Hiring Contractors Can Be A Pain In The Ass!

I’ve had to hire a contractor on a few different occasions, and for the most part I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.  I’m here to tell you that hiring them can be a true pain in the ass.  That is, unless you do your work up front and hire them like you would a baby sitter or an employee of a company, instead of letting them talk you into a sale.  Not all contractors are cut from the same cloth, and most times it is hard to tell the fly by night operations apart from the guys who are getting established but will be around for a long time to come.

The biggest pain in the ass that I encountered while I was hiring a roofing contractor was simply not being able to get them to answer the phone.  You would think with a paying customer trying to get in touch with you, the phone ringing would be reason to drop everything and answer it.  Not true in most of the cases where I needed work done on my house.  The majority of my time was spent simply trying to get someone to pick up my call and come out to tell me how much money I could give them.  Pretty pitiful if you ask me.

I had one project that took this to a new level, though.  Instead of just having problems hiring the contractor, I managed to hire one that could walk the walk but turned out to cost me a ton of money in the end.  He did talk a good game, though.  He ended up starting the tree removal job, getting a draw on it and then never answering the phone again.  This particular instance cost me almost $2,000 which is why I can’t stress enough how important it is to screen your potential prospects.  While you may get some guys who are going to be around for a while slip through the cracks and not pass your filters, for the most part when you keep your guard up you are going to prevent yourself from being taken.

You can dig into these guys by looking at the Better Business Bureau, as well as Angie’s List.  Search Google for their company name, or the contractor’s name and see what all you can find.  Generally, these guys can’t run too far because an unhappy customer speaks the loudest and will report what they’ve had happen to them on the internet.  Rip Off Report and Consumer Reports are other great sites, but may not be as easy to find information about the contractors through simply because of their nature.

If you’ve encountered problems hiring a contractor for your home renovations, let me know what you think.  The website Jacksonville Contractors (http://jacksonville-contractors.net) helped me the last two times I needed to have some work done.  Along with Angie’s List, I can recommend them to anyone who needs to have a project put into motion.

A Career Isn’t Always A Necessity

Have you ever known that one person who, in life, just couldn’t find a place to settle their soul?  A lot of people consider these types as a lost cause, wondering aimlessly with no direction.  Some have even said that if the person could just find their “niche” they would be rich.  I am here to tell you to encourage those types of people, instead of bringing them down by making them feel like they are not going anywhere.  These people are some of the brightest minds that the world has to offer.  They may not follow the typical career path, like most other people and what is accepted in society, but they always live their life on their own terms.  For them, a career isn’t always a necessity.

It Starts In School

The people I’m talking about are usually good in school, achieving good grades and test scores, advancing without too many problems.  Some of the time, the people even go to college — but rarely finish.  You see, it is hard for them to commit to it without having to think about it.  Devoting your entire life to something is very serious, and these people treat it no less.

It Ends Up With Them In Riches

Watch these people throughout their lives.  You will see them come into money, usually time and time again, and continue on living.  Over time, though, these same people that do not have a typical career will usually end up much further along than the same people who went to school for 4, 8 or 12 years to achieve a degree in something that they’re not really happy with after all the time has passed.

Just encourage these people, is all.

Rental Income Is Prime In These Areas

Lubbock, Texax

With an average rent value of $1,089 per month and a median home value of $111,000, Lubbock Texas is a hidden gem in the southwest.  Unemployment rates stay below 6%, while the national average hovers around 10%.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Boasting a sub 5% unemployment rate Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is nestled deep in the midwest.  Average rental incomes run almost $1,200 with an average home value of $131,000.  The city’s culture will suck you in, and not let you leave.  Be sure to try the BBQ!

Austin, Texas

Another city in Texas lands on the list.  5.7% unemployment means that people can afford to pay the $1,400 average rental unit price in the city.  Homes are selling for, on average, $158,000.  The city’s large population is densely packed with shops and offices, making it great for renters and investors.

Rochester, New York

Rochester comes in on the list of the top highest gross rental yield cities in the country.  7% unemployment affords $1,050 per month in average rental income.  With homes selling for an average price of $121,000 it leaves plenty of room for investment income.  Play your cards right and you could make a lot of money in Rochester.

Nashville, Tennesee

Nashville is known for it’s rich musical history.  Houses here average $150,000 and bring in almost $1,300 a month in average rental unit income.  Large universities house budding students, while the career types hit the skyrises and the artists hit the streets.

 

When Do You Join Finances In A Relationship?

This is a topic that has come up quite often among friends, both married and single.  It’s usually a hot debate on when people think finances should be joined in a relationship, with some people falling on one end of the spectrum, believing that as soon as you are married you should join your accounts together, if not before.  While others at the opposite end of the spectrum feel that you should never join bank accounts and always keep your money separated.  I’ll discuss deeper into both of these beliefs, and why I think they are both wrong.

One side of the fence feels like you should wait until you’re married, and then join accounts.  This is the most common arrangement that couples use both before, and after tying the knot.  It is a lot easier to keep track of where money is coming from and going when you have everything in one place than it is when the finances are divided.  From bills, to savings accounts, checking accounts, credit cards, and everything else, this arrangement forces couples to come together as a team to conquer their financial obstacles.\

As for the folks on the other side of the fence, they feel as though you should never join finances.  I am a little biased towards this view because of the relationship I have with my long term girlfriend.  When the bills come due everything is split down the middle, money is put into a joint account and the bills are paid.  Whatever is left belongs to each person.  This view does present some problems, though.  From experience I have learned that it doesn’t quite provide the security needed for a solid relationship.

What If You Never Get Married?

If you look at my girlfriend and I’s relationship, we do not have joint bank accounts.  We are on each other’s accounts as users but we do not share money.  We split the bills directly down the middle, and her money is her money, while my money is my money.  This has always done away with one of the biggest arguments I hear couples having: spending too much money.  Sure, her and I still get into it over money sometimes, but the arguments are aimed towards keeping each other accountable to our goals.