are in Heidelberg you may wish to see the Philosophers‘ Walk. This walkway which in German is called Philosophenweg is located in Heidelberg itself. You will find this walkway near the ruins of the Celtic fortress located there. The name for this place comes from the fact that the university professors and philosophers of the city used to walk and talk here. As you visit this spot you will be able to see some excellent views of Heidelberg castle and the Old town.

Another great place that you may wish to visit while you are in Heidelberg is that of the Heiligenberg Mountain. From the summit of the mountain you will be able to see a spectacular view over the old town of Heidelberg itself. Nature lovers will enjoy coming here to see the beauty of the surrounding countryside as well. Not too far from here you will be able to see the remnants of an ancient wall which was built by the Celts to keep Germanic tribes out of the area.

Besides taking a look at these ruins you will also be able to look at the Heidenloch which is a deep well. The origins of this well are unknown however it is an interesting place to see as it indicates the city of Heidelberg has a history that is older than may be known. Also while you are in the vicinity of the Heiligenberg you should take the time to visit the ruins of a 10th century Heidelberg cloister.

These are you see are just a few of the interesting places that you can visit while you are in the city of Heidelberg. The next time you are planning a visit to Germany you may wish to spend some time exploring this charming city and see what you can uncover for yourself.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Hannah Rollmaker

Heidelberg Castle – Recalling the History With Beautiful Views

The Heidelberg Castle is a well-known ruin that is located in Germany and is considered as the landmark of Heidelberg. The Heidelberg Castle is one of the most significant Renaissance structures found at the north of the Alps. The Castle has been demolished during the 17th and 18th century, but then only few parts have been rebuilt. The Heidelberg Castle lies at a distance of 80 meters up the northern part of the Konigstuhl hillside, and from there it dominates the outlook of the old downtown.

You can reach to this site through the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway. The railway operates its services from the Kornmarkt to the summit of the Konigstuhl in Heidelberg. The original structure of the castle was built before 1214 AD and later has been enlarged into two different castles circa 1294. Unfortunately, in the year 1537, a lightening bolt has destroyed the upper castle.

The present structures were built with an expansion project in the year 1650, before the destruction through the wars and fires. All depends on the fate that some of the rebuilt sections were again destroyed by one more lightening bolt. Until the beginning of the 19th century, the Heidelberg Castle was not considered as the tourist destination. After building up the railway network in the year 1840, tourism has received a big boost in this area. At the beginning of the 21st century, over 3 million people visits this place a year, and nearly 1,000,000 people enjoyed overnight stays.

To get some wonderful views of Heidelberg, head to the Neckar River and the Neckar valley that is located far into the Rhine plain. If you are lucky enough to experience something beautiful with a clear day then the Mannheim is a better option that could be visible on the horizon.

Some of the other attractions at the site that will lure you entirely are:

The Gardens:

The castle gardens were built between the years 1616 and 1619 by Salomon De Caus who was the garden architect. Prince Elector Friedrich V commissioned him for his beloved wife Elizabeth. During that time, the gardens were considered as the masterpiece. The gardens are built upon many terraces with many flowers beds, mazes and arbors. With various sculptures, a heated greenhouse along with the orange trees, waterfalls, huge fish ponds, and a man-made grotto for the musical water arts.

Heidelberg Tun:

The Heidelberg Tun is also called as the World’s Largest Wine Barrel that was built by Prince Elector Karl Theodor in the year 1751. The structure stands at a height of seven meters and its breadth is of eight and a half meters. The Heidelberg Tun holds some 220,000 liters of wine and also boasts a dance floor that was built on the top of it.

Apothecary Museum:

Below the Oto Heinrich Building, you will get the unique Apothecary Museum. Visitors get an opportunity to learn the history of pharmacy and dispensaries. There is a huge compilation of such things.

Castle lighting:

You can see the renowned fireworks display that lights three times during every summer. The three times occur on the months of June and September – first Saturday, and the second Saturday in the month of July. The lighting is done to remember the past event and history of the castle.

So if you love to explore the historic places then head to the Heidelberg Castle and spend a memorable time in your life.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Gia Loren

How To Remove a Heidelberg GTO 52 Swingarm

The swing arm in a Heidelberg GTO offset printing machine may need to be taken out for adjustments or replacement of parts from time to time. Removing it need not be as dreaded as sometimes happens. In my years of experience with Heidelberg GTO machines, I have come across many experts who get uncomfortable whenever such a task is to be performed for adjustments or replacement of parts. This is because the process is very sensitive and affects colour registration. This activity should take less than 1 hour.

I will assume that the degree wheel and zero gauge, though necessary, are not available for this exercise. Crank the machine to the position where the swing arm is about midway between the feed board and the impression cylinder. Mark the position of the arm on the shaft clearly using a center punch or any other means that cannot easily come off. Make sure the marks are clearly visible both on the shaft and on the surface of the swing arm. It will be returned and clamped to this exact position when being fitted back to maintain the timing of paper transfer between the feed table and the impression cylinder. The three 10MM screws securing the arm to the shaft can then be loosened. It is important and safe to switch off the machine at this point.

Remove the machine guards on both operator and drive sides. On the operator side, the swing arm shaft bearing is secured by a set of three 5MM screws on the machine side frame and a chain mechanism attached to an end piece. The end piece holds the torsion rod that gives the swing arm tension to swing during its operation. Carefully and clearly mark the position of the clamping piece on the shaft. To release the tension, loosen the 5mm screw on the clamping piece. The tension will be released and the arm will be completely free. Remove the three 5MM screws securing the shaft bearing and slide off the end piece. The torsion rod is attached to this end piece and should come out of the shaft together with the end piece.

On the operator side, the swing shaft is attached to a lever and locked with three 5MM screws on to the machine side frame. Carefully remove the 3 screws and detach the lower end of the lever by removing the clip locking it after removing the oil tube. The shaft should now swing freely on its bearings on the side frame together with the lever. With the shaft now free on both operator and drive sides, it can be pulled off the machine on the drive side. Ensure that there is enough space between the machine and the nearest obstacle on the drive side. You may need to turn the machine manually if the cam on the drive side is has blocked the lever attached to the swing arm shaft. Pull the shaft and the lever all the way out of the machine, leaving the swing arm in position. The swing arm can then be easily removed from the machine from the front. For the shaft to slide off and come out easily, it has to be very clean and well lubricated. The swing arm can then be easily worked on out of the machine.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by James L Oloo

How to Start a House Cleaning Business on a Tight Budget

„If you use Emotion and Love to drive your sales and your business, you will create Loyalty Beyond Reason. And I promise you, you will build relationships and enjoy a business that exceeds beyond your wildest expectations“

First of all, before you decide to start your cleaning business, make sure this kind of work is right for you. You will need to be in good physical condition. Cleaning is very hard strenuous work. You will need to have good customer relation skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.

If you are planning on leaving your full time position to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six months of savings. Or keep your full time job and start out part time.

Research all the aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonding, what to charge and how to clean a home professionally. Cleaning your own home and cleaning professionally is totally different. Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time. When a client pays for your services they expect to come home and find their home spotless.

Getting those first clients takes time, persistence and patience. You will not get a hundred clients overnight.

Obtaining Those First Clients The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is obtaining those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quit capable of cleaning their home to their specifications. Be confident. I can’t stress this enough. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.

References: To get a few good references when starting out, ask some friends or family members if you can clean their home for free or at a discounted rate. The sound of working for free may not be appealing but it will be worth it to get some good testimonials.

When cleaning those first homes, go for quality, not how fast you can clean the home. Cleaning efficiently takes a long time, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in a short time. After cleaning make sure you go back and double check all rooms to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Impress those first clients and word of mouth will spread soon.

Advertising Your company image is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to portray on your advertising material. Your image is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo be sure to use it on all your advertising materials. I think it is best to have a website developed before you start advertising. When advertising, stick with the same logo and colors.

Advertise in Local Paper: Start by running a text ad in your local newspaper. Try to come up with an eye catching ad. Do not sell your services on low rates, sell your services on your quality of work and what you can do for the client that other companies don’t. There is a lot of competition in the cleaning service. You have to stand out from the rest.

Magnetic Signs or Lettering for your Vehicle: Having your business name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. We use the vinyl lettering. The lettering looks much more professional than the magnetic signs.

Flyers: You can print nice flyers on your home computer, but I would suggest investing in some professional flyers. Hang flyers at Hair Dressers, Laundromats, Restaurants, Bakeries, Grocery Stores, etc. Put flyers on car windows at local groceries stores and businesses. You can even go door to door in neighborhoods you would like to work in. You cannot put them in mailboxes. but you can put them in the front door.

Door Hangers: Door hangers are a great way to get new clients. Pick the neighborhood you would like to work in and hang the door hangers on the doors. When people get flyers or ads in their mailbox they usually throw them away with the junk mail. But if there is a door hanger on the door they will take the time to look at it.

Business Cards: Start passing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards on their counters.

Referral Program: A great way to obtain new clients is through a referral program. Offer existing clients a discount when they refer a friend. You can give your existing clients a discount when the friend uses your services three times.

Website: These days people live very busy lives so they use the convenience of the internet to shop for the services they need. A lot of working women will shop for services while at work. Everyone that has a business should have a website. It shows clients that you are serious about your business and allows them research your business in their own time.

Cleaning Products: By using all natrual products, you can offer your clients a healthy cleaning experience and protect ourselves against harsh chemicals. Clients love the natural cleaning products with essential oils. They come home to a healthy clean home filled with the wonderful scents of aromatherapy essential oils.

Tip: Always carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands often while cleaning homes. Wear gloves when cleaning bathrooms. You will be exposed to a lot of different germs in clients homes.

Remember most customers prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. That way they do not have to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before you clean. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances or floors in their houses. These customers usually will have these cleaners on hand for you to use. We almost always use the customers vacuum cleaner. That way you do not have to carry a heavy vacuum from house to house.

What to Charge I mentioned earlier that you should sell your services on your quality of work and not your low rates. If your rates are too low, clients will think that your work is sub-standard and that you are not experienced. Also you want to attract the clients that can afford your services. I made the mistake of pricing my work too low when I first started out. Cleaning is hard work, charge what you are worth. As the old saying goes „You get what you pay for.“

Some companies charge by the hour, some charge by the room, some charge a flat rate per home and some charge by the square foot. I think it is better to charge by the home, not by the hour. If a client knows they have to pay one set fee, they don’t care if you take 2 hours or 5 hours. Also your clients will know what they are paying up front and won’t have to worry about added expenses.

No two houses are the same. And there is no set charge for all homes. You have to clean for awhile yourself to get some experience and to work out a system to clean efficiently. Only you know what you want and need to make. Decide what you need to make hourly to cover all expenses and still make a good profit.

A word of advise: Make sure when you start your company that you charge what you would charge if you had employees. Some people make the mistake of under charging when they start out just to get customers and then later on when they grow and need to hire help they aren’t making enough money on their houses to pay help. Don’t under price your work. Cleaning homes is very hard physical work and you didn’t get into this business to work for nothing.

New Construction Cleaning If you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2 to 3 person jobs. New construction cleaning requires a lot more cleaning. You may have to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom showers, sinks and toilets. Some require that you clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans to clean, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area you live in.

Insurance and Bonding. You need to be an honest person and somewhat personable. People will need to trust you to be in their homes. Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their house, with good reason. You should be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance rates depend on your insurance carrier and where you are located. Each person you hire will increase your liability insurance. It’s well worth the cost. You can pay quarterly or yearly. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You will need to renew the bond every year. *Note: if you hire employees and cover them under your insurance, they must be an employee on payroll and not a sub-contractor. If you employ them as a sub-contractor your insurance will not cover them. If they are a sub-contractor they are required to carry their own insurance. You

Hiring Help If you start out cleaning the homes by yourself, you will eventually get to the point where you need to expand your business. Start out with one part time employee. Train her and let her take your place one day a week. Then have her take your place 2 days a week and so on. This will give you the free time that you need to market your business and obtain more clients. After you get more clients you will be able to hire more part time help. Eventually you will be able to stop doing the cleaning yourself and just run the business end, which is the only way you will be able to grow your business. When training new employees, always, either train them yourself or have a lead person train them. Make sure there is a lead person on each and every cleaning job. Employees have a tendency to slack off when they are on their own.

Growing Your Business You will eventually get to the point where you have enough employees and lead people and you will be able to stop working in your business and start running your business. You will find that after awhile it will get to be too much trying to clean everyday and at the same time giving estimates, answering calls, scheduling, doing book work, obtaining new clients, etc.

Remember one of the most important qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has to know they can trust you alone in their home. After you acquire a few cleaning positions ask the clients if you can use them for a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them for a reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new clients is through referrals. Be dependable. Most clients will want to be set up on an every week or every other week schedule on the same day of the week. Try to always keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to switch to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, make sure you try to reschedule at the earliest possible date to make up the cleaning.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Patti Page

Private Schools Around Wentworth Estate in Surrey

The Wentworth Estate village (in Virginia Water, Surrey) is one of the most exclusive residential areas in the world. It is the home of millionaires as well as one of the world renowed golf courses that shares its name: the Wentworth Golf Club.

With such exclusive residents of the Wentworth Estate or the remaining areas of Virginia Water, there is no shortage of private schools around the area. Here are some of the good private schools nearby:

Papplewick is as a prep school for 200 boys aged 6 to 13. By setting the bar high, Papplewick boys gain entry to the top UK senior schools including Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Wellington, Charterhouse, and Stowe.

St Mary’s Schools is a leading Roman Catholic boarding school for girls aged between 11 and 18 years set in 55 acres of beautiful grounds in the heart of Berkshire. They are a friendly, stable and caring community, proud of our academic and extra-curricular achievements and dedicated to bringing out the full potential of each of our 380 pupils.

Gordons School is listed as one of Britain’s outstanding schools by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Gordon’s is a unique non-selective state boarding school that recognises that a good education is not just about outstanding examination results but a thorough preparation for life. Gordons is one of Britain’s most academically successful state schools.

Heathfield is a leading, all-boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18 years old. The school is set in 36 acres of magnificent grounds, and conveniently situated in Ascot. The school is fully equipped with all the teaching, sporting and leisure facilities required to make education a challenging and positive experience.

The Marist The establishment of a boarding and day school in the Berkshire village of Sunninghill by the Marist Sisters was a direct result of the German air offensive against London in the early 1940s. Today the Marist Schools are independent Catholic day schools for girls aged 2½ to 11 and 11 to 18 years. Both schools are situated within 55 acres of woodland on one site.

Hall Grove The school occupies a unique site, with lots of open space, parkland and woodland. The school started with just 6 pupils. The property was in near derelict condition and had been empty for over two years. Today, it is a vibrant, happy community of over 400 boys and girls with an outstanding reputation for academic, musical and sporting success.

Coworth Flexlands is a preparatory day school and nursery set in 13 acres of countryside on the Surrey and Berkshire borders near Chobham. They provide places for 160 girls with boys being accepted into the nursery between the ages of 3 and 5 years.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Fatin Gunes

Realtor Lockboxes Explained: A Summary of Lockbox Options and Alternatives for Real Estate Agents

Real estate professionals today have a plethora of high tech options out there to enhance their business, but rarely do we fully consider the value of the lockbox – the sole piece of equipment responsible for allowing agents to show the homes that we sell everyday. The lockbox itself has evolved over time, and today agents find themselves comparing the value from a standard combination lockbox to that of a more high-tech electronic lockbox. Real estate agents today are pressed from all sides for fees, dues, and expenditures that are unavoidable costs of doing business, so when it comes to making a decision between a combination lockbox that’s just a few bucks versus a high-tech electronic lockbox that is substantially more expensive, does the increase in cost justify the value? Also, what are all the options out there for electronic lockboxes? This article highlights the findings of current industry options available.

Having the ability to show a home without the sellers there to watch your every move was a move in the right direction for the real estate industry. Agents know very well the situation where a seller will remain in a home during a showing and „pretend“ like they are minding their own business while the buyers tip-toe through the home trying not to impose while attempting to get a sense of what the home was like.

This is a wild departure from the typical showing when the sellers aren’t there; clients love to snoop around in order to get a good sense of the home. With the sellers not there, the buyers get a good opportunity to get a true sense of how that particular home would feel and if they can see themselves living there. Put simply, it allows for a better, more convenient showing experience.

From this dilemma the lockbox was invented. A device securing the key for entry by licensed real estate agents to show their prospective buyers, and it allowed sellers (or their agents) the opportunity to have the home shown without the need of their presence. It saved time, and allowed for a better showing experience. Truly, it was a win-win.

However, early lockboxes were simply a combination lockbox. They are certainly inexpensive, but an obvious downside was the lack of security for the home in question once the lockbox code was known. Sellers would rely on the professional ethics of real estate agents to keep the code confidential, but sometimes the code would slip into hands of non-agents. Less frequently, the code would be found by people with malicious intent.

With the obvious shortfall of relying on the honor system to keep lockbox codes confidential, it offered the opportunity for a better solution that would allow for accountability along with the ability to show a home without the seller being present. As a result, it did not take long for „smart“ lockboxes using electronic technology to come into existence, thus revolutionizing the process of showing a home. Before a seller and their agent wouldn’t really know who was showing the property other than the confirmed appointments that were made. Flash forward to today, and you have the ability to know exactly who and exactly when someone shows a property through the use of an electronic lockbox. With these smart electronic lockboxes, only an agent or other authorized party can access the lockbox itself, further emboldening the assurance to a seller that only licensed agents and properly authorized individuals are showing or entering their home.

Today there are 2 main companies that provide these smart electronic lockboxes to real estate agency associations. They are Supra key and Sentrilock. Together they comprise the majority of the lockbox industry market; nobody else comes close.

Supra (or SupraKey) is owned by general electric and provides lockbox solutions to all sorts of niche industries, real estate lockboxes being one of them. Bill Love, national account manager for Supra, says that out of a given state or region in the country, Supra, on average, maintains an 80% market share. Supra has sold several million lockboxes throughout the years to real estate agents, and currently Love estimates that there are 1.5 million+ Supra lockboxes currently in use by about 750,000 real estate agents throughout the country.

The supra key itself features a cylindrical design up to the „shackle“ (the loop part of the lockbox that will noose around something and keep it in its place securely) where the shackle fits in seamlessly. Its simplistic design is pleasing to the eye, and to activate the lockbox, an agent has a „digital key“ that’s about the size of a small flip phone and has a number pad and screen on it. The agent sets the key to open a box and points it in the direction of an infrared sensor on the box itself. When the lockbox recognizes that it being accessed by the remote digital key, it will release to allow access and the bottom of the lockbox will fall out when it’s pushed by the agent, and voilà, the key to the home is available for the agent to take and open the door for the showing.

Love says that Supra has plans for upgrades to the current model lockbox that will include the ability for wireless Bluetooth access and syncing. Also, rather than having the digital key, if the agent has a smartphone, Supra offers an app for access with the phone instead, which makes it easier and more convenient, for a monthly fee. Love claims that the key difference with a Supra Lockbox is that „it keeps intelligence in the hands of the user.“ Rather than having to rely on extra equipment or other trades people, the user has the control. Supra has had the current model for several years now with incremental software updates along the way. If an agent wants to buy a new Supra lockbox, it costs around $90, but the actual price that an agent will pay is determined by the association that they belong to.

Sentrilock is the other major player in the real estate lockbox industry. Sentrilock, which is based out of Indiana and is partially owned by the National Association of Realtors has been around for less than a decade and currently services about 250 of the 1000+ Realtor associations throughout the country and Canada as well. These associations comprise about 250,000 agents and approximately 500,000 lockboxes in current use. Sentrilock has 2 main models that are currently used; one is a silver lockbox that resembles a cell phone from the late 1980’s, bulky and heavy and somewhat longer in size than the supra lockbox. It has a key pad directly on the front of the lockbox itself, and holds the key within a drop-down door that pops open when accessed.

The other lockbox they offer is a smaller, more compact blue lockbox that is more cube-ish in shape but with the similar functionality features. The main difference between the silver and blue lockbox is that the blue lockbox allows for more space within the lockbox itself (which is important for people trying to sell a condo and who need to include an „access fob“ in addition to the key to the front door of the unit itself – there just isn’t enough room for multiple keys or when including the access fob with Sentrilocks‘ silver lockbox). Sentrilock sells their lockboxes for about $125 a piece, but this also depends on where you are getting it from, as the actual retail price is determined by the local real estate association that sells the boxes.

Both lockbox companies offer substantial warranties on the product themselves. They also have a support team that is almost always available in the event there is difficulty in accessing a lockbox, or for troubleshooting purposes. Both companies offer a comprehensive online tool that can provide the analytics from the showings and use of a specific lockbox which agents can use to share with their clients.

Some of the main differences between these two are how the lockbox itself is accessed. Sentrilock doesn’t need an extra piece of equipment to open a box. Rather, they utilize a „Smart-Card“ which is essentially a credit-card that fits into the lockbox and has a chip inside it that shares your information with the lockbox you are accessing. This card is all you need to access the lockbox, whereas Supra requires the digital key, although they have addressed this by means of offering the smart-phone app so an agent can use their phone in place of the digital key. Both systems require updating; in other words, the smart card for the sentrilock system requires you to stick your card in a „card reader“ that you get when you buy your smart-card that hooks into your computer. Every few days (the exact amount of days is determined by your local Realtor association) you must update the card through the card reader, which will allow you to show property, and at the same time uploads the information of the places you have shown to the Sentrilock system, which in turn is then able to be seen by the agents who owned the lockboxes of the places that you accessed. In a pinch you can update your card over the phone, but you can only do this once or twice.

On the other hand, supra keys update wirelessly. They didn’t always do this, where you were required to keep your „digital key“ docked on a charging station that was hooked up to a phone line. You had to do this every day and that’s how the system would both update your card as well as share your showing information to the system. The wireless updating feature has been in place for a year or two now, and takes the headache out of the equation of having you update your key each and every day.

The back end system for Sentrilock allows an agent to create specific access codes for one-time access of a specific lockbox. This makes it really convenient for a contractor, appraiser, termite inspector, etc. to be able to access a property with a code, but only one time because that code will expire after the day the code was intended to be used. This is a great feature that Supra doesn’t have an answer to.

Although there are benefits to both systems, any agent can’t simply choose which lockbox system they want to use – this is decided, agreed to and contractually obligated between either Sentrilock or Supra and an agent’s local real estate association. These associations, once they have agreed on a system to use can then „tweak“ the system to their discretion and preference. Things like the cost of a lockbox, whether the lockbox is leased or sold to agents, the amount of times an agent can renew their key by phone, the amount of days that can elapse before an update of an access key is required, these and more options can be tweaked and most real estate professionals are unaware that other options or preferences exist.

When comparing the benefits over your standard combination lockbox, an agent must be able to justify the added cost of a smart-electronic lockbox by the value it provides. It’s easy to do so, especially when taking the seller’s best interests at heart, as the smart lockbox will ensure accountability and a better safety and security measure for the showing process and for the home itself. Its analytics information and the ability to control who can actually gain access to the home are tantamount to successfully being able to gauge the interest in a home by means of how many people are interested in seeing it as well as being able to rest assure the seller that a home is being shown but in the most secure manner possible.

During this most recent downturn in the economy, most real estate markets throughout the country were inundated (and some still are) with foreclosure property. Certain real estate brokerages that specialized in this type of distressed property had the best years of production on record for the 2008 and 2009 years. All of these properties that needed to be shown and sold needed lockboxes, but the value provided by a smart lockbox through Sentrilock or Supra didn’t justify the cost to acquire, as distressed-property brokerages had inventories of 50, 100, 200 or 300 properties at a given time. The smart lockboxes were too expensive, especially when taking into account that the home in question was owned by the bank, it was vacant and the analytics of showings didn’t matter when a given foreclosure property is selling in no time at all with multiple offers. If an agent is carrying even 50 listings with a smart lockbox, it entails $5000 worth of lockboxes needed on all the properties he/she has for sale. At this point, a less expensive combination lockbox from Lowes for $7 looks way better and the total outlay for the lockboxes is substantially less. It’s a combination of utility value and overall price paid from the standpoint of the real estate professional, so it begs the question, why are the smart lockboxes so expensive?

Put simply, the market will bear the current price point of both the Supra and Sentrilock lockboxes because the value they provide are well worth the cost. That being said, certain companies have come into existence that are poised to take advantage of the amount of agents that want to sell their used lockboxes as well as the agents out there who don’t want to pay retail for the lockbox(es) they need for their business. Blake Nolan, co-owner of San Diego based LockboxSwap has created a website where a secondary market has been created and regulated for both the Sentrilock and Supra lockbox systems. Nolan says his company can help agents buy or sell their lockboxes and in the process save time and money. „Right now there is no real place online that offers what we offer“ Nolan Says. He continues that „if you call into (any association) and ask about used lockboxes, or where to sell your own lockboxes, they say to go try craigslist or Ebay. We created LockboxSwap to address this vast and untapped market opportunity.“

Nolan’s‘ LockboxSwap company plans to unveil the business this summer, and preliminary beta-test users have offered rave reviews.

In the world of Realtor lockboxes, smart-lockboxes are preferred because the overall value inherent in being able to secure a home, controlling the use of entry and having analytical accountability far outweighs the alternative of your standard combination lockbox (or no lockbox at all) Although the 2 main players in the Realtor lockbox arena have 2 excellent products, both fall short of being 100% perfect. They both do some things quite well and have the capabilities that the other does not. It would be great to be able to merge both products and concepts together, but since that is not possible, it’s up to each individual Realtor association to interview and determine which company is a better „fit“ for them. At the end of the day, the 2 companies and respective products, although imperfect, represent competition between one another which keeps productivity and innovation high while keeping prices in check. Companies like that of LockboxSwap help to do this further by inventing and establishing the precedent for an industry that hereto has yet to exist, but has the ability to offer a cost-efficient alternative to Realtor professionals when it comes to their lockbox needs.

No matter what, it’s obvious the industry is moving in the right direction; we are witnessing technological advancements that help to serve Realtor professionals do their job better and more efficiently, and it is interesting to see what will be the norm in the near future as well as the long term. For now, Realtor professionals should be confident in knowing that while it’s great where we stand today, the future is only getting brighter.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Michael Justin Wolf

First Time Homebuyers and Down Payment Assistance Programs

May 27, 2010 Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPA’s) for First Time Home Buyers By: Michael A. Foote, CMB

There is money available for first time homebuyers today. In a much needed addition to financing products available today, down payment assistance programs are available once again. Down Payment Assistance Programs are generally a local, state or federal grant or bond program designed to assist certain persons with certain income levels in certain areas, with money that can be used for down payment and closing costs on many purchase loans.

These tax free grants or loans are generally forgivable provided the buyer stays in the home for a designated amount of time. And these dollars can dramatically change the amount of money required for closing when these first time homebuyers buy a home. For example, a typically FHA borrower may have to come up with over 4-7% total of the sales price whereas a borrower with a WISH down payment assistance program may only need to bring in 2-3% total. That’s a huge amount of money on a several hundred thousand dollar transaction. If you amortize out that difference the savings are literally tens of thousands of dollars since most closing costs are financed in the new mortgage.

So what does the process with „DPA“ look like when compared to the regular loan process. Quite frankly, it’s seem less to the user insofar that the lender will generally have to deal with the additional hoops during the process. For the borrower/buyer they probably wouldn’t know the difference. The only real difference is a potential for a slightly longer loan processing time. So is DPA a good idea? Well, lately it has been a challenge for Realtors to get clients using FHA let alone FHA WITH Down Payment Assistance so an argument could be made that using DPA on an Offer to Purchase could be a determining factor for the seller’s side when these choose the offer to open escrow with. The only cure for this pitfall will need to be more product on the market for properties up to the $400,000 range as DPA generally have no purpose and no qualifying borrowers as the sales price rises and/or in areas of high per capita income. Undoubtedly, DPA has a place in today’s financing landscape and those of in the industry are happy to have it, it is one more additional tool to increase homeownership for low to mid income families. And this product will help sell the forecasted shadow inventory rumored to be lurking around the corner.

Only time will tell if that come to fruition or not. These programs are not free from abuse, there have been in the past scams related to DPA and officials, lenders, and large institutions have really scaled back what is allowable as DPA. Also economics play into the availability of these from all the time. There are many DPA’s completely drained of funds.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Michael Foote

5 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

If you are a first time home buyer, you may want to have the right strategies to save a down payment, apply for a mortgage, and buy a house that you desire. Just like any large project, you need to get the details right for a successful home buying experience. With these steps, you can navigate the process and get a great deal. Given below are some of the tips that can help you purchase the best home. Read on to find out more.

1. Start Saving as Early as Possible

Make sure you start saving as soon as possible. This way you will have plenty of money to spend on the best house. You need money for making a down payment and meeting closing costs and move-in expenses. Generally, the down payment is 10% of the full value of the property.

2. Decide on your Budget

Find out how much you can spend on the property prior to starting your search. You can use an affordability calculator in order to set a price range on the basis of a lot of factors, such as your credit rating, down payment, and income, just to name a few.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

Working with a reliable real estate agent can help you check out homes that can meet your needs. They can make it easier for you to negotiate with sellers and get the best deal possible. You may also want to get referrals from other home buyers. We suggest that you interview at least five agents and ask them for references. Make sure that the agent has at least 10 years of experience in the field.

4. Go for the Right type of House

You may want to compare the advantages and disadvantages of different types of properties based on your budget and lifestyle. Unlike a single-family home, a townhome or condominium can be a much better choice. Another great option that you may want to consider is a fixer-upper. They come with lower price tags. But you may want to set some money aside for remodeling these properties.

You may want to consider your long-term needs, especially if you are planning to expand your family. In other words, you may want to purchase a house that has additional rooms.

5. Stick to your Budget

You may not want to spend more than what you can afford. Therefore, it is not a good idea to spend more than what you can payback. This is important if you want to avoid financial stress in the future. It is better that you consider properties that are priced lower than your maximum budget.

Long story short, if you are a first-time home buyer, we suggest that you follow these steps and you will be able to buy your first home without getting into trouble. Just make sure you have set a budget and taken into consideration all the important pointers given in this article.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Shalini M

Townhouse or Condo – What Is the Difference?

Between a townhouse and a condo, there is a lot of difference. Everyone dreams about owning a home some day and if you are considering either of these as your first, or maybe your last, home it is important to know what each one is and how they differ.

Townhouse

It is a type of row or terraced house that is similar in shape and size and will usually share common walls. They are considered a single-family residence with each having a separate entrance. When you buy a townhouse, you are buying a special unit from a long line of properties that are similar. In historic Ireland and UK, it was a house for aristocrats inside a capital city that they used when they had to attend parliament sessions or during social functions.

Condo

It is also referred to as a condominium and is a type of housing tenure that also means common ownership. These were a part of a certain estate that are sold or leased to a tenant. The owner of the whole estate did this. Today it is a term used as a substitute for special unit, or apartment that are leased or purchased.

Major differences

• Ownership specifications-when you own a condo you will be the legal owner of everything that is inside the interior and if the condo owner wants to use the rest of the amenities, they must pay a monthly fee to the condo association. All members who own a condo form this association.

• Property taxes-the one that owns the condo also has to pay property tax on their individual living area but the townhouse homeowner has to pay not only for their living area but also for the ground on which it is built. This can mean that the cost for a townhouse may be higher than the price of a condo.

• The townhouse owner will have to pay a sum to a homeowner’s association for the maintenance of the complex but the monthly dues that a condo owner pays takes care of the overall maintenance without paying an extra fee.

• Structure of the home-mo matter what size of a townhouse that you purchase it is located on the ground level. There are no more floors on top except for maybe a terrace or it could be built in a different style of architectural like Cape Cod. The condo is usually located in a two or three floor complex. It could also be in a luxurious high-end multistory building along with exotic views.

• Condos are safer than townhouses as they are surrounded by a close neighborhood

• Townhouses offer more privacy as you are not surrounded by a lot of neighbors.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Lora Davis

Choosing How to Search for Condos for Sale Makes a Big Difference on What Is Found

When someone is buying any kind of real estate, they are going to want to make sure that they have a good selection to pick from. Nobody is going to want to buy the very first piece of property that they come across. Searching for condos for sale is no different than searching for any other kind of real estate other than the location.

A realtor is able to show buyers the ones that are listed for sale. They may be looking for ones in a certain area. The only difference with condos is that they may not be built yet when they are being sold.

There are many companies that are selling them before they are built. The buyer is able to customize some of the features that these have. There are a lot of different types of things that can vary from one condo to another.

The general design is going to stay the same though. This is something that includes the actual layout of the condo. As far as paint colors, flooring and appliances, these can be chosen by the person that purchases that condo.

This can affect the price of them, but they will have what they want to have instead of settling for something that someone else designed for them. They will have a brand new place to live and be the first ones to live there too. This can be exciting to a lot of people.

There are many different choices that people will choose when they are buying a condo. The size of them are going to be very important too. They have many different things that need to be perfect for the buyer.

The location is another thing that people have to consider. They need to have a lot of different choices for every one of them. There are many different opportunities that are in each neighborhood, but many times, the location is chosen because of the employment that a person has.

There are a lot of these condos that have heated parking garages and more also. This is something that can be very beneficial in some areas. The garbage removal is also an added benefit to living in these communities.

Every place is going to offer something different for the tenants. The landscaping that is done can be enjoyed by everyone that lives there too. The grounds are maintained by the facilities too.

There are several other things that can be enjoyed by everyone too. Some of them will have shared pools and other activities. The location will determine how much they have in each of the communities.

When someone is choosing which condos that they want to look at, they will often choose ones that offer the most convenience for them as well as the most amenities that they can take advantage of. They will also look at the location as a benefit or not. There are a lot of things that are important to people when they are searching for a place to live.

Everybody has a different preference of what they like to have the best. They have many different things that are going to be beneficial to living in one of these communities, but also have many things that may make a person feel constricted on what they can and cannot do. Everybody has something different that they like and want to have in their living arrangements.

There are many different sizes and types of condos for sale all around the world. Finding the best suited one for the person that will be buying is going to be a task though. There are a lot of options that are available, but not everyone likes all of those features.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Reg Liyanage

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