March 28, 2020

How to pause mortgage payments if coronavirus has crippled your finances

The coronavirus presents many challenges to Americans. These include the potential loss of work and income. That can be frightening for homeowners with a mortgage to consider. Fortunately, there are mortgage relief choices you can pursue if COVID-19 causes financial hardship. One of them is mortgage forbearance.

Forecast your prospects and explore options that can make things easier until your economic situation improves. Talking with your lender about your situation and solutions available can provide better peace of mind.

Learn more by reading my latest The Mortgage Reports story on this topic, available here.

March 23, 2020

3 strategies for curbing COVID-19-related business losses

The worldwide coronavirus outbreak threatens to disrupt operations for companies large and small for the foreseeable future. In fact, 82% of business leaders recently surveyed by the Young President’s Organization anticipate revenue declines over the next six months. To help stem losses, 95% of chief executives polled are taking action, including canceling major events (64%), nixing business travel (53%), cutting costs (39%), and allowing employees to telecommute (28%).

While there’s much a small business owner can’t control during uncertain times like these, they can take steps to protect their enterprise from being financially crippled by COVID-19. For advice, I reached out to three experts, each of whom I interviewed for a new article on this topic published on the US Chamber of Commerce's CO―website, available here.

March 15, 2020

A podcast about "Airplane!"? Surely you can't be serious...

For Cineversary podcast episode #21, host Erik Martin yuks it up with guests Michael Digiovanni and Andrew Bloom, hosts of the Classic Film Jerks podcast, to honor the 40th anniversary of one of the funniest flicks ever, "Airplane!", directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker. Collectively, they examine why this comedy gem is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the picture today, how it has stood the test of time, and more.
Andrew Bloom (left) and Michael Digiovanni

To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music, PodBean, RadioPublic, and Overcast.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at tinyurl.com/cineversarypodcast and email show comments or suggestions to cineversegroup@gmail.com.

March 8, 2020

Read this before renting out your home via Airbnb

Eager to begin renting your home on Airbnb and earning extra cash? Before you jump into the short-term rental pool, realize that there are many costs involved. For example, Airbnb charges fees. You'll need to stock the cupboard with supplies. You could be required to pay taxes. Your mortgage may be affected. A cleaning fee could apply. It’s wise to consider all of these potential expenses and related real estate factors before taking the plunge.

Learn more by reading my newest article published by Millionacres, the new site launched by The Motley Fool, available here.

March 1, 2020

Demystifying dehumidifiers

Got a room in your home or office that feels a bit damp or smells a tad musty? It’s likely caused by excess humidity – a problem that can be quickly remedied with the help of a portable dehumidifier, a handy device that can improve your indoor air quality and prevent mold.

Unlike whole-house dehumidifiers that need to be installed by an expert, portable units are inexpensive, simple to operate, and easy to move where needed. And thanks to improved energy efficiency standards (see sidebar), modern models are quieter and cost less to run. Learn more about the benefits of portable dehumidifiers by reading my newest article for The Costco Connection magazine, available here.

February 23, 2020

Amp up your SEO ASAP

Boosting your visibility online through improved search engine optimization (SEO) is a smart move for any small business. After all, 97% of people conduct at least one hunt daily via Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. However, three out of four users don’t bother to scroll beyond the first page of search results.

If you want to rank higher in organic search and direct more traffic to your website, you need to follow a proven plan of attack. To garner effective ideas, I interviewed a trio of professionals for a story I wrote for the US Chamber of Commerce's CO― site. They recommended three key strategies, which you can read more about here.