Every country and every region or state within those countries have rules and legalities regarding buying foreclosures. In the United States and parts of Canada the rate of foreclosures is still high leaving buying in a solid position an excellent opportunity to score a bargain. Buying a foreclosure in Calgary is a great means to create a real estate investment or buy a larger home without spending as much as you might when the market is up.
Get to Know the Market In Calgary
Calgary doesn’t seem to be experiencing the most dramatic real estate action of the western providences. This means terrific foreclosures aren’t going to simply fall into your lap. You’ll need to spend plenty of time getting to know the area and targeting certain neighborhoods or areas of town you’d like to relocate to. Wait newspaper ads and enlist the aid of a realtor experienced in Calgary real estate to help you stay targeted on what is coming on the market.
Arrange Financing For Your Foreclosure Purchase
While you wait for the perfect property, you’ll want to arrange financing. Calgary mortgages can easily be in place before you even bid on a property, and having the backing of a Calgary mortgage broker is a tremendous asset when viewed by the banks who are trying to offload the foreclosed properties quickly and easily. Having a ready buyer who is able to demonstrate proof of financing in a matter of days might be exactly what is needed to seal the deal.
Make an Offer On The Foreclosure
When the ideal foreclosure property comes on the market, move quickly. Most foreclosures are prices below the market value to ensure a quick sale. These properties are also usually sold “as is” making the price lower to accommodate the extra work and cost of a property that needs updating and repairs. Most foreclosures are sold by busy real estate agents selling properties in bulk for banks. To have your offer considered, you’ll need an experienced agent to push your papers through. Do your own research and offer a fair price. Prices that are too low will be discounted immediately and not even considered.
Once you have an offer accepted, finish up the details with your financing arrangements and have the home inspected. Expect problems of some kind in the home and expect to be out those costs in the purchase. Once all parties are satisfied with the deal, it will move to closing and the foreclosed home will be yours to start cleaning, fixing up and enjoying.
Easy Step By Step Instructions For Buying Foreclosures in Calgary
- VGet to know the market in Calgary to find neighborhoods to target for foreclosures
- Arrange financing in advance to make you a stronger applicant when you put offers on properties
- Make an official offer with the help of a real estate agent
- Follow though and finish up the deal
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Buying Foreclosures
Don’t buy a foreclosure with hopes of flipping the house for a quick profit. The real estate market will be quite volatile for awhile making it unlikely you’ll be able to make a quick return on selling the home.
To gain sharp definition in your muscles you’ll need to take a two fold approach. First you must build the muscle as much as possible, and then you’ll need to remove the fat that is between the skin and muscle. The thinner this layer, the more the definition of muscle will show.
Building muscle is as simple as tearing away the existing muscle and letting the muscle grow larger and stronger as it heals. To encourage the muscle to grow, you must tax it to the limit. Lifting weights and working against resistance, such as resistance bands or water, are the means to most effectively encourage new muscle growth.
To build muscle, you’ll need to exercise regularly. Lifting weights and establishing a routine to work all muscle groups is essential to your success. Work close to your limits every day to gain the maximum benefits, but don’t push yourself to a point where you risk injury or aren’t able to work out effectively the next day.
Many body builders seeking to build large muscles choose to use bodybuilding supplements to ensure they are getting the right balance of nutrients and additives to increase strength and power.
Eat a balanced diet heavy on proteins and vegetables, but low in fats. The increased muscle will burn fat, but you should incorporate an intense cardio routine into your exercise plan to burn off more calories as quickly as possible. As the fat melts away and the muscles before more defined beneath the skin, your muscle tone will be truly impressive.
Even those who appear slender may sport an impressive layer of body fat. Extra calories will be stored as fat. You can build impressive muscles, but the muscle definition will be hidden under the fat until you’re able to lose enough to see the outline of the muscles through it.
Loosing fat is a challenge for any dieters, but those trying to gain muscle tone must work especially hard. To gain muscle you must consume extra calories that will convert to the muscle, but old calories are still stored as fat. To lose fat while gaining muscle, you must focus on eating the right kinds of calories. Protein is used to build muscles while carbs and fats convert more readily to fat.
Walnuts add a great deal of flavor and appeal to many food items. They have many nutritional benefits including Omega 3 fatty acids, protein and antioxidants. If you’d like to take advantage of these delicious and nutritious nuts, here is how to use walnuts.
If you have purchased or collected walnuts that are still in the shell, you are in for a fun afternoon of cracking and peeling. This can actually be fun, especially with kids. Invest in a nutcracker, get a comfortable seat outside or by the trash can and get started. Crack each walnut and open it. There are two halves of meat inside. Try and extract each side of the meat in a single piece leaving behind any skin or shell fragments. You may need a pick to be able to get under the meat and pull it out.
Serving Whole Walnuts
You can serve whole walnuts as a snack as they are, or with extra flair. You can roast walnuts at 160-170 degrees and then sprinkle lightly with sugar or salt for a nice treat.
Most recipes call for crushed walnuts. Fortunately, walnuts are soft, so they are easy to crush. Put your whole walnuts inside a study plastic bag. Use a kitchen mallet or spoon to beat the walnuts gently. You can also use a rolling pin to break them down. A food processor or special grinder can do the job easily as well.
Crushed walnuts can be added to many different recipes to add additional flavor and as a garnish. Here are suggestions of how to use walnuts in recipes:
- Sprinkle crushed walnuts on the top and sides of a chocolate cake.
- Sprinkle crushed walnuts into pancake or muffin batter.
- Stir crushed walnuts into yogurt
- Sprinkle crushed or whole walnuts into a salad.
- Add crushed walnuts to dressings and stuffing.
- Include walnuts in a trail mix.
A newborn baby is exciting, but no matter how ready you think you are, new parents often find themselves a bit confused and panicked when that new baby comes home. There are many things involved to effectively take care of a baby, but once you have the basics sorted out, the rest just falls into place. Here is how to care for a newborn baby.
The adage about new babies claims they only do three things – eat, sleep, and poop. Many new parents find this to be startlingly true, at least for the first few weeks. Thus, care for a newborn baby involves taking care of these three activities.
A newborn baby eats only one of two things, or possibly both. Breast milk is the preferred choice for its many health benefits, but formula is certainly healthy and the natural alternative if breastfeeding does not work out for any reason. A newborn baby starts a feeding every 2-3 hours if breast fed, and every 2-4 hours if formula feeding.
Most experts agree that feeding on demand, or when the baby wants to eat, is the best way to feed a baby for the first 4-12 months of life. So, when your baby begins fussing, crying, or chewing on his hands, offer him the breast or the bottle. A newborn will eat less than 2-3 ounces per feeding, and may take up to forty-five minutes to complete each feeding. Be sure to burp the baby periodically during the feeding to decrease chances of spit up.
After your baby eats, he will most likely fall asleep. Lay him on his back in a safe sleeping environment such as a bassinet or crib. Avoid letting him sleep on your bed as the blankets may be too thick and your baby is simply safer inside a crib or bassinet. He can sleep in a playpen, car seat, swing, or bouncer as well for the first few weeks or months if he sleeps better in those positions. Dress him comfortably, and consider swaddling as this makes a newborn more comfortable and promotes longer and better sleep.
Caring for a newborn involves quite a few diaper changes. You should change his diaper following every feeding. Most newborns make dirty diapers while eating as the feeding stimulates the bowels. Expect your newborn to have a dirty diaper with almost every meal for the first few days, but after the first week or two, dirty diapers will only appear 1-3 times a day.
Wipes are abrasive on the sensitive skin of a newborn, so consider using warm water and a washcloth or simply letting running water clean away the poop. This will help prevent diaper rash, but you should have ointment on hand to help with any that appears.
Most of all, a newborn needs constant love and attention. His needs and comforts now come before your own, but you most likely won’t mind as he will have easily become the center of your world the moment he was born.
The unsent letter is a journalism tool often used when you, the writer, have something you want to say to someone and are unable to tell them directly. Whether the person is physically absent from your life or there are other extenuating circumstances, an unsent letter can help diffuse the negativity of holding something inside.
What are some of the times you might choose to write an unsent letter?
- When the person you want to write is not able to listen. (The person is dead or in a coma or otherwise completely beyond your voice’s reach.)
- When the person you want to write is not willing to listen. (The person no longer wants a relationship with you or you are still in a relationship but know from past experience that there are certain things they will never hear due to their own denial.)
- When what you want to say may be more hurtful than helpful. (You are so angry or hurt by the other person that you need to get that raw emotion out on paper or you will be eaten up by it.)
- When what you want to say is something you don’t necessarily want the other person to know at this point in time. (You have a personal confession to make but are not ready to fully disclose yourself to the other person.)
The purpose of the unsent letter is to afford you the opportunity to say it all, everything from pain to rage, without fear of reprisal. You can tell someone to take a long trip off a short pier or confess that, even though they have moved on with their lives, you are still very much in love with them. You can tell a parent how much their neglect and abuse damaged you; or tell your rebellious child how painful it is to watch self-destructive patterns repeat themselves from one generation to the next. You can tell a teacher what you really think of the grade you received or your boss what you really think about your job. The unsent letter can be as rich or frivolous as you need for it to be.
Before you begin to write your letter, set aside a block of uninterrupted time for the actual writing. Allow at least thirty minutes but be prepared to spend more time because it is not unusual to find yourself pouring out more than you had initially anticipated writing. It is also not unusual to find that the emotion with which you started writing changes as you write. I have begun an unsent letter furious with anger and have the letter shift into a compassionate confession where I try to understand why something happened. Then again, you may find yourself filling pages with vitriolic accusations and never stray from that fury. There is no right or wrong when writing an unsent letter and very few rules apply. In fact, there are only three.
When writing the unsent letter the first thing you want to do is to date your letter, just as you would any other journal entry or letter you would write. You want to date your unsent letter for your own purposes. A year (or ten) from now, if you should reread your letter, you may be surprised by how much your personal attitude towards the person or situation have changed. This is to be expected but you won’t be able to fully appreciate how far you have come if you don’t know when you were at this place emotionally speaking and needed to write the letter to begin with.
Write honestly and without hesitation. Do not stop to revise yourself. Above all else, do not censor yourself. Nobody is going to read what you write. You are not going to send this to the person. You don’t have to worry about anyone judging you for being too angry, too weak, too pathetic. Let everything pour out onto the page, whether you compose it with pen and paper or on a keyboard. Give yourself to be as transparent as you can be.
This should be obvious but do not send the letter. Sometimes it is tempting to do so, especially if the person you are writing is still alive. The consequences of sending the letter are manifold. If you go into writing this letter without the intention of sending it, you are likely to say things that the other person is not prepared to hear. Yes, you may want to tell your former lover how much their absence grieves you but it is unlikely that you will receive any sympathy after your letter is read. If anything, he or she may think you are trying to be manipulative.
Writing the unsent letter is not meant to be an opportunity for you to tell anyone else what you need to say; its purpose is to afford you the opportunity to say what you want and need to say in spite of the other person’s willingness or ability to listen. This journalist exercise is incredibly powerful and, although it seems simplistic and may even appear to be useless, the truth is I know of no better way to express yourself honestly and without concern for repercussions than by writing unsent letter. If you simply must have someone read it afterwards, you can always share it with a friend or you can post it anonymously on the internet.
The unsent letter is an opportunity to give yourself closure where none is offered and the benefits may not be fully appreciated when you first undertake writing one but you can and will benefit from it in the long run.
Keeping a spiritual journal is something that is usually associated with Bible study. An online search of the topic will pull up a plethora of Christian resources. The intent of this article is to offer suggestions which anyone of any faith can use to begin a habit of keeping a spiritual journal.
The only tools you will need are a place to record your thoughts and some form of sacred text. I would encourage you to be open to rethinking the traditional interpretation of"sacred text." Most people, when you ask them what a sacred text is, will being listing books such as the Bible, the Quran, the Tao Te Ching, et al. Yet most people can recall moments of epiphany which occurred when not reading the typical sacred text.
The lyric of a song that touches the heart deeply, a quotation from a movie that has a profound meaning, a painting, a sermon, even the forwarded email that has already been read by hundreds of people before reaching your in box can be experienced in a spiritual way. In other words, do not limit your definition of how you will receive sacred messages.
How you keep your spiritual journal is completely up to you. Whether you choose to write it out longhand or write it out on a computer will depend on what makes you feel most comfortable. What you include in your journal should be as unique as you are. I offer a list of things you may or may not incorporate:
Most faiths have some form of prayer or meditation practice, a way for the individual to reconnect with the sacred. A Prayer Journal can be kept to record requests made and answered. A Meditation Journal can be used to track the length or type of meditation as well as any messages the practitioner may have received. Once again, I want to encourage you not to confine your definition of prayer and/or meditation to the times when you consciously quiet yourself for these moments. You may find yourself thanking God as you drive in your car for a near miss on the road that kept your from being involved in an accident. Or you may find yourself having a transcendent moment when you see a beautiful sunset. While you may not be in a position to immediately record the experience, you can try to remember to write about it later, when you are able to do so.
As stated previously, how you receive spiritual messages will vary. You may read something from a book, hear something in a poem or song, find an interesting quote in a movie, television program. How and when you hear the "still small voice" is not something you dictate. That said, making a habit of going to some form of sacred text to read these messages is a discipline that is well worth the time and effort. This may include your sitting alone with a book, reading and taking notes, or listening to a teacher in some form of public gathering, on video or even recordings. The key is to make it a habit, whether it be daily or weekly. Those who make a habit of listening will find themselves hearing more messages beyond the time set aside for receiving them. It is not unusual for someone who has made a habit of recording messages they receive to find themselves to receiving more at different times and not only when they themselves are sitting down in order to receive them.
Finally, you may find yourself communicating with another person and say something that is surprisingly wise, something you may even recognize as being beyond yourself. As always, be aware that this can happen at any time: during a conversation, in a letter or email, even during a chat. Although you may not always be able to write about the moment in your journal at that precise moment, you can always record what you remember at a later time. You may even be able to jot down a few key words or phrases on a napkin or notepad you carry with you. Later, when you have some quiet time to write in your journal, do so with as much detail as possible. Try not to wait too long because it is easy to lose the immediacy of the lesson if you procrastinate. It is always best to make the time then hope you will find it later.
This is just a small sampling of what you might choose to do in your own spiritual journal and is not meant to be inclusive. As you can see there are no rules as to what you can or cannot include. The only rules I ever consider imperative for Spiritual Journaling are as follows:
Date all entries.
If you do not keep any other form of journal you may want to include a brief summary of your life or the day’s events. This is especially useful for the Prayer/Meditation Experiences section as well as Lessons Given. These extra notes can offer surprising insight to your spiritual growth when you read these entries later, whether it is a year or even a decade after the entry was originally written.
Record the source.
When journaling about messages received be sure to give credit where credit is due. If you are listening to a teacher/preacher, write down the person’s name and even the location when the teaching was given. If it is a recorded program, whether audio or video, you may not know the specifics but do the best you can with what you know. If the message is drawn from a text, whether a book or movie, poem, song, write down the title, author (scriptwriter, lyricist), and page number where applicable.
I can say, with the utmost confidence, that if you choose to make a habit of recording your responses to spiritual experiences you will not only be able to trace your journey and growth but will find yourself having deeper and even more frequent experiences than before. Making this commitment to yourself will have benefits beyond your expectations.
The benefits of meditation are well documented and a quick search online will pull up a long list of reasons why we should make time to meditate regularly. Making the commitment to do so is another matter. Even with the best of intentions, annual resolutions to make meditation a habit, it is easy to let the busy-ness of life get in the way of slowing down to meditate and reflect. I offer the following suggestions to help you develop the discipline of meditation.
My first suggestion is that you make an investment. Obviously, in order to meditate, you will have to make the investment of some of your time. This is often the easiest way to avoid meditating because there are so many other "more important" things to do instead of taking a few minutes to meditate. But if you are serious about meditating it may help if you make another kind of investment. Look around your home and find a corner or area you can devote to meditation. Make it as pretty and comfortable as you possibly can. Buy pillows or a meditation stool. Often, when we make a financial investment in accomplishing something we are more likely to make the time to follow through on our intention.
You may determine that you do not have the room to set aside even a corner for meditation. If this is the case, then your financial investment can take the form of a meditation cd or even some comfortable clothes to wear while meditating. By spending some of your financial resources on your intention to meditate you will be sending yourself a clear message of the seriousness of your commitment.
My second suggestion is that you make a commitment. The more time you spend meditating the more you will reap the benefits of meditation. However, meditation is like exercising and if you try to spend an hour or more on your first time meditating you will very likely stop meditating long before you experience any of the benefits. At first, set aside five minutes to meditate. Sit comfortably in a chair or even sit up in bed. Or, if you are fortunate to have created a meditation corner or space for yourself, go there and get into a comfortable position. We have all seen people sitting, their legs crossed, feet resting on thighs, hands on knees. The truth is, we are not all comfortable sitting in this position and it is essential for you to find a position that is comfortable for you. You may find it possible to sit with your legs crossed for more than twenty minutes. If not, find a different position. Experiment until you find a meditation position that you can sit in for at least five minutes.
You may choose to use a cd to help you time your meditation or you may want to set a timer and simply focus on your breath. It doesn’t matter how you do the meditation so long as you are comfortable. Thich Nhat Hanh also suggests that, when you sit in silent meditation that you smile softly. This helps the muscles in your face to relax.
Sit for five minutes at first and only increase the length of time until you are ready to try sitting for longer. You may prefer to sit for five minutes on days when you are busy with work and save the longer practices for weekends (or whatever days you have the most time to commit to meditating). You may find certain positions only comfortable for a certain amount of time. Don’t beat yourself up if you can only sit in one position for fifteen minutes. Instead, remember this and, when you only have fifteen minutes to devote to meditating, sit in that position. Use your discomfort to your advantage.
My third and final suggestion is that you make it uncomplicated. If you cannot afford to buy pillows or cd’s, if you don’t have the space to create a meditation corner, don’t worry about it. You don’t even have to schedule a time, necessarily. If you arrive at work a few minutes early, do not go rush to your desk. Instead, sit in your car or outside and begin breathing slowly, smiling softly, and allowing yourself a moment of meditation before your work day begins. You can do this again, when you get home, either sitting in your car in the driveway before rushing in to start dinner, or you may opt to go inside and sit down on your couch for five minutes.
If you did nothing else towards meditating you will be meditating ten minutes a day. If you then add in two weekend meditations of twenty minutes each you will be meditation for over two hours a week. Does it still feel impossible to set aside that much time for meditation? If so, perhaps you need to re-read some of the information on the benefits of meditation to reinforce your reason for making the time your own.
There is one more thing I would like to encourage you to do; keep a notebook and pen handy. You may find yourself distracted by random thoughts, some of which you won’t want to forget later but now is not the time to focus on these things. Instead, jot them down in the notebook and return to your breath. It is also a good idea to pause, when you are finished with your meditation, to write down how you felt during practice. Did you feel warm or cool? Was there any tingling in your hands or a tension anywhere? Make note of any sensations, emotions, or whatever else may come up during a meditation. Record what works and doesn’t and, above all else, follow your intuition as it leads you in how you should practice your meditation.
Sometimes it is best to use an offshore account to plan for your retirement and savings. If you are living in a country where you do not hold citizenship or the taxation laws of your own country are burdensome, offshore wealth management might be the ideal solution. If you’re intrigued, here’s how to use an offshore account.
First, determine your need for an offshore account. If you are living in the United States, Canada or the UK you most likely do not need an offshore account as financial laws and institutions are sound and relatively favorable. This is true for most of the western world. On the other hand, if you are an expatriate or living in a country that you feel is unstable or simply has unfavorable savings options and tax laws, investigating offshore may have its benefits.
The next step is to see what options are available to you. Off shore accounts sometimes have a bad reputation thanks to movies and crime novels, but most are surprisingly stable and sound. Offshore accounts in countries such as the Isle of Man and other territories of western countries are often underlain with the same stable laws and institutions of the country itself. But many have additional policies and laws to make investing attractive. Investigate the country’s laws and policies to determine if they suit your needs and are safe.
Consult with your financial planner
Talk with you financial planner and determine the best way to move funds off shore. You may decide to have the majority of your funds offshore, or just a few savings accounts to offset any risks you have with your other accounts. Your individual assets, savings plan, and location all play a role in deciding the right course of action.
Open an offshore account
Move the determined amount of funds into that account. Set up the account with your own personal system. You can invest in local markets, buy bonds, simply save the money in a basic account or any other option offered by the country. Like any investment, be sure to understand the risks involved and how those risks correlate to your life stage.
Understand tax laws
Having money overseas might make your taxes more complicated now or in the future. You must research and understand the tax laws for the country you are living in as well as the country you have invested in. Naturally, you want to be sure you maximize your advantages in both in regard to your money while staying well inside the law. A financial planner, accountant or lawyer may be the best source of advice and information on this front.
COBRA, or Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, gives you the right to continued group insurance under most circumstances for a limited time. COBRA benefits are usually more expensive than the group rates you paid while employed as your former employer is no longer footing part of the bill, but in many cases is less expensive than independent insurance. For some situations, it might be the only method to keep insurance for situations like ongoing treatment and pregnancy.
What is COBRA?
The Untied States Government passed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in 1986 to extend health care coverage that might otherwise be terminated. It gives you options when it comes to healthcare.
There are many situations that qualify you, your spouse or your dependents for COBRA benefits. In most cases, unless you were fired for gross misconduct, you, your spouse and dependents all qualify. Other circumstances also allow for benefits including death, divorce, qualification for Medicare, reduction in working hours and if a child outgrows dependent status.
If you were laid off or chose to leave a job, but don’t have another one with benefits already lined up, COBRA might be a nice way to bridge the gap without having to find other insurance. Benefits can last for one to three years and once you are approved, you can continue with the same methods of treatment you’ve been using up to that point. This is especially important for those with ongoing treatments for long term diseases, conditions and pregnancy where finding other insurance with the same coverage might be almost impossible.
COBRA benefits are often a bit less expensive than a similar plan through independent insurance.
What Do I Do?
When you leave a position or come into another situation which entitles you to COBRA benefits, you will receive a letter from your former employer within 14 days. You then can apply for benefits and your specific situation determines approval. Generally you have up to 60 days to apply, and coverage begins on the first day you would normally have had coverage – even if you elect the plan 60 days after that time.
For additional information, the United States Government has a list of FAQ available here.
Life insurance is critical for most adults, and especially those with dependents. Many adults have little or no difficulty selecting one form of insurance or another to suit their individual needs, but over time, the policies might lapse for one reason or another.
Even as your children grow up and leave the house, it is still important to maintain your life insurance until you are sure you no longer need it – which for many of us, will not be until the policy payout has been collected by our dependents.
Select the Right Plan
The first step in maintaining your life insurance is to select a policy that will last the longest and be affordable. There are various kinds of life insurance including whole life and term, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. Research your options and discuss various policies with your dependents and financial advisor. Then select a plan that has the maximum amount of coverage with a premium you can afford.
The easiest way to maintain your life insurance is to meet the requirements of the plan. Pay the premiums on time every month. If you selected a plan whose premiums are too high to make comfortable, discuss your options with the company. It is far better to have even a little bit of life insurance than none at all, so find a plan whose premiums you can afford – even if you have a plan worth only $15,000. It is much more advisable, however, to find a plan with adequate coverage and find a way to meet the premiums.
Know Your Limits
Many life insurance plans are offered based on the assumption or even signed intent of remaining healthy and not engaging in life threatening activities. Most plans are intact for the life of the contract, but have disclaimers. If you are seen to have taken unnecessary risks and perished, your life insurance company may be able to avoid paying your dependents.
Study the plan and read the fine print. Are there exclusions? What if you gain weight? Are terminal illnesses covered? Some things, such as terminal illnesses, can’t be avoided and should be included in the plan. Others, such as sky diving accidents and drag racing are certainly avoidable and might void your contract and are inherently dangerous as it is.
Get Insurance Early
The earlier you arrange life insurance, the better your terms will be. Term life insurance especially has tremendous benefits if you set up a plan early in your adulthood. As you age and more health conditions develop, it becomes more difficult to qualify for plans and this can make them that much harder to maintain.