Corded Versus Cordless Power Tools – Which One Is Right for You?

No matter how prepared or decisive one is, it seems the question of whether to invest in corded or cordless power tools gets virtually everyone scratching their head. – To make matters even worse, as technology improves both styles of power tool, the choice between corded and cordless has become even more difficult to make. Between power cords and batteries, each tool type offers its own set of benefits and disadvantages, but, at the end of the day, the choice depends on you; weigh the odds and choose the tool type that offers you the most with the least amount of sacrifice on your part.

Consider what you need your tool to do for you and consider how you’d like it to do that. With those things in mind, ponder the following pros and cons and, with any luck, we’ll get your mind made up. – Since it was corded tools that hit the streets first, we’ll start there – with the bad news and good news of corded power tools.

The Disadvantages of Corded Tools
First, corded tools are tethered; they are stuck within about an 8-foot radius of a power outlet and, though you can grow this radius a bit with an extension cord, you shouldn’t and, if you do, you lose power and stress the tool. Essentially, the mobility of a corded tool is limited to the location of a power source and the length of its cord. This prevents you from working in a lot of different areas and keeps you pretty much always on the ground and always in a limited space.

Of course, the cord not only limits your mobility, but the cord is a safety hazard, too. Both electrical and tripping injuries are known occur with much greater frequency around a corded tool and, despite it’s proclivity for the aforementioned deviant behavior, a cord a real delicate component and must be treated with the utmost tenderness in order to keep the thing intact. Additionally, although you can replace a power cord in an electric tool, the process can be complex and, well, is always more difficult than swapping out a battery. – Although, I’ll say some good things about cords in a minute, they are simply awkward, generally inconvenient and can stifle working momentum.

The Advantages of Corded Tools
Whether you’re stuck to the a wall or not, corded tools have a constant, non-depleting power source. This has a huge impact on productivity allowing users to work literally non-stop. This constant access to full-power keeps users more efficient and, because corded tools are typically more powerful than comparable cordless tools, they (typically) deliver a consistently better, stronger performance. The superior power output of corded tools is not just on a use-per-use basis either – if well-maintained, corded tools often have very long, healthy, fruitful lives.

Corded tools are often lighter-weight as well. Without the additional beef of a battery, corded tools stay light while remaining durable. They’re usually less expensive than a comparable cordless tool and seldom disappoint. In all, corded tools are hugely powerful, durable and they’re totally ideal for heavy-duty, high-power jobs that require both brute strength and a continuous power supply.

—Thanks for sticking around; here we go on to cordless power tools…

The Disadvantages of Cordless Tools
Simply, cordless tools do not have a constant power source. Cordless tools reply on batteries for their power and those batteries in turn rely on a charger that requires a power supply to charge them. This is a long line of accountability just to get some juice to your power tool. Though battery technology continues to improve, these batteries are still heavy and, with the exception of the more expensive Lithium Ion batteries, most tool batteries will continuously lose power as you work. This means that every minute you use your NiCad or NiMH battery, you gradually lose a little more power. Although tool batteries will give you a good run and can be replaced after they’ve kicked the bucket, they are also expensive and definitely more spendy than a new power cord.

Additionally, and simply, cordless tools tend to be less powerful altogether. They are typically heavier than a comparable corded tool and they are often more expensive.

The Advantages of Cordless Tools
Cordless tools offer unmatched portability. This allows you to run from one end of your jobsite to another and to clamor up and down your ladder without the risk or inconvenience of a dragging, snagging power cord. Additionally, the technology behind cordless tool batteries continues to advance rendering them more powerful, longer-lasting and lighter-weight than they were even last year. Cordless tools store and transport easily and because they’re available in so many voltages ranging from very small to seriously heavy-duty, the benefits of cordless tools appeal to all types of crafter from homeowners to construction professionals.

Typically, batteries can be shared between tools of the same manufacturer and voltage and, on account of their streamlined cordlessness, cordless tools are ideal for outdoor use, use in busier areas where a cord may become dangerous, and they are essential for more rudimentary or preliminary jobsites that may not have electrical service. In all, cordless tools are more mobile and more versatile.

Looking at these pros and cons and knowing exactly what you need from your power tools (and how long and often you need them to do that) will help you find the tool type that best compliments your specific work-load and working style. Good luck and, whether you choose corded or cordless, may you enjoy a long and happy life with your power tools.

Guidelines to Select an Appropriate Automation Tool

In case you happen to be in a company currently engaged in manual testing of their products & you are thinking that by introducing automation there is going to be a shower of benefits; thus abruptly jumping to a conclusion of buying some tool simply because it is popular among many, may not be wise. What should be done now is to take a judicious decision through a scientific process to find out as to which tool will best be suited to your needs. Since this is an capital intensive move aimed at taking your company to the world of Automated Testing, needs careful examination.

When you are shopping for a proper automation tool, you will come across several people ambitiously marketing their products, which may provide solution to variety of automated testing needs. Now the question arises as to whether a particular tool is really suitable to your needs or not. Are you not inclining your choice for a particular tool by making lot many compromises in features. Think that in times to come, your testing needs may become more complicated by the variety of applications coming across for testing & that too under variety of operating systems.

Thus following guidelines shall be helpful in evaluating & zeroing down your choice of an appropriate tool for the job at hand, out of a bunch of many testing tools sold by different vendors.

Guideline – 1: Understand your True Requirement

First of all don’t look at & form any type of opinion about any XYZ tool available in the market. This is high time for doing deep introspection of your real needs. It is wise to prepare a comprehensive list of your requirements of software testing at the present moment. Identify the time consuming problems, which you want to solve with the new tool. Identify the technical capabilities your prospective tool should have to be compatible with the environment of your application.

Following checklist can be helpful in a judicious compilation of your requirements:

a) List down the Compatibility issues: Remember that the tool selected by you has to be compatible with:

– The operating systems supported by your application to be tested

– The development environments under which the application shall be created

– Third party software if any with whom your application needs to be integrated at some stage

b) List down the Users of the Tool
– List down the people who will be actually using the prospective tool. Keep the skill levels of the available persons at the back of your mind.

– Remember that more powerful tools are bound to be more complex as well. If the skill level of the available manpower (who will be expected to use the prospective tool everyday), does not match the complexity level of the tool, believe me, you are likely to land into many problems in smooth implementation of the tool in your organization.

– Think as to whether there is enough time for training your staff within the prevailing time & budgetary constraints, if any.

c) List down the Testing requirements
Technical requirements like the following needs to be listed down before zeroing down your choice on a particular automation tool.

– Identify the types of your own testing problems you wish that your new tool should solve for you.

– Identify the problems faced by you during manual testing.

– Identify the time constraints coming across while making minor changes to your system.

– Identify the shorter regression testing time frames.

– Identify the Test data setup requirements.

– Identify the Defect tracking requirements you are aiming at.

– Identify the Increased test coverage you are looking for.

– Identify the Increase in efficiency of the testing process you are looking for.

Guideline – 2: Understand the constraints you have

You need to understand various factors, which may compel you to drop down some of the tools from your initial selection list. Such crucial factors need to be identified during the early stages of your tool selection process.

a) Environmental constraints

– Environmental constraints can be either related to hardware or the software itself.

– The prospective tool must be able to work on the desired operating systems

– The prospective tool must not dictate the terms of having some specialized hardware for its working.

– Up-gradation of existing hardware like providing more hard disk / More Ram etc. to cope with the requirements of additional scripts and test data likely to be added.

– Consider your likely objections to your new tool running under some specific environment, while the software application might be required to run under different environment or operating system. This issue may gain importance from the consideration of the future use of the new tool.

b) Credentials of the Vendors & their Clientele
It is certain that you won’t desire to hang on with problems with your new testing tool. Certainly anyone would like to have a quick, competent & professional solution to the tool related problems arising may be occasionally. Following checklist may come handy in such a situation.

– The tool supplier must represent a genuine company.

– The tool as a product & its supplying company must be matured enough.

– The tool may not be worthwhile at all unless there is enough technical support available.

– Find out the clientele of the prospective tool & try to obtain the feedback from such organizations if possible.

– Find out the past history of the prospective tool?

c) Understand the Quality related characteristics
Following quality related constraints of the prospective tool should be helpful

– Identify the skill level required for using the prospective tool

– Verify as to whether it is possible to have multiple user access

– Identify the support and help documentation required.

– Verify as to whether it is possible to integrate the prospective tool with other tools.

– Ensure that there should not be any possibility of getting your data corrupted by the tool.

– Frequency of failure during realistic use

– Identify the budgetary constraints if any. Such financial constraints can restrict your choice of buying a particular tool.

Remember that it is not the question of just purchasing a particular tool by spending some money. In fact it has been seen that in many cases, the cost of fully implementing the tool can be much higher than the cost of the tool itself. Budgetary constraints shall be applicable not only to the tool purchase cost, but shall cover costs of licensing / AMC’s, costs of training and cost of tool implementation etc.

We can be in a position to evaluate various tools available in the market after compiling a comprehensive list of our requirements and various constraints.

Guideline – 3: Shortlist the most likely suitable tools

This is the stage when an extensive research is needed to identify various types of tools available in the market. WWW can be a good place to explore the tool. Preliminary study of the technical brochure of every tool shall reveal the capabilities of the tool fitting your requirements & constraints.

We can identify various features of every tool by classifying them like a) Essential features b) Desirable features c) Less relevant features etc.

a) Essential features: are the ones, which are extremely necessary to meet your requirements within the defined constraints.

b) Desirable features: are the ones, which will make a particular tool standout among many of its competitors. Based upon the presence of variety desirable features, your decision can be favor of a particular tool among many more.

c) Irrelevant features: are the ones, which are not of any great significance & may not be able to provide some tangible benefit to you in your present requirements.

Evaluation of the above types of features is the next exhaustive & iterative exercise. At this stage you should evaluate as much number of tools as possible and try to zero down your focus on around 5-6 tools any one of which could qualify to be the final tool fitting your ultimate choice.

The next step in the process should be establishing a contact with the tool suppliers & organizing a practical demonstration. If possible you can ask for an evaluation or trial version of the tool for refining your decision. At this stage you should clearly explain all your requirements of testing along with set of constraints to the tool supplier, who shall be in a better position to clarify many points left out by you during your short-listing process.

Guideline – 4: Making a Final Choice

Having gone through the above-defined rigorous process of evaluation, the time has come for you to take a decision in favor of one particular tool, which suits best into your slot of requirements & constraints.

a) Final Comparison of Features:

– With the help of all available data now you should be able to draw a clear comparison of the performance related features of the tools as desired by you vis-a-vis features claimed to be present in the technical literature provided by the persons marketing the tool.

– This is stage to go on for verification of the credential of the particular tool from the present users by visiting their web sites or making contact through other channels. This shall help you in refining your choice of a particular tool.

b) Practical demonstration at your site:
If a particular tool has already caught your attention, you can ask the supplier to organize a live demonstration of the tool under your actual working environment. This way you will be able to judge the technical capability of the supplier as well in providing support later-on.

c) Maintenance of Test Script
Proper maintenance of automation scripts & ease of handling them is very important aspect of the tool under evaluation. Although we may not be able to make an on the spot judgement about this capability, but this aspect gets confirmed during the second or third release of testing after implementing the new tool.

d) Final Comparative Trial
Now this is the time for conducting same test on one particular application time & again on each & every short-listed tool independently. This way you shall be in a position to make a final decision in favor of a particular tool out of a box of many.

What are Hard Money Loans?

For the purpose of financing your investment properties there are two options- Hard Money & Soft Money.

Soft Money– is simply money that is borrowed from banks and other lending institutions. This is the normal loan process where the loan is underwritten by an underwriter. There are rules and guidelines that are made by the lenders or by the groups that buy the loans from the lenders. This would include all loan types and verities.

Hard Money– is money from investors to fund your investment property. Hard Money is normally sort term. Hard Money is normally used when the property needs some repairs and rehab. With Hard Money you can finance the expense for repairs as a part of your loan. If you are able to locate a home with good equity you will be able to do the entire purchase and rehab with no money out of your pocket.

The Rules– since the money is coming from private investors they can make their own rules, unlike soft money above where the rules can be more restrictive. For this reason you can obtain money and eventually additional money based upon your track record and performance with a particular Hard Money Lender.

After Repair Value (ARV) – This is what the property would be worth after your rehab is competed and this value is normally determined by appraisers that work with your hard money lender. Normally Hard Money lenders will loan 65%-70% of the ARV. This is how it works. if you buy a home for $100,000 you can borrow $65,000, 65%, Right? Wrong. Let’s say the ARV is $200,000 you would be able to borrow 65% of that amount or $130,000, now you have money to buy the house for $100,000 and pay for your rehab.

Escrows– This is money that is held by a 3rd party, normally a Title Company, for a specific purpose. In the case of Hard Money Lending they would escrow your repair money and in some instances they would escrow your first couple of payments. This is done to ensure that the work on the property is actually completed. When you first apply for your Hard Money Loan for a specific property you would prepare a work sheet of what needs to be done and the cost of that work. This would be used to set up your escrow account.

Draws– The way the money for repairs is disbursed is by using draws. The Hard Money Lender would physically inspect the property to ensure the work was actually done and disburse the money accordingly. The money is not released all at once, rather in gradual portions as the work is completed. Each portion is a draw.

When & Why– There is a time a place to use Hard Money Loans. Normally for Soft Money to be used the property needs to have a roof, windows, doors, floor coverings. If the property does need some work this is called deferred maintenance. This would be noted by the appraiser when the appraisal is done. Traditionally if this number is over $2,000 you would not be able to receive a Soft Money Loan. The other reason investors use Hard Money Loans is so they do not need to use any of their money or to personally fund their project. As you can see a good portion of the properties an investor buys would be financed with a Hard Money Loan. This is due to the fact that most foreclosed properties are not well kept. However, there are always exceptions to this.

What Exactly Is a Hard Money Loan Company and Where Is It Possible to Locate Them?

Hard money is mostly a phrase which is used to distinguish a sort of loan which can be completely different from traditional bank lending. Loans from banks are often times made to amazing consumers while using terrific real estate as security. Any loans that will be funded by using a hard money lender are often real estate structured loans. This means the underlying property is definitely the significant focus for the lender. The particular property is definitely the most important aspect for the simple reason that it is the property that will be the most crucial source of reimbursement for that loan. The debtor can be taken into consideration, though a lot less emphasis is placed on them.

Any time the lender will be examining a loan case, there are specific elements the loan originator may need to fully understand. The main item of material importance they will likely want answered is what is the property. There are lots of property styles and certain hard money loan companies can be interested in simply a minor segment, while other companies could fund a loan relating to every one of the property types. A further issue the lender would have is in connection with valuation of this property. The worth of the property can be decided by a professional, such as an appraiser, or possibly by the judgment of a real estate professional. Periodically the tax-assessed value of the property is enough. The moment the particular property is actually identified and also the value figured out, the next piece of information that is desired is the loan amount required.

Acquiring the following essential information lets the hard money lender decide if your loan demand can be accomplished. Then, more information will be expected. Any additional information could be, budgetary records, images of the property, and even more.

Now that the loan provider has underwritten your loan, it is not uncommon for them to fund the loan in a short time frame. In some cases, the loan can be structured in only a single week. It is very important to take note, that your loan with a hard money lender is usually more costly compared to a traditional bank. The rates plus charges can be more than what will you pay if you got a loan from a bank. Even though the use of a hard money lender may seem interesting when you consider the quickness in funding that loan, along with the easier underwriting standards, it’ll cost far more.

In cases where a borrower cannot acquire a loan from the bank, you’ll find alternatives when you look at a loan with a hard money loan company instead. To find a lender the most effective way will be to search the web. By means of keywords and phrases that are targeted towards your property, together with your specific site location, a lot of solutions could be available to choose from. A few lenders will look at loans that are anywhere in the US. Some others are specific towards an area, like Oregon. While others mainly need to do loans inside some urban cities, like Seattle.

To acquire more information on the subject of hard money and the lending products hard money lenders supply you’re able to learn plenty by performing a search on the net and at different web pages.

Hard Money Loans – Best Way to Fund Your REI Business

As a real estate investor, it is important to have someone who can back you up financially, especially if you are just starting out in the housing business. One way to obtain funds for your investing business is to approach banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions. But if you’re not qualified to obtain a loan from these lending institutions, don’t fret because there is still someone who’s still willing to help you.

When it comes to securing funds for real estate investing or REI, the loan provide by hard money lenders is the best. Known as a hard money loan or HML, it is one of the most common types of creative financing. Unlike in traditional financing, hard money lenders verify a loan’s eligibility according to the value of the property that serves as the collateral. If the property can attract a good deal, the lenders would likely approve the loan application.

Aside from this, acquiring HMLs has a lot of advantages compared to traditional loans. Listed below are some of them:

– Because HML lenders do not care about a borrower’s credit score, the loan approval time is shorter. You can obtain the funds you need in just a matter of days, not weeks or months.

– You don’t have to produce documents and other credentials, as well as deal with a processing team, which is a common procedure in banks and other conventional lending institutions.

– You can acquire a property without spending a single dollar since there are instances that lenders provide 100% financing on some deals.

– Some HMLs cover a property’s repair cost.

However, one of the downsides of acquiring hard money loans is that HMLs have higher interest rates and origination fees, which are used to process a loan application. But the good news is that interest rates nowadays are relatively lower than in recent years. Because of the stiff competition, many lenders are forced to reduce their rates to attract clients.

Meanwhile, one of the best ways to find hard money lenders is to ask your fellow real estate investors for referrals. Since most of them have experience in working with these lenders, they can give you good leads. Asking settlement attorneys and titles companies for recommendations is a good alternative, too, since they are the ones who prepare loan documents for these individuals.

Investing In Hard Money Loan Specialists

If you are flush with funds and are seeking to find a good investment venue where you could deposit your capital, you should be looking at investment opportunities that would surely provide good and secured returns. Why not invest in a hard money specialist? Check out Coastal La Jolla Funding and see how the company could provide you with a good investment chance. Coastal La Jolla Finding is specifically known as a provider of hard money loans. The business is at the bullish side because more borrowers are filing loans at the company.

You know that hard money personal loans and poor credit loans are implementing significantly higher interest rates. That is a usual market practice and is legitimate. That is because such loans are posing greater risks to the lenders. Borrowers of such loan facilities are usually on the desperate side to accept and conform to the high interest rate provisions. That is why hard money loan specialists are also earning more than conventional loan providers. In fact, among the fastest growing financial firms not just in the United States but all around the world are hard money or poor credit loan providers.

That is a good reason why investors flock to hard money loan providers. Like most financial firms, such entities are welcoming investments because doing so is helping them expand and broaden their overall capital. Hard money loan providers know that to be able to attract and motivate investors, good investment rates and returns must be secured and provided. As an investor, it is logical that you aim to place your investments and resources at venues where they can grow to the fullest.

At Costal La Jolla Funding, you can be rest assured that your money would be productive. Some current investors even assert that their investments in the company are earning better that in any other venues. Investments in such loan providers are comparatively faster paced and more yielding than those at equities and other opportunities.

The sub prime mortgage lending sector is problematic during the current times. But Coastal La Jolla Funding sees this slump not as a setback but as an opportunity to further grow businesses. By sticking to such loans and to hard money loans, the company is proving that bad times could be converted into the best profit generating moments.

How can you be assured that the company would not fail? First, Coastal La Jolla Funding has strategies to secure itself and the hard money loans it provides. The company takes some equities to the mortgage loans and several other assets of the borrowers. Thus, no matter what happens, the company is holding security and is ensured that losses on loans even if borrowers become delinquent would not be incurred.

There are also existing legal contracts that are binding the company and its borrowers. Thus, there is a great assurance that the loan facilities are tenured and secured. Before making and placing the investment, you would be oriented to the basic company operations. If you would have any queries or doubts, you could easily raise your concerns and the company would be quick to address those issues.

There would also be secured contracts between you and Coastal La Jolla Funding to give you peace of mind over your investments. You will have the option on the frequency and terms of your investment. If you want, you could opt to collect returns annually, bi-annually or whatever term period you may like.

Investing in Coastal La Jolla Funding can also be considered a good deed and advocacy. If you want to help out financially needy people, investing in the company could be a good revenue and at the same time profitable. You know that most consumers nowadays are finding it hard to secure much needed and necessary loans. Hard money loans providers like Coastal La Jolla Finding is are somehow helping them raise money for their urgent needs for investments, startup businesses and even personal matters.

What is a Hard Money Loan?

Private loan money is most often referred to as hard money, and usually the loan comes from a source that specializes in structuring such loans. More often than not a hard money loan will consist of a first mortgage on a residence thus creating hard money residential loans. There are a number of identifying factors involved in private loan money that will be referred to as a hard money loan.

For instance, as mentioned it is usually a first mortgage. Because the borrower’s credit does not matter as much as the amount of equity in the property, a first will in effect prevent a possible loss of the entire property if, for instance, another loan is “ahead” of the hard money loan. The reason why the borrower’s credit does not matter much for private loan money is that the lender looks to the property for its security, and the lender is also being paid dearly for the chance that the lender is taking by basing all the money on the property value alone.

You see, another facet of a hard moneylender is the fact that they usually charge very high interest rates as well as high points. At times, if the property is secure enough, those high points will be rolled into the actual loan. Often the loan is not paid in the typical Principle + Interest (PI) but more than likely is interest only with a balloon at the end of the stated loan period. In this manner, in effect, the borrower is paying interest on interest, since points are interest, and since the mortgage may have been calculated including the points, then every payment the borrower makes, paying interest only, is actually interest on interest.

Generally, most hard moneylenders want a careful appraisal of the property. This is again used as part of the protection that the private loan money lender desires. The lender will look at the Loan to Value Ratio (LTV), which is the percentage amount that the loan will be against the current value of the property. For instance a 70/30 LTV on a property appraised at $100,000 means that the lender would lend $70,000 against that property.

Taking this example further, let’s assume that the hard money residential loan on the property is $70,000 and the deal will bring the lender 5 points at a 12% interest rate, payable interest only. The loan is due and payable in its entirety in 2 years.

5 points is equal to $3,500. ($70,000 X.05), and at 12% a year, the lender would receive payments of ($70,000 X.12 = $8,400 per year divided by 12 months= $700 per month) $700 each month for two years. Remember that points are collected at closing when the loan is actually made. Thus in interest only the lender will make $3,500 + $8,400 + $8,400 = $29,300 in just two years. Perhaps you can see why individuals liked to make hard money residential loans!

However, with property values falling so quickly many hard money lenders took quite a beating. With a loss of approximately 40% of the value originally appraised for, the lender now must also go through foreclosure, which is going to cost the lender at least $8,000, plus eviction proceedings costing about $1,000, and they still must bear the costs of repairs on the house which the evicted owner may have completely trashed, as well as any unpaid taxes.

Optimizing Your Tool Belt: Work More Efficiently With the Right Tools Always in Reach

A tool belt is one of the most important pieces of a builder or tool user’s repertoire. A good tool belt keeps you safer and more productive on the job, it keeps your hands free when you need them and ensures you have easy access to a whole arsenal of tools, no matter where you are or when you need them. Whether you’re on the ladder, on the roof, or anywhere out of the shop, a tool belt promises you’ll have exactly what you need.

So tool belts are great, right? But what exactly do you stock them with? How do you find a balance between being prepared and being totally bogged down by odds and ends? The key is knowing the work you have ahead of you and being familiar with the functions of each of your hand tools and accessories. Foreseeing the future, though, is a lot easier said than done and, accordingly, I’ve put together a list of gadgets that together comprise the ideal, generic tool belt.

But first! Please allow me to provide a few tips about using, wearing and stocking your tool belt.

Tool Belt Tips

– Ensure you invest in a tool belt that is designed for your dominant hand. You shouldn’t have to reach around your body to grab your hammer with the hand that swings it.

– In your tool belt store your most commonly used tools on your dominant side and the tools you reach for less frequently on your secondary side.

– Keep fasteners (like screws and nails) on your secondary side so that your “helping-hand” can seamlessly feed fasteners to your dominant hand.

– When you need to bend or adjust your balance/load, try rotating your tool belt 180-degrees. This puts the weight behind you and keeps your tools from impeding your movement (especially in crouched or awkward positions).

– If your tool belt gets particularly bulky, invest in a pair of wide-band industrial suspenders. This will disperse the weight and save your back.

– Don’t put yourself in a corner with inferior equipment – invest in high-quality tools. You don’t have to break the bank to buy a good product and, if you have to sacrifice high-tech for high-quality, do it. There is nothing worse for your productivity or your budget than struggling with poorly fabricated tools.

And finally, here is a list of essential items for your tool belt with a brief explanation of why these tools are important and what to look for in a good one.

Essential Tools for Your Tool Belt

Pencil and Pen/Sharpie
In your tool belt, square carpenter’s pencils are preferred. Their shape prevents the pencil from rolling and increases their durability. Keep at least 2 pencils on-hand as you never know when a tip will break or when you’ll drop one from atop your ladder. Also carry a pen or permanent marker for marks that require a little extra distinguishing.

While you may choose a hammer with a wood, steel or fiberglass handle, the most important thing to consider is the quality and balance of the hammer as a whole. Ensure the hammer is not too flimsy and not too heavy. You may also choose between a hammer with a rip claw and a curved claw. Though the curved claw is more traditional, the rip claw can double as a hatchet if you need to chop something (albeit roughly) in a pinch.

4-in-1 Screwdriver
A 4-in-1 screwdriver offers 2 common sizes of both Phillips head and flat-head tips. This eliminates the need to carry multiple screwdrivers.

If you don’t carry a pouch for your screws and nails, it can’t hurt to carry a handful of fasteners in your tool belt. You never know when you’ll need to replace a screw or hammer a few nails; accordingly, it’s also smart to carry various sizes.

Nail Sets (in the 3 most common sizes)
For setting nails (or driving them below a surface) or for poking a hole or two, there is nothing so helpful as a nail set. Keep multiple sizes on-hand and you’ll use them often.

30-Foot Tape Measure
Anything larger than a 30-foot tape may not fit exceptionally well (or at all) in a standard tool belt. Accordingly, invest a 30-foot or 25-foot measuring tape with a 1-inch blade (this will ensure better reach with less buckling). Durability is important as tapes often get knocked around and because you will use the thing constantly.

Rafter Square/Speed Square
Though there are many uses for a rafter square, you will most commonly use this for marking both straight and angled cuts on virtually every cutting material. Choose a square made of thick aluminum or thick plastic as the thinner models don’t hold up.

Chalk Line
Use a chalk line to mark perfectly straight lines in a flash (or, more accurately, a “flick”). These are great for marking long cut lines or perimeters, but, as a cautionary tale, use only blue chalk on surfaces you want to keep clean (red chalk will stain).

Utility Knife
You will use a good utility knife to cut everything. You may choose a standard knife or an upgraded knife with a quick-change blade. In either case, invest in a higher-grade cutter to reduce blade wobble.

Cat’s Paw
A cat’s paw will help you pull or pry just about everything. Literally, these tools are ideal for nail pulling but can also contribute to light demolition, chiseling or scraping.

3/4-Inch Chisel (or set of 3: ½-Inch, ¾-Inch, 1-Inch)
A tough 3/4-inch chisel is ideal for a wide range applications from scraping, cutting and prying. You’ll likely reach for your chisel frequently so although a 3/4-inch should do everything you need it to, it’s good to have a few sizes on-hand.

1-Inch Putty Knife
For scraping, prying and applying stuff, a durable putty knife can be incredibly useful.

Needle Nose Pliers
With their long, skinny nose, strong gripping power and wire cutting capability, needle nose pliers are incredibly useful. You’ll use them for everything from reaching into tight spaces to gripping objects, to untying knots and bending and cutting wire.

Slip Joint Pliers
Because slip joint pliers can be adjusted to accommodate different sizes, you will use this tool for many tugging, pulling and twisting applications.

Electrical Tape
Electrical tape is a kind of insulating tape that is both weather and heat resistant. It’s durable yet stretchy, it’s typically made of vinyl and it’s most commonly used to insulate electrical wires. Because electrical tape can be torn by hand and because it generally removes cleanly from surfaces, it can be used like regular tape for taping/bonding, labeling, bandaging or etc.

Safety Gear (Dust Mask, Safety Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection)
Always remember your safety gear – your gloves, glasses, masks, earplugs and etc. Don’t be caught with debris in your eye or a blow-up ear drum when you can easily avoid injuries on the job. Be safe, smart and careful.

And that does it! Of course, the items you’ll need to keep in your tool belt will differ slightly from this list (and will differ slightly still from your neighbor’s list or your best friend’s list, and may differ again depending upon the job you’re doing) but these basics will get you well on your way to finding perfect bliss with your tool belt. Good luck and happy crafting!

Commercial Hard Money Loans

Hard money loans are a specific type of asset-based loans. In this type of loan, a borrower receives funds that are secured by the value of a parcel of real estate. These loans are paid back with a higher interest rate than conventional commercial or residential property loans. This type of loan is rarely, if ever, issued by a commercial bank or other deposit institution.

Hard money loans are very similar to bridge loans. Bridge loans typically have similar criteria for lending. They also have similar costs to the borrower. The primary difference between a hard money commercial loan and a bridge loan is that a bridge loan frequently refers to a commercial property or investment property that is in transition. The property may not fully qualify for traditional financing yet. Hard money commercial loans refer not only to asset-based loans with a high interest rate but also loans for a financial situation that is possible distressed. Examples of this include cases where someone is arrears on an existing mortgage or where bankruptcy and foreclosure proceedings are already in process.

Hard money mortgages, both commercial and residential, are made by private investors. They typically make loans only in their local areas. The credit score of the borrower is not important because the loan is secured by the value of the collateral property. The maximum loan to value ratio is 65-70%. This means that if a piece of property is worth $100,000, the lender would give the borrower $65,000 to $70,000. This low LTV (loan-to-value) ratio gives the lender added security in the event that the borrower cannot pay and the lender has to foreclose on the property.

Commercial hard money lender programs are similar to traditional hard money loans in terms of the LTV requirements and interest rates. A commercial hard money lender is typically a strong financial institution with the deposits and abilities to make discretionary decisions on loans that are non-conforming. These borrowers do not conform to the standards of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or other residential conforming credit guidelines. Since it’s a commercial property in question, the loan does not generally conform to a standard commercial loan guideline either.

Traditional commercial hard money loans are very high risk and have a higher than average default rate. Just like in a normal commercial loan, when a property owner defaults on a commercial hard money loan, he or she can potentially lose the property to foreclosure.

For more information on hard money lending, please visit

The Pros and Cons of Hard Money Loan

Real estate investors are often confused by some real estate terms, especially the beginning investors. Many of them intend to increase their financing options and are curious about what “hard money loan” is. Hard money lenders are usually individuals or small groups that lend money based on the collateral, or your credit score. It is called hard because it’s generally harder to pay back. these loans are short term loan with higher interest rate and upfront fee. Many beginning investors think it is risky, when credit is tight; however, get access to funding is crucial for the success of the real estate investments. Let’s take a look of the pros and cons of the these loans.

The pros of the these loans:

More financing options: Hard money loan is one of the loan types even though there are a lot of differences between conventional loan and hard money loan. Hard money loan is easier to access, if you don’t meet the strict conventional loan term, it could be a good alternative. You can often close the transaction faster, with less paperwork than the conventional government loan.

More collateral options: Hard money lenders accept many types of collateral. You can use your own home as well as the future cash flows of the property as collateral. It allows you to borrow up to 75% of the value of the property. If you are short of funding, you cannot meet the minimum LTV ratio, you can also use other assets such as your own house, possessions, and retirement savings as collateral. Be careful and manage the risks properly as you may lose your other assets if anything bad happens.

More flexibility: Many savvy investors use hard-money loan to finance the repairs and renovations. You can close the transaction faster and set up a separate escrow account with a lender to pay for repairs and renovations.

The cons of these loans:

Higher cost and risk: Lenders generally require higher interest rate and upfront fees. These loans are mostly short term. Therefore, to meet the stricter loan terms, investors have to actively manage the risk of the investment. In the down market, investors encounter significant risk of unable to repay the loans and lose the collateral properties as well as other assets.

Lower ratios: Hard money loans are easy to access, but the loan-to-value rations are typical lower. In a conventional government loan program, you are able to borrow 80 to 90 percent of the value of the property while in the hard money loan; you can only borrow up to 75 percent.

With the right lender, the risks come from the property itself can be managed; with the wrong one the risks are high. There are many ads of the hard-money lenders in the newspaper nowadays, but it requires skills to identify a good lender. It is recommended you get help from a reputable broker and choose the lender carefully. You should make effort to prevent you from a fraudulent lender and losing up-front fees without getting a loan or ending up in foreclosure without appropriate reasons.