Keeping Your Employees Happy Through Smart Design

Given that most workers spend the majority of their weekday in an office, it’s important to have an environment that encourages productivity and happiness. A Minnesota building contractor can help you ascertain what aspects of your building can be upgraded to foster a stimulating workplace.

Plenty of natural light is a plus in any type of Minneapolis construction project, but even more so in an office building. Having natural light flow throughout the space not only cuts down on your energy bills, but it also brings a bit of the outdoors inside. Workers often like to look out of the window, perhaps for a visual break but also for inspiration. Pendant lighting, track lights or wall-mounted fixtures are attractive artificial lighting options when natural light or lots of windows aren’t available.

A building with unique architecture is also a fun way to boost worker’s morale. If you’re starting with a new office, a Minneapolis building contractor can make additions to your specifications that will make your Minneapolis construction project your own. Using bright colors on your walls as accents can also grab attention; light colors open up a small space, and darker colors can make a larger space seem a bit more cozy. Also, simply adding interesting artwork throughout the workspace can make a big difference. Consider posting your company’s values and mission statement throughout the office to not only motivate your employees, but demonstrate to visiting clients that your company is serious about its goals.

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Your Rights As a Tenant

It is very important before renting a property to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Laws vary from state to state, although they are generally very similar. The following guidelines, specific to California, will help you have a successful renting experience.

How Much of a Security Deposit Can a Landlord Charge, and Can They Refuse to Return it When the Tenant Moves Out?

A landlord, under California Civil Code Section 1950.5, is not allowed to charge any more than two months’ rent as a deposit for an unfurnished unit, and three months’ rent for a completely furnished one. If you have paid your rent for each month that you have resided in the property and you wish to move without breaking a lease agreement, you should furnish the landlord with a thirty-day notice as a courtesy. The landlord has to advise you of your right to a preliminary inspection of the unit during the last two weeks before you move out. You should be present for this inspection and the landlord should give you a written list with repairs and expected costs if any are found. You, as the tenant, have the right to make any repairs yourself and clean the unit before you leave. In turn, if the landlord is attempting to charge you with damages or cleaning issues which you did not cause, or which were there when you moved in, you should inform the landlord of such, get any statements from witnesses who know this was not your responsibility, and take pictures before you move out.

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Our Public Spaces Are Being Stolen

In addition to travel arrangements, equipment transport, documentary planning and public art installation logistics, I found myself in a two-year struggle with numerous municipal bureaucracies to secure my public art project’s simple, temporary public space request. It was an illuminating education about how our public spaces are managed.

Since Dialogue is only meant to inspire and bring people together, I expected it would be met with open arms by city officials. Most city charters promote impressive mission statements about supporting the arts, freedom of expression and advancing culture. But many bureaucrats greet public art projects and grass-roots organizers with overwhelming, circular, unresponsive bureaucracy.

It turns out that many of our most valuable public spaces are controlled by one or two individuals in a city parks department or special events office. These managers wield ultimate, often arbitrary, power to approve or deny any public space use request. The result are local fiefdoms antithetical to fair access and the mission statements these public servants have been entrusted to manage.

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Why Timeshare Resales Are a Good Investment

We essentially have two types of people in today’s economy: those that are looking to increase their net worth wealth and those that are tired of the rat race and want to enjoy life, but don’t necessarily want to buy a second property to do so. The solution for many, is timeshare resales. At first blush, you might be wondering how I can make such a statement. After all, timeshares have gotten a bad rap over the years as they were the back end pitch to all those “free” vacation prizes we’ve all won at some point. But, stop for a moment and consider that in a time where many people are struggling to not only ensure that they have a good live but also can actually go and enjoy it, timeshare resales actually make a lot of sense from both the consumer and investor standpoint.

For the consumer, many of whom are always looking for a chance to get away but who may not have the means to go for long periods of time or buy a vacation property, this makes perfect sense, as it allows them to plan their vacation without needing to worry about finding accommodation or paying inflated prices that, depending on the time of year, resorts and hotels can charge. Another benefit to the consumer is that, unlike hotels or resorts, you have more privacy and for the time you’re there, the property is yours. Finally, timeshare resales are something that you as a consumer can work into the family budget. They are much more economical then trying to come up with a down payment and mortgage every month for a summer home for instance.

But, what if you’re looking to invest in timeshares as a form of additional income? Here again timeshare resales make a lot of sense. The reason of course, is the current economic climate. Think back a few years: we were told that company such as Lehmann Brothers were “too big to fail” and were also told that real estate was a bubble that couldn’t burst. Now of course, we know that no company is too big and that there are many wouldn’t be real estate investors seeking to divest themselves of properties that for whatever reason are costing them, rather than making a profit. The same is true for the timeshare market. The key to investing wisely is to find desperate sellers, those people that badly want to get rid of their timeshares. This means that as a new investor, you can walk into what essentially is a buyers market. The key is in finding this market. Just like stocks, you need to ensure that you do proper research and take the necessary time. Another thing to do is listen to your gut when considering results that you have found as in most cases it is right. The same goes for the consumer. Never make a snap decision just to be done with it. Take the time and do the research required to ensure that you have the right thing for your family, schedule and budget.

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Financially Preparing For Divorce

f you are considering divorce, one of your first concerns is probably how you’ll manage financially. Generally the same income that supported one household must now support two. If money was tight before, you can bet it’s going to be tough when you’re on your own.

Financial issues can be the root cause of a divorce. Money is an issue that drives a wedge between many couples, creating a gap that cannot easily be bridged. Divorce can be particularly stressful if you don’t know how you’ll make it when all is said and done.

To ease the financial anxiety of divorce, you need to plan well and do some research. It’s important that you speak with a divorce lawyer before negotiating or agreeing to any divorce settlement to protect your finances.

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Tax Advantages of Home Ownership

Owning a home is every American’s dream. Furthermore, there are considerable advantages of owning a home. A person who owns a property pays the mortgage interest and local property taxes on his or her home while a person who rents an apartment pays the rent.

However, the renter has to pay an amount to allow the landlord to pay the tax and interest, thus a tenant pay these indirectly. In this regard, the homeowner has more advantage as long as his exemptions, income and other deductions are the same as a renters’, he or she will pay lower taxes.

The tax benefits of owning a home or property was a rooted concept during the 70s and 80s and during those times, it had an overwhelming merit. The rates of mortgage were usually in double digits, marginal tax rates ran up to 70 percent, and the standard deductions were down in thousands. Home ownership made more sense even for moderate-income families.
Some of the advantages of home ownership are the investment value, privacy and tax benefits. One of the biggest tax benefits of owning a home is the interest of mortgage is tax deductible. As you know, a portion of your monthly mortgage due includes an interest paid to your mortgage lender. Right after the first of every year the lenders sends you a statement of the total amount of interest you have paid for the other year and this interest is deductible to a maximum of $1 million, if you file taxes jointly.

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Financial Asset Investigations

Sometimes it really helps to know what somebody’s worth financially, i.e, to conduct an asset search. Maybe you’re considering going into business with somebody, or maybe you’re becoming romantically involved with him/her.

Whatever the reason, you’ll be glad to learn that, thanks to the Web, it’s now easier than ever before to get an accurate gauge on somebody’s net financial worth. Asset search is a somewhat complicated subject but I can hit the high points in this brief Guide — you’ll learn enough to do some informed research, anyway. If you want to go beyond what I tell you here, you’ll probably need a good P.I., or maybe if there’s a lot at stake (as in a major court case) a forensic accountant.

First, let me emphasize there’s nothing unethical about conducting an asset investigation, provided you play by the rules. You can not, for example, use pretexting to determine how much money somebody’s got in the bank or in a brokerage account (i.e., masquerade over the telephone as the account holder). This is illegal. It’s important to respect your subject’s privacy and state and federal privacy laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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Selling Real Estate Property Using a Private Treaty

There are generally three ways of selling a property. They are sale by private treaty, auction and tender. Most people use private treaty as the common way of selling their property. In private treaty, vendors negotiate separately with one or more interested parties after making known to them the terms of the offer through an advertisement placed in the local press or some other promotional material. Probably, 95% of all properties are sold by this method. Because it is “private”, only the buyer and vendor are privy to the negotiations. “Privacy” can be further enhanced by targeting only a select group of prospective buyers in the promotional campaign.

A prudent sales approach would imply that the vendor or his agent should put in writing the terms of the offer. Any correspondence between the vendor the prospective buyer, however, is usually made “subject to contract”. These words signify that both parties are negotiating terms, and it is therefore, not their intention that an enforceable contract be entered into until the signing of a formal agreement between the parties. This also means that either party can withdraw from the negotiations without penalty. Furthermore, any particulars describing the property sent by the agent to prospects normally include a statement that they “are not intended to form part of any contract”.

Private treaty has the salutary advantage of being flexible, since the parties are free to negotiate without final commitment. Indeed, the completion of the sale can be structured to the best advantage of the parties, for example, to coincide with the sale of the purchaser’s previous house, or the purchase of the seller’s new home. Furthermore, the owner need not commits to any doubtful prospect before the signing of the sales agreement, and is free to transact with a “better” prospect who could complete the deal in a shorter time or can offer a better price.

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