Before you start shopping around for the home you want to buy, you should first speak to your finance broker or credit representative. It is because he/she will help you to get your home loan pre-approved and will help you to understand the pre-approval process.By getting your finance pre-approved, you will have the peace of mind knowing that:>> Your home loan has already been assessed;>> Your income and expenses have been verified, and you will know your borrowing power (i.e. how much you can borrow?);>> You will have enough time to clear up any mistakes or problems you may find in your credit report;>> The conditions of your pre-approval; and>> You have the upper hand when negotiating the purchase of the property with the seller (vendor) and/or real estate agent.When you are ready to make a purchase offer for the property you want to buy, you will find that both the real estate agent and the seller (vendor) will want to see a pre-approval letter. It is because the letter will prove to them that:>> You are able to make the purchase; and>> You can be taken seriously.It is important to remember that in a competitive housing market, any seller (vendor) will prefer a pre-approved buyer to a buyer who is unable to close the deal/sale.The Approval ProcessSo, now you know why getting pre-approved finance is important. To help with the pre-approval process, you should be prepared to supply your finance broker or credit representative with copies of the following documents:>> Your most recent pay-slips (i.e. less than 30 days old);>> Your Tax Returns for the last 2 years;>> Your Bank Statements;>> Any other sources of income, which could include:1. A Second Job,2. Overtime, Commission and Bonuses,3. Interest and Dividend income4. Centrelink Benefits (e.g. age pension, etc),5. Family Benefit and Child Support Payments received.6. Rental Appraisal Letter from your real estate agent, if you are using the property as rental property; and7. Identification Documents (i.e. copies of driver’s license and passport).Seek Expert Assistance and CommitmentMake sure that you choose a finance brokerage firm that employs a team of expert and professionally qualified finance brokers, who will:>> Take time to discuss your financial goals;>> Get pre-approved finance for the home you want to buy;>> Help you to set up a suitable financing arrangement that meets your needs; and>> Arrange suitable building and contents insurance cover for your home and contents.Having examined all the necessary documentation to verify your ability and willingness to repay the loan, your finance broker or credit representative will issue your loan documentation to the lender/credit provider for formal approval.The lender/credit provider will only issue the formal loan approval, after they have approved both you and the property you intend to purchase.
INTRODUCTIONPerhaps I should start by asking the question “What is a Home Based Business? This is any business operated from the comfort of the residential home of the owner.The next question is who is a Home Based Business owner? This refers to an Entrepreneur who decides to run his business from the comfort of his home.I decided to clarify these terms because there is a huge difference between a Home Based Business owner and a Home worker who might be working with a government/private organization but decides to be working from home once or twice during the week.Evolution of Home based BusinessMany businesses operated from home usually start as a Micro or Small Enterprise. Some eventually metamorphose into Medium Scale Enterprise and others eventually grow into quite large companies.The desire by Entrepreneurs to start operating businesses from home actually started in the 1980s. During this period, a lot of things combined to precipitate this massive desire by people to own Home based businesses.In the main, the combination of many factors like socio- economic change, improved technology and new management thinking resulted in the loss of otherwise permanent paid employment and this encouraged people to attempt to revalidate their freedom by opting to set up a business at home.The advent of new management thinking and theories like downsizing to make an organization Lean and more agile and efficient created fears in the mind of the average workerSo mass lay- offs helped create the right environment for some workers to go it alone and set up a Home based business.The period of late 1990 to 2010 can be appropriately described as the period of massive explosion in the establishment of businesses at home. The use of Computer, Internet and Mobile Technology helped in the growth of this idea.I strongly believe the idea of setting up business at home will continue to be positive and will remain so for a long time.The continued upsurge in the desire of people to own businesses has attracted the attention of Universities and other higher institutions. They have responded by introducing different courses and programs on Entrepreneurial studies to cater for these needs.Unlike earlier belief that businesses run from home are not well managed and don’t make good money, the present situation is that many Entrepreneurs motivated to set up business at home now have college degrees including a lot of high level professionals with business exposure.The entrepreneurial spirit is innate in all of us and we only need to be adequately motivated to take the necessary action.It’s really an exciting world out there.THE HOME BASED BUSINESS EXPLOSIONAs stated earlier, though the crave for running businesses from home started way back in the 1980s, what can be termed the explosion of this way of doing business was between the late 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium.(2010+)This coincided with the time when the setting up of a Home based business became a Fad. According to Mr Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, Home based business in the United States grew from about 6 million in 1984 to 23 million by 2007.With the help of modern technology like computers, mobile phones, printers and the huge power of the internet, more work is being done virtually than ever before and more global businesses are routinely being run from home.According to the 2012 GEM report, 69 percent of American entrepreneurs start their business at home from either a spare room in the house, the dining table or from the garage. The report further revealed that more than 50 percent of entrepreneurs continue to operate from home even after the business has taken off successfully and stabilized.Again according to Mr. Lewis of the National Association of Home Based Businesses, his own companies do training in 20 countries, import eyeglass frames from China and also develop condominiums.Mr. Nuyten of the Home Based Business Statistics in America quoted the following statistics as at 2012:38 million Businesses were operating from residential homes in AmericaA new business is started from home every 12 seconds in the United StatesThe Home Based Business sector in the United States earned Four Hundred and Twenty Seven billion dollars.It revealed that 70 percent of Americans would like to be self- employed.Entrepreneurship has become entrenched in the psyche of the average person. The Baylor University study of 2005 revealed then that more than 5 million jobs had been lost in Fortune 500 companies since 1980 while 34 million were created in small businesses.The United States Census Bureau data of October 2012, also revealed that the number of businesses being operated from home have been on the rise since 1999.The United Kingdom ExperienceThe continued growth in the Home based business sector appears to be a global phenomenon as the report from the United Kingdom will show shortly.The United Kingdom department of Business, Innovation and Skills released a report titled ” Backing for Home Business” which revealed that 2.9 million home based businesses in the United Kingdom contributed 300 billion pounds sterling to the UK economy. The report also stated that 70 percent of all new businesses in the United Kingdom started from home.According to Home Business report compiled by Enterprise Nation, 1,400 new businesses are started from home each week.This report also confirmed that out of a total of 4.5 million small and medium enterprises, 2.1 million are Home based businesses.Factors contributing to the growth of Home Based BusinessesThere are many factors motivating people to set up Home based businesses such as:
Losing one’s job
Being laid off in a time of economic downturn could be very devastating. With difficulty in getting new job offers, the next best thing would be to start a Home based business.
You are your own Boss. Literally, you can come and go as you please. You maintain better work/family balance. There are no set opening and closing times. You go for lunch and vacation when you feel like
Reduction in Stress level
The daily commuting, especially with the present heavy fuel costs is avoided. Also those train/bus rides to and from work with all sorts of characters is avoided.
No corporate office politics
You are not thinking of how to always please the boss and climb the corporate ladder. You don’t have to engage with difficult colleagues. Best of all, there are no dress codes.
Cheaper start up and running costs
It’s cheaper to set up a Home based business. A serious entrepreneur can get started with just $5,000. The main requirements could just be a computer, mobile phone, printer and a good internet connection. No rent of physical store space.
Some entrepreneurs set up business at home to bring in extra income to support a day job. Some people start the business as a part time hobby. Eventually the business may become very successful and the entrepreneur will now take the decision to resign from the day job.
Be your own boss
You are your own boss. You have the freedom to do things the way you want. There is nobody breathing down your neck reminding you of targets.
An otherwise loyal employee may become unhappy with the company for lack of promotion and motivation. The next thought is to set up a Home based business.
Opportunity to achieve Self actualization
Having your own business gives you the opportunity to make as much money as you desire. This of course depends on how much money you want to make and the amount of time and effort you decide to invest in the business.Advantages of running a business from homeThe desire to get out of the rat race, avoid the daily grind coupled with the power of modern technology make telecommuting more productive.Together with some of the factors already mentioned above, listed below are more advantages:
You can deduct some of your expenses as business expenses. These could be utility bills, insurance, mortgage and property tax.
Opportunities for Professional improvement
It is safe to assume that with the day to day running of your business, you will develop more business management skills.
Multiple streams of Income
With more time to yourself and the freedom to follow your lead, you can decide to explore other areas of interest and create multiple streams of income.Disadvantages of running a business from home.In spite of the almost glamorous attraction of Entrepreneurship, there are some disadvantages which must be effectively managed in order to improve the chances of success.
For some one that had been used to regular pay checks, having to go through some weeks without income could be a huge challenge.
Lack of adequate space
This could arise where work sometimes spills into the home space
Nearness of Family and Friends
The nearness of family and friends could become a distraction if not properly managed.
Lack of Fringe benefits
Fringe benefits like health and dental insurance and paid vacations which were hitherto being enjoyed in paid employment are no longer available.
Friction with neighbors
The type of business you are involved in could create friction with neighbors due to noise pollution and lack of packing space
Staying glued to the computer screen and in a small space may affect health and fitness. So try and create time for exercise and recreation.CONCLUSIONSo as the French would say Voila! There you are! The idea of starting a business at home has become engraved in the mind of people. Every day, people are starting thousands of businesses in their residences all over the world.Though there are disadvantages in running a business from home, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.Some industry watchers believe that crave for setting up businesses at home is waning and the general trend could be heading downwards.However, I personally believe that the trend can only continue northwards. Why? Because I see all the indices still pointing positive. The factors that motivate people to set up Home based business are still very much around. There are still massive lay- offs going on in many companies and workers are still feeling short changed by employers.To crown it all, the technological tools like Computers, Mobile Phones, Printers and the Internet which assist Home Based Business owners to work smarter and achieve more with lesser effort are still evolving.Therefore I’m of the view that the trend of setting up businesses at home is still on the upward swing.So, how about you? What do you think? Is the trend moving up or going down.Let’s have your thoughts.
On-campus education vs. online education! Is one better than the other? Can one completely replace the other? Indeed it seems that online education is the way of the future. Educational institutions, corporations and government organizations alike already offer various forms of electronic teaching. However, can a computer truly replace a teacher and a blackboard?How people learnEach individual has a form of learning that suits them best. Some individuals achieve fantastic results in courses taught online, however most people drop out of 100% computer-led courses. Educational institutions, as well as companies in carrying out staff training, must recognize that there is no ideal way to carry out the teaching of a large group of individuals, and so must design programs that best suits the needs of the group as a whole.People learn using multiple senses. This involves learning through both theoretical components of a course, as well as social interaction with both instructors and other students. Students learn from each other’s mistakes and successes, not just from what they are told by instructors.Each individual student has an ideal learning pace. Instructors are therefore faced with the challenge of designing courses that move forward such that those students with a slower learning pace do not get left behind, while not moving so slowly that students with faster learning paces get bored.Online educationIn the age of high-speed information transfer, online education is becoming a popular and cheap means for delivering teaching to individuals outside the classroom, and in some cases all over the world. Teaching can be via CD, websites, or through real-time online facilities such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms. However, different methods of online education each have their own advantages and disadvantages.Online education is still a relatively new concept, and in many respects still in the teething stages. As such, various problems arrive across different online education environments. For example:1. Lack of immediate feedback in asynchronous learning environments: While some online education environments such as webcasts, webinars and virtual classrooms operate live with the addition of an instructor, most do not. Teaching that is delivered through a CD or website, although having the advantage of being self-paced, provides no immediate feedback from a live instructor.2. More preparation required on the part of the instructor: In an online education environment, an instructor can not simply stand in front of a whiteboard and deliver a class. Lessons in online education environments must be prepared ahead of time, along with any notes and instructions that may accompany the teaching.In many cases it would also be necessary that the instructor not only understands the concepts being taught, but the technology used to deliver that teaching. This therefore increases the skill-levels needed of online education instructors, placing greater demand on educational institutions.Staffing levels may also be higher for courses run in an online education environment, requiring for example:The Instructor – able to teach both course content and be skilled in the use of technologies involvedThe Facilitator – to assist the instructor in delivering content, but may do so remotelyHelp Desk – to offer assistance to instructors, facilitators and students in the use of both software and hardware used to deliver the course.3. Not all people are comfortable with online education: Education is no longer only sought by the world’s youth. With an increased trend towards adult and continuing education, there is a need to design courses suitable for students over a larger age-range, as well as students from different and varied backgrounds. It is difficult, however, to design online education environments suitable for everyone.4. Increased potential for frustration, anxiety and confusion: In an online education environment, there are a greater number of parts making up the system that can fail. Server failures may prevent online courses from operating. Software based teaching applications may require other specific components to operate. Computer viruses may infect software necessary to run online education environments. If these systems are complex, students may choose the ease of On-campus education rather than taking the additional time and effort necessary to master the use of online education systems.5. The Digital Divide: Many people who live in remote areas and developing countries do not have access to computers, making any form of online education virtually impossible. For this reason, online education is only able to be targeted at the people lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the technology involved. Similarly, offering live teaching across the world means that different time zones and nationalities increase the demand for multi-skilled instructors.In addition to these, there are also several legal issues associated with maintaining an online education environment. For example, intellectual property laws, particularly those relating to copyright, may or may not fully cover electronically created intellectual property. For example, information on a website is not necessarily considered to be public domain, despite being available to everyone. However, the Australian Copyright Act was amended in 2001 to ensure that copyright owners of electronic materials, including online education environments, could continue to provide their works commercially.On-Campus EducationStill the most common form of instruction is traditional classroom-style learning. These instructor-led environments are more personal than online education environments, and also have the advantage of allowing for immediate feedback both to and from student and teachers alike. However, the classroom allows for less flexibility than courses run in online education environments.Instructors in modern classroom environments are still able to take advantage of several forms of electronic teaching tools while still maintaining the atmosphere associated with the traditional classroom environment. For example, PowerPoint slides can be utilized instead of a whiteboard or blackboard. Handouts can be distributed via course websites prior to the event. However, on the day, students are still able to actively participate in the lesson.Like online education environments, On-campus education comes with certain drawbacks, the most common of which is the classroom itself. This requires a group of people which, in a university for example, could reach a few hundred people in size, to gather in the same place at the same time. This requires enormous time and financial commitment on behalf of both the students and the educational institution.However, it is this sort of environment that is most familiar to students across the world. People of all ages can access a classroom environment feeling comfortable with the way that a classroom-run course is carried out. Older students who may not be comfortable with the use of information technology are not required to navigate their way through possibly complex online education environments, making On-campus education the most accessible form of teaching.On-campus education has one advantage that 100% electronically delivered courses can not offer – social interaction. Learning comes from observing, not only what is written on a page or presented in a slideshow, but what is observed in others. Most students are naturally curious, and so will want to ask questions of their instructors. The classroom environment allows students to clarify what is being taught not only with their instructors, but with other students.So, Which is Better?There is no style of instruction that will best suit every student. Studies have shown (Can online education replace On-campus education) that courses where online education is used to complement On-campus education have proved more effective than courses delivered entirely using only one method. These courses take advantage of both online education materials and a live instructor, and have produced results higher than those of students in either 100% online education or classroom environment courses. Students have the advantage of the immediate feedback and social interaction that comes with the classroom environment, as well as the convenience of self-paced online education modules that can be undertaken when it best suits the student.It would seem that online education environments will never completely replace On-campus education. There is no “one size fits all” method of teaching. Teaching styles will continue to adapt to find the method that best fits the learning group. Using a mix of online education environments and classroom sessions, educational institutions, corporations and government organizations can ensure that training is delivered that is convenient and effective for both instructors and students alike.