What We’re Reading: October 24-28

CUBS!, innovation, photography, physics, elections, mystery, Halloween, home buying, food, and amenities.

Did you hear who made it to the World Series this year? GO CUBS GO! (Forgive our department’s bias — we are headquartered in Chicago, after all)

Learn management lessons from Joe Maddon.

This seems harder than using stairs, but okay…

Virtual reality has so many real world applications, including real estate!

Google Earth is a cool tool, until there is a glitch, at which point it becomes terrifying!

For the record, we know that the wizarding world is fictional, but these photographs are magical.

So this is a thing now? We thought playing with your food was frowned upon.

Did you know we are about to have an election? Here are some tools to inform voters on procedures in their states. Iceland is facing an election, too. One that’s about to be taken by pirates.

Now that this mystery is solved, maybe we can get answers to what happened to Earhart, Hoffa, and left socks.

With all due respect to the editors of this list, we only agree with half of it. Once you have sorted the good candy from the bad, consult this list for wine pairingsThad Zajdowicz 2014 Thad Zajdowicz/flickr/2014

These articles are always interesting to us, we hope you enjoy them, too!

In case you’re not interested in a healthy start to your day, this now exists. No judgment! And in case you’re thinking of embarking on a new diet, see what science has to say about some of the most popular diet plans out there.

In a place like NYC, a driveway is the height of luxury.

Here are a few reasons to embrace the benefits that our future overlords provide us while we still can.


What We’re Reading: Oct. 17-21

Prompts, awards, interviews, housing, Halloween, literature, candy, hobbies, and the internet.

This could be useful IRL as an augmented reality feature at cocktail parties.

We will never be as cool as Bob Dylan, as proven by his ignoring one of the most prestigious awards out there.

Ugh. And we thought Skype interviews were bad.

Depending on what you’re into, these houses could be really cool or very scary to own.

The toughest part of Halloween is decided what to dress as — here are some DIY ideas. And here are some pop culture costume inspirations.

Call me impressed. This classic novel is 125 years old! Richard Eriksson 2014 Richard Eriksson/flickr/2014

Forgive us, but what’s better than candy? Data about candy!

If your passion was fishing, and you could afford to, would you do this?

Do parts of the internet appear to be broken today? This could be the answer.

Have you been limiting your children’s screen time? Maybe you should stop.

What We’re Reading: October 10-14

Literature, technology, security, builds, recreations, clowns, libraries, and procrastination.

How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a Nobel Laureate?

You’re never going to own Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now. Why do bad things happen to ostensibly good phones? Check out the packaging precautions for the safe return of these malfunctioning devices.

Interested in Google Assistant? Here are some commands you can use!

You might already use Facebook at your workplace, but now you can use Workplace By Facebook. What?

Tired of trying to remember all your passwords? Biometrics might replace them in the future.

Friendship bracelets were so much simpler when we were children, but we’re not knocking the learning outcomes on these. IMG_3846 Traci Lawson/flickr/2010

Want to build a home, but only spend as much as you would on a car? Try a Tiny House! This method must be less expensive than using traditional housing materials, too.

Is this a “build it and they will come” idea?

What is the world coming to? Legitimate clowns are laying low until this creepy clown drama cools off.

Let’s go back to a time when living in a library as a custodian was a possibility!

Speaking of cool library ideas, don’t you wish your town had one of these?

I read this list while procrastinating another task. Whoops.



Tips And Tricks For Successful Real Estate Investing

Knowledge is power, always, but especially with new business ventures. You can make quite a bit of money with real estate investments if you choose good properties. Continue reading to learn the basics of investing in real estate.

Decide which type of investing you will focus on with real estate before you begin. You may find that real estate flipping is just your style. You may even prefer to start rehab projects when choosing real estate. The work involved is quite different, so it’s important you choose wisely.

If you want to start investing in real estate, think about the amount of time you have available for managing properties. Tenant issues can eat up your schedule. If you realize managing it takes too much time, consider hiring a company that specializes in property management to assist you.

Choose popular, well-known locales that will pique the interest of potential clients. This is very important because it could give you the best amount of resale when you go about your purchase. Also, try to look for properties that can be easily maintained.

Make sure that you devote a lot of time to your investment. Dealing with your tenants can be very time consuming. Before it becomes overwhelming, it can be a smart choice to get the help of a company who can handle property management for you.

Join an investor group online or follow the blogs of some of the most successful real estate investors in the world. This gives you a place to gain valuable knowledge. You can also talk with others in the same field.

Consider the amount of time you can realistically devote to managing property. It can be time consuming to deal with tenants. Get a management company to do the dirty work for you.

Avoid purchasing properties in bad neighborhoods. Be certain to understand the locale where you intend to buy. Research it. A home may seem like a great deal until you realize it is located in a bad neighborhood. It may be vandalized and could be hard to sell.

Know the basics of real estate before you spend money. Mistakes in investing in real estate could leave you in a big ditch. One of the best investments you can make is in educating yourself.

Don’t buy property in a bad neighborhood. Make sure you pay attention to the location of the property you are buying. Research it. Sometimes a good deal is too good to be true. It might be damaged and hard to sell.

Before investing in real estate, familiarize yourself with the neighborhood. Location is a key aspect of investing in real estate, and you also need to know about zoning laws. Speak with the people who live in the area to get a grasp of the renting potential of property in this neighborhood.

If you plan on getting involved in real estate investing, get started soon. You can’t learn about the business until you get going. You are going to find yourself behind with the market’s changing if you don’t get moving!

It’s best to buy properties in the local areas that you know. When you know the area, you’ll have a better feel for whether it’s a good buy or not. You need not have concerns about what is taking place at your properties, since you will always be in the vicinity. This will give you more control during the investing process.

If you become a seasoned real estate investor, there are certain to be ups and downs. Don’t allow the low points make you want to give up on real estate. Be persistent and you will be successful. Keep learning new things and trying again and you are sure to accomplish your goals.

When figuring out your profits, you should deduct any repairs that have to be made. If the property is something you are selling, you should make the repairs first. There is also maintenance that you will have to shell out money for. Your profit expectations are going to be most successful if you pad your estimates for costs that surprise you.

Make certain that you can afford the mortgage on any property you purchase. If the property you purchase is going to be rented out, you have to be able to still afford the monthly mortgage payments no matter whether or not you have tenants. It’s not smart to assume your rental income will fully cover the mortgage payment.

Stay away from beginner realtors. When it comes to investing in real estate, you really need someone experienced to provide you with the best opportunities. The only way you find exactly what you desire is by using one with experience. At the very least, hire an experienced firm.

Be prepared and willing to make a few sacrifices. For instance, you will be investing not only money, but a great deal of your time if you enter the real estate market. You may need to give up some free time to be successful in real estate investing. Keep in mind that they will be waiting after reaching your goals.

Are property values on the rise in the area? Are there tons of vacancies in rental properties? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself before purchasing real estate. You might want to buy a cheap house to flip, but you shouldn’t set expectations to high.

Always keep enough capital on hand to cover the mortgage on your rental property, regardless of whether your tenant can make the rent. This will keep you more calm and allow you to choose the right renter instead of the first person who comes along.

Know the marketplace’s lingo. You should have good idea what you are talking about at all times. If you come across as someone new to the business, the seller might try to take advantage of you. You want to use your lingo and your knowledge to your advantage. If you sound professional, negotiations become easier.

After you have been making real estate investments for a while, you will soon become familiar with the pitfalls. The more you know about these pitfalls before you start, the better off you will be. Use the techniques listed above to be successful.

What We’re Reading: October 3-7

Baseball, privacy, nature, safety, bees, coffee, TV, home buying, and bathrooms.

The Chicago Cubs are having a record season — how did Theo Epstein put this team together? Let’s hope the Cubs can put this mess behind them!

No one deserves an ordeal like this, but can oversharing information on social media make you a target?

Did this koala get upstaged?

What is being done to keep public spaces safe in the wake of recent shootings?

Double check that species of bee before you swat it — it might be protected! Never mind that bees can be trained to complete tasksAJC1 2011 AJC1/flickr/2011

Nearly two months ahead of the anticipated follow up to a popular TV series, Netflix partnered with local coffee shops for a bit of fun publicity.

Speaking of TV, which of these famous TV homes fits your style?

Here’s some advice to pass along to buyers who do not want a mortgage. And here’s some advice to pass along to everyone.

If money is a huge issue, here’s an affordable solution.

We didn’t even know awards were handed out for this, but good job to two Chicago restaurants for making the short list?

Top Field Guides for September 2016

Field Guides are one-stop resource packages on dozens of subjects of interest to REALTORS®. On each page you’ll find links to articles, books, web sites, statistics, and other material on each subject. The list of the most-used field guides from Information Central for the month of September 2016 was released today:

  1. Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics
  2. Field Guide to Being a New REALTOR®
  3. Field Guide to Opening a Real Estate Brokerage
  4. Field Guide to Farming & Prospecting
  5. Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS®
  6. Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges
  7. Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®
  8. Field Guide to Preparing & Staging a House for Sale
  9. Field Guide to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID)
  10. Field Guide to Drones and Real Estate

Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!