Your Rental Property Facelift Guide

Author: Admin  |  Category: Plastic Surgery

Submitted by: Rhonda Hoffman

If you own an average home in Edmonton, Alberta you made $161 yesterday and will do so again today. That is the increase in the real estate market at present. Knowing this should help you understand that real estate investing in Canada is a smart thing to do.

Buying and selling property doesn’t need to be an intimidating proposition when you look at the fundamentals of the market and keep them in mind when looking to own land. We invest in mutual funds and are grateful for the interest even when it is less than one percent because at least this year we didn’t lose any of it. Alternatively, we look at the crazy increase that is available when we own land whether we are buying it or selling it, because of it’s inherent value.

The vacancy rate in Edmonton is less than one percent and Red Deer has a zero vacancy rate right now. When you own property you are able to help those looking for housing and feel good about your investment increase at the same time. While raw land may not have the same value as property with a home on it, it is still worth taking a look at for the money you have to invest. The buying market is tight but there are still some good deals to be found by those selling you just may have to look a little harder.

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Ultimately real estate is a great vehicle to invest your money in right now as buying property is the surest way to see a positive return with Alberta being the second best place in the world for buying land. Vacancy rates are low and employment rates are high which means the money you invest in property is making money for you. Buying for rental income is a great way to go and your investment can be enhanced with a few small tips.

Okay so you love shag carpet and lava lamps. That is not to say your renters will when they come to take a look at your revenue property. It s important to keep in mind that while your tastes may be, shall we say timeless, you have to make your property welcoming. Please do us all a favorite and stay away from renter beige but give it a warm color that is still in the neutrals so that it can match almost any furniture they bring with them. New paint and carpet or sometimes just a good cleaning of the flooring is the least expensive and most dramatic way to increase the perceived value of your rental property. If that value is perceived to be higher the amount you can charge for rent goes up as well. Aside from new paint and a neutral carpet you can look at new lighting, which can be inexpensive and make a big difference.

The first touch your potential renter has with the property is the front door. Is the lock broken or loose? Is the door warped or worn? A new door with a decorative window will give them the feeling of safety and security and will provide a great return on your investment. Be sure the house numbers are large, visible from the street and well lit.

Once inside the property look around with fresh eyes as if seeing it for the first time. Perhaps the avocado green stove and the harvest gold fridge could use some updating as well. While you don t have to go for the top of the line appliances, do be sure that they match and will work well for a long time. You can t go wrong with choosing white for these, as it is a crisp, clean color. Another option if you have a few suites in one building is to install a coin operated washer and dryer. If you share the revenue with the laundry company you may be able to side step the repair and maintenance woes as that company could be in charge of them. New appliances can increase your monthly rental charge (perceived value again) and reduce the time and effort spent on the not so reliable older machines.

While you want to provide a great home for your renters you must also keep in mind that this is a business and keeping your eye on the bottom line is essential. It often doesn t take much to be able to accomplish both.

About the Author: Rhonda Hoffman is a successful investor, author and regular contributor to


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Japanese tsunami impacts California coastal town

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The tsunami caused by Japan’s magnitude 8.9 quake on Friday destroyed the commercial fishing harbor of Crescent City, California, a coastal town still recovering from a devastating tsunami in 1964. Although most of the fishing boats were removed in advance, the 198 docking slips that the harbor had provided for boats, enabling the livelihoods of the fishing crews, were lost.

Harbormaster Richard Young said that the harbor is destroyed. “We’re facing not only physical but financial disaster,” he said during a briefing. “Our business activity came to a screeching halt yesterday, and that affects the entire community.” Councilwoman Kelly Schellong said, “This is going to have a trickle-down effect beyond the lost jobs.”

Crescent City’s unemployment rate was 13 percent before Friday’s tsunami destroyed its commerical fishing industry.

The 1964 tsunami that hit Crescent City killed 11, demolished the harbor and heavily damaged large portions of the business district. Although the city subsequently rebuilt, another tsunami again damaged the harbor in 2006. The city was in the midst of reconstructing the harbor when Friday’s tsunami hit. The harbor is surrounded by land and a breakwater built after the 1964 disaster. The tsunami’s huge waves entered through a small opening provided for the entrance and exit of boats.

Lori Dengler, director of the Humboldt Earthquake Education Center, says Friday’s tsunami was one of as many as 38 tsunamis to strike Crescent City within the last 78 years. She calls the city a “tsunami magnet” because of the topography of the ocean floor that contributes to its vulnerability. She also blames the breakwater built after the 1964 tsunami because it traps tsunami waves in the harbor, causing them to boil and churn.

A county supervisor found the view painful on Saturday as she surveyed the wreckage accompanied by state officials. She is hoping they will provide emergency assistance. “We don’t have the financial resources,” she said. “We need money. That’s what it takes to fix things…. Our poor little harbor.”

Canadian government announces major tax reductions

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced a five-year program that could reduce taxes by a total C$60 billion.

The planned tax reduction measures include:

  • Low-end personal income tax rates would be reduced from 15.5% to 15%, taking retroactive effect to the start of 2007;
  • The basic personal exemption, the amount at which income is taxable, is raised from C$8,929 to C$9,600, also backdated to January 2007;
  • Business tax rates are expected regularly drop from the current 20.5% to 15% in 2012;
  • The Goods and Services Tax that applies to most purchases would be reduced from 6% to 5% as 2008 begins. This rate was previously reduced from 7% July 2006, shortly after Prime Minister Stephen Harper took office.

These measures will be brought before the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday as a confidence motion. In Canada’s minority government situation, opposition parties could defeat these measures and likely prompt an election. However, opposition leader Stéphane Dion has expressed an unwillingness to defeat the government on this matter.

Scientology protest group celebrates founder’s birthday worldwide

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized
 Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.

Used Car Dealer Chicago: Getting Your Kind Of Car

Author: Admin  |  Category: Used Cars


Getting your kind of car from a used car dealer Chicagobranch is easier if you have a friend who can stand by as you select from a long range of makes and models. It would not be a good idea to go out on your own as you need a second opinion when buying a car unless you are already bent on getting that car for yourself several months prior to going back to the dealer’s shop. This may also mean that you have long decided on which unit to purchase.

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Used Car Dealer Chicago: Reasons why people sell their cars at used car dealersThere are many reasons why people sell their cars including needing a new one for a growing family. In addition, they may have either traded them or sold them for the purpose of acquiring another one that performs better. However, there are owners who, just for the sake of owning a new one, trade in or sell their cars to go with the trend. Other reasons could be the need for money like raising additional funds in setting up a business or for relocation purposes. Some people may have sold theirs to pay their debts.

Used Car Dealer Chicago: Getting good deals out of used unitsYou may get a better deal once you see a car in good running condition but just needing a little buffing. Painting jobs are costly only if it involves the entire unit. Some may have a broken windshield or have lost a side mirror; these are not major purchases as well. Other dealers may offer you free registration or other freebies such as car covers, seat covers or free insurance. But bear in mind that sometimes, the lesser freebies you get means the better performance the car can offer you.

Used Car Dealer Chicago: Checking for defectsThe thing that you have to look out for is a car that has a totally used up engine or transmission; now, this would cost you a fortune. In this case, you need not rely on this type as it is an impractical option. You can ask a used car dealer Chicago personnel for suggestions. These people know which ones can still perform as a car and which ones need to be towed every time it travels four miles and up. It is then time for you to finally decide which one to buy.

Get yourself the best used car deals at Kingdom Chevy. There are many units on display that can tickle your fancy. Choose from a long range of models and makes at and ride your dream car.

Chrysler files for bankruptcy, Fiat Group SpA to run company

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, May 1, 2009

The American auto company Chrysler filed for bankruptcy Thursday, however a deal with European auto maker Fiat went through. The emerging Chrysler will be owned 55 percent by the United Auto Workers, eight percent by the United States Government, two percent by the Canadian Government and Fiat would begin with a 20 percent share.

Chrysler Chief Executive Robert Nardelli will step down when the bankruptcy proceedings are finalized.

Initially, the Italian company, Fiat, will appoint three members on the emerging Chrysler’s new board, and the United States government will appoint six. Fiat can assume the majority of the ownership upon repayment of American loans.

Chrysler administrators expect that the bankruptcy should take a couple of months.

“We expect this to be a very short, 30-to-60-day bankruptcy process, during which the company will function normally,” a top administration official said, “People will be able to buy cars, they will have their warranties honored, and everything should go on normally.”

The bankruptcy filing indicated that Chrysler was in debt to 20 creditors to a tune of more than $10 million each.

Meanwhile, the deal with Fiat did go through, and Chrysler should have cars designed by Fiat out on the market by 2011.

“It’s a partnership that will give Chrysler a chance not only to survive, but to thrive in a global auto industry,” said American president Obama, “Fiat has demonstrated that it can build the clean, fuel-efficient cars that are the future of the industry.”

However, automotive analyst Erich Merkle has hesitations.

“History would show that alliances really don’t work that well,” Merkle said, “even though, no matter how good they may look on paper.”

The restructuring has been managed by Steve Rattner, a former investment banker, and the U.S. Government auto task force.

Obama has set three ultimatums before Fiat. Fiat should produce a 40 mile per gallon vehicle while managing the new Chrysler, transfer fuel efficient Fiat technology to Chrysler factories in the United States, and produce cars in Chrysler factories and distribute them in Europe.

GM and Chrysler receive Canadian loans amid US restructuring ultimata

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, April 3, 2009

General Motors (GM) and Chrysler will receive bridge loans from the government of Canada and the provincial government of Ontario, however no more will be forthcoming from either Canadian or US governments unless the companies can reinvent themselves.

“This is a regrettable but necessary step to protect the Canadian economy. We are doing this on the assumption that we obviously cannot afford either in the United States or Canada a catastrophic short-term collapse.” said Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

“We cannot, we must not, and we will not let our auto industry simply vanish. This industry is, like no other, an emblem of the American spirit; a once and future symbol of America’s success,” said Barack Obama, President of the United States. “These companies – and this industry – must ultimately stand on their own, not as wards of the state.”File:Sinsheim quer.jpg

Chrysler will receive CA$1 billion and may in fact be eligible for as much as CA$4 billion. If Chrysler succeeds in the next 30 days with a restructuring plan it would be eligible for a US$6 billion loan. A part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan must include a partnership with Fiat within 30 days to appease the US administration. Fiat is a supplier of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles, and the merger will help Chrysler to be viable in the North American market. A Chrysler court bankruptcy would inevitably lead to it being sold off.

As a part of Chrysler’s restructuring plans, Tom LaSorda, the president of Chrysler announced that Canadian operations would fold if it does not receive both the US commitment of $2.3 billion of aid and a new Canadian Auto Workers CAW contract to reduce all-in costs by CA$19 per hour. As a result of this announcement Chrysler’s auto sales volume in Canada dropped 23% compared to March of 2008.

GM has until the end of May to restructure its company to receive up to CA$7.5 billion. As part of the companies restructuring, General Motor’s chief executive Rick Wagoner was replaced Sunday with Fritz Henderson, the current chief operating officer. Henderson spoke out on Tuesday that GM has submitted a restructuring plan which would close five plants, and this may be increased to meet the requirements for financial aid. He is in full compliance with Obama’s auto task force to seek bankruptcy if GM cannot negotiate with their unions, bondholders and others.

GM recently brought forward the “GM Total Confidence” program providing consumer purchase protection for customers who lose their job for economic reasons within the first two years from purchase. As a result of Chrysler’s restructuring announcement in Canada, GM’s Canadian vehicle sales volume fell only 17.3% compared to 2008, an increase from the previous month.

GM must reduce some of its legacy costs which include its pensions and union health care costs. A part of GM’s ailments arose from investing in supplying truck and SUVs during an economy of high gas prices when consumers were demanding fuel efficient vehicles.

Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, is hoping that the CAW will support the restructuring process and re-negotiate their agreement. Whereas a United Auto Workers negotiator has said, “I don’t see how the UAW will do anything until they see what the bondholders will give up.”

The Obama administration is looking toward bankruptcy proceedings for the automakers, “as a mechanism to help them restructure quickly and emerge stronger. [It will] quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down. What we are asking is difficult. It will require hard choices by companies. It will require unions and workers who have already made painful concessions to make even more. It will require creditors to recognise that they cannot hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts.” said Obama.

The auto parts suppliers and IT software exporters in India have already been affected by the declining auto sales. GM and Chrysler software contracts provide US$300 to 350 million a year to vendors in India. As well these two major automakers usually award US$1 billion contracts to auto parts suppliers. “We are worried and closely watching the developments in the US to gauge the impact. The decline in auto sales in the US has already hit the order books of Indian suppliers,” said a Delhi auto parts supplier.

“Going forward, the industry will undoubtedly be smaller, but if our efforts are successful it will be viable and it will support good jobs for Canadians,” said Clements.

Betty Sutton, Ohio’s Congresswoman put forward the CARS act which provides a US$3,000 to 5,000 incentive for those who trade in their vehicle for a fuel-efficient car. “It clearly stimulates the economy, and it gets the consumer into the showroom and gets them buying again. But importantly — and this is what I particularly like about it — it really helps the environment quite a bit in two respects.” said William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Company has not come forward with requests for assistance.

Since December GM and Chrysler have received US$17.4 billion government loans.

How should the automakers re-invent themselves?
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Diamond Pendants Of Glorious Design And Style Are Available

Author: Admin  |  Category: Jewelry

byAlma Abell

What is more elegant and suggestive than a gorgeous and illuminating diamond pendant? Few jewelry pieces capture the type of attention demanded by the right kind of pendant. Earrings are more subtle, generally, in their luxury and style. Diamond bands are also a bit quiet. That is not to say that they are not often exquisitely gorgeous, but they are not major showstoppers. If one wants to gain any kind of attention through their impeccable fashion and jewelry taste, they need to do it through a diamond pendant of style, luxury, and elegance.

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Harry C Glinberg Jewelers has a reserved selection of diamond pendants available. The price range is actually quite impressive, especially given the pricey tendencies of pure diamond necklaces such as these. Some of the top choices right now are crosses. A six diamond collective pendant is available for $2,300. It boasts a stunning .86 karats of glistening diamond.

A piece nearly $4,800 showcases a staggering karat count. At 2.02 karats, this piece is one of the most superior available in the entire pendant line-up. Few pieces are as immediately eye catching- a glorious arrangement of impeccable quality. this is one of the higher priced items in the current inventory.

Few items can hold up to this level of quality diamond. It is simply a gorgeous display, and captures the right kind of attention. But not all jewelry is meant to grab attention in a public space. Some more simpler and cohesive designs are rather quaint in their style, and offer a sense of sophistication. For example, a .11 karat pendant for $284 is wonderfully styled. It has a centerpiece slightly disconnected from the ring of diamonds surrounding it. A price bracket up is a $1,251 piece with a golden design circling a center selection of diamonds. This piece is .44 karats, and another great selection on this lower priced scale.

What makes the company so great for so many is their ability to offer all types of high class luxury, from bands to earrings to necklaces. Though all the pieces are squarely in the upper class of quality, some are more affordable than others.

Chemical firm LyondellBasell collapses

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, January 9, 2009

 Correction — January 17, 2009 

LyondellBasell did not collapse. Although the United States units and an affiliate registered in Germany filed for voluntary bankruptcy protection, the rest of the group, including the Netherlands parent, is operating normally. Sources:

  • “Press release: Non-U.S. Operations Not Affected By Chapter 11 Filing (English version)” — LyondellBasell, January 8, 2009
  • Ludwig Burger and Rupert Winchester. “LyondellBasell to exit Chap 11 in 1-2 yrs-paper” — Reuters, January 12, 2009 

Global chemical manufacturer LyondellBasell — the third-largest private chemical company in the world — has collapsed. The firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, as well as the Dutch equivalent. They had failed to meet a January 4 deadline on postponed debt payments, and talks with creditors failed.

Headquartered in The Netherlands, LyondellBasell is owned by private equity tycoon Len Blavatnik, who had already refused the company a loan to help deal with debt resulting from a $12.7 billion merger between Basell International Holdings and Lyondell Chemical to create LyondellBasell Industries.

The company had already appointed Kevin McShea from Alix Partners to restructure the firm. McShea was assigned speculatively prior to the bankruptcy filing. Access Industries, Blavatnik’s company, refused to extend credit as part of a loan deal brokered in March, a decision Lyondell Chemicals Company, a subsidiary of LyondellBasell, stated they were unhappy with.

LyondellBasell had postponed $280 million worth of interest payments, which Standard & Poor said placed it in “selective default” with a “rapidly weakening liquidity position”. S&P also said that LyondellBasell have debts of $26 billion in a report on the company prior to the firm’s collapse.

LyondellBasell responded with a press release, issuing the following statement: “Standard & Poor’s definition of ‘selected default’ related to our corporate credit rating should not be misinterpreted to suggest that LyondellBasell is currently in default of its bank agreements. As they stated in their press release, ‘This is a default in our opinion according to our definitions and criteria.’ LyondellBasell is not currently in default according to its agreements with its lenders.”

The company met with high oil prices shortly after the expensive merger. This was followed by a general tail-off in demand caused by the ongoing financial crisis. Investors were continuing to bet before the collapse that the firm would restructure under bankruptcy protection, leaving lenders with big losses, potentially over 90% of their investments. The cost of credit protection for LyondellBasell bonds had soared. The creditors include Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, ABN Amro and UBS.

On Thursday, an interim allowance was made by a judge for LyondellBasell to seek up to $2.167 billion of loans. There is also an emergency loan paid out of $100 million. As well as LyondellBasell, 79 affiliates have become insolvent. Citigroup has said the collapse will set them back $1.4 billion in unpaid debts.

Security increased at Delta plants due to extortion threat

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Delta Electricity, New South Wales’ second largest electricity producer has increased security at its four plants near Sydney following an extortion threat.

Delta Electricity operates coal-fired power plants at Wallerawang and Mount Piper (near Portland) in the state’s Central West with Mummorah and Vales Point both between Sydney and Newcastle.

Delta reportedly received the letter last week which is said to contain a threat to bomb one of the plants if a “multi-million” dollar payment was not received. Jim Henness, Chief Executive of Delta Electricity denies that the letter threatened to bomb company facilities or harm employees. He did concede that Delta has undertaken responses “for the protection of people and plant”.

New South Wales Police have set up Strike Force Wayside investigate the threat. Members of the strike force have been working with Delta to help identify the source of the extortion demand.

The mayor of Lithgow, Neville Castle said that residents were nervous. He said “Obviously there’s concern in the community”

“We’d look at it very dimly however to my mind it wouldn’t be concerned with terrorism activity because as far as I am aware, terrorists don’t forecast what they are goring to do in advance. It seems to be very sudden as to what they do.”

Lithgow is located close to Wallerawang and Mount Piper plants and a large number of residents are employed at the plants or in the local coal mines that supply them.