Home Renovations Tips to Plan it Right

You might have thought for a long time and realised that it’s time to make some home renovations. You already have a general idea of what you want to do with your house, including the floor plans for each room. Everything has to be planned in detail because the time and effort put into home improvements is major. Home renovation costs can get out of control if you do not analyse the details and make a general materials list without having a strict strategy. Here are some tips that you can follow once you decide to carry on some building and home renovations:

First of all, you have to decide if you can do the house renovation on your own or if you engage the services of a professional builder, i.e. a home improvement professional. These professionals provide interior design with the original floor plan of your home. They could also collaborate with you by merging your good ideas with a detailed design plan, to make your house comfortable as well as functional to live in. Truth to tell, some people think that a professional interior design is not that important in making home improvements but these design ideas can really help the owner do the right home renovations-from kitchen renovations to bathroom renovations etc.

Secondly, it is important that the block of land that your house is sitting on is well suited to the house design that you have in mind. For example, if you can sit your house to take advantage of the rise and setting of the sun you will be amazed at the variation it will make. If you are in a warm climate you want the sun coming into your bedrooms and kitchen early morning and then you want to keep out the bright sun in the afternoon.

Third and lastly, when thinking of renovation ideas, keep in mind that the furniture and furnishings of your home play an important role in your daily life. Not only do they add beauty to your new home your furniture and furnishings directly impact on your health in more ways then you realise. For example, accumulated dust in windows and drapes can produce an asthma attack for some members of your household so the interior design should have health considerations. All in all, it is advisable that you have a step-by-step guide in making home renovations and talk to a professional.

Home renovations can be fun and gratifying, particularly when done right. Do some reading on home improvements and collect some renovation ideas. You will get some great tips to design your house so it can be very practical for your family and comfortable. As a final thought, when you decide to do your home addition or extensions, home renovations costs must be planned carefully since you want to finish your home renovations within budget.



Source by Elijah Jordan Kim

The Duty Of Confidentiality In Real Estate

In any Listing Agreement there is a point in time when the agency relationship ends.

A Listing Agreement, as it is widely known, is none other than a contract between the rightful titleholder of an interest in land (the ‘Principal’) and a duly licensed real estate firm (the ‘Agent’), whereby the firm stipulates and agrees to find a Buyer within a specified timeframe who is ready, willing and able to purchase the interest in land that is the subject matter of the contract while acting within the realm of the authority that the Principal confers onto the Agent, and wherein furthermore the titleholder stipulates and agrees to pay a commission should the licensee ever be successful in finding such Buyer.

As in all contracts, there is implied in a Listing Agreement an element which is commonly know at law as an ‘implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings’. This covenant is a general assumption of the law that the parties to the contract – in this case the titleholder and the licensed real estate firm – will deal fairly with each other and that they will not cause each other to suffer damages by either breaking their words or otherwise breach their respective and mutual contractual obligations, express and implied. A breach of this implied covenant gives rise to liability both in contract law and, depending on the circumstances, in tort as well.

Due to the particular nature of a Listing Agreement, the Courts have long since ruled that during the term of the agency relationship there is implied in the contract a second element that arises out of the many duties and responsibilities of the Agent towards the Principal: a duty of confidentiality, which obligates an Agent acting exclusively for a Seller or for a Buyer, or a Dual Agent acting for both parties under the provisions of a Limited Dual Agency Agreement, to keep confidential certain information provided by the Principal. Like for the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings, a breach of this duty of confidentiality gives rise to liability both in contract law and, depending on the circumstances, in tort as well.

Pursuant to a recent decision of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (http://www.recbc.ca/) , the regulatory body empowered with the mandate to protect the interest of the public in matters involving Real Estate, a question now arises as to whether or not the duty of confidentiality extends beyond the expiration or otherwise termination of the Listing Agreement.

In a recent case the Real Estate Council reprimanded two licensees and a real estate firm for breaching a continuing duty of confidentiality, which the Real Estate Council found was owing to the Seller of a property. In this case the subject property was listed for sale for over two years. During the term of the Listing Agreement the price of the property was reduced on two occasions. This notwithstanding, the property ultimately did not sell and the listing expired.

Following the expiration of the listing the Seller entered into three separate ‘fee agreements’ with the real estate firm. On all three occasions the Seller declined agency representation, and the firm was identified as ‘Buyer’s Agent’ in these fee agreements. A party commenced a lawsuit as against the Seller, which was related to the subject property.

The lawyer acting for the Plaintiff approached the real estate firm and requested that they provide Affidavits containing information about the listing of the property. This lawyer made it very clear that if the firm did not provide the Affidavits voluntarily, he would either subpoena the firm and the licensees as witnesses to give evidence before the Judge, or he would obtain a Court Order pursuant to the Rules Of Court compelling the firm to give such evidence. The real estate firm, believing there was no other choice in the matter, promptly complied by providing the requested Affidavits.

As a direct and proximate result, the Seller filed a complaint with the Real Estate Council maintaining that the information contained in the Affidavits was ‘confidential’ and that the firm had breached a duty of confidentiality owing to the Seller. As it turned out, the Affidavits were never used in the court proceedings.

The real estate brokerage, on the other hand, took the position that any duty of confidentiality arising from the agency relationship ended with the expiration of the Listing Agreement. The firm argued, moreover, that even if there was a duty of continuing confidentiality such duty would not preclude or otherwise limit the evidence that the real estate brokerage would be compelled to give under a subpoena or in a process under the Rules Of Court. And, finally, the realty company pointed out that there is no such thing as a realtor-client privilege, and that in the instant circumstances the Seller could not have prevented the firm from giving evidence in the lawsuit.

The Real Estate Council did not accept the line of defence and maintained that there exists a continuing duty of confidentiality, which extends after the expiration of the Listing Agreement. Council ruled that by providing the Affidavits both the brokerage and the two licensee had breached this duty.

The attorney-client privilege is a legal concept that protects communications between a client and the attorney and keeps those communications confidential. There are limitations to the attorney-client privilege, like for instance the fact that the privilege protects the confidential communication but not the underlying information. For instance, if a client has previously disclosed confidential information to a third party who is not an attorney, and then gives the same information to an attorney, the attorney-client privilege will still protect the communication to the attorney, but will not protect the information provided to the third party.

Because of this, an analogy can be drawn in the case of a realtor-client privilege during the existence of a Listing Agreement, whereby confidential information is disclosed to a third party such as a Real Estate Board for publication under the terms of a Multiple Listings Service agreement, but not before such information is disclosed to the real estate brokerage. In this instance the privilege theoretically would protect the confidential communication as well as the underlying information.

And as to whether or not the duty of confidentiality extends past the termination of a Listing Agreement is still a matter of open debate, again in the case of an attorney-client privilege there is ample legal authority to support the position that such privilege does in fact extend indefinitely, so that arguably an analogy can be inferred as well respecting the duration of the duty of confidentiality that the Agent owes the Seller, to the extent that such duty extends indefinitely.

This, in a synopsis, seems to be the position taken by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia in this matter.

Clearly, whether the duty of confidentiality that stems out of a Listing Agreement survives the termination of the contract is problematic to the Real Estate profession in terms of practical applications. If, for instance, a listing with Brokerage A expires and the Seller re-lists with Brokerage B, if there is a continuing duty of confidentiality on the part of Brokerage A, in the absence of express consent on the part of the Seller a Realtor of Brokerage A could not act as a Buyer’s Agent for the purchase of the Seller’s property, if this was re-listed by Brokerage B. All of which, therefore, would fly right in the face of all the rules of professional cooperation between real estate firms and their representatives. In fact, this process could potentially destabilize the entire foundation of the Multiple Listings Service system.

In the absence of specific guidelines, until this entire matter is clarified perhaps the best course of action for real estate firms and licensees when requested by a lawyer to provide information that is confidential, is to respond that the brokerage will seek to obtain the necessary consent from the client and, if that consent is not forthcoming, that the lawyer will have to take the necessary legal steps to compel the disclosure of such information.



Source by Luigi Frascati

How to Start a Profitable Home Improvement Referral Service

Home improvement referral services are cropping up from New York to California. They are taking the time to do the legwork to find reputable and reliable contractors and these businesses are reaping profits from good work.

It really doesn’t take much to start. A home improvement referral service business takes only a little money and not more time than a regular 40 hour a week job. They can actually start making money within the first year of business.

The first thing to consider is what types of home improvement businesses your will refer. This can include gutter cleaning and replacement, remodeling, building additions, fencing, lawn maintenance, and many others. Remember, all though you may like to paint a client may not like it or have the time. Therefore, no business should be overlooked.

Once you have an idea of the types of contractors for your referral service business, you will need to call the local, county, and state government offices. Get the regulations and requirements regarding licensing, bonding, business registry, and insurance for each type of contractor. This is the first step to building your list. Any contractor that does not meet government regulations should not be on your referral list.

By knowing these requirements and using them, your home improvement referral business will gain credibility with your clients. They will know that if the contractor doesn’t meet these requirements, they will not be on your list. It makes the client feel more sure the job will be completed professionally and correctly.

Another way to ensure creditability of your referral service business is to only look at contractors that are recommended by their past happy customers. But this is not the end of the screening process. Recommendations are not enough.

Once a contractor is recommended to your home improvement referral business, you need to check out his or her service. Talk to them, explaining your referral service business. Many contractors will give you the needed information happily. Ask to see their licenses, bonding information, and insurance to ensure they are current and up to date. Ask for a list of services they provide and the cost for these services. Finally ask for references you may speak to.

Now you have gotten your contractor referral list started. While working on creating this list, you should have started thinking about a name for your referral service business, advertising, office area, office equipment, and ordered a phone line for the business. You may want to use a computer right away, but an index card or file system could work just as well and for a fraction of the cost, until your company grows. Keep in mind that as your company grows, the office space, office equipment, and referral list system will probably need to become computerized to save time and money.

Since your referral business is going to begin locally, check with local newspapers and periodicals to see if they would be interested in doing an article about your business. Make some flyers and ask local hardware stores if you could leave some there to advertise your service. You may also want to send letters to realtors announcing your business, they can be great advertisers for you.

Make your services free to the people calling into your business looking for referrals. Many home improvement referral businesses charge the contractor anywhere from 6% to 15% depending on the size of the project. You put the customers in touch with the contractor, and upon completion of the project, the contractor pays you a fee.

Advertise that no contractors pay you to get onto your referral list. If clients or contractors ask how they get on the list, explain to them the only way for a contractor to get on the list is for a customer to recommend them. You may want to explain the whole screening process to let the person know the exact qualifications the contractors need to have before being accepted.

A referral service business can expand easily and rapidly. Once your business starts to grow, create a business plan to set goals. Decide how much you want to expand and consider starting franchises in other locations or expanding the list to include contractors that were not included originally. This is your home improvement referral service business and you can take it wherever you want.



Source by Randy Wilson

Property Development – What’s an Entitlement and Why Do I Need it to Build?

What is An Entitlement?

The definition of entitlement with regard to land development is the legal method of obtaining approvals for the right to develop property for a particular use. The entitlement process is complicated, time consuming and can be costly, but know what you can and can’t do with a piece of property is vital to determining the real estate feasibility of your project. Some examples of entitlements are as follows:

Entitlement Examples:

1. Zoning and zoning variances for building heights, number of parking spaces, setbacks. Your land use attorneys and zoning experts come into play here. My advice is to heavily rely on their expertise and follow their directions to avoid unnecessary delays in your approval process.

2. Rezoning. Depending on the current use allowed for the property, you might need to have the site rezoned which is a complicated process and sometimes cannot be done.

3 Use Permits. You may need to obtain conditional use permits and this goes hand in hand with zoning and zoning variances.

4. Road approvals. Do you need to put in existing roads? Who maintains the roads? Are there shared roads via easements? These are all questions that you need to have the answers to and be prepared to comply with in the regulatory process.

5 Utility approvals. Are utilities available to the site? Do you need to donate land to the city in exchange for utility entitlements? Again, you will need to comply with the municipality regulations and standards.

6. Landscaping approvals. The city planning and development agencies must also approve your design and landscaping. Your architect and engineers will be most helpful in this area.

Hire an Experienced Development Team:

The best advise is to hire an experienced development team of architects, developers, lawyers, project consultants, civil, soil, landscape and structural engineers and consultants at the onset to help you analyze, review, interpret and advise you regarding design studies, applicable zoning and code requirements, and maximum development potential of the property. Without an experienced team, it is extremely difficult and a lot of time will be wasted in trying to complete the regulatory process because the very nature of the regulatory process is so complicated.

Here is how the process works. First, remember to keep in mind that the process is very slow and frustrating and can take approximately 3 to 12 months or sometimes years depending on how complicated the project is. Part of the reason is that each city planner has different interpretations of their local rules. Today, approvals involve jurisdictions overlapping such as city, county and state and these jurisdictions do not communicate with each other. It is extremely crucial that you establish good working relationships with these planners to obtain your approvals. Again, this is why you need to work with a development team that has already built these relationships with local staff of the local jurisdiction where your property will be developed. These relationships will streamline and help to expedite your approval process. Your experienced team of experts will be able to negotiate issues for you and eliminate additional requests by the local jurisdiction to avoid further delays in obtaining your approvals.

Regulatory Process:

Majority of development projects must go through certain aspects of the entitlement process and some projects will be required to go through several public hearing processes for approval depending on each jurisdiction’s rules. To begin, commercial development of land requires a review and approval from the local Development Review Board or Planning Department Review Division. Each municipality has a different name but the functions are similar.

  1. The process starts with obtaining site approval from the local Planning and Development Department. By contacting the local Planning and Development Department Review Division, your expert team will then put together a land use pre-application which complies with the codes of that particular jurisdiction. By complying with the codes, this will eliminate additional requests by the jurisdiction, further review and extension and unnecessary delays of the approval process.
  2. Next a meeting date will be set. You and/or your representatives will meet with the Planning Department to discuss the proposed project and review process. The process includes approval of your site plan, elevations, colors, landscaping, vicinity map, etc. Environmental information will need to be submitted also. There is usually a fee that accompanies the application. The fees vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  3. If for some reason your site plan is denied, you can appeal to the City Council. The appeal process varies from each jurisdiction.
  4. Once you obtain site approval, then you will need design approval, master use permits. The design approval process is where your architect will design the building shell, core layout, exterior appearance, building height, site layout, landscaping concepts, traffic impact, site access and utility layouts and submit them for approval.
  5. Neighborhood hearings are generally required for all general plan conditional use permits. You may be required to send out written notice or post information on the site. Normally the City will send notices to the neighbors also. Signs should be placed on the property, and an open house meeting is generally held. Your development team will be instrumental in advising and assisting you so that you have a higher probability of achieving success in obtaining neighborhood approval. Be prepared, even if you comply with the regulatory process codes and regulations, there is always the possibility that the neighborhood may have their own agenda and that the hearings and decisions may not be favorable to your project going forward. This is where your attorneys and the rest of your development team’s expertise and participation are crucial.

If wetlands are located on the property you will need special documentation that states whether the Wetlands Act applies or not. If it does, either it will result in significant or insignificant impact as granted by evidence of a permit. Sometimes it is best to set aside or donate the wetlands portion of the property and avoid development issues. Your development team will be able to advise you on the best course of action once they have assessed all the information and reviewed the reports.



Source by Bart S Pair

How to Do Landscaping on Your Own

Yes, you don’t need to be a professional landscaper in order to do your own landscaping, but here are some tips and rules to follow before heading out to your outdoor space and starting your own landscaping project:

Make an evaluation of your skill set

If you have some experience with DIY projects and with gardening, then you are ready to dive into your new outdoor space design project. If you are completely unfamiliar with this kind of work, it is best to spend some time to look at and study different landscaping projects, ideas, plans, photos, and videos before you start our own project. Start small, and as you build up your confidence, you can move to larger projects.

Get to know your personal style

Plan and sketch your landscaping ideas before proceeding. Make them in accordance with your personal tastes and style. If you want to make some improvements and minor changes to your outdoor space, then you can start with some easy to handle DIY tasks, such as re-designing the edgings of your flower beds or adding a few new plants and flowers to your flower beds. Larger projects can require some help from professionals.

Get rid of the clutter

Before you proceed with a grand project to redo your entire outdoor space, start by removing the clutter from your existing garden. Take the time to remove overgrown or unwanted plants and elements. This will help clean out your area so that you can get a better visual idea of what you would like to add and transform it into.

Get some professional help

Consider spending a small fee to get professional consultations and advice from a landscaping expert. Yes, you may feel confident that you have laid out a perfect plan for your new outdoor landscaping project, but if you are new to this, it is highly recommended that you ask an expert for an evaluation of your ideas. This will make you sure you are moving in the right direction and will not be making any mistakes which can turn out to be quite costly. The landscaper can also help you break down the costs of the project so that you don’t overspend and get overwhelmed in the process of the transformation of your garden or other outdoor space.

Don’t overestimate your skills, time and financial resources

Your project should be spaced out and properly timed so that you don’t end up spending tireless hours, days and months and still not be able to complete it. Instead, start small. Plan ahead, and do some of the landscaping work this year, and leave the next step of the project for the upcoming year.



Source by Bethany Thomson

Will Commercial Zoning Increase Your Property Value?

If you have the correct combination of items and you have a large enough pocketbook, this may be your ticket to retirement. But sometimes, it’s your ticket to the poor house.

I looked at a home that is zoned mixed use. In this area, this means that you can either use the residence as a home or use the residence as a commercial site. These types of sites are usually limited to low impact items such as office buildings, apartments, etc.

What’s the catch? Well, you’ll have to own a large enough parcel of land to make a commercial deal work. This is why you see five homes along a busy street all for sale at once and the zoning is commercial. This is because in order to be approved for commercial development, there must be a large enough parcel to make the commercial development work.

Usually, for mixed residential zoning, these areas are close to town or close to other apartments or business in the area. I’ve appraised several of these types of property. Many times, advertising the zoning as mixed use is enough to sell the home for more just because it may appeal to that specific buyer that wants to live in the same home and run a business out of the home. One home that I appraised offered a living area on the main level and a daylight basement offered office buildings that were rented out.

My understanding is that some banks that specialize in residential zoning will not loan money on mixed use properties. This, of course, is a downfall, if you’re trying to get a residential loan. Some buyers will not want to use their residential home for office use. This will limit the number of buyers that may want to buy your home.

So, will commercial zoning increase your property value? If your home is a residential home with the best use as a residential use, commercial zoning may decrease your home value and make it difficult to get a loan and make it difficult to sell, because you’ll be located on a busy street. If your home is residential use and the highest and best use is to build a commercial structure, most often, your land used as commercial use will be more valuable than your home used as residential use.

So, the moral of the story is to keep an open mind on these types of properties. I looked at some homes the other day where the home is an older residential home with a larger lot. The zoning can be switched from residential to commercial for $1500. Residential homes with larger lots with similar zoning were selling for $350,000 to $400,000. Residential homes that have been switched to commercial zoning were selling for $500,000 to $700,000. So for $1500 and some time, this would be a good investment for your money.



Source by Tim D Page

Important Issues For Green Card Holders to Remember and Consider When Traveling

Clients who are Green Card holders (i.e. permanent residents) frequently ask me about issues they need to be aware of when traveling internationally, outside of the United States.

Here are some things to consider to minimize the potential for problems at the border. After a long intercontinental flight, nobody wants to find themselves in a position of being subjected to lengthy questioning by CBP officers at the airport. Particularly in situations where the Green Card holder has spent significant time (more than 6 months, typically) outside the U.S., there are potential pitfalls one needs to be aware of – or risk losing the highly-prized Green Card. CBP, interestingly enough, in its operations manual, has some good guidance on what immigration inspectors are to consider when inspecting Green Card residents seeking re-admission into the U.S.

Admission, generally The CBP officer shall admit a resident alien returning to an unrelinquished domicile, if not otherwise inadmissible, upon presentation of an unexpired Green Card (I-551), a reentry permit, refugee travel document (indicating lawful permanent residence), or temporary evidence of LPR status such as an Travel Statmp (or ADIT stamp).

A returning resident alien is not required to present a valid passport for reentry into the U.S., although most will have one, since a passport is often required for entry into a foreign country. When presented, the passport is normally annotated with “ARC”, and the alien’s “A” number should be written on the page with the admission stamp.

Admission after prolonged absences A Green Card holder, who has been outside the United States for more than one year (two, if presenting a reentry permit), may be seen by CBP to possibly have abandoned residence. Other indicators of possible abandonment of residence are:

(1) employment abroad,

(2) having immediate family members who are not permanent residents,

(3) arrival on a charter flight where most passengers are non-residents with return passage,

(4) lack of a fixed address in the U.S., or

(5) frequent prolonged absences from the United States.

In questionable cases, it is appropriate for CBP to ask for other documentation to substantiate residence, such as driver’s licenses and employer identification cards.

Green Card holder without Green Card? Lawful permanent residents (LPR) lacking evidence of alien registration because it has been left at home or in a safety deposit box, may obtain from CBP a visa waiver, with fee, or defer the inspection to another CBP office local to the Resident’s home in the U.S.

If the LPR claims the card has been lost or stolen, the POE may accept a Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, with fee. These actions may be considered once the identity of the LPR has been confirmed, preferably by checking against the data contained in the CBP computer systems.

A LPR requesting a visa waiver must complete a Form I-193, Application for Waiver of Visa or Passport, if otherwise admissible. The applicant requesting the waiver is to review the information recorded on the printed form for accuracy and sign where indicated. If the waiver is approved, the LPR is to be given a copy of the Form I-193 and be admitted as a returning resident. If a waiver is denied, the applicant may be placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

CBP officers can also use something called “deferred inspection”. This is usually limited to a Green Card or Visa holder who:

o will be able to produce the requisite document within a few days; or,

o claims to have lost or had the Form I-551 stolen, is unable to pay the Form I-90 fee at the time of initial inspection and has not been previously deferred for presentation of the Form I-551 document.

The LPR will be required to file a Form I-90 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the next 30 days.

Conditional Residents A conditional resident is generally admissible to the U.S. if applying before the second anniversary of admission for conditional residence. The conditional resident may also be admissible if he or she has a boarding letter (or “transport letter”) from a U.S. consulate, has been stationed abroad under government orders, or is the spouse or child of a person stationed abroad under government orders. Otherwise, the applicant for admission as a conditional resident must have filed a joint petition or an application for waiver, Form I-751 (marriage-based cases) or Form I-829 (investment-based cases), in the U.S. within the 90 days before the second anniversary but not more than 6 months prior to the application for entry.

Once I-751 has been filed, the applicant will receive a receipt notice (I-797 Notice of Action) from USCIS, extending the conditional resident status for another year, allowing travel.

If none of those conditions exist, the inspector may defer the applicant to file Form I-751 or I-829 if there is reason to believe the Service will approve a petition or waiver. If the applicant is not admissible, CBP has authority to place him or her in removal proceedings.

Question of “Meaningful Departure” When examining a Green Card holder who has spent significant time abroad (usually more than six months), when there is a question as to whether the LPR may have abandoned his/her U.S. residence, the CBP inspector has to evaluate the situation and make a determination as to the LPR’s intent and the nature and reason for the prolonged absence from the United States. Prior to 1997, if a lawful permanent resident was believed to be inadmissible, immigration inspectors had to first make a determination whether his/her absence was “meaningfully interruptive” of permanent residence. Later revisions to immigration laws have formalized a ‘test’ for immigration inspectors to apply in this situation. Under this test, a lawful permanent resident is NOT considered to be seeking admission, unless the alien:

o has abandoned or relinquished that status;

o has been absent continuously for more than 180 days;

o has engaged in illegal activity after departing the U.S.;

o has departed under legal process seeking removal;

o has committed certain criminal offenses;

o is attempting entry without inspection; or

o has entered the U.S. without authorization by an immigration officer.

If CBP believes an LPR may be inadmissible or no longer entitled to lawful permanent resident status, CBP should refer the alien for removal proceedings if a deferred inspection is not appropriate.

Special Rules for Dependents of U.S. Service Members Spouses and children of U.S. Armed Forces servicemembers, or civilian employees of the U.S. Government, are exempt from many normal requirements for returning residents. If a dependent is a conditional resident, and the period of conditional residence has expired, CBP should admit the person and advise to file Form I-751 within 90 days.



Source by Steven A. Culbreath

Bringing Your New Puppy Home – The First 48 Hours

The much anticipated time has come. Today, you’re finally going to bring your new puppy home! You’ve spent many hours joyously waiting to bring your cuddly, furry little ball of fluff into your life. You’ve done your homework into what breed of dog would fit into you and your family’s lifestyle. You know how big he will get, and the basic temperament of the breed. You took into consideration how much yard space you have, and whether he will be a housedog, an outside dog, or somewhere in between. But before you actually bring your puppy home, you will need to make preparations and establish some guidelines.

The good care that you take of your puppy in the first 48 hours he is with you is very important. Don’t forget, he will be alone for the first time in his young life. His needs have been taken care of by his mother, and he sought his puppy mates for play and comfort. All of these things will be gone from his life when he comes home to live with you. But puppies are resilient. He will soon adapt to his new home, family and surroundings. Here’s a guide line for the first 48 hours of your puppy’s new life with you.

The first thing you need to do is puppy-proof your home and create a safe and friendly environment. Take all of your household poisonous cleaners out of the reach of your puppy. Do the same with any houseplants that are toxic to dogs. And lastly, look around in your house with a puppy’s perspective and remove any hazardous items, or any family heirlooms that you don’t want destroyed.

Next, make sure you have the appropriate supplies such as food and water bowls, a leach and collar and a brush and comb. Safe puppy toys such as stuffed animals can be found in your local pet store or Walmarts. Make sure that the toy is not too small. (If it can fit into his mouth comfortably then it is too small and the puppy could be endangered if he tries to swallow it. Choking can result.) A puppy crate with a bed is ideal to have in your home. This area will be his own little safe “cave”, where he can go to feel secure. You might also consider purchasing a puppy or baby gate to restrict your new puppy to certain areas in your home.

The transition your puppy will experience when he comes home to you can be made easier and more pleasant if you follow theses helpful tips:

Choose a name for you puppy and use it all of the time when addressing him. He will soon learn his name this way. For the first 2 days, try to limit visitors. Always watch over your puppy when he’s out of his crate or pen. This will keep him from harm and start to establish good social behavior. When your puppy is sleeping, don’t wake him! He needs all the rest he can get to grow properly. Do not leave your puppy unattended with small children or other pets in the beginning! Finally, to make the most out of your puppy and your relationship, you will want to start him on a puppy training program. There are many books and helpful tools on the market today. Find one you like, and stick to it religiously. Please visit SitAndHeel.com for more information on how to train your dog.

Using these guidelines and helpful hints, you will have a successful start with your new puppy.



Source by Diane Gray

Travel To Singapore – The Strict Entry Requirements To The Casinos

With the launch of the two integrated resorts in Singapore, this has opened up a flood gate of tourists visiting this wonderful city-state. In Singapore context, what is known as the integrated resorts is another meaning for a resort and casino complex.

The two resorts that have successfully obtained the licenses required to run a casino in Singapore are the Marina Bay Sands Resorts and Casino, run by the Sands Company which is headquartered in the United States, and Resorts World, run by Genting Group which is headquartered in Malaysia. Regardless of which integrated resort you visit, if you intend to visit the casino, you must abide to the strict rules in place. Here is a quick guide to the entry requirements to the casinos in Singapore.

Age Requirement

The minimum age requirement to enter the casino is 21 years of age. Anyone below that age is not allowed to enter.

Documents Requirement

For all visitors who are neither Singapore citizens nor holding any permanent residence status in Singapore, the only requirement is to bring their passports as a form of identification to prove that they are purely tourists from overseas and that they meet the minimum age requirements to enter the gambling areas. There is no levy fee for these types of visitors. If you qualify as this type of visitor, then you can simply line up in the foreign visitor’s lane while entering the gaming areas.

For visitors who are Singapore citizens or holding permanent residence status, they must present either their passports or national identification card, and also pay the mandatory 100S$ (Singapore dollar) levy fee. Please note that the levy fee only allows you to enter the casino for 24 hours from the time and date you paid the fee. After the 24 hours is up, then your current levy will expire and should you wish to stay longer, then you will need to pay the levy fee a second time in order to enter the casino for another 24 hours. To enter the gambling center as a Singaporean or permanent resident, you will need to line up in the lanes designated as “Singaporean citizen/ PR holder” to enter the gaming area.

Dress Code

For both integrated resorts at Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World, the dress code to enter the gaming areas is smart casual. Shorts, singlets, and “flip flop” slippers are not permitted. The security guard will check to ensure you meet the dress code before allowing you to enter.

By taking note of these entry requirements to the casinos of both integrated resorts in Singapore, it will help to ensure that you can enter the casinos as smoothly as possible.



Source by Alec Chan

Bitcoin Buying Guide – Easy 3-Step Guide to Buying Your First Bitcoin

Looking for a Bitcoin Buying Guide? Wondering where to start? People have a lot of misconceptions about bitcoin – the very first widely known and accepted cryptocurrency worldwide.

A lot of people think for example that only hackers and shady people use it. However bitcoin is actually going mainstream with everyone from TigerDirect to Expedia.com to Dell and even Subway accepting payments in bitcoin now.

Why so popular?

Well, bitcoin has a lot of benefits over other currencies. For example, you can send bitcoins to someone as payment without having to go through the bank middleman (and get hit with extra fees). It’s also much faster than sending money via a bank wire or transfer. You can send bitcoins to someone and have them receiving the coins in seconds.

With all of this, it’s no surprise that many people are now trying to buy bitcoin for the first time. However it’s not as easy as going to your bank and withdrawing bitcoins – or going to a store and plunking down some hard-earned cash for bitcoin.

The system works a bit differently than that. This Bitcoin Buying Guide will go over a few things you need to know before you buy – so you can buy safely and securely.

First of all, while the price might be over $2000 us per coin, you don’t have to buy an entire bitcoin. Most places will let you buy portions of a bitcoin for as little as $20. So you can start off small and go from there as you get more comfortable with the way things work.

Secondly, this article is for general purposes only and not to be taken as financial advice. Bitcoin can be risky and before making any purchase you should consult with your financial advisor to see if it’s right for you.

So here are 3 easy steps to buying Bitcoins:

#1 Get a Bitcoin Wallet

The first thing to do before you buy your coins is to get a virtual wallet to store your coins. This wallet is a string of text that people can use to send you bitcoins.

There are a number of different types of wallets including ones you download to your phone or computer, online wallets and even offline, cold storage wallets.

Most people prefer to get a wallet on their phone or computer. Popular wallets include Blockchain, Armory, Bitgo MyCelium and Xapo.

Usually it’s as simple as downloading the wallet to your phone as an app or downloading the software to your computer from the wallet’s main website.

#2 Decide Where to Buy

There are several types of places to buy and each one is a bit different. There are online sellers that will sell you bitcoins directly for cash (or bank wire or credit card).

There are exchanges where you can buy and sell bitcoins from others – similar to a stock market. There are also local exchanges that link you up with sellers in your area looking to sell.

There are also ATMs where you go to purchase with cash and get your coins delivered to your wallet in minutes.

Each bitcoin seller has their benefits and drawbacks. For example ATMs are great for privacy, but they’ll charge you up to 20% on top of the current price, which is ridiculous. (On a BTC price of $2000, that $400! So you’re paying $2400 instead of $2000).

No matter where you decide to buy, remember to do your research and go with a trusted seller with a good reputation and strong customer service. First time buyers will especially have questions and may need the extra support to help them with their first transaction.

Take your time and research the different places to buy before you decide. Factors to consider include coin prices, extra fees, method of payment and customer service.

#3 Buy Bitcoin and Move It To Your Wallet

Once you’ve found a place to buy, get your funds ready (i.e. you may send a wire transfer or use your Visa to fund your account). Then wait for a good price. (Bitcoin prices are always fluctuating 24 hours, 7 days a week). Then place your order when you’re ready.

Once your order is filled and you have your coins, you’ll want to send them to your wallet. Simply enter your bitcoin address and get the seller to send you your bitcoins. You should see them show up in your wallet within minutes to an hour (depending on how fast the seller sends them out).

Voila, you are now a bitcoin owner. You can now send coins to pay for other goods and services, or hang on to them for a rainy day.

One last thing to remember: bitcoin is still in its infancy. There are huge price swings and the currency can be risky. Never buy more bitcoins than you can afford to lose.



Source by Eric Summers