Select The Best Commercial Or Residential Property At Kolkata Under Reasonable Price

Kolkata land creators are for the most part making very much composed frameworks henceforth the individuals profiting all through land don’t have to consider the brilliance connected with improvement. Appearance to land specialists, men and ladies consider things like parts, the extravagances alongside the inventor before selecting property in kolkata inside the region. Commonly, flats inside Kolkata near to property rates as contrasted and different other city.

1st Purchase of Kolkata properties individuals reverberation things like sites, the administrations furthermore the creator before purchasing a property in the zone. In the first place Kolkata individuals consider such things as regions, the real elements furthermore the developer before obtainment a things from the downtown.Despite Sturdy need, tried and true home credit costs and also great venture assumption, deals including lodging units dismisses through 40 % in driving towns because of higher expenses inside of the initial 1/ 2 of 2013- 14.

Land planners enhanced the expenses with their current activities alongside the costs including new discharged undertakings are significantly higher than the first sort sorts. Two- room, zone then kitchen region furthermore bed room flats charging Players. 25 lakh has got to be advancing with respect to Forty five lakh, which is past the range from the white collar class of First Kolkata Properties. Land manufacturers expanded the costs of their current ventures furthermore the rates connected with recently propelled tasks are significantly over the last sorts. The ascent in costs including property in kolkata can be bolstered by the estimations of metal and additionally exposed cement. Amid the most recent couple of months, the purchasing cost of material has gone far up by 40 % alongside exposed solid rates by fifteen for each penny, this gives.

Metallic furthermore solid make up very nearly 30 % of the building cost that deteriorates the cost of the genuine venture essentially by Ten to twelve percent.One more take a stab at the specific expansive help in truly worth is the dangerous bubble in the land market, which started as rates began expanding. Initially Property in Kolkata would positively vacillate particularly in light of area and business base. Dealers begin purchasing properties and start showcasing every one of them at more noteworthy costs inside weeks to create an expedient profit. The specific acquire property raises because of this reason.

This reasons rates to go up to stratospheric amounts. As per this, paying little respect to the huge names from the land business choosing just took the ribbon off new undertakings with shabby valuing, prerequisite for these sorts of pads kept on being drowsy among customers because of territory disadvantage. Another reason to the high surge in expenses is the expecting rise in the land area that commenced while value extents initiated heightening. Audit moreover uncovers that lion’s share of the ideal ventures have a tendency to be coming up inside the outskirts in the Country wide Capital Region (NCR), its keep isn’t any suitable on the web connectivity.First property in kolkatagenuine Farmville ranch software engineers are by and large building fruitful edifices so the people acquiring land require not looking into the standard of configuration.

Taking into account genuine site managers, people uncover belonging, for example, opportunities, the real open doors in addition to the foreman preceding purchasing benefits in the metropolitan. Actually, pads in Kolkata near to things expenses while connected to some other metro area.

Building Links With Images: Where To Start And How To Automate It?

Building Links With Images: Where To Start And How To Automate It?

 A picture can be worth a thousand words, they say.
Well, when it comes to online marketing, a single image can be worth a thousand links!

Take a look at this image by comic blogger xkcd that gives tips on how to create strong and easy to remember passwords:

sdf

Any guess on how many links that this image has gotten?

Seriously, I want you to pause, take a good hard look and shout out a wild guess of how many links you think this image has gotten.

I’ll wait…

When I plug in this URL into Ahrefs Site Explorer I see that it has gotten over 4,100 referring domains!

referring-domains

How did you do on your guess? Close?

Put your guess down in the comments. I’d love to see how many links people think the image got.

As for me (in the famous words of Dumb & Dumber) – “I was way off!”.

It’s crazy to think that this single image has gotten 9X’s more referring domains than the blog you are reading right now! ( Sorry Ahrefs )

Aside from links, this image has received social shares getting into the hundreds of thousands.

Will you be able to replicate this kind of success with one of your own images?

Hardly.

But even if you only get 0.1% the results (which is totally doable) – that is still 40 links.

So here’s how you build links with images…

How To Create Images That Attract Links

Gregory Ciotti  has a great post about creating visual assets that I recommend everyone reads.

Aside from the huge list of great examples of visual assets I like this quote:

Great visual assets do more than just put words to images, they must offer creativity, clarity, or new insights on a popular topic.

And there’s a perfect visual that Gregory uses to illustrate his point:

Here's how you illustrate the "features VS benefits" concept.

The article where this image was featured is only 100 words long. But the way they’ve illustrated the “features VS benefits” concept is so amazing, that it generated 142 links from 75 domains (and almost 5k tweets).

Now this visual doesn’t seem to be too hard to put together – a few images of Mario (that can easily be found in Google) and a few phrases of supporting text.

But if you are not a designer, like me, you’ll have a hard time putting the whole thing together anyways.

So I usually prefer to leverage cheap services like Fiverr whenever I need to design a simple image like that!

Actually, you can find a lot of different design gigs on Fiverr.

Take a look at this recent post at Ahrefs blog: “How To Sell SEO Services: Getting Your SEO Business Off The Ground With Freelance Gigs“.

For as low as $5 they were able to visualize the main idea behind that article in a cool simple comic:

ahrefs-comic

The main downside of Fiverr is that you need to give a lot of direction, and since it starts at $5 you get what you pay for.

If you are looking to get a lot of input and help from a designer, I suggest using99 Designs or Dribbble.

Audit Images That Build You Links

I can hear a lot of you saying right now:

But Ben I don’t have any image ideas OR I can’t afford Fiverr OR I’m lazy OR _____________.

Don’t worry, the truth is that every website has images that they can leverage for link building.

In fact, most of the time your images are being used and you don’t even realize it!

I call this Link Harvesting, where we use the assets you already have to build links. This saves a lot of time and doesn’t cost any additional resources.

Start by doing an image audit to find all of the images that could be used to build links.

These can be:

  • Logos – This includes all old logos. You can find who is using outdated ones and let them know about the newest version.
  • Brand Mascots – Some famous examples are Ronald Mc Donald and Google Android.
  • Infographics
  • Product Photos
  • Badges / Awards
  • Employee Photos

Note down all the images that you think have the potential to attract some links and proceed to the next step.

Find Who Is Using Your Images

Alright, now that you have a list of images, it is time to see if the images are being used online.

For if someone is using your images you can simply request that they link to you as the source.

Handy Image Search Tools

  • Google Image Search (Free)
  • TinEye (Free)

Just upload your image into any of these tools and you’ll get a list of pages where your (or similar) image was used:

Google Image Search

I recommend you to use both tools, because quite often they will give you different search results.

How To Automate Image Link Building

Using TinEye and Google Image Search is great to see if an image has been used online ever. But if you want to check back monthly to see if anyone new has picked up your image (which I highly recommend doing) those tools are really difficult to use.

Instead, I use a tool called Image Raider.

This tool gives you a ton of free credits to start and allows you to automate checking your images as often as you would like.

It’s simple

  1. Add images to Image Raider
  2. Set frequency of how often to check (once, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)
  3. Get emailed when they find new occurrences
  4. Email them asking for a link to your image

This simple process has allowed me to find links on major publications who were linking to the wrong place as the source!

Below is an example of how I have it set up to monitor the infographics thatSolarWinds creates:

Setting Up Image Raider

SolarWinds Infographics in Image Raider

Always Check Pages For Links

Image Raider lets me know where the images are being used, but not if they are linking back to my site. Before reaching out to these websites, you need to make sure that they are not already linking to you.

You can use the Moz bar to check if a given page has any links pointing to your domain.

But in case you get too many alerts from Image Raider, maybe it would be more convenient to create some automatic script that will check all these pages on autopilot.

Create Email Templates

Now that we’ve automated finding image opportunities with Image Raider, it’s time to email webmasters and request that they link to us as the source.

To help speed this up, you should use some kind of template.

I personally use BuzzStream because of their auto fill template feature, but a simple canned response in Gmail also works.

Here is a quick generic example:

Hi,

First off, thank you so much for including us in your article on [Domain Name].

[URL of Article]

I noticed that you included our image and was wondering if you could link to us as the source.

Thank you again for including us.

Ben

Take Action

We covered a lot, so let’s summarize an action plan so you can start growing your backlink profile with images:

  1. Create awesome images!
  2. Keep a list of all the images you own for your website (Ex: Logo, Infographics, etc)
  3. See if images are being used online (TinEye)
  4. Automate image discovery (Image Raider)
  5. Check to pages to see if they are already linking (Moz Bar)
  6. Email those who are not linking and request they link to you as the source (Buzzstream)

If you follow these 6 steps I’m confident that you will find and create new link opportunities each month.

11 Handy Bookmarklet Hacks For Quick Access To Ahrefs Tools

11 Handy Bookmarklet Hacks For Quick Access To Ahrefs Tools

SEO research is an exciting thing, but we all know – the constant repetitive clicking and switching of windows can be quite tedious and hamper the flow of creativity.
There’s just so much data that has to be checked and researched that you’re likely to find the whole thing excruciatingly boring and monotonous.

But there’s a nifty little hack that will speed up your research by a great deal and make it a lot more convenient.

I’m talking about “bookmarklets”.

New To Bookmarklets?

A bookmarklet is a small “one-click” tool that adds extra functionality to a browser. It can do many useful things such as modifying how a web page appears, querying a search engine, or even show what fonts that are used on a page.

Bookmarklets can automate monotonous steps, and reveal important information, such as:

  • the keyword density of a text;
  • the owner info of a domain;
  • the backlinks of a page.

And here’s why I prefer them to browser add-ons:

  • they do not slow down your browser;
  • they work in every browser (most of the time).

A bookmarklet is not a software. It consists of small JavaScript snippets that are attached to a bookmark and make it perform different tasks.

Handy Bookmarklets For Quick Access To Ahrefs Tools

Here’s my personal collection of bookmarklets that I use for quick and easy access to various Ahrefs tools.

Feel free to “steal” any them from me and supercharge your SEO research:

  • 9 BOOKMARKLETSFOR QUICK ACCESS TO AHREFS TOOLS
  • Show Referring DomainsShow the referring domains of the currently visited domain.
  • Show Dashboard PageShow the dashboard page for the currently visited domain.
  • Show Inbound Anchor PageShow the anchor page for the currently visited domain.
  • Show BacklinksShow the backlinks page for the currently visited domain.
  • Show New BacklinksShow new backlinks for the domain.
  • Show Lost BacklinksShow lost backlinks for the current domain.
  • Show PagesShow the pages for the current domain.
  • Show Outgoing AnchorsShow the outgoing anchor texts for the current domain.
  • Show Outgoing Linked DomainsShow which domains this domain link to.

But that was nine, right?

Wayback Machine Bookmarklets:

  1. Show Ahrefs Dashboard for domain seen on archive.org

This is very, very nifty. If you are analyzing an expired (or live) domain at archive.org, it’s annoying to have to format the URL for analyzing the domain, over and over again.

Example:

Let’s say you’re looking at some oldish page like this one:

https://web.archive.org/web/20060716164826/http://www.facebook.com/jobs.php

With my bookmarklet you can easily truncate it to justhttp://www.facebook.com/ and submit to Ahrefs.

Pretty useful hack, if you’re an extensive user of the Wayback Machine, right?

How To Use These Bookmarklets?

Bookmarklets are no different from bookmarks and can be added to your browser in a split of a second:

  1. Hover the mouse pointer over the bookmarklet text.
  2. Drag the text to your browser bookmarks toolbar.
  3. The bookmark, and often an icon, will now show.

Like this:

01-add-bookmarklet

And whenever you decide to use one of them, just click on it the same way you would click on a bookmark when you’re visiting a website.

Like this:

02-use-bookmarklet

This is it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my collection of bookmarklets. If properly used they will tremendously streamline your SEO workflow.

If you need more, feel free to browse an extensive collection of SEO bookmarklets on my own site and let me know your feedback.

10 Lesser-Known Marketing Tools For Small Business Worth Checking Out

10 Lesser-Known Marketing Tools For Small Business Worth Checking Out

 Ever since the first caveman invented the wheel, we’ve been using tools to save ourselves time, money and headaches.
And thanks to the digital technology revolution of the past two decades, we have more options than ever when it comes to the kinds of tools that can be used to grow a business.

To help you leverage these advancements, I’ve put together a list of a few lesser-known business growth tools you may not have heard of before.

Skim through the list and see if any of them catch your eye. If so, add them to your arsenal today.

Their impact on your overall productivity and the growth of your business could be astonishing.

1. Narrow.io

Automate your Twitter growth with Narrow.io. It’s a simple tool that automate the tedious, yet effective, tasks that can lead to huge growth with your Twitter profile.

00-narrow.io

And don’t worry, it’s not your general “follower spambot.” These guys use a sophisticated algorithm to target people that care about things your target audience cares about.

It’s all about building an engaged audience on Twitter. You can’t do that by randomly following, unfollowing and favoriting people without a plan. You’ve got to find the people that talk and care about the things you do. Only after you do that will you be able to effectively grow your account.

Narrow.io will help you do that in a strategic manner that works.

2. Customer.io

Every customer will have a unique experience with your company. I don’t think two people will ever have the exact same path to purchase. Some will sign up for your blog newsletter, others will only download your white papers. Some will choose to pay a monthly plan, others would rather the annual payment. You get the idea…

01-customer.io

And so does Customer.io. Their software sends targeted messages to customers based on their specific behaviors and path to purchase.

It’s a great way to get a bit more personal with your emails. Use it to create new emails based on where your customers are in the buying cycle, as well as the behaviors they’ve taken. That level of personalization will lead to more purchases, loyalty and growth for your business.

3. Picreel

Don’t you hate it when a new visitor leaves your site without filling out a form or taking action? It’s frustrating – especially for a business that’s trying to fuel growth.

02-picreel

Picreel offers solutions for these exact types of situations. Their tool helps propel conversions by putting your message in front of the audience at just the right time using exit-intent technology that captures visitors’ attention before they leave your site.

Yes, there’s a huge debate around how much people hate pop-ups, but despite their feelings about the tactic, no one can argue with its effectiveness. When you put the right message in front of the right audience at the right time, it works.

And you can create popups around other things too, not just exit-intent. The tool has features that show your visitors exclusive message based on specific behaviors and that target visitors throughout your site as they discover content.

Honestly? It’s a little like having a miniature 007 spy working for your site – serving up the right content when it matters most.

4. SellHack

The guys over at SellHack know how to get things done. Their service revolves around finding a person’s email address for you – and they’re amazing at their job. All you need is a person’s first and last name and the domain where they work.

03-sellhack

Sure, there are ways to find a person’s email on your own. But, trust me, it’ll take you hours of research. And even then, it’s not a sure thing. Don’t waste time with that frustrating trial and error.

If you ever send out cold emails, then you’ve got to try these guys out.

5. Intercom.io

I don’t know about you, but I find it a huge hassle to switch from my customer service app to my email marketing program, and from my customer relationship management system to my marketing automation platform. And I find it even more frustrating when these different kinds of software don’t integrate with each other.

04-intercom

That’s what I love about Intercom.io – it brings all these services together into one product.

Even better? The money you save from using one app (instead of five) can be used to help fuel your business growth even more.

If you want a solid system that integrates everything together, try setting up a system with this service. It just might be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business.

6. Typeform

Typeform does everything it can to make forms and text-based surveys a fun experience. Now, I don’t know about you, but that seems like quite a challenge – and yet, the company does a great job with it.

05-typeform

By making your forms interactive and fun, you’ll increase the number of people that actually fill them out. That’s more leads for your sales funnel, and the potential to generate more sales for your business. It’s truly growth at its finest.

7. JustReachOut

Hiring a PR agency can be a costly expense. And unless you’re a fully-funded startup superstar, it’s probably not a feasible investment. Unfortunately, that means you either forget PR or learn how to do it yourself. Most people, I think, choose the former, because the latter seems too difficult and time consuming.

06-justreachout

That’s the pain that JustReachOut wants to eliminate. It’s a great tool for startups and entrepreneurs that want to pitch their company to the media, but don’t know where to start. They’ll help you get setup and perfect your pitch – cutting the time and expense associated with working with a traditional PR firm.

8. Quickmail.io

Quickmail.io is another great tool for professionals that rely on cold emailing. Once installed, the system sets you up with a complete funnel and follow-up function. As soon as a prospect responds to your email, they’re taken out of the sequence and won’t receive additional emails.

07-quickmail

It’s powerful if you want a way to keep up with cold emails and add a personal touch. And although people can use cold emails for evil, they can also use them for good. Obviously, I’m only advocating this tool for the good guys!

9. Totango

Like many apps, Totango helps you understand the user experience and drive conversions. But what really makes the company shine is their trial conversion feature, which helps you identify prospects that are actively evaluating your product and separates them from the average free users.

08-totango

Once you have that kind of information in your arsenal, you can strategically follow up with particular customers and really see an enormous increase in your conversions.

10. Famebit

If you want to make waves with YouTube, you can’t beat the guys over atFamebit. They’re helping entrepreneurs and startups connect with YouTube influencers that will talk about your product – and that kind of exposure can do great things for your company’s growth.

09-famebit

I’d definitely recommend it to anyone wanting an easy, affordable way to get their product or service in front of thousands of people.

Wrapping it up…

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention the mega-tools that you’ll find on so many other posts. Why? Because I believe these small, nimble tools work well for small, nimble companies – and cutting your software expenses frees up capital that can be spent on bigger, better growth campaigns.

5 Circles of Hell You Need To Pass Before I Call You A True SEO Copywriter

5 Circles of Hell You Need To Pass Before I Call You A True SEO Copywriter

 Sometimes becoming a world-class SEO copywriter can seem like a passage in Dante’s inferno.
As Dante famously said,

“In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straightway was lost.”

For the past 5 years, I always managed to get out of the dark woods to get back on the road again.

Below I want to show you how I accomplished this feat, so you have a better understanding of the path you can take to become a true SEO copywriter.

The Five Circles of Hell to Become An SEO Copywriter

1. Creating a low-quality writing portfolio

When I first started writing for others, I realized I needed to expand my portfolio. To do that, I went on Fiverr.

It was a brilliant move to start my writing career. After all, who would not want three articles from an American writer on Fiverr?

However, jobs on Fiverr only pay $3.5 after PayPal and Fiverr fees. My work reflected the payment I received.

fiverr screenshot

The articles were so poor that looking back on them today, I am aghast at the quality. However, the clients approved them and said they were great. I guess they did not even read the content.

Soon after I abandoned Fiverr as a revenue generator. It was not a sustainable model.

Lesson: Use Fiverr as a testing ground, but to find quality clients you should start looking at other places where you can get paid for writing quality content and build your portfolio.

2. Taking every job you can get your hands on

So what do you do after you start working on Fiverr? You take the first job someone offers you!

After working on Fiverr for a month, I found my first client. They needed 54 articles on laser hair removal. Money talked, and I said “yes” despite knowing nothing about the topic.

My first client taught me that pricing really does matter. The client paid me $5 per article. My eyes flashed at the possibility of earning $270.

Yet, I ended up spending over 40 hours on those articles. And according toCopyscape none of them are even online anymore. What a waste of time.

copyscape screenshot

Lesson: Value your time. Quality articles are paid by the amount of hours invested, not by the word count.

3. Stuffing your writing with tons of keywords

Back in 2005, keyword stuffing was the norm. However, what worked 10 years ago, does not work today (shocker, I know).

My original clients wanted me to stuff those articles with keywords for all they are worth.

Going back to the laser hair removal guy. He gave me a bunch of long-tail keywords that I had to magically transform into a sentence.

Can you guess how many times I could put the keyword like “the best laser hair removal procedure San Diego” in a single paragraph?

This is a textbook definition of keyword stuffing.

A lot of SEOs learned their lesson with this technique when the Google Panda algorithm slapped their thin sites.

google-panda

Lesson: “keyword optimization” and “keyword stuffing” have nothing in common.

However, I reasoned at the time that it was what the client wanted. Happy client means paycheck! Paycheck means rent and internet paid!

And yet, that line of thinking can mess up your client’s website as well as your base of business.

4. Knowing which writing gigs are worth your time

I remember the first time I saw an ad on a job board about how I could make up to $300 per guest post. My excitement lasted till the moment I reached out to these guys.

The reality is that they want you to get your content published on a large site like Forbes, so they can garner tons of traffic.

In essence, they want to leverage your connections with publications like Mashable, Huffington Post, and other large-scale blogs and publications.

The challenge is that those publications never accept you being paid by a third party. They want a cut larger than your paycheck.

That means you spend all that time working on a blog post for someone that just never passes muster.

As Carole Tice stated in her post on The Write Life:

“It’s all too common for freelancers to latch onto the first client who comes their way, and then never let go. Even if they’re obnoxious, or it isn’t the type of writing you really want to do, or they don’t pay well.”

Writing for companies is like dating. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

If one is not right, then you need to move to bigger and better fish.

Lesson: Do not spend social capital ghostwriting for others when you can write your own articles that will eventually bring you bigger and better clients.

5. Neglecting your grammar

One of my editors asked me the first time we worked together if someone from the Philippines wrote the draft I sent her.

While I believe I hail from the windy city, it was an interesting observation. That is why it is important to have a good editor. They filter the junk from your article.

poor grammar

Plus, collaborating with editors shows you what works and does not work in your writing. You learn how to correct your writing as you grow.

Lesson: Take your time to edit your content. Search engine optimization today is as much about great content and good editing as it is about backlinks and keywords.

Final Thoughts

Writing articles for business is a great reward and challenge.

The challenges and lessons that I’ve shared in this article are a culmination of of over 5 years in the industry developing my professional standards.

If you are just beginning your own journey down this path, the best thing you can do as an SEO freelance writer is to create your own standards.

I’m really keen to know how you avoided your own circles of hell when you started your freelance writing career?

Perhaps you are going through those challenges right now. Let me know if I can help you!

Can You Trust Vehicles’ MPG Ratings?

Cars-Female Buyers
One in 3 Americans doubt their car lives up to its mpg rating, according to an AAA survey.

Yet the organization’s recent analysis of federal data shows that 81.8 percent of drivers report their fuel economy is higher than the combined city and highway mileage rating for the vehicle as determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

That’s one of the discoveries AAA made after undertaking a series of tests. John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director for automotive engineering and repair, says in a press release:

“The vast majority of drivers that submit their vehicle’s fuel economy to the EPA report mileage that beats the window sticker rating. Although self-reported data has limitations, it’s encouraging to see real-world fuel economy that more closely aligns with, or even exceeds, automaker promises.”

On average, drivers report a real-world fuel economy of 12 percent more than their car’s “combined” city and highway MPG rating.

Sixteen percent of drivers report a real-world fuel economy that is lower than their car’s combined rating, and just 2.2 percent report a real-world fuel economy that exactly matches their car’s rating.

AAA found that driver behaviors and environmental conditions are probably responsible for most fuel economy variances.

For drivers wishing to improve their fuel economy, AAA recommends the following:

  • Monitor traffic ahead to anticipate and avoid sudden stops and starts.
  • Drive more slowly. Vehicles are most efficient when driven between 30 and 50 miles an hour, and every 5 mph you drive above 50 mph is equivalent to paying an extra 19 cents a gallon for gas, according to the EPA.
  • Slow down by coasting instead of braking whenever you can do it safely.
  • Use cruise control to avoid constant accelerating and decelerating.
  • Empty your car of unnecessary items, as their weight drags down fuel economy. That is especially true of items stored in a roof-top carrier.
  • Avoid idling by turning off the car whenever possible. That can save up to 3 cents a minute in fuel costs.

With Mortgage Rates Inching Up, Should You Buy Now or Wait?

Home Sales
Home mortgage lending rates are up again last week, to 4.18 from 4.15 percent according to BankingMyWay’s weekly mortgage rate tracker, but not all that much higher than the 4 percent rates on 30-year mortgages a year ago. It’s the upward path of mortgage rates that concerns lending professionals.

“The market’s volatility is not so substantial that there will be wide swings,” says Cody Kessler, a mortgage banker at HomeBridge, a privately owned mortgage lender based in Rockville, Maryland. He adds that future hikes are already “baked in” to the rate mix, and the upward pace would be a slow and steady one — but the days of the sub-4 percent mortgage rates are “behind us,” he says.
If you ask a real estate attorney, they will tell you it’s almost always a good time to buy and hold.

Does that mean buyers should jump into the market and grab a home before rates go any higher? It’s a personal choice, and as the saying goes, your mileage may vary. That said, some say the market is still wide open for opportunistic homebuyers.

“If you ask a real estate attorney, they will tell you it’s almost always a good time to buy and hold,” says Nina B. Ries of Ries Law Group in Los Angeles. “The reason is simple: Particularly in markets where there is little room to grow — as with major metropolitan centers like Los Angeles — real estate is a limited quantity and demand is always going to exceed supply. And where there is more demand than there is supply, prices go up. While there is fluctuation in the market in the short term, long-term growth is a certainty.”

There’s another way to look at it.

“If you look at all the aspects of renting versus buying, I’d say buying is typically the best financial decision with rates moving up,” says Ross Bimson, a real estate professional at Arizona Best Real Estate, in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Considering a 1 percent rise in interest rates is equivalent to losing approximately 10 percent in buying power. If you could afford a $150,000 [home], now you are looking at $135,000 in buying power.”

“Most people buy for a better place to live, [because it’s] safer for their children, [has] more space for themselves and [because they get] control over their own space,” he adds. “Waiting can jeopardize this opportunity or require significant changes in the family goal.”

Buyers should be both well prepared and cautious, though.

“Mortgage rates are still historically very low, so if one is qualified to purchase and committed to staying in a particular community, one should buy,” says Leslie Kilpatrick, branch manager at the San Diego real estate firm Willis Allen. “The challenge in most cases is the low inventory of homes available, so the search must be focused and diligent.”

“Like a good paint job, the preparation is absolutely critical,” she adds. “Get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified, by a reliable and respected lender in your area. Work only with a full-time realtor who specializes in the area you want to live in and who works with lots of buyers. Also, ask for references from other recently successful buyers they represented.”

In the end, the best move may be to look at your house as a home and not as a financial entity, with all the emotional wear and tear that entails.

“It’s important to remember your home is your home first,” notes Daniel R. Zajac, a partner at Simone Zajac Wealth Management Group in Exton, Pennsylanvia. “We need to stop thinking of a home as an investment — if you make money on it, it’s a bonus. By removing that thought, you should be able to remove the concern of rising interest rates from the equation.”

Fifth Third Bancorp Closing Up to 100 Branches

Earns Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) plans to close or consolidate about 100 branches and has abandoned plans for 30 new ones.

The changes will cost the company between $75 million and $85 million in impairment charges during the second quarter. There will also be up to $10 million in other costs related to real estate contracts. The company had acquired property for its planned branch expansion.

“This plan reflects the continued progression of our work on providing an integrated customer experience,” said CEO and Vice Chairman Kevin Kabat. “Meeting the evolving preferences of how our customers interact with us is our top priority.”

The company has been focusing on improving its mobile banking options and is tailoring its branch network with those improvements and changes.

As of March 31, the Cincinnati company had 1,303 full-service banking centers and 2,637 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina.

Feds Probe Brake Problems in 2013 Dodge Dart Compacts

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 U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints of braking problems with Dodge Dart compact cars.

The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 121,000 Darts made by Fiat Chrysler from the 2013 model year.

The agency says it has 18 complaints that brake pedals can be hard to depress and braking distance unexpectedly increased.

Some said they had to use the parking brake to stop the cars, while others reported that the brake master cylinder had to be replaced.

The agency has no reports of crashes or injuries. An investigation could lead to a recall.

Chrysler says it’s cooperating with the investigation and that owners with concerns should contact dealers.

First-Time Homebuyers Propel Existing Home Sales Higher

Florida Houses Ahead Of Existing Home Sales Figures
U.S. home resales surged to a 5½-year high in May as first-time buyers stepped into the market, the latest indication that housing and overall economic activity were gathering steam in the second quarter.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday existing home sales increased 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.35 million units, the highest level since November 2009.

That left sales this year on track for their strongest performance since 2007.

It suggests that the U.S. housing market recovery is back on track after the missteps earlier this year.

“It suggests that the U.S. housing market recovery is back on track after the missteps earlier this year. We expect this upbeat tone in the housing recovery to continue as the favorable domestic fundamentals begin to reassert themselves,” said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.

Last month’s increase unwound April’s surprise drop in purchases, which economists had dismissed as a blip given that forward-looking indicators on home sales, including mortgage applications, had been fairly strong during that period.

The Realtors group revised April’s sales pace up to 5.09 million units from the previously reported 5.04 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast home resales rising to a 5.26 million-unit pace last month.

First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of transactions, the largest share since September 2012. Still, the share remains well below the 40 percent to 45 percent that economists and realtors say is required for a robust housing market.

May’s sturdy home sales report added to last week’s data on building permits in portraying an upbeat picture of the housing market. It joined strong retail sales, consumer sentiment and employment data reports in suggesting a building up of momentum in the economy after output contracted at the start of the year.

The strengthening economic outlook keeps the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates later this year.

U.S. stocks extended gains on the housing data. Market sentiment was also buoyed by hopes of a deal to avert a debt default by Greece. The housing index was up 0.76 percent. The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies, while prices for U.S. Treasury debt fell.

Strong demand for accommodation, especially among young adults as they find employment, is giving the housing market a steady pulse after a lackluster performance over the last few years. Tightening labor market conditions are also starting to spur stronger wage growth, boosting demand for housing.

Economists hope that housing will strengthen enough to take up some of the slack from manufacturing, which is being stymied by the lingering effects of a strong dollar and spending cuts in the energy sector, and support the economy this year.

Weather-Related Weakness

“The continued resilience in existing home sales gives further support to the notion that much of the Q1 weakness in resales was weather-related,” said Derek Lindsey, an analyst at BNP Paribas in New York.

While the stock of homes for sales is improving, supply remains fairly tight and continues to limit choice for potential buyers. Last month, the inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 3.2 percent from April to 2.29 million units. Supply was up only 1.8 percent from a year ago.

At May’s sales pace, it would take 5.1 months to clear houses from the market, down from 5.2 months in April. A supply of six months is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

With supply well below what it was at the height of the housing market boom in 2006, the median price for a previously owned home increased 7.9 percent from a year ago to $228,700. House prices this year could exceed the peak set in 2006, the Realtors group said.

While the strong house price gains could reduce affordability, they are raising equity for homeowners, encouraging some to put their houses on the market.

Realtors and economists say insufficient equity has been forcing potential sellers to stay longer in their homes. A survey by the Realtors association showed homeowners on average staying in their homes for 10 years instead of the typical seven years.