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SEO Tips of 2008

Since 1998 I've spent the first several months of each year looking for the very best search engine optimization (SEO) tips of the previous year's end. This year I've come across the best SEO tips yet.

SEO Tip #1: Make Google Alerts Your Personal Online Spy

Google Alerts is a great way to let the world's biggest search engine be your personal online spy. This takes search engine optimization insider info to whole new level. Here's an excerpt straight from Google....

"Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

* monitoring a developing news story
* keeping current on a competitor or industry
* getting the latest on a celebrity or event
* keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams"

As you probably guessed, it's the second one we care about most, "keeping current on a competitor or industry."

Here's how it works... Each time Google finds a reference to the query or topic you request you will be sent an email with the details. This is like having an online spy to make sure competitors are not using your protected keywords (trademarked names, company names, etc.) It's also an instant identifier to know when your site or product is mentioned in a news story or even when a topic is hot so you can take advantage of the situation. It's the easiest way in the world to stop competitors' dirty tricks and identify trends that you can take instant advantage of.

It's fast, free and works every minute of every day. Let Google Alerts ( do your most time consuming legwork while you reap the rewards!

SEO Tip #2: Optimize Your 404 Page and Always Be Found

"Error 404: Page Not Found" is a blessing that most Webmasters curse. Why? Getting a visitor on any page of your site is fantastic! Don't blow the opportunity. Not only can you make your "404" page a valuable sales tool, you can use the following search engine optimization techniques to attract customers in droves.

A.) Use your main keyword in your title, add a "pipe" (usually above the Enter key) and then use your secondary keyword. Here's as example for an SEO site "SEO - Search Engine Optimization Tips"

B.) Add some keyword rich content using one to two keywords for the page. If you have less than 250 words on the page, just use one keyword and use it no more than three times total. Bold the first use and italicize the second or third use. Keep in mind this is an "inactive" page so simply tell the visitor what your site is about and whet their appetite with a good description. Something like this works well... "Thank you for visiting SEO (bold) Group, Inc. We are sorry you landed on a missing page but don't worry, if you're looking for the very best search engine optimizations tips (bold), you're at the right place..." This will go on for a couple paragraphs or as long as you'd like then end it with something to the effect of "Please Click Here (link) to visit our site map or click any link to the left."

C.) Add your site's standard navigation system (bar, column, etc.) as mentioned above.

D.) Make the look and feel of the customized 404 page match your main site as closely as possible with a template, matched palette, cascading style sheets, etc.

E.) Create a link to the site map page if available, and make the link easy to find. You want your visitor off the 404 page and into your main content as quickly as possible.

Setting up a custom 404 page link usually takes less than five minutes on most major Web hosting companies like But whatever it takes, it's worth the effort.

SEO Tip #3: Get (Even More) Serious About Linking

I saved the most important for last. If you want to do well on any search engine, especially Google, linking is THE single MOST important thing you can do. It's that simple.

Here are the five things you MUST do to make your site #1 on Google:

A.) Find the highest page rank sites linking to your site AND your competitors' sites.

B.) Run monthly link campaigns and snatch up the best of the above identified Web sites.

C.) Run regular checks on what pages are still linking back to your site. Alsomake sure they did not move you from a high page rank page to a lower one (don't get cheated!)

D.) Eliminate any penalized sites you link to; ASAP!

E.) Check your search engine ranking AND your competitor's for each of your keywords every week. Do this, at the minimum, for Google, Yahoo, MSN and Alta Vista.

Inside Tip: Keeping up can be a lot of work so a lot of SEO Consultants (myself included) use SEO Elite ( to do all the most difficult and time consuming work.

One last thing to know is that Google was originally a college student's project created for the sole purpose of defining a Web site's value by the sites that link to it. Twelve years later this is still it's main job. Linking is EVERYTHING to Google

How You Can Save A Fortune On Pay Per Click Campaign

Finally there is an alternative answer to expensive pay per click campaigns and getting your web site promoted. The good news is that you do not have to pay a fortune to get good visibility. You also do not have to pay exorbitant amounts of money every month to Google AdSense and sponsored link programs to pop up in the top ten of the search engines.

You can actually achieve great rankings in Google and Yahoo organically. This means that the search engines actually come looking for you. The great news here is that you don’t have to spend a mint on getting to the very top. Not only can you get there in the top ten but you can actually get 8 out of the top 10. Sound impossible? For Ted Cantu it’s quite easy.

“This is something I started doing for my fellow Dan Kennedy IBA members in Brighton, Michigan. I started to test out new theories in practice on my coaching group members and we started getting some phenomenal results” explains Detroit area based Cantu. “The key for us was to use all of the tools that Google has to offer”.

Google has really led the way when it comes to buying Internet technology. In the recent months it has acquired Feedburner and its RSS technology which allows web surfers to subscribe to its favorite content on the web. It has also acquired Blogger which enables Internet web geeks to post to an easy to use blog format. You can combine these tools together and have them work together promoting your web pages. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Google has purchased more tools for its users and therefore has really led the way on the web. Yahoo hasn’t followed through with these types of acquisitions and in some sense has lost its popularity. Just recently Yahoo has given up its Podcast platform which allowed its members to post audio shows and messages on the web.

You can begin to create some really great things when you combine these things together. When they work hand in hand incredible things can occur including high search engine rankings.

Blending In All The Right Ingredients

You want to make sure you use all of the tools that the web has to offer. There are an abundant of tools out there now that you can use including blogs, RSS feeds, podcasting, audio messages, and web video just to name a few. The magic ingredient that holds all of this together is good solid sales copywriting to lure in your prospects.

Keep in mind that the web was originally created to share information. Your potential clients do not sign on initially to buy stuff off of the web. They will first research their material on the web first before making any kind of commitment to buy something. But once you get them to commit to you the real money making magic can begin.

So what kind of results are possible by using all facets of the web?

Try putting your web pages at the very top ten on the web. Results have varied but some of the top records placed some clients at the very tip top of 17 million pages. This was all done without the aid of pay per click and sponsored link programs.

Traffic Building And Finished Home Work

One of the quickest ways to drive traffic to your site is to key in on a hot topic. If you have a site dedicated to why butter melts on summer days and then you place a series of supporting articles on your site you may not wind up with as much traffic as you’d like. This may be due to the fact that this is an issue most people don’t really think about much – or perhaps they’ve already learned the secret. However key in on a controversial topic like the death penalty or hate crimes you will likely find improved traffic. You can also look for emotionally connected issues such as weight loss or an improved health. Once you’ve optimized your site with appropriate keywords or phrases your site will likely find its way into a better place in search engine rankings and it may show up in Google’s email program. When visitors make it to your site you should attempt to ensure that you can welcome them back again at an appropriate time. Many sites do this with the offer of a free report when the individual decides to leave the site. The offer will usually say something like, “Don’t leave yet. As a way of saying thank you…” and then will explain the report, tip or ecourse that is being offered with a simple and absolutely free sign up. If the visitor is interested and the information you have on your site has been valued then that guest may find it in their interest to sign up for your free newsletter. This is especially true when they know they can opt out at any time. Most sites manage this with time-released autoresponders, but the intent remains improved traffic. I have been to some health related sites that were infused with health information, testimonials, quotes from doctors and article archives that provided a comprehensive look at the health issue being discussed. The exit strategy left me with a choice about receiving reports on additional ways to combat this potential health issue as well as recipes that will help aid in a healthy lifestyle. At that point, if a site visitor has any interest at all, it becomes a fairly easy decision – perhaps as easy as bookmarking the site. All they need to do is provide an email address and a first name. The reports are sent and the visitor has regular links back to the primary site if they need more information or want to make a purchase of an ancillary product or service. Traffic that is built from individuals who have a motivation for visiting the site is much more beneficial than using email marketing that can be little more than a shot in the dark if the list is leased. You might hit something, but they may not be happy about it. Work to optimize your site at the beginning of your online journey and then develop a desirable means of encouraging first time guests to come back. If you’ve done your job right many of them will take you up on your offer.

Your Checklist To Search Engine Optimisation Reports

The most important online marketing strategies that can help you be successful with optimizing your business on the web include building a plan, blogging, an email list, press releases, and much more. Be sure to have these items on your checklist and you will have an excellent and productive website for your business. The first and most important strategy for optimizing your search engine for your website is to create a plan for your site and your business. You should determine all of the most important things. What are your goals for accomplishments with your site and who is your audience going to be? That is, what types of people do you believe will be interested in your products and what people do you believe you need to target that will continue to come back for more. You need to make a decision how you are going to make your website better than others, how it will stand out from the rest and grab the attention. All of these answers to these questions should be the base of your web plan to optimizing your website and they should be at the top of your checklist. The next thing that you need to do for optimization of your website is to create a marketing plan that will work and get the word out about your business and your site. This includes writing press releases and getting them out to every contact that you have in the media. You should also post the press releases online to every place that will allow you to. In addition to writing press releases for your website, you should write extensive articles about your website, your company, your products, and more. These articles should contain important keywords that will take people back to your site. You should also include your website and company information in all of the articles including contact information if people have questions. Creating a blog should also be on your checklist for total optimization. This is the one way you can have the keywords that you need for your site to be pulled up in search engines and remain at the top. You should start relevant conversations, add posts, and useful data to your blog and keep people coming back for more. If you are talking about a subject that is important to people they will discuss issues with you, in return, adding more keywords to your site. You should also get on other blogs across the Internet and talk about your website and your products in other blogs. This is good advertising for you also. You should build a mailing list for optimizing your site. This can be done by determining who your audience is. Your email list may be created over time as people enter in their information and if they request to be on the list. It is important to respond to requests through email and to let the people that do come back know that you care about them as a customer. The best thing about email is that it is free and extremely helpful for your business. Another way you can optimize your site is by offering incentives to people who visit your site. You can offer free stuff, discounts, and more. People often search the web just for free items and by doing this you are generating more traffic to your website. There are many points you should add to your checklist when you are concerned about optimizing your website on the Internet for your business.

Real Estate: How Far

There is one big question looming for homeowners and commercial real-estate investors this year: How much worse will it get?

The past year was the most painful in decades for residential real estate, as defaults on loans to less-creditworthy borrowers created a broader credit squeeze. House prices fell, home ownership dropped, foreclosures soared, and the housing market emerged as the soft underbelly of the economy.

Commercial real estate hit its peak early in 2007, when private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP paid $23 billion for office giant Equity Office Properties Trust, and then did an about-face. As credit tightened throughout the economy, commercial-property values tilted downward for the first time in several years.

Housing prices are likely to slide further this year, as credit remains tight and interest rates on many mortgages are set to rise, or "reset," and could trigger more defaults.

The commercial real-estate market, which includes properties such as offices, apartment buildings and shopping centers, could continue to soften as slower economic expansion causes rents to rise more slowly than in the past.

Residential Blues

Relief from the housing woes is unlikely anytime soon. "It will be another very bleak year with the worst of it occurring in the first half," predicts Mark Zandi, chief economist at economic-research site Moody's "Inventory is only growing and needs to be worked off before the market finds some stability," he said.

Through the third quarter of 2007, slightly more than 2.5% of all houses, or more than two million, were for sale and vacant, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Since the first records were kept in 1965, that figure had never been higher than 2%, until the fourth quarter of 2005.

Demand is likely to stay depressed, keeping prices low, as high-risk borrowers who in the past would have qualified for subprime loans find themselves locked out of the market. Borrowers with little, if any, money for a down payment and those who don't want to document their finances also are likely to find the going tough.

House prices have fallen 6.5% as of October, since peaking in June 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index, which measures home values in 20 cities. Daniel Mudd, chief executive of government-sponsored mortgage investor Fannie Mae, expects prices to decline another 4% to 5% in 2008.

Among the hardest hit residential markets is Florida, where thousands of high-rise condominiums under construction are expected to be completed in 2008. Although buyers put deposits on many of those units during the housing boom, developers worry that the drop in property values and credit tightening will cause buyers to renege.

"People won't answer the bell to close," said Lewis Freeman, a Miami bankruptcy consultant who said he is busy with failed condo projects. If enough buyers fail to close, entire projects could be sent into default on construction loans.

This year will be difficult for home builders faced with slow sales. In November, Levitt Corp.'s Levitt & Sons unit filed for bankruptcy-court protection. Tousa Inc., of Hollywood, Fla., said it is considering several "in- and out-of-court restructuring and reorganization" options, including a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Mr. Zandi's models predict a bottom to the housing market sometime in 2008, but only if the economy stays relatively strong. "If it slides into broad-based recession, it won't be until the end of the decade that the market finds a bottom," he said.

Commercial Cracks

Optimism about commercial real estate is tempered by the credit crunch and a slowly expanding economy.

"Rent increases will continue to slow over 2008, as we face weaker demand and slower growth in the broader economy and jobs," said Sam Chandan, chief economist at Reis Inc., a property-research firm based in New York.

About 15% of property investors expect prices for office buildings to rise, according to a survey by real-estate services firm Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc., of Encino, Calif. Two years ago, 39% of property investors expected price increases.

In 2007, Blackstone's acquisition of Equity Office marked the high point of the commercial real-estate market. The $23 billion deal was the largest real-estate transaction ever in dollar terms. Blackstone quickly turned around and sold many of the properties at prices so high that buyers weren't likely to see big first-year returns on their investment.
he frenzied deal making came to symbolize the frothy valuations investors were paying for commercial real estate.

Moody's Investors Service, a subsidiary of Moody's Corp., in April said lenders' underwriting standards had become too lax during the run-up in prices. The warning scared investors and led bankers to raise interest rates and require borrowers to pour more of their own money into deals.

The change in the credit markets deflated commercial-property values. At the end of May, Tishman Speyer Properties, along with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., announced they would buy Archstone-Smith Trust, one of the largest apartment-building companies in terms of market capitalization, for $15.2 billion. Before the deal was announced, Tishman Speyer and Lehman had lowered their bidding price, citing credit markets and unforeseen tax issues.

Rents and occupancy rates -- the fundamentals of real-estate values -- are expected to stay relatively firm in 2008. Mr. Chandan predicts landlords will be able to charge 6.2% more for office space this year. In 2007, rents increased 10.4%.

Any downturn in commercial real estate will be different from the past, said Harvey Green, chief executive of Marcus & Millichap, because unlike the residential market, there has been relatively moderate production of new supply.

"We haven't been in a long cycle of rent growth to justify that much new construction," said Mr. Green.

Tips for Buying

Johnna: In good markets and bad, real-estate agents are constantly announcing that "now" is the best time to buy. With housing prices weakening, inventories rising and sales slumping, this attitude has drawn a lot of ridicule in the press.
But you know what? Now may actually be a very good time to buy, or at least start looking seriously.

Though no one can really tell when the downward-trending housing market will reach its nadir -- most economists predict it will bottom out sometime in 2008 or 2009 -- there's no doubt that sellers have let go of bubblelicious notions of what their homes are worth. According to S&P/Case-Shiller, existing home prices dropped 4.5% nationally in the third quarter over the year before; price appreciation was even slowing in Charlotte, one of the few cities that the research group covers that showed price appreciation year-over-year. It rose at a tepid rate of 4.7%.

The media makes this out as a tragedy, but it's really not. For buyers, a market that's nearing its bottom is only a concern for flippers, who need a rising market to make money. For buyers making a long-term investment, it's a reason to rejoice.

Yes, loans are hard to find, but they are still being made, especially if you have good credit. While the qualifications for getting a loan are becoming stricter -- but no more strict than they were in the mid-1990s -- mortgage money is still cheap by historical standards and will likely remain so in the near future. The Mortgage Bankers Association projects that 30-year fixed rates will hover around 6% throughout 2008 and the first two quarters of 2009.

Meanwhile, as you have noted, bargains abound, particularly in foreclosure properties. While many Web sites sell foreclosure information (sometimes after letting you sample the Web site for a week-long free trial), you don't have to pay an online membership fee to find them. Title companies, real-estate agents and lenders -- including credit unions -- all have information on homes in various stages of foreclosure.

Homes that are being auctioned are listed in the legal notices section of the main local newspaper and can usually be found on the newspaper's Web site.

But generally, you will get a better deal if you buy a house before it goes to auction, or after -- if it doesn't sell on the courthouse steps. Bidders at an auction sometimes get caught in the heat of the moment and push up prices.

For a simple and up-to-date explanation of the foreclosure process, you may want to read "Finding Foreclosures" by real-estate investor Danielle Babb and mortgage broker Bill Nazur (Entrepreneur Press; 2007). But keep in mind that the book was prepared with RealtyTrac, an online database of foreclosure and pre-foreclosure properties, and promotes that Web site heavily.

Mortgage Down Payment - How Much Money For Down Payment?

deally, you would purchase your house with a 20 percent mortgage down payment, closing costs equal to about 3% to 5% of the purchase price, and enough left in your checking account to cover two or three months of monthly housing expenses. That starts you out with lots of equity in your house upfront and makes the lender happy as a result of your large mortgage down payment -- something that usually translates into a better deal. The trouble with this mortgage down payment plan is coming up with that much cash is too much to ask from many first-time buyers. After all, we're talking $40,000 mortgage down payment on a $150,000 loan or $70,000 on a $250,000 mortgage.

The good news is that lenders over the last couple of years have become increasingly willing to finance as much as 95% or even 97% of a home purchase. The reason: They can now unload the risk of such loans onto somebody else. To limit their exposure, many lenders regularly sell their loans to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), which then bundles them into securities which are eventually sold to investors. It used to be that Fannie Mae only would buy loans for 80% financing. But it recently standardized the lending criteria for 97% financing and will now buy these loans, making lenders much more willing to provide them to you with less mortgage down payment. It's now common for first-time buyers to put down only 5% mortgage down payment, or $7,500 on a $150,000 loan.

While this sounds enticing, remember that small mortgage down payments have their price. First of all, you start with very little equity in your home. Also, if you don't have 20% to put towards you mortgage down payment, you'll probably have to ante up for mortgage insurance which protects the bank against default and can top $1,000 a year if you put 5% down on a $200,000 loan. Mortgage insurance rates are fairly standard but rates for adjustable rate loans and alternative credit can be much higher than a good credit fixed rate loan.

If you are buying in an urban area or have low to moderate income, look into programs offered by your city or state that provide below-market loans with little or no mortgage down payment required. If you're really cash-strapped, you can get 100% financing by "piggy-backing" a second loan equal to 20% of the purchase price on top of your 80% loan. But that 20% second mortgage will come at a much higher rate.

Make Money Flipping Real Estate - Which Way?

You can certainly make money flipping real estate in more than two ways. However, when it comes to actually repairing and improving a house to sell it, there are two essentially different approaches. The first is to do as much of the work yourself as you can. The other approach is to simply manage the project while others do all the physical labor.

Many investors will tell you that your time should be spent finding and managing properties, not raking leaves or painting or hammering nails. Doing the work on the house means you have bought yourself a job, they will tell you, rather than an investment. I tend to agree, but nothing is that simple. There are good reasons for either approach and you can make money flipping real estate either way.

Make Money Doing It Yourself

Do you make more or less money when you do your own work on that fixer upper? That depends on how you look at it. It is true that you might make more money on a given project. After all, if it costs $2,000 in labor for roofing, and you do it yourself, you should make $2,000 more profit - at least if you do it as fast as the professionals would have done it (there are holding costs to pay if the project is delayed). On the other hand, if you do a lot of the work yourself, you might be able to flip just a couple houses a year, rather than the dozen you could do if you paid for all the labor.

When you do it yourself, however, you do get a bigger margin of safety. (I should say you CAN get a bigger margin of safety, because those of us that aren't as skilled in the building trades might screw things up and have to hire a professional anyhow.) On a project that would yield a $20,000 profit after paying for all labor, you might save $8,000 by doing much of the work yourself. This can mean more profit, but it also means that if there are unexpected expenses or you guessed wrong on what the house would sell for, you are less likely to lose money.

Another factor to consider is your cash situation. If you are tight on cash, and you don't want to bring in other investors or you can't borrow enough money, you can get by with less by doing a lot of the work on your own. In fact, one way to do your first flip is to live in the home while you fix it. This makes it easier to get financing, and if you stay there two years before selling, you don't have to pay taxes on the profit.

Make More Money Flipping Real Estate As A Business

Handled like a business, there is no doubt that you have the opportunity to make more money. A friend of mine flipped fourteen houses in one year, something he never could have done if he had been painting the homes or laying tiles in them. He never lifted a hammer. He made it clear that he thought his time was better spent finding the next deal, while his crew finished the houses that he had at the moment.

The Choice

Which is the better approach then? It depends. Of course there is more money to be made finding deals than hammering nails. But what if you need a safe small deal to get started? What if you are short on cash and ability to borrow? What if you just enjoy the process of fixing up a home?

Those are all good reasons to consider doing the work yourself, or at least part of it. There is no absolute right way to make money flipping real estate. Often investors learn a lot by getting involved with the repairs and improvements. This could mean you'll save money and make better decisions later, when you are managing projects or finding deals. The choice is yours.

111 Home Appreciation and Capital Gains

The last seven years has seen tremendous appreciation in home prices. This brings up the issue of home capital gains tax issues for people when they sell.

Home Appreciation and Capital Gains

Owning home is considered part of the American Dream. Unless you are extremely unlucky, homeownership leads to tremendous wealth building. You simply sit in your home, make the monthly payment and reap the benefits of appreciation and increased equity. A bit of the luster, however, can be lost when it comes time to sell.

Capital gains taxes are the problem. The federal government encourages homeownership, but also wants a chunk of a change when you sell. The capital gains tax is a percentage of the profit you have realized from the home, to wit, the difference between the price you purchased it at and the price it is sold. You can deduct mortgage costs, improvements and so on, but there is still the tax.

Fortunately, there are some large safe harbor exemptions to the home capital gains tax. If you are single, you can exclude the first $250,000 in profit from being taxed. If you are married and filing jointly, you can merge your individual exemptions and protect the first $500,000 from being taxed. In most parts of the country, these exemptions will completely protect you from home capital gains tax. Even if they don't, the tax savings should be substantial.

To claim the exemptions, you must meet a few requirements. Obviously, you have to actually own the home. You must also have lived in the home two out of the previous five years. It must have been two years since you tried to claim the exemption on any other home. Put another way, you cannot claim the exemptions for investment property or second homes. Still, these healthy exemptions are a windfall for most homeowners.

Americans are notorious for being horrific savers when it comes to financial planning. Homeownership provides a relatively straightforward savings method and the government promotes it as such by providing these large home capital gains tax exemptions. If you can pull it off, buying a home is one of the smartest moves you will ever make.

What Is “The Secret” To Finding Real Wealth?

id you know that less than one percent of the people currently living on this planet account for almost twenty-five percent of ALL the wealth? These powerful people certainly don’t want you to know this...they want you to stay as mindless drones whose sole objective is to keep THEM wealthy. What is the secret this small fraction of the population knows that the rest do not?

If you haven't seen the movie "The Secret", I implore you to watch it! The Secret is the most powerful law in the universe! If you have already seen it, watch it again. To watch "The Secret" online, copy and paste this url into your browser;

Or you can watch "The Secret" On Demand via cable and satellite for audiences in the United States and Canada.

This small minority of people who are currently pulling the strings on world politics and world economics have mastered The Secret. These are the same people who want The Secret banned like it was once banned hundreds of years ago. Now The Secret has been un-earthed for all to discover its tremendous power once again!

There also have been great leaders who have mastered The Secret and made positive contributions to all of humanity. Leaders like Albert Einstein, Abe Lincoln, and Mother Teresa to name a few.

We are now living in an exciting new age of technology where humanity can do incredible things. The brick and mortar corporations who once ruled our economy unequivocally over the little guy are slowly losing their death grip due to the astonishing power of the internet!

So what is this secret you ask? In a sentence; "The Secret Is The Law Of Attraction". Simply stated, you get what you wish for...or your thoughts dictate what you get in life. Your health is dictated by your thoughts as well as your wealth.

Think of your thoughts as little tiny magnets...the intensity of these tiny magnets or thoughts are in direct proportion to the emotions you attach to it. The stronger the magnet, the stronger the attraction. This explains why a lot of people don't get what they wish for. They have not attached a strong enough emotion to their dream. Or they feel they don’t deserve their dream so they don’t bother pursuing it.

Let me give you an example of how the law of attraction works in a negative way. Think of the days when you got started off the wrong foot, then said to yourself "this is gonna be a long and terrible day". What happened? A long and terrible got what you wished for! The degree of how terrible your day turned out was proportional to the intensity of the negative emotion you attached to the thought, right?

So how do these little "magnets" or thoughts attract what we want or don't want in our lives you ask? Well, and this is based on quantum physics that scientists have just learned in the last 10 or 15 years. There is an invisible universal mind if you will that contains all the dreams and thoughts of everyone who has ever lived or will live...past...present...future. This is quite the paradox you may think, how can this be?

The "time" element in this universal mind has been negated or altered. Quantum physics has recently shown us that a single electron can occupy two different spaces in an electro-magnetic field at the same exact point in time, once thought impossible. This goes against the laws of physics unless time has been negated or altered some how, the only possible explanation. So you may be able to connect with the dreams of someone who hasn't been born yet. Are you getting excited yet?

The Universal Mind is a sort of collective consciousness. The place where dreams are born. These dreams are invisible and waiting to take physical form.

How do you convert your dreams from the universal mind to the physical realm? By constantly thinking about your dreams with strong emotions and just as importantly - taking action! I am NOT talking about wishful thinking must take action on your dreams!

It helps to have pictures of your dreams and look at them every day. Write your dreams down. Formulate a plan that is specific and with deadlines that will bring your dreams to fruition...and stay the course! “Don’t die with your dreams still inside you” as Dr. Wayne Dyer likes to say.

That is why I firmly believe you should pursue ventures you have a passion for...then you will find it easier to attach strong positive emotions to your thoughts and dreams.

This is the most powerful law in the universe, use it wisely my liege...

Good Luck and Stay the Course!

When Applying For a Mortgage, How Much Can I Borrow?

he real estate market is full of bargains these days. Homes that sold for $500,000 a year or so ago can probably be picked up for less today because the housing market has become soft or has turned into what is known as a buyer's market.

So, when you're out there looking for a home, the big question is, "for my mortgage, how much can I borrow?" While the answer may be delightfully surprising, the real test comes when you figure out how much you can truly afford. Therefore, in this article we will give you the information you need to determine how large of a mortgage you can make the payments on and then you can go look for your dream house.

How much you borrow is up to you

The way the real estate mortgage market works today is anybody with decent credit can get a mortgage for just about any amount he asks for. It's really gotten crazy! Through negative amortization mortgages people have gotten mortgages for way more than they could afford and they were actually talked into this overextending of themselves by the lenders.

This is what you want to avoid. The lenders make more money for each additional dollar they lend you. Realtors have absolutely no motive to try to make sure you can make your mortgage payments because they get their percentage at closing. After that it's up to you. Personally, I believe the buyer having this information will make much better choices than a lender or a realtor would make.

The 28/36% rule

Back in the 1980's, they used to determine how large a mortgage a potential homebuyer could afford by using the 28/36% rule. Using this rule, the lender would first find out if the applicant had any debt before the purchase of the property. This debt would include car payments and credit card payments.

If the applicant had none, the lender would multiply the applicant's total monthly income by 36%. The monthly income would be the yearly income divided by 12. Though this might seem like an oversimplification, it is calculated that way instead of using 4 weekly paychecks as a month or 2 biweekly paychecks as a month because this amount would be smaller than the true monthly pay received.

So, if someone made $6,000 a month, it would be multiplied by .36, which would give an answer of $2,160 per month. This would be the amount of the monthly payment the applicant would be allowed to borrow up to. They would use this amount without adding on taxes or homeowner's insurance.

$2,160 a month would pay for a mortgage of $324,000, if the mortgage interest rate was 7% and the term of the mortgage was 30 years. The standard in the lending business is the mortgage can be up to 80% of the price of the property, so the price of the property could be as high as $405,000. Of course, the buyer would need an $81,000 down payment.

What about that car payment?

If the applicant had other monthly obligations, such as a car payment, the lender would use 28% of the monthly income. In this case, the applicant could make monthly payments of up to $1,680. If again, the rate was 7% and the term was 30 years, $252,000 could be borrowed.

I am a proponent of the 28/36% rule. It is more liberal than the old standard from the 50's, which was not to take on any larger monthly obligations than the amount of your weekly paycheck, but the 28/36% rule does give a proven guideline.

There is one last word of caution. Make sure to only apply for a fixed rate mortgage. These days, lenders will qualify people at some low introductory rate and then a year down the road the minimum monthly payment rises to well above the amount the applicant was approved for. Don't go there! Get a fixed rate mortgage only and there will be no future life ruining surprises.

The author, Ed Lathrop has developed EzCalculator, a Mortgage Calculator with a "pay off credit card debt" calculator, a free "student loan" calculator and the famous "How to Make $100,000 on Your Mortgage" calculator. Come visit this free site at Free Financial Calculator Also, print out a free amortization schedule of any mortgage at Free Amortization Schedule

Top Three Real Estate Secrets

Some real estate secrets are right out there in the open for everyone to see. The second secret below, for example, is simply to make low offers. Real estate agents and others will argue that you just waste everyone's time because low offers just aren't accepted, but common sense and experience say that they do sometimes work. Other secrets are not so obvious, as this first one demonstrates:

The Value Is In More Than The Property

Real estate prices are determined by the market. If buyers are paying $200,000 for similar homes in your area, that's probably about what you'll get, unless you make your property better in some way. If buyers will pay $10,000 more for a finished basement, for example, then it makes sense to finish that basement if the cost is say, $5,000. When you think "better" however, don't limit your thinking to the property itself. How else can you raise the price?

You can raise your price by making the property easier to buy. This is one of the most overlooked real estate secrets. I once bought property for cash and sold it for 30% more a few weeks later simply because I sold it with easy payments. No cash? You might refinance your home to raise the cash. A $18,000 lot, for example, paid for with money borrowed on your home at 6%, might be sold for $24,000, with 9% interest, if you make the down payment and monthly payments low enough for the buyer.

The other way to make it easier for the buyer and so raise your price, is to sell on a lease-option. The buyer pays higher than normal rent, with part of that rent applying towards the down payment if he chooses to exercise his option to buy. The price is typically set according to what the house will be worth at the end of the option period (two years is common). With a non-refundable deposit or "option fee" and high rent, you do well whether or not the house is bought.

How much more can you ask when you make buying easy? It depends on a lot of factors, of course. Here is an example: a couple years ago, we wanted to sell a mobile home (with a lot) that we owned. Because these are difficult to finance, we figured we could get about $36,000 cash. We sold it for $45,000 however, by letting the buyer make a reasonable down payment and then making payments to us directly. We also are making thousands from the interest over the years.

The Secrets Of Low Offers

Making low offers can be a great way to get cheap real estate. But don't expect to make a few really low offers and snag a great piece of real estate at half-price. Be realistic in your offering prices, and use this two-step plan to make this strategy effective:

1. Find sellers likely to accept a low offer.

2. Make a lot of offers.

Start by identifying "motivated sellers." This can mean looking in areas that are temporarily slow markets, but primarily you are looking for sellers that need to or want to sell fast for some good reason. These reasons can range from needing to move for a job to just being tired of owning a rental.

Make a lot of offers. Most sellers - even motivated ones - will say no to an offer that is 15% to 20% below their asking price. This is what you'll often have to aim for, though, if you intend to flip the property for a profit, because transaction costs (commissions, taxes, closing, etc.) can eat up 10% of the value. This strategy will annoy real estate agents, by the way, and may even embarrass you. That is the price you pay for getting a great deal.

On the other hand, if you don't have a property in your hands by the time you've made 100 offers, you may be going too low on your offers, or targeting the wrong properties.

Counting Backwards

When doing fixer upper for a quick profit, you have to start at the end and figure backwards. The "end" is the sales price you are likely to get when you sell. Subtract all costs and your desired profit from this figure to determine how much you can offer.

For example, decide what a potential fixer-upper needs and then - with help if necessary - determine what it will sell for once you do the planned improvements and repairs. Let's suppose that this is $225,000. Now you have to figure as carefully as you can what every single costs will be. These costs include buying costs, repair and improvement costs, utilities, taxes, interest on loans, sale's commission, advertising costs, selling costs, and anything else you can think of.

All of those costs AND the profit you want for your effort have to be subtracted from the projected sales price. This is how you arrive at the maximum price you can offer. This procedure is often ignored by investors even though it is one of the simplest and most important real estate secrets.

Copyright Steve Gillman.

Would Getting Some Free Money Help You In Buying Your First Home?

Would getting some free money help you in buying your first home.

How about some free Money? What is free money?

Most of us do not realize that we could be eligible to receive some free money.

Usually it means grants or other programs where you don't have to pay back the money you receive.

How do you find the money?

This is the biggest challenge to those that think they might qualify for money for a home in some way.

But the key to getting this money is not a secret. If you are an organized person who can follow instructions, you can find money to help you purchase your home.

Great programs that help thousands of families realize their dream of home ownership by assisting them with the down payment and closing costs are available through government and community action groups.

Buying your first home with a low interest loan and some free money could help you realize the dream of home ownership.

To get started you first must determine how much home you can afford.

One of the best things you can do is to get pre-qualified then you will be able to determine how much house you can afford. It is very easy to do and will speed up the negotiation process

By being pre-qualified you will be able to act immediately if you find the perfect home in your price range. This really is one of the best things you can do.

There are five things the lender will need to have to pre-qualify you for.

• Your annual household income

• Your current debt balances (credit cards, car loans, etc.)

• Your work history

• Amount in savings &

• Amount in your checking account.

Having this information available can help you with buying your first home and securing a low interest loan.Ben Bassey


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