Home Improvement Tips to Help Sell Your Home to a Discerning Buyer

Everyone has one or two things they would like to improve about the place they live. When it comes to improvements, our homes should be at the top of the list, but they often get shuffled to the side, because improvements tend to be costly and time consuming. The reality is that a lot of improvements you can actually accomplish on your own using some home improvement tips that aren’t costly, but are noticeable.

Two areas of the house tend to get the short end of things when it comes to home improvement. They are the bathroom and our outside world. The bathroom is somewhat understandable. While we like to have it nice, the reality is that a face lift in the bathroom can be problematic. Redoing the entire bathroom is quite costly and often a messy proposition that takes weeks to reconcile.

Despite the inconvenience, doing up a bathroom is usually time and money well spent. It is one of the most used rooms in any house, and is a priority for most home buyers. The condition and presentation of a bathroom can add or subtract thousands of dollars in a property sale. A bathroom can also influence how long a property stays on the market, before being snapped up by a buyer.

That being said, what about the outside of your home? Is it looking a bit worse for wear? When is the last time you saw it as other people really see it? While it is true that you live on the inside, it is also true that what the outside of your home looks like, is the first thing people see. It is what gives your home curb appeal and makes people want to see more. Still when it comes to improving your home, one of the biggest things that people tend to overlook is the outside.

Did you know that adding a flower bed or a little bit of shrubbery can not only increase your chances of selling your home, but also cost you a nominal amount. It could amount to less than two to three hundred dollars for decent greenery that may increase the value of your home as much as a thousand dollars or more. Flowers and shrubs tend to give a home the appearance of being lovingly nurtured and people notice. An attractive garden will get you buyers when the swimming pool in your back yard might not.

Firewise landscaping is another method of adding to the value of your property and is one of the home improvement tips that you don’t see added to the lists very often. This is particularly the case in areas where wild-land fires can be a problem, such as New Mexico, Arizona, California, and in some eastern states. Firewise landscaping is making news. It represents the proper placement of landscaping items so that the fires will have less fuel and be less able to consume the home along with the property. Firewise landscaping sells houses.

Taking into account where you live when considering these home improvement tips. Take care of your own interests, as well as those who will buy the property after you means assuring the safety of your home. It is one of the best ways to get your home noticed in a positive way and to sell the property to someone else.

Travel Insurance for Your Peace of Mind

Everyone has travelled at least once in their life. Whether it is by bus, train, boat, or plane, you know the inconveniences you can encounter. People travelling to long distances usually prefer travelling via an airplane because it is convenient and faster. It may mean long lines in the ticket booth, long waiting hours before boarding time, or a little excess baggage but you deal with them because in the end, you will be in a relaxing and stress-free vacation. Despite all those petty nuisances, what are the chances of getting a delayed flight? Is paying for travel insurance really necessary?

Travelling itself can already cost you and your family a lot of dollars. Some people do not want to go through the additional expense of paying for something which might now happen to them at all. What are the odds of a disaster happening to you on a trip, right? Sadly, many people think this way. It is only when they experience a travel difficulty that they wish they had purchased reliable cheap travel insurance. Planning ahead makes you prepared for the worst. Before you disregard buying insurance for your travel, read first then make the call.

You needed to cancel your trip for more important reasons

You get caught in a situation wherein you badly need to be somewhere than the airport. Unforeseen circumstances such as a death in the family or you got into an accident can cost you your trip. Many insurance providers for travellers offer trip cancellation coverage. This means that for whatever reason you cancelled your trip, you will not end up losing the money you paid beforehand for the ticket and hotel reservations. Your insurance policy will cover your expenses.

You need immediate medical attention

This may possibly be the worst case scenario. In case you needed medical attention because you got a heart attack in an exclusive vacation island, where would you go? If you have an insurance provider, then call them to assist you with your situation. Travel insurance policies can cover all your medical expenses and even ancillary expenses when you encounter such a situation. They can also point you to the nearest affiliated qualifying hospital to make sure you get the best service and care.

Your baggage is missing

Travellers might get this misfortune more often than anything else. In any case, lost, damaged, or stolen luggage of travellers can be reimbursed. In case of baggage delay, some insurance policy providers offer reimbursement of the essential contents if the baggage will be delayed for more than 24 hours.

Your travel documents were lost or your credit cards were stolen

While strolling around a historic city, you notice your bag has been emptied of your wallet and other essential documents. Travellers are easy targets for local thieves and swindlers. Purchasing travel cover can help coordinate with local resources to resolve your problem.

Purchasing travel coverage does not need to be over-the-top expensive. There are many companies online who provide cheap travel insurance because there are no middlemen or travel agents which add up the cost of travel coverage. Buying insurance eliminates more risks you can possibly encounter while travelling.

Travel Trends by Gender

As someone who takes a great deal of interest in general travel trends, I was intrigued by the concept of historical differences between men and women and whether or not those variants are still relevant today. The focus is not necessarily on couples who travel together, but more on the intrepid female traveler who feels free to go wherever her whims take her. Here’s a brief look at why the genders traveled differently and whether or not that disparity still exists.

Historical Trends

Perhaps the earliest recognizable female figure is the adventurous women who first explored such exotic locales as Egypt and Africa in the nineteenth century. Many of Agatha Christie’s mystery books featured such a globe-trotting heroine, who was likely modeled after real-life traveling icons such as Martha Gellhorn, an early war correspondent, and Gertrude Bell, an archeologist, writer and politician who traveled far and wide at the turn of the century. The famous anthropologist Margaret Meade is another truly courageous woman traveler or a century ago who comes to mind.

These women are unique in that they set aside any trepidations and focused, instead, on their thirst for travel and discovering new destinations. They were the exceptions, not the rule.

It’s Not the Destination, It’s the Journey

It seems there was never a difference between the sexes as far as the level of interest in travel. After all, who doesn’t want to go and see new places, eat new foods, experience new cultures? The only gender diversity is truly the level of adventure the traveler embarks upon. For instance, up until recent years few women were interested in – or brave enough to sign up for – mountain climbing trips or jungle clearing excursions.

As a general rule of thumb, men are often more concerned with the journey and not necessarily the destination while women dream of visiting far-off lands without having to go through a great deal of adventure to get there. Remember this is only a very general observation; certainly there have been and still are women who revel in exciting journeys to uncivilized locales.

Travel Trends Today

What’s different today? What’s happened since the nineteenth century to make globe-trotting more common among single women travelers?

For one thing, women are accepted in positions of power. “Allowing” wives and mothers from centuries past to travel unaccompanied meant that men were giving these women a certain power previously only allocated to the male of the species. Learning other cultures and meeting foreign peoples expands the mind and broadens a person’s horizons – things that were not acceptable for women ages ago. And now that there are a great deal more women in the workforce, travel is both necessary and usual for them.

For another thing, travel today is much safer (on the whole) than it was during the era of the highwayman or outlaw gang. There was a reason women didn’t travel alone and it was all about the concept of safety in numbers. Today, women can drive to the airport, find secured airport parking and get on board a plane to any destination around the world in a manner of travel that is much safer than sticking to the roadways.

The modern travel trends for women include adventure travel, learning travel, volunteerism, and a desire to check off items on a bucket list. Interestingly enough, these are the same types of trips that men are leaning toward, too. So, although there once was a great disparity in travel trends between men and women, today that gap is nonexistent. Buon voyage, ladies!

Commercialisation Of Technology: Key Issues To Remember

1) Universities or other private and public institutions regularly undertake research on various areas. Very often the research has as its ultimate goal commercialization, profit-making and winning competition. Research may be commercialised in two ways: (i) New companies are created which are provided with access to the intellectual property rights (IPR), facilities or assets of one party; (ii) Technology may be made available to existing companies. Typically, this would involve the commercial licensing of research work directly to industry, for example, to large pharmaceutical or medical companies.

2) For a collaboration to take place there needs to be an agreement between the parties in place clearly setting out the contributions of each party and of course the rewards should the technology be proved successful. This is achieved by entering into a Technology Transfer Agreement, which addresses the following:

1. Nature of the IPR involved/transferred
Define exactly what rights are to be transferred.

2. Method of the transfer
The next most fundamental issue to be resolved is the method by which the IPR will be transferred from one or more parties, that is, by assignment or licence.

a. Assignment
An outright assignment gives the assignee greater freedom in relation to the technology, since in a typical assignment, there are few, if any, controls placed on the assignee by the assignor. In the event of insolvency, the assignee has an asset that can be sold to create value for the shareholders. Of course, if the assignee has become insolvent it may be because there is no market for the product. However, if the product has failed for other reasons, such as lack of marketing support, lack of follow-on funding, or issues affecting customers a willing buyer may exist for the technology. The practical benefit is that it should be easier (or cheaper) to raise funds if the assignee has some form of assets. Investors usually prefer to invest in a company which owns and has freedom to use all of its assets. If an outright assignment is not possible, this can also be achieved with an exclusive licence.

b. Licences
A licence gives the parties a greater feeling of control and also an ability to participate in any successful commercialisation of the technology through royalty streams, as well as being able to participate in any growth of the spin-out business as a shareholder. A licence also ensures greater flexibility for the party; it may be possible to provide that the licence terminates if certain conditions are fulfilled (for example, if the licensee fails to exploit or to exploit successfully the transferred technology). The licensor then has the option to take back the licence and perhaps proceed with a new licensee.

A compromise worth considering is a licence with an assignment trigger built in. The trigger can be linked to the value of the licensee, the return to the licensor(s), or to some other factor. In this way the licensor(s) are protected at a time when the spin-out is most vulnerable and, from the licensee’s point of view, should it succeed, it is very likely that it will end up owning the technology outright.

In other scenarios, the licensee can be expected to agree to certain performance criteria. These will often be linked to the number of sales or revenue generated from sales or other commercial exploitation of the licensed technology. Failure to meet the criteria will see the licence come to an end or for the licence to become non-exclusive instead.

3. Consideration
The consideration for the transfer of technology can be made up of equity, up-front payments, royalties, or a mixture of all three. This tends to be an area which is most heavily influenced by policies adopted from time to time by the various parties to the agreement. Other factors may affect the value, for example, where one or more of the contributors to the technology was not an employee, but for example, a post-graduate student or consultant. In fact, a post-graduate student will generally fall outside the definition of “employee” under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and so the IPR may not belong to the university.

4. Other rights and obligations
Whatever the nature of the IPR transfer, the parties need to agree what continuing rights (if any) the parties will have to use the IPR. If a party is a university it is generally agreed that the university can continue to carry out non-commercial research and teaching using the transferred technology. However, it is worth investigating whether there are existing research projects, such as PhD theses, which need to be completed. If so, specific rights should be carved out of the transfer agreement as necessary to ensure that these projects can be completed. Also it is important to have a clear agreement as to which party will bear and be responsible for: (i) any prosecution and other protection of the transferred rights costs (for example prosecution of patent applications so that they become patents granted!) and (ii) any regulatory licences and approvals.

5. IPR Infringements
The key question to be addressed is which party will have primary responsibility for dealing with any IPR infringement of the transferred technology. It is important for the spin-out company/licensee to ensure that it has the appropriate rights to take action against a third party which is infringing the transferred technology in some way.