CONTENT MARKETING

Klaudia Kovacs - My Success Consultant

9 Steps to Get Your Business Ready for a Successful New Year

December 18, 2014 2:21PM Written by Klaudia Kovacs and Andrea Sturdivant

Most businesses slow down between Christmas and New Year’s. Here are 9 steps to utilize this time and get ready for a successful first quarter.

1. Clean out your pending emails and inbox. Organize your messages into folders. You can also sort them by numerals such as important dates, quarters or months.

2. Declutter your office, files, shelves, drawers, and desk. You can also organize your files by sorting by order of importance, subject, size, etc.

3. Go through your computer, delete duplicates and unnecessary files, backup data on a flash drive or CD-ROM, update programs, upgrade laptop, install new programs, etc.

4. Express your appreciation to your clients for their business. Send thank you cards, gifts, or special notes. Putting a personal touch on these makes a difference for many.

5. Get informed on new sales techniques, online technology and also remember to inform your business associates. Review your customers’ questions and update your marketing material accordingly. Let your customers know that you keep yourself updated on the latest news and research of your industry.

6. Polish your website and social media sites. You may also want to create new social media accounts and get acquainted with the new platforms.

7. Evaluate your team, business conducts, time management, and effectiveness and make changes is necessary. Start with the basics by reviewing your expectations and requirements for the New Year.

8. Revisit your marketing methods, tools and make adjustments if necessary.

9. And here is one of my favorites: Beautify your work environment. Taking your personality into account, create a space that empowers YOU. If you like beauty buy a beautiful picture. If empowerment is your thing, post quotes on your wall. If serenity smoothes your soul, get some candles and plants. If you are a sports fan why not decorate your office with your favorite sports team?

Last but not least, remember to enjoy the holidays! There is no need to put in long days during the last few days of the year. Just pick those steps that are most important to you. Whether you do all of them or just a few, either way they will help you to start a fruitful 2015. 

Benoit Law Firm, PLLC

Trick-Or-Treat: Staying Safe This Halloween

OCTOBER 26, 2018 5:00PM

Halloween is an exciting time for children. They get to dress up in costumes, collect candy and generally have a great time. And while Halloween can be a lot of fun, it is also important to keep yourself and children safe from accidents and injuries, which are common at this time of year. In this post, we’ll provide some safety tips for avoiding injuries on Halloween.

Caution! Low Flying Bats, Fire Hazards and Flammable Materials

Halloween presents many flammable products that children come into contact with as such, open flames should always be closely supervised. Set them on a table or other flat surfaces that are out of reach of children and pets. Ensure that curtains, costumes, fabrics and other materials are clear of the flame area. In the alternative, consider safer options such as battery-operated LED lights, flashlights, or glow sticks.

Check to be sure your child’s costume is flame resistant or flame retardant. At the very least, it should be made of non-flammable materials. Keep costumes above the ground by a few inches so your child doesn’t trip on it while strolling or running. Teach children to stay away from any open flame, and provide other fire safety tips.

Children should never be allowed to use sharp knives to carve pumpkins. If an older child is able to safely use the knife, close adult supervision should still be utilized. Open flames in jack-o-lanterns pose a fire hazard. Consider flashlight, glow sticks, or LED battery-powered candles instead. Pumpkins that are smashed, spoiled, or otherwise spilled can be a hazard for pedestrians, bikes, and cars passing over them. Make sure that all pumpkins are promptly picked up and disposed of after October 31.

Caution! Skeleton Crossing: Car Accidents and Injuries

Did you know as many as 41 million tricks or treaters flood neighborhood streets and shopping malls throughout the country on Halloween night? In addition to little ghouls and goblins, there are also the adults who accompany them, as well as those who head out in search of fun at parties hosted by friends or local bars and clubs. Unfortunately, the increase in the number of pedestrians and the amount of traffic along with lower nighttime visibility and alcohol consumption results in an increased likelihood for accidents and injuries to occur. Remind your children, before leaving the house about road safety. In their enjoyment, don’t let them hurry out in front of a car.

Halloween is a Real Treat Safety Tips

Planning ahead could make your Halloween outing, event or party a fun and unforgettable one. Keep in mind these easy steps and safety precautions and you are on your way to an injury-free Halloween experience. Remember, Halloween is for teenagers, too. It is an extremely interesting time for them because this is the age where kids want to head out for Trick-or-Treat fun without their parents. What’s promising for you is that you can let them go with a few safety tips:

Group Outings: Hanging Out with Your Ghoul Friends

Teenagers should set off in a group of least four individuals or more. Going alone is not an option! Ensure that your teenager is with a group of friends. Ensure that they know everyone well. Make sure you know exactly where your teenager will be when they are out. Ask them what their plans for the night are and hold them to it.

Remember the Witching Hour: Set a Curfew!

Set a specific time with your child that they need to be home. This season, Halloween outings, parties and event drops begin on a weekday. Kids, teenagers, and college students have school the next day. Make sure to set a curfew to have your children home at a decent hour.

Sit for a Spell and Have some Brew: Keep Your Children Safe

What about the younger ghosts and goblins? How can we keep them safe? The greatest risk on Halloween to deal with is – injuries from stumbling and falling. The majority of injured kids showing up in the Emergency Room will do so with damaged hands or arms, chipped teeth and cuts and bruises from falling.

Did you know that children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween? Not only are there more pedestrians present on the road during Halloween night, but many of these pedestrians are young children excited to be trick-or-treating, and perhaps less cognizant of staying out of the road than normal. Arm your children with lights so they can settle their way down dark routes. Ensure that any flashlight has fresh battery power and lights up well. Carry one yourself.

Benoit Law Firm wishes everyone a Happy Halloween! While every parent or guardian does their best to keep their children safe on Halloween, accidents can happen. If you or your child has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, please call Benoit Law Firm or #TEXTDEX 877-DEX-LAW9 (877) 335-5299.

Dealing With PTSD Following After an Car Accident?

SEPTEMBER 18, 2018 2:30PM

People involved in serious car accidents have been known to suffer injuries resulting in broken bones, whip-lash, minor cuts, and bruises. However, the emotional trauma of a car accident can be just as devastating as the physical wounds. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or “PTSD”, can affect your relationships, career, and enjoyment in life.


Did you know that car wrecks are the leading cause of PTSD in the United States? Many people who are involved in a car accident do not know they’re suffering symptoms of PTSD after a serious accident. Here’s how that kind of diagnosis affects a car accident claim.


WHAT IS PTSD?

PTSD is a psychological condition that can affect people who have been through particularly harrowing experiences. The common thread through all cases of PTSD is that the victim has suffered or witnessed a traumatic, stressful, or fear-inducing incident. PTSD itself is a pathological anxiety disorder that basically occurs when the brain is unable to properly turn off the fight-or-flight reactions and anxieties associated with a traumatic event.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SUFFER FROM PTSD AFTER AN ACCIDENT?

If you are suffering any symptoms of PTSD following a car accident, you should consult with a physician and any recommended specialist to get the treatment you may need, just as you would with any other kind of car accident injury. You should always consult an experienced personal injury attorney as the effects of PTSD might be included in any damages claim you may wish to make.

When it comes to PTSD-like symptoms after a car accident, keep in mind that it is almost certainly not in your best interest to settle your car accident case immediately. You never want to settle until you have a clear sense of the nature and extent of your injuries. And since mental health treatment can be long-lasting in the wake of any kind of trauma, it’s wise to hold off reaching any kind of settlement agreement until you have a complete picture of your losses.

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS OF PTSD

For most people who are in a car accident, the overwhelming feelings go away over time. Sometimes those feelings don’t go away. They can change the way you think and act. Strong feelings that stay with you for a long time and get in the way of everyday life are signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. If you have PTSD after a car accident, you may have some of the following symptoms:


• Reliving the accident through nightmares and flashbacks.
• Sleep problems or inability to concentrate.
• Being afraid to drive or ride in a vehicle.
• Feeling persistent depression or hopelessness.
• Being unable to remember details about the crash.
• Placing irrational blame on yourself or feeling guilty about the accident.

Though the symptoms of how they come to the surface, PTSD is characterized by four primary types of symptoms:
• Arousal – constant alertness, which can include sleep disturbance, hyper-vigilance, paranoia, and inability to focus.
• Numbing – the victim keeps an emotional distance from the world around them; experiences feelings of depression, feelings of hopelessness, and a growing inability to feel emotions.
• Intrusion – the victim experiences recurrent recollections of the event.
• Avoidance – this symptom can include avoidance of people, places, or other circumstances associated with the trauma.


PATH TO IMPROVING YOUR WELL-BEING

There are things you can do to cope with your feelings after a car accident. First and most important follow up with your family doctor. Your doctor can give you referrals to other health care providers if necessary. He or she can monitor your recovery and prescribe any medication you may need. They can refer you to a mental health specialist or therapist to help you work through your feelings.


Try talking to your friends, relatives, or a counselor about the details of the car accident. Talking to friends, family or counselor about how you felt, thought and acted at the time of the accident and in the days after it will help you open up your feelings. Try to get back to daily activities and routines. Traffic accidents make some people limit what they do. It’s important to try to get back to your usual activities. Even if you’re uncomfortable or scared at first, it’s part of healing.

Stay active. Exercise often. Take part in activities that don’t bother any injuries you sustained during the accident. Your family doctor can help you figure out how much you can do safely. Learn to be a defensive driver. Driving or riding in cars might be hard after the accident. You can lower your risk of future accidents or injuries by practicing defensive driving. Always drive carefully, wear your seat belt, and avoid distractions while you’re driving. These include eating, talking on the phone, or texting. Avoid driving when you’re tired. Never drive if you have had alcohol or taken drugs or medicines that affect your judgment.

Tips for a Safe & DUI-Free Labor Day Weekend

AUGUST 31, 2018 5:30PM

The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday, a time where people honor the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. A lot of people around the United States celebrate Labor Day with barbecues, alcohol, and parades. You may be returning home from your celebration today or setting out to enjoy a cool refreshing beverage. Either way, it is important to take the necessary steps to keep yourself and those around you safe, especially with extra drivers on the road.

Heavy traffic and many intoxicated drivers will be out on the road during this Labor Day weekend and it is important to stay safe while on the road. Use these tips to have a safe and DUI-Free Labor Day weekend to maximize the safety of yourself, your passengers and other drivers on the road. Benoit Law Firm wishes you an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and urges you to drive safely.

TIPS FOR AVOIDING A DUI

Use a designated driver. Labor Day weekend is notorious for parades, parties, and barbecues, where alcohol is a big factor in celebrating. As everyone is out celebrating this weekend, we encourage you to drink responsibly and choose a designated driver. Keep yourself and those around you safe.

Plan ahead and use rideshare companies like Lyft or Uber. If you plan on drinking a lot during the Labor Day weekend, be smart and don’t get behind the wheel to drive. Not only is that illegal, but it is also extremely dangerous. Instead, call a taxi, sober friend or family member, or use a rideshare company like Lyft or Uber to get home safely without risking the safety of others on the road.

Keep other people from driving under the influence. You are out having a good time partying or just having a good time with family and friends where you notice a buddy or family member who has had too much to drink. Instead of allowing them to get behind the wheel, it is important to help them make other arrangements to get home safely.

Remember that a DUI is more than just a party foul. You could be looking at license suspension, jail time, large fines, the long-term impacts of a criminal record and much worse. You do not want your celebration to be overshadowed by tragedy. Driving under the influence of alcohol can put many lives at risk.

Find somewhere to stay for the weekend. If you can’t find a friend to stay with, if possible, rent a room at a hotel or motel. See if a few friends want to share these costs with you. Renting a room, regardless of the initial costs, will be a far cry from the $10,000 or more than a first-time DUI conviction can end up costing in the long run.

How Social Media Hurts Your Personal Injury Claim

AUGUST 10, 2018 12:30PM

Social media can be a great outlet for people to share the latest events and aspects of their lives. It is a fantastic way to keep in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. However, oversharing information after a serious injury can bring big trouble for your injury claim.

If you have social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you need to be cautious about what you post and how you convey information if you have been injured in an accident. At Benoit Law Firm, we’ve had several clients ask about how social media use can hurt your claim after an accident. In this post, we’ll discuss how social media can hurt your injury claim and the steps you can take to reduce the risks.

Why Does It Matter, If I Post on Social Media?

In order for your claim to be effective, it must prove another party was negligent or responsible for causing the accident. Unfortunately, an injury claim can be influenced by factors that occur after an accident, including information you post on social media accounts. An insurance adjuster looks for evidence to limit the claim or prove no-fault for his or her client.

This is one of the first places they’ll look about is social media. They’re looking for any type of evidence that contradicts your claim. For example, if you claim to have suffered a broken leg injury, but days after the accident you post a picture of yourself running a marathon, this can be used at trial to question your character in front of a judge and jury.

In the event a case goes to trial, social media can be used to discredit the credibility of your claim, which could limit compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and so on. Oversharing on social media is particularly important in states like North Carolina, which follows contributory negligence rules: when an injured person shares one-percent of fault, contributory negligence leaves that person with no chance to recover compensation for any losses stemming from the accident.

If you, for example, share that you had been doing drugs or drinking the night of your accident, this fact could undermine your entire claim. To ensure you get the best outcome, it’s best to avoid posting anything on social media throughout the entire claims process. This includes videos, pictures, tweets, updates, blogs, and other shared content.

How Can You Protect Your Claim?

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Avoid posting pictures, videos, updates and tweets of you doing anything that may hurt your case. Insurance adjusters and defense attorneys are going to scrutinize every aspect of your profile and your postings. If you sustained a neck injury from a car accident the night before, you should not be participating in triathlon and you definitely should not be posting pictures of it.

It’s important to not talk about your claim over social media. All it takes is a few videos, pictures or misjudged words to incriminate yourself. For example, your arm may be feeling much better one day so you post about it. The next day, you can hardly move your arm again but you have given them ammunition with your previous post. In order to avoid making yourself into your own worst enemy, keep your injuries between you, your personal injury lawyer, and your doctor.

Investigators sometimes look for preexisting injuries through posts. Perhaps you posted something about your past back problem that is contributing to your new injury. Have you heard the saying that some things in your lives are best left in private? Well, a preexisting injury is one of them if you have a personal injury claim. Under any circumstances, you should never post any information affiliated with money towards your case.

This is important for one it is a safety issue. Secondly, you can make yourself seem inconsiderate, greedy, or just in it for the money. These issues can all raise red flags in your case so it is based to avoid them altogether.

Stay Informed. Be Prepared

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Charlotte area, please call Benoit Law Firm or #TEXTDEX 877-DEX-LAW9 (877) 335-5299. Our team of experienced injury attorneys and dedicated staff will ensure you get the answers you need and help you through this difficult process.

Types of Auto Accidents

JULY 26, 2018 12:30PM

Did you know that car accident occurs every minute of the day, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA)? Car accidents can result in physical injuries, financial losses, property damage and sometimes lead to the wrongful death of others. Whether you are in traffic on I-77 or I-85, on a side road, or even a parking lot, car accidents can occur anywhere at any time and in many different situations.

There are many different types of car accidents that occur on our nation’s roadways. Learning more about these accidents helps you know what you can do to reduce your risk of being involved in them. Below, our injury attorneys at Benoit Law Firm review five of the most common types of auto accidents and offer tips on ways to help prevent these crashes from occurring.

MULTI-VEHICLE

Multi-vehicle collisions involve three or more cars and tend to occur on busy highways, roads, and freeways. These accidents can be even more dangerous than head-on crashes, because cars may receive multiple impacts from different angles. Multiple impacts are difficult for any car to absorb, no matter how large it is, or how many safety features it has.

Multi-vehicle accidents can be difficult to avoid. Be alert and exercise caution on busy highways and roads where cars are traveling at high speeds. Keep an eye on the cars and drivers around you. If another driver seems distracted or is undertaking any dangerous maneuvers, try to move away from them to avoid being involved in an accident.

SIDE-IMPACT COLLISION

These accidents, also known as T-bone collisions, are where the side of one or more vehicles is impacted. These crashes commonly occur at intersections, parking lots and side roads when two vehicles pass on a road.

These types of collisions typically occur when a car runs a stoplight, then crashes into a car traveling through the intersection on a green light. Avoid side-impact collisions by always looking both ways for oncoming traffic even when you have the right of way. Don’t automatically assume other vehicles will adhere to the rules of the road.

VEHICLE ROLLOVER

Vehicle rollover crashes are complex and violent in nature. More than any other type of crash, rollovers reflect the interaction of the driver, vehicle, road, and environmental factors. Although a vehicle’s type has a significant role in the accident, so does driver behavior, road, and environmental conditions. Other factors include location, speed and sometimes, alcohol consumption.

REAR-END COLLISION

According to the National, Highway Traffic Safety Administration rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of collision that occurs on US roads, making up 29 percent of all accidents. These crashes often occur because one car follows another too closely on the road, known as tailgating. Prevent these crashes by keeping a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you.

Avoid distractions when driving, particularly in high-traffic areas where a lot of cars are close to each other. If you are on the road and being tailgated, attempt to change lanes when possible to reduce potential danger.

HEAD-ON COLLISION

Head-on collision accidents occur when the front ends of two vehicles hit each other in opposite directions. Head-on collisions are often fatal road traffic accidents. Make sure you are aware of traffic signs, street conditions and staying in your lane, all of which play critical roles in avoiding these types of accidents.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please call Benoit Law Firm or #TEXTDEX 877-DEX-LAW9 (877) 335-5299. Our team of experienced injury attorneys and dedicated staff will ensure you get the answers you need and help you through this difficult process.

Seven Tips for New Drivers

JULY 19, 2018 4:15PM

There’s no feeling quite like that of when you’re finally holding that freshly lamented printed license for the first time. Sure, it’s just a piece of plastic, but to a new driver, that plastic card represents the freedom that they’ve been dreaming of for as long as they can remember. Putting a new driver behind the wheel can be quite nerve-racking for parents, guardians and other drivers who will be on the road. Before your new driver hits the open road on their own, it’s important to take a moment to remember a few tips for safe driving. Here are seven “dos and don’ts” that all new drivers should heed on the road.

1. Speeding


When it comes to new drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), speeding is a major factor in approximately a third of all traffic fatalities. It also plays a major role in serious injuries caused by car accidents. New drivers lack the knowledge of how long it can take to stop a vehicle when faced with a panicked and dangerous situation. Even if you think your reflexes are fast, if you have to stop in a split-second and you’re speeding, your car may be unable to stop in time. So, instead of pushing things to the limit, choose the smart, safe way and avoid the urge or the need to speed.

2. Driving Under the Influence (DUI)


This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Most new drivers are under the age of 21, which means that it’s illegal to consume alcohol. Unfortunately, even this law doesn’t stop everyone from driving under the influence. While it may be tempting to enjoy a few cold beers or shot of vodka at the bar before hitting the road, driving while impaired increases your risk of an accident in addition to possible license suspension, fines and fees and even jail time. Simply put, don’t drink alcohol before you get behind the wheel.

3. Distracted Driving


Distracted driving is any activity from checking emails to daydreaming that takes your attention away from the road. In everyday driving, however, distractions are common. From talking with the passengers in your car to eating, to turning around to check on your bickering children or crying baby, distracted driving endangers your life, your passengers, pedestrians and others who are on the road.

These are just some of the most common distractions, but there are hundreds of other potential disruptions a new driver may face. Did you know distracted driving is a deadly epidemic on the nation’s roads? Distracted driving caused at least 3,450 deaths and nearly 391,000 injuries in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Most distractions that take place behind the wheel are self-imposed, meaning they are completely preventable. So, take control of your environment and safety by getting rid of all things that could potentially distract you while driving.

4. BUCKLE UP!


IT’S THE LAW! The first thing that any driver should do upon entering their vehicle is put on their seatbelt. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of death among those aged 5 to 34 in the United States. The most reliable method of saving lives and preventing injuries from occurring is to wear a seat belt. However, millions of drivers and passengers choose not to wear seat belts on everyday occasions. Make wearing your seatbelt a priority by buckling in before doing anything else.

5. Overcrowding

For new drivers, having too many people in the car can create a very distracting situation. When new drivers first get their license, it’s all too tempting to go grab your friends or family members and hit the road. However, this might not be the best idea, especially when you know that a new driver’s risk of being in fatal crash increases with each passenger added to the vehicle. So, before you start to offer to pick up all your friends, acquaintances and family members, remember the additional risk that comes with getting into a car with them.

6. Following


Following too closely to other drivers on the road is a terrible idea even for the best drivers. Of course, it’s no fun to get stuck behind a car that’s driving five or ten miles per hour under the speed limit. Hey, it happens right! No matter what though, it’s important that you always leave enough room in between yourself and the car in front of you just in case you need to make a sudden stop.


As a rule of thumb, when driving on the highway, try to leave at least 3 seconds or more between your car and the car in front of you. With inclement weather conditions, allow even more time between cars.

7. Be Alert and Practice Defensive driving

For a lot of new drivers staying alert is the main priority. Be alert when driving because you never know when another driver might come into your lane, or when a pedestrian might cross the street.

Practice these Safety Boating Tips for July 4th Holiday!

JULY 4, 2018 6:30PM

Finally, summer is officially here! People are gearing up for the July 4th holiday for family picnics, enjoying the fireworks displays and sailing across the beautiful lake in style! Those with access to a boat have plenty of options across the Carolinas where multiple lakes or even the ocean is right on your doorstep.

But before you dust off your water skis, wakeboards, and tubes — or paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes, if those are more your speed – consider these five tips for safe boating.

Tip #1. See and Be Seen

No matter which kind of boat you’re in, visibility is key. Not only do you need to make sure you have a clear view of your surroundings, but other boaters should be able to see you too. During the day, wear polarized sunglasses to banish the bright glare that reflects off the water. And at night, make sure all of the lights on your boat are in good working order and always turned on.

Tip #2. Safety First, Always Wear a Lifejacket

In North Carolina, while operating a personal watercraft (including human-powered boats like canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) you must wear an approved personal flotation device at all times. Children under 13 years of age must also wear an approved life jacket. So, what’s the difference between a lifejacket and a personal floatation device?

Lifejacket:

  • Generally, provides better floatation and thermal insulation than a personal flotation device (PFD).
  • Designed to turn you onto your back so your face doesn’t rest in the water, even if you’re unconscious.
  • Color selection is limited to red, orange, or yellow for greater visibility.

Personal floatation device:

  • For recreational use only
  • More comfortable (lighter and less bulky) than a lifejacket
  • May be designed for a specific sport
  • Usually provides less floatation and thermal protection than a lifejacket
  • Wider variety of color options (darker colors reduce visibility)
Tip #3. Boat Like You’re on the Road.

Many boating accidents are caused by the same factors that cause car accidents, including speed, careless or distracted driving and poor visibility. Be sure to bring all of your safe driving habits with you when you’re operating a boat — and if your boat has a motor, you’ll need to bring your boating license with you too.

Tip #4. Don’t Drink Alcohol While Operating a Boat

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. See Tip #4 above. While it may be tempting to enjoy a few cold drinks on the dock before hitting the lake, boating while impaired (even in a canoe or kayak) increases your risk of an accident and could land you with the same penalties as drinking and driving. Simply put, don’t drink alcohol before you get behind the wheel or pick up a paddle.

Tip #5. Don’t Forget About Insurance

While most home insurance policies include some coverage for certain types of watercraft, other types (larger models or ones with higher horsepower or modifications, for example) may require separate policies. Boat insurance could protect you in the event of damage or theft to your own boat or a liability claim that results from the use of your boat.

The Dangers of Fireworks

JULY 3, 2018 5:15PM

Picnics, cookouts and other Fourth of July traditions are a time of celebration and fireworks are a fun spectacle often used to celebrate special occasions. In fact, the Fourth of July is the most popular time for the purchase and use of fireworks in the United States. However, fireworks can pose a variety of dangers to your safety including serious burn injuries and even fires.

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, we have some tips before lighting up any fireworks. Whether or not you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration, it’s important to take proper safety measures to keep yourself, family, friends, and children safe. Here are some fireworks safety tips to ensure you have a fun, incident-free, Fourth of July celebrations.

Obey All Local Laws!

First and foremost, KNOW THE LAWS! North Carolina has particularly strict regulations when it comes to fireworks for personal enjoyment. In fact, in North Carolina, barring some very limited exceptions, fireworks that explode, fly, spin, jump in the air, or leave the ground in any way are prohibited by North Carolina law. The law is stipulated in North Carolina General Statutes 14-410 and 14-414. Violation of this law is a Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and or 30 days to six months in jail. If you plan on celebrating the holiday out of state, please do so responsibly, with knowledge of the laws in your area.

Purchase Fireworks Responsibly!

It is very important that you purchase legal fireworks from a reliable source. Legal fireworks have a label with safety information and the manufacturer’s name, while illegal fireworks are often unlabeled. Banned illegal explosives include, among others, quarter sticks, cherry bombs, silver salutes, and M-80’s.

Do Not Mix Alcohol and Fireworks.

Never operate fireworks if you have been drinking beer, wine or using any kind of drugs. Fireworks are dangerous enough on their own and adding impaired judgment with potential physical immobility is a recipe for disaster.

Follow Directions and Safety Recommendations

Legal fireworks have safety information and performance descriptions included. You should always read the directions and cautionary information before igniting any fireworks. If you don’t know how to properly set up and ignite the fireworks, you are more likely to cause yourself or others serious injury. Remember to always use fireworks outdoors and away from buildings, animals and other people.

Keep Away from Children

Children should never operate or ignite fireworks. A responsible adult should always supervise any activity involving fireworks. Ensure that kids have adult supervision when using sparklers, which are a common source of burns and injuries for children.

Practice Proper Disposal of Fireworks

Once your fireworks have ignited and gone off, dispose of them by wetting them down and placing them in a metal trash can. Keep the trash can away from buildings, animals and combustible materials until at least the next day.

By following these tips, you, your family, friends, and neighbors can enjoy a safe Independence Day.

Happy Fourth of July from all of us at Benoit Law Firm!

It’s National Safety Month, Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

JUNE 20, 2018 2:30PM

It’s 9 a.m., you overslept and now you’re rushing to get ready for work because you have an important meeting. You jump in your car to drive to the office and have every intention of driving safely and obeying the speed limit and other traffic laws. However, within minutes of merging onto the highway, you’ve already checked your emails on your iPhone, made three calls to your office, fiddled around with your car’s radio, spilled ice coffee on your suit while trying to eat your breakfast and sent a text message to your spouse.

You might not realize it, but you’re a distracted driver.

Distracted driving is any activity from checking emails to daydreaming that takes your attention away from the road. In everyday driving however, distractions are common. From talking with the passengers in your car, to eating, to turning around to check on your bickering children or crying baby, distracted driving endangers your life, your passengers, pedestrians and others who are on the road.

Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic on the nation’s roads, causing at least 3,450 deaths and nearly 391,000 injuries in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Nearly 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving on a daily basis.

Help make sure that you, your loved ones and others on the road are safe as they travel. Driving is a great privilege, but with that privilege also comes great responsibility.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Charlotte area, please call Benoit Law Firm or #TEXTDEX 877-DEX-LAW9 (877) 335-5299. Our team of experienced injury attorneys and dedicated staff will ensure you get the answers you need and help you through this difficult process.

WHAT NOT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

JUNE 11, 2018 3:00PM

Hopefully, you know what steps to take if you are ever in a car accident. You, or anyone injured in the wreck, should seek medical attention if necessary, call the police, exchange insurance information with the other driver and if possible, safely move your vehicle to the side of the road to avoid further incident. Be proactive and make sure you take photos or videos of any vehicle damage in order to document what happened so you do not forget the details of the wreck later. These are all things you should do.

There are however, some things you should not do after a car accident. In this article, we’ll learn of five things NOT to do after a car accident. Avoid these ill-advised mistakes and you should be back on the road in no time flat — with a little extra knowledge and experience under your belt too.

1. DON’T GIVE ANY STATEMENTS (RECORDED OR WRITTEN) TO THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY


Hire your attorney. His or her job is, in part, to deal directly with the insurance company regarding your personal injury claim. Don’t be swayed by the insurance adjuster sounding friendly on the phone, remember they have no duty to look out for your best interests. Your attorney holds that duty to you. Don’t believe the commercials. Insurance companies are not “good neighbors” and you are definitely not “in good hands”. They are not in the business of fairly compensating people that have been injured by their drivers. Keep in mind that despite what the insurance company tells you, you are under no obligation to give a written or recorded statement to them.

2. DON’T ADMIT LIABILITY


And why is it important to not give a recorded statement? Because you do not EVER want to admit liability. When police arrive on the scene, make sure you accurately describe the facts of the accident and how it happened, but you don’t need to reach any conclusions as who contributed or caused the wreck at that time. Liability will be determined later with more complete facts are known and statements are taken and compared by the police and attorneys. By admitting the accident was your fault – in any way – no matter how minor you believe your “faulty” actions may have been, you are essentially accepting complete responsibility for an accident. That is because in North Carolina, where contributory negligence is the law of the land, even 1% responsibility on your end will result in the complete denial of your claim.

3. DON’T SIGN ANY DOCUMENTS


Another thing you should definitely NOT do is sign any documents without first consulting an attorney. The insurance company for the at-fault driver and their lawyers will act swiftly to obtain evidence to defend the wrongdoer against your case. Again, the insurance companies are not in the business of giving injured victims proper compensation! That is NOT how they make money. Their sole purpose is to move your claim along as quickly as possible, for as little as possible. Don’t let the insurance company pressure you into a quick settlement by signing documents before you fully understand what you are signing. Once you have signed paperwork resolving your claim, it is closed – forever. It does not matter if you have complications months later as a result of the accident, once you’ve signed, your claim is over. Let us help.

At Benoit Law Firm, we use the tools and resources at our disposal to ensure that you are properly compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages, future medical expenses and pain and suffering. Hiring the right lawyer can make a significant difference in your recovery. Call or #TextDex and let us get working on your case today.

4. DON’T SHARE ACCIDENT INFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS


Social media has increasingly become evidence that can be used against you as your claim progresses. Insurance companies dedicate hundreds of employees to review claimant’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., all in the hopes of finding damaging information. If you have been injured in an accident, avoid posting about the claim or your injuries as those posts may be used against you to weaken your claim. In some instances, it could cost you your case. Be SMART. It is safest to stay off of social media for a short time until all your claims relating to the accident have been settled.

5. DON’T WAIT TOO LONG TO SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR YOUR INJURIES

After being involved in car accident, many symptoms can appear days or even weeks after the accident but you should NOT wait that long before seeking medical treatment. See a doctor soon after the accident and report any symptoms you experience, no matter how minor, such as muscle spasms or mild headaches. Be HONEST with your health care providers and describe any and all symptoms you’re feeling from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Make sure you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to help you because it gives them an opportunity to investigate the accident and prepare a stronger case on your behalf.

HAVE YOU BEEN IN A CAR ACCIDENT? CALL BENOIT LAW FIRM OR #TEXTDEX

If you’ve been in a car accident or any other accident and sustained personal injuries, contact attorney Dexter Benoit of Benoit Law Firm or #TextDex 877-DEX-LAW9 (877-335-5299) today.

Plumbing Troopers

Four Surprising Things That Cause Clogs

DECEMBER 18, 2018

Well, there’s no denying that plumbing is a messy business, literally! Many of us cringe at the thought of the nightmarish stuff Plumber Coral Springs professionals encounter on a daily basis. We can tell you we’ve pulled everything you can imagine from pipes and drains — from feminine products to a pair of dentures (Seriously, Eww!) to feminine products to a host of dead lizards and rodents.

We know some plumbing problems are unavoidable— like, say those dead pets of lizards or mice—others are the result of common household user error. In other words: People are stupidly shoving stuff in the toilet where it really doesn’t belong. You know that old saying, Out of sight, out of mind, right? We have a simple solution, though: Don’t be that person.

If that doesn’t rattle you, consider this: the average cost for a plumber ranges between $160 to $430 for a typical job with the average cost per hour ranging from $45 to $150. So, save yourself some cash and take heed of what Plumber Coral Springs tell us are the most surprising things that cause clogs. You might just be surprised to discover how many of these you’re guilty of tossing down the drain.

Kitty Litter

We know how surprising stuff can be especially when its tossed down the drain or even toilet. You will be surprised how many people who have cats dump kitty litter down the drain and the toilet. What people don’t know is that sand, clay, and silica are extremely troublesome for Plumber Coral Springs plumbing systems, because those substances are designed to absorb moisture and create clumps, which turn into large clogs almost immediately once they enter your pipes.

Toys

We know how chaotic things can get around a home from cleaning to cooking and preparing dinner and checking to make sure kids have cleaned their rooms and picked up their toys. Anyone who has children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, know toys have the darnedest way of scattering, well everywhere. Plumber Coral Springs says to avoid a train wreck of massive clog keeps toys far, far away from the toilet.

Soap Buildup

Soap causes your drains to clog in a similar way to grease. Soap scum slowly collects in the drain, causing the diameter of the drain to get smaller over time. This type of drain clog may not cause a backup as fast as grease, but it will still stop the flow of water over time.

Tree Roots

A surprising cause of drain clogs is tree roots. Wow! Who knows right? As a tree age, its roots may grow into the joints or cracks of sewer pipes, blocking them and causing your drains to back up. The trees may also wrap around pipes and eventually damage them as the size of the roots increases.

Coral Springs plumbers Plumbing Services for Commercial Customers

For people running a business, there are plenty of concerns. Your business needs to run smoothly, otherwise, you could have an interruption in service. Whether it is a leaky ceiling or a clogged toilet, plumbing issues can bring business to a standstill and could even harm your profits. This isn’t what you want, and you certainly cannot be expected to work it out on your own! We offer the following services for your business and more:

  • 24 Hour Emergency Plumbing Services
  • Plumbing Installations
  • Appliance Installations
  • Plumbing Repairs
  • Fixture Replacements
  • Line Cleaning
  • Inspections
  • Sewer Line Services
  • Camera Inspections

Bottom line: Don’t allow a simple plumbing problem to become a full-blown disaster. Call for certified plumbers right here in Coral Springs, and make sure that your business is in working order.

24-hour Service Guaranteed

Ignoring your plumbing problems can lead to even more serious problems and you don’t want that. Clogged drains are a nuisance and an inconvenience. If you suspect a potential plumbing problem, then you need to take care of the problem immediately.

Call us, your bonded and insured plumbing solution right here in Coral Springs. We can take care of the problem and guarantee that it won’t come back to haunt you. If it does, we’ll fix it. If you notice signs of your drains clogging or if your drains are backed up, contact coral springs emergency plumber immediately.

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Getting Married and Buying A Home? Here’s What You Should Know

DECEMBER 7th, 2018

Congratulations on getting married! Now that you’ve made it official, you might be looking to buy your first home together. There have been many couples in the same position as you through the years, so there’s lots of advice out there for you. Here are some of the most important things you need to know before you start house hunting.

Consider Your Long-Term Plans


When buying a new home, many couples don’t think very far ahead. That means they buy for the life they already have, rather than the one they’re planning for. Before you settle on a place, think about your long-term plans. Are you planning to change your job, or have children? Will one of you stay home to look after the children or will both you and your spouse work full time? There are lots of things that may change now that you’ve tied the knot. Sit down and discuss all these things before you start house hunting, so you’re both on the same page.

Look Beyond the Cosmetics


In many homes, you’ll see décor that you’d never want to live with. It can be off-putting but remember that often you can change the whole look of a room with some paint or wallpaper. These updates are fairly inexpensive, so don’t worry too much about the cosmetics of how the house looks when you buy it. However, you should remember that bathrooms and kitchens will cost more to change, especially with the labor costs involved.

Buy A Home You Know You Can Afford


It’s easy to get excited about all the different options and go for a home that is out of your budget but within your approved mortgage rate. While you’ll get the home, keeping up with payments could prove difficult when combined with other debts and financial responsibilities. Instead, sit down with your Fort Lauderdale FHA mortgage lender, and talk about how much you can realistically afford. That way, you won’t have to worry about making your mortgage payment every month.

Remember There are More Costs Than Just the Purchase Price


Yes, the number you see at first is the purchase price, but that’s not going to be the only thing you’ll pay. When you buy a home, you’ll need to pay for Homeowner Association fees, insurances, real estate taxes, and more. Additionally, there are maintenance fees that you’ll need to consider. For example, if the property has a swimming pool, how much will you need to pay to maintain it every month?

Know the Mortgages That Are Available to You


Did you know that there are multiples types of mortgages available to you as a new buyer? When you talk to us at NHL Lending, we’ll walk you through all the types that are available. For example, if one or both of you are in the armed services, you may be entitled to a VA loan. If you have a high enough credit score, you could qualify for FHA Loans Fort Lauderdale. Talk to your mortgage broker and ensure that your mortgage is the right fit for your life.

Consider Your Student Loan Debt


If one or both of you have student loan debt, you should know that it’ll be treated as a real debt by your mortgage lender. A significant revision to FHA guidelines in 2015 made this change. If you’ve deferred your payments at any point, you may want to set up an income-based repayment plan, so you have the correct paperwork when you go to apply for a mortgage.

You Don’t Have to Rush Into Buying


Once you decide you want to buy a home, it feels like the race is on. You’ve got to scout out the area you want to buy in and pick out the perfect home before anyone else gets it. You’ve got to get your offer in and buy it, beating everyone else to the punch. This really isn’t the case, so you can afford to relax. Nothing is saying you have to buy your home as soon as you’re married. Buying a home is an investment. Take your time picking your ideal married home.

With these tips, you’ll be able to buy the perfect home to begin your married life. Talk to your lenders, take your time, and you’ll find a home that works for you.

A Guide to Conventional Mortgages in Fort Lauderdale

OCTOBER 27th, 2018

When looking to purchase a new home, there are many different types of loans and options available. Conventional mortgages are some of the most common home loan solutions. Many different borrowers choose this option for their house buying needs due to its flexibility in options.

What is a Conventional Loan?

conventional loan is a home loan that is not guaranteed by a government agency. Conventional mortgages are sometimes known as conforming loans because they typically follow standard guides put in place by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Usually, this type of mortgage has fixed terms and rates. Often, loans have fifteen-year to thirty-year terms. With a conventional mortgage, a borrower can save money by making a larger down payment. More substantial down payments will mean less interest in the long run and can allow a lender to waive the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

What is the Typical Down Payment on a Conventional Home Loan?

The standard minimum down payment looked for by most lenders for any home loan is 20%; that being said, depending on your credit score and debt to income ratio, you may qualify for a smaller down payment. Some loans only require three percent down; however, there are advantages to having a more substantial down payment. Some benefits of a larger than 20% down payment include:

  • Lenders will typically allow a lower credit score
  • Lenders will occasionally waive the need for PMI
  • It could decrease the total amount of interest paid over a loans lifetime.
  • It will reduce any percentage-based fees on a mortgage
  • It can mean a lower interest rate
What Does My Credit Score Need to be for a Conventional Mortgage?

Because government agencies are not guaranteeing the loan, lenders take on a higher individual risk with a conventional loan. Due to that higher risk, the lender will often require a higher credit score. Most loan offices want a borrower to have a credit score of at least 620. Higher credit ratings will often lead to better rates and a lower down payment for the home buyer. If your credit is not perfect, having a more substantial down payment, as well as a lower debt to income ratio, can make a bank give you a lower number on their risk assessment scale, which could translate to you still qualifying for the conventional home loan with a reasonable rate.

What is Needed to Qualify for Conventional Loans?

Lenders use standard guidelines that were instituted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They utilize those rules and then attach their risk assessments to determine what they as lenders require. Some standard guidelines are:

  • Borrowers need a minimum of a 620 credit score
  • Home buyers need a minimum of a 3% down payment
  • Borrowers will have to pay PMI unless using a down payment larger than 20%
  • Home buyers will need to provide proof of steady and continued income
  • Borrowers will need to have a low debt to income ratio
  • What to Do Before Applying for a Conventional Mortgage

There are a few helpful tasks that you can complete before you apply for any loan. You will want to:

Check your credit score.

Once you know your credit rating, you will be able to see if you need to try to increase your score or not.

Organize your debt

By consolidating and paying off small deficits, you can decrease your debt to income ratio. A lower ratio will increase your chance for loan approval.

Organize financial paperwork

You are going to need bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, credit card statements, and payment history for any other loans or debts you might currently have.

Save a little more money

There are some costs associated with buying a house that people forget. There aren’t just the closing costs and realtor fees; there is also the cost of travel to look at different houses, the cost of inspections, and moving expenses as well.

These tasks are not necessary; however, they can make the home purchasing process go smoother for you, the borrower.

Conventional Home Loans in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, many borrowers are turning to conforming mortgages to help them buy their second homes. Many great retirement communities offer homeowners in our city unique purchasing options. NHL Lending provides some of the best home loan rates in the Fort Lauderdale area.

Our Nationwide Home Loans team is here to help you understand the differences in the loan types available. We want to make the home purchasing process as simple and easy as possible. With our step by step guides for our different programs and our staff’s knowledge of the loan procedures needed for qualification, we will find the best mortgage solution for you. Please contact us today.

Exploring Different Down payment Options

DECEMBER 8th, 2017

Congratulations! Buying a new home to call your own is a significant milestone in your life. Buying a home can be one of the most exciting — and stressful — moments of your life. Purchasing a home is a big decision, one that has an impact on your credit and finances like no other purchase could. Did you know the vast majority of homes are purchased through a mortgage? However, most traditional mortgages require a certain percentage down — many potential homeowners might not have that certain amount of money to put down.

What if you meet all other requirements but just don’t have the cash for that huge down payment? Fortunately, there are numerous down payment options out there designed to get you into your dream home with little to money down. In this article nationwide mortgage will discuss a few options that will help make your dream come true.

Buying your first home: the down payment

First-time home buyers face more hurdles than any repeat buyers. A first-time home buyer may have less saving to purchase their dream home. He or she might have a collection of student loans, credit card and other large debts hindering the process to make a down payment.

Perhaps the potential buyers are just starting a career, getting engaged or just starting over. Did you know, first-timers have no buying experience or how the process works for putting down payment on a home?

What is Down Payment?

A down payment is the amount of money you spend upfront to purchase a home and is typically combined with a home loan to fulfill the total purchase price of a home. In addition, your down payment amount, your credit score, credit history, total debt and annual income will influence how much of a loan you can qualify for.

How much is down payment required to buy a home?

As a first-time and potential home buyer, you have access to a wide range of mortgage loans and programs that can be customized to meet your needs. Did you know your loan amount is one of your choices?

The down payment can be as large as you wish, or as small — so long as you make the minimum investment required by us. The three most common low and no — down payment options used by first-time home buyers are the FHA loan, the Veterans Affairs loans, and Jumbo loans.

The Federal Housing Administration Loan (FHA)

The FHA is a federal government agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA plays a significant role in helping low- to moderate-income families qualify for mortgages. FHA assists first-time buyers and others who would not qualify for a conventional loan, by providing mortgage insurance to private lenders.

Interest rates for an FHA loan are usually the going market rate, while the down payment requirements for an FHA loan are lower than conventional loans. The required down payment can be as low as 3.5 percent and the closing costs can be included in the mortgage amount. The FHA isn’t a lender and doesn’t directly make home loans. Instead, the FHA insures home loans against the borrower’s default to encourage lenders to offer the loans to home buyers and homeowners at more affordable interest rates.

Jumbo Loans

A jumbo mortgage is a home loan with an amount that exceeds conforming loan limits imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises that buy a mortgage in Fort Lauderdale from lenders. The limit is $424,100 in most parts of the United States but is $625,500 in the highest-cost areas and in-between in others. The cost of a jumbo loan is higher than a standard loan, so expect a higher interest rate for a jumbo loan.

Qualifications for Jumbo Loans

If you are considering purchasing a home, you will need to know what is required to be eligible for jumbo loans. If the price of the home exceeds the conforming limit of $424,100 which is set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, then a jumbo loan is needed. Once you have reviewed the requirements, you can begin getting everything together.

To qualify for a jumbo loan, you will need to meet the following criteria:


• Minimum credit score of 680. A lower credit score may be accepted if a larger down payment is put down.
• Minimum down payment of 20% (sometimes can be lower)
• Debt to income ratio cannot exceed 43%. (Some lenders will deviate from this percentage.)
If you meet these requirements, then you need to choose a lender. They will tell you if there are any additional requirements. Our lenders at NHL lending will help you from the beginning until the end. We will stick by your side and answer any questions that you may have.

Veteran Affairs Loans

VA Loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Service persons and veterans can qualify for a VA Loan, which usually offers a competitive fixed interest rate, no down payment, and limited closing costs. While the VA does not issue the loans, it does issue a certificate of eligibility required to apply for a VA loan.

The VA Home Loan Advantage

The Veterans Home Loan program is one of the most powerful loan programs available on the market for service members, veterans, and military families. These flexible home loans are government backed and offer significant advantages to allow homeowners to those that may struggle for financing. The two most important advantages of a VA home loan is that they do not require a down payment nor do you have to obtain private mortgage insurance.

With a VA home loan, you will have competitive rates and terms as well. Our lenders are ready to help you get into the home of your dreams with little to no stress.

No Down Payment Needed

As a service member, you may have noticed that saving money and building your credit is difficult, especially since you are always on the move. With this type of home loan, you are able to finance the value of the home without having to come up with any money.

Why choose Nationwide Home Loans?

We are a Florida based mortgage lending firm recognized for our outstanding customer service and the strong reputation for getting even the most difficult of loans closed. We offer a wide variety of mortgage rates in Fort Lauderdale, FL, competitive pricing and sound advice about what is best for each client’s individual situation.

As a full-service mortgage lender, Nationwide Home Loans has made the dream of homeownership come true for thousands of home buyers. We are able to offer a wide range of products, including; Conventional, FHA, VA, and various terms on fixed or adjustable rate loans. Whether you are buying, refinancing, or building your home, Nationwide Home Loans can provide you with the best mortgage rates in Fort Lauderdale to meet your specific needs.

How a Jumbo Loan can Help you Get your Dream Home

JULY 26th, 2017

Do you have your eye on a home in an upscale neighborhood? Is your dream home considered a luxury home? What do you do when the home of your dreams costs more than the average home in the Ft Lauderdale area? It is time to consider a jumbo loan.

What is a Jumbo Loan?
Nationwide Home Loans

Generally, when one takes out a mortgage on a home, the loan is called a conforming loan. A conforming loan is a loan that conforms to government created guidelines. These guidelines cap the amount of the loan for a single family home, which in 2017 is set at $424,100 in the continental US. The guidelines also outline criteria for income to value ratio, income to debt ratio, and credit score. Many homes on the market today, especially in Ft Lauderdale, cost more than a conforming mortgage can cover.

Any loan that does not meet the guideline limits, especially in the area of the loan amount is known as a jumbo loan. Most state laws define a jumbo loan as, a loan that exceeds $417,000. However, some states, namely Hawaii and Alaska, have higher rates for their jumbo loans. Jumbo loans qualify for similar programs as conforming loans, for example, you can find fixed-rate jumbo loans, ARMs and interest-only loans for the jumbo loan program.

Who Qualifies for a Jumbo Loan?
jumbo loan in Ft Lauderdale

Jumbo loans are higher risk loans, so you will pay more for a higher mortgage rate for a jumbo loan. Depending on your risk, your credit history, your finances, your lender and the amount of loan you take, you can pay as little as .25% more or as much as a few points more than a conforming loan. You are not likely to get a fixed-rate jumbo loan. If you want this type of loan, be prepared to take on an adjustable rate loan. Your down payment size will greatly influence your ability to get a jumbo loan in Ft Lauderdale and the amount of jumbo loan for which you are approved. Your credit will also influence both the amount of loan and your ability to obtain the loan.

Because of the housing bubble crisis of 2007-2008, there are more restrictions on jumbo loans and who can obtain them, but they are not at all impossible to obtain. You can increase your chances of being approved by doing a few things. You must be able to make at least a twenty percent down payment on your purchase, the more you have the better your chances will be. You must provide documents proving your income, including pay stubs and tax documentation. The monthly payments for this mortgage can equal no more than thirty-eight percent of your gross monthly income. Ideally, your credit score should be close to 700 or above, and 600 at the bare minimum. With a traditional loan, your monthly debt payments should be lower than thirty-three percent of your income. For a jumbo loan, you should try to have even less, ideally less than thirty percent if possible. Jumbo home loans in Ft Lauderdale are a great option if you have the credit, down payment and income necessary to meet the requirements of a jumbo loan.

How Do I Apply for A Jumbo Loan?

Nationwide Home Loans is an expert on jumbo home mortgage loans in Ft Lauderdale. Our goal is to help individuals like yourself get into the home of their dreams. Our professional account managers can help you find the perfect loan. We understand the Ft Lauderdale area and the real estate market. We are here to walk you through the lending process for jumbo home mortgage loans and help you get into that home you have had your eye on! Our website is full of information on NHL lending practices and procedures, and we are always here to answer your call! If you do not qualify for a jumbo loan, we also offer traditional loans, FHA loans, and VA loans. Call us today to schedule an appointment. Let us help you get started on your way to owning your dream home.

Loansolutions

Christmas Holiday Hacks to Avoid Going Broke

DECEMBER 19, 2017 2:23PM

The leftover honey-baked ham and smoked turkey is wrapped up and stowed away in your refrigerator. The Thanksgiving pies of sweet potato pie, cheese cake and apple pie have been devoured, and you’re ready to kick off the Christmas season. Christmas is just around the corner and you know what that means — Christmas shopping!

Unfortunately, Christmas shopping season kicks with chaotic holiday last minute shoppers, shortage of clothes, electronics, toys and movies. Don’t stress out yet looking for the perfect gift for your children, spouse, friends or neighbors. Break out your wrapping paper, ribbons and Christmas cards for your holiday gifts.

This time of the year can be rough on anyone’s wallet — there are gifts to buy, holiday parties to plan of bubbly champagne, delicious apple cider and wine, and of course, those jaw-dropping holiday sales. Remember all that holiday cheer doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet or run you into debt. Don’t worry — we’ve have some tips for Christmas holiday hacks to avoid going broke and staying sane while navigating your holiday shopping madness.

Create a Holiday savings fund


The holidays can create a joyous time for holiday shoppers but also be one of the most hectic for shoppers during the holiday season. Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start ranking up debt onto your credit cards of buying holiday gifts. Start early by creating a holiday savings fund to start your holiday shopping early for your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Your holiday savings fund can be set up at the start of every year, set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to fund this account — either every week, every two weeks(when your paycheck hits) or even just once a month. During the holidays lets say you usually spend around $500 per year, that’s about $40 per month on average, or $20 per paycheck. The holiday savings fund is a lot more manageable than coming up with excessive amount of change around the holidays — or even piling up unnecessary card card debt.

Pay In Cash


As you are heading out this holiday season to do shopping, arm yourself with a clear plan: a holiday list of who you want to buy for and how much you can spend on each gift for your family, friends or neighbors. To keep track of your expenses, consider using cash instead of credit cards. That way, you can go shopping to buy the least expensive gifts on your list with only enough cash on hand to stick to your shopping budget. REMEMBER this is the time of year where holiday sales associate tempt you to sign up for a store credit card offer. BE AWARE: Those store credit cards tend to have very high interest rates and hidden fees for not using the credit card regularly.

Get Thrifty or Bargain shop!


Thrift store shopping during the holiday season brings a magnificent place, filled to the brim with endless possibilities that are just waiting to be re-imagined. Navigating the racks, shelves, buckets and piles of pre-owned pieces can be exciting for any holiday casual shopper. Thrifting has become a popular choice for many shoppers especially for ones who are looking for their next creative or vintage new style, less-costly outfit or last minute Christmas gift.

Thrift shopping is very cost effective, finding valuable items for next to nothing, helps the community and they transport you to another time- one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Instead of going to the mall this holiday season, take your Christmas list to the thrift store, Groupon, Ebay and the antique store. Explore the treasures and wonders of bargaining shopping to find more personal and far less expensive gifts that everyone else is gifting this holiday season.

Think Outside the box: Homemade gifts

Not everyone this holiday season can needs that Coco Chanel#5, 10Karat diamond earrings or Polo Ralph Lauren Cologne. Do it yourself this holiday season by thinking outside the box and creating your own homemade gifts of Christmas food baskets, homemade hand soaps, Mason jar candy cane salt scrubs, ombre tote bag, homemade jams and gilded notebooks. You’ll save a ton of money baking mouth-watering treats of cookies, making scented spa scrubs, candles or jam and putting them in nice, decorative and less-expensive packages for your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.

Advance Tree Pros

Are You Dealing with an Eyesore? Consider Hiring our Tree Cutting Service

JANUARY 9, 2018

Trees increase incredible beauty to properties, but just for a certain period. Remember, a tree’s usefulness or lifetime is restricted because of various factors. While eliminating tree roots from your lawn makes it easy to clean your yard, the stumps can be annoying, particularly when tending the yard.

Although it’s possible to attempt DIY removal, beware that this option comes with various risks. Therefore, it’s imperative you hire a tree service to avoid unnecessary costs and inconveniences.

Fortunately, our Orlando tree service has the tools to tackle any type of tree service from eliminating diseased branches to tree stumps. If you’re still unsure about hiring a professional cutting service, check out why you should hire us.

Efficiency

There’s no tree that’s too awkward or big to handle for our highly skilled and certified arborists. We aren’t just precise. We offer fast and efficient services through our bucket trucks, which allow us to reach the precise spot without taking the time to shift everything out of the way. We have a massive crane, so we’ll remove the entire tree and remnants in no time.

Safety
Tree Cutting Service

Personal safety is among the most significant reasons to consider a professional cutting service. While it’s vital to guard your property, it’s even more crucial to protect yourself.

Bear in mind that falling branches, equipment malfunction, and power-lines are some of the risk factors associated with tree removal. These factors can lead to lacerations or even death and the last thing you want is to move from considering the expense of tree removal to considering the medical costs.

To avoid unnecessary expenses, you can simply count on our trained professionals who have broad safety equipment. Remember, the likelihood of falling trees is common after severe winter storms or rain.

After all, weather damage results in weakened trees and as a result increase the likelihood of toppled trunks or falling branches. In these situations, tree removal is necessary for safety purposes. We advise property owners to conduct tree inspection following severe storms.

Simultaneously, we recommend you keep a keen eye for broken and cracked branches as well as root and trunk damage. Beware that heavy winds could topple your tree at the base, so ensure your trees maintain stability to prevent this serious risk. Don’t try removing a fallen tree on your own because even small ones need expert skills and special training.

Property Damage

Some homeowners conduct this task by watching via YouTube, and this is unlikely to end well. Beware of the various risks linked to falling branches and trees, which can destroy cars, roofs, and other personal property.

In the event that you’re having it removed because of the risk, it poses to your property already, you’ll only increase this risk if a professional company doesn’t conduct the service. In the event that a professional service causes property damage, they have extensive insurance coverage-something you won’t necessarily need if you hire a company.

When you hire our company, you’re assured that we’ll take care of the tree in an efficient manner, possibly preventing additional damage to your property.

Easy Cleanup

professional removal service has the suitable equipment to eliminate the cut tree. You don’t have to worry about securing a rental wood chipper, establishing how to use it, and ensuring it’s in pristine condition when you return it.

Even if you’re confident of cutting the tree safely, you might not know what to do once it’s cut. Fortunately, our removal service has a plan before we begin.

Renovation or Construction Issues

If you’re planning an outdoor project, for instance, the inclusion of a fence or patio, such major renovations may need tree removal. Remember that a qualified company may assist with overall renovation planning, enabling the smooth flow of the project.

Cost Savings

Chainsaws, safety gear, and the rental fee for the stump grinder and the other accessories you’ll require to cut the tree by yourself are very expensive. Beware that you’ll end up spending more on the equipment than on an expert service and you’ll need to do everything yourself.

When it comes to tree removal, you must hire a professional service if you want to avoid the inconveniences and drawbacks that could emerge if you do it on your own.

Three Ways Tree Roots can Damage your Property

NOVEMBER 30, 2017

Damage from tree roots is a hidden danger that most homeowners do not often consider when it comes to their properties. Qualified tree service and removal companies such as Advance Tree Pros in Orlando Florida are your answer to this type of concern; however, it is important for homeowners to be able to realize the threats they are facing by letting this problem go unaddressed.

It is important to realize that the tree roots themselves do not do the damage; however, it is their interaction with the soil and the quality of the soil below the foundation of the home that has the most significant impact. Larger trees with thick tree roots can cause damage to the home, but only if they are in too close of a proximity. One common way that tree roots can damage your property, homeowners never notice. This is from decaying tree roots. Even with removed trees, if their root system is still in the soil, they can and will pose a threat to the foundation of your home.

Moisture and how it Effects Tree Roots


One of the main dangers of tree roots beneath the soil of a foundation is their ability to draw moisture from the soil beneath the surface of the home. If the soil is dense and was not properly compacted at the time of building, it is more likely that it can become depleted of important moisture quicker. This causes slumping and shifting of the tree roots as they draw moisture from the soil. The larger the tree roots grow they can also loosen soil due to their change in girth. Less dense soil will loosen quicker. This combined effect is what can cause the imbalance of pressure in the soil surrounding the tree which in turn could strain a house foundation and cause it to crack.

Large Trees and Thick Tree Roots


The larger the tree, the more likely that they can cause damage to the foundation of your home by taking more moisture from the soil. When these mature trees are planted too close to the home the best thing a homeowner can do to protect their foundation is to make sure that the tree is adequately watered at all times. This greatly benefits the foundation beneath the home because it ensures that the soil remains tightly compacted. The experts at our tree service in Orlando Florida are experienced in locating any threats to your foundation and helping you to address the problem immediately if we see a concern. Our professionals are experienced with the latest training techniques to give you the confidence you need with your root removal concerns.

Decaying Tree Roots


Tree service in Orlando Florida when it comes to addressing your tree removal needs, our experts have what it takes to identify every immediate threat to your property. Our Orlando Tree Service Company has years of expertise to help you to avoid all possible problems caused by tree root exposure. Most homeowners do not realize that even decaying tree roots can pose a threat to the foundation of the home. When dead trees have been removed, if their root system is not completely removed from the soil, they still pose a threat to the underlying soil, sub sequentially effecting the stability of the foundation of the home. As the roots of these dead trees decay, there are air spaces that are created within the leftover spaces. As the soil shifts to fill these voids, the foundation of the home can become settles and damaged.

Our Orlando Tree Service


For the best tree services in the Orlando area, our tree service in Orlando is your best choice. Our customer service staff is knowledgeable and friendly and can help you set up a no-obligation estimate. Our Orlando tree service costs are not only competitive ensuring the best rates for our customers but also offering you the best landscaping personnel in the industry. From small jobs such as Orlando tree pruning to full tree removal, we can beat our competitors and provide you with the best services. Give us a call to set up a free estimate today. We look forward to helping you with all of your Orlando tree service needs.

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