How You Think Is Everything
This guest contributor post comes to MSF from Tina Roth, a passionate personal finance blogger. She shares her 6 tips for your consideration if you are planning on investing in an older home now or in the future.
Planning to buy an Older Home? Are you fascinated by the antique and intricate architecture of the house? The old, huge beams have already conquered your heart and you have started imaging yourself with your morning tea, sitting on the big wooden swing at the lawn… hold on! Before you dwell yourself completely into the old house and invest on making it yours, glance through these 6 questions which might change your opinion.
Hold on! Why an older house?
A vintage house would be anyone’s dream home with big wooden door, a wrap-around porch, and the stained glass windows welcoming the morning sun. It may sound like the dream place you were looking for all your life but it is equally essential to ensure that you are making the right choice.
The old houses have always been accompanied by mysterious stories sometimes it might be true as well. Mostly, people tend to sell-off such house due to poor maintenance, financial crisis or others reasons. It is a big mess when it comes to maintenance of such old houses and can cost you several dollars.
It might seem like a cheaper option initially comparing the overall cost but be prepared to spend on restoration and renovation. You can get a million of reasons of why you should not go for an older house but when it comes to the beautiful craftsmanship which has caught your eye, there’s no backing out! Just go for it!
Few points to consider, before you buy:
- Track the recent inspection report!
After miles of search when you find your perfect dream home that fits your budget, the only thing in your mind is to buy it before anyone else does. A decision taken in haste might end you up in trouble. A beautiful vintage house with a big lawn and that too at a stunning price, it might feel like a jackpot! Think…there may be a catch!!!
If you are keen on buying that house then do an area study for price comparison. It is mandatory to get all the papers checked before investing on any property. Get the latest inspection report of the house and give a detailed study for all possible details. This will give you the status of the house and you can have a rough estimate of how much you might need on restoration & renovation. Look for all possible points mentioned in the report like how old is the electrical, heating or plumbing systems.
- Is it a stable structure?
It is extremely important to check the stability of the structure before going with the deal. It can be the worst nightmare to imagine the roof falling over while you’re asleep. Getting a detailed examination done is very much a mandate. Look for all minute details like any cracks or leakage on the walls or windowsills. Also, any damps or moulds shouldn’t be overlooked! Repairing a leakage on the walls can be a painful and pricey task.
- Roof status
The outer roof is the one of the key factors that one will notice on the first gaze. It can cut your pocket with a heavy price if the roof is made of slate, wood shingles or thatch. It is very much mandatory to investigate the roof from inside as well. Some investigation reports might not cover this aspect. If there are any cracks or serious issues with the roof from inside then you might land up spending a huge amount on repairing it.
- Is the Septic tank working fine?
This is one important aspect to keep in mind before you sign the deal. It is often seen that the old houses with septic tanks costs a huge while restoration & repair if there is any issue with the working condition. No matter if you flush it 3 times, you cannot trust its working condition something might crop up any moment. Get as much as information from the owner or even hire any inspector to do a detailed study.
- Check the wooden spaces for termites!
See some mud like tubes on the wooden structures? It is nothing but termites! The old houses often comprise of beautiful intricate wooden carvings apart from the furniture & flooring which can serve as a house for termites and other insects; if poorly maintained. Termites are deadly enemies for wooden structures. It is recommended to get a clear inspection done. In case of infestation, get a pest-control professional to woe off the unwanted pests.
- Is there asbestos in the house?
Sometimes the inspection report might not cover the details of asbestos just because it’s hidden behind any wall covering or laminated flooring. Asbestos can be hazardous if it becomes airborne. So, it is essential to get a certified specialist to look for it.
Before you go with the deal, have a budget in your mind to get an idea of how much extra you need to spend on the restoration works! Hope you have some clarity over the points to consider before buying an older house.
With the increasing global population over the coming decades, it makes sense that discussions around more efficient fuels are taking place. I recently came across an article showing that India has embarked on the journey with the first launch of the passenger carrying train that will be powered by biofuels. As India represents a commonly cited high growth market felt it would be interesting to look into this a little more.
So what are biofuels?
Biofuels represent an energy product that can either be used alone or more commonly as an additive in fuel. These fuels are extracted from crops and other plants. There have been many advances in the fueling of our transportation. The success of companies like Tesla, popularizing fuel efficient vehicle for younger generations should maintain the inertia of energy efficiency. There are also a lot of perks that come using other renewable source fuel transportation that can translate into saving money.
There are estimates that by the year 2050 biofuels could make up to 30 % of fuel. My thoughts on this are that alternative fuels whether bio based or electrical are going to become more common place over time. As a world, it is in human nature to increase the output and efficiency of our actions. The outcome of this is evident in the tremendous progress from horse and buggy, to modern day attempts for commercial space travel as efficiency in how we travel expanded.
As the why is fairly evident, the questions are the how and when that guide how to best proceed. If the use of biofuels in mass transportation shows promise and is effective in bringing about more fuel efficiency to countries like India and China, it will gain traction in other areas of the world as well. There are various pros and cons to this form of fuel
One obvious benefit of using biofuels is that they are renewable. This allows for sustainability that is beneficial on multiple fronts. First it expands the output of yields by farmers, second it allows for broader access in lower resource regions, and thirdly as a whole it produces less pollution.
The cost of production currently still needs to be improved. The use of fertilizers may result in ground water pollution and other environmental factors. The release of emissions is mainly from the manufacturing process.
While some consider their use "carbon neutral," the machinery required to farm the plants for biofuels does create carbon emissions, this machinery is also typically not powered by biofuels. Research suggests despite this fact, that biofuels help to reduce carbon emissions by 50-60% -UMN
The alternative energy sector has drawn a lot of attention from investors over the years for good reason, and it may be time to consider the role of alternative energy as a potential viable space to consider in your overall portfolio.
*MSF is not a financial adviser and statements are opinion. We recommend consulting your financial advisor for matters relating to your particular investment and financial plan. MSF has no financial relation with companies mentioned in this article.
How is the internet of things transforming your life? How is it affecting your bottom line. Are you able to leverage this fast growing technological force to maximize your efficiency. When it comes to your health and financial well being, you must take it seriously and work to reach its full potential. However, before we touch on this area of technology. How one defines potential can make all the difference in the results that follow your input. Years ago, I tapped into the insight of those that I felt had reached or were actively working towards a level of potential that I admired. Here are some excerpts from those conversations and how they maximized potential:
I look to answer questions everyday and this keeps me learning.
The decisions I make favors growth for myself or others around me.
As such my career has been full of amazement and opportunities.
The limit to your opportunities is the limit of your own energy and passion.Click To Tweet
The convergence of life sciences and information technology will continue to spur innovation in medicine beyond anything we have available in the past.
I would probably tell my former self to take risks, explore new ideas and opportunities, and don't be afraid of failure.
We live in an exciting moment in this field, but there is much, much more to be done.Click To Tweet
Idealism is refreshing. Try to keep it for as long as you can.
Keys to success are as follows: Hard work, Honesty, Intellectual curiosity -All are equally important.
Going forward, technological innovation will be less important than systems-based innovationClick To Tweet
Never stop learning, be inquisitive, there is no greater joy than that of a new idea,
Remember to give not just take,.practice the golden rule.Have a joy for life and learning and again never stop learning.
And to round out the excerpts:
Find a series of good mentors- that would be it in a 'haiku'Click To Tweet
In the quest to reach our full potential we leverage the resources we have around us. The internet of things is creating smart technologies and things from our cars, to our homes, to our cell phones are all in constant communication. I am intrigued about exploring how to leverage this technology to improving our habits. How I view it having the biggest impact is maximizing human capacity by making our lives easier and thus freeing you up to focus on the areas of highest priority in our day.
With the residency match coming up, I have been receiving emails that I would put more on the art than the science aspects of Medicine. By this I mean the thought process everyone goes through when they feel they are making a seemingly terminal decision in their life and how it provides a great point of reflection and growth. Additionally, my understanding and appreciation that the readership of MSF is by intent and design broader than just health related but just as if not more importantly non-health professionals, I hope this post and response to a soon to be matched medical student has broader take aways for you as well and insight into the evolving growth that physicians go through. The broader take aways resting in 4 aspects of a career decision I touch on below that are applicable no matter what you do and what age/stage of life you are in and make a shift in your life. When all is said and done you should take with great commitment how you align yourself to what you do in your life as this will be the legacy and impact you will have on the world and hopefully leave it a better place for those that follow you.
The Question I received titled: Medical Decisions......
Email Excerpt: I am really struggling with deciding between Surgery and ER. I am struggling with the prospect of potentially giving up a dream that I have had forever of being a surgeon. I think I would be happy in either profession but I am afraid that if I pick surgery and hate it, i'll have to go through the match all over again.
- Intellectual curiosity - Being a life long learner provides for a fuller life.
- I.E- solving various puzzles quickly as you are not sure what is going to come in next(ER), or getting very adept at a number of procedures over time and solving issues that arise in the process of operating (Surgery).
- lifestyle/balance - Amount of time put at work excluding income.
- i.e shift work(ER), vs. Non-shift work(Surgery). It generally easier to carve out time for starting/raising a family in shift work setting than non-shift work, not impossible but just takes a bit more effort.
- Income/Renumeration - Your career will provide and impact your long term financial health, thus an important.
- Medicine as a whole will provide you a good life and these 2 specialties are comparable with the exception of deep specialization (thus would not base any decisions on this point).
- Population you are helping: Any career impacts another individuals life, and thinking through those most intimately affected and how that will in turn affect you is another factor of importance.
- Young and Old patients(Both specialities allow for), types of pathologies you see (ER is varied but a lot of the problems will have more layers of socio-economic factors more intimately), and Surgery - once finished patient panel will be less varied.
How you think is Everything.
It manifests in every action and every deed that you do and pursue. It is important to maintain positivity, as what you think is often what you become. Thus it is only prudent, to not only set your goals beyond what seems out of reach in the here and now but make sure to stretch yourself so as to grow. The world is a full of opportunities, and you are full of potential. There is a quote by a business man that stated that if people did not think his goals where far fetched, he knew he was not thinking big enough. This year stretch yourself to think Big, then once you have done that, think bigger!
Decide upon your true dreams and goals.
What is your dream? Why do you set your alarm every day? Hopefully it is to take meaning steps towards your dreams and goals. It is important to write down what these dreams are and make them visible. The simple act of writing increasing the probability that you will accomplish them. It is also never too late to recommit to excellence and challenging oneself. At some point it becomes less about others, and completely rests on you.
Everything in the world is fruitless without action. It doesn't matter where or how you begin, just begin. The approach I take to building the financial castle and then eventually filling the moat is by disciplined action over time. You must never underestimate the power of small steps, as you have the power of compounding that will help build your inertia over time. As much as you are able make sure to live lean and max out!
Never Stop Learning.
This is one of my favorite, as being a life long learner is part and parcel with being successful. One investor that is a proclaimed life long learner is none other than the oracle of Omaha himself Warren Buffet. As he built, the castle and unprecedented moat that is now Berkshire Hathaway, he is often quoted as saying he read 5 to 6 hours a day. His vice chair, Charlie Munger, states that his kids referred to him as a book with two legs. If you can't find a good book to get you started, check out the letters to the Berkshire shareholders.
Be Persistent and Work Hard.
Persistence is a necessity for success. The easiest path to being persistent is to make it a habit, and in that you just have to give it time and patience. It's interesting how as you grow you build the habits of going to the mall or buying things that don't accumulate value over time. This becomes a habit and over time you just end up collecting waste. Instead, I urge you to be an owner and next time you want to buy something from a company instead buy a piece of the company via stock ownership.
Learn to analyze detail.
The best way to learn about companies is to simple review company fundamentals and financials. With time, in addition to reading up on investing, saving, and retirement planning you build a sense of the criteria you should look out for dependent you your style of investing. There are many approaches out there, however the best thing is to remember your risk tolerance and once you have established a decent sense of sense you can begin to invest with more certainty. If you are just starting out a good place to start is with a low cost index fund. Vanguard Investments offer many choices in diverse low fee index funds. There are many firms out there, but they have been a reputable firm for quite some time.
Focus your time and money.
It is important you focus your energy, time and money. Time is the one thing you will never be able to buy, so make the most of it. The more time you give your portfolio time to grow, the more you will benefit down the line.
When one thinks of the current status of the overall health of the world. we see that there is a rise in overall chronic disease and heart related problems. This is driven by the everyday choices and behaviors most of us chose to practice when it comes to lifestyle. The vast majority of coronary heart disease can be avoided with diet, exercise, and raising awareness in driving healthier communities.
Coronary heart disease is one of the results that stems from poor lifestyle behaviors. It results in blockage of our heart vessels and this results in damage to the heart itself. There is a lot of money spent in the procedures and medical testing that goes into this disease. Although there has been improvements in this area of health care, there is also a lot more ground to cover and fortunately innovative companies addressing this issue. In this article, I will touch on a coulple things in relation to this:
- Coronary heart disease by the numbers
- Heart Flow - a company working to improve the way coronary disease is detected
By the Numbers
- This is the most common type of heart disease and kills about 380 thousand people per year.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men.
- Overall heart related deaths account for 1 in every 4
Accounts for 1/3 of the deaths in those over the age of 35
- 1/3 of Deaths over 35 years old
- At risk
- 1/3 of Deaths over 35 years old
- At risk
Heart Flow - Innovators in Care
One example of work that is looking to saving the health care costs going into heart disease is aptly named Heart Flow. The company is using imaging software to lower the amount of people that may either not know they have disease or about to undergo invasive procedures. The image is a digital 3D representation of your arteries based on CT scans and then runs computer based algorithms that assess the extent of blockages within the vessels. The goal is to provide your physician with another layer of information to help guide the decisions that impact ones care and their experience.
Estimated Cost Savings
- Individuals may avoid invasive procedures
- Improved quality of life from increased patient experience and knowledge of heart health
- Cost savings to the health system
MSF Blog Awards
MSF Refi Rates & Options
2.13% Var. to 3.50% Fixed
- BioFuels: Is There Room For Organic Growth In Your Portfolio?
- The Internet of Things Will Accelerate Your Potential
- The Journey to Match Day and The Next Chapter of Your Life
- Key to Success is to Study Success, Then Live It
- How 3D pictures of your heart are saving lives and money
- 3 questions for gauging retirement readiness?
- February MSF Update Letter
- $12 million for a company growing cells outside the body
- The Opioid Scourge
- Reflections on the Worlds Most Admired Companies
- Changing Habits For The Better
- Why it pays to be resilient
- Clarifying your goals and measuring success
- The triple aim and what would you do differently?
- Saying “Goodbye” to your debts using debt snowball and avalanche method
- Innovators in Care: Healthcare Bluebook
- Taking A Financially Savvy Vacation
- On The Road To Prevention and Wealth
- What Does Financial Empowerment Mean to You?
- 4 Rules To Learn From Business
- What Does Financial Empowerment Mean to You?
- On The Road To Prevention and Wealth
- How the Hospital Acquired Condition Reduction program is addressing HAIs
- 4 Rules To Learn From Business
- The Health and Wealth Connection
- How to Manage Educational Debt
- What is the best thing to do with my tax refund?
- Your Financial Success Might Just Depend on Your Credit Score
- Top Reasons why to Convert your IRA to a Roth IRA
- Considering Cord Blood Banking and It’s Associated Costs?