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Killexams : SUN Certified reality - BingNews Search results Killexams : SUN Certified reality - BingNews Killexams : Ask a real estate pro: Avoid issues when transferring ownership

Q: I own a vacation home with my sister we inherited years ago. Recently she approached me about buying out my half of the house. We get along well, and I rarely use the property, while she practically lives there, so this seems fair. But I do not want to cause any problems because of the transfer. How can we protect against this turning out bad? — Raoul

A: I have seen many solid relationships turn bad once money became involved. This is often caused by each party understanding the deal differently than the other because of too many assumptions and poor communication. It is usually agreed to verbally and sealed with a handshake.

Unfortunately, memories fade, and misunderstandings occur.

I often tell clients, “If they can say it – they can sign it.” People are reluctant to enter a written contract when dealing with people they are close to. However, this is one of the times that a detailed document will provide the most benefit by avoiding misunderstandings and disputes that stem from them.

Other than favorable terms, you should treat this transaction like you would if selling the property to a pleasant stranger. Have a detailed written agreement drafted and use a professional to prepare the deed and other closing documents and handle your transaction’s details.

Just because your family owned the property for years, do not assume it is problem free. Unfortunately, just because you do not know about a problem does not mean problems do not exist.

You may want a professional home inspection to identify any material issues.

You should also consider purchasing a title insurance policy to protect against unknown ownership issues.

These problems might not be discovered until your sister tries to sell the property years later.

The easily solvable problem found now can become a giant hurdle a decade from now.

©2022 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Wed, 07 Dec 2022 23:52:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Killexams : This 31-Year-Old Investor Nearly Quadrupled His Multifamily Housing Empire From California to Texas in Just 3 Years
  • Sean Kia is one of Insider's Rising Stars of Real Estate for 2022.
  • In two years, he's raked in hundreds of millions by flipping apartment buildings in the Southwest.
  • He applies the Ford production model to real estate. Here's how he built his empire.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider.

Sean Kia via Business Insider
Sean Kia

Los Angeles-native Sean Kia, 31, has been a bit busy the last few years.

Between 2019 and now, Tides Equities — the investment company he founded in 2016 and has run ever since — has built a small empire of apartment complexes in Sun Belt cities like Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix.

Just three years ago, Tides owned $2 billion in the apartment properties. Today, that number has grown to $7.5 billion, according to Kia.

In that time frame, Kia said Tides has grossed hundreds of millions of dollars for itself and its investors by fixing up decades-old buildings and reselling them. Tides deployed $7 billion in 2021 and 2022 alone, making it one of the country's most prolific buyers even as the overall market for multifamily properties was cooling, due to rising interest rates.

With Kia at the helm, Tides counts more than 600 individuals as his investors in addition to family-office and private-equity capital, including major firms such as KKR. The company now has 31,000 units across its portfolio.

This was a vision that Kia had at just 25.

An assembly line approach to real estate investment

After several years in the business of buying and selling apartment buildings for other companies, Kia noticed there were ways to make the process more efficient by reducing renovation times.

After several years in the business of buying and selling apartment buildings for other companies, Kia noticed there were ways to make the process more efficient by reducing renovation times.

The Tides on 7th apartment complex in Phoenix was a latest acquisition. Tides Equities via Business Insider

So, he started Tides and applied the Ford model of large-scale production to his deals. The assembly-line approach was useful for his primary trade, which was to renovate the properties and sell them at a profit.

"Let's create an assembly-line approach to real-estate investing and do the exact same thing on every single building that we buy," he said, recalling the drive to start his business. "Because when you eliminate variables, you eliminate risks."

Kia reeled off a few examples of Tides' business. In July of 2020, it bought a 236-unit apartment building in Phoenix for $27 million, spent $3 million on upgrades, and sold it just over a year later for $59 million. In another deal, it paid $89.5 million for a 472-unit apartment building in October of 2020, spent $4 million on renovations, and sold it for $137 million in November 2021.

Because Tides uses much the same renovation plan for each acquisition, it can often start the work even before the ink on the sale contract dries. That's possible because the company typically secures its financing in advance.

The perfect spots

Another secret of Kia's is his attention to location. Cities must be fun, affordable, ripe for in-migration and positioned for job and wage growth, he said.

He's been checking those boxes since he got a start in Phoenix, which became home to some of the company's bread-and-butter investments. The typical renter had been paying only 20% of their income on rent, which represented "really good affordability," Kia said.

"It seemed like it had all the fundamental sort of tailwinds that could really help propel Phoenix to one of the major investment markets," he said. "Fast forward a few years later, we're absolutely right. Phoenix is in the top five markets in the country."

Wed, 30 Nov 2022 08:03:00 -0600 Kelsey Neubauer en text/html
Killexams : I’m a PR expert – these Strictly stars will rake in millions with reality TV and big-money ads… but others will miss out

IT may involve a lot of hard work, and many months of intense training - but Strictly Come Dancing can lead to very lucrative careers.

Fleur East ended up in the bottom two in last week’s episode of the BBC dance competition, but, when it comes to cold hard cash, she’s set to come out on top.

Fleur East is set to make millions after Strictly, according to Nick Ede


Fleur East is set to make millions after Strictly, according to Nick EdeCredit: PA

Brand and culture expert Nick Ede has tipped the former X Factor star and some of her Strictly co-stars to get lots of TV work and brand deals in the new year.

From roles in West End musicals to fashion and beauty collaborations, Nick reveals which of this year’s Strictly stars are destined to earn millions…

Fleur East - £1.5m

Fleur shot to fame on the X Factor, and has presented Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and a show on Hits Radio since then.

She was also the first celeb to get a perfect score of 40 with her Couple’s Choice dance, so she knows what she’s doing when it comes to entertaining.

And Nick says “she’s on target to make millions”.

He adds: “ I can see her post-tour performing in the West End, doing more radio and TV and also endorsement deals too.”

Fleur recently launched a hair brand, The Kurl Kitchen, with her sister Keshia East, and this is going to boost her wallet even more.

Nick adds: “This will make a lot, and I can see her being the biggest money-maker.”

Helen Skelton – £1m

Helen Skelton could make £1m thanks to presenting and reality TV


Helen Skelton could make £1m thanks to presenting and reality TVCredit: BBC/Ruckas

Helen Skelton was already household name before appearing on Strictly, having presented Blue Peter and Countryfile.

But Nick believes it’s her personal life that could make her a big winner in terms of money.

Helen and Richie Myler split after eight years of marriage, shortly after she was announced for Strictly.

They have three children together, Ernie, six, Louis, five, and one-year-old Elsie - and Richie announced he has a fourth on the way with his new girlfriend Stephanie Thirkill in October.

And Nick thinks Helen can use this to cash in with some more reality TV, as well as podcasts and books about life as a single mum.

He says: “With her relationship making headlines, she will be a big winner from Strictly this year.

“I can see her going on to do more presenting and, perhaps, even appearing on other reality shows too like Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins or Celebs Go Dating

“With her three children, I can see her also releasing books and podcasts and making over £1 million in the process.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2022 cast

Molly Rainford – £1m

Molly Rainford could do very well through fashion collaborations


Molly Rainford could do very well through fashion collaborationsCredit: Instagram

CBBC star Molly Rainford was relatively unknown outside of children’s telly before Strictly.

But Nick thinks she can earn big now, with personal appearances, presenting jobs and brand deals.

“Molly is the real winner here,” he tells us. “I can see her doing lots more TV, not only on her existing platform, but as a presenter on shows like Morning Live. 

“I can also see her being asked to have her own fashion brand or collaborate with a big fashion brand, as she has won a legion of fans.”

Hamza Yassin - £500k

Hamza Yassin has already been approached to front a BBC nature programme


Hamza Yassin has already been approached to front a BBC nature programmeCredit: BBC

Hamza Yassin was a virtual unknown when he first took to the Strictly dance floor all those weeks ago.

But, thanks to his incredible dance moves and infectious smile, the presenter has become a fan favourite - and tipped to win the Glitterball trophy.

We even revealed this week that the BBC has already approached him about hosting a new nature show, following in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough.

And Nick believes he’s “well on the way to making over £500,000”.

He says: “Plucked from obscurity, I can see Hamza becoming a huge favourite on TV with his loveable personality.

“He will be writing books and getting new TV shows.”

Tyler West – £500k

Tyler West is set to make money out of fitness and lifestyle deals


Tyler West is set to make money out of fitness and lifestyle dealsCredit: Instagram

Tyler West may have not made it into the final weeks of the competition, but Nick thinks he’ll be more than alright.

The Kiss FM host managed to run the London Marathon the day after performing on Strictly, and then got the first 10s of the series the following week.

And Nick is sure “a lifestyle or fitness brand would love to work with him”.

“I can see him doing a lot,” Nick adds. “He will continue to DJ but also appear on TV panels and more reality shows and could earn over £500,000.”

Kym Marsh – £400k

Kym Marsh will continue to make money through presenting and acting


Kym Marsh will continue to make money through presenting and actingCredit: PA

Kym Marsh was one of the most well-known faces on this year’s series of Strictly.

She shot to fame on Popstars, as part of Hear’Say, and then went on to star in Coronation Street, before presenting Morning Live - her current job.

She’s also about to be seen in the reboot of Waterloo Road.

Nick says: “Kym’s already busy and has a presenting job on BBC, so I can see her doing more of this and, perhaps, appearing in more reality shows.

“She's definitely going to make around £400,000 from this show.”

Will Mellor – £250k

Will Mellor could be making money from lucrative menswear endorsements


Will Mellor could be making money from lucrative menswear endorsementsCredit: Getty

Actor Will Mellor has recently popped up on Corrie as evil Harvey Gaskell - so it’s likely he’ll be staying on the cobbles for a while.

But the 46-year-old has also wowed Strictly viewers with his snake hips - and topped the leaderboard last week.

Nick says: “Will has shown that you can look good at any age.

“I think he will get some lucrative menswear endorsements and lots more acting work to make him earn well over £250,000.”

And those who will miss out…

Ellie Taylor 

Ellie Taylor will stay acting in Ted Lasso


Ellie Taylor will stay acting in Ted LassoCredit: Alamy

Comedian Ellie Taylor left the Strictly competition last week, after landing in the bottom two with Fleur.

Before the show, she was most well-known for starring in Ted Lasso, and Nick thinks she’ll continue with that.

He says: “I think Ellie will carry on the TV roles and appear on panels.

“I don’t think she will make the big bucks but the profile will increase her value.”

Jayde Adams

Nick says Jayde Adams will sell out comedy shows


Nick says Jayde Adams will sell out comedy showsCredit: PA

Comedian Jayde Adams is another Strictly star who wasn’t very well-known beforehand.

Nick says while she is now “a household name,” he’s not sure if she’ll be a big earner.

However, he adds: “She will sell out her tours and I can see her doing more TV.”

Richie Anderson

Richie Anderson will continue to present the travel on Zoe Ball's Radio 2 show


Richie Anderson will continue to present the travel on Zoe Ball's Radio 2 showCredit: Instagram

Another relative unknown from this series of Strictly was Richie Anderson - who presents the travel reports on Zoe Ball’s BBC Radio 2 show.

Nick says: “I think we will hear more of Richie on the radio, and he will appear on some more reality shows.

“But I don’t think he will make too much from his appearance.”

Fri, 02 Dec 2022 20:21:00 -0600 Hayley Minn en-gb text/html
Killexams : Duckpin Bowling Loses Its Home

Patrons who showed up at Patterson Bowling Center in Baltimore last Saturday found locked doors and signs saying the place was going out of business.

The Baltimore Sun reported that before the closing, a real estate developer had requested permits from the city to convert the two-story East Baltimore structure, which has housed the small, 10-lane Patterson Bowling Center since 1927, into an apartment building.  

This wasn’t just another local business going under. Patterson Bowling Center was until now recognized as the country’s oldest continuously operating bowling alley. And, according to the National Duckpin Bowling Congress (NDBC), Patterson Bowling Center was the last duckpin-only bowling alley in downtown Baltimore, the city generally credited as the birthplace of the downsized and at one time regionally popular variety of bowling.

The sport’s official history has been challenged in latest years, but for more than a century the most common and enduring narrative about duckpin’s origins held that future baseball Hall of Famers John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson invented it in the late 1890s while they were with the Baltimore Orioles of the National League. The story goes that McGraw, an infielder who became the O’s manager in 1899, and Robinson, the team’s catcher, thought up a game at a downtown saloon they co-owned called The Diamond on Pratt Street. To keep players’ arms in shape during the offseason but put less wear and tear than 10-pin bowling would, the barkeeps commissioned a local woodworker to shave down regulation balls and pins. They didn’t alter the length and width of 10-pin lanes. On a hunting trip after the game’s debut, the ballplayers were said to have noticed that ducks flew off the water upon hearing a gunshot the way the shorter pins flew off the lane when struck by the smaller ball. A Baltimore newspaperman put that hunting story in print in 1899, and the offseason pastime was henceforth called duckpin. Its popularity spread across the Mid-Atlantic region from D.C. to Boston.

“Losing Patterson is a big deal,” says NDBC executive director Laura Bowden. “I hate to lose any center. But Patterson is the last vestige of duckpin in the heart of Baltimore. That’s where the huge loss is. It’s more emotional. But it’s emotional.”

(In 2005, a researcher uncovered references from the early 1890s to a game called “duckpin” bowling using smaller pins in New England newspapers, or several years before McGraw and Robinson began talking up their alleged brainchild. Though this discovery is generally accepted, duckpin is nevertheless put forth as a Baltimore export.)

And though duckpin was promoted in its infancy as being easier on the arm than 10-pin, it’s not an easier game. Bowlers with duckpin leanings will tell you how much harder their favorite sport is compared to the standard 10-pin variety. A New York Times report said that 55,266 certified “perfect” games with 300 scores were recorded during the 2013-14 season by 10-pin bowlers. Conversely: “There’s never been a perfect game in duckpin,” says Bowden.

Like, never ever. The highest recorded score in duckpin history is a 279 game bowled in 1992 by Pete Signore of New Haven, Conn.

But duckpin’s difficulty didn’t hamper its growth in the Baltimore-Washington market, which was always regarded as the sport’s hotbed.

“People don’t believe me now, but newspapers had bowling editors,” says Bowden, 75, “and the Washington Star would devote two whole pages in the sports section to nothing but duckpin at least one day a week. I have the clips!” (Bowden said she was particularly fond of the newspapering of Henry Fankhauser, a bowling editor of the Washington Daily News in the 1960s and later a bowling columnist for the Washington Star, who is in her bowling group’s Hall of Fame.)

The news about Patterson Bowling Center hit me hard. I’ve spent my whole life living inside the D.C. Beltway, but I fell for what was then dubbed Charm City after college, mostly because despite being only about 40 miles from my hometown it seemed worlds away. In the 1990s, when I covered horse racing for a few years at Pimlico Race Course, all my favorite haunts were on Eastern Avenue in Southeast Baltimore. At Haussner’s, I’d eat crab cakes and strawberry pie served by waitresses pushing carts and dressed in what looked like antique nurses outfits, while surrounded by nude statues and nude paintings among hundreds of works by (among others) Homer, Whistler, and Rembrandt and an 800-pound ball of string. And Patterson Park just down the street regularly hosted amazing ethnic gatherings, my favorite being the annual and massive Polish festival where folks from so-you-think-they-can’t-dance age and fitness demographics would polka like pros around the park’s General Pulaski monument once the music started. And a few blocks west on Eastern Avenue was Patterson Bowling Center, a two-story building that from the front looked more like a hardware store than a bowling alley and from the inside was a proverbial time machine, with loud and usually non-working pinsetters, paper scoresheets, and ridiculously cheap prices for a game of bowling and food and drink. (Patterson’s proprietors also always allowed patrons to bring their own beverages, of any sort.)

And now all the places I loved most, the places that kept Baltimore weird, are gone. 

Haussner’s shut down in 1999; a Sotheby’s auction of more than 100 of its art works brought in $10.1 million. Organizers of the Patterson Park Polish festival got in a fight with the city government over fees and stopped holding the event off Eastern Avenue in 2011. Now Patterson Bowling Center is about to be apartmentalized.  

“It stood for everything Baltimore,” an employee of the duckpin alley told the Baltimore Sun upon its closing.

The sorry state of Patterson Bowling Center, specifically, and duckpin bowling in general are almost evergreen stories. 

In 1995, for example, the Baltimore Sun wrote a feature about the disappearance of duckpin houses from neighborhoods all over the city, and built the story around the dubious future of the Patterson Bowling Center, which even all those years ago was described as “a dying relic of a bygone age.” The aforementioned New York Times report in 2016 held that there were “nearly 450” NDBC-certified alleys in the U.S. in 1963; in its report on the closure of Patterson Bowling Center, The Baltimore Sun said there are now just 75 duckpin alleys still around.

Ten-pin bowling’s poor health has been getting attention for years, too. In his bestselling non-fiction book, Bowling Alone, author Robert Putnam pinned what he said was a 40-percent reduction in bowling league participation in late-20th century America on the growing disaffection and disconnection we have with each other. 

Hmmm. Anybody looking for villains in the demise specifically of duckpin need not be so introspective, however. You can find them on Wall Street. In the mid-1990s, Goldman Sachs decided there was money in bowling. The investment firm led a leveraged buyout of AMF Bowling, the world’s largest bowling corporation, for $1.37 billion in 1996, and took it public. High-profile mutual fund manager Ron Baron was among those bullish on what Goldman Sachs would do with AMF Bowling, saying after the IPO that the stock would hit $100 a share. Michael Jordan was hired to be the face of the bowling and was given his own line of signature bowling balls. AMF Bowling went on a shopping spree for bowling alleys the world over. Before it was over, AMF Bowling’s massive stable of bowling alleys also included lots of duckpin lanes in the Baltimore market. 

But it turned out the world wasn’t as ready for bowling as the big money people had forecast. Revenues never met expectations and AMF Bowling stock never took off. And early into the Goldman Sachs regime, corporate leadership decided that duckpin bowling was among the things mucking up the chance that investors would ever cash in on a bowling boom. And they began shuttering the duckpin outposts in and around Baltimore. In one particularly bleak day in March 1998, AMF Bowling announced it was simultaneously shuttering three area duckpin houses. 

At the same time, AMF was converting dual-format alleys that offered both 10-pin and duckpin into 10-pin only businesses. None of AMF’s 10-pin alleys in the market were closed at the time. 

Duckpin’s survival as a sport was further put into peril when AMF refused to sell the mechanical pinsetters and other duckpin equipment from the shuttered or reformatted businesses to owners of independent duckpin alleys in Baltimore or folks who wanted to open new duckpin houses. Charles Mackall, then the owner of Patterson Bowling Center, told me at that time that he was among those AMF wouldn’t do business with. It was obvious to Mackall that the corporation would rather destroy the equipment than let him or anybody that cared about keeping duckpin bowling alive put it to use. Mackall knew that the growth of duckpin was impossible, and survival of the game unlikely, if no new blood was allowed in. 

“What we’re seeing is a 10-pin company trying to do away with ducks,” Mackall said. “They want to see us all die and go away.”

A week after AMF Bowling announced this 1998 massacre of Baltimore duckpin houses, I interviewed Merrell Wreden, vice president of marketing for the corporation. Wreden told me the moves weren’t part of a plan to exterminate duckpin bowling. But he admitted AMF’s mission was to make money for investors, not to sustain a regional pastime. 

“This is strictly business,” Wreden said.

The shortage of duckpin equipment that AMF Bowling’s tactics exposed and exacerbated has never abated, Bowden told me, as her organization’s attempts to get manufacturers to produce duckpin bowling implements have failed.

“The damage AMF did was huge,” says Bowden. “I swear to god, if I could just find somebody to manufacture a free-fall pinsetter … There hasn’t been anyone interested enough in duckpin with any money to manufacture.”

It won’t heal the hurt caused by the loss of Patterson Bowling Center, but duckpin devotees might get some pleasure in remembering what an utter failure the billionaire boys club’s safari into bowling really was. About two years after the Goldman Sachs crew took the corporation public, AMF Bowling stock was selling for just five cents a share and it was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. The corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001.

Baron, however, the guy who told investors that AMF Bowling would soon be trading at $100, is still at it. Last month, he told investors to go heavy on Tesla stock. 

Sun, 11 Dec 2022 23:11:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Ask a real estate pro: Can our lender add insurance policy cost to our monthly mortgage bill?

Q: Our mortgage was set up so that we directly pay the property taxes and insurance. Our insurance renewal bill went way up, and we did not have the funds to pay it, so it lapsed. Our lender must have found out because they bought an even more expensive policy and are tacking the cost onto our monthly mortgage bill. Can they do this? — Cathy

A: Yes, the terms of your mortgage allow this practice.

When you took out your loan, you agreed to maintain insurance on your property. You also agreed to let your lender purchase a policy if you do not and have you pay for it. This type of homeowner’s insurance policy is called “force-placed” insurance.

Your mortgage lender is not overly concerned with the cost and may even have a business relationship with the insurer, so force-placed policies can be much more expensive than a policy for which the homeowners would shop around.

Worse yet, the coverage under this policy favors the lender but provides less coverage for the homeowner. Too many homeowners only find out about this lack of coverage after something happens to their home and try to make a claim.

Because it is more expensive and protects you less, you should start shopping for a better policy.

Fortunately, you have the right to replace the force-placed insurance with a policy your find which will lower your monthly bill and protect you better.

When you set up your loan, your lender was notified of the coverage and would have been told when you let it lapse. This can happen to people who already pay a monthly portion into escrow with their lender as part of their monthly payments.

If a lender does not get a proper notice each year from the insurance carrier or misplaces it, they will notify you of the problem by mail.

In my practice, I have learned that many people do not open their mail, especially in trying times, and even when they do, they often do not recognize its importance. This is understandable with the amount of junk mail, ads, privacy policy updates, and the like that come in the post.

Always open and carefully review everything you get from your lender and other companies you deal with.

©2022 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Thu, 01 Dec 2022 01:45:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Killexams : Thousands apply so far for $10,000 state home hardening grant program — but there’s still time for you

Thousands of Florida homeowners have already applied to get up to $10,000 in free state money to protect their homes against hurricanes — but there’s still time to get near the front of the line.

The program will disburse $115 million for upgrades to hurricane-resistant windows, doors, garage doors, impact windows, garage doors and roof-to-wall attachments. Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded as a $1-for-$2 match. That means for projects up to $15,000, homeowners must spend $5,000 of their own money to get $10,000 from the state.

But because potential grant amounts are so high, the number of homeowners who will be approved will be relatively small. The state Department of Financial Services expects to provide between 11,000 and 12,000 grants on a first-come, first-serve basis. If all grants are approved for the maximum $10,000, then only 11,500 applicants will get grants.

To begin the application process, go to, then click on the button labeled Program Now Live.

As of Dec. 6, just 7,047 homeowners had submitted applications to the My Safe Florida Home program website — fewer than the 11,500 who will ultimately get grants.

That means homeowners who have not begun the application process still have a good shot at securing a grant if they act soon.

Grants will be made available only to owners of standalone single-family homes, permitted for construction before July 1, 2008, with an insured value of $500,000 or less. Townhouses, condominiums, vacation homes and investment properties are not eligible. Qualifying homes must be located within the “wind-borne debris region” as defined in the Florida Building Code. The region include a U-shaped section of the state that covers all of southern Florida, the Panhandle, and much of the remaining coastlines.

Eligible improvements listed on the program’s website are:

  • Opening protection. This refers to installation of wind-resistant windows and skylights.
  • Replacing exterior doors and garage doors with doors that meet current hurricane codes.
  • Upgrading roof covering from code to code plus. Potentially, this could cover a roof replacement if an inspection determines that it’s necessary.
  • If an entire roof replacement is not necessary, the program will cover various roof strengthening measures, including reinforcing roof-to-wall connections; gable-end bracing; improving strength of roof-deck attachments; and secondary water barriers for roofs.

Homeowners who fail to apply “are missing a golden opportunity,” says Lisa Miller, an insurance industry consultant who oversaw the original version of the My Safe Florida Home program from 2007 to 2009. “This is a great partnership between government and Floridians to strengthen their homes.”

Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, sponsor of the Senate version of the bill that revised the program, said he didn’t know why more homeowners hadn’t applied over the program’s first 18 days. “Hopefully as more become aware of it, they will take advantage of this very helpful program,” he said.

According to department spokesman Devin Galetta, 3,257 applications have been approved as of Dec. 6 for free inspections to identify qualifying hurricane protection upgrades. Getting an inspection is the first required step in the grant process. Another 1,516 applications have been submitted and are under review and 2,274 had been submitted and were awaiting review.

Another 2,396 applications had been started but not completed by that date, a division spokesman said.

The state is expecting 140,000 to 150,000 applications but it’s too early to tell whether that many homeowners will apply.

Inspections have already been completed for some homeowners who submitted applications immediately after the program opened its portal on Nov. 18. Others are still awaiting inspection appointments.

After inspections are completed, homeowners will receive an email with a copy of their inspection report identifying which parts of their house already meet current windstorm protection codes and which are eligible for the $2-to-$1 grant.

After applicants get their inspection reports, the program will notify them with further instructions about how to choose improvements identified on their inspection report, how to submit a grant application and how to choose a contractor from a list of program participants.

A department spokesman in late November said that applicants approved for grants would not be required to pay the entire cost upfront and wait for reimbursement. After the work is complete, the program will inspect the work, review the contractor’s invoice and send a check to pay the contractor.

Still unknown is whether contractors will require payment from homeowners prior to completing the work. Galetta on Friday said specific payment requirements would be up to the contractor selected by consumers from a list of program participants.

Four companies are contracted to provide inspection services for the program: Palm Bay-based Thomas Enterprising Inc.; Pompano Beach-based Don Meyler Inspections; Tampa-based Beryl Project Engineering; and InterNACHI, a Boulder, Colorado-based association of independent certified home inspectors. In September, engineering consulting firm Atkins North America Inc. agreed to a $4.98 million contract to administer the program.

Ron Hurtibise covers business and consumer issues for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He can be reached by phone at 954-356-4071, on Twitter @ronhurtibise or by email at

©2022 South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Fri, 09 Dec 2022 03:38:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Killexams : MPs could be banned from going on reality TV under new plan after Matt Hancock’s I’m A Celeb drama

RAGING MPs have hatched a plan to stop politicians like Matt Hancock going on reality TV shows in the future.

The Lib Dems have tabled a Commons motion – dubbed the “Bushtucker Bill” – calling for parliament to ban MPs from abandoning their constituents to seek TV fame and fortune.

MPs have hatched a plan to stop politicians like Matt Hancock going on reality TV shows


MPs have hatched a plan to stop politicians like Matt Hancock going on reality TV showsCredit: Rex

If the motion is chosen by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, it will be debated on by all MPs in the future.

Hancock sparked outrage when he ditched the Commons for camel testicles and joined this year’s I’m A Celeb line-up.

He got paid a whopping £400,000 fee for the gig.

The disgraced West Suffolk MP shocked the nation by ending the competition in third place on Sunday.

Some members of the public grew to like Hancock after he gave it his all in a series of bushtucker trials.

But swarms of people still hate him for the way he handled the Covid pandemic, including when he broke lockdown regulations to kiss his girlfriend Gina Colangelo while still being married.

Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine, who tabled the motion, said: “This Bushtucker Bill is designed to stop MPs following in Matt Hancock’s shameful footsteps to the jungle.

“Hancock disgracefully deserted his constituents for the sake of his ego. In any other job he’d have been sacked for going AWOL.”

Ms Jardine added: “Matt Hancock spent days crawling through snakes instead of trawling through casework. He won food for campmates while his constituents wondered how they will feed their families this winter.

“People facing soaring bills deserve MPs who listen to their concerns and stand up for them, not use their position to appear in reality TV shows."

Hancock is due to make his first appearance in parliament since I’m A Celeb tomorrow.

He’ll be in the Commons chamber for the second memorizing of his private members’ bill, calling for all school kids to be screened for dyslexia.

Hancock claimed that promoting the bill and dyslexia more generally was one of the main reasons he entered the jungle.

Tue, 29 Nov 2022 23:49:00 -0600 Noa Hoffman en-gb text/html
Killexams : It’s hard to imagine a more grotesque exploitation than Prince Harry using his dead mother to flog a reality TV series


Another day, another nauseatingly self-serving whiny trailer from royal renegades Meghan and Harry for their upcoming Netflix trash-a-thon of their family.

And once again our two favourite downtrodden oppressed victims ramp up the cynical, manipulative amateur dramatics to try and make us think they’re courageous heroes defending themselves from horrible aggressors at Buckingham Palace and among the British media.

Meghan breaks down in tears in the new trailer that Piers described as 'nauseatingly self-serving'


Meghan breaks down in tears in the new trailer that Piers described as 'nauseatingly self-serving'Credit: Netflix
Piers says the trailer links and compares Meghan and the late Princess Diana


Piers says the trailer links and compares Meghan and the late Princess DianaCredit: NETFLIX
He says Diana was a 'hundred times more famous, pursued, and beloved'


He says Diana was a 'hundred times more famous, pursued, and beloved'
Piers has criticised Harry for 'using his dead mother' to flog a reality kiss-and-tell TV series


Piers has criticised Harry for 'using his dead mother' to flog a reality kiss-and-tell TV seriesCredit: NETFLIX

It’s all there, from the fake tears – remember that Meghan once showed us how, thanks to her actress training, she can cry at the drop of a tiara? – to the faux torment and anguish that they’ve already wailed about so many times I can almost mutter the lines as they sob and fume them.

The trailer even flashes up imagery of Princess Diana to try, once again, to directly link and compare the two women. Yet Diana was a hundred times more famous, pursued, and beloved, than Markle’s ever been or ever will be.

And given all his bleating about privacy and the media trading off Diana and the royals, it’s hard to imagine a worse kind of grotesquely hypocritical exploitation than Harry now brazenly using his dead mother to flog a reality kiss-and-tell TV series because he needs to justify the Netflix gazillions.

Lest there be any doubt that this series is just going to be one massive troll of everyone who’s ever dared to criticise their greedy ruthless two-faced nonsense, proof comes in an audio clip in this second trailer in which a commentator gushes about Markle in the build-up to their wedding: ‘She’s becoming a royal rock star!’

That commentator was me, and the fact they’ve used my quote is proof that contrary to popular myth promoted by Markle’s allies, I – like the rest of the media - was very positive towards her and Harry until their behaviour became increasingly ridiculous and hypocritical.

The couple’s main targets, though, are not just the media that they’ve always liked to use for self-promotional purposes when it suits them and abuse when anyone dares say anything they dislike – but their own family.

‘There’s a hierarchy of the family…’ says Harry, his eyes glaring with bitterness that he’s never been an immediate heir to the throne.

‘There was leaking, but there was also planting of stories,’ he adds, implying the royals were using the media to brief against him and his wife.

One friend then says: ‘There was a war against Meghan to suit other people’s agendas.’

And another contributor clarifies: ‘It’s about hatred, it’s about race.’

The overall message is clear: the Royal Family and British media are a bunch of nasty, uncaring racists who made their lives hell.

But that’s just a vile lie, perpetrated by two people who just wanted to quit royal duty for a life of celebrity luxury in California, funded by trading off the royal status they profess to despise.

Watch Piers Morgan Uncensored weekdays on Sky 526, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237, Freesat 217 or on Fox Nation in the US

The latest trailer concludes with Harry saying: ‘No one knows the full truth. We know the full truth.’

Oh please.

These two deluded narcissists wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped them round their smug little privileged chops.

To date, at least 17 claims they made in the Oprah interview have been proved to be total rubbish.

Piers says the couple are not only targeting the media, but their own family with the show


Piers says the couple are not only targeting the media, but their own family with the showCredit: NETFLIX
Piers calls Harry a 'spoiled brat son constantly publicly trashing his father'


Piers calls Harry a 'spoiled brat son constantly publicly trashing his father'Credit: NETFLIX

And they’ve already been caught lying in their first trailer for this Netflix series by showing a pack of paparazzi supposedly hounding them when in fact, the photo was taken at a Harry Potter premiere five years before they even met!

At one point in the trailer, Harry sneers: ‘It’s a dirty game.’

Yes, it is.

In fact, I can’t think of a dirtier game than a rich, spoiled brat son constantly publicly trashing his father and the rest of his family, just to make even more money.

And doing it now just three months after the death of the Royal Family’s matriarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is even more disgusting.

Poor King Charles and Prince William must be at their wit’s end.

I know I would be if any of my sons or brothers did this to me.

All they can do is wait for the latest sickening barrage to be broadcast and as with the Oprah onslaught, silently attempt to pick up the reputation-shredding pieces in the aftermath. 

And all the rest of us can do is watch in mounting horror as the Sussexes continue to do their damnedest to bring down the Monarchy and irrevocably tarnish Britain’s image abroad.

It’s a wretched, despicable situation.

The show even uses a comment from Piers


The show even uses a comment from Piers
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 04:21:00 -0600 en-gb text/html
Killexams : I’m plus-size and did a Shein online vs reality try-on in 1XL — people say I look better than the models

A PLUS-SIZE woman shared a Shein expectations and reality haul and people are shocked by how good she looked in the clothes.

Dolly Wilson, a comedy and lifestyle content creator, shared the Shein haul video with over 1.6 million TikTok followers.

Dolly Wilson, a size XL fashion influencer, shared her Shein reality haul


Dolly Wilson, a size XL fashion influencer, shared her Shein reality haulCredit: TikTok/dollyholly86
The first item she tried on was a houndstooth dress


The first item she tried on was a houndstooth dressCredit: TikTok/dollyholly86

The influencer is a size XL for reference.

The first item she purchased was a peplum, houndstooth dress ($22).

Dolly modeled the dress, which looked just like the product photo on the website.

Next came a black, ruched, mesh skirt ($14) that she paired with a floral crop top and beige-colored tights for coverage underneath.

Sticking to the houndstooth pattern, she ordered another peplum top in the print ($11.75) and styled the blouse with black jeans and booties.

Next was a cable knit cropped sweater ($19) that she paired with black leggings to match the black trim on the top.

Another sweater she picked out was a rose-colored pick with pearl twist-back hardware ($21) that she tried on with jeans.

She continued on the elevated basics trend with a few more sweaters.

Another was an earthy green cable knit sweater tied at the back ($23).

She kept switching up her color palette with a baby blue front-tie sweater ($19).

Last but not least came a cream batwing lace-up sweater ($25).

Her followers took to the comments to share their thoughts on the haul.

"GIRL as a plus size myself you’ve just made me want to go buy loads of new clothes," said one commenter.

"I have more confidence in myself, you are an absolute stunner."

"You look amazing, better than the original models x," said another.

"*sigh* FINE I’ll do another ridiculously large SHEIN order cos you’ve made all of these look stunning!!" said a third.

She styled a ruched mesh dress with a floral crop top


She styled a ruched mesh dress with a floral crop topCredit: TikTok/dollyholly86
She matched the black trim on a cropped sweater with leggings


She matched the black trim on a cropped sweater with leggingsCredit: TikTok/dollyholly86
She picked out another top in a peplum style and styled it with jeans


She picked out another top in a peplum style and styled it with jeansCredit: TikTok/dollyholly86
She picked out an assortment of elevated sweaters, including a pearl-detailed pink pick


She picked out an assortment of elevated sweaters, including a pearl-detailed pink pickCredit: TikTok/dollyholly86
A third was a front-tie baby blue pick


A third was a front-tie baby blue pickCredit: TikTok/dollyholly86
Tue, 29 Nov 2022 05:13:00 -0600 en-ie text/html
Killexams : Why it's time for borrowers to accept the new normal of higher rates and plan accordingly

Interest rate normalization is causing the cost of debt to go up — and likely stay up

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Mortgage interest rates have spiked in 2022, in some cases more than tripling from the lows of 2021. Five-year fixed and variable rates were in the 1.5 per cent range or less last year and are currently well over five per cent at the Big Six banks. So, what does this mean for young borrowers, rental property investors and older homeowners?

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Borrowers with variable-rate mortgages have in many cases already been contacted by their lender to increase their mortgage payments. The Bank of Canada estimates that 50 per cent of variable mortgages — or a staggering 13 per cent of all mortgages in Canada — hit their trigger rates after they increased rates by fifty basis points in October. Variable rates have risen by 3.5 percentage points since March and are expected to rise another 25 to 50 basis points at the Bank’s December interest rate announcement. The central bank estimates payments for borrowers who took out variable-rate mortgages in 2021 had risen by 20 per cent on average by the end of October.

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For younger people who finally managed to get into the housing market in latest years, the rise in rates is a particularly bitter pill. They are less likely to have extra savings kicking around to make a lump sum payment against their variable-rate mortgage, an option open to those who hit their trigger rates who want to avoid increased monthly payments. An important new year’s resolution for many young borrowers will be to look at their spending and plan for how to reduce costs in other categories to absorb the hit to their cash flow.

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CIBC and TD have variable-rate mortgages that allow some borrowers to add some of their interest cost to their mortgage principal if their monthly payment is insufficient. This results in a negative amortization mortgage where the balance grows instead of declines. Most lenders do not allow this option for their mortgages. But even CIBC and TD borrowers will only have a temporary reprieve from higher payments. When their mortgages renew, their payments will likely rise.

Fixed-rate borrowers have breathing room for now. But many who took out mortgages over the past four years at 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent can expect higher payments when they renew in 2023 through 2026. A $500,000 mortgage at 1.5 per cent amortized over 25 years has a monthly payment of $1,999. At a 5.5 per cent mortgage rate, that payment would need to increase by 42 per cent to $2,836 per month to maintain the same repayment time horizon.

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In retrospect, the mortgage stress test introduced in 2018 may not have been so unreasonable after all. Imagine how much higher home prices and debt levels would have risen in the absence of those measures?

A five per cent mortgage rate may have seemed unrealistic to many borrowers, especially young people, until the past few months. However, many people forget that the prime rate peaked at 6.25 per cent in Canada in 2007, just prior to the onset of the subprime mortgage crisis and resulting real estate collapse in the U.S. Many millennials were not old enough to have experienced six per cent interest rates firsthand fifteen years ago. The Bank of Canada also told Canadians that interest rates would stay low until at least 2023 when the COVID pandemic began in 2020. Combatting inflation with higher interest rates has proven more important than staying true to that statement, so some young people might be feeling surprised as well as misled.

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Whether you have a variable-rate mortgage with increasing payments, or a fixed-rate mortgage that may require a higher payment at renewal, the key thing to do is plan for it now. Inflation may be causing the cost of living to go up, but interest rate normalization is causing the cost of debt to go up — and likely stay up. It means you need to re-evaluate your spending to stay on track financially. If you sacrifice saving for retirement to maintain your current standard of living, you may be short-changing your future self in your golden years.

Many rental property investors have been happy to buy properties with negative cash flow in latest years. A mortgaged rental property with more expenses than income is not necessarily a bad investment given part of the monthly cost is going to mortgage principal repayment, which is more saving than expense. But now that rates are such that some mortgage payments are not even covering the interest, the dynamics are changing. Some investors have ignored the cash flow for their rental property and relied upon perpetual appreciation. The national average real estate price declined 9.9 per cent year over year in October according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

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The International Monetary Fund reports that Canada’s home price to income ratio is the eighth highest out of 58 countries it tracks as of the end of 2021. Canada ranks tenth for home-price-to-rent ratio, reflecting relatively high prices and relatively low rental income. The Czech Republic takes the top ranking in both categories with countries such as Hungary, Iceland, Latvia and Turkey also showing signs of irrational exuberance as well.

Rental property investors should be more cautious about their capital growth expectations for properties they buy or already own. For those who are getting squeezed on cash flow as mortgage payments rise, they should consider increasing their mortgage amortization when their mortgage renews. This will reduce their mortgage payment and boost their cash flow (or at least decrease their loss).

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Older homeowners who are expecting to downsize to fund their retirement should recognize the headwinds that could slow or stall real estate price growth, or even cause prices to fall further in 2023 and beyond. All homeowners, regardless of age, should be reminded that when home prices peaked in Canada in 1990, it took about 12 years to recover. Canada was in a recession for two full years during a time of high inflation and high interest rates due in part to the Iraqi war and an oil price shock.

Canada’s immigration target has risen significantly to 465,000 for 2023 and 500,000 by 2025. For the previous 30 years, the number of immigrants has been relatively steady in the 250,000 range. Housing bulls point to this boost in new Canadians as a reason for continued strong appreciation in home prices.

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Despite the planned increase in immigration, intended to strengthen the economy, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development just forecasted Canada’s GDP growth at only one per cent for 2023, which is 19th amongst OECD countries, and 1.3 per cent for 2024, which is 25th. World GDP growth is projected to be 2.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.

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My crystal ball is no clearer than anyone else’s, but the point is the high rate of real estate price growth in Canada for the past 25 years will be tough to build upon.

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Savers should reconsider the choice to invest in their TFSA or pay down debt. They will need to earn a higher return on their investments than their mortgage rate. If they leave $100 outstanding on their line of credit at six per cent interest, the balance would be $134 after five years. If they invest in their TFSA at a six per cent return, the balance would be an equivalent $134 after five years. Conservative investors may do well to pay down debt instead of investing in their TFSA. Both debt repayment and investing will increase your net worth (calculated as assets minus liabilities). Aggressive investors may still benefit from investing over debt repayment, as long as their debt is mortgage debt and not higher-rate consumer debt, especially given stocks are on sale right now.

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Young millennials may be too young to remember mortgage burning parties, which were a more common phenomenon in the 1980s when interest rates were higher. The near-constant decline in borrowing rates of the past generation made debt a more acceptable concept but rising rates may lead to more debt aversion. That, and the fact the meme stock bubble has burst and crypto is crashing, highlighting that wealth creation is typically a slow and steady race for some young people (and old people) who may have thought otherwise.

If a retiree is considering taking RRSP withdrawals or extra RRIF withdrawals to pay down debt, they should factor in the tax implications. If you withdraw $100 from a tax-deferred account, there is tax to pay on the withdrawal. You may be left with as little as $38 after tax, depending upon the province where you live and if you are a moderate to high-income retiree subject to OAS clawback.

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Canadians have had to contend with increasingly higher mortgages for many years as real estate prices have risen. Now they have to budget for higher mortgage payments at a time when real estate prices are falling. Borrowers have grown complacent with debt aversion over the past 15 years, but all that has changed. Young borrowers, real estate investors, and older homeowners all need to find a way to manage their mortgage payments and real estate price expectations and accept the new normal of higher rates.

Jason Heath is a fee-only, advice-only certified financial planner (CFP) at Objective Financial Partners Inc. in Toronto. He does not sell any financial products whatsoever. He can be reached at

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Mon, 28 Nov 2022 21:02:00 -0600 en-CA text/html
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