Kitchen Remodeling – 3 Things to Keep in Mind

If you are readying your house to put it on the market, it is important to consider how investing in kitchen remodeling could yield you a higher profit. While there are a variety of areas in the home that could be improved to increase your chances of obtaining offers that are close to your asking price, many potential homebuyers gravitate towards the kitchen.

Since so much time is spent preparing food and eating meals, it makes sense that this is one of the most important rooms in the entire house. Nowadays, potential homebuyers are looking for modern kitchens with advanced technology, which should be kept in mind.

While some projects can be done yourself, if you decide that you want to re-do the entire room, it’s best to work with a professional kitchen remodeling contractor. There are a number of things to consider, and they can help you achieve the vision you have for the room.

Appliances

When it comes to real estate, it is definitely a buyer’s market, and that means that new or newer appliances are expected. If your refrigerator and stove are older models, consider upgrading to new, modern appliances. In addition, if you do not have a dishwasher, you should talk to your contractor about having one installed. While appliances can be costly, it’s important to remember that you stand to gain a big return on this investment.

Painting

Putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls can make a big visual impact. While you may be drawn to a bold color, it is best to keep it as neutral as possible. You want potential homebuyers to be able to visualize the room and the home as being their own, and that is easiest to accomplish if the color does not reflect your own strong taste.

Cabinetry

Over the years, cabinetry tends to become dingy due to grease and dust build-up. Since some cabinets make up a large portion of the room, think about upgrading. If replacing the cabinetry completely is not in your kitchen remodeling budget, consider having them professionally painted or refinished. Even adding new hardware to the cabinets can change the entire look of the room. While you want the room to look fresh and clean, it is still best to keep things as neutral as possible for your potential homebuyers.

By keeping these three areas in mind when it comes to your kitchen remodeling, you can increase your chances of securing a favorable offer when you put your home on the market.

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Staging the Kitchen on a Budget – How to Ensure Major Impact With Minimal Investment

As the saying goes, kitchens sell houses, often sealing or breaking the deal depending on how it is presented. But not to worry, kitchen updates do not have to cost an arm and a leg as many sellers assume. Read below for some of the smartest updates you can make for little to no money at all.

1. Stain or Paint Dated Cabinets Instead of Replacing Them
Before you make the costly investment in new cabinetry, try a fresh coat of stain or paint for a like-new look for about $25. Glossy white or black are popular choices for paint, and either cherry or walnut are popular shades of stain. De-clutter and clean out the inside of each cabinet, lay down fresh liners and watch as buyers grow to appreciate your once-dated cabinetry. Finish the look by swapping your hardware for an updated new look in a bronze or brushed nickel finish.

2. Paint the Walls
The color on the walls of your kitchen makes a huge difference in how this important space shows. Green and yellow are great choices for kitchens because they’re appetizing colors, and tan also works well for neutrality and warmth. Just be sure to pick earth-tone varieties like sage green rather than doublemint green, or buttery yellow rather than highlighter yellow! If in doubt, go with the safer option. For a fail-proof way to choose colors for resale try a professionally recommended palette of colors like “Colors That Sell” (PaintColorsThatSell.com) or hire a Home Stager for a color consultation.

3. Lighting is Key
The lighting in the kitchen plays a big role in distinguishing the overall feel of the kitchen. If you have a fluorescent light, updating to a chandelier or semi-flush mount fixture is an absolute must. Still have the builder-grade brass fixture hanging over the breakfast nook? Spend the $150 at Lowes or Home Depot to swap it out for a classy new look in brushed nickel or bronze for a complete transformation of your eat-in kitchen that buyers will love.

4. Invest in New Appliances
Studies show that it does pay to update those old kitchen appliances. If your dated oven and dishwasher are taking center stage, it will behoove you greatly to swap them out for an updated version. If you can’t afford the stainless variety, go with black instead.

5. Keep the Countertops Generally Clear
Store away your extra accessories and appliances before each showing including can openers, coffee makers and dish soaps. Neat, unfussy countertops lend to a clutter-free feeling of spaciousness that will give the illusion of a cleaner, larger kitchen.

6. Cluster Accessories
Rather than spreading the remaining upscale accessories across the counters, group them together in clusters so the eye can bounce from group to group, appreciating the assets of the kitchen along the way.

7. Keep it Sparkling
Having a perfectly clean kitchen is arguably the most important part of selling the space. Buyers want to feel sanitary and fresh throughout their potential new home, and that is especially true in the kitchen. Make sure appliances sparkle, countertops gleam and cabinetry faces are spot-free. Mop the floor, keep any kitchen rugs washed/shaken and even empty the dishwasher before each showing if possible!

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Virtual Kitchen Layout Tools

Trying to visualize how your kitchen will look with all the cabinets, hardware, appliances and countertops in place used to be difficult, but now with the advent of the virtual kitchen layout tool, you can design your kitchen on your computer and know exactly how everything will look before you decide. These virtual tools allow you the chance to try out new looks with the click of a button. No more guessing if those granite countertops will look okay. You can see them in your virtual kitchen and take the guess work out of kitchen design.

But What Can it Do?

Virtual kitchen designers allow you to design your space as you want, and try out new looks without the prior commitment. Now, you can see exactly what works and what doesn’t, without the aggravation of removing or replacing it in the home. With the designer, you can replace and remove any of the features in your kitchen, until you find the precise design you like. You can drag and drop in features like doors and rooms, to get an accurate representation of your kitchen space. You can add name brand appliances to your kitchen to see how they will fit. You can choose your countertops and experiment with different textures and colors to create a cohesive design. Essentially, you can build your kitchen on your computer just as you like it, and forget about the design mishaps that can occur during installation.

Designing the Kitchen

The tools are fairly simple to use, with many utilizing a drag and drop style designer. You can choose from different shapes to mimic your kitchen, and even change the dimensions to ensure that the design has the right measurements. Other virtual kitchen designers will offer a photograph of a kitchen, and allow you to change flooring, cabinets, appliances and countertops within that one photograph, so you can see how they will match.

The best thing about the virtual kitchen designers is the fact that you can finally see how everything will look before you have it installed. With these tools, you can determine what features, like granite countertops, can work within your space. If you are considering a certain style, texture and color of stone, like granite, for your countertops, these tools allow you to try different ones in your virtual kitchen to see how they look. This will give you an idea as to which granite or stone countertops will work in your kitchen, before it is installed, so you can be certain that your choices will make the most of your kitchen design and not detract from it.

If you are considering a kitchen remodel or are currently building a new home, try out some looks on a virtual kitchen designer to see what choices will work best for you. You can save a lot of money in the long run by testing your design ideas virtually, and seeing what colors will work best for you.

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The Custom Shoppe Review: How to Design Your Own Kitchen Furniture

The Custom Shoppe offers you the opportunity to design your own kitchen furniture and have it made to your specifications. You will no longer have to worry about whether or not the kitchen furniture you purchase will fit the space you have available. The problem that most people have is how to find businesses that will enable them do that: design their own kitchen and make sure that everything fits where they want it.

So how is that done? How do you find companies that offer this service? Personal furniture stores offering this service tend to be local and relatively small, although some do supply bespoke kitchen furniture throughout the USA – and also standard pieces that you can have altered or adapted to meet your personal needs.

One of these is The Custom Shoppe, a business that customizes your choice of furniture to meet your needs. You can select your own woods and wood finishes, and also the dimensions of each piece to meet the space you have available in your home. Not only does The Custom Shoppe provide regular tables, chairs and cabinets, but also kitchen furniture such as floor and wall cabinets, and units intended to house refrigerators, dishwashers and so on.

Not only can you choose the type of cabinet you prefer, but also the wood: Oak, quarter sawn ok, cherry or maple. You also have your choice of door style, the style of glass in your wall cabinets if you prefer glass to wood doors, and also of the hardware: the knobs and handles. More on these below, so let’s check out the various options available from The Custom Shoppe, and you will then understand what your personal furniture store should be able to offer to you.

Cabinet units can range from small filler cabinets of 9 inches in length to larger units up to 48 inches. These are available in the form of spice pullouts, waste basket units, corner lazy Susans, sink bases of various types and dishwasher bases designed to hold your dishwasher. Units are also available that can accommodate a freezer and cooker unit, or even a separate cooking hob and high level oven.

Most of these units will be of exactly the same height, although the 24 inch wide pantry units are unique, standing 8 feet high in order to offer you the maximum storage space on the shelves provided. However, it is not only the kitchen cabinets for which The Custom Shoppe is renowned. They can design an entire bespoke kitchen for you, including wall cabinets and units and space for cookers, dishwashers and washing machines that are designed to your own dimensions.

You can have cabinets and spice units in white or any color you require, either painted or in your choice of wood or wood finish. There is a large range from you which can choose your favorite, including the oak, maple and cherry mentioned above, either in their natural finish or stained and varnished to offer a large selection of wood finishes. You can also select the style of door you want: kitchen cabinet doors are available in a number of molding styles, and also in solid doors or glass.

Most prefer solid doors for their base units and a mix of solid and framed glass doors for their wall units. The variations on door design are offered for all cabinet widths, either base or wall units. Then The Custom Shoppe enables you to select your preferred hardware from a range offered, with regular handles or knobs available. Knobs and handles are matched so you can mix them between your upper and lower cabinets and drawers.

What makes the firm’s kitchen furniture truly bespoke is that you can select cabinet widths outside of their regular range. So if you have a space left of, say, 22 inches to fill, The Custom Shoppe will construct a base or wall unit to fill that space. The same is true of your sink unit: if you have a non-standard sink unit that may, for example, consist of twin basin with a waste disposal unit between the two, you can have a base built to accommodate that.

Fundamentally, what this The Custom Shoppe Review is saying is that you can have anything you want made to your own specifications – within reason. Although the company offers units of standard dimensions, you can have your kitchen supplied with units of your own specification. Because they are all made by hand, they may cost a bit more to make, but you are not restricted to standard units if you are able to pay for bespoke kitchen furniture.

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I Need Custom Kitchen Cabinets – 3 Tips on Building Custom Kitchen Cabinets Before You Remodel

Designing your own kitchen is not only a great way to ensure that your kitchen meets all of your requirements, but it also provides a fun and creative way to participate in the evolution of your home.

If you’re planning to design your kitchen, chances are good that you’ve already decided to work with an experienced interior designer that specializes in custom kitchen and cabinetry. However, there are a few things that you should know about designing your kitchen that may surprise you.Getting cabinets built for the first time can be scary and be very costly. It doesn’t matter if you need custom cabinets in Atlanta GA or the high rises of New York City. Applying these 3 tips before you start your kitchen remodeling project will save you tons of money and grief. Here are the three:

Base cabinet toe room

Have you ever approached a kitchen counter expecting to be able to hunker down and focus on your work only to notice that your toes hit the base cabinet, keeping you from getting as close to the counter-top workspace as you would like?

Probably not.

This is because most custom professional cabinets are designed to provide amble toe room so that you can get an extra few inches closer to you work space comfortably-without having to bend awkwardly to see your workspace. Base cabinet toe room is a cut-out along the edge of the base cabinet that provides a few inches of depth and height for your toes.

If you’re like many people designing their kitchens for the first time, chances are good that you’ve taken advantage of base cabinet toe room on a regular basis without ever noticing it! Glance down at your cabinets next time to see if you have toe room in your existing set-up.

Heads up: designing your kitchen with base cabinet toe room in mind is especially important as you plan your floors. You’ll want to be sure that your flooring is extends far enough into the toe room and does not stop at the countertop line.

Aging in Place

As more and more baby boomers decide to stay in their homes as they age, custom kitchen cabinet designers are incorporating more Aging in Place techniques to make their kitchens adaptable to evolving age-related needs.

Aging in Place design, basically, means that a professional cabinet designer will take into consideration a client’s specific age-related concerns and build custom kitchen cabinets based on best practices to address those concerns.

Examples of Aging in Place kitchen cabinet designs might include kitchen spaces with handrails, lower cabinets and countertops, wider egress spaces to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs, better countertop storage for heavy appliances, and easy-to-grasp kitchen cabinet hardware.

Building codes

Many homeowners are aware that there are local, state, and federal building codes that influence the design of their homes. Kitchens are also subject to building codes. Not only do cabinet designs need to comply with regulations governing egress space and electricity, but there are likely to be various codes that are specific to each locale.

Homeowners should be sure that their kitchen cabinet designers are aware of local, state, and federal building code regulations-and that their kitchen cabinet designs are compliant with those regulations. If not, homeowners may face fines, be required to redo parts of their kitchen cabinet installation, or have difficulty selling their homes without costly revisions.

Designing kitchen cabinets is a fun process that can result in major home upgrades. When done well, new kitchen cabinets can significantly increase the value of a home while improving the way homeowners interact with-and within-their spaces. Look for a kitchen cabinet designer in your area who understands best practice kitchen cabinet design and can apply those best practices to meet your specific kitchen design goals.

Clark Cabinets Shop in Griffin Specializes in Kitchen Cabinets Griffin, McDonugh, Stockbridge, Peachtree City GA, Custom Cabinets, Reception Counters, Breakfast Bars, Serving Areas, Kitchens, Pantrys, Bathrooms, Handicap Areas, Poured Tops (shirestone), Interior Trim, Cabinet Interior And Exterior, Lighting And Accessories, Granite-Solid Surface

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The PayDay Loan Web – Don’t Be a Needy Fly That Gets Caught in This Web

my personal payday loan story that can help you

the term payday loan starts with the letter “p” which is the same letter that starts off the words pain, penalty, poor and poverty. Both the internet and the physical world are full of places where you can get a loan with bad credit, no credit check, and no employment verification but what these modern day loan sharks don’t tell you is that their interest rates are so high that one day you may end up with the payday loan mafia coming after you!

Sure, these loans look very attractive to those in financial need that are unable to get a loan by conventional means but when the facts are presented what you have to pay back just isn’t worth it. This fictional character that we all refer to as “guido” which is the person that comes to break your arms and legs when you don’t pay a loan shark back is in existence in a different way when it comes to payday loans. Instead of your arms and legs the payday loan guido comes after your heart, soul and peace of mind.

Payday loan places make their offerings look so attractive but it is all an illusion because who can really see when they are desperate? What you don’t want to happen is for what appears to be a temporary solution to become a long term problem and many times that is exactly what happens.

I’ve been caught in the payday loan otherwise known as payday advance web many times. Sometimes life’s circumstances leave us very few choices and we decide to do what we feel like we have to do to buy gas and put food on the table. Like I said, i’ve been there before and as a survivor of payday loan debt I have knowledge that can help you.

I want you to ask yourself a question which is, “if you don’t have enough money to get by what makes you think you can payoff a loan with 300%- 700% interest?” You might as well sell your first born child. Payday loans may seem good in the short run and you may get instant gratification and even a rush when you hold that cash in your hands or see it in your bank account but in the long run it is a race that many can’t win.

My story, like many, was that I obtained payday loans to cover immediate expenses I needed cash for but didn’t have money to pay the loans back so I got extension after extension paying out ungodly amounts of money. Before long I was getting new payday loans just to pay the other payday loans I had received. I was trapped in a vicious cycle with no way out and a ton of stress upon me. I became a needy fly caught in the payday loan web, especially since most of my loans were online loans; I was literally in a virtual web. The payday loan spider sucked the life blood out of my bank accounts and I didn’t know what to do.

Please understand that you can’t solve a problem with a problem and you can’t come out debt by creating more debt. The solution to your debt starts with gaining additional income sources and paying off existing debt little by little so you can be free. In my own personal payday loan crisis I got up to almost $7, 000 worth of payday loans and when renewal payment time came my entire paycheck was gone. This is a miserable experience that I pray you can avoid. You might already be at this state but even if you are I have some suggestions for you that will offer hope.

The first thing you have to do is to make a conscious decision to get out of this situation. Decide to change and become a butterfly rather than a fly caught up in the payday loan web. When a caterpillar is going through the metamorphosis in the cocoon in order to become a butterfly there is a struggle. The struggle is in fact what makes the butterfly great because the struggle to get out of the cocoon transformed actually pushes fluid from the butterfly’s body into its wings so that it can emerge in beautiful flight. This process may be a little painful but it will help you fly and be what you were made to be.

One thing that I did was to become an affiliate for payday loan companies so that I could get paid from other people acquiring payday loans. Some people are just going to get them so there is no reason why you shouldn’t get paid from the process that made you pay so much. The second thing I did is what really helped me which was to get a payday loan consolidation company to take on my debt at a reduced amount and pay the payday loans back for me on my behalf. It was one of the best choices I ever made and it was a way out of the payday loan web.

You can do a Google search to find companies that will represent you in this way but do your research and make sure that the company you choose is credible. I used pdl assistance, inc. They require an upfront fee to take your case but they will work with you on paying it and it is around $200. Next you set up a plan to pay them a monthly amount on your payday loan debt and they pay your debtors directly. They will give you different term options to pay the debt off and they will deal with the payday loan companies for you. Doing this took a huge weight off of me. I got a 12 month term to repay my payday loan debt at 35% of what I owed the payday loan companies. The $400 a month I was paying on this plan was much better than the $700 plus every two weeks I was paying for all the loans I had.

One important thing to know when you start a payday loan consolidation program is that the payday loan companies are going to call you to collect. When they call just give them the information for the company that is representing you and let them know that the debt is going to be repaid to them as part of a loan/debt consolidation program you have initiated. I obtained the fax numbers to my payday loan companies and sent them notification on who to contact regarding the repayment of my loans. If you do this make sure to include your account number and social security number so they can properly locate your account.

Some companies will continue to try and collect from you in spite of this so I have another suggestion if this happens. If you get numerous collection calls after you have informed them about your debt consolidation you need to fax and/or send them a cease and desist letter. You can get a template off the internet and submitting this letter will stop the collection calls while your debt consolidation program is in the works.

Another tip is to close the bank account you have the loan fees being deducted from if possible. You will want to start a new account before you close your existing account and under no circumstances get payday loans under the new account. You have to treat the payday loan habit like an addiction. If you are going to stop it then stop it because replicating the mistake will only make things worse for you.

If you need money then get bad credit credit cards and pay them on time to build your credit. Pay more than the minimum payment and use them to pay bills so you can pay what you need to pay while building your credit. No debt consolidation company can legally advise you to close your account but sometimes it is the only way to keep the payments from being processed and causing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in overdraft fees. For me this was the easiest way because I had so many loans and it would have cost me a $25 fee for every stop payment processed plus the bank could have missed some.

I also want you to know that the cease and desist letter can be used for any type of debt collection and not just payday loans. It is important to know your rights and you can find them out online at the federal trade commission’s website where you can learn about the fair debt collection act. You will learn what creditors can and cannot do regarding the collection of your debts and how to stop inconvenient and harassing behavior.

I do not encourage anyone to get a payday loan because it can get out of control so easily. If you must get a payday loan be sure to get one with low fees well below the normal $30 per $100 borrowed.

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Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Payday Loans But Were Afraid to Ask

A payday loan is a small short term loan you can use to cover expenditure until your next payday. You can apply online and the decision to loan you the money is made almost straight away. In most cases the whole application can be completed online and the money loaned can be credited into your bank account on the same day as you make your application.

A payday loan is an unsecured loan, so it is not dependent on collateral, such as you owning a house or car etc.

Generally when you make your first application you can borrow any amount up to £300, depending on your take home pay. You are more likely to be approved the less you want to borrow, so it is advisable to borrow only what you need. Once you have successfully repaid loans with one particular company they may then offer to lend you anything up to about £750 in subsequent loans.

Payday loans can provide a useful solution for short term cash flow problems.

Who can apply for a Payday loan?

In order to be eligible for a payday loan you must be over 18 years old and in employment with a take home wage of at least £750 per month. You must also have a bank account with a valid debit card.

Even if you have bad credit history you should still be able to obtain a payday loan as long as you fulfil the above criteria.

How do you get a Payday loan?

The majority of payday loans are available online, so there is no delay with faxing or posting of documents. The application process is quick and easy to complete. You will be asked for your name, address, details about your monthly income and employment, when your next payday is, along with the amount you wish to borrow and your bank account details.

Once you have submitted your application you should hear back from the payday loan provider within minutes. They will email you with their decision to the email address you have registered with your application.

Payday loan providers partly make their decision as whether to lend you money dependent on the amount you want to borrow compared to the amount you earn. Only borrow what you need, the less you borrow the more likely that your application will be accepted and the smaller the amount of interest you will accrue.

If your application is successful you will be sent, by email, your loan agreement showing the amount that will be lent to you, the repayment date and the amount of interest you will pay on the repayment date. Along with the loan agreement you should also be sent loan conditions. These loan conditions should outline your rights under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 along with details about repaying the loan, cancelling the loan and the use the personal information you supply when applying for the payday loan.

If you are happy to proceed you sign online by providing details of your name and answering a security question such as your mothers’ maiden name. Then, email this back to the loan provider and the money will be deposited into the bank account you registered at the application process. The money can be deposited in your bank account on the same day you make the application, so this is a very fast and efficient way of borrowing money short term.

How do I repay the loan?

You will need to repay the loan amount and the interest accrued on the repayment date as specified in the loan agreement. The repayment date is usually your payday, hence the name payday loan.

The repayment will be collected by the loan provider by debiting the bank account you registered at the application process, which is the bank account into which you get your wages paid.

Repayment over a longer period

Payday loans may be extended if you find yourself in a position to be unable to satisfy all or part of the amount due on the repayment date. If this happens it is recommended that you contact your payday loan provider as soon as possible and explain your circumstances to them. They will then be able to explain your options and how to go about extending your loan.

Even if you are not able to fully settle the repayment amount, it is advisable to pay off as much as possible on the repayment date. This will help to keep the amount of interest you owe to a minimum. Some companies may charge you additional fees for extending your loan, you should check if this is the case before you sign your loan agreement.

Regulation of Payday Loan Companies

Properly regulated payday loan companies must adhere to strict laws governing the finance industry.

As with any financial product you apply for it is always advisable to check that the company offering the loan is properly regulated. The payday loan company you are applying to should show its Consumer Credit Licence number within its loan conditions and it should also be authorised by the Office of Fair Trading. If you are in any doubt as to whether the payday loan company you are considering applying to is fully regulated then you are within your rights to contact either of these bodies for further information.

As long as the payday loan company you are applying to is properly regulated, there will be a recognised body to make any complaints you may have to and you can be assured that you will not be subject to any unfair practices.

What are the benefits of a Payday loan?

Fast

One of the main benefits of a payday loan is the speed at which the cash can be credited to you. The money you need can be available to you in your bank account on the same day that you make the application. This can provide valuable assistance if you have a short term cash flow problem and need money in an emergency.

Simple

The application process is very simple, it takes just minutes to apply for a payday loan and you do not have waste time posting or faxing documents to the payday loan provider, as you would with other more traditional high street loans.

Poor Credit History

Payday loans are available to people with a poor credit history. This is because payday loan companies do not solely make their decision to lend based on a persons credit history. As long as you fulfil the application criteria you have a good chance of obtaining a payday loan. For many people a payday loan may be the only way they are able to obtain credit, especially in the current financial climate where the majority of lenders are unwilling to provide loans altogether, never mind to a person with a poor credit history.

Use of the Loan Money

You do not have to tell the payday loan provider what you need the payday loan for. You can use the money for whatever you want. You may need money in an emergency which can not wait until payday for instance; emergency medical or dental treatment, to settle a bill quickly, extra spending money on holiday or even for a romantic weekend away. The choice is yours as long as you make the repayment due on the repayment date.

No Upfront Costs

There are no upfront costs associated with a payday loan. You do not pay anything back until the repayment date you have agreed to in the loan agreement.

Why does the APR appear high on payday loans?

The APR applied to payday loans appears at first glance to be high. This is very misleading, but there is a simple reason why this figure looks so high. APR is an Annual Percentage Rate, and as such is calculated over a whole year (365 days). However, a payday loan is taken usually only over a number of days or weeks.

The APR calculation was not designed to apply to very short term loans such as payday loans. It was designed to apply to long term loans in existence for a year or more. It is really a theoretical figure than enables people to compare similar longer term loan products, like mortgages or ongoing credit balances.

Rather than relying on the APR rate it is more advisable to look directly at the loan agreement to see exactly how much interest you will be charged for the period of your payday loan. Some companies have a standard interest charge for the amount you wish to borrow regardless of the duration of the loan. It is then up to you to decide whether you will be able to repay both the cash advance you receive initially and the interest amount on the repayment date.

To Conclude

Many people do not have savings or access to credit cards or more traditional loans and so the convenience of a regulated payday loan provides piece of mind should the occasion arise that they need some money quickly.

If you need money in a hurry, can not wait until payday and are confident that you can make the necessary repayments on the repayment date, this could be the ideal solution for you.

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Leadership Skills Are Necessary for Technology Managers in the Current Business Economy

Technology oriented careers have been making a comeback. Accordingly, talented technology managers are necessary in every area of the field – from Web design and development, to database-driven e-commerce, to software engineering, to technical service and support. Technology positions, from programmer to CIO, are also critically important in organizations from all industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, government and service firms. Technology professionals often seek career advancement but need the leadership skills necessary to advance their careers. In response to these industry demands, adult-learning and distance learning schools now offer technology degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, often in accelerated formats.

However, other necessary characteristics of successful technology managers cannot be found on a silicon microchip or in a line of CSS markup code. Some of these characteristics include a talent for leadership; the ability to communicate ideas and directions, and the ability to motivate and mentor staff. These skills are not taught in all technology curricula of the 21st century. However, some information technology and computer science academic curriculum designers are beginning to recognize the importance of teaching soft skills in the classroom. Accordingly, some programs of study now emphasize specialized leadership training for would-be technology managers.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that computer and information systems professionals typically require advanced-level training (namely, a master’s degree) in order to be considered for leadership positions in technology. The BLS also points to the need for technology job applicants to have diverse experience in technology systems and applications. This experience will allow them to lead staff who work in different departments and who have different types of technology skills. An additional benefit to pursuing training for technology management careers is the bright future outlook of this field. These careers are expected to grow 16 percent through the year 2016.

Technology leadership training programs at the master’s degree level will typically have two or three core academic components. The first core component, obviously, is technology. Students who pursue this type of master’s degree typically begin the program with knowledge of at least one higher-level programming language; and are comfortable with database management or development, as well as computer networking systems administration. The master’s in leadership and information technology course of study will build on students’ foundations in information science and systems, enabling students to approach these disciplines from a leadership and management perspective.

Students will learn to lead employees as well as communicate with all levels of the organization and customers.

In CIO Magazine’s 2007 State of the CIO survey of more than 500 IT professionals, the three skills “most pivotal for success in your role” were: the ability to communicate effectively, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to lead/motivate staff. In other words, leadership skills. The primary characteristics that all technology managers must have are leadership skills. These attributes enable technology leaders to motivate staff; to direct projects or business activities in a way that maximizes profits, and to ensure that staff on hand are competent and contribute to strong worker retention. According to career advice site Monster.com, the best managers and leaders in technology are those men and women who are directly involved in project management and task delegation, rather than those who give orders from afar.

In the tech industry, there exists a decades-old stereotype about the social inclinations of technology workers. Unfairly or not, they have been historically pegged as lacking in leadership skills and strong communication abilities. Industry efforts to disassemble this stereotype is one primary reason why students interested in technology management are able to enroll in master’s-level programs of study that combine technology skills with interpersonal and leadership skills.

The other reason more and more master’s-level technology programs of study focus on business and leadership skills is because technology manager careers have become more specialized and decisions-driven. Managers in tech fields must be able to assess the technology systems in place at their companies, and make system implementation and upgrade decisions that will be positive for their employees and clients. Technology must support and align with organizational goals. Making the right technology decisions requires developed leadership skills, strong soft skills, and polished business acumen.

As technology continues to change and develop rapidly, technology leadership master’s degree programs will continue to develop targeted curricula, integrating technology with the business world to produce strong leaders.

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Technology Management MBA – Curriculum & Tips to Choose the Right MBA Program

Whether you plan to enter a master’s program right after college or you plan to return to school after years in the industry, choosing a technology management MBA program is the first step in securing your financial future. In addition to competitive salaries, this career field promises to offer stability, growth, and versatility.

Technology managers hold roughly 293,000 positions in the technology industry. During the next eight years, the workforce is expected to grow by 17%. This means technology management MBA graduates will have an opportunity to compete for more than 50,000 positions in the coming years.

According to JIST Works, earnings growth potential is expected to be “medium” and salaries will vary by industry. For example, technology managers in scientific & technical consulting services average $124,100 per year, while research & development professionals average $120,070 per year.

To start a career in technology management, you should enroll in an accredited technology management MBA program. You can earn your MBA in a traditional or online environment. Most MBA students work in the field, full-time. The flexibility and convenience of an online program allows students to keep their full-time jobs while earning a degree at night, on weekends, or just about anytime.

A large number of traditional colleges offer all or part of the MBA degree program online. All you have to do is check the school’s online division or check with the distance learning department. There are also a number of non-traditional colleges and universities that operate (for the most part) in an online environment. For the aspiring technology manager, online business schools, as well as traditional schools offer MBA programs with concentrations in operations management, human resources, labor relations, finance, and more. Information about where to find online business schools can be found at the end of this article.

Whichever format you choose, there are a number of things to look for in a quality technology management MBA program. First, the program must be accredited. The accrediting agency must be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (Ed.gov). The top accrediting agencies for business schools include:

-Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
-Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
-Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
-Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)

You may also look for accreditation by a regional accrediting agencies. The following are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as well:

-Western Association of Schools and Colleges
-Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
-Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
-North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
-New England Association of Schools and Colleges
-Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

In addition to accreditation, you should examine the technology management curriculum carefully. In addition to technology and information systems, the curriculum should include advanced courses in economics, finance, accounting, business strategy, marketing management, human resources, statistics, manufacturing and production, and operations management. Major courses should include:

-Analyzing the Corporate Financial Environment of Technology-Driven-Companies
-Data and Information Quality for the Information Executive
-Decision Making Tools for the Technology Manager
-Enterprise Information Modeling
-Global Aspects of Technology Management
-Information Systems Policy
-Leadership and Organizational Behavior
-Managing Organizational Change
-Managing Technology Projects and Operations
-Marketing Foundations for Technology Managers
-Strategic Technology Management
-Systems and Information Concepts in Organizations

When it comes to admissions, getting past the front door at top colleges is tough.

Admissions requirements for top universities include transcripts from all institutions attended, a B average or better, high scores on the graduate record examination (GRE), and recommendation letters. The school should also require a statement of purpose or essay and other supporting materials that demonstrate leadership ability and the desire to succeed. It is important to note that competition for MBA programs is intense. Average GRE scores for top MBA programs range from 529-626 (verbal) and 700-773 (quantitative),

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Technology Management Is Essential in Today’s Business Environment

Say the words “technology management”, and some people have a look of puzzlement on their faces – they have no idea what the term means. Basically, technology expertise follows the same course as other strategies applied in the workplace in order to further the success and sustainability of a company or organization: Planning, organizing, staffing, implementing and monitoring/evaluation. The one difference is that in technology management, you add the “technology” factor to the mix.

Nearly every individual today knows that technology is meant to make life simpler and more streamlined. Today, information technology management allows companies to make their business more competitive by utilizing available information technology resources. Corporations and companies of all sizes benefit through information technology management, as managers and business owners discover effective ways to utilize technology so that the operation and standing of the company is improved in a competitive business environment. Technology management is necessary in all divisions, including marketing and communications, development of products, process innovations and reporting efficiency. Through these strategies, companies are able to create value and remain competitive with a cutting-edge advantage.

Information technology management can be useful in all levels of business, from online websites and internal business functions to management of daily activities in the workplace. In the corporate environment, information technology expertise assists owners and managers in determining the markets they choose to operate in. Most businesses today have an online presence in the form of a website; those in technology management can set up such a presence, making ordering materials and other goods easier and efficient. In any business setting, forecasting production and projecting sales is essential; information technology also becomes useful in this sense, since many companies use software to create this data.

In any type of technology management, it is essential that an individual or team take responsibility for implementing and developing strategies that are functional, efficient and designed to make the everyday tasks of business easier and more efficient. At this point, efficient technology management requires that employees and management understand how these processes work, and how to use them in the most productive manner. In today’s business environment most tasks, communications and projects are made simpler due to the ease of transfer of information between departments and individuals. This means that good technology expertise often does away with time-wasting, needless activities that essentially cost the company money.

In the workplace, it’s easy for productivity and efficiency to suffer; time necessary to complete tasks and projects can be drastically reduced, resulting in an impact to the bottom line. Good technology expertise often results in an improvement in all aspects of business, including finance, accounting, research and development and human resources. Various software applications, programs and computers increase the productivity of individual employees, making many processes automatic, accurate and more efficient. In order to remain competitive in the business environment and stand apart from direct competitors, efficient technology management is an essential investment.

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