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Expert Author Desare A Kohn-Laski
How serious are you as a home buyer? How would the seller know that you are indeed serious with being the next owner of the property being sold? One way of this being addressed is through the good faith deposit. Others refer to this as the earnest money or deposit.
The good faith deposit is a fragment of the total purchase price which you give to the seller as a way of showing that you are earnest or serious with your intention of owning the house he or she is selling. You should not confuse this amount with the down payment. Although both amounts can be taken less of the purchase price, they are still different. The deposit is more of a legal amount which sellers require while the earnest or good faith deposit is an amount inclined more to being part of real estate practices.
How much is it?
The usual amount to this is between 1% to 3% of the total purchase price. However, practices have accustomed buyers to making anywhere between $500 to $1000 of the price. This amount doesn't make sense for big prices.
The low-ball offer of $500 will usually leave an impression of being unserious as compared to amounts that truly fall to at least 3% of the price which in turn sends stronger signal that you are more serious of the purchase.
It might be better to make the amount not to low but not too high. Do not go out of these borders and you are in a good range already.
How about taking back my deposit?
Generally, this amount is forfeited to the side of the seller in case buyer backs out. But the buyer can turn tides and have his deposit back under certain circumstances.
One such circumstance is if the seller rejects the buyer's offer. Although, you have made the good faith deposit, the offer being rejected gives yu the right to take your money back.
There are circumstances that need to be stipulated under the purchase agreement. For instance, if the seller refuses to undertake repairs which may be recommended during house inspection. The buyer can also take the deposit back if flaws are uncovered.
The earnest money or the good faith deposit is somehow standardized. The usual amount depends on which state or which area you are going to make the home purchase. But as a rule of thumb or as advice of sort, don't give an earnest money usual than the average if you really want the house because you're in the risk of being rejected. Don't make an offer higher than the usual too because you might end up losing a big amount shall you decide to back out.
Expert Author Desare A Kohn-Laski
You finally closed the deal on your dream house. Your family moved in and ready to begin a new chapter of your life. But then problems also start to show with the house. What can you possibly do about these?
There are cases of undisclosed flaws. Contrary to what others say that you just have to live with the problems because the purchase has been done, there is certainly something you can do to address them.
First, you have to be sure that the seller gave a sort of warranty and guarantee. This have to be on document. Otherwise, you'll have a hard time proving it.
Should there be a strong proof of the said warranty, then you can have the seller liable for the undisclosed problems.
Fraud is another thing which you can have the seller accountable for. Under this instance, misrepresentations or omissions are committed with the intent of not allowing the buyer know of the flaws. There is a clear intention of hiding imperfections such that the buyer is made to believe that the house being sold is in either excellent or very good condition when in fact there are problems or defects.
Structural defects are the most common defects that are hidden through seller frauds. But be aware that some sellers might also be knowledgeable of the kinds of materials declared in the documents when in fact those are not actually the compositions or the types used. Omissions are considered fraud because of the similar intent of not disclosing a known problem.
Are sellers always liable?
To make it fair and square with sellers, they are not always liable when problems are discovered after the house is sold. Structural defects on walls are usually uncovered when walls are opened. Sellers are not usually liable for this. But for some obvious wall defects like obvious cracks and holes not declared, they can be accountable for these.
The level of seller accountability on problems after house sale can be dependent on circumstances on purchase agreements. So it is important that the buyer carefully inspects the house and relay observations to the seller. There is always something fruitful agreed on when good conversations are done.
If and when you suspect that a fraud is done by the seller, you can always consult a real estate professional. You can also seek legal help from an attorney who has specialization on problems regarding the buying and selling of real estate properties.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Are you one of those people who say, 'I'd give anything to be young again?' But, on reflection, would you really? Maybe knowing what you know now and going back in time would be an enticing option, but I'm guessing that a reasonable percentage of us would dread having to face the many pressures on the young these days.
School teachers are noting that even the 'jocks', the sporty, super-fit boys, are experiencing a higher incidence of mental health related issues; food issues, body dysmorphia, depression and suicidal tendencies are increasingly prevalent.
- Peer pressure, whether real or perceived is everywhere and from an early age. Wearing the 'right' brands, having the latest technology, fitting in with the correct look, can make all the difference to being accepted by others or not. It's often only as we get older that we aspire to be different, relish having a quirky or eccentric look, but often younger people don't have the confidence or self-assurance to not care about fitting in as neatly as possible.
- Parental pressure can be self-imposed. There may be guilt about working hard enough and doing well after seeing the struggles that our parents went through, the sacrifices they made in order for us to have the opportunities they missed. Some parents may have worked long hours, or battled alone as a single parent so that their children didn't have to do without. Or there may be a 'golden' sibling and the pressure to match their results is an unspoken reminder of what could be achieved.
- Or there are those parents who live vicariously through their children, pushing them to live the life they never had, hot-housing their talents from a young age, dedicating themselves to ensuring their children achieved the success denied them. Finding the balance between encouraging your children to be active, motivated, make something of themselves, handle disappointments and failure rather than forcing them to do something they don't want to do can be a challenge. Even hobbies are often areas where there's added pressure, needing to excel at football, dancing rather than just having fun!
- Many young people have confusion about what they want to do with their lives, which career would suit them best and yet decisions influencing the rest of their lives have to be made at a very young age. Which subjects to study, which to drop, which interests to pursue can all have significant implications in later years.
- Studying and passing exams occupies a lot of time, thought and energy for young people, considerably adding to the many pressures they face. University is a focus for many and whilst university can be seen as a rite of passage it's not the only option or even the best one for everyone. Studying something you may be uncertain about, may never use, whilst running up massive amounts of debt can add to the pressure already being experienced by them.
Taking a gap year to consider your thoughts and dreams can be a viable use of some time and teach important life skills along the way. Another option can be to ease the pressure by going to college to learn a skill or trade or joining an apprenticeship scheme. Undertaking education in a more 'hands on', less academic way can feel more relevant to everyday life. It can help identify your specific skill sets, those talents and areas you could develop in the future and is an effective way to introduce young people to a real work situation.
It may initially feel like failure if you don't get into university but not going may be a blessing in disguise. Often when one door closes another one opens. That new door may offer a route into a satisfying career, starting your own business, following a path you may have never previously considered.
- When things don't work out as planned it can help to find someone to talk things through with. If you can't or won't talk to parents or family find a mentor, teacher or even a peer group where you feel comfortable sharing your fears, concerns and emotions. Keep those channels of communication open and discuss your feelings openly and honestly. Listen, share and learn.
Talk things through with people who understand what it's like to have once felt a failure, in despair, lost. Remind yourself of the many thousands of successful people who didn't attend university or even college, who were rejected countless times and yet went on to become award-winning writers, film directors, business people, superstars.
- You're not defined by your exam results. Failure happens when you fall and refuse to get up again. I'm guessing that when you were first learning to walk you fell over multiple times, but those falls didn't put you off persevering, and now you're able to walk and even run. A successful life is about taking some knocks and treating them as lessons along the way, a guide to trying a different direction, one that's better suited to you and where you want to go.
Have a fallback position in reserve. Establish a Plan B so that all your eggs aren't in the one basket. When you've other options, no matter how unlikely they seem, you'll feel that you've reclaimed some power, a sense of still being in control. And it's a relief, very liberating to feel somewhat in charge of your own life, not following a pre-determined path. It can be both scary and exhilarating at the same time! This way any pressure is genuinely your own!
Expert Author Susan Leigh
As a teenager there are many pressures to contend with. The social and academic pressures of school life, maybe the stress of leaving one school for another, fitting in, being accepted and acceptable, studying, keeping family happy with your progress, are all potentially stressful considerations.
Then, of course, there may be stresses at home, family concerns, problems with siblings and the personal issues that often accompany being a teenager; feeling different, uncertain about themselves, comparing themselves to others, fear of missing out.
Social media is a natural part of life for many people with statistics regularly being reported on its usage. Analysts say we check our mobile phones every 12 minutes and spend an average of 3 hours 15 minutes every day on the internet, mostly on sites owned by Google and Facebook.
Whilst it's valuable to be connected to the bigger world outside there are also worrying aspects about the internet and especially around social media that cause concern regarding its influence on teenagers.
Social media can be a force for good or bad. Certainly chat rooms and forums can be a great place for someone who feels friendless and alone, with no one to talk to about how they're feeling. Finding reassurance, answers to questions from people experiencing similar issues can stop a teenager feeling alienated, isolated and alone.
It can also help us tap into unexpected audiences, reach people we would never have been able to introduce ourselves to and, as a consequence, their friends. We have the potential with social media to speak to a vast audience, a community of like-minded people.
But there are others aspects of social media which are not so rosy. A degree of caution needs to be exercised. Living in a virtual world where we're constantly checking our phones can persuade us that online is the real world, where the things we see and are being told there are the truth.
Which is why it's important to;
- Choose who to follow with caution and recognise what their agenda might be. Be alert to the dangers of being groomed by someone who's not who or what they claim to be, is encouraging you to do things you're not comfortable with. Or maybe they're aiming to become an influencer, are allied to specific products, gradually introducing and recommending certain goods or services, courting new followers and essentially running sales pitches. Step back and notice what's really going on.
- Remember it's your call, you can unfollow if you want to. If something doesn't suit you anymore or you've become unhappy at what you're regularly seeing you can choose to disengage and stop it. And if posts are appearing that you don't like, that distress you, affect you negatively or you're uneasy about trust your gut and block them. It's your device, your media stream; close the door and don't let them in.
- Set a limit for your time online, and use that time more efficiently. Yes, you may see your online family as a real, key element of your life, relationships that are genuine and supportive. It's the only place you can be yourself and you need to keep that in your life, but actual person-to-person relationships are important too. Many people increasingly work, shop and manage their lives online, so it can provide less and less reason to leave the house. But relationships, learning to interact with others, develop social skills, understand yourself better all require some movement away from devices and an engagement in face-to-face communications.
- Meet others in person and experience the spontaneity and diversity of life. Incorporate personal development and growth by accepting that sometimes things may not go so well. You may make mistakes, be rejected, look silly. That's fine, it's part of life and an important way to evolve and mature as a person.
- Take charge and decide not to spread negativity and gossip on your social media feed. Commit to share only good news. You may think one person on their own cannot make much difference but when each of us takes a stand we can sprinkle sunshine in our tiny corner of the world. Be the person who shares positivity, good results and happiness. Influence, maybe in a small way, your social media feed, your world, your audience.
- Step outside your comfort zone. Join a class, a gym, a group. Visit the same places regularly and you'll find you start to meet the same people. Get used to making an effort, dressing smarter, having to turn up promptly - a different set of skills which are required in offline modern life. Challenge yourself each day.
In the same way you've found your place and have been accepted online remember too to keep a tentative toe in the offline world and allow yourself to get to know many of those people who equally share your concerns and insecurities. Watch how others behave together, pick up some hints and tips, so learning different ways to contribute to conversations, enhance your social skills and develop a more confident approach to each area of life.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Being punctual can be a difficult concept for some people to grasp. They always find something else to do in the last five minutes before they leave, or they wait and wait for another option or choice to come along. This may be fine for them, if it is only themselves that they are inconveniencing, but often other people are waiting and are included in the effect and impact of the lateness.
Let us look at the reasons why people leave things until the last-minute and often end up being late.
- waiting for a better offer to come along. Some people hate to commit to an arrangement for fear that a better offer or date will come along. This gives an incredibly disrespectful message to friends and the other people involved. Sometimes appreciating that by committing to something, saying 'yes' and going along with it, is important in supporting and maintaining that first group of friends. It also teaches the person making the late offer that if they want your company they need to book you sooner. It can be good to let people know that you are busy and are not sat around waiting for someone to turn up and ask you out on the last-minute.
- cannot make a decision. Some people procrastinate about everything from big to small decisions. Being indecisive means that everything in life becomes stressful. Look at the reasons behind this approach to decision-making and start to appreciate that whichever choice you make things usually come right in the end. Maybe start to improve this behaviour by having a backup plan initially. This can provide reassurance, but in reality having a go, making a decision and sticking with it helps to improve confidence and appreciate that these experiences teach us so much.
- trying to get everything done. Cramming as much as possible into every available minute of the day can lead to stress and irritability. Learning to manage time and oneself better can make for a happier, healthier you. Learn to prioritize. Some things are more urgent than others. Do those things first. Maybe delegate less urgent things to someone else. That way those jobs and tasks can be started and you can oversee them at a later stage. Learn to multi-task. Set some jobs in motion and then you can begin others. And in truth, often less important jobs do fall off the list if we leave them for a little while.
- feeling guilty. Some people feel guilty at having free time. They feel that they should be doing chores or working rather than having free time and fun. Keeping on working so that they become too late to go out can be a way of hi-jacking those opportunities for fun and 'me' time. Learning to have more confidence and become more assertive can mean that they come to realise that free time is a way of re-charging their batteries so that they can resume work at a later stage feeling invigorated.
- waiting for a better price is a gamble. Whether it be clothing in a sale or a house that we have our eye on, waiting for a better price can be tempting but can result in us losing out on what we wanted. We have to decide how much we want something and how much it is worth to us. Sometimes we have to see the bigger picture and pay the asking price to obtain something that means a lot to us. Because it is worth it to us.
- decide what you want to do and do it. Put yourself in your diary and honour that arrangement. Give yourself plenty of time to do the things that matter to you. Other people will help pick up on the rest.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Repetition can be seen as both good and bad. Driving is an example of good repetition. We often drive on auto-pilot, changing gears, manoeuvring, getting to our familiar destination, often without realising the route that we have taken. It is often only when we reach our destination and suddenly realise where we are or are trying to find somewhere new or are driving in difficult conditions that we become more alert and pay attention to the process of driving the car.
As human beings, giving our full attention to something for many hours a day would be exhausting. Many elements of our day are performed regularly and so become automatic and unconsidered. Drifting into a semi-trance state is a comfortable, familiar state in which to perform routine actions. Every morning people will routinely wash, brush their teeth, make a drink and often not really be fully aware of whether or not they have done these things afterwards. They may not be able to remember exactly what they did because the familiar routine lulled them into a trance-like state.
This enables our energy is conserved for the times when we need to be fully alert and vigilant.
So starting a new job or learning a new skill is often a stressful time. Some stress is a good thing as it keeps us mentally and physically engaged and on our toes. Aspects of a job may vary between routine and more complex. Becoming familiar with the routine aspects enables full concentration to be given to the more demanding elements.
Repetition is an important part of memory training. Everything that we are familiar with is so because of the multitude of times that it has been repeated in our lives. We see a familiar face, object or food and recognise it, know that it is good or bad based on our previous experience of it. Moving on from that, we see an expression on a person's face or hear a tone of voice, and based on our past experiences of that type of situation, we will determine how to react or respond. Repetition gives us our database from which to make potentially critical decisions and automatic reactions. Anything new being encountered will be automatically compared to similar items and then incorporated into the database in the relevant section.
Too much repetition is often counter-productive. Granted, not everyone wants highly challenging and difficult experiences in their life. Some may have enough problems and stresses in their personal life, some people may not want to have to concentrate too hard. Either way, some people prefer an easy life, to take things as they come and live and work as simply as possible.
Other people hate routine and thrive on the challenge of constant change. They love the buzz and exhilaration of new adventures and enjoy the adrenalin high that they get from the feeling of having all their senses fully alert. They talk about feeling completely alive at these times. The element of risk usually involved in these situations serves to enhance the experience.
Therapists often look at patterns of behaviour, conditioning and repetition in their client's lives. People who have been consistently disrespected, told that others are better than them, or even that they have to expect life to be hard and difficult, often have problems seeing situations from another, more positive perspective. Hearing things repeated on a regular basis makes them real and normal in our minds and it can require some work to help the client understand and appreciate how far back their negative conditioning goes. Then they can start to learn that life does not have to be that way.
Repetition of positive phrases makes for a good outlook and attracts better options and opportunities to us. We radiate more confidence, optimism and a more pleasant demeanour. Repetition of negative phrases ensures that a person becomes low, depressed and with a subdued expectation from life. By learning to repeat positive patterns, phrases and behaviours we can make major improvements to our outlook and to our quality of life.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
After the baby has been born there can initially be a sense of relief, that everything has happened, the baby has finally arrived, everything appears to be fine and now you can settle down to building a lovely family together. But this can be the time when a new set of worries and concerns appear.
Many new parents have issues about being good parents. First time parents especially worry about doing the right thing, treating the baby properly, perhaps damaging or hurting it in some way. Whilst it can be distressing to feel this way, it is also an indicator of how caring a parent you are. Anxiety about being a good parent is natural, but let us look at some ways to allay these fears and concerns so that you enjoy your new baby fully.
- Let others help. Often, especially at first there will be a plethora of people wanting to help, offering advice. It can sometimes be difficult to tolerate it all and some new parents find the attention overwhelming. They want to be alone with their new baby for awhile and bond with it as a family. So let others help in more practical ways. Let them perhaps help with cooking the evening meal, or tidying the house, or doing some ironing. All these things respect the people wanting to help and take some of the domestic pressure away.
- It is good to mix and meet with new parents. They will be able to empathise and share stories, concerns, advice. Mums can discuss their issues about feeding, sleeping and more personal matters like their bodies, their partners. Dads can discuss their issues. Some men struggle with the arrival of a new baby. For some men the baby only becomes real when it is actually born and bonding can take a little more time than for a woman.
- Try to schedule some 'me' time. Allow yourself time to read a magazine or have a beauty treatment. Consider getting some other Mums together and have a pamper session. Having a manicure, pedicure, makeup can be a lovely way of getting to know each other, not just as Mums.
- Try to schedule some 'us' time. It is lovely to enjoy being close as a family, but remember about being a couple too. Once the baby is into a routine allow yourselves to plan 'us' time and trust the baby to a reliable babysitter. Enjoy an evening out together as a couple. Dress up and enjoy having fun together again.
- Keep up-to-date with the news. It can be easy to become completely submerged in the world of babies and children. Remember who you were before the baby was born and read topical articles or watch the news highlights as often as you can. Keep yourself interesting for your own sake and for your partners sake too.
- Sex can be a problem area after a baby has been born. Women can become self-conscious about their bodies. A womans' body has been through a major process with pregnancy and then the readjustment afterwards. It takes time to recover emotionally, physically and hormonally. A man sometimes see his partner in a different way after she has given birth. Plus, often both of you are very tired at the end of the day, maybe too tired for sex. Take the pressure of yourselves, but remember about being loving, tactile, sensual, if not sexual. Women often need reassuring that their partners still find them attractive. Being sensual and close is an important acknowledgment that a woman is still beautiful to her man.
- Keep some money for treats. Money may be a little tighter after a baby has come along. Often Mum is the one who earns less for a time after the birth. It is important to keep some money aside with which to buy a lipstick or a perfume from time to time. It helps to keep the feeling of still having some independence.